by James Reel
All the greatest stars, all the greatest hits--in one great package! It's the Tucson Weekly's annual Best of Tucson™, and this year it's one big juke joint!
In our poll last May, you called the tunes. The town is full of Top 10 contenders, and you decided which would hit the charts with a bullet. As usual, the playlist is heavy on the standards. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has been a chart-topper for years, and by now Magpies Pizza must be going platinum. But you readers and our scouts have also found plenty of up-and-coming indie talent in the groove.
So here, by request, are Tucson's latest hit singles--the best places to eat, shop, hike, loaf, soak up some culture and catch some tunes. And we go behind the music to get a glimpse of some of the local hit makers--doctors and lawyers, artists, politicians, hell-raisers, soloists and sidemen who contribute to Tucson's beautiful urban cacophony.
The Best of Tucson™--it's got a good beat, and you can dance to it!
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This 16th edition of the Notorious B.O.T. would not have been possible without all the little people who actually did the work, as opposed to a couple of us producers and engineers who just sat in the booth trying to take most of the credit.
They wrote the songs that make the whole town sing--at least, the people using Best of Tucson™ as the lyric sheet: writers Lee Allen, Gene Armstrong, Michael Carson, Tom Danehy, Dave Devine, Renée Downing, Karen Falkenstrom, Emil Franzi, Dave Irwin, Chris Limberis, Laura May, Curtis McCrary, Lori McNeill, Greg McNamee, Irene Messina, Brian Mock, Susie Morris, Julie Newman, Jim Ninztel, Terry Owen, Margaret Regan, Joan Schuman, Stephen Seigel, Cristián Sierra, and the lovely and talented Mark Taylor.
If Best of Tucson™ is a labor of love, the look of love was in the eyes of Rand Carlson, who masterminded this year's visual design. The photos and illustrations fell into place with a little help from his friends: photographers Kristin Giordano, Marshall Scott and Stuart Alan Becker and illustrators Héctor Acuña, Jim Campbell, Tony De Luz, Joe Forkan, Mich Gushock, Rose Johnson, Fred Nolan, Steven Verriest, and the lovely and talented Karl Vidstrand.
Tucson Weekly staffers Jim Nintzel and Irene Messina did double duty as proofreaders, and Irene was especially helpful with the logistics of our planning meeting. TW editor Michael Parnell did the hokey pokey, putting his right foot and any other relevant body parts in whenever necessary, and managed to emerge with his dignity intact. And as always, the critical details of the layout work were handled by the lovely and talented Michaela Steed, who deserves a rousing standing ovation for her tireless efforts.
Of course, none of this would now be inking up your hands without the hard work of the Weekly's account executives and production crew. Check the staff box at the front of the main issue to see who's working here this week.
And now, without further ado, it's time for your hit parade--the Best of Tucson™!