I had been addicted to Young Criminals Starvation League (2002, Bloodshot), his first solo album following a pair of LPs from his band Bare Jr. --oft-described as Southern rock meets Nirvana. Though the album was a bit more stripped down and singer/songwriterly than those of his band (and is likely the only disc ever released to include covers of both Shel Silverstein and The Smiths), Bare and Co. simply tore the roof off the place for a sadly undersized crowd. Following the set, the few in attendance demanded an encore, then another, and Bare obliged as long as everyone in the place agreed to rush the stage. They did, and with that, he launched into a Cars cover, which segued into "Baba O'Riley," then back to the Cars, with enough passion and energy to make Eddie Vedder look like William F. Buckley.
It was one of the best rock 'n' roll moments I'd had all week, and believe me, I'd had plenty.
Bare is currently on tour promoting his new EP, OK--I'm Sorry (2003, Bloodshot), and he'll stop again at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Monday, Nov. 10. Opening at 9:30 p.m. is Jason Steed, and cover will run you a fiver--one of the best you'll spend in this musically rich week. Questions? Dial 'em up at 798-1298.
MIGHTY MOUSE: What is there to say about Modest Mouse anymore? That it seems like everyone, despite their everyday musical taste, loves them? That their discs pop up in the record collection of everyone with a modicum of decent musical taste? That we're all on the edge of our seats for the next M-squared installment of tasty, guitar-neck-bending heroics and esoterically observational lyrics as played and sung by the charmingly lispy Isaac Brock? (Good News has been sadly pushed back for release from September to spring 2004.) That it's been a full three years since we've been graced by the treat that is a Modest Mouse live show? That if you have any sense of what's right and wrong with the world, you'll be in attendance at the band's performance on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.? The show kicks off at 8 p.m. with openers The Helio Sequence, Neil Michael Hagerty, and Winfred E. Eye, and tickets, available at Toxic Ranch, are $15. Call 884-0874 for more info.
ALL-AMERICAN: On the very same night as the Modest Mouse show, American Analog Set will be performing at Plush. Which is kinda coincidental, considering the last time Isaac Brock was in town, with his side project Ugly Cassanova, AmAnSet were in town, too. Who's stalking who?
Not that we're hoping for an abbreviated set from the mighty Mouse, but it sure would be nice if that show got over with time to hustle over to see the American Analog Set show. After a couple hours of high-intensity rock from Modest Mouse, the Set's set would be the perfect comedown: gorgeous keyboard 'n' guitar drone-rock lullabies with a heart.
American Analog Set perform at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Tulsa dream-pop combo Ester Drang open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $6. For further details, call 798-1298.
DRINK SOME CHERRYWINE: Ever wonder what happened to neo-jazzbo rap trio Digable Planets? One-third of the answer comes to town this week: Ishmael Butler, formerly known as Butterfly while in the Planets, is now known as Cherrywine, which also serves as the name of his current group. And a group it is--no two turntables and a microphone for these guys. Instead, it's a full-blown live band performing pared down psychefunk grooves, complete with spacey synth swooshes and video game noises. The band's debut album, Brightblack (2003, Dcide), isn't as instantly arresting as the two classic Digable Planets albums, but then, what is?
Cherrywine perform at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Monday, Nov. 10. The Bandeye open at 9 p.m. and $7 gets you in the doors. Call 622-3535 for more info.
ATARI JOYSTICK: A few years ago, we stumbled into 7 Black Cats on what was supposed to be an off night. Instead, a tight pop-punk band was dishing out one oh-so-catchy tune after another, tight as Liza Minnelli after downing her second fifth of vodka. It was The Ataris, who had a night off from their touring schedule but were in desperate need of some gas money. Little did we know at the time that in 2003, they'd be headlining a show at the Rialto to a swarm of teens who can't get enough of their cover of Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer."
Tourmates Hopesfall have had a rough couple months. Shortly before embarking on a tour with The Juliana Theory, their practice space was broken into, and the thieves made off with some cabinets and a customized drum set. While on the tour itself, their van, including all their equipment and personal belongings, was stolen and never found. Poor guys. Oh, and by the way, their current album, The Satellite Years (2002, Trustkill), brilliantly merges pummeling hardcore with swirling, atmospheric shoegazery and actual melodies.
The Ataris and Hopesfall, along with Planes Mistaken For Stars and The Go Reflex, perform at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Advance tickets are available for $16 at the Rialto box office and all Bookman's locations, or online at www.rialtotheatre.com. For further details, call 798-3333.
CARNIVAL RIDE: When he gave up his longtime gig drumming for The Mollys in 2000, Gary Mackender decided to form a band that would concentrate on his other musical skill--the accordion. (Mackender won the write-in TAMMIES award this year for Best Accordionist). The band he formed was, and is, The Carnivaleros, an instrumental combo that features a revolving door of fellow locals backing him up. As evidenced by the band's latest LP, Step Right Up!, out this week on RootaVega, The Carnivaleros sound like their name suggests--an amalgam of Tex-Mex, circus music, Zydeco, traditional Western, spy themes, Eastern European motifs, and everything else under the sun. The album is stellar, veering abruptly yet seamlessly from one style to another on a dime--a waltz here, a polka there, and you can dance to all of it.
Celebrate the release of Step Right Up! at The Carnivaleros' CD release party at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Cover is $5 and entitles you to purchase a copy of the CD for the special price of $10. The roster of musicians accompanying Mackender includes guitarists Mitzi Cowell and Teddy Morgan (who also produced the CD with Mackender), Carla Brownlee on sax, bassists Steve Grams and Chris Giambelluca, and Richard Medek on drums. Conjunto Nopal will open. Call 690-0991 for more information.
NET EFFECT: With the explosion of our local music scene, a few new Web sites documenting it have sprung up recently. One of those, www.tucsonlocalmusicscene.com, which is based in Las Vegas, is celebrating its launch this week with a local music blowout. Set to perform at the bash are Camp Courageous, Chango Malo, Manifold, Is To Feel, Year of Acceleration, Nowhere Man, Innisfail, Lovemound and Minneapolis' Houston. It all goes down at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Cover is a mere five bones, and you can call 798-3333 for more info.