ALL ABOUT EVE: Despite what your trusty Dilbert desk calendar says, Halloween, the spookiest of all nights (the consummation of the Streisand-Brolin marriage not included), falls on Saturday, October 30, this year.
It's a good plan, really. Do you want to stumble into work on Monday morning trying to explain the non-soluble greasepaint on your face? Or the bruises on your legs from trying to actually dance -- drunkenly -- in those 5-inch heels you so proudly touted the night before? Me neither. So even though we all know better, let's just pretend that All Hallow's Eve comes a day early this year so that we can have Sunday to recover, and reclaim the dignity lost at the previous night's festivities.
All of the good parties are going down on Saturday, anyway. No matter what your musical bent, there's a can't-miss shindig especially for you.
As always, the biggest bacchanal is the Third Annual Neewollah Street Dance, better known as Nightmare on Congress Street 3. After a year absence, Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., rejoins the revelry at and in front of the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., this year to combine for a whopping three stages of music. Congress Street will be blocked off to accommodate the madness, which includes the Erotica Devil Dancers, tunes spun courtesy of Spyder From Mars inside Club Congress, huge psycho clowns, satanic effigies, and rock, rock, rock!
Performing on the main stage, located on Congress Street in between the Rialto and the Hotel are Tongue Dried Sun at 8 p.m.; Warsaw at 9 p.m.; Nevershine at 10 p.m.; the costume contest, which will include prizes for Best Superhero, Best Villain and Most Original at 11 p.m.; and The Zsa-Zsas at 11:30 p.m. Taking the Rialto Theatre stage are James Dead at 8:30 p.m., Hipster Daddy-O and the Hand Grenades at 9:30 p.m., Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs at 10:45 p.m. and Molten Leather at 12:15 a.m. And on the Club Congress stage, located in the Hotel's parking lot, are Custom Made Scare at 8:30 p.m.; Johnny Legend -- for all you Andy Kaufman fans, yes, that Johnny Legend -- at 9:30 p.m.; the Lazy Cowgirls at 10:30 p.m. and Al Perry at 11:30 p.m. Phew.
All-access wristbands for the 21-and-over event will run $10; buy them in advance at CD Depot, the Congress Street Store, Zip's University, Guitars, Etc. and Hotel Congress. Call the Rialto at 740-0126, or Hotel Congress at 622-8848, with any questions.
Although not officially associated with the Nightmare, the party will get started early this year on Fourth Avenue, courtesy of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. In celebration of another fine Monsoon Madness summer music series put into hibernation, Kini Wade and the fine folks at FAMA offer up a completely free outdoor extravaganza in honor of Spooky Saturday. In addition to break dancing (in front of Zöe and Epic Cafe), strolling candy monsters, and a funky little graveyard (at Gateway Villa), music will fill the air. Featured performers include The Cobras at Chocolate Iguana from 5 to 7 p.m., DJ Buttafly on the Magpies Pizza patio from 3 to 7 p.m. and a triple bill at the Winsett Park stage with Hector on Stilts at 4 p.m., The Wonder Twins at 5 p.m. and the Annie Hawkins Band at 6:30 p.m. Plus, Al Foul and the Shakes will be shaking it up and down the Avenue all evening long. Get started early and show your costume off while the sun's still up. You sure as hell can't beat the price.
A trio of stoner rock trios provides the soundtrack for a Halloween of a different sort at Double Zero on the same night. Not just for heshers anymore, stoner rock is slow and groove-heavy rawk, with an emphasis on the heavy. For a reference point, dig up your old vinyl copy of Black Sabbath's Paranoid. Got it? Good.
Headliners Nebula were introduced to discriminating Tucson listeners earlier this year when they opened for fellow Sub Pop-ers Mudhoney at Club Congress. While all three members of the band -- guitarist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire, and drummer Ruben Romano -- did time in a seminal stoner outfit, their new band's modus operandi falls somewhere between the Fu Manchu cracks of a sidewalk built of the Fu and Mudhoney's garage punk, with weeds (no pun intended) sprouting up courtesy of Monster Magnet's brand of cosmic psychedelia. After a few singles and EPs released on smaller indie labels, Nebula has just released its debut full-length, To The Center, on Sub Pop, an album which undeniably pushes the band to the forefront of its genre, whether or not you've got a bong in front of you.
Openers for the show are New Jersey's The Atomic Bitchwax, whose lineup includes Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell, and Core, one of the genre's longtime practitioners, having formed way back in '81. Both bands currently reside on the Tee Pee/MIA label, and both update the pummeling dynamics of earlier power trios -- think Cream, for example -- with a post-punk fury.
The noddin' and groovin' should get under way somewhere around 9 p.m. at the Double Zero, 121 E. Congress St. Call 670-9332 for more info.
Other promising Saturday night ventures include: The Headbanger's Ball at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., which will feature a local lineup consisting of The Aggressive Sound Session, Thunderosa, Grudge Holder and PH8. Admission to the 21-and-over show will be $6 at the door; call the folks at the club for more details at 629-9211, or log onto www.therockaz.com.
And the Plaza Pub, 20 E. Pennington, hosts two of the Old Pueblo's weirdest bands, as kitchen sinkers Cortex Bomb (see this week's Rhythm & Views) team up with the Deadwood Singers, a band I have yet to see, but plan to very soon (based on the CD-R that came across my desk this week).
Touting a name that deceptively recalls a hillbilly barbershop quartet, as well as one of the funniest bios I've read in recent memory ("Driven by their sneaking suspicion that God had indeed given rock and roll to them..."), these South Dakota transplants claim Ween, Queen, Cream and Judas Priest as influences, and judging from my first couple listens to the disc, entitled Sing and Play, I wouldn't dare call 'em on it. (Plus, they get super extra bonus points for sampling Crispin Glover's rants from River's Edge on the 10-minute-long hypnotic "Death Cookie"). Things kick off at 9 p.m., and the cover is cheap. Any questions? Give the friendly folks at the Plaza a ring at 882-0400.
To reiterate, all of the aforementioned Halloween shows take place on Saturday, October 30, despite what your calendar says. Now go get dressed up and make asses out of yourselves -- after all, it's the last Halloween of the millenium (sorry -- requisite Y2K reference).
PACKIN' PISTOLS: It'll be worth your cover charge to witness Eugene, Oregon's Los Mex Pistols del Norte try to fit all of its members onto the less-than-huge stage of 7 Black Cats this week. The all-instrumental band, which ranges anywhere from seven to 11 members, draws heavily from Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western soundtracks, as well as Tex-Mex-ers like Flaco Jimenez and Los Lobos. They've just released their debut CD, !Esta Noche We Ride!, on NMX Records, and they'll have copies on hand to sell at their Monday, November 1, appearance. 7 Black Cats is located at 260 E. Congress St.; the phone number is 670-9202.
DUST SETTLES: And finally, a quick reminder that the Sevendust show which was originally slated for October 7 will finally hit our burg at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 3 at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Openers are still Machine Head, Orange 9mm and DDT, and advance tickets are still available for $20.92 at CD Depot, Strictly CDs and Zip's University. They'll be $23 at the door. Call 629-9211 for details.