'LOCALS ONLY' MOVES ON
Continuing where we left off last week, here's some more news about Locals Only, the only local-music radio show in Tucson, found at KXCI FM 91.3 FM on Monday nights from 8 to 10 p.m.
If you missed last week's live acoustic performance at Club Congress by Chango Malo (plus special guests), fret not: Tune in this week, Monday, June 9, to catch the recorded version, as well as an interview with the show's founder and host for the last 10 years, Don Jennings. Monday will be his last show, and the bad monkeys have decided to turn the tables on Jennings, who normally interviews the live guest. (Full disclosure: The band has invited me to participate along with the Rialto Theatre's Curtis McCrary.) If nothing else, you should listen to hear Chango's cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," which absolutely slayed.
The station has also announced Jennings' replacement(s): Dan "Dr. Dan" Twelker will be taking the reins for the first hour of the show, with a rotating cast of regulars hosting the live second hour. Additional tweaks may be made in coming weeks, but for now, that's what you can expect.
And as if that weren't enough Locals Only news, this week marks the release of Locals Only Volume Five: Live From Studio 2A, the latest installment in the series of compilations that documents some of the highlights from the live segment of the radio show. The disc features 16 tracks by local artists that you won't find anywhere else, including songs by Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, Creosote, David D'Alessio, Dave Mulligan, Al Foul's Bongo Billy Band, Los Cuatro Vientos, The Dead Tones, Mirror Image and the 17th Street Band.
The CD-release party will be held at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 6, and the seven performers on the disc not mentioned above will perform: The Deludes, The Swim, West, Low Ones, Golden Boots, Naim Amor and Michael P. Admission is $5 for KXCI members, and $7 for everyone else. For more information, call 798-1298 or head to KXCI.
Several weeks ago in this space, we said farewell to Chris Gaffney, who passed away on April 17 after a short battle with liver cancer. Gaffney was half of the core of the Hacienda Brothers, the "Western soul" outfit that had recorded a pair of excellent albums, produced by the legendary Dan Penn, here in Tucson at the Cavern Recording Studios. (A live set, Music for Ranch and Town, was issued last year.)
We briefly mentioned that the band had finished recording a third studio album before Gaffney's diagnosis: Arizona Motel, recorded in two sessions--one with Penn at the helm in Nashville, Tenn., last September, and the other self-produced and recorded at the Cavern in Tucson--will be released on Proper Records on June 24. It's another winning dose country/soul merging that the Hacienda Brothers did so well, and serves as a fine epitaph for Gaffney, whose distinctive voice, given the circumstances, seems like more of a gift than ever here.
This week, Gaffney's partner in the Haciendas, Dave Gonzalez, will perform at a tribute show for his late bandmate, along with a slew of other friends and admirers, including Mark Insley, Tom Walbank, Kevin Pakulis, Salvador Duran, Andrew Collberg, Grams and Krieger, DJ Carl Hanni and Brittany Dawn and Dusty Rhodes. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St. Admission is free, but donations to the HelpGaff fund will be accepted, encouraged and appreciated. For further details, call 622-3535.
BEDROOM KEYBOARD CREATIONS--PERFORMED LIVE!
A few years ago, when the list of acts performing at the South by Southwest music conference was announced, a gaggle of voices across Tucson could be heard asking the same question: Who the hell is Digital Leather?
The group had been selected to perform at a festival showcase and was listed as calling Tucson home. But no one in Tucson seemed to have any idea who, or what, Digital Leather was.
Turns out DL started in 2002 as the keyboard duo of Shawn Foree and Ryan Wong, and has since morphed into two slightly different versions. The recorded version is Foree, who records his songs in his bedroom, while the live version is Foree fronting a full band. Both incarnations are represented on Digital Leather's first proper release (previously released limited-edition singles and LPs are long sold out): Sorcerer will be released on Memphis, Tenn.'s Goner Records on July 22.
The first half of the disc represents home recordings from the mid-aughts, while the second half was recorded live with the band at 2005's Gonerfest 2, in Memphis. The "studio" stuff veers from the dark-wave gothism of "Simulator" and "Modulated/Simulated," to the sassy danceable minimalism of "You Will Fall," to the Suicide-influenced synth-punk of "Hologram," which wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Wax Trax roster. (Come to think of it, most of this stuff wouldn't have.) The live half of the disc doesn't stray too far from the recorded half stylistically, but the songs, which focus on the "punk" side of the synth-punk equation, are performed with such reckless abandon that they amount to a just-reined-in-enough cacophony that is absolutely exciting and utterly compelling.
All of this, of course, bodes well for Digital Leather's live shows, and we'll get a rather rare chance to see that for ourselves when the group performs at Che's Lounge, 346 N. Fourth Ave., on Saturday, June 7. As always, admission is free, and the drinks are cheap. Call 623-2088 for more info. CALI-PUNK PARTY!
First it was Agent Orange; then it was The Dickies. This week, the onslaught of classic California punk bands continues with two shows worth showing up for.
X, who began bringing their patented unique male/female harmonies--courtesy of John Doe and Exene Cervenka--and roots-rock influences to punk back in 1977, are currently finishing up the second leg of their 13 - 31 Tour, so named because this year represents the 31st anniversary of the band's formation. The band, whose original lineup is again intact (guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake round out the roster), will perform an all-ages show at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, June 7. The Detroit Cobras open at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the venue's box office for $21; they'll be $2 more on the day of the show.
Meanwhile, 14 years later and a few hundred miles to the north, Rancid came together in Berkeley in 1991. The group, who borrowed heavily from the oeuvre of the Clash, was at the forefront of the punk revival of the '90s and did it just as convincingly as anyone in the era. The band incorporated elements of ska, just as the Clash did, and adopted the hard-edged but hummable M.O. of their forebears as well. This week, the band returns for an all-ages performance, also at the Rialto Theatre. San Diego ska-punks Buck-O-Nine open the show at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10. Advance tickets are $19.99; they'll be $23 on the day of show.
For further info about either of these shows, call 740-1000 or head to The Rialto Theatre.
ON THE BANDWAGON
More shows to keep an eye (and ear) out for this week include: Frog Eyes at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, June 10; Maria Taylor and Johnathan Rice at Club Congress on Saturday, June 7; Chimaira and Soilent Green at the Rialto Theatre on Monday, June 9; Mostly Bears, Mr. Gnome and Wolves Are Coming at Plush on Saturday, June 7; The Helio Sequence and RCougar at Club Congress on Tuesday, June 10; Hot Buttered Rum and Tea Leaf Green (and other delicious beverages TBA) at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, June 11; The Holy Rolling Empire, Birds and Batteries and La Cerca at Plush next Thursday, June 12.
R.I.P., Bo Diddley.