by Linda Ray
Tonight our town's unique nightlife offers two good reasons to overthrow your Friday after-work routine, and still enjoy lots of yummy beers and comestibles with your pals.
At 7:45 p.m., the Loft Cinema opens a run of The Hotel Room, a Sierra Nevadas-based tale of two brothers bound by blood and reckless instability based on the popular novel by Willy Vlautin. You may know Vlautin from Richmond Fontaine, the beloved Portland indie band which served as a vehicle for his storytelling before it grew into novels. You may even have met him and other band members on the occasions they hung out in Tucson, recording with Craig Schumacher at Wavelab. Find details and make reservations at the Loft's web page for the film.
The Loft sells pizza, remember, among many traditional and unexpected theater snacks, plus wine and about 20 beers.
If you do go to the Loft, you will miss part of what may be the warmest-spirited cool event of the season, the annual Casa Maria Thanksgiving Benefit. The benefit starts at 8 at Club Congress, and at 8:30, the first act is one of Tucson's most famous bands, ever, The Sand Rubies.
Rich Hopkins of the Luminarios and the Sand Rubies has long been a friend of Casa Maria, a southside neighborhood home that has for years been a source of food and comfort for people who have no other. A project of the Catholic Worker Community, and run by selfless local hero Brian Flagg, the casa serves hundreds of homeless Tucsonans and stranded travelers every day. Hopkins has pitched in his musical talent, and recruited friends to do the same, every Thanksgiving for years to raise money in support of the casa's essential work.
But if you and your friends should make this your after party for The Hotel Room, you might still catch a solo set by Brian Lopez, and a pop-metal workout by Sugar Stains. And you'll definitely arrive in time for the irresistible excitement of South Tucson's Technobanda La Picosa!
Congress is totally fine with you eating your Cup food order in the night club. (That's me you may have seen with the fries with aioli or berry pie.) And, of course, they have whatever beverage you'd want to accompany it.