BREAK THE BANK
I wouldn't exactly blame you if you were hoarding cash as a music fan, preparing yourself for the onslaught of thanks-to-Coachella and otherwise shows coming to Tucson in the month of April (more on Tucson's awesome month of music in next week's issue), but this week is no slouch either with a few benefits and a bunch of shows. Maybe it's time to hit the plasma place, eh?
WHAT THEY WANT
Club Congress has a weekend doubleheader of shows for good causes this weekend. First up on Saturday the 29th, the all-female KISS tribute band PRISS (I guess we could have probably seen that name coming) headlines a show to benefit the Satori School. Oddly enough, one of the founders of PRISS, who are good enough at the KISS game that they were invited to perform on last year's KISS Kruise, Judy Cocuzza, is a teacher at the Satori school here, flying out of town to meet up with her L.A.-based bandmates to play gigs on the weekends. The $10 ticket price will help pay for after school music education projects, including a partnership with KXCI to train a new generation of DJs. At the very least, even if you don't care about kids (I have kids and I get it, don't worry), you get to hear a really good all-female KISS tribute band with bad puns for band pseudonyms (ex. Lace Frehley...GET IT???). Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is for the eighteen and older set.
Sunday's benefit gig is also $10 (although organizers promise they'll take whatever you're willing to give, including kicking in a little more than a ten-spot, if the spirit leads HINT HINT PEOPLE) and goes to help local guitarist Chris Caputo pay for a very expensive liver transplant (and in case you were wondering, the press release made it abundantly clear that Caputo didn't need a new liver due to hard livin', just bad medical luck). Again, like the PRISS show, even if you're not super inclined to cough up the money for a good cause, the lineup is worth paying for without the "goodwill towards men" part. Top Dead Center, Kevin Pakulis, Chuck Wagon and the Wheels, Heather Hardy, Ned Sutton and Freaky Frank's Straight Shot Again are all throwing their artistic weight behind the cause starting bright and early at 5 p.m., with the last band going on at 9, in case you have a job or something to get to on Monday. More info about either show can be found at hotelcongress.com/music, or you can call the club at 622-8848.
It seems like the world of music criticism has room in its collective heart for one or two rappers at a time and based on the rave reviews of his third album (although the first released in more than just digital form; there's even a Target special edition), Oxymoron, ScHoolboy Q (the capitalized H is his style choice) holds one of those spots right now. It's helpful that Mr. Q comes from the Los Angeles-based Black Hippy/TDE collective that also includes Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock, but it's not like he's some slouch riding Lamar's coattails. He shares the same big vision as Lamar, creating an album, that seems to have been created to be heard from start to finish as one work, but Q has a harder violent edge that feels like an update of the Dr. Dre-produced gangsta rap Q likely grew up around. In particular, the seven minute track dealing with an autobiographic narrative of pill addiction ("Prescription/Oxymoron" is as creepy and harrowing as anything I've willingly listened to in a long time. For all the fucked up themes Eminem played around with using his daughter, that was nothing compared to how disconcerting it is to hear Q's daughter trying to wake up her passed-out dad ("What's wrong, Daddy?...Wake up..."). He's a talented storyteller who manages to vary his voice and style enough to keep things interesting while maintaining a rough feel that feels almost too authentic. I can only imagine that his show, with the very talented Isaiah Rashad and Vince Staples opening, will be one of those concerts attendees will remember for a long time. Basic tickets are $24 in advance, although you can get a digital copy of Oxymoron for an extra six bucks. Doors open at 7 p.m.
I'm not even sure what people think the term "emo" means anymore musically, but for a run in the late mid-to-late nineties that tag was applied to a stack of bands who screamed a little, sang about their feelings, and layered chimey guitars playing slightly overly complicated riffs inspired by Rites of Spring and follow-up act Fugazi. Sunny Day Real Estate were the kings of this brief era, spawning seemingly a thousand acts with thrift store clothes and thick framed glasses. I realize typing that now that that particular style may not have really gone away. The Appleseed Cast, who started out with the super-emo name December's Tragic Drive, played a post-rockish take on the emo sound on albums like End of the Ring Wars and the two part Low Level Owl series, eventually going on hiatus, changing the lineup a bit, then reuniting to play the Low Level records in their entirety on tour. They released a new album Illumination Ritual last year and have been plugging away on the road ever since. Ever thought you'd enjoy experimental instrumental bands like Explosions in the Sky a bit more if someone would sing something? You'll probably be down with Appleseed Cast. The show's at Plush on Tuesday, April 1 with doors at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of show.
MAN OF THE YEAR
I can't personally get too excited about Tracy Lawrence, since his fame largely fell in an era of popular country music I'd personally like to forget happened, but hey, John Anderson is on a double bill with Lawrence Wednesday, April 2 at the Fox! Not to be confused with the independent candidate for president in the 1980 election (wait, they aren't the same guy, right?), John Anderson got lumped in with the New Traditionalist acts of late '70s/early '80s country (think George Strait and the like), but his unique vocal delivery made him stand out a bit from the pack, with a run of hits. A few years ago, Anderson worked with John Rich from the somewhat obnoxious duo Big & Rich on a comeback record, but I'm not entirely sure he needed the star power boost, as he's consistently cranked out minor radio and chart hits for various labels for years, playing the sort of venues somewhat past their prime play across the country these days. I personally haven't seen him, but I'd imagine his fiddle heavy fun times sound – how can you dislike a guy with a song called "I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be A Diamond Someday)" – will make for a two-steppin' in the aisles good time at the Fox, assuming they, in fact, allow two-steppin' in the aisles. Tickets for Lawrence and Anderson's show range from $22 to $62 (add $2 day of show), with doors at 6:30 p.m.
Of course, there are too many shows to fit in this limited space, including The Slackers, The Outlaws, Lacuna Coil, Chicha Dust, Middle Class Rut and something called Mouth of the South on various stages around town. Check out tucsonweekly.com for more information and watch The Range (daily.tucsonweekly.com) for show previews, ticket giveaways and such.