R.I.P., AMY AND DERRICK ROSS
We're short on details as we go to press, but it saddens us immensely to report that Bisbee resident Amy Ross, the "Whiskey Girl" half of the beloved duo Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, a longtime Tucson favorite, passed away on Monday, Oct. 14. Our sincerest condolences go out to all those who loved her. It's truly a terrible loss for anyone who came into contact with her, musically or personally.
Update: Literally the minute I wrote that last sentence, I received a message from our editor, Dan Gibson, telling me that it had appeared that Derrick took his own life later that night. As I write this, we are in the process of confirming it, but if it's true, this is sad beyond belief, and I am positively speechless.
Another update: It is confirmed by the Bisbee Police Department.
Rest in peace, Amy and Derrick.
THIS WEEK IN BENEFITS
Following that truly unfortunate note, there are tons of great benefit shows happening, and here's a look at but a few of them.
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA), which is devoted to raising much needed funds for arts education programs in Southern Arizona schools, will be the beneficiary of the Jazz Legends Live Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in the outdoor Garden Grove canopy at Tucson Country Club, 2950 N. Camino Principal. The all-star combo will be composed of bandleader Byron Stripling (trumpet), Rickey Woodard (saxophone), Andy Martin (trombone), Nicki Parrot (bass and vocals), Joe La Barbera (drums), and Kenny Drew Jr. (piano), with 19-year-old Tucson multi-instrumentalist Max Goldschmid appearing as a special guest. Concert-only tickets are $40 and $55, and there are VIP tickets which include a three-course dinner (starting at 5:30 p.m.) available for $125. All tickets are partially tax deductible and available at saaca.org or 797-3959 ext. 0.
In case you haven't already heard, local metal artist (as in sculpture, not the headbanging variety) Moises Orozco recently fell from the roof of the Sculpture Resource Center onto a table holding one of his works, a nude sculpture titled "Alice," suffering multiple facial fractures among other injuries, including a dislocated kneecap and a cracked rib – but somewhat miraculously avoiding life-threatening injuries. Orozco is widely recognized as a very valued and important member of the local arts community, so, naturally, Tucsonans are rallying behind him in multiple ways.
Hotel Congress, for which Orozco notably created what the venue described as "the largest disco ball in North American history" for a New Year's Eve event, has already held a benefit for him, and this week they're presenting another: "Bring Back the Glow (Part Dos)! Moises Orozco Benefit."
The event, which begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, will include live musical performances by Roll Acosta, Sweet Ghosts, Crystal Radio, That Penn Thing, Vannessa Lundon, Santa Pachita, Tygel Pinto, Annette Mariel, and Tom Walbank, plus dancers, DJs, a silent auction, and a raffle for the "Alice" sculpture. Admission is by donation and Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. More info at hotelcongress.com or by calling 622-8848.
The annual All Souls Procession Weekend is quickly approaching, and as we all know, the extravaganza doesn't pay for itself. Events are held year-round, though they tend to ramp up as the event draws near – there currently seem to be several each week. One of the musical benefits being held this week happens at 9 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Sept. 17, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Headlining the event is Bogotá, Colombia's Hojarasca Música Andina, a trio that creates contemporary music using traditional Andean instruments (flutes, drums, strings, percussion). Also on the all-ages bill is the similarly exploratory and transportive local trio The Missing Parts. Admission is a $10 donation, and there's more info at solarculture.org or by calling 884-0874.
My feline companion Snacktray (who's been mentioned in this column from time to time over the years) has been by my side for every Soundbites column I've ever written. Sadly, this may be his last (the old "hoping for the best, but expecting the worst" thing), so this week's Benefit for the PAWSitively Cats No-Kill Shelter is especially dear to my heart right now. It'll run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave., and will feature musical performances by The Unday and Daniel Dang Terry as well as comedy, face painting, a sketch artist, and a cat-themed silent auction. Admission is free (though I'd imagine they wouldn't turn down donations) and open to all ages. La Cocina will be donating 10 percent of all bar and restaurant proceeds to the cause, and if you want to be extra-awesome, bring along Friskies paté canned food and/or scoopable litter to donate to the kitties. For more info call 365-3053.
AFTER THE FEST
You can read about the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation's (SABHF) annual Blues and Heritage Festival, which takes place at Rillito Race Track Park on Sunday, Oct. 20, in this week's City Week section. But it's worth noting that the traditional Post-Blues Festival Free Jam will once again be taking place when the festival itself ends, around 7 p.m., at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. The open jam will be hosted by the Wayback Machine, and will wrap up around 11 p.m. Admission is free. Head to boondockslounge.com or call 690-0991 for further details.
CAN'T MISS SHOW ALERT
Fullerton, Calif.'s Audacity released what was, in my humble opinion, the best rock 'n' roll album of 2012. Mellow Cruisers, released jointly by Burger Records and Recess Records, was a huge leap both song-wise and production-wise from the group's 2009 debut Power Drowning, which was released by Burger when the band's members were still teenagers. What set Mellow Cruisers apart from not only Power Drowning, but also other bands that mine a similar garage-punk territory, was the songs, almost each one of which contains hook after hook after hook (and I'm talking multiple hooks within each song). Trust me, if you like serious earworms with your punk rock 'n' roll, do yourself a favor and check out the album.
Better yet, check 'em out live when they return to Topaz this week. Their last show there, in March, was absolutely killer (as have been all the Audacity shows I've seen). Following that tour they went into the studio and recorded their third full-length, Butter Knife, which will be released exactly one week after their Tucson show, on Suicide Squeeze. Unfortunately, the promo copy sent to me arrived too late to give it a full listen and report back to you on its contents; but if the songs I've heard from it are any indication, it just may rival Mellow Cruisers for sheer awesomeness.
Audacity headline a bill that also includes Shark Pants, Mean Jeans (from Portland, Ore.), and Laser Dad at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22. All ages are welcome at Topaz, which is located at 657 W. St. Mary's Road, Unit C1A. Cover is a paltry five bucks. For more info head to topaz-tundra.com.
ON THE BANDWAGON
A tiny sampling of other great stuff happening this week: Arturo Sandoval at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 19; Clannad at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Oct. 18; Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 20; DJ Hurricane (of the Beastie Boys) at Playground on Friday, Oct. 18; Stephane Wrembel at Club Congress next Thursday, Oct. 24; The Green, Shwayze, and Kimie at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 23; Pitbull at AVA at Casino del Sol next Thursday, Oct. 24; Steve Vai at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 22; Tim Kasher and Laura Stevenson at Club Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 23; Super Happy Funtime Burlesque at Plush on Saturday, Oct. 19; Julieta Venegas, Raul y Mexia, and The Jons at the Rialto Theatre tonight, Thursday, Oct. 17; Paul Rodriguez at the Fox Tucson Theatre next Thursday, Oct. 24; the Third Annual Tucson Zombie Prom with The Returners, The Limit Club, and The Coffinrockers at Surly Wench Pub on Saturday, Oct. 19; SLV and The Tryst at Solar Culture Gallery on Saturday, Oct. 19; Jonny Craig, Mod Sun and others at The Rock on Saturday, Oct. 19; Neighbors, Algae & Tentacles, and Hip Don't Dance at The District Tavern on Friday, Oct. 18.