INVASION OF THE UNDIES
It seems like it's been forever since Powhaus Productions—the crew that threw huge themed dance parties every couple of months or so, mostly at the Rialto Theatre, over the last few years—has been in action.
There's a reason for that: For all intents and purposes, Powhaus Productions is dead. The group has tentative plans to host one final event in July, but nothing's set in stone. In the meantime, though, expect a whole lot more Powhaus-type parties in the near future—starting this weekend, in fact.
The primary driver behind the Powhaus wheel was Jared "Kitty Kat" McKinley, who has started a new entity to take its place, MEOWmeow Productions. So, why the name change?
"Many identifying members of Powhaus have moved away and/or have gone through breakups," says McKinley. "It was time for Powhaus to come to an end. However, I have been doing this for so long, it's kind of hard to give it up. I decided to expand the idea instead of abort it. So we will be doing shows at different venues, and we will be doing a lot more benefits. ... MEOWmeow will be booting up production—at least two shows a month—but all very different: at different venues, and serving lots of different crowds. Blaine Jordan is a new co-producer helping me execute this plan. She has been awesome and seems to be as devoted as I am to bringing silliness and absurdity to nightlife in Tucson, while keeping to our goal of being ever-inclusive, not exclusive."
MEOWmeow currently has two events scheduled (at least that we know of; McKinley always seems to have something up his sleeve), and its inaugural event takes place this weekend at Club Congress.
The title of the event pretty much says it all: Lose Your Clothes: The Underwear Party is designed to basically be a pool party with attendees wearing their undergarments instead of their swimsuits. And there is no pool. But in lieu of that, attendees get the thrill, the goofiness, and the sexiness of wearing their underwear in a bar—and there's certainly something to be said for that. Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, it gets pretty hot in Tucson in the summertime.
DJs will be spinning dance music, of course, and the night also includes live performances by Treasure MammaL and Leather Clutch.
You can show up in your skivvies, or take advantage of the complimentary clothing check once you get there. Whatever you do, don't forget to wear shoes.
And for those who don't feel comfortable hanging out and dancing in their chonies, you're welcome to come and gawk, but it'll cost you a whopping $3. Just-underwear-wearers get in free. (Something else to consider before you show up: Where are you going to keep your wallet or billfold for the night?)
Lose Your Clothes: The Underwear Party kicks off at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 16, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. For more information, check out hotelcongress.com/club, or call 622-8848.
There's something to be said for the flair of showmanship in a live performance. Not that a band just standing onstage playing its songs can't be thrilling, or even transcendent. But a bit of performance art never hurt anyone, as long as it's well-executed, and as long as the performer doesn't rely strictly on shtick.
Two excellent performance-oriented acts head our way this week—unfortunately on the same night, Wednesday, June 20.
New Orleans-based duo Quintron and Miss Pussycat serve up a brand of swampy garage-dance music that you'd have to be dead (or just dead inside) not to shake your hips to.
A typical performance begins with a puppet show executed by Miss Pussycat. That lasts about 10 minutes before Quintron joins her at what can only be called his station: a setup that includes a mic, a Fender Rhodes, a Hammond organ, and his self-designed (and patented) Drum Buddy, which is basically a synthesizer constructed out of a coffee can that spins around, pulsing out beats that are activated by light beams. (It's just one of several homemade instruments used by the duo.) All of this is mostly hidden behind the grill of a '70s-era Oldsmobile. Miss Pussycat, meanwhile, sings primarily backup vocals and shakes her maracas (not a euphemism). While it certainly wouldn't be unheard of to throw on an album by the duo at home, it's a live act by design.
Quintron and Miss Pussycat take the stage at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., on Wednesday, June 20. Also on the bill: Oxford, Mississippi's Dent May, and Tucson's own Lenguas Largas, who start things off at 9 p.m. Admission is $8, and the show is all-ages. For more info, check out solarculture.org, or call 884-0874.
Over at Plush on the same night, Phoenix's Serene Dominic will present one of his patented maniacal live performances.
Dominick is a music journalist who's got an abundance of pop-culture knowledge to draw from for both his music and his live shows, and he often utilizes it in the form of alter egos (Manalone, The Human Torch, Vic Masters). He usually reserves performing as Serene Dominick for his straight-up bedroom-pop songs, which in themselves are kind of all over the map stylistically. One song from his upcoming album, Winter Trance Party, may be a distant homage to the Bee Gees, while another draws inspiration from Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.
But he alternates these with twisted bits of performance art that often include audience participation. A recent Tucson show included a song in which he used iconic album covers—with the head of the artist cut out, so Dominic could place his head into the album while singing in the voice of that artist. (Difficult to explain? Yes. Completely stupid/clever fun? That, too.)
At his show this week, Dominic says, "We will have a Ouija table stage-side so that anyone wishing to channel dead rock stars through me throughout the show can work the planchette themselves. The possibility of requests is rather endless."
Expect that and plenty more silly fun when Serene Dominic returns to Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 20. Admission is free. For further details, head to plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Take a gander at the schedule of acts appearing at the Fox Tucson Theatre and a couple of casinos this week, and you may feel like Rip Van Winkle, wondering what the year is. Still, there's certainly nothing wrong with a little bit of nostalgia now and then, is there?
In a stroke of programming genius, pop-funksters Kool and the Gang are currently on tour as the opening act for the re-formed Van Halen, but they've got a night off on Friday, June 15, so they'll headline a show that night at 8 p.m. at the Diamond Center in Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, 7350 S. Nogales Highway. Tickets are $35 to $65 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Call 294-7777 for more info.
If traditional Western music is more your style, the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., will play host to Riders in the Sky at 8 p.m. on the same night, Friday, June 15. Tickets run $23 to $50, and may be purchased in advance at foxtucsontheatre.org, at the box office, or by calling 547-3040.
The following night, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 16, the Fox will feature a performance by former Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn. Use the same ticket and contact info as above, but tickets for this one will run $20 to $45.
And, finally, German hard-rockers Scorpions will perform a show at AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, on Sunday, June 17, as part of their Final Sting (read: farewell) tour. Tesla opens the show at 8 p.m. For more info, or to purchase tickets, head to casinodelsol.com or call (855) 765-7829.
All of these concerts are all-ages.
WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
There are plenty of other great shows happening around town this week, so be sure to check out our listings for more information.