ON AGAIN, OFF AGAINIn "This show's on! No, it's not! Yes, it is! etc.," news, the Birds of Avalon show originally scheduled for Plush on Thursday, April 10, is officially not going to happen.
First, we got word that it was canceled because the band had been picked up as on opener on the upcoming Raconteurs tour. Then we got an e-mail from the band's publicist with the date still intact; that same day, the Plush Web site read: "Yeah, this show is on!" After all, April 10 fell in between stints opening for Black Mountain and the Racs, so we were good to go, right?
Well, not exactly.
Plush's site now says, "Birds of Avalon canceled--they plan to re-schedule," and an updated tour schedule has them in San Diego on the April 9, then nothing until Vancouver, B.C., on April 20. Our advice: Listen to those first three Cheap Trick records, plus a little Boston and Nazareth on the side, until they reschedule.
In more "This show's on! No, it's not! Yes, it is! etc.," news: Metal-pioneering has-beens Metallica will indeed be headlining this year's KFMA Day, which will take place at the Pima County Fairgrounds on Friday, May 16.
A recap of the drama: On Feb. 20, the Tucson Citizen announced the band would be playing at the radio station's annual shindig. From that article: "'That will be kind of a big show,' said Steve Groesbeck, general manager of Arizona Lotus Corp, which owns KFMA (92.1-FM and 101.3-FM). (We could practically hear him smiling through the phone.)"
The next day, the Citizen ran an item stating Metallica's appearance wasn't going to happen after all: "It's done," Groesbeck told the Citizen, which reported: "When questioned as to why, Groesbeck had no comment."
Our sources tell us that the station jumped the gun on announcing the show, and Metallica's camp was none too happy and threatened to pull out. Those same sources told us a bit later that the show would proceed as originally announced. On the morning of Monday, March 31, KFMA made it official.
The station also announced that tickets go on sale this Saturday, April 5, at all Tucson area Catalina Mart locations, which will sell 'em for a flat rate (no service fee) of $30 for the first 24 hours. After that, they'll be $47.50. Also on the bill are Flobots, Apocalyptica (kinda redundant, eh?) and Scars on Broadway.
Speaking of early-bird discounts, there is no better time than now to pick up your all-inclusive wristband for this month's Spring Club CrawlTM, the Weekly's music festival which will take over downtown Tucson and Fourth Avenue on Saturday, April 19. Through Sunday, April 6, you can purchase wristbands at all Tucson Bookmans locations for the ridiculously low price of $5. After that, they'll be $8 in advance, and $10 on the day of the event.
As usual, the Spring Crawl will feature performances from some of Tucson's finest local acts, as well as nationally touring bands including Poi Dog Pondering, Dead Hot Workshop and Billy Bacon and the Kings of Pleasure. (For comparison purposes, the cheapest ticket price we've found nationwide for Poi Dog's current tour is $15.)
Haven't ya heard, hipster? Cheap is cool! Get 'em now!
INTENSE 'N' KINDA SHADYThough he'll never live down his former band Wall of Voodoo's '80s classic "Mexican Radio," Stan Ridgway has, since then, released 10 or so mostly excellent albums full of the musical equivalent of film noir--lots of shady characters stuck in lots of shady situations.
He last performed in Tucson almost two years ago at Club Congress, as part of the TapeOpCon music showcase, and he put on one hell of a show for those who could pull themselves away from M. Ward's equally riveting set in the parking lot. My memories of that show: Yes, he turned in a killer version of "Mexican Radio," but also a jaw-droppingly intense take on Mose Allison's "Monsters of the Id," which he spewed in the direction of our current commander in chief: "They're fightin' fire with gasoline / The creatures from the swamp / Rewrite their own Mein Kampf / Neanderthals amuck / Just tryin' to make a buck / And goblins and their hags / Are out there wavin' flags / Oh, when will we be rid / Of monsters of the id." He turned so red that he resembled Saturday Night Live's Will Forte doing his best Zell Miller impersonation. Translation: intense.
In fact, the whole dang set was pretty freakin' awesome, which is why we're so pleased that Stan Ridgway will be returning to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, April 5. Doors for this early show open at 7 p.m., with opener the Voodoo Organist taking the stage around 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $14 on the day of the show. For more information, call 622-8848.
TRIPLE DOUBLE'S 'FIVE TWENTY'As we mentioned last week in these pages, the season for local CD releases is upon us, and this week brings us another.
Though the claim in their bio that they're "the one and only soul-soothing funky reggae blues party in America" is dubious at best, Triple Double Band's second album, Five Twenty (Fire City), is indeed a pleasing merger of reggae and blues with a feel-good flair. The band's primary members--Jimi Cracovaner (guitar, vocals), Tom Cracovaner (drums, vocals) and Preston Winter (bass)--are joined here by Alex Van Slyke on sax, Connor Clowers on trumpet and Alex Sandweiss on keys. The extra hands earn their due; it's hard to imagine, for example, a blues jam like "Blue Coyote Man" without the sax and, especially, the keys, which go a long way in filling out the sound. Still, songs like "Walkin' Away," even though it's dosed with sax flourishes, would work almost as well with just the core trio dishing out their reggaefied blues. (That tune, in particular, is a perfect distillation of the melding of blues and reggae with which the album is filled.) In the end, Five Twenty won't blow anyone away, but I'll bet no one will complain when it's playing on the boom box at a summer barbecue, either.
Triple Double Band celebrate the release of Five Twenty at a CD release party at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, April 9. Doors open at 8 p.m., and openers are Rich Hopkins and the Luminarios and R'Cougar. Five bucks will get you through the doors. Call 622-8848 for further details.
NEED A LIFT?Los Angeles combo Bodies of Water do that uplifting choral indie-pop thing rather well--not as grandiose as Arcade Fire nor as cult-like as the Polyphonic Spree, though both are clearly influences.
They'll be in town, touring to support their 2007 Secretly Canadian release Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink, on Saturday, April 5, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. with openers What Laura Says Thinks and Feels from Phoenix (who scored a slot on the mega-awesome bill at the Lou Reed tribute show at SXSW last month) and Tucson's B4skin, the new project from Tron D (aka John Sweeden) of electroshockbox. Admission is $6. Dial 884-0874 for more info.
GET THESE CREEPS OUTTA HERE!In these days of $50 gas-tank fill-ups, it costs an awful lot for bands to go on tour, which is exactly what local spook-rockers The Mission Creeps and Tucson's dean of rockabilly, Al Foul, are about to do. The Creeps kick off the tour (and hope to raise enough dough to head out of town with a full tank) with a show at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Friday, April 4. Opening are The VooDuo and Wolfman and the Nards, who will take the stage around 9:30 p.m. Cover is a fiver, and further details are yours by calling 798-1298.