JAM BAND THAT DOESN'T JAM
I first became aware of Katie Haverly when she drew raves for her performance of Ryan Adams songs at last year's Great Cover-Up. She had just moved to Tucson from upstate New York three months prior, and had played in a series of bands for the previous 13 years.
Upon arriving in Tucson, she began attending open-mic nights, where she met Corey Cottrell (guitar, vocals), Patrick Morris (bass) and Kai Lindstedt (drums). In March, they named themselves Copper and Congress and began playing local gigs.
Via a Kickstarter campaign, they raised enough money from friends and family to record their first album with producer/mixer Craig Schumacher and engineer Chris Schultz at Wavelab Studio. That album, The Leap Year (self-released), will be feted with a release party this week at Plush.
It's an interesting album. It's not difficult to imagine Haverly as a traditional singer-songwriter, but The Leap Year places her songs in a fleshed-out band context, which changes things considerably. "Out of the Blue," for example, begins as a languid tune, if not quite a ballad; but as the song progresses, it builds slowly, with the band swelling into a huge sound, and Haverly and Cottrell repeating like a mantra, "We didn't know, we didn't know how."
There are echoes of jazz and folk all over the album, but the primary aesthetic is something like a jam-band that doesn't really jam. But the hallmarks of jam-band-ism—like guitar solos that are often clearly influenced by Jerry Garcia, and a bassist who often eschews typical bass lines for a busy style that sometimes carries the melody—are everywhere.
"Lucky" is a bluesy slow-burner in the style of Bonnie Raitt ("Our love's like a racehorse / that never gets tired") that benefits from some blues-harp-playing (likely courtesy of Schumacher). "Everything" is a duet by Haverly and Cottrell whose wordiness asks the question: What if Suzanne Vega collaborated with a jazzy jam band? (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the playing, arrangement and production on that particular song, which gorgeously sets a mood similar to early Steve Winwood solo work.) Unlike a lot of similar CDs recorded in Tucson, the album largely avoids any overt Southwestern references, with the exception of "Borderland," which brings in mariachi trumpet courtesy of Calexico's Jacob Valenzuela at the tail end. That band's Joey Burns also contributes cello on the album's final track, "Towards the Sun," a beautiful if heartbreaking breakup ballad, which bears traces of Joni Mitchell's singer-songwriter period; by the end, the cello and pump organ swell to such heights that you know a storm is just around the corner.
Despite the fine playing and arrangements, the real star throughout The Leap Year is Haverly's voice, a supple instrument that is alluring no matter what she's singing.
Copper and Congress celebrate the release of The Leap Year with a show at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Friday, July 20. Ferrodyne opens at 9:45 p.m., and admission is $5. For more information, head to plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298.
If you're a fan of electronic dance music (EDM), this is a damn fine week for you.
Digital Vibe Entertainment has put together a two-day/night EDM festival called Vibrations, which will take place on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, and will feature out-of-state DJs and performers alongside local ones. Each night is scheduled with a jam-packed lineup on two stages, and headliners include Rebellion and ZYFO on Friday, and Barry Weaver, Inertia, Seth Myles and Hades 2 on Saturday; 27 total acts are scheduled to perform over both nights.
In addition to the DJs, who will mostly be spinning dubstep, house and industrial music, there will be fire-performers, go-go dancers, live art and arts-and-crafts booths. Food and drink will also be available, including beer for those 21 and over. (You must be at least 16 to gain entry.)
Vibrations runs from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., starting on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, at The Slaughter House, 1102 W. Grant Road. Advance tickets are available for $25 for both nights at Bookmans, Zia Record Exchange and at the event's website, vibrations2012.info, where you'll also find a host of information. Tickets will be $30 on the day of the event. There are also a limited number of VIP tickets available for $55 in advance.
Then, next Thursday, July 26, Kaskade (aka Ryan Raddon), one of the world's most-acclaimed house DJs, remixers and mash-up artists, will bring his traveling party to the Rialto Theatre. In addition to earning such accolades as being named America's Best DJ in a DJ Times poll in September, Raddon also founded the Electric Daisy Carnival and serves as A&R director for OM Records. In April, he was one of the main headliners at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where he reportedly performed for a massive crowd even though he was onstage at the same time as Radiohead.
Don't forget your glowsticks when Kaskade rolls into the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on his Freaks of Nature tour, at 8 p.m., next Thursday, July 26. The show is 18 and older, and advance tickets are $42. For more info, get thee to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
Vibrations isn't the only two-day music festival happening this week. Although the Scream It Like You Mean It tour was designed to take place at venues that could handle all 18 of its scheduled metal and hardcore bands in a single day (via multiple stages, I'd guess), the Tucson tour stop is the only one that is divided into two nights—Sunday, July 22, and Monday, July 23—at the relatively intimate Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
On Sunday, doors open at 4 p.m., and performers include Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans and Abandon All Ships. Monday's lineup will feature The Acacia Strain, Oceano, The Chariot and In Fear and Faith. Doors open at 5 p.m. Both nights are all-ages. Tickets for Sunday, July 22, are $22 in advance, and $25 on the day of show; tickets for Monday, July 23, are $17.50 in advance, and $20 on the day of show. Two-day passes are available for $30 in advance. For a complete schedule, check out rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
Apparently, three of the members of Nashville's The Paperhead, who have released a self-titled LP and a 7-inch on the excellent Trouble in Mind label, are only 18 years old, which would not be that big of a deal if the band's music wasn't acid-drenched psychedelic rock that sounds as if it were lifted straight from a Nuggets comp. They alone would be worth checking out, but the fact that The Resonars (who also recently issued a 7-inch on Trouble in Mind), Lenguas Largas and Limes are also on the bill makes this a can't-miss show for those who are into that sorta thing. Oh, and did I mention admission is free (though donations are always encouraged)?
It all goes down around 9:30 p.m., Monday, July 23, at The District Tavern, 260 E. Congress St. Call 791-0082 with questions.
ON THE BANDWAGON
There are oodles more great shows hitting town this week, so be sure to check out our listings. Here are a select few.
The Reverend Horton Heat, The Outlaw Rebels and The El Camino Royales at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, July 21; Unwritten Law, Knock-Out and the Brandon Jim Band at The Hut on Saturday, July 21; KLPX Birthday Bash with Skid Row, Warrant, and L.A. Guns at AVA at Casino del Sol on Friday, July 20; Melvin Seals and the JGB and Top Dead Center at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, July 24; MEOWmeow presents the annual X-Mas in July featuring El Hanko Dinero and Bob Spasm at Club Congress on Saturday, July 21; M.O.T.O., Fish Karma and others at Toxic Ranch Records on Tuesday, July 24; Chronicles local hip-hop showcase featuring host Black One and a half-dozen other acts at Club Congress on Friday, July 20; The Lowmen and Sons of Providence at Surly Wench Pub on Saturday, July 21; Still Life Telescope and Katie Elevitch at RR Nites at La Cocina tonight, Thursday, July 19; Mira Loma and the Bad Vibes at Sky Bar on Saturday, July 21; City of Vain, Hooligan and Bricktop at Surly Wench Pub on Saturday, July 21.