GO FOR CHICK CASHMAN, STAY FOR CHAPS AHOY
Perhaps you know Clif Taylor. He seems to know most people in Tucson (and beyond), so it's not far-fetched.
Perhaps you remember some of the many bands he's performed with over the years: Blackwood and Co., Johnny Balls, The Therapists, The Cocksmen, his current band Silver Fox.
Perhaps you've seen Fuzz: The Sound That Revolutionized the World, the documentary film he directed about guitar effects pedals that includes interviews with the likes of Steve Albini, J. Mascis, and Peter Frampton.
Or, perhaps you're a local music fan of a certain age and remember that period from 1995 to 1998, when Taylor's drag-dressing alter ego Chick Cashman held court with his band, His Countrypolitans, every Wednesday night, first at The Shelter, then at Club Congress. The group basically functioned as the house band for a modern-day talent show-cum-burlesque review that featured foulmouthed comics, strippers, a fake dog act, the occasional out of-towner (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons), and what I once called "a seemingly endless cache of truly oddball acts that split the difference between vaudevillian irreverence and sideshow curiosity — all in the name of entertainment both fabulously shocking and shockingly fabulous." The best, most concise description of what went down on those Wednesdays comes from Taylor himself: "garage burlesque."
A decade ago Taylor celebrated his 40th birthday with a now-legendary party with a ski-bunny theme at Hotel Congress; this week he celebrates his 50th by reviving those Wednesdays of yore at Club Congress.
Taylor turns 50 on Friday, Jan. 11, and he's pulling out all the stops one last time — he claims Chick Cashman will be hanging up his spurs after this last blowout.
In addition to Chick Cashman and His Countrypolitans (the band includes Monte Workman, Jeff "Mr. Tidypaws" Grubic, Duane Hollis [a Weekly employee] and Johnny Schier), which Taylor describes as "link Wray meets the New York Dolls," the night will feature tons more acts, some of which Taylor was willing to discuss at length in a conversation with Soundbites earlier this week, some of which he wanted to keep as a surprise. OK, most of which he wanted to keep as a surprise. Among the performers will be Black Cherry Burlesque's Lola Torch (aka Emilie Marchand); "slight of mind" artists the Brothers Macabre; biker-bar go-go dancers the Chicklettes; Oklahoma-inspired male dance revue Chaps Ahoy; drag performer Dolly Pardon; the Fevers of the Night (the alter ego of a very talented and popular local harmony group); The Chicks (a collaboration among Acorn Bcorn, Tasha Bundy, and Cashman); and a set by Otherly Love plus some surprise guests.
In case you haven't gathered it by now, the whole night has a country theme, and attendees are encouraged to dress in their finest Western wear.
If you've been to one of these events in the past, chances are you'll be there for this one. If you haven't, well, consider this your last chance to witness the insanity of a Chick Cashman party.
Asked if he had any final words for Weekly readers, Taylor said, "We're putting the tree back in country."
Chick Cashman: The Last Ride of the Swingin' Cowboy kicks off at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is a paltry $4. For more information, head to hotelcongress.com/club or call 622-8848.
MUSIC FOR HEALING
I've written several times over the years about Eric Hansen, an earnest '70s-style singer-songwriter with six albums under his belt. Years ago he was living in New York City, where he grew a fan base by performing at local cabarets; but after being diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency, he relocated to Tucson because he needed a healthier environment to aid his decreasing lung capacity. A dozen years ago, his lung capacity stood at less than 45 percent; these days it's far worse: Hansen, who currently serves as the music director at the Sonoran Desert Center for Spiritual Living, has been working hard to get his body into shape in order to be put on a list for a double lung transplant, which he recently was.
In order to help defray his medical expenses, a benefit show will be held this week at Boondocks Lounge. Performers will include The Outlaw Rebels, Ned Sutton and Last Dance, Coyote Supper Club (featuring Kevin Pakulis and Amy Langley), the Bryan Dean Trio, and the Wayback Machine — a hell of a lineup for a great cause.
The Eric Hansen Benefit Show will run from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 at the door, and there will be a raffle as well. For more info about Hansen's journey, check out erichansen.net. For further details about the show, head to boondockslounge.com or call 690-0991.
We wish you nothing but the best, Eric.
ART, MUSIC, FOOD, HAPPINESS
A newly formed multimedia arts cooperative called Heap Collective will present its first (as far as I know, at least) major happening this weekend.
The group describes Happy Hour as "a night of art, music and celebration of local talent," and it's gathered a mighty impressive roster of participants.
There will be musical performances by Cy Dune (a solo project by Akron/Family's Seth Olinsky recently featured on several websites including Vice.com), Lenguas Largas, Womb Tomb, Sutcliffe Catering Co., Jess Matsen, Altrice, and DJ Mother Tierra, not to mention work by 20 local artists; a clothing installation by Desert Vintage; food for purchase from Seis Curbside Kitchen food truck; interactive art installations; photo booths and more. As an added bonus, the event is free and is open to those of all ages.
Heap Collective presents Happy Hour begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 214 E. Broadway Blvd. For more information, track down the event's Facebook page.
KENTUCKY VIA MINNESOTA
Spearheaded by the tireless Bonnie Vining, the Live Acoustic Venue Association (LAVA) kicks off its Spring 2013 season this weekend with a performance by Minnesota-based bluegrass quintet Monroe Crossing, who take their name from the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. The harmony-rich group performs bluegrass standards and originals, as well as some bluegrass gospel tunes.
They'll perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Abounding Grace Sanctuary, 2450 S. Kolb Road. Tickets are $15 in advance via lavamusic.org, where you can find lots more info about LAVA and its current concert series. They'll be $20 (cash only) at the door.
All 10 shows in LAVA's Spring 2013 season will begin at 7 p.m., and the ticket prices are the same for each show. There are also a limited number of season tickets available for $100.
Here's a quick glimpse at the rest of this season's shows: Arvel Bird on Saturday, Jan. 19; Big Wide Grin on Saturday, Jan. 26; Sabra Faulk and the Angel Band on Saturday, Feb. 9; Dolan Ellis on Saturday, Feb. 16; Redhouse Family Jazz Band on Saturday, Feb. 23; Salty Suites on Saturday, March 2; the Dreadnutts on Saturday, March 16; Stefan George and Hans Olson: History of the Blues on Saturday, April 6; a farewell show featuring Bright and Childers and Ice-9 on Saturday, April 13.
ON THE BANDWAGON
There are lots more shows we didn't have space to tell you about in detail here, so be sure to check out our listings and music blog, We Got Cactus, for more info. In the meantime, here's a brief sampling: Keller Williams at Club Congress next Thursday, Jan. 17; Slightly Stoopid, Marlon Asher, and SKITN at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Jan. 11; Clint Black: 2013 Acoustic Tour at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 16; Glossary and Telegraph Canyon at Plush next Thursday, Jan. 17; Hot Tears, Ragana, Hip Don't Dance, and Algae and Tentacles at Tucson Live Music Space on Sunday, Jan. 13; Statesboro Revue at Plush on Tuesday, Jan. 15; Destruction of a King, Goliath, Crowdkill (final show) and more at The Rock next Thursday, Jan. 17; Golden Boots, The Modeens, and Hey, Bucko! at Plush on Saturday, Jan. 12; Jadi Norris at Paradiso Bar and Lounge at Casino del Sol on Saturday, Jan. 12; Roll Acosta, Run Boy Run, and Cadillac Mountain at Plush on Friday, Jan. 11; Chris Black at Songwriter Thursdays at Café Passe tonight, Thursday, Jan. 10, and every Thursday evening in January; Stands With Fists 3D Glow Show, An Early Fall, and Solace in Nothing at The Rock on Friday, Jan. 11; Slant 6, Vintage Sugar, and In Repair at Whiskey Tango on Friday, Jan. 11; Lariats, No Radio, American Standards, and Such Confidence at Tucson Live Music Space on Saturday, Jan. 12.