guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Pick of the Week
Fifth Annual Rock Lottery
: In one of the most unique events of the year, the fifth annual rock lottery will feature 25 local musicians in an impromptu concert in makeshift bands. The concept is this: take 25 musicians, throw them together in five five-piece bands, give them 12 hours to write and practice four original songs and perform in front of an audience. The point of the rock lottery is to highlight the diverse musical culture the city has and to show how differing genres can, in fact, collaborate. All of the proceeds from the concert will go toward the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. show 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth St. Tickets - $5 and/or bring two non-perishable food items for donation music, community, charity
Holiday & Shopping
4th Avenue Winter Street Fair
: It is that time of year again! Fourth Avenue is donning it's tell tale white tents and stocking up on art, jewelry and food for the winter version of the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. Join more than 400 arts and crafts booths and 35 food booths for a weekend of one stop shopping. 10 a.m. to dusk Friday, Dec. 9- Sunday, Dec. 11.
Holiday Burlesque at The Rialto
: The local burlesque crew Black Cherry Burlesque will put on a holiday themed show at the Rialto for one night only. General admission and VIP seating is available. doors 8 p.m.; show 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. General admission: $10; VIP with front row seating: $20.
CandyStrike & Anna Bronwyn Murphy Holiday Pop Up
: Throw the entirety of your wardrobe in the garbage, you’re not going to need it anyone. Skip the Street Fair and head over to CandyStrike (which offers killer clothes, sizes small to 4XL) and Anna Bronwyn Murphy (a local lowbrow artist who deals in giclee prints and PULPtart jewelry) pop up shop of your dreams. Pick up a few pieces for yourself, obviously finish holiday shopping for your most fashionable of friends. Stop in sometime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11. Studio ONE, 197 E Toole Ave.
Harry Potter Ball
: Muggles now have a chance to live a night in the Harry Potter world at Barnes & Noble. The company will host a Potter party at all location across the country to celebrate the holidays in Yule-ball inspired style. Come in your best dressed or in your Hogwarts uniform for a night of dancing and Potter crafts. Make sure to check with your local store before the event for special instructions. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Free.
Food & Booze
Candy and Beer Pairing
: Casa Film Bar has the perfect event for your favorite booze hound with a sweet tooth. The name says it all: this event meant to pick the perfect pairing between sweets and drinks. This event will also be wintered themed, so get those holiday sweaters out! 7 - 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Bring money for candy and drinks.
Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl
: Celebrate the holidays with alcohol at this community bar crawl. Come dressed in the ugliest holiday sweater you can find to be entered into the night's ugly sweater contest. Registration includes a wristband that gets you drink specials at the participating bars and admission into the crawl's after party. You can register online, wristband pick up is at The Hut from 6 - 8 p.m. 6 - 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. $10-$15.
UA Science Cafe at Boarderlands Brewery
: This local brewery will host a lecture from Valerie Rountree, a Ph.D. candidate from the UA, who will share how staekholder participation in renewable energy shapes the policies the U.S. has involving the environment, sepcifically in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. This lecture is part of the brewery's UA Science Cafe series. 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 Boarderlands Brewery, 119 E. Toole Ave. bring money for drinks science, community, booze
Sentinel Peak Beer Dinner
: In the mood for a really incredible dinner with the best beer matches possible? Chef (and former TW
writer) CJ Hamm is putting together a four course meal featuring fried oyster and beet chips, pan seared halibut, cumin crusted lamb and fig tartlet paired with great beers from Sentinel Peak. Look up the Facebook event page
for the rest of the mouthwatering menu. 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. Saguaro Corners, 3750 S Old Spanish Trail.
Tap & Bottle Spelling Bee[r]
: Never won that spelling bee trophy in elementary school? Tap and Bottle's got you covered. The local beer house is planning an adult spelling bee—yes, you're encouraged to drink, why wouldn't you? Get the chance to earn your tipsy self some prizes and, of course, a trophy for the winner. Sign up: 6:45 p.m. Spelling Bee: 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free, bring money for booze.
The Wizard of Oz Free Screening with Loft Jr
.: The Loft will open its doors early for games with local toy store super heroes Mildred and Dildred, and a free screening of The Wizard of Oz
. This event is family friendly and is a part of the theater's Loft Jr. series presented by Trail Dust Town. doors 9:15 a.m., film 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. bring money for popcorn and snacks.
Elf at the Fox
: If you're dying to see the holiday movie of the generation on the big screen once again, you can catch it at the Fox Theatre. It's the story of a young baby named Buddy who crawled into Santa's sack and was taken back to the North Pole where he is raised as an elf. Once he is an adult, he decides to make the adventure back to his home town of New York City to find his father. 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Adults: $7, Students/Military/Seniors: $5. Children 12 and under are free.
Holiday sing along
: Get ready for a holiday music party with The Loft Cinema. The theater will host its annual party with the best holiday music moments from classic movies, T.V. shows and music videos. Admission comes with one goodie bag filled with props to use during the show. If you bring an unwrapped toy for donation to Casa De Los Ninos, admission price is half-off. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. General Admission: $10; Members and kids under 12: $8.
: This fiddler, guitarist, ukulele player and singer in Nickel Creek has recorded with everyone from Hank Williams Jr. to Fiona Apple to John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). But ever since releasing her first solo album in 2009 she’s proven herself to be a singing and songwriting force. Her songs and voice swing painlessly between country weepers, honky-tonk stompers, bluegrass-y testifiers and rock ’n’ roll rousers, and there’s a sense of optimism that streams through everything— even the sadnesses—and in that way she’s like Emmylou Harris. She has a way of seeing clear water beyond the mud. Get tickets soon, this show will sell out. With River Whyless on Thursday, Dec. 8. 191 Toole, 191 Toole Ave. 7 p.m. $20-$22. 21+.
: This melodic rapper from south Chi-town mellows down easy on smooth soulful flows. Even when he kicks it up he’s still chill. It’s compelling too ’cause he’s offering up monologues from the streets, without all the tired suckerpunch braggadocio. Dude’s got a super-sensitive side, kinda like a modern day Marvin Gaye, and women swoon at his shows. Durk’s only been around since 2011, but after rising out of the OTF collective, and releasing a series of monster mixtapes and signing with Def Jam, he’s getting close to a million monthly spins on Spotify, and his latest album (Lil Durk 2X) boasts stars like Yo Gotti and Ty Dolla $ign. Friday, Dec. 9 With Club XS, 5851 E. Speedway. $25-$28. 7 p.m. All ages.
: This 22-year-old rotund wonder rose to fame on YouTube (watch the perfectly preposterous and shoestring-budgeted Nick and Pouya Show), and cleverly titled group The Buffet Boys. Fat Nick came up a bored teen—skater, high school dropout, dealer etc.—who found his calling (with running bud Pouya) slinging with unbridled aplomb truthful yet filthy phrases, as if he was born to do it. So it’s little wonder the kids are diggin’ ole Fat Nick. That street sizzle is taking this underground rap superstar straight to the mainstream. With Lil Peep, Smokepurpp and Dom Krez on Saturday, Dec. 10. 191 Toole, 191 Toole Ave. 9 p.m. All Ages. $15-$40.
: Tucson resident Elisabeth Geel has simply mastered smooth acoustic-driven jazz and folk with Judee Sill-like vocals that lift and soothe. She could lull even a screaming baby to quiet. This singer/songwriter, a Dutch-born daughter of a musician father and painter mother, spent many years living in Italy, and all parts Europe, is celebrating the release of her third expansive jazz, folk-tinged album, Lookin’ In from the Outside. This show will see Geel backed by renowned area instrumentalists including violinist/composer Nick Coventry, bassist/composer Mike Levy and keyboardist Doug Martin. It’ll be a rewarding show for fans of late-night jazz and early ’70s-styled West Coast folk, and gentle epistles to memories and melancholies fading in the rearview. Added bonus: all of her music is set to goosebump vocal melodies. Really engaging stuff by a tremendously skilled songwriting chanteuse. Saturday, Dec. 17 at Galactic Center, 35 E Toole Ave/ 8 p.m. 21+. Free.
: This high-cheekboned New Jersey jailbird, whose infamy partially rose on storied Instagram pics (see him double-fisting blunts etc) is remarkable for many things including his wonderfully somnolent raps. In fact, it sometimes sounds as if he downed codeine or imbibed in heavy lean sippin’ before stepping up to the mic (listen to the expertly hypnotic “Codeine Gangsta Party”). No, Retch (or Retchy P) ain’t your old man’s crack-era gansta shit. But there’s more: Retch really is an up-to-the-moment authentic spitter; his raps are filled with savage non-fiction sketches of street hassles and gnarly druggies and associated addictions. If that sounds all played out in rap, hold on; what Retch offers is straight-up street reportage with no filters, and so far it’s not coming from an elevated perch of money and associated Trump-like goofiness. He even penned a track that sort of honors the Special Olympics. Who knows what perch he’ll be rapping from in five years time, but right now he’s about to hit it in Tucson. With Positive Satan at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Sunday, Dec. 10. 7 p.m. $17-$20. All ages.
: This Tucson quintet blends heavy funk and a kind of modern prog with moments of hardcore, light ska and good old-fashioned Grant Road and Alvernon street grit. Just add some guitar-pedal madness, mosh-pit funkin’ and gutsy sing-to-scream vocals and you’ll get the idea. Some of their songs are even catchy as hell. What’s not to love about a demented pop song with a Spanish-sung bridge and a refrain that extols the virtues of “living on the floor”? Exactly. It’s hard to believe this rock quintet has been lurking around these parts for a decade. It’s like their loud existence is kept quiet in Tucson, which, if you think about it, makes them even more of an Old Pueblo band. This show doubles as a great cause too; it’s a toy drive for Casa De Los Niños, the local, doing-God’s-work shelter for children. So this whole deal really is all about giving some holiday cheer for Tucson’s less fortunate youth. Come out and give it up! With Bordertown Devil’s on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Club Congress. 6 p.m. $5 or free with toy donation. 21+
Billy Sedlmayr & The Mother Higgins Children’s Band
: Billy Sedlmayr pens frighteningly lovely glimpses into the lives of the horribly addicted, and the stalled existences of flawed dreamers. His are folk-rock-country tunes that most often brim with truth and tender regrets. There’s a heady sense of locale in his work too, to the point of mythology. In fact, his debut album, 2014’s Charmed Life—produced by golden-eared Gabe Sullivan—features “Tucson Kills,” an Old Pueblo anthem for the ages. The song’s replete with mournful Mexican brass and haunting wordplay that takes us from fading 6th Avenue whores and local drug barrios to the fire at the Pioneer Hotel that killed 29 people and “going crazy” in Florence prison yards. Billy’s a genuine Tucson lucky charm (and now a regular Tucson Weekly contributor) who starred in the area’s first punk band, The Pedestrians, and later co-founded Giant Sandworms. We here at the Weekly say that old Travis Edmonson—or Townes Van Zandt for that matter—ain’t got nothin’ on Sedlmayr. This show promises to be great: Sedlmayr’s performing with his complete backup combo The Mother Higgins Children’s Band (dedicated Tucsonans can’t miss the killer local reference in the band name). He’ll also be doing some songs from his forthcoming, Gabe Sullivan-helmed album Sophomore Slump. With Louise Le Hir, Friday, Dec. 16 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. $10-$12. 21+.
Jason Russell and Carlos Valencia
: Jason Russell, the son of a white father and black mother, used comedy as a defensive strategy practically from kindergarten. Luckily, he was well armed. He says that every Saturday was a family party to Watch SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He learned character bits by heart, including those by Jim Carey, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Soon he began creating his own memorable characters; many turn up in the facial expressions and other silliness that became his trademark. Russell is featured with opener Carlos Valencia. See one of the four shows happening Dec. 9-10. Laffs Comedy Caffé, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd. $10-$15, plus a two item minimum.
Tucson Improv Movement
offers a laugh break from the Fourth Avenue Street Fair this weekend. Free family-friendly improv shows are every hour, on the hour, from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12, at the TIM theater, 329 W. Seventh St., just off Fourth Ave.
Musical Mayhem Cabaret
: Billing themselves as “Under-rehearsed and Over-dramatic,” the Musical Mayhem Cabaret delivers on that promise will all the commitment of the cast of Hamilton
. Whether you love Broadway musicals or hate them, you are likely to find satisfaction in this evening of send-ups, loony sketches and inventive remakes. 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11. Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E. Speedway Blvd. $10.