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B-Sides: Local Focus

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If you've yet to dive head first into the Tucson music scene, there's really no better time to do so than the month of December. While touring national acts tend to head home for the holidays, the next couple weeks specifically offer the most opportune time to appreciate what our city has to offer musically. The past month has been huge for Tucson music with record releases from Katie Haverly, Miss Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield, Adara Rae, Los Guapos and American Monoxide, all of which we've featured individually in case you're looking for more details.

This week, you can start by checking out local singer-songwriter Gabrielle Pietrangelo live on The Coronet (402 E. Ninth St.) patio. Pietrangelo's intricate melodies will be embellished by Ben DeGain on the vibes. The show is free and begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17.

The next night (Friday, Dec. 18) you can get into the indie pop groove with Asian Fred and Dirt Friends. With both relatively new acts serving up solid, danceable jams, the night could serve to be a good introduction to either band, as well as the Metal Arts Village (3230 N. Dodge Blvd.) as a venue. Brews by Tucson Hop Shop and eats from Haus of Brats will be offered, along with a DJ set from the Wooden Tooth records crew. The free event is part of the space's monthly full moon open house and begins at 5 p.m.

But, if that show doesn't get you moving, you'll want to jet back down to Fourth Avenue for some high-energy, funk rock from Lemon Drop Gang and Shooda Shook It. Both acts will be playing at Sky Bar (536 N. Fourth Ave.) starting at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. The concert will also feature a live fire show from Cirque Roots, just in case things weren't weird enough for you yet.

Earlier that night, you can also celebrate Christmas' dark demonic spirit Krampus with a terribly ugly sweater party at Wooden Tooth Records (415 N. Fourth Ave.). This will be WTR's last concert of the year, so be sure to stop in and check out The Freezing Hands and Whispering Wires, along with Nanami Ozone (Phoenix). The all-ages show is free and kicks off at 7 p.m., giving you plenty of time to check it out in addition to the concert at Sky Bar.

Last, but certainly not least, The Flycatcher (340 E. Sixth St.) will be hosting their second annual vinyl swap meet on Sunday, Dec. 20. DJ Butta Fly will be spinning while you bulk up your own record selection or shop for unique records and tapes to gift to those music fanatics in your life. Wooden Tooth Records, Baby Gas Mask Records, Old Paint Records, Toxic Ranch Records and more will be on site to satisfy your purchasing needs. The event, which runs from 2 until 6 p.m., will also feature drink specials and 4th Avenue Delicatessen hot dogs.

Stay tuned next week where TW contributing music critic Eric Swedlund and I discuss some of out local and national musical highlights for 2015.

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