WARHEADS LEND KXCI A HAND
As we mentioned last week, community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM is celebrating its 30th anniversary all month long with a series of concerts that are either fundraisers for the station, or that the station is presenting under the "KXCI Presents" banner. Let's have a look-see at what's happening in KXCI-ville this week, shall we?
The lone fundraising concert the left-of-the-dialers have got this week takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 4, as the Titan Valley Warheads perform at Maker House, the recently opened "artisan maker space" located in the Bates Mansion, 238 N. Stone Ave. KXCI has been presenting a monthly concert there—this will be the third in the series—which makes sense since the space's chief operating officer is Tony Ford, a former general manager at KXCI.
But back to the music. Titan Valley Warheads are a bluegrass band that's been kicking around these parts in one form or another for more than 30 years, picking up loads of accolades along the way, including a Best Band title at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1988. At this week's show, the scaled down Titan Valley Trio will start out the evening, with the full five-piece band—Gary Kuitert (mandolin), Earl Edmonson (guitar), Ed Davenport (bass), Andy McCune (banjo) and Tom Rhodes (fiddle)— rounding out the night.
The fundraising concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8. For more information, head to makerhouse.org.
Los Angeles roots-punk legends X will once again be making a stop in town on their now-annual "A Family X-Mas" tour, and to make a great thing even better, they'll have the even rootsier Blasters in tow. I caught X a couple of months ago at the Riot Fest in Chicago and can attest they still sound fantastic live. (A couple of my friends said that, aside from the Replacements' set, X was their favorite band all weekend.)
A Family X-Mas with X and The Blasters hits the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25 in advance, $27 on the day of show. For more details, head to rialtotheatre.com or call 740-1000.
For all those Jews who complain that all they hear is Christmas music this time of year, KXCI is presenting a musical salve in the form of a performance by the Klezmatics, the New York City-based band that introduced klezmer—Eastern European Jewish dance music—to many Americans over the past 25-plus years. (I'm a Jew of Eastern European descent, and I had never so much as heard the word klezmer until they came around.) While they're not afraid to delve into social and political issues, they also have a sense of humor about it all. Hell, their name is a play on the nihilistic '80s band the Plasmatics.
In recent years they've ventured beyond mere klezmer and into the realm of other world music, the pinnacle of which was their 2006 album Wonder Wheel, which set the lyrics of Woody Guthrie to a panoply of world music styles—a sort of klezmer/world music Mermaid Avenue.
KXCI presents The Klezmatics at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Tickets range from $18 to $38, with a VIP package with reception going for $54. For more information, head to foxtucsontheatre.org or call 547-3040.
It was pretty much written in the stars that Derek Trucks would become a guitarist. His uncle Butch was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, and Derek would follow in his footsteps, touring with the Allmans as a guest musician for several years before becoming an official member in 1999. While he was a member of the Allman Brothers, he also found time to collaborate and tour with Eric Clapton. All the while, beginning in 1996, he fronted his own band, the Derek Trucks Band.
Around the same time, the charismatic hot-shit blues guitarist and singer Susan Tedeschi was fronting her own band, the Susan Tedeschi Band. In 1999, Tedeschi and Allman met when Tedeschi's band was opening for the Allmans. Two years later they were married.
For several years, Tedeschi and Allman's bands merged into a new band that toured under the name Soul Stew Revival, until 2010, when they formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band, an 11-piece unit that trades in classic-sounding rock with blues, jazz, soul and funk influences. This summer they released their second studio album, the acclaimed Made Up Mind.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band performs at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $39 to $87. For more info, head to foxtucsontheatre.org or call 547-3040.
A TOUGH CHOICE
If the Tedeschi Trucks Band isn't your thing, there are two other fantastic shows to choose from on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
One of them is the incredible Austin, Texas-based band My Jerusalem, which you can read all about in Joshua Levine's feature article this week. (Full disclosure: I'm friends with bandleader Jeff Klein.)
The other marks the return of rock 'n' roll legend Jonathan Richman, who last performed in Tucson as the opener for Wilco at the TCC Music Hall a little over a year ago. The wildly influential 62-year-old Richman has had a career diverse enough that he has been called "the godfather of punk rock," while his later music has been described as "children's songs for adults." The charismatic Richman is particularly at home onstage, where he'll unexpectedly stop playing his guitar in order to break out into dance when the mood hits. Luckily, he's got the fantastic drummer Tommy Larkins—a longtime Tucsonan who relocated to upstate New York a year or two ago—to keep the beat steady during these excursions.
Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Tickets for the all-ages show are $12 in advance, $14 on the day of show. For more information, check out rialtotheatre.com or call 740-1000.
Pro tip: If you can't decide between the Jonathan Richman and My Jerusalem shows, I'd be willing to wager you could make it over to Plush for the latter by the time the former is over.
If it seems like ages since the beloved Tucson singer-songwriter Namoli Brennet has performed in town, that's because it has been—almost a year, in fact. The reason? She's been living in Iowa and touring mostly around the Midwest. But she returns for a show at 7 p.m., next Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Admission to the all-ages show is $10. For more info, look for the event page on Facebook.
In case you haven't heard, after a year-plus of presenting solid local and touring bands, the all-ages Tucson Live Music Space (TLMS), 125 W. Ventura St., is closing its doors at the end of the year, but they're hosting shows right up until the end, and they've got an especially good one as punk-informed Seattle guitar-pop trio Big Eyes perform there next Thursday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is $6.
The similarly ill-fated Toxic Ranch Records (we're still hoping they find a new location) hosts a trio of bands, also at 6 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 5. Mullarkey will make the trip down Interstate 10 in order to headline the show as Run-On Sunshine, with Donut Shop Death and The Units also on the bill. Cover is $2, but if you buy anything in the shop, that $2 will be taken off the price. Toxic Ranch is at 424 E. Sixth St., and you can call 623-2008 for more details.
ON THE BANDWAGON
More good stuff around town this week: Carolyn Mark at La Cocina on Wednesday, Dec. 4; Thirty Seconds to Mars at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Nov. 29; Kristine Levine presented by Doug Stanhope and hosted by Kevin William Lee at Plush on Friday, Nov. 29; Margaret Cho at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. 4; Art on Tap Kickoff Party featuring music by Andrew Collberg, Nightlands, Bradford Trojan, and DJ Jalph at Club Congress on Friday, Nov. 29; Jess Matsen album release show with Samuel Christopher and Other Son at Sparkroot on Saturday, Nov. 30; Blood on the Dance Floor at The Rock on Wednesday, Dec. 4; Faster Pussycat at Club XS on Sunday, Dec. 1; Huntress at The Rock on Tuesday, Dec. 3; Jillian Bessett at The Stage at Monterey Court on Tuesday, Dec. 3; the Wayback Machine's annual "Dance of Thanks" at Boondocks Lounge on Saturday, Nov. 30; Liila, Of the Painted Choir, Ladylike, and Shudder Kong at Plush on Saturday, Nov. 30; Hessler at The Rock next Thursday, Dec. 5.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!