CAT WITH 2 HEADS!
We may not have the super exciting big-name concerts this week that we've had in recent weeks (apologies to those who consider the Anybody Killa show at the Rock a big-name concert), but still a lot to choose from.
An interesting double-bill of sorts at the Rialto on Thursday, Sept. 25 with two shows on the same night—Louisana legend Buckwheat Zydeco at 6 p.m. and reggae cover artists Easy Star All Stars performing later that evening. If you enjoy fun, you'd probably be into Buckwheat Zydeco who has been playing music for an exceptionally long time, but focusing on the accordion in the late '70s. Zydeco is about the most danceable music out there, so expect to see a lot of people shuffling around the Rialto's floor.
Easy Star All Stars is something else entirely, a reggae band largely created to create covers of popular albums in the Jamaican style, most recently a take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller," but probably most famously their album "Dub Side of the Moon," which they'll perform at the Rialto front-to-back. It sounds a little cheesy (especially considering there are a ton of third-rate "[Fill in genre here] tribute to [popular band] albums out there), but the band's legit and even deeply cynical music critic types have generally agreed that the Easy Star takes hold up on their own. For what it's worth, their version of Radiohead's "Let Down," featuring Toots of the Maytals is one of my favorite covers ever. Opening for Easy Star, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, who have an incredibly ridiculous name, but play a really interesting take on contemporary reggae with a good chunk of jam band culture thrown in. My general beef with these sort of bands is that there are barely songs there underneath the jamming and aesthetic, but GPGDS's songwriting holds up, especially on their new material from the album, "Steady," coming out at the end of the month.
You can get just a ticket for the Easy Star show ($15), but for $24, you can see Buckwheat as well. Hell of a deal. More info at rialtotheatre.com.
POWDERED MILK MAN!
The Aquabats might be more popular with kids than adults these days, considering the band's frequent appearances on "Yo Gabba Gabba!" and their own spin-off, "The Aquabats! Super Show!" which ran on HUB (the channel with "My Little Pony") for two seasons, but hey, there was a time when people really were into ska (Reel Big Fish played Centennial Hall once, look it up) and the Aquabats were the costumed jesters of that already absurd scene. The band is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a tour, likely with a few staged fights with enemies like Cobraman. Should be a good time. The all-ages concert, with Emily's Army opening, is Monday, Sept. 22 at the Rock. Doors are at 6 p.m. and tickets are $18. More info at rocktucson.com.
If you're a fan of Irish music (and generally, by my experience, people who like Irish music REALLY LIKE IRISH MUSIC), you'll want to catch Beoga at Berger Performing Arts Center (still one of my favorite places to see live music in this town, at least, sound-wise) on Saturday, Sept. 20. Beoga are generally considered one of the best young acts in Ireland, assembled from musicans who have won a bunch of competitions playing their instrument of choice and use that talent to infuse traditional Irish folk with flairs of aesthetically adjacent genres and styles, like a bit of Latin jazz or New Orleans-style funk. Their music is never boring, for certain. Beoga will be performing with the Tir Conaill Irish dancers at the 8 p.m. show, with tickets from $20 to $22. More info at inconcerttucson.com.