THE BARBER IS IN
Just has Calexico has done in the past, local acts are teaming up this week for an awareness-building concert to support a Democratic candidate for Congress. But things are a little different this time around.
Calexico performed at a benefit rally at the Rialto Theatre for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Sept. 20, 2008, where Giffords herself introduced the band. We all know what's happened since then.
Now we're in the midst of a special election between Giffords' former aide, Ron Barber, and right-wing nutball Jesse Kelly, both vying to replace Giffords—and there's an awful lot at stake.
To increase awareness for the election, which takes place on Tuesday, June 12, and to hopefully boost Barber's numbers, the Rialto will once again throw a concert aimed at those who haven't already voted by mail (and ballots are currently flooding in).
Performers at the Get Out the Vote Concert and Rally for Ron Barber include Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, Joey Burns and Jacob Valenzuela of Calexico, Salvador Duran and the Kevin Pakulis Band featuring Amy Langley. In addition to Barber, who will address the audience, Giffords herself will be on hand.
The Get Out the Vote Concert and Rally for Ron Barber takes place at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, June 9. Please note it's an early event: Doors open at 5 p.m., and it should be over by about 8 p.m. All ages are welcome, and admission is free. Need more info? Head to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
LOS LOBOS RETURNS
Tucson favorite Los Lobos—once a participant in the Sound Strike, an organization of musicians who boycotted our state following the passage of SB 1070—return to town this week.
For its part, Sound Strike has recently revamped its message. Although it's still quixotically taking responsibility for the growing backlash against the terrible bill, it has become less strident in its recommendations regarding how to fight it. While Sound Strike once forbade any musicians from performing in Arizona, for any reason, it is now recommending that artists perform benefit shows "to connect with local groups such as Derechos Humanos, Tonatierra, PUENTE, The Florence Project, NDLON, Save Ethnic Studies and other groups in Arizona," according to its website.
There's been no mention of whether Los Lobos will be doing anything of the sort, but it's always great to see a band jump off the misguided Sound Strike train.
Currently in its fourth decade of mixing musical styles such as rock, folk, Tex-Mex, country, blues and traditional Latin music, the group's most-recent album was 2010's Tin Can Trust (Shout! Factory), their first collection of new material in four years, unless you count the children's album Los Lobos Goes Disney (Disney), which came out in 2009. (Prior to that, the group collaborated on a children's album with Lalo Guerrero.)
In August, the group will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album most widely considered its masterpiece, Kiko (1992, Slash/Warner Bros.), with a deluxe reissue of the album, Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition, and Kiko Live on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray (all on Shout! Factory).
Los Lobos performs at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., next Thursday, June 14. Local supergroup Saint Maybe opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $26 to $41. Call 740-1000, or head to rialtotheatre.com for more info.
For last 25 years or so, the Indigo Girls have managed to keep a sizable fan-base enthralled with their particular brand of folk-rock. Chalk it up largely to well-written songs, sure, but also to the tension that lies in its two distinctive songwriters.
Emily Saliers tends toward more traditionally folky songs, while Amy Ray's tunes boast a bit more of an edge. For further proof, check out any of the handful of Ray's largely up-tempo solo albums, the latest of which, Lung of Love (Daemon), was released earlier this year.
And you can bet that with the political spotlight currently focused on issues of gay and women's reproductive rights, the outspoken duo will have plenty to say this time around.
The Indigo Girls perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, June 12. The Shadowboxers open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 for general-admission floor in advance, or $36 for reserved balcony seats in advance; both will be $2 more on the day of show. For further details, head to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
DAVID LIEBE HART, GREAT JOB!
David Liebe Hart owes an awful lot to Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Without them, he would likely still be performing on street corners, and his biggest claim to fame would be as the puppeteer on the Los Angeles-area public access show The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Program.
Heidecker and Wareheim have something of an eye for oddball talents, and when they started featuring Hart on their Adult Swim cult hit Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, they basically handed him a ticket to a career as an outsider artist. Singing songs about the benefits of staying off drugs, alien abductions and his desire for a girlfriend, often with a puppet on his knee, Hart has become one of the show's most beloved "characters," even though he's basically just playing himself.
If you're a fan of other outsider performers, such as the late Wesley Willis, chances are you'll find much to love about David Liebe Hart.
The David Liebe Hart Band performs on Friday, June 8, at Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave. Cadillac Steakhouse and Psygoat open the show around 10 p.m. Cover charge information was unavailable as we went to press, but you can try calling 882-0009 to find out.
RIVER CITY VERSATILITY
River City Extension, an eight-piece ensemble from New Jersey, is a bit tough to pin down. How many other bands can you think of that have played at the Newport Folk Festival and at Bonnaroo—and as part of the Vans Warped Tour?
Those eight members give the band a lot of flexibility. On their second album, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger, released earlier this week on XOXO Records, the band veers from gorgeous folk to punk-lite to weepy country and back again, with the impassioned voice of Joe Michelini at the helm throughout.
And in an age of single-song downloads, Don't Let the Sun should be listened to as an album, start to finish—the songs mostly flow seamlessly into each other, and since multiple genres are often represented within a single song, it becomes necessary to check which track is playing at any given time.
As interesting as the album is, I'd wager that the live show is truly where it's at for these guys and gals. And if the live show is as good as I expect it to be, chances are pretty good that River City Extension will graduate to larger venues very soon.
River City Extension performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, June 12. Doors open at 7 p.m., and The Drowning Men and Dry River Yacht Club open the show. Advance tickets are $8; they'll be $10 on the day of the show. For more info, check out hotelcongress.com/club, or call 622-8848.
ON THE BANDWAGON
Opti-Club Presents SMMR/PRTY with Aeroplane and Devin at Club Congress next Thursday, June 14; Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd tribute band) at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, June 9 (in conjunction with Second Saturdays Downtown); Roger Clyne's Circus Mexicus in Rocky Point, Mexico, from Friday, June 8, to Sunday, June 10; Koffin Kats at Surly Wench Pub on Tuesday, June 12; GLDNGHST, PC Party, Big Meridox, Bob Gnarly, Ripdee and Cash Lansky at Club Congress on Saturday, June 9; Dance the Night Away featuring Blow Up the Sky and many others at The Rock on Friday, June 8; Naim Amor at Plush on Wednesday, June 13; Hank Topless at Café Passe on Saturday, June 9; Lunar Light Collectors and Logan Greene Electric at RR Nites at La Cocina, tonight, Thursday, June 7; The Yawpers at Sky Bar on Saturday, June 9; Clan McCallion at La Cocina on Saturday, June 9; Jazz Telephone at Sky Bar on Tuesday, June 12.