A COMPILATION WORTH ROPIN'
A busy album-release season marches on this week, with two new local discs being feted with requisite live shows.
You can read all about the Carnivaleros' new one in Jim Lipson's profile on Gary Mackender on this very page.
The other album dropping this week is a compilation. Tucson has a rich history of great compilations released over the years, but few in recent times. However, the kids at Worry Dolls Records are aiming to remedy that. If that name sounds familiar, it's because the same label released a similar comp, Everyone! Everyone! Everyone!, last July.
The follow-up, The Rodeo Sessions, is so named because all 15 tracks were recorded in February, over rodeo weekend. As with Everyone!, the list of bands you'll find on Rodeo Sessions is an eclectic one: Young Mothers, La Cerca, Cosmic Slop, Golden Boots, Flagrante Delicto, Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, The Runaway Five, Feel Good Revolution, GoldenAlphabet, Mike Superhero, Full Frontal Keitel, God of the Sea, Octopus Place, Boogie Nazis and The Shaw.
The release party for Rodeo Sessions, which takes place at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, May 27, will be hosted by Mike Superhero, who will also perform, along with Cosmic Slop, Flagrante Delicto, GoldenAlphabet and Boogie Nazis. This all-ages show is an early one, starting at 7 p.m. Five ducats gets you through the door. Questions? The number to call is 622-8848.
ROCK 'N' ROLL DREAMS COME TRUE
Tucson also has a long and storied tradition of underground venues, the kind you can only find out about via word of mouth or posters and fliers. This week, one such performance space takes things above ground, so to speak.
The HangArt, at 512 N. Echols Ave., has been hosting shows for months now, including some damn great ones. Take a look at the schedule of shows booked for the coming months at www.myspace.com/thehangartspace, and you'll find dozens of listings of both the local and touring variety. Here, then, are a couple of highlights going down there this week, each pairing two local acts with one national one.
First up, on Saturday, May 23, San Francisco's Or, the Whale, a seven-piece alt-country combo that updates the twangy sound of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers for modern ears, headlines a show that also includes the female-fronted jazz-pop stylings of The Tryst and Fell City Shouts leader Gabriel Sullivan (ex-American Black Lung), who will preview material from his upcoming solo album.
We've got professional musician Billy Bob Thornton to thank—in a roundabout way—for the show at The HangArt on Wednesday, May 27. The show's headliner, St. Louis cuddle-core duo Bunnygrunt (which tours as a full band), was on hiatus when one of their songs, "Season's Freaklings," was included on the soundtrack to the Thornton Christmas vehicle Bad Santa, garnering the band newfound exposure. Soon after that, the group, which currently comprises guitarist-singer Matt Harnish and drummer-singer Karen Ried, reunited full-time and are still trying to outrun the status infamously bestowed upon them by Allmusic: "The world's cutest band."
The person who is probably more excited than anyone about this show is also playing on the bill. (Full disclosure: He also is promoting it.) Tucson music fixture and superfan Mullarkey, who fronts giddy punk ranters Monster Pussy—opening the show along with chick rockers Winelord—wrote this about Bunnygrunt in an e-mail to Soundbites: "They have been one of my favorite bands for 13-plus years. So imagine my thrill when I got a call from Karen of Bunnygrunt, asking ME to set up a show with MY band and THEM. Rock 'n' roll dreams do come true. If the Rolling Stones had called me, it wouldn't have been such a big deal. But Bunnygrunt are a big reason I started a band. And now, only our seventh show, we're playing with them."
Be there to witness Mullarkey's rock 'n' roll dreams coming true on Wednesday, May 27. Both shows begin at 7 p.m., and cover for each is $5. All shows at The HangArt are open to all ages, and drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden.
And now, a bit of a conundrum. When Tuesday, May 26, arrives, who are you going to see: Detroit Cobras, the Dex Romweber Duo and the Mission Creeps at Plush, or the Riverboat Gamblers at Club Congress?
You can read all about the Plush show in the City Week section. As for the Riverboat Gamblers, well, they weren't named one of the "25 Greatest Live Bands Right Now" by Spin magazine for nothing.
The Austin-by-way-of-Denton, Texas, quintet, which specializes in a combination of '70s-influenced riff rock and sing-along punk, released a new album, Underneath the Owl (Volcom) in March. To put it bluntly, the disc sounds like a bid for mainstream acceptance—it's slick as hell and a rather watered-down version of the Gamblers we all know and love. That version, of course, shines brightest during the band's ferocious live performances, one of which will take place starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesday. This all-ages show, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., will cost you a 10-spot in advance, or $12 on the day of the show. For more info, call 622-8848.
The Winnipeg-based politi-punks of Propagandhi are celebrating their 23rd year as a band with a new album, Supporting Caste (Smallman), released in March, and a tour that brings them to town this week.
A few pseudo-bullet points: The band was one of the first to record for Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords label. As an indication of where their collective political heart lies (read: far left of center), a press release describes their break from the label thusly: "The band released four records on the American label Fat Wreck Chords until 2005, when its relationship with the label began to sour over its CEO's highly publicized campaign to ensure that (the) Democratic Party got a turn to totally rape and plunder the planet in the service of corporate power." The band's bassist-singer-songwriter, John K. Samson, left the band in 1997 to form the sorely overlooked (in the U.S., anyway) literary-minded band The Weakerthans, but the band has soldiered on without him since. The new album, which adds metal elements to the band's trademark speedy punk sound, was produced by Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Descendants).
Propagandhi performs an all-ages show at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Saturday, May 23. Bridge and Tunnel starts off the night, and doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $15 via all Ticketmaster outlets (I wonder what the anti-capitalists will have to say about that) and Bookmans. For further details, call 629-9211.
ON THE BANDWAGON
Brightblack Morning Light and Rio en Medio at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, May 24; Tech N9ne and Murs at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, May 22; Warren Hill at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort on Sunday, May 24; The BellRays at Club Congress on Friday, May 22; The Crystal Method and L.A. Riots at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, May 24; Guitar Shorty at Old Town Artisans on Saturday, May 23; The Dollyrots, The Action Design and Jumper at Plush next Thursday, May 28; Gojira, The Chariot and Car Bomb at the Rialto Theatre on Monday, May 25; Exodus at The Rock on Tuesday, May 26; Sleepy Cheeks at Plush on Wednesday, May 27; Chris Black presents The Ashes of Love: A Happy Hour for Them That Ain't at The Red Room at Grill on Wednesday, May 27; Jeff Hanson and Lonna Kelley on the patio at Hotel Congress on Saturday, May 23.
Finally, a bit of bad news: Due to health issues, Theresa Andersson has canceled the remaining dates of her tour, which was scheduled to hit Club Congress on Sunday, May 24. Here's wishing her a speedy recovery—and a makeup date in the not-too-distant future.