guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Food & Booze
Pivot Produce Campaign Closing Party
: Pivot Produce is on a mission to make local produce available in local restaurants. According to a fundraising campaign they're running right now, they've got that down: During their first two months in business they put $8K the pockets of local farmers and are currently working with 12 farms and 8 restaurants. Pivot is trying to raise $20,000 by Sunday to expand their operation, and they're throwing a party to mark the end of their campaign. Welcome Diner, 5 Points Market & Restaurant, Carriage House and Exo Roast Co.
will be providing hors d'oeuvres using Pivot-sourced regional, seasonal produce. Pueblo Vida Brewing Company will be serving an exclusive beet infused PV Pale Ale. Brittany Katter of Tucson's Katterwaul will be performing a solo set. There will be a donation center (and proceeds from the beer sales go to Pivot as well). Or, of course, you could just show them some love online
. Sunday, Dec. 4. 5-8 p.m.
Candy and Beer Pairing
: Casa Film Bar has the perfect event for a the sweet tooth. If you're into alcohol and candy then you should probably check out this event meant to pick the perfect pairing between sweets and drinks. This event will also be wintered themed, so make sure to dress warm! 7 - 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Casa Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Bring money for candy and drinks.
Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl
: Celebrate the holidays with alcohol at this community bar crawl. Come dressed in the ugliest holiday sweater you can find to be entered into the night's ugly sweater contest. Registration includes a wristband that gets you drink specials at the participating bars and admission into the crawl's after party. You can register online, wristband pick up is at The Hut from 6 - 8 p.m. 6 - 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave Early registration - $10; Reg. registration - $15.
UA Science Cafe at Boarderlands Brewery
: This local brewery will host a lecture from Valerie Rountree, a Ph.D. candidate from the UA, who will share how staekholder participation in renewable energy shapes the policies the U.S. has involving the environment, sepcifically in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. This lecture is part of the brewery's UA Science Cafe series. 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 Boarderlands Brewery, 119 E. Toole Ave.
Festive Family Fun
Thanksgiving has passed, which means the holiday season is on full blast. Good luck braving the stores to get any shopping done. Instead, we recommend wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket, enjoying some lights and stuffing yourself with tamales.
: For the first two weekends of December, Luminaria Nights returns to Tucson Botanical Gardens (2150 N. Alvernon Way), on Friday, Dec. 4 continuing through Dec. 13. Bring your family and come enjoy the magic of the winter season. There is an exhibit Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, which adds another level of beauty to explore. You can also take a walk down a path lit with traditional luminarias and delight in the trees and decorations lit with thousands of twinkling lights. Adults $18, Children (4-12) $9, members $5 and children $2.50.
: Get into the holiday spirit at Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo (3400 E. Zoo Court) for almost the entire month of December, starting on Wednesday Dec. 7, the zoo will transform into a winter wonderland with jingle bells, twinkling lights, lighted animal sculptures, Santa visits and live entertainment. Cinnamon rolls, s’mores and hot cocoa will be available for purchase and most animals will be off exhibit for this event. “Encore” nights will be held Dec. 26, 27, 28, 29. Admission is $9.50 adults; $5.50 children (2-14); and children under 2 free; members $2 off.
Tucson Tamale & Heritage Festival
: Celebrate the rich tastes, smells and variations of tamales from the Southwest & Mexico and discover the culinary tradition of making tamales for Christmas and enjoy a full day of live entertainment, art and culture hosted in cooperation with Food City.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol Resort (5655 W. Valencia Road).
A Blue Christmas
: Celebrate the life of the rock n' roll legend Elivis Presley at the Fox Theatre with Robert Shaw as he performs some of the rock idol's hit holiday tunes. Shaw will perform some of the best holiday music writen and performed by Presley as well as other hits throughout his career. 7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 The Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St. $20 - $30.
Oro Valley Holiday Festival of the Arts
: The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance returns this year to bring more holiday to the Oro Valley Holiday Festival of Arts, with more than 150 artists, live performances on the main stage, food vendors, family arts activities and the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Free.
: A Christmas Gathering: UA Presents showcases Danú, one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today. Their standing-room-only concerts are true events, featuring high-energy performances and a unique mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire at the University of Arizona. 7:30 PM Wednesday, Dec. 7 Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $20 - $55.
Jingle Bell Run/ Walk to Cure Arthritis
: Celebrate the holiday season while also making a difference in your community. Join the Arthritis Foundation in their long standing Jingle Bell Run. The walk is a perfect way to join together with members of the community, both young and old, to positively benefit an important cause. Whether you walk or run, everyone is encouraged to participate in this 5K filled with holiday cheer. 8 am-12 pm Saturday, Dec. 3 Fleet Feet, 7607 N. Oracle Road. Adult: $40. Youth (ages2-12): $20.
Cultivate Tucson 2016
: Holiday Pop-Up Market: Join Cultivate Tucson for a special local experience. Engage with local designers, artisians and shops at a creative paradise. They will be transforming an unused space into not only a pop up shop, but at flower shop, coffee shop and an overall community gathering spot. In addition, 20 percent of all proceeds will go to a local non-profit, the Iskashitaa Refugee Network. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The Station, 901 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
: The local burlesque crew Black Cherry Burlesque will put on a holiday themed show at the Rialto for one night only. General admission and VIP seating is available. doors 8 p.m.; show 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. General admission - $10; VIP with front row seating - $20.
First Friday Shorts
: If you haven't been yet, it's time. On the first Friday of each month at Red Meat’s Max Cannon (yes, that cartoonist you love to send us letters about) hosts the biggest, baddest short film contest in town. Bring your short film (before the show starts, plz
) and they’ll play the first 15. Every film plays for at least 3 minutes, but after that the audience can call for respite. Or just don't bring your own art and just come to judge other people's. Whatever suits your fancy. Just remember: The monthly grand prize is $200, and the yearly grand prize is $1,000—that's a lot of christmas presents. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. $6.
New York Confidential
: Downtown Noir presents New York Confidential
(1955) starring Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, & Anne Bancroft. Directed by Russell Rouse. A top syndicate crime boss and his corrupt politicians, make multi-million deals and order murders, until the vicious pattern finally catches up to him. 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. $3.
Free Screening with the Loft
: This local theater will open its doors early for games with Mildred and Dildred, a small Tucson toy store, and a free screening of "The Wizard of Oz." This event is family friendly and is a part of the theater's Loft Jr. series presented by Trail Dust Town. doors 9:15 a.m., film 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Bring money for popcorn and snacks.
House of Stairs
: This quartet’s effortless-seeming blend of fusion jazz, pop and soul mixes well with J. Dilla-inspired beats, varied electronics and loops. It doesn’t hurt that singer Holly Pyle has a graceful, liquid-like voice, sort of like Rickie Lee Jones, or that band member Shea Marshall plays a multitude of instruments, including bass clarinet, saxophone, harmonica, accordion and synth. Their song “Zoloft”—a blend of fusion, horns and unpredictable time signatures—manages to sound like how you feel when you actually “want to feel again,” but in the best possible way. With Katie Haverly on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St. 9 p.m. 21+
: One of the worst subgenres of all time, ever, in the history of recorded music, is “math rock.” The very classification suggests everything that’s not sexual, or swingy, or rooted in flesh and blood. It’s the antithesis of anything visceral. Math? That’s a study of numbers and equations and calculus and algebra and geometry. What fun! And rock? That’s a heavy, shapeless mass of minerals that sits on the ground absolutely motionless. To us here at the Weekly
, “math rock” sounds like a category some doughy white Midwestern rock critic came up with back in the late ’90s to describe and embrace a style of boring music made by similar-looking white dudes, music that finally related to the very things he loved in college. Yuck! Rock ’n’ roll, by its very name, is supposed to be fucking and drugging and everything that pisses people off while giving sweaty goosebumps to those in on the joke. Well, Blessed (not the old New York City band that featured D Generation’s Howie Pyro) gets called “math rock” a lot. Really, that just isn’t right. Sure, this young Vancouver quartet incorporates brain-twistingly challenging rhythms that sometimes recall the subtle glories of ancient mad progsters like Caravan and Van Der Graaf Generator, and even jazz-guitar greats like John McLaughlin. But that ain’t math, far from it. Don’t ever call Blessed “math rock.” They’re too song-driven, and there’s too much sexy swing and punk-rock verve. Besides, they kickass live. And boy can they play. With Mikey & the Shame on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St. 9 p.m. 21+. Free.
The Handsome Family
: Lord knows many folks fell in love with The Handsome Family for the first time in 2014 when the married duo’s “Far From Any Road” was the theme song on killer season one of HBO’s True Detective. (Boy did that tune’s deceptive ghoul-country fit the show’s smart, eerie subtexts.) Yes since the mid-’90s, The Handsome Family have been masterfully blending swampy twang, fractured laments, and bent John D. Loudermilk-style country with haunting folk and deadpan deliveries. They’ve managed to capture the moldy, creepy south too, Flannery O’ Connor’s south. It’s where things are never as they seem, where heavier forces appear to be at work, and subtle truths are revealed through troubled characters with unpredictable tragic flaws. But there’s lots of empathy and comedic turns too. Indeed, the Handsome Family’s remarkably literate, and the well-crafted, strangely beautiful songs are compulsively listenable. They’ve been imitated too, but nothing can touch them. Their latest full-length (their 11th), Unseen
, is drawn from tangible obscurios, animal or otherwise, in the American west. It’s earning mad props in requisite critical circles (NPR, natch) and called an “epic western goth masterpiece.” With Drunken Prayer on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. 21+. $12-$15.
: This fiddler, guitarist, ukulele player and singer in Nickel Creek has recorded with everyone from Hank Williams Jr. to Fiona Apple to John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). But ever since releasing her first solo album in 2009 she’s proven herself to be a singing and songwriting force. Her songs and voice swing painlessly between country weepers, honky-tonk stompers, bluegrass-y testifiers and rock ’n’ roll rousers, and there’s a sense of optimism that streams through everything— even the sadnesses—and in that way she’s like Emmylou Harris. She has a way of seeing clear water beyond the mud. Get tickets soon, this show will sell out. With River Whyless on Thursday, Dec. 8. 191 Toole, 191 Toole Ave. 7 p.m. $20-$22. 21+.
The Tucson Rock Lottery 2016 Benefit
: Ok, on the morning of Dec. 10, 25 Tucson music stars from a wide range of musical backgrounds will organize into five groups through a random, lottery-based selection. The groups will then head off to different locations, create a band, name it, pen four tunes, and learn one cover. They have 12 hours to pull this off. These spanking new crack combos will then perform their hastily created tunes that night. Says the press release: “The challenge for these musicians is to try and go beyond their personal and musical differences and work together to create a unified group project …” Let’s get it on! This year’s winning annual event benefits the super worthy Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Cost is five bucks or two food items. (For info on the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and what food items are needed, visit communityfoodbank.org.) Saturday, Dec. 10 at The Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St. Tucson. 9 p.m. 21+.
: This melodic rapper from south Chi-town mellows down easy on smooth soulful flows. When he kicks it up some there’s still that chill. It’s compelling too because he’s offering up monologues from the streets, without all the tired suckerpunch braggadocio. Seems dude’s got a super-sensitive side, like a modern day Marvin Gaye, and women swoon at his shows. Durk’s only been around since 2011, but since rising out of the OTF collective, and releasing a series of monster mixtapes and signing with Def Jam, he’s getting close to a million monthly spins on Spotify, and his latest album (Lil Durk 2X
) boasts stars like Yo Gotti and Ty Dolla $ign. Friday, Dec. 9 With Club XS, 5851 E. Speedway. $25-$28. 7 p.m. All ages.
: This 22-year-old rotund wonder rose to fame basically on YouTube (watch the perfectly preposterous and shoestring-budgeted Nick and Pouya Show
), and cleverly titled group The Buffet Boys. But this dude—who kinda resembles a darker Michelin Man—is hardly here-today-gone-tonight flash. See, he came up a bored teen—skater, high school dropout, dealer etc.—who found his calling (with running bud Pouya) slinging truthful yet filthy phrases, and doing so with unbridled aplomb, as if he was born to do it. So it’s little wonder the kids are diggin’ ole Fat Nick, a superstar of underground rap whose street sizzle’s taking him mainstream. With Lil Peep, Smokepurpp and Dom Krez on Saturday, Dec. 10. 191 Toole, 191 Toole Ave. 9 p.m. All Ages. $15-$40.
: The Tucson local, Jacob Acosta plays a free show at the local brewery only weeks before his new album release. Acosta has called Tucson home for the past eight years and released nine records (yes, nine!) since 2008. His newest, Desert Sounds,
drops early '17 and will feature music all about Arizona and the Southwest. 8 - 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole Ave. Free, bring money for drinks and food.
: The Brazilian musician and actor will take to the downtown stage to honor the late David Bowie in his Life Aquatic Bowie-tribute tour. Jorge started out in the favela of Brazil where he was born and raised. He made a name for himself as a songwriter on the streets and he considers American soul singer Stevie Wonder a major musical influence. This event is all ages. doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. $38 - $59.