Episode 017: I Need To Tell You About This Band I Heard (with Joshua Levine, Burning Palms)

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We’ve spent a lot of time on the SideStreets podcast talking about the burgeoning Tucson music scene, so this week, we brought on an expert to discuss why this is happening.


Our guest is Tucson Weekly music writer Joshua Levine, who has spent the last couple years writing about all of the best musicians in town and why Tucson seems to be producing more quality music now than ever before. Josh has lived here for more than 20 years and fronted some great bands of his own (most notably, The Red Switch and HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS), but he believes he’s having a far larger impact on the local music scene through live reviews, profiles, record reviews, and interviews.

Every local music scene needs people like Josh and TW music editor Stephen Seigel — people who genuinely care about the music being created in town and give these musicians the exposure and feedback they need to further their development. From psych revival to garage rock to hip hop to metal, Josh covers it all and he’s as enthusiastic and passionate about what’s happening in Tucson as anyone. Josh is a really sharp dude and this interview made me even more hopeful about our local music scene.

Also in today’s episode:

We experience some recording difficulties in the back patio of Che’s Lounge. It turns out I picked the afternoon when some folks next door would be moving stock around, while carrying around electronic devices that somehow emitted a signal that our microphone picked up. I cleaned up the sound as best I could, but you’ll hear some rattlings, rumblings, clankings and general ambient noise. You’ll be fine — it’s a free podcast.

• Between Big Meridox and Isaiah Toothtaker, we need to have a Tucson hip hop episode soon.

Nate Silver’s burrito bracket is increasing burrito awareness, despite its flawed methodology. Next time, give SideStreets HQ a call, ok fivethirtyeight.com?

• Our old band Redlands is getting back together for a one-off show on June 28. If you’re in Tucson, you should come to Flycatcher (formerly Plush) and watch us play our songs for a half hour. It’ll be fun!

• Getting your record reviewed is a big deal.

• We close the show with the song Pyramids by the incredible Burning Palms. They’re one of my favorite bands in town, and one I firmly believe will find a national audience as Tucson continues to put more bands on the radar. Burning Palms’ self-titled album came out on June 1 and you can buy it on their bandcamp page. Be sure to see them if they come near you on their west-coast tour this month!

Get in touch: Email me at sidestreetspodcast at gmail dot com, or follow me on twitter, either on my personal twitter feed, or at the official SideStreets twitter page.

Music credits:
Bed music: dashflanagan
The song before Josh’s interview: “Fated To Be” by HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS. Song underneath our interview: “Stupid Astrology” by Prom Body.

Topics: Tucson music, finding an audience, encouragement, the importance of knowing that someone is actually listening, burrito brackets, audio problems, ambient noise, Tucson hip hop, reunions, super sweet bass moves, Burning Palms, eclecticism, Lenguas Largas, Big Meridox, Isaiah Toothtaker, the unexpected benefits from the collapse of the music industry, reaching people, and the things we do for love.

-I feel

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