On a recent Monday night, a practice space east of Phoenix was filled with smoke and sound, and a project called Comptalo was figuring out the details of its first show.
“Do you want more people to sing along with you on the chorus to make it really snap?” Danny Torgersen asks Jarrod Compton about the song “Stop Calling Me”.
Compton is the face of Comptalo, which is technically a solo project. But the room is filled with personalities from the music scene like trumpeter Torgersen (Captain Squeegee), Paul “Danger Paul” Balazs (The Psychedelephants), Spencer Ferrarin (The Psychedelephants and A Casual Divorce), bassist Jayme Fox, Tyler Johnston on DJ Equipment, and Lucas Robert Roth (Optimystical) on guitar.
The seven are preparing for their first live concert: a farewell concert for KWSS radio personality Dubs White, who is about to leave Arizona for Nashville. (The show begins at 9 p.m. on Friday, November 5, at Last Exit Live.)
Almost all the songs they’ll play are off Stop calling me, Comptalo’s album released at the end of September. It’s a bright, trippy, tinted 70s LP, based on an unusual concept.
As Compton puts it, he was working with his Real Fakes teammate Kevin Michael Pray on a song for the album, and they thought it would be fun to ask Ghetto Cowgirl’s Marc Norman to leave a voicemail complaining that Compton wasn’t. hadn’t asked him to be on the album.
“I have a weird, cynical sense of humor,” says Compton. “Self-mockery is my thing.”
Compton liked the result so much that he asked for similar contributions from other local musical figures like Zackary O’Meara (former member of Compton’s Moons, Birds & Monsters) and Dubs White.
Stop calling me is the Compton Pandemic Album; he produced it himself in his Phoenix apartment, but most of the other artists on the LP recorded their parts separately and then sent it in for mixing.
“Honestly, I felt like I made the most progress in January, when I had Covid,” Compton said. “I was sick, but there were times when I felt good and was off work for two straight weeks. … Isolation helped me do that.”
Although Compton sees Comptalo as a solo project (he compares the band to Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers), Stop calling me includes many contributions from other members of the music scene. “Secrets,” a sweet and groovy number that sounds like a vintage version of MGMT, stars Balazs and Marah Armenta from The Stakes. The indie rock number “Escapistapade” was co-written by Pray and stars Elliot Elijah. The sweet and upbeat “Fever Dreamix” is based on a tune from The Woodworks that Compton calls “perhaps his favorite local song of all time.” Compton covered the band’s song “Fever Dream”, added some of their own music to it, after which the band added their own new sounds to create a new collaborative work.
And of course, there’s the album’s title track, a jazzy number carried by Compton’s rap interludes, and a shattering trumpet solo from Torgensen. See the hilarious surreal video here.
Compton says Stop calling me was “really successful in my eyes. I finally got a fan base of the Phoenix music scene and that was a stepping stone to come up with this track, which is the band.”
While the Last Exit Live show is the first time Compton and the other six musicians will perform together as Comptalo, he doesn’t want it to be the last.
“They put their own spin on things and add to what was already there,” he says. “I want to keep these guys as long as possible because they’re really good.”
Dubs’ Going Away Show. With Comptalo, Les Boiseries and Les Psychédéliques. 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, Friday, November 5. Last live release, 717 South Central Avenue. Tickets are $ 8 to $ 10.