As 2020 passed into 2021, Phoenix artist Marla Wentz was feeling the strain of all the months of staying at home.
“The music community is really important to me; it’s where I found my niche selling my jewelry. So when everything shut down, I was feeling disconnected from everyone,” she says.
It was a sentiment that was shared by a friend of hers, the late Andy Warpigs, who Wentz says had posted on social media talking about having similar feelings.
Initially, she reached out to Warpigs about having them model some of Wentz’s jewelry in photos, but “I still was thinking about a way to make it something more important and more helpful to the community,” she says. “So I got the idea of getting some other people involved and doing a calendar.”
The Going Local 2022 calendar, which came out last month, is a fundraiser for five local independent music venues: The Rebel Lounge, The Rhythm Room, Rips Ales and Cocktails, The Trunk Space, and Yucca Tap Room.
It features local musicians at the venues; participants include Warpigs, Harper Lines of Harper and The Moths; Robbie Pfeffer of Playboy Manbaby, Pedro Cortes of Ali A and the Agency and Radio Blonde, Snailmate, Treasure Mammal, Bryan “Dadadoh” Presto, and more.
The photos were taken by Joe Maier, who runs a music blog under the name Every Show Joe and is a fixture at concerts all around town.
Maier says that the pictures were planned in April and executed in May; they got permission from the venue to do photo shoots inside (except for The Rhythm Room; the power was off since the venue was still closed).
The result is a glossy, fun keepsake that captures the current moment in the music scene. (It’s especially poignant to see the photos of Warpigs, who died in late May.)
The calendars cost $20 each, and all proceeds will be split evenly among the five venues. You can pick them up at Rips or Yucca, or contact Wentz on Instagram @hothouseorchidshop to get a copy.
“The calendar is going to continue to help these venues,” Maier says. “Trunk Space isn’t even open yet, so they can use the money. Rhythm Room has been raising money to cover costs and get everything back in order. Even Rips really isn’t doing shows yet. They can all use the extra money right now while things are a little turbulent.”