Mega Ran Releases a Memoir — Plus More Phoenix Music News

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The Valley’s music scene has gone topsy-turvy for most of the past year thanks to the pandemic, and the hits keep on coming. Several upcoming concerts have been canceled and rescheduled due to issues related to COVID-19 and annual events like this year’s Arizona Bach Festival are taking place virtually. Here’s a roundup covering news items and other updates from around the local scene.

Mega Ran’s Memoir Released

As we reported last month, local rapper and geek icon Raheem Jarbo (a.k.a. Mega Ran) has been working on an autobiography titled Dream Master: A Memoir, which chronicles his rise to fame, as well as “some key moments in my life and how music and video games have influenced them.” The 234-page book dropped last week and has already gotten rave reviews on Amazon. It’s available for purchase online and at all local Zia Records stores. Jarbo stated on Facebook that he’s already sold out of his personal supply. (And while you wait for your copy, check out our 2018 cover story on Jarbo’s life story.)

Arizona Bach Festival Goes Virtual

Arizona Bach Festival, the local classical/chamber music series that’s celebrated the works of the famed composer every January and February since 2010, will transform into an online-only event in 2021 for obvious reasons. Per the festival’s website, this year’s event will consist of three livestreamed concerts on YouTube, each featuring a talk by festival director Craig Westendorf beforehand and a “meet the artist” session over Zoom.

It starts on Sunday, February 21, with a performance by Aaron David Miller, followed by a concert by Luteduo on Sunday, February 28. The festival will then wrap up on Sunday, March 7, with the “Arias with Violin and Organ” concert. Festival passes are $60, which includes access to all three concerts, or $100 for the concerts and the post-show Zoom sessions. More info can be found on the festival website.

Metalcore band We Came As RomansEXPAND

Metalcore band We Came As Romans

Atom Splitter PR

We Came As Romans March Gig Rescheduled

Concert promoter Stephen Chilton (a.k.a. Psyko Steve) has rescheduled a spring performance by metalcore band We Came As Romans at The Pressroom after the Arizona Department of Health Services closed the venue due to violations of COVID-19 safety protocols. The show, which was originally scheduled for March 1, will now take place sometime in the fall, according to Chilton. A new venue hasn’t been determined yet. All tickets purchased for the original date will be honored.

Marquee Theatre’s Dine-In Concerts Rescheduled … Again

The ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases in Arizona has caused promoter Luckyman Concerts to once again reschedule its “dine-in” concert series at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre for the spring and summer. In a recent post to Facebook, the promoter announced new dates for five of the shows, which were originally set to take place late last year and will feature patrons seated at tables in the venue’s main room.

The concert by comedy metal act Steel Panther is moving to April 1, followed by Led Zeppelin tribute act No Quarter on April 3, and Van Halen tribute Atomic Punks on April 10. Iron Maidens, the all-female band who pay homage to the legendary metal band, will now perform on June 11, and a gig by former Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate is happening on October 4. If you’ve got tickets for any of the original dates, Luckyman says they’ll all be honored.

Members of indie rock band Ratboys.EXPAND

Members of indie rock band Ratboys.

Several Upcoming Phoenix Concerts Canceled

Not every upcoming local show will be moving to a new date on the calendar, though, as a number of Valley gigs scheduled for the spring have been canceled outright by their respective promoters.

To wit: A gig by Chicago-based indie rock band Ratboys on February 16 at The Rebel Lounge has been axed, as has an April 26 gig by Snotty Nose Rez Kids at the same venue.

Other recently announced concert cancellations include LP and the Vinyl at Chandler Center for the Arts on April 2, Stephen Malkmus at Crescent Ballroom on April 17, and Symphony X at Mesa’s Club Red on June 7. Refunds for all of these events are available through your point of purchase.

Alwun House’s Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus Announced

Renowned local arts and culture venue Alwun House is going forward with one of its most memorable performance events of the year, albeit with a few safety measures. The “Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus,” which features a mix of sights, sounds, and theatrics of the adult variety, will take place on Saturday, February, 20, in the Alwun House’s open-air backyard space. Local artists scheduled to perform include upright bassist Patrick Hershey, comedian Matt Micheletti, and Phoenix poet laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski.

The event will have a decreased capacity and seating at tables, which will be appropriately spaced and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Audience members are also required to remain sitting unless they’re wearing a mask or visiting the Alwun House’s gallery or restrooms. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 per seat. More details can be found here.

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