CELEBRATING BRITISH ROCK
You'd be forgiven if you made the mistake of thinking Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) is a British band. The Bay Area group's dark droning rock recalls Brit bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Ride as much as it does American bands that were influenced by them – most notably the Warlocks and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The latter is no accident: Peter Hayes, one of the co-leaders of BRMC, was briefly a member of that band. Incidentally, the other BRMC co-founder, Robert Turner, is the son of '80s rockers The Call's late frontman, Michael Been (Turner's real name is Robert Been). The elder Been ran sound for the group's tours until his death in 2010.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's got a decade and a half's worth of albums under its belt, most of them excellent. The latest is Specter at the Feast (Abstract Dragon/Vagrant), which was released in March. It's the group's first album since the death of Turner's father and it's been speculated that its subdued, introspective vibe is due to the loss – a theory supported by the fact that the album's second song is a cover of one of The Call's biggest hits, "Let the Day Begin."
When BRMC last performed in Tucson, at Plush in September 2010, it seemed like an undersell, meaning they were booked at a venue smaller than the demand for tickets. And, indeed, that show sold out with little trouble. I missed it, but even friends who went in as very casual fans emerged raving about the show.
Black Rebel Mototcycle Club returns to Tucson for a show at the more size-appropriate Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., next Thursday, May 30. Opening the all-ages show at 8 p.m. is thenewno2, which is fronted by George Harrison's son, Dhani Harrison. Tickets are $21 in advance, $23 on the day of show. For more info check out rialtotheatre.com or call 740-1000.
CELEBRATING UNPRONOUNCABLE BAND NAMES
Continuing its decade-plus run of punk-inspired dance music, !!! is still at it with a new release, Thr!!!er, released last month on Warp Records. The group released its self-titled debut album in 2001 as part of a wave of similar bands -- LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, and Hot Chip, among them -- that aspired to bring organic dance music with an indie aesthetic into fashion. With some of those bands falling away, and the breakup of LCD, !!! is arguably the de facto leader of the movement these days.
And based on Thr!!!er, the band hasn't lost a step. Produced by Spoon's Jim Eno, the album won't be mistaken for the work of any other band even as it introduces some new sounds. "One Girl/One Boy" is retro in a Fitz and the Tantrums way, "Fine Fine Fine" wouldn't have seemed out of place as an '80s British chart-topper, and "Slyd" adds dubby elements to its funk. Thr!!!er is a fine addition to the band's catalog.
!!! performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Monday, May 27. White Arrows open the all-ages show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Head to hotelcongress.com/club or call 622-8848 for further details.
The all-ages Tucson Live Music Space has a trio of killer shows this week.
First up, on Friday, May 24, is an eclectic five-band bill headlined by Boston-based acoustic folk duo Siv & Maddie. Also on the bill are Nica; Wyatt Blair, who just released a single on Burger Records; and a pair of fantastic Tucson bands, The Resonars and Burning Palms.
Next up, on Monday, May 27, is a show headlined by the mighty Tucson psych-punk collective Lenguas Largas (for my money, the best live band in Tucson right now), Cosmonauts (garagey punk-pop and another great Burger Records band), and The Garden.
Then, on Wednesday, May 29, K Records' Jason Anderson (aka the guy behind Wolf Colonel) brings his passel of tuneful pop songs to the venue. Trust me, he's great. Also performing are Dogbreth, Diners, The Sadie Hawks, and Human Behavior.
Tucson Live Music Space is located at 125 W. Ventura St. All shows begin at 8 p.m., and a $6 donation to the space gets you in the door. For more information check out the TLMS Facebook page.
CELEBRATING MEMORIAL DAY
In what's become a Memorial Day tradition, local country rocker Kevin Pakulis will once again perform at and host the Fifth Annual Memorial Day Weekend Party at the Triangle L Ranch in Oracle (the ranch is also the site of the annual GLOW art event) on Sunday, May 26.
Headlining this year's event is Coyote Supper Club, Pakulis' relatively new band featuring singer Amy Langley, bassist Kevin Heiderman, drummer Johnny Benoit, and pedal steel player Louis Levinson. Opening the show is country act Hadji Banjovi and the Infinite Mercies.
The Triangle L Ranch is located at 2805 N Triangle L Ranch Road, Oracle. Gates open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 26. Food will be available for purchase; BYOB; camping is available by reservation. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. They're available online at trianglelranch.com, where you'll also find additional info.
Originally formed as a comedic punk band when its members were freshmen in high school, Evil Fudd became a local go-to band when national ska acts passed through town. The group has opened for The Aggrolites and The Slackers, among others, and released a self-titled album in 2008.
But when it came time for the boys to head to college, the band splintered apart out of necessity. They haven't played a show since 2010, but that changes this week, as the group performs what is being billed as both a reunion and goodbye show. (And if you believe the band's Facebook page, a second album is forthcoming.)
Catch Evil Fudd one more time when they perform on the Hotel Congress Plaza, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, May 25. The 21-and-over show begins at 7 p.m. with an opening set by Retro Future. Admission is free. For further details head to hotelcongress.com/club or call 622-8848.
The Mighty Joel Ford and some pals are putting together a series of shows that feature a mix of blues, Tin Pan Alley, and gospel "in their traditional forms," according to an e-mail Ford sent us. The first in the series, the Juke Joint Blues Summit, will take place at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 23, at Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. The bill features Delta blues from Christopher "Little T" Stevens; Michael P. and Mighty Joel Ford playing front porch blues and gospel; and fresh off an appearance at the Tucson Folk Festival,10-year-old blues prodigy Roman Barten-Sherman. Admission is free and more info is available at montereycourtaz.com.
ON THE BANDWAGON
There's tons more great stuff happening around town this week, so be sure to check out our listings sections. Or, if you're reading this online, be sure to check out our Live Music Calendar, getn2it, which is an invaluable resource, in my humble opinion.
In the meantime, here are some other options for this week: Cheech and Chong, War, and Tower of Power at AVA at Casino del Sol on Sunday, May 26; Lamb of God, Decapitated, and Terror at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, May 28; A Hawk and a Hacksaw and Ex-Cowboy at Solar Culture Gallery next Thursday, May 30; Sirsy, The Tryst, and Some of Them Are Old at Plush on Saturday, May 25; Juanes at AVA at Casino del Sol next Thursday, May 30; Flobots and Wheelchair Sports Camp at Club Congress on Friday, May 24; Logic, Skizzy Mars, and C Dot Castro at The Rock on Tuesday, May 28; The Neighborhood and Lovelife at Club Congress on Tuesday, May 28; All Souls Procession benefit at La Cocina on Tuesday, May 28; Lethal Dosage, Diseased Reason, Cave Dweller, and Thorncaster at Surly Wench Pub on Friday, May 24; The Lonely Wild at Club Congress on Wednesday, May 29; Black Cat Bones and The Collectors at Boondocks Lounge on Saturday, May 25; Proper Operator (Courtney Robbins and Cassie Van Gelder of Seashell Radio) at Plush next Thursday, May 30; Jazz Telephone and Tom Walbank at Sky Bar on Tuesday, May 28; Blue-Eyed Son at La Cocina on Wednesday, May 29; The Electric Blankets, Of the Painted Choir, and Ladylike at Club Congress on Saturday, May 25; Hillbilly Hangover with the Hank Topless Band and the Get Right Rounders at Sky Bar tonight, Thursday, May 23.