LET THE CRAWLING COMMENCE!
Since Tucson really only has two seasons—hot and chilly—we must rely on other means than the weather to determine when fall has arrived: The streets fill up with the puttering cars of snowbirds; the bars fill up with drunken revelers, er, college students; and the Tucson Weekly's Fall Club Crawl® takes over the downtown and Fourth Avenue area for one night of just about every kind of music.
This fall's Crawl will do just that—bring around 90 acts, both local and national, to about 30 stages—on Saturday, Oct. 1, and thousands upon thousands of music fans will be there to witness it.
One reason I especially love Club Crawl® is that, for one night, some 14,000 people are brought to downtown and Fourth Avenue for the shared interest of seeing some great live music—and it makes our humble town feel like the city it actually is.
Another reason to love the Crawl is that it's one hell of a bargain: Grab a wristband in advance, anytime before Saturday, at either Zia Records location, and they're only $8. And if you forget to do so (slacker!), they're only $10 at the gate. It's a steal either way. Apologies to you young'uns: The Fall Club Crawl® is a 21-and-over event.
Check out our comprehensive guide in this issue. Fold up that sucker, and stick it in your pocket or purse—it's got a map, venue schedules and descriptions of all the acts that will be performing. Also, head on over to ClubCrawl.net, and sign up for our text-message updates. It's free to do, and you'll be alerted to any notable activities (special guests, how long lines are, etc.) on the night of the event.
As always, thanks to all of our sponsors—and as always, we urge you to be responsible. Taxicabs are there for a reason, after all. Most importantly, have a great time.
We'll see you there!
WHY HIM? HERE'S WHY ...
After years of being underutilized, the Fox Tucson Theatre has been booking lots of great shows recently. Last week saw a concert by the legendary Emmylou Harris (see our live review of the show on Page 47), and this week, the theater is bringing another bona fide legend to town.
Just as Bob Dylan elevated the pop-song form to new literary levels, Kris Kristofferson did so for country music. Similarly, most of Dylan's songs climbed the charts only after they were covered by other artists, and the same goes for Kristofferson. (Both men possess voices that are something of an acquired taste.) But check out a list of those hits: "Me and Bobby McGee," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)," "For the Good Times," etc. Impressive, no?
Kristofferson also did a lot to advance country music in the minds of folks who wrote it off as hillbilly fare. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pomona College and went on to earn his master's degree in English literature at Oxford University. His songwriting career was jumpstarted when Roger Miller recorded three of his songs for Miller's 1969 self-titled album, one of which, "Me and Bobby McGee," hit the Top 20 on the country charts. (Of course, Janis Joplin later had even more success with the same song.) Shortly after that, none other than Johnny Cash, one of Kristofferson's idols, gave him his big break in performing when he invited Kristofferson to appear on his TV show.
Since then, Kristofferson has shifted back and forth between his musical career—which included a stint as a member of country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings—and acting; he's appeared in dozens of films starting in the 1970s. Kristofferson doesn't tour a whole lot anymore (he recently turned 75), which makes his appearance here next week all the more special.
The legendary Kris Kristofferson performs at 7:30 p.m., next Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Advance tickets are available for $38 and $48 at the venue's box office or online at foxtucsontheatre.org. Call 547-3040 for more information.
IF YOU LIKE HOLY ROLLING EMPIRE ...
The second-most-famous clan to emerge from Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man has steadily gained a devout following by taking risks. Though one could lump them into the category of "artful indie rock," each of the band's albums is unique in its sound.
Their 2007 album, Church Mouth (Fearless), was guitar-centric and heavy as hell, drawing comparisons to Led Zeppelin and Jane's Addiction. 2008's Censored Colors (Equal Vision) bore all the bells and whistles—well, strings and horns, anyway—that the band could gather. And 2010's American Ghetto (Equal Vision) featured an electronic bent.
In July, the band, now based in Portland, Ore., issued its major-label debut, In the Mountain in the Cloud (Atlantic).
The album is a showcase of everything great about Portugal. The Man. While the guitars aren't as heavy as on Church Mouth, there is plenty to take their place: piano, flourishes of strings, synths, choir-like vocals—and, perhaps most importantly, song arrangements that are at once complex and ambitious, while remaining completely accessible. The album features a slight psychedelic bent à la Mercury Rev, as well as hints of glam and blue-eyed soul, but perhaps the best comparison to make about Portugal. The Man can be found in our own backyard: If you're a fan of Tucson's Holy Rolling Empire, you'll likely be a fan of PTM, too.
Portugal. The Man performs at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Sunday, Oct. 2. Alberta Cross opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; they'll be $17 on the day of the show. For further details, head to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
Another vaguely psychedelic Portland, Ore., band, this one by way of Idaho, stops in at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., for an all-ages show on Saturday, Oct. 1. The trio Nurses just issued their third album, Dracula, on Dead Oceans Records, and despite its title, there is nothing goth-y about it. Instead, the band excels at creating smooth soundscapes that incorporate everything from elements of dub to electronica, and Pink Floyd to Animal Collective. San Francisco's Dominant Legs open the show at 9 p.m., and admission is $8 at the door. For more info, head to solarculture.org, or call 884-0874.
One of the most-revered bands of the early punk era, the Misfits merged catchy, rockabilly-flecked punk rock with a penchant for horror lore. And they boasted one of punk's greatest singers in the smooth croon of Glenn Danzig. Danzig, of course, went solo years ago, but the Misfits—or a version of the Misfits that includes original bassist Jerry Only, who also handles vocals now, as well as onetime Black Flag singer-guitarist Dez Cadena, and Murphy's Law drummer Eric "Goat" Arce—soldier on.
The Misfits perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Juicehead and Bricktop open the all-ages show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 on the day of the show. For more info, call 740-1000, or head to rialtotheatre.com.
ON THE BANDWAGON
Bob Schneider at Club Congress next Thursday, Oct. 6; UFO at The Rock on Tuesday, Oct. 4; Matt Pond PA and Rocky Votolato at Plush on Monday, Oct. 3; Eliot Lipp at Zen Rock next Thursday, Oct. 6; Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Electric Blankets and RCougar at Club Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 5; The Grascals at the Desert View Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 1; the Morning After Girls and Black Box Revelation at Solar Culture Gallery on Monday, Oct. 3; the 2011 Jazz Legends: A Journey Through Jazz at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 1; Never Shout Never and others at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 4; Ron White at the Diamond Center in Desert Diamond Casino on Friday, Sept. 30; We Came as Romans and others at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Sept. 30; Emperor X and Young Hunter at Dry River Collective on Wednesday, Oct. 5; Bastard Suns and The Hopheads at The Hut on Sunday, Oct. 2; Secret Tunnel Storyline at The Rock on Saturday, Oct. 1; Gustavo Galindo at Solar Culture Gallery next Thursday, Oct. 6; PeaceTreaty at the Rialto Theatre next Thursday, Oct. 6; Take the Hill and others at The Rock on Friday, Sept. 30.