DON'T MISS!For starters, here's the obligatory mention that the Weekly-sponsored Fall Club CrawlTM is going down on Saturday, Oct. 7, at venues and stages all over downtown Tucson and Fourth Avenue. Since there's a giant rundown of all things Crawl elsewhere in this issue, I won't waste space here going into details. You know the drill--be there or be L7.
EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE COVER-UPIt's time once again for local bands to send in their submissions for this year's Great Cover-Up, scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Dec. 7, 8, and 9. Luckily, we've gone all hi-tech on your asses this year, so instead of sucking ink from worthwhile shows happening this week, I will instead refer you to what the kids call a "Web site." Point your Internets to thegreatcoverup.googlepages.com and DO AS WE SAY!
In all seriousness, we do humbly ask for your support and participation in this year's event. Lord knows we couldn't put on the Cover-Up without you, and it is, after all, the 10th annual Cover-Up, so we'd like it to be especially awesome. And that aforementioned site includes way more information than you could ever want to know about the event. And, in case it doesn't, feel free to send any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOT SO KINKY--YETLast week, we reported that Kinky was scheduled to perform at Club Congress on Monday, Oct. 2. It seems that Congress' Web site had the wrong date; they'll actually be playing at the same venue on Monday, Oct. 23. We apologize for any inconvenience the incorrect info caused.
PLEASE FEED THE CRIMINALSSure, it helps having a famous dad--one who is equally famous in country, pop and folk circles; one who collaborated with renowned author Shel Silverstein; one who legendary concert promoter Bill Graham once called "the Springsteen of country music"; one who allows you to sing on one of his songs, which goes on to be nominated for a Grammy Award, at age 5; and one who affords you the opportunity to sing at the original Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium, on its closing night. But how much does any of that matter once you grow up, and are forced to forge your own path without Pop to carry you along?
In the case of Bobby Bare Jr. (whose dad shares the same name, minus the "Junior"), it probably didn't hurt. Still, no one can really teach you to write songs as simultaneously clever, funny and heartbreaking as Bobby Bare Jr. does. Bare first emerged on the music scene in the late '90s with his roots-rock outfit, Bare Jr., releasing an EP and two full-length albums that showed a young, promising songwriter not quite yet fully formed. But early in the 21st century, Bare began releasing albums with his band, Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League, on Bloodshot, and truly found his own voice and style. His first release under that name paid homage to his past by covering a song written by Silverstein, his father's former collaborator, but it also reflected his own taste by including a cover of The Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make?"
Bare Jr. has just released his fourth album for Bloodshot, The Longest Meow, and it demonstrates a singer-songwriter who seems to just get better and more diverse as his career progresses. The album contains 11 songs, recorded by 11 people (including members of Lambchop, ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Clem Sound and My Morning Jacket), in 11 hours. Ostensibly it was recorded in such a fashion to capture the live experience, but you'd never know it was a rush-job by listening to it. The album is as diverse as anything he's released so far.
There are still country roots, but there's a lot more, too. Opener "The Heart Bionic" is a charging, horn-fueled barroom rocker; "Back to Blue" is a traditional honky-tonk tune that's distinguished by male/female harmonies and a mariachi horn arrangement; "Sticky Chemical" is informed by the musical era that came just post-doo wop; "Uh Wuh Oh" is a two-minute-long pure rocker whose lyrics are completely unintelligible aside from the titular chorus; "Demon Valley" sounds like a countrified version of a song that could have appeared on The Replacements' Tim; and the lone cover song, the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" is perhaps not the most inspired choice, but is rendered here as an acoustic ballad.
Along with an increasingly impressive catalog of albums, Bare Jr.'s live shows are a real treat. He and his Young Criminals Starvation League come off as a bar band with something to prove, injecting energy into every song they perform, an energy that is downright infectious.
Witness it for yourself when Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League play Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Oct. 7. Opening the show at 9:30 p.m. are the Jon Rauhouse Trio, fronted by a guy who's played on sessions for countless acts (and is a member of Neko Case's band) and Loveland. Cover is $7. Call 798-1298 for more information.
LIKE THE BOSS, BUT DIFFERENTFronted by former Lifter Puller frontman Craig Finn--originally from Minneapolis, but a current Brooklyn resident--The Hold Steady update the sound of vintage Bruce Springsteen and Thin Lizzy for those of us raised on punk rock. Backed by players who could double as the E Street Band sans saxophone, Finn doesn't so much sing as spew hyperliterate tales of Catholics gone wrong, life on the grimy streets and all the sordid details that accompany it, and all the intricacies about relationships that we've all thought about but never dared to say. Without printing the lyrics of an entire song, it's difficult to convey just what a tremendous lyricist Finn actually is, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Or pick up any of the band's three albums, the latest of which, Boys and Girls in America, was released earlier this week on Vagrant.
Or, better yet, go see them perform live, when they play an early all-ages show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., next Thursday, Oct. 12. Things kick off at 7 p.m. with an opening set by Sean Na Na, the power-pop performing alter ego of Sean Tillman, best known as his other alter ego, Har Mar Superstar, the most unlikely sexy R&B star in the universe. Trust us, this one will be more than worth your $10 cover charge. Need more info? Call 622-8848.
NO WORRIES ABOUT THE WEST NILE VIRUSSultriness and charm are two qualities that cannot be faked--you've either got it, or you don't. Lucky for her, Juju Stulbach doesn't need to worry about that. She's the Brazilian-born lead singer for Mosquitos, an otherwise male, New York-based combo that merges bossa nova with a modern indie-pop aesthetic. While each of their three albums--the most recent of which is Mosquitos III, released last month on Bar/None--is enjoyable, their breezy sound is best experienced in a live setting.
You can try to avoid falling in love with Mosquitos when they perform this week at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., but you'll fail. Ireland's Oppenheimer open the all-ages show at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Cover is $8, and you can call 884-0874 for further details.