OR HOW ABOUT MUSIC FOR MAMMARIES?There's no shortage of potential cute names for benefit shows for breast-cancer awareness: Plush recently hosted Boobs Are Cool; this week brings us Bands for Breasts.
Might I suggest Tunes for Ta-Tas for the next such event?
There is, of course, nothing cute or funny about breast cancer itself. (I have a theory that these events are given cute names to make the disease a little more bearable to fathom, but I'll save it for now.) Ask Ryan Janac, drummer for local band Sunday Afternoon.
Janac's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. She went into remission, but relapsed in 2007. Janac decided to put together a benefit for both his mother and other breast-cancer victims. What he ended up assembling is nothing short of a weekend-long local-music mini festival, 24 bands in all, at The Hut, with some of the proceeds going directly to his mother's treatment, and some going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. (Janac points out in an e-mail that while the Komen Foundation is not an official sponsor, they will have representatives at the event.) One hundred percent of all money raised at the door, as well as those raised through raffles at the event, will go toward the cause.
Here, then, is the full schedule for Bands for Breasts:
Friday, Feb. 6: Outside stage: La Cerca (7 p.m.), The Jons (8:15 p.m.), Holy Rolling Empire (9:30 p.m.), Mostly Bears (10:45 p.m.); Inside stage: I Am the Lion (8:30 p.m.), Standby Red 5 (9:30 p.m.), American Android (10:30 p.m.), Love Mound (11:45 p.m.).
Saturday, Feb. 7: Outside stage: Chango Malo (8 p.m.), Luca (9:15 p.m.), The Tryst (10:15 p.m.), Sunday Afternoon (11:15 p.m.); Inside stage: Alien Jane (8:30 p.m.), Be-Geiled (9:45 p.m.), Planet Jam (11 p.m.).
Sunday, Feb. 8: Outside stage: Austin Counts (2 p.m.), Conner Cecil (3 p.m.), Butcher and the Melancholy (4 p.m.), The Dusty Buskers (5 p.m.), The Mighty Joel Ford (6 p.m.), The Kate Becker Project (7 p.m.), Space Over Desert (8 p.m.), Dirty Me (9 p.m.); Inside stage: Fourkiller Flats (9 p.m.), the Sand Rubies (10:30 p.m.), Ghost Cow (11:45 p.m.).
Admission is a suggested donation of $10 each day, or $25 for all three. The Hut is located at 305 N. Fourth Ave. For further info, call 623-3200. Here's hoping that lots of money is raised, and that Ryan's mom enjoys a full recovery.
BACKWARD-LOOKING SOULSure, we all know that Susan Tedeschi is a Berklee-schooled, hot-shit blues guitarist and singer, heir to Bonnie Raitt's throne. (Not only does she sound a bit like Raitt; she also covered "Angel From Montgomery," the John Prine song on which Raitt famously sang with its author.)
But have you heard this James Hunter guy who is opening for Tedeschi at the Rialto Theatre this week? As of a few months ago, I hadn't--and I had no idea what I was missing out on.
Hunter, in his mid-40s, is a British soul singer who came up through small London clubs in the '80s and '90s, until he was discovered by Van Morrison--no big surprise, considering the Mystic Man pretty much worships the same '60s soul singers that Hunter grew up listening to. (Morrison has since taken Hunter under his wing: The two have swapped guest appearances on each other's albums, and Hunter has toured with Morrison.) In fact, listen to one of Hunter's four solo albums, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it came out in 1966, not, say, 2008, as his latest, The Hard Way (Hear), did. Hunter is a smoothie who echoes the great Sam Cooke in phrasing, though he never gets quite as gritty as Cooke could. Upon hearing him for the first time, my response was much the same as when I first heard Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: I didn't know anyone still made music like this anymore, but thank goodness someone does.
Much has been made in the last couple of years about the resurgence of backward-looking female soul singers like Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy, but until now, there has been no male counterpart. James Hunter is that man.
Susan Tedeschi and James Hunter perform at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 11, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Tickets are $33 for reserved seats on the floor and lower balcony, $39 for gold seating (first four rows) or $28 for upper balcony. For more information, call 740-1000.
A MAD AND FAITHFUL TUCSON FOLLOWINGThanks in part to the fact that they've recorded three of their four albums at Wavelab Studio and perform in town frequently, Tucson jumped on the DeVotchKa bandwagon early in the band's career. Since then, of course, the Denver-based combo has garnered a devout international fan base for its unique combination of Eastern European music, cabaret, indie rock and Morricone-style spaghetti-Western soundtrack music, in the process snagging prime placement on the soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
The group arrives back in town this week, still touring on the strength of last year's fantastic A Mad and Faithful Telling (ANTI-), which was--you guessed it--recorded in Tucson.
Opening the show is Crooked Fingers, who are making their third local appearance in the last six months (hey, we're cool with that), and whose latest album, Forfeit/Fortune (Constant Artists/Red Pig), you can read about in this week's Rhythm and Views.
DeVotchKa and Crooked Fingers perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6. Tickets for the all-ages show are $17 in advance, or $20 on the day of the show. Call 740-1000 for further details.
If that show doesn't sate your musical appetite, head over to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., afterwards for a DeVotchKa After-Party, which will feature three fine acts: Indiana-based alt-blues trio Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, The Fell City Shouts and Tom Walbank. Things get started around 9 p.m., and cover is $5, or free with a DeVotchKa ticket stub. Questions? That number is 622-8848.
ANOTHER TRIP IN THE SKA TIME MACHINEIf I didn't know better, I'd think it was 15 years earlier: Last month, Club Congress hosted the acclaimed ska band The Slackers, and this week, they go even further back: The Toasters, whose career began back in 1981, were one of the first American bands of ska music's third-wave renaissance. Founded in New York City by British expat Rob Hingley, a huge two-tone fan (think The Specials, Madness and Selecter) who was shocked to find that ska had really not yet reached these shores, The Slackers--along with Moon Ska Records, the label Hingley founded--would go on to spearhead a full-on ska revival in this country about 15 years after the Brits were already over it.
The Toasters appear at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Monday, Feb. 9. Opening the all-ages show are two local acts, AIDS Free and The Shkanks. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 on the day of the show. For more info, call 622-8848.
SHORT TAKESThere's a lot left to cover, and not much space to do it in, but these are all fine shows worth your time and money:
Nimbus Brewing Company, 3850 E. 44th St., hosts a pair of noteworthy shows this week. Highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith's excellent latest album, Tinderbox, has garnered raves from The New Yorker and Slant magazine, which called it "one of the most compelling roots-rock albums in recent memory." He'll be at Nimbus at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, with a $12 cover. Then, on Tuesday, Feb. 10, British blues-rockers Savoy Brown return to Nimbus for an 8 p.m. show. That one's also $12. 745-9175.
Kansas-based post-rockers The Appleseed Cast arrive at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Tuesday, Feb. 10, a week prior to the release of their sixth studio album, Sagarmatha. Juarez and The Static Session open at 9 p.m. $8. 798-1298.
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk bring a pre-Mardi Gras, N'awlins-style dance-funk party to The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., on Monday, Feb. 9. 8 Minutes to Burn opens at 9 p.m. $10. 623-3200.
Pittsburgh instrumental math-rock outfit Don Caballero, who influenced a generation of bands, arrive at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Feb. 11. dd/mm/yyyy and Blues open. Doors at 8 p.m. $8 advance, $10 day of the show. 622-8848.
Elsewhere, four shows, all on Saturday, Feb. 7: Ya Ya Boom at The Living Room; Joshua James, Green River Ordinance and Haley Jane at Plush; Scorned Embrace CD-release party at The Rock; and Tony and the Torpedoes at Boondocks Lounge.
Finally, good luck this weekend to local artist Will Clipman, whose latest album, Pathfinder, is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album. The Grammys air at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8, on CBS.