Friday, August 10, 2007

Arizona: Photos and a contest reminder...

So tonight at midnight (eastern standard time) we will stop accepting contest entries. Oh okay actually if you send it in tomorrow morning, you'll probably get accepted...But I'm not making any promises. Don't forget to send your stories about how an Arizona song has played a role in your life (factual or fictional) to The winners of a sweet Arizona shirt and a copy of the wonderful Fameseeker and the Mono mini-LP will be announced some time tomorrow. We will also post the winning stories. We've had a nice time reading the entries we've already received...but keep them coming.

And as an added bonus Ian (Arizona's manager) sent over these photos as one of the many exclusives he's provided A Better Offer. So enjoy these last few photos, and check back tomorrow to see if you win the contest!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Arizona: ...Imagining You

So in my humble opinion, ...Imagining You is the best song on the Fameseeker and the Mono EP. It seems to tie the whole record together for me--you know brings it all home. But even as a single track it's beautiful in it's own right. I first heard what would become ...Imagining You when Arizona sent over some tracks to the Two Mirrors last August for me to post. ...Imagining You was the lead in for a live version of Surviving the Savior. It didn't even have the ending that it has now. It's fun to hear this song before it became what it is now. But it is no longer available for download. But I digress...

In my interview with the band Arizona, I asked Ben specifically about this track. Check out his response.

ABO: The track "…Imagining You," is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful songs you've written to date. The lyrics and melodies seem to resonate in my mind every time I hear it. It seems like we all tend to focus on the future and what may happen, when in fact the present is all we have—especially with the ones we love. Can you talk a little about the inspiration for this track?

Thank you! I'm very gratified that "...Imagining You" is hitting an emotional trigger in people. It was a song I felt very passionately when I was writing it, although it was very whimsical. I wrote the whole thing in about the amount of time it takes to sing it, but the band really brought the song to life. I had almost nothing to do with the production of that song- laid down the guitar structure, which was re-done by Nick, gave a scratch vocal performance which ended up as the keeper lead vocal, and suggested that Alex use the upright bass instead of a too-fat electric tone we were originally using. Everything else was created by the guys, and I think they are to thank for how that song comes across. It's also my favorite mix that Danny Kadar has done for us- something about the reverb. The work of all of these people is why the lyrics and melodies pop out.

Every ballad I write, whether it be "Through the Soot" or "Some Kind of Chill" or "Imagining You" or even "Diventa Blu", the original inspiration is a specific person who I'm focused on in my life. I write these songs hoping that their heartfelt nature and catchy melodies will convince that person (who is almost never the same from song to song) to love me unconditionally for the rest of eternity. It's never worked.

And now you too can hear "...Imagining You."

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Arizona gets reviewed in Under the Radar

Here's what the Under the Radar magazine said about the Fameseeker and the Mono EP. I'm not sure I agree with the 7 out of 10 rating, but their write up is quite supportive and accurate.

A lovely, intimate offering from Arizona, who have a lazy, charming swagger. They apply it to guitar-driven, Neil Young-flavored rock, gentle folk numbers, and dense Elephant Six-style psychedelia, covering a lot of ground in the short 23 minutes of this mini-LP. Always leave them wanting more. 7 out of 10 stars. By J. Pace, Under the Radar.

Arizona: "Everybody's not on the same page"

You see I listened to WBDC more than any other record last year. I mean I really listened. But for whatever reason, "Through the Soot" didn't really resonate with me until recently. One of the things I like to do here at A Better Offer is to look back into a band's catalog--to look at where they came from. And most of you out there already know how wonderful Welcome Back Dear Children is. But I thought I'd take a minute to talk about a track that you may have missed over....

"Through the Soot," begins with a gentle vocal melody that leads into a catchy little acoustic guitar hook. Ben begins his trademark vocals with "Well, it took me a long time to get there." And when I hear it I have to laugh--because as I explained it took me a long time to get there too. The track continues up and down with vocal and musical melodies that seem at times dark and depressing and other times they seem uplifting. The first time Ben sings the hook it's "I'll never stop riding that train..." and that idea shifts rather quickly to "You'll never stop riding that train..." It seems to me that sometimes moving is the only thing we can do. Towards the end of the track Ben asks, "How am I supposed to step on the brakes?/When everbody's not on the same page." And it's a fitting conclusion to this beautiful little gem hidden away amongst Welcome Back Dear Children."

MP3--Through the Soot, Arizona

Monday, August 6, 2007

Arizona: Week Two

I know you didn't come here to read about me...And I normally don't post on personal stuff here. BUT yesterday was my 31st berfday (say it phonetically--you'll laugh)...and my family got together and had a basketball game (not quite as exciting as last year's whiffle ball fiasco) on my son's 8 foot goal. Wildness ensues, limbs are sore, and a whole lot of sweat was produced.

Why on earth would I bring this up? Because I dunked on my much taller brother (see above) wearing my super powered Arizona shirt--that you too can own, for free. All you need to do is enter the Arizona contest. It's easy folks...just send in a story (either factual or fictional) about how an Arizona song played into your reality. It doesn't need to be long, just send it to the special email address, And this Saturday, the band and I will announce the winner of a copy of their new EP Fameseeker and the Mono and super powered Arizona T-Shirt. Fun Times...

So what do I have left in week two of my coverage...oh only the best stuff EVER! I have the rest of my interview with the band, insight from Ben into the beautiful track "...Imagining You," exclusive lyrics and photos, and a couple more MP3's for you to check out. Stay tuned.

And finally if you are looking to hear some more Arizona, they were played on the incomporable Shifted Sound podcast. You should be listening.