Montréal’s The Dears are coming to the Rhythm Room on Thursday, May 21. Since releasing 2008′s Missiles, this Canadian sevenpiece has been rounding every corner of North America with their piano-heavy, soulful rock. Somewhat under the radar, they’ve pursued a fanbase the old-fashioned way: playing shows. Don’t miss your chance to see them in an intimate setting in one of the Valley’s most storied spots.
Haven’t heard The Dears? Think Coldplay meets Blur meets a rocketship into otherworldly, symphonic bliss. The band has a rich, vivid live show that will fit the Rhythm Room’s fine acoustics quite nicely. Also appearing: Great Northern and Eulogies. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are just $10. Pick them up at Stinkweeds or Zia or brave the door in the heat.
To give The Dears a listen, head to their MySpace page.
Kyle Hildebrant: entrepreneur, bike commuter and Japanese amateur enthusiast chef.
Hildebrant is the Principle Partner of the Phoenix branding company, Ovo. “We utilize things like design, and advertising, marketing, and interactive design all from like a branding perspective,” he explained.
Their approach is very holistic. “We have a franchise of spas we work with and they came to us with a concept and we helped them modify and refine. We named them and developed the identity for the company and we do ongoing advertising and we help with the way they answer phones or the way the spa smells. It’s just the entire experience.”
The company’s name is more than just a palindrome. “It literally translates to the word egg or it means the birth of or the beginning of. Which ties into the branding aspect of what we do,” Hildebrant explained.
Nearly 70% of Ovo’s clients are from out-of-state. Through the Google Ads, direct mail campaigns, and community networking through social media, Ovo reaches further than the Phoenix area.
Hildebrant recently began bike commuting on a Novara Fusion hybrid. “It’s been easy for me because we found an office and I located myself close. I can ride there in about the same time as a car in traffic.”
Hildebrant describes himself as an outdoors kind of guy. “There is something cool about powering your own accord versus driving a car. I am by no means a severe environmentalist, but you know,” he said.
His new commuting has also given him a chance to take a new look at Phoenix. “Once you start biking around town, you have a whole new perspective of the city.” Once the summer heat starts, he said he will be going back to the car.
He has lived in almost every part of the Valley, but Phoenix’s “cool vibe” offers a bit more. “The mindset of people down here is more culturally sensitive. You see a lot more people with a desire to be part of a community and with a more progressive lifestyle.”
The Roosevelt is one of his favorite restaurants in the area. Hildebrant feels it reflects the city well. “There’s more of a community vibe there. Phoenix is a big city with a small community.”
Do you live green? Or are you still curious how to? Haus Modern Living near Camelback and Central has all the answers at Saturday’s DIG (Do It Green) celebration. Dubbed “the green outdoor living event for the urban dweller,” Haus will welcome green designers, gardeners, local artisans and supply companies for a lovely little festival where you can get all your questions out into the air. If nothing else, it’s the perfect spot to find that eco-conscious, desert-approved patio furniture you’ve been scouring for before the big bake arrives. Tunes from DJ Mike Montoya will also keep the crowd rockin’, while a kickin’ taco cart will feed the masses.
Haus Modern Living
4700 N. Camelback (light rail station: Central/Camelback)
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Art Detour may have been a month ago, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start anticipating Art Detour 2010. With a smaller crowd due to ever-growing First Friday buzz, some wrote off Art Detour 2009. Not so fast, says Sloane Burwell, President of Artlink, organizers of First Friday and Art Detour.
“This was the first year that the Web 2.0 universe — Twitter, Facebook — was just going crazy for First Friday and Saturday night parties,” Burwell says. “First Friday was packed. It was dead on Saturday, but the parties Saturday night were packed, and the buyers came out on Sunday.”
Overall, Burwell claims that sales were actually up in 2009 compared to previous Detours, and it reported the biggest First Friday turnout ever, near 30,000 attendees.
“Art Detour needs to morph and change. We have First Fridays and Third Fridays, and people say, ‘Why do I need to come out to Art Detour?’ That’s a fair question.”
Ideas are vague for the time being, but Artlink is toying with adding restaurant participation and a strong live music element to the 2010 incarnation. More than anything, Burwell wants to bring the focus back to fine art.
“Artlink has gotten critiques from many members that First Friday is a party, not an arts event anymore,” Burwell says. “It’s kind of hard to argue with that. I love that it’s thematically themed with art, but that doesn’t help spaces stay open.”
“I’m glad that I’m able to explain,” Burwell says. “Museums can’t be involved in Art Detour because it has to be a free event. Anytime there’s a free event at a museum, someone has to pay for people going in the door. They do that through corporate sponsors. For groups like the Heard or the Art Museum to have two more free days on top of First Friday, it doesn’t work for them. There’s not enough cash in the nonprofit sector.”
Burwell says neighborhood organizations like Roosevelt Row and 7th Avenue Merchants Association are close confidants, though they don’t work in tandem. Artlink members own space on Roosevelt Row and the organization provided shuttles for the 7th Avenue street festival that coincided with Art Detour.
“We’re hoping next year [7th Avenue Merchants] doesn’t want to do the same weekend,” Burwell says. “It really hurt our Saturday.”
Burwell says the Heard Museum’s art festival that weekend, a paid event, catered to a different clientele and wasn’t competition.
On the flipside, Artlink is working with the Visitors and Convention Bureau and the State of Downtown Projects to really push the idea that Phoenix is an arts hotspot. Burwell hopes to garner national attention to Art Detour and make it into a destination event for out-of-towners.
“It would be so much easier if we could all work full time on Art Detour, but we’re all volunteers,” Burwell says of the Artlink staff. “Cities have big art fairs, and people fly in for them, and there’s no reason that can’t happen here.”
Still, Burwell is encouraged by downtown’s growth, and the growth of Art Detour. She says that attendees use the Detour weekend to venture to galleries and areas they don’t normally see on First Fridays. With well over 10,000 attendees, she feels the foundation is solid. She cites needs down the line: an Artlink gallery, its own shows, a full-time director and an educational component. Burwell wants to see Artlink-sponsored scholarships to both artists and schools.
In the end, it comes down to the clientele: “We love the fact that Phoenix has a great art reputation, but people need to buy art,” Burwell says. “If you own a gallery or a shop, you shouldn’t have to work 17 jobs to survive. That’s one of the goals — start buying!”
After the success of last year’s Dining Out for Life event in Phoenix, many downtown area restaurants are getting in on the action. This Thursday, April 30, head to one of many local favorites to benefit HIV/AIDS research. In all, over 140 Valley restaurants will participate, raising over $200,000 for the cause. More than 3,500 restaurants in 55 markets across the country participate. Phoenix ranked seventh among those markets last year and should hop up a few spots thanks to more spots participating. FEZ, Ticoz, Switch, Fox Restaurants (True Food Kitchen at the Biltmore) and many more are on the list. Even local Cold Stone Creamery locations are helping out. Our suggestion? Hop on the light rail and nosh at several spots.