AOL Travel

Phoenix Pop Culture

Phoenix is not exactly a cradle of literary and cinematic energy, but a common thread seems to run through the pop culture produced there: fantasy and fear. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer grew up in Phoenix and attended high school in Scottsdale. Obscure movies about aliens and crashing comets have used Phoenix as a backdrop, and the opening scene of Psycho shows the downtown skyline, circa 1960. The city’s most famous native musician, Alice Cooper, has an affinity for the fantastical macabre, although these days Cooper plays a lot of golf and broadcasts a syndicated radio show from his Paradise Valley home. But Psycho isn’t the best movie to watch before you visit a new town, and Alice Cooper’s theatrical rock won't give you a sense of the place, either. Instead, listen to the sunny songs of the Tempe-birthed band Gin Blossoms, or download Glen Campbell’s country classic “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” A couple of recent indie films shot in the area—Little Miss Sunshine and Away We Go—will give you a decent sense of suburban life in the desert.