THE CRAWL CHRONICLESFor starters this week, I'd tell y'all about the Weekly's Spring Club CrawlTM, except you've probably already combed through our intensively informative insert, which fills you in on as much as you could possibly want to know about the event--the largest downtown event there is, with musical treats for all, regardless of your taste in these matters.
For example, I'd tell you that it takes place this Saturday, April 8, at more than 20 venues in and around downtown Tucson. Or, that admission to all of those venues only costs $8 for an all-inclusive wristband, as long as you buy it in advance at the locally owned CD City, 2890 N. Campbell Ave. (Hey, if you want to wait in line on the night of the event, and pay $2 more for the very same wristband, that's your business. Just don't say we didn't warn ya.)
Use that aforementioned guide to plan your night, and we strongly encourage you to use a designated driver or taxi service. But, above all, have a blast--that's what it's all about. We'll see you there.
LEGEND LAID BAREDespite the fact that he hasn't issued an album of new material since he last visited the Old Pueblo, in 2002, at the AVA, an awful lot has happened to Bob Dylan--or, more accurately, to our perception of him--since then.
An exhibition documenting his early years was held at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, sure. But the real meaty stuff came courtesy of a triple whammy: Simon and Schuster published Chronicles, Vol. 1, Dylan's first crack at a bonafide memoir, which proved to be both charmingly elusive and elucidating, spinning randomly structured tales with a stunning gift for memory and an is-he-joking-or-serious tone.
Then, there was No Direction Home, Martin Scorcese's immaculately crafted, nearly four-hour documentary film tracing Dylan's life from birth to his legendary 1966 UK tour, which boasted multitudinous revelations. The recent interviews with Dylan himself served the same purpose as the book--to emphasize the wink and nod behind the statement that he always saw himself as "a song and dance man"--though he is surely giving a little bit more of himself away these days than he used to. The interviews with those who shared experiences with him back in the day, such as Joan Baez and Allen Ginsburg, are sometimes even more revealing.
But the real treat of the film is the archival live footage that's been dug up. Who the hell knew that good-quality footage existed of the following: Dylan playing on the same stage from which Martin Luther King Jr. would give his "I Have a Dream" speech later that day; Dylan going electric for the first time in public, pissing off the folkies with a cacophonous set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival; and of course, the gorgeously shot live footage--by D.A. Pennebaker--of his first electric foray into the United Kingdom, in which we see, for the first time, Dylan's legitimately pissy reaction to the heckler that called him Judas. The film is a sort of holy grail for Dylan obsessives, and the double CD soundtrack, comprising mostly never-before-released versions of songs--often drastically altered, compared to what we're used to hearing--was gravy on the cake.
What's interesting about this whole recent Dylan renaissance, is that while it was all going on around him, Dylan himself did what he's done for years now: continued on his "Never-Ending Tour," which brings him back to Tucson on Monday, April 10 at the Tucson Arena (aka the Tucson Convention Center), 260 S. Church Ave. Advance tickets are available for $39.50 to $65 through the TCC box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 321-1000. A legend in his own right, Merle Haggard and the Strangers open the show at 7:30 p.m.
WARMING FROSTAfter a four-year hiatus from recording, Edith Frost last year released It's a Game (Drag City), which just may be her best album yet in a string of fantastic ones. Frost specializes in gentle, understated, fleshed-out folkish songs with hints of country (though It's a Game is probably the least country of all her releases) and roots in the '70s singer-songwriter era--a few decades ago, she would have fit right in with Joni Mitchell. And like Mitchell at her most accessible, she also knows her way around a hook and how to write engaging lyrics. Mitchell was more of a pure storyteller, a yarn-spinner, where Frost tends to give slightly more impressionistic glimpses of what's at hand. A fine example from It's a Game is the gorgeous torch song "Lucky Charm," in which a cheap prize won at a fairground midway serves as a symbol for the true love she's hoping to find: "I know it's just a useless little trinket / and the game was rigged against me from the start / For my little souvenir will soon be broken / and I'll find myself with just an aching heart."
No one does this stuff better than Frost, and It's a Game proves worth the long wait.
Edith Frost performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Friday, April 7. The Zincs and Little Sisters of the Poor start things off at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7. For more information call 798-1298.
ON THE BANDWAGONThough they were spawned in San Francisco, the two albums released by the duo Two Gallants--2004's The Throes (Alive), and this year's What the Toll Tells (Saddle Creek)--sound more like they came from the Southern tradition of gothic folk tales. Pitchforkmedia shat all over the latest album, awarding it a mere 4.8 rating, but fans can't seem to get enough. Decide for yourself when Two Gallants perform at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., on Friday, April 7. Cold War Kids and The Crowd open the all-ages show at 9 p.m. Admission is $7. Call 884-0874 for further details.
Thank The Bled for putting Tucson on the national melodic screamo map in person when they return home for a show on Sunday, April 9 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Things get underway at 7:30 p.m. with sets from Since By Man, As Cities Burn and Protest the Hero. Advance tickets for the all-ages show are $10, available at the Rialto box office or at Rialto Web site. They'll be $12 on the day of the show. Call 740-1000 for more info.