by Jim Nintzel
"Downtown" Aleksa Brown has the scoop on the WXSW fest that begins tonight:
Tonight is the night!
The first night of Tucson’s West By Southwest music festival, that is. This year, shows will take place at Club Congress, Plush, and Solar Culture, with a total of 40 acts playing March 15-17 and March 22-25.
West By Southwest is Tucson’s take on one of the largest music festivals in the country: Austin’s South By Southwest. TW music editor Steve Seigel has more details in his Soundbites column this week.
With hundreds of bands traveling through Tucson to get there, entertainment bookers from local venues got together and organized WXSW, giving musicans a chance to take a break from the road, make a few bucks, and enjoy the Old Pueblo.
Lucky for us, that means seven nights of up-and-coming indie and folk bands playing tracks off their new albums, like Telekinesis, who kick off the festival at 8:30 tonight at Plush, 340 E. Sixth Street.
Telekinesis, a one-man-band featuring Michael Lerner of Seattle, will be playing songs from his debut album Telekinesis! due out April 7.
The album, which was produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, features the song “Coast of Carolina,” which has recently been floating around music websites boasting the band’s talent for making good old-fashioned power-pop and building up anticipation for the album release.
Following Telekinesis tonight will be Say Hi, who is set to take the stage at 9:30.
Say Hi, who is also out of Seattle, is no stranger to playing at Plush.
The sensitive, indie one-man-band, which consists of Eric Elbogen, has already played there three times. This time around, Elbogen will be singing tunes from his sixth album, Oohs and Aahs.
Next on tonight’s line up is (drum roll please…) San Diego-based Rafter.
Rafter, with his firey red hair and penchant for sweaty, rolling-around-on-stage shows, is a must-see. Known for his funky, experimental style and sexed up dance beats, his music is surprisingly catchy. Don’t forget your dancing shoes for this one!
Last but definitely not least, is indie husband-and-wife duo Viva Voce. Known for mixing textures as part of their “sonic tapestry” and entrancing listeners, their new album, Rose City, hits stores May 5. Annie Holub has details about the band in this week's TW.
Stunning in itself, this lineup is only one of seven nights in Tucson’s WXSW music festival. Catch all 40 acts en route to Austin for $8 per show, $10 per week, or $15 for the whole festival.
Judging by tonight’s acts, the $15 sounds like the deal of a lifetime. Just wait until you hear what’s in store for the rest of the week…