Let's face it: There are no slow music weeks in Tucson in the springtime. That said, this is one of the slowest, though there's still no shortage of great shows—a testament to just how jam-packed this spring has been.
Saturday, April 7, is a particularly busy day this week, with several big-time events as options.
There is, of course, the third annual Festival en el Barrio, which has established itself as one of those annual can't-miss events—a civic-pride-inducing block party with the best damn live music of any block party I've ever attended. You can read all about it in Eric Swedlund's feature article in this issue.
There are also a couple after-parties built around the festival, as well as an anniversary party for a beloved venue, and a memorial benefit show for a longtime contributor to the Tucson scene.
If you're looking to continue the festivities once the festival ends, around 8 p.m., here are two great options.
Details are sketchy at press time, but in what is being billed as the official after-party for the barrio fest, Brownout, the eight-piece psychedelic Latin funk band that includes members of Grupo Fantasma (which is performing at the Festival en el Barrio), is slated to perform in the courtyard at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. Tucson Weekly contributor DJ Carl Hanni is also scheduled to spin some vinyl at the event. Admission is free, and it will begin roughly a half-hour after things wrap up at the barrio fest. Following the after-party, DJ Herm's weekly Dance! Dance! Dance! night will take over. For more information, call 622-0351.
Or, there's a very special treat in store for Kiss fans down the street at Club Congress, which is hosting a benefit show for the arts program at Satori School, a K-12 nonprofit that, according to a press release, has provided a "creative education for gifted and inquisitive children for over 24 years."
Headlining the show is Priss, a Los Angeles-based, all-female Kiss cover band. Why would an all-female Kiss cover band from L.A. (the Goddesses of Thunder, as I've been referring to them) be playing a benefit show for a school in Tucson, you ask? Because the band's drummer, Judy Cocuzza, recently moved to Tucson to be closer to her family and is now teaching at Satori. She flies back to L.A. every weekend to perform in various bands and convinced her Priss bandmates to travel to Tucson to perform at the benefit. Also on the bill: Los Pork Torta, the alter ego of The Pork Torta, which performs garage-rock tunes en español (and will be fresh off an appearance at the Festival en el Barrio earlier that day), and the Satori Rock Academy, a rock ensemble featuring Satori students. The event will also include a raffle with gifts donated by the Chicago Store, Metro Gnome Music, Coffin Cases and Bookmans, which is donating a guitar.
It all goes down at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show will run until about 10 p.m., when the Bang! Bang! dance night takes over the club. Your suggested donation of $5 and all raffle proceeds will go directly to Satori School. For more information, head to hotelcongress.com/club, or call 622-8848.
That's not the only worthwhile benefit taking place on Saturday. We mentioned last week that Bill Wooldridge, who with his wife, Kathy, operated the all-ages venue and youth center Skrappy's, and played guitar in the band Widow's Hill, passed away on March 17. And we mentioned what a huge impact the couple has had on a generation or two of kids in this town, often operating as surrogate parents for those who needed them. This week, some of those impacted by the Wooldridges are teaming up to play a show in his honor to raise money for the Bill Wooldridge Memorial Fund.
The members of Broken End Stereo are making their way from Texas to perform. Our Cure the Rocketship is reuniting for the event. And Sleep Driver, Lariats, Shepherds and Sailors, Cariad and Saving Today will all be performing as well.
The Bill Wooldridge Memorial Show begins at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, at Skrappy's, 191 E. Toole Ave. A $5 donation is requested for entry to the all-ages event. For more information, call 358-4287.
Finally, also on Saturday, Steven Eye will be celebrating 25 years of operating Solar Culture Gallery on Saturday with a block party of his own.
The event is a free potluck (so bring some food to share) that starts at 6 p.m. and includes events at several locations along Toole Avenue. Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., will feature live performances from Baba Marimba, Salvador Duran and Gary Bear. Starting at 9 p.m., The Galactic Center, next door to Solar Culture at 35 E. Toole Ave., will host the Dark Spring Dance Collective featuring DJs Throw3r, Emily Skyrocker, Krti Mouserider and Elektratek. And businesses adjacent to the venues will be holding open houses.
Congrats to Mr. Eye on 25 years of booking great shows. For more information, check out solarculture.org, or call 884-0874.
OUT OF GREENDALE
Only 28 years old, Donald Glover boasts a CV that would make most people three times his age envious.
While still attending New York University, from which he graduated with a degree in dramatic writing, he was tapped as a writer for The Daily Show. Later, he began writing for 30 Rock, and earned the Writers Guild of America Comedy Award for Best Comedy Series in 2009 for his work there. Later that year, he became a cast member of Community, one of the most inventive comedies currently on the tube, on which he portrays Troy Barnes, a former star high school football player turned nerd. Oh, and he's also a pretty decent standup comic whose act was featured late last year in a Comedy Central special called Weirdo.
I know, I know. I can hear what you're saying to yourself right now: Clearly, this guy is an underachiever. Shouldn't he be doing more with his life?
Well, actually, he is. Under the name Childish Gambino (which he took from the online Wu-Tang Clan name generator), he's also a rapper whose deft wordplay betrays his comedy-writing pursuits. He's released several underground albums and mixtapes, and late last year issued his official debut, Camp, on Glass Note.
Glover will demonstrate his rapping skills with a performance on Tuesday, April 10, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. The all-ages show begins at 8 p.m. with an opening set by Danny Brown. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $22 on the day of the show. For more information, head over to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
ON THE BANDWAGON
The legendary Dick Dale, Two Lane Blacktop, Black Jackalope Ensemble, The Outlaw Rebels and Red Star Rebellion at The Hut on Friday, April 6; Givers, Rescue Lights and Kaia Chesney at Plush on Wednesday, April 11; Acid Mothers Temple, Phantom Family Halo and Some of Them Are Old at Club Congress on Wednesday, April 11; The Boxer Rebellion and Canon Blue at Club Congress on Friday, April 6; The Rebel Set, Monster Pussy (last live show before an extended hiatus to write new songs) and AK Kitten (featuring Brittany Katter of Kiss and the Tells) at La Cocina next Thursday, April 12; Housse de Racket at Opti Club at Club Congress next Thursday, April 12; Naim Amor vinyl-release party for Dansons at Solar Culture Gallery on Friday, April 6; Slaughterhouse at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, April 11; The Bastard Suns at The Hut on Tuesday, April 10; Rose's Pawn Shop and The Haymarket Squares at Plush on Saturday, April 7; Logan Greene Electric, The Roseline and Ex-Cowboy at La Cocina tonight, Thursday, April 5; Fayuca and Planet Jam at Plush on Friday, April 6; Steal the Scenery, Call the Cops! and others at The Rock on Wednesday, April 11; gHosTcOw at Plush (happy-hour show) on Friday, April 6; Mr. Boogie Woogie at Boondocks Lounge on Tuesday, April 10; Metal for the Masses with Take the Hill, Fenom, The Endless Obsession and others at The Rock on Friday, April 6; Black Cherry Burlesque at Surly Wench Pub on Friday, April 6.