WARMING UP FOR 'AULD LANG SYNE'As is tradition, in the Tucson Weekly's Dec. 25 issue, we'll feature our annual New Year's Guide, a handy go-to resource for planning just how you'll usher in 2009. In order to do that, of course, we need to know exactly what the heck is going on.
So, if your club, restaurant or other venue is hosting a New Year's celebration that will feature live music, let us know what you've got going on so that we can tell our readers. Send complete details--that's performers, location, address, phone number, Web site, time, cost and a description of the event--to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com no later than Friday, Dec. 12 (of course, the earlier the better), and I'll give your shindig some free publicity, no strings attached.
I will be patiently waiting at my desk for your info to arrive.
LOCAL DO-GOODERS CELEBRATE, DO GOODComedian Patton Oswalt has a routine in which he explains his theory on why some birthdays are important, and some aren't. His criterion is that if a monumental change happens on a particular birthday, it's important; if it doesn't, it's not. Thus, 13 is an important birthday, because it marks entry into the teenage years; 16 is important because one can drive; 20, even though it's a round number, doesn't matter, because nothing really changes in practical terms.
By that measure, I suppose the fact that community radio station--your community radio station--KXCI FM 91.3 is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month is really no big deal. But for those of us who are regular listeners and know just how lucky we are to have KXCI, it is indeed something worth celebrating. To aid in this pursuit, the station will be celebrating its silver anniversary with a plethora of events over the next 25 days--from Nov. 22 through Dec. 16. We'll be posting regular updates about the events in this here column, and in that spirit, here are some details about how the station will kick off the proceedings.
The default launch party for the celebration is a concert KXCI is calling Local Folk for Local Folk, which will feature, um, local folk acts roth d'lux, Amber Norgaard and Sabra Faulk, and Jo Wilkinson and Grains of Sand. The show will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $10, available now at Antigone Books, Bohemia, The Folk Shop, KXCI.org and the station's office. For more information about it--and about KXCI's entire birthday celebration--head to KXCI.org; if you've still got questions, ring 'em up at 623-1000.
A couple of other notable KXCI-related events this week: Local DJ (and Weekly contributor) Carl Hanni's Scratchy Records, which takes place each Tuesday night starting at 9 p.m. at The Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., will feature guest DJ Kidd Squidd spinning tunes for your listening pleasure at this week's installment, on Tuesday, Nov. 25. A different KXCI DJ will guest-spin each week over the next four weeks.
And KXCI is also helping out with Rich Hopkins' seventh annual Casa Maria Thanksgiving Benefit this week. Here's the lowdown on Casa Maria and the event, from a previous column:
"For just shy of 25 years, the local soup kitchen, located at 401 E. 26th St., has provided free meals to the poor and homeless from 8 a.m. to noon, 365 days a year. In addition to doling out massive amounts of soup, juice and coffee to those in need of a hot meal, Casa Maria also hands out bulging sacks of groceries for families and roughly 500 brown-bag lunches for individuals every day. No one in need is ever turned away, and remarkably, Casa Maria receives no funding from any government agency; every penny comes from private donations.
"(Several) years ago, local musician and San Jacinto Records owner Rich Hopkins decided to make a video for the song 'Tender Mercies' by his band, the Luminarios (he's also guitarist for the Sand Rubies). The song is about the ongoing plight of the homeless community, and when Hopkins asked around to find a location to shoot, all paths led to Casa Maria and (founder Brian) Flagg, whom Hopkins quickly befriended. The video was eventually shown at every stop on the Luminarios' subsequent European tour, and Hopkins raised funds for Casa Maria from those stages.
"Additionally, Hopkins began donating his time to working at the soup kitchen about once a week; he's released a pair of compilation albums to raise money for Casa Maria; and he began staging the annual benefit concerts to aid the establishment during its peak season."
Lord knows places like Casa Maria are suffering worse than ever right now, so it's an especially good time to support the event, which takes place at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov 25 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Performers at this year's benefit include The Jons, Leila Lopez, Rich Hopkins and Luminarios, Los Plebes de la Sierra and Triple Double. Admission is a suggested donation of $5, and nonperishable food donations are encouraged. For more information, call 622-8848.
INSERT SLED JOKE HEREIf there's a bad act on the roster of Merge Records, one of the nation's foremost purveyors of indie-rock, I haven't heard it--and that impressive roster includes The Rosebuds, who arrive at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., for a show on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
The Rosebuds are one of those bands whose music changes with each new release, and their fourth and latest album, Life Like, released last month, is no exception. Following the almost gothic synth-pop of 2007's Night of the Furies, Life Like is a return to a more organic sound, though there's still plenty of gloom to go around. Merge's bio of the band calls their sound "sinister breeziness," and that's awfully accurate. No matter how poppy they get--as on a song like the relatively bouncy "Bow to the Middle"--there's a dark undercurrent running throughout.
The fabulous Tracy Shedd opens the all-ages show at 9 p.m. Admission is $7. Call 884-0874 for further details.
SHORT TAKESThere's an awful lot more to get to this week, so here are a few words about a lot of shows.
Local jazz-blues combo The Kate Becker Project will celebrate the release of its debut CD with a release party at 9:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. The band's lineup for the gig will include a slew of guest performers. They'll take the stage after openers Vampyros Bonobos and before headliner Tom Walbank. Cover is $5, and you can call 623-3200 for more information.
On Friday, Nov. 21, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., filmmaker Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves) will host the premiere screening of his new film, The American West: On the Road With Michael Blake, a historical documentary "about the Apache Indian leaders Cochise and Geronimo and the conflicts over the settlement of the West." And why is this in a music column, you ask? Before the screening, a trio of fine singer-songwriters--John Doe, Tony Gilkyson and John Coinman--will be performing at the event. Things get rolling at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $25, and are available at the venue's box office or by phone at 547-3040.
As I said earlier, if you think you've got it bad in these tough economic times, imagine what charity organizations are going through right now. Local punk rockers Bricktop are doing something to help out. The band will perform along with Blue Collar Criminals and Chicano Brown at a benefit for the Tucson Community Food Bank at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, at the Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is $6, or $3 if you bring two cans of food. Canned veggies are OK, but the CFB is particularly in need of canned meats right now, so those are encouraged. For more info, call 882-0009.
Some other shows of note: War Zone, an all-ages hip-hop show hosted by Grey Goose and Paperboy, and featuring around 10 acts, at the Dunbar Auditorium, 325 W. Second St., on Friday, Nov. 21 (myspace.com/greygoosetfi); Green Jelly at The Rock on Sunday, Nov. 23; The Church of Rock Revelations featuring The American Black Lung, Via Vengeance and Wolves Are Coming at Club Congress on Wednesday, Nov. 26; Jaguares at Desert Diamond Casino on Friday, Nov. 21; Mushroomhead at The Rock on Wednesday, Nov. 26; Fifth Annual Tucson Roller Derby Wheelies Awards with a Sock-Hop Afterparty featuring The Jons and B4Skin at Club Congress on Friday, Nov. 21; Metro Station and others at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 25; Ash to Dust's CD-release party at The Rock on Saturday, Nov. 22; comedian Doug Stanhope at Club Congress on Saturday, Nov. 22; Cassette Culture at Shot in the Dark Café on Saturday, Nov. 22.