SPEND YOUR LIFE SAVINGS ON LIVE MUSICYou've heard the term "heavy touring season," yes? This week, we Tucsonans again get to remember what exactly that term means. In other words, we're lousy with awesome live music over the next seven days, so plunk your cover charges down and enjoy, my fellow music junkies. Here we go ...
SWEET 'SEDATION'Roughly three years after the release of their debut full-length Jim Waters Presents ... The Deludes (Deluded, 2004), beloved local power trio The Deludes finally release their much-anticipated follow-up this week. Sedation Nation will appear on Mudhouse Records, the label started last year by Jake Mahoney, who played drums for the recently defunct Beta Sweat, and its release will be feted this week with the requisite release party.
Like The Deludes' debut album and the EP that preceded it, Sedation Nation was produced by Jim Waters at his Waterworks Recording Studio, and props must be given to him for coming closer than ever to capturing the band's explosive live performances. Singer-guitarist Larry Wawro has always written great songs, sung them with Jaggeresque conviction, and played devastatingly passionate guitar, while his rhythm section--bassist Scott Alexander and drummer Ryan Nixon--delivered a solid bed for those songs to lie upon. But much of the band's sound--straightforward rock 'n' roll equally informed by the '60s British invasion and blues-rock revivalists like the White Stripes--hinges on Wawro's sharp but huge guitar tone, which is conveyed here beyond expectation.
As usual, the songs themselves are top-notch, and many will be familiar to anyone who's seen The Deludes perform live in the last year or so. Album opener "The Back Beat" is the type of song the Stones wish they could still write, while "Strip Mall Blues" suggests what Golden Earring might have sounded like if punk rock preceded them. "My Luck" is a rare, affecting ballad made more powerful by Wawro's cracking vocals, and live favorite "Cry Baby" is a short, jumpy thing propelled by jagged, pulsing guitar stabs.
Sedation Nation, then, delivers on all fronts. It's an improvement upon The Deludes' previous releases, and nothing is lost along the way. It is, quite simply, the sound of a great band getting better.
The Deludes celebrate the release of Sedation Nation at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, April 14. The Solace Bros. and The Jons open at 9:30 p.m. Cover is a fiver. Call 798-1298 for further details.
VENUS' ORBIT REACHES TUCSONTucson's favorite adopted British son, Robyn Hitchcock, has visited us regularly over the last few years, performing solo shows at Club Congress that have become somewhat legendary around these parts. This week, for the first time, we'll be treated to Hitchcock performing with his current backing band, The Venus 3, a veritable supergroup of sorts that includes three members of the current lineup of R.E.M.--drummer Bill Rieflin, bassist Scott McCaughey and guitarist Peter Buck.
This is the band that backed him on last year's superb full-length Olé! Tarantula (Yep Roc), as well as the recent EP Sex, Food, Death and Tarantulas (Yep Roc, 2007), a companion piece of sorts to both the album and Sex, Food, Death ... and Insects, a new documentary film about Hitchcock currently airing on the Sundance Channel.
In other words, if you've managed to find excuses to miss Hitchcock's local performances in the past, you are hereby on notice that this one is not to be missed. Who knows when your next opportunity to see Robyn Hitchcock and Peter Buck (hot legend-on-legend action!) performing together will be?
Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3 perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, April 14. Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson and His Mortal Enemies open the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $10; they'll be $12 on the day of the show. For more information, call 622-8848.
REUNION FOR REAL!Almost three years ago, what was billed as a Sebadoh reunion show landed at Club Congress. What it was, in actuality, was head honcho Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein performing Sebadoh nuggets against pre-recorded backing tracks. Not bad, but a bit anticlimactic.
This week, though, we get the real deal: Barlow, Loewenstein and original member Eric Gaffney performing together as Sebadoh for the first time in 14 years.
For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Sebadoh were--along with Pavement and Guided by Voices--one of the most important and influential indie-rock bands of the '90s. For better or worse, they popularized the home-recording movement that became known as "lo-fi," and with their 1991 EP Gimme Indie Rock!, they gave a name to the burgeoning movement of bands operating underneath the radar of major labeldom. Their sound ran the gamut from acoustic, heartbreaking songs about the elusiveness of love to terrifying noise experiments. In other words, they were unclassifiable, and the mark they made can still be heard in the music of dozens, if not hundreds, of bands today.
The reunited Sebadoh performs on Monday, April 16, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. The Bent Moustache opens the show at 7:30 p.m. sharp. Advance tickets are $10; they'll be $12 on the day of the show. For further details, call 622-8848.
MAYBE HE'LL APOLOGIZE FOR 'BARBERSHOP 2'The rapper Ice Cube has made the most unlikely of transitions over the course of his career. In the late '80s, he was a member of the pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A. (Niggaz with Attitude), then went on to a hugely successful solo rap career. These days, though, he's perhaps best known (at least to a generation of tweens and their parents) as an actor, writer and producer of (mostly) family films, the most recent being Are We Done Yet?, released the first week of this month.
While one might guess he would still be making the talk-show rounds to promote it, instead, he's slated to appear in his old role of rapper at the Rialto Theatre this week.
Expect to hear all the hits when Ice Cube performs at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, April 18. Westside Connection's WC opens at 8 p.m. Advance tickets for the all-ages show are $35. They'll be $36 on the day of show. For more info, call 740-1000.
ON THE BANDWAGONAbout a year and a half ago, Ozlo, Tucson's maestro of all things funky, pulled up stakes and headed to Atlanta to see what life east of the Mississippi had to offer. Next week, he'll make a brief return visit to his old stomping grounds for a handful of gigs, the first of which is Thursday, April 19, at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. Luca opens the show at 9:30 p.m., and cover is $5. Call 623-3200 for more info.
The Effin' Elements team continues its series of indie rap shows this week at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St. Bridging the Gap XI will be headlined by Columbus, Ohio's Blueprint, who records for Rhymesayers, the label owned by Atmosphere's Slug. Also on the bill are Blak Watr, The Effin' Somebodies and DJ Rare Groove. It all goes down on Sunday, April 15. For further details, call 622-3535.
Don't pass up your opportunity to catch country legend Charlie Louvin this week. He and his late brother, Ira, comprised the Louvin Brothers, one of the most lauded duos in the history of country music. Charlie recently released his first studio album in a decade, a self-titled collection of songs recorded with the likes of Elvis Costello, George Jones, Jeff Tweedy and Tom T. Hall. He'll be at Nimbus Brewing Company, 3850 E. 44th St., on Tuesday, April 17. Brewgrass opens at 6 p.m. Admission is a mere $7. Call 745-9175 for more information.
We're just about out of room, and we haven't yet told you about all the other great shows this week, which include Electric Six, Soweto Gospel Choir and Appleseed Cast. Be sure to check our club listings for more info.