By the time you've read this, I will have already have boarded a train to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I have a laptop full of Walter Hill movies, spaghetti westerns and more than a fistful of tunes for the 24-hour trek.
This will be my second time out there, and like I did last year, I'll be updating the We Got Cactus blog daily with dispatches from my adventures. And, if everything pans out, this year I'll also be including some interviews.
If you want further ramblings, albeit sometimes a bit more profane and off the cuff, you can follow me on Twitter: I'm @Dewtron. You can also follow the #tucsonweekly hashtag.
Some bands I look forward to checking out while I'm there - Action Bronson, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Iggy and the Stooges, Audacity, Fidlar, Nu Sensae, The Shrine, Maserati, Pissed Jeans, Pyyramids, Wo Fat, Thee Oh Sees, Flatbush Zombies, Death, RZA, Bestial Mouths, Hunters, BOAN, Xander Harris and a whole lot more.
Over and out!
Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, is returning to Tucson on April 22 with a show at Club Congress, expanding from a standout yet small show in fall 2011 at Solar Culture.
Powers is starting a nationwide tour Wednesday to promote his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse, which releases tomorrow via Fat Possum Records. His first record, The Year of Hibernation, was a consummate sleeper hit, full of understated lo-fi tracks that build to unexpected dance-inducing crescendos.
A Pitchfork review of the album published online today was brimming with praise, awarding it an 8.7 and a “Best New Music” title. The review also allows readers to stream two singles from Wondrous Bughouse, “Dropla” and “Mute,” via Soundcloud.
Youth Lagoon will follow up their Coachella appearance with a show at The Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix before heading down to Club Congress on Monday, April 22. Tickets for the 7 p.m., 18-and-up show are on sale now for $13 through Ticket Fly.
Guitar wizard, country lyric genius and generally smart guy Robbie Fulks first played Solar Culture on September 15, 2001, four days after the towers fell in NYC. He told Thursday's audience he was then on tour and all he ould think of was going home. But the Tucson show was oddly magical; everybody, onstage and off, cut loose, danced and had a grand time. He always wanted to come back.
The band’s surviving founders, Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt, have decided to pick up the pieces of their once highly successful enterprise. The band’s timeline in the years following co-founder Mark Vann’s death in 2002 included a hiatus, disbandment, and a handful of reunions in 2007. But they appear to now be back for the long haul and are playing with a renewed vitality.
Hitting the stage at exactly 8 p.m., they opened with “Big Wheels,” a bouncy cover of an old New Riders tune. Aside from its catchy hook and a reference to Tucson, the tune distinguished itself as the only time in the set where Emmitt would pick up an electric guitar; he was otherwise killing it on the mandolin. For the most part the group best functioned as a high energy acoustic band with Herman on rhythm guitar, Andy Thorn on acoustic and electric banjos and new part-time member Jason Carter on violin.
While the term jam band has a certain connotation, as in long, meandering and seemingly endless solos, these feel-good tunes were delivered with crisp vocals and precise arrangements. While the solos may have been expansive, they rarely overstayed their welcome and were seamlessly handed off from one player to the next. This band is also a bluegrass band at heart, although bluegrass-on-steroids might be more appropriate given the relentless backbeat that powered so much of the show. Give bassist Greg Garrison drummer Jose Martinez credit for that.
When they weren’t doing the super-bluegrass thing at breakneck speeds it was faux calypso (“BooBoo” and “Zombie Jamboree”); and when it wasn’t that, it was Emmitt picking up a fiddle and dueling with Carter on a Cajun zydeco tune (“Tu N'as Pas Aller") that would have given BeauSoleil reason to smile. While their encore, “Take It Easy,” was a bit of a head scratcher, they still get the award for best reason not to be in front of a TV on a Sunday night.
Kix Brooks will be headliner of this year's official Tucson Rodeo opening concert this year.
Kix Brooks is best known for his '90s hits in the duo Brooks & Dunn, with songs like "Boot Scootin' Boogie," "My Maria," and of course the song that made me get into country in the first place, the classic "Neon Moon."
Despite Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn calling it quits in 2010, the country singer of 30 years came back strong into the music scene with songs like his title track and first single "New to This Town."
His most recent single, "Moonshine Road," is much more upbeat than his first single.
In the song, Brooks shows his country attitude as he shows a woman from the city his hometown.
Brooks told KIIM FM in an interview:
"I grew up with a boathouse in my backyard on this lake in Louisiana called Lake Bistineau and there was this place around the lake from us called Green Park Camp. And, my father, my poor father [laughs], used to beg me and my college buddies when we’d be loading up the truck not to go to Green Park because either we’d come back with a bunch of crazy girls or we’d be all beat to hell. It was always action oriented." He continues, "We went back and forth so many times, and most kids did this growing up especially if the moon was out, we would always turn the headlights out and cruise home with no lights on and we’d just finally referred to this stretch of road as "Moonshine Road.'"
After a strong, successful and long-running career, country fans in Tucson will be sure to enjoy Kix Brooks perform live at the Diamond Center at Desert Diamond Casino (Sahuarita) on Feb. 23. The show begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are available at Ticketmaster starting at $35.
Phoenix, the alternative rock band from Versailles, France, has just announced a tour that will make six stops in the U.S. Lucky for us, Tucson just happens to be one of them.
The tour leads up to the bands headlining slot at Coachella on April 13 and 20.
It will begin in Vancouver and end in Las Vegas just three days before their performance at the first weekend of Coachella.
The radius clause that Coachella has in place for the bands performing at the festival may be one of the reasons Phoenix is making two stops in Arizona along this short tour. The essence of this clause is that bands can't play shows in Southern California from the time they sign their contract with Coachella to 30 days after the festival concludes, according to the L.A. Times.
Whatever the cause, the band will be playing at AVA Amphitheater on April 9. Presale tickets will open for those who register for Phoenix Online on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. PST or 11 a.m. MST. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 8 at the same time.
If you're tired of waiting for the Coachella lineup to be announced or for the tickets to go on sale so you can watch them sell out in half an hour, a March festival a bit closer to home might tide you over until those weekends in April.
The McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix is gearing up for its ninth year for a weekend of performances from March 22-24.
This year's lineup runs the gamut of genres, and includes a handful of mainstream artists as well as plenty of bands from the Phoenix area. Indie rock band The Shins will headline the festival's first night, their first show in two months after coming off their 2012 world tour. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will have the stage before them. The second night's main stage will see Jimmy Fallon's house band and neo-soul group The Roots after a few performances by Deer Tick and Iration, among others. The festival's final performances include psychedelic rockers Dr. Dog, the progressive bluegrass Yonder Mountain String Band and progressive rock band Umphrey's McGee.
Since its beginning, the festival has supported family-based charities, and all proceeds will be donated to Ear Candy Charity, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers.
Tickets went up at the beginning of the year, and prices will stay at their lowest until the first of February. Day passes currently sit at $40, and ticket packages for the entire festival start at $120. Tickets can be picked up at the festival's website.
Don't blame the kids, they were conceived while their parents were listening to Korn. Nevertheless, NOBUNNY's brand of punk rock doesn't fit in with Hot Topic and A Day To Remember. So, in the end, NOBUNNY freaked them out by challenging them to define what they were seeing. A lot of these kids got the joke and loved it; a few were offended and put their down turned thumbs in the air. They were then treated to the song, "NOBUNNY Loves You". It was funny.
NOBUNNY mocked himself, his music, his band, everybody and everything. It was great. When he whined, "Hey Mr. Soundman, how many songs do we have time to play?", the bellowed response was, "I'll give you a hundred dollars to put your pants back on!" So NOBUNNY played a song called "I Am A Girlfriend". When guitarist Bradford Trojan jumped on to top his amplifier for a hilariously long Chuck Berry guitar solo, the aforementioned soundman put a heavenly-white spotlight on him.
The whole experience was thrilling. It was the perfect coup and I was lucky to be there, to see the kind of reaction I only read about in punk history books about the '70's. And then it was over, just as jarring as it began.