THAT LIGHT THAT'S BLINDING
As somewhat of a counterpoint to the doom and anger of Southwest Terror Fest (still highly recommended; more on the Fest elsewhere in this issue), if you enjoy beautiful music that makes you feel better about humanity, you might want to check out Mutual Benefit at Club Congress on Saturday, Oct. 18. Jordan Lee, the man behind the group, was playing house shows, releasing cassettes of his friends' bands and putting out limited edition EPs (like any good resident of Brooklyn) when his first full-length release on Bandcamp hit the indie jackpot: a Best New Music mention on Pitchfork. It really is a lovely record, reminding me of Sufjan Stevens and Mercury Rev, not really folk or pop, but something more classically influenced and rich with detail. No idea how he pulls this off live, but I'm definitely up for finding out. Tickets are $10 for the all ages show, with Ryan Chavira opening. More info at hotelcongress.com.
If you can't quite get enough metal in your life this week, 191 Toole has The Contortionist on its corner stage on Thursday, Oct. 23. The Indianapolis metal act switched out vocalists before its album this year, Language, and changed up their sound a bit as well, moving from furious-accelerated riffs to a more spacey prog-influenced aesthetic, but that doesn't mean they've abandoned the heavy stuff...in the midst of the synth washes and hymn-like vocals, there are still tons of flying arpeggios and occasional glimpses of Cookie Monster-style growling. If you own music by both Opeth and Dream Theatre, get yourself tickets for this show ($13 in advance) nowish. The all-ages show with Intervals and Polyphia starts at 7 p.m. More info at facebook.com/191toole.
The Blues & Heritage Festival is a solid evening out at just about the best time of year, taking over Rillito Park for a Sunday afternoon and this year, the headliner makes the fest even more appealing. Chicago's Cash Box Kings aims for a recreation of post-war blues styles, shamelessly retro in their approach which is probably for the best. Incorporating a bit of Sun Records and rockabilly into their approach, they're a solid band that doesn't come off as pandering, paying tribute to the right stuff, but also managing to show flashes of originality. Also playing that day: Cholla High School Blues Standards, Baja Arizona Blues, Angel Diamond and the Blues Disciples, Johnny Ain't Right and the Union Stone Band. The fest runs from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with tickets $10 for adults and children under 18 getting in for free. More info at i84294.wix.com/azbluesorg#!2014-festival.
In this space a month or so ago, I mentioned that The Great Cover-Up (great fun for a great cause) was accepting applications to play this year's event, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 19 at Congress and Saturday, Dec. 20 at the Rialto. In case you were too lazy to get your application to perform in by the original deadline of Oct. 10, the organizers were kind enough to extend the cut-off until Oct. 22. Here's what you need to do: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with what act you'd like to cover and who the heck you are (where you've played, a link to your Bandcamp page, etc.). That's it. I always ask people to cover the Happy Mondays, but here's another free suggestion: New Edition. Plenty of hits, you can throw a couple Bobby Brown solo jams in there. Who wouldn't enjoy that? You can thank me from the stage.