Monday, July 21, 2014

That Band With the Exclamation Point Name Plays Congress Tonight

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM


In the shorthand of the pop music world, Thriller has come to mean the pinnacle of an artist’s career.

Michael Jackson’s 1982 classic is the all-time best selling album and represents the King of Pop’s most creative and vital period. So when the genre-bending dance-punk sextet !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk for simplicity’s sake) set out to record their latest, the feeling of being at the top of their game started to seem like they were entering the Thriller zone.

“It was just something that was in the air the whole time. It was like a game we would play. We’d just say ‘What’s the hard rock Thriller? It’s Back in Black. No, it’s Appetite for Destruction. And we’d do that back and forth for different genres,” says the band’s singer Nic Offer. “But there was a feeling that we were doing something really good so we said ‘Let’s call it THR!!!ER. It just came together. It definitely felt like a high point for us. It felt like we’d really achieved a record we didn’t know we could do.”

Released last April on Warp Records, the band’s fifth album is a more dynamic take on dance rock, a creative experiment that came from a new in-studio partnership with producer Jim Eno (the drummer in Spoon). Though the band was coming off disappointing sales for their fourth album, the live performances were hitting an energetic high-water mark

“When we were doing the tour for Strange Weather, the record didn’t do as good as we wanted, but we really felt so good about the band at that point. It was a new lineup and we were getting along, having a great time and the shows were great,” Offer says. “We needed to work hard to keep it going.”

The band’s songwriting had sharpened, and for the first time, !!! had an album’s worth of songs written and arranged before they even set foot in a studio.

Since the band members live in different cities now, songwriting is done via email and individual contributions can show surprising results. “Even When The Water’s Cold” is a particularly good example, Offer says.

“When Rafael sent me an instrumental and a completed version with vocals, I got it and worked all night on it, but I didn’t listen to his vocal version, just the instrumental version,” Offer says. “I finished and listened to his version and it was cool because we’d inadvertently written about the same thing. We both had swimming in it. We sat back and didn’t know what to do with it.

“A couple weeks later we were playing in Spain and hanging out in the hotel room, smoking spliffs and going back and forth and we just said ‘Let’s combine them.’ We took some of my melody and some of his melody and we jammed them in together and they made perfect sense. It just came together. It was pretty seamless in the end.”

Having the songs mostly complete, they worked with Eno in the studio to introduce some unexpected elements, shaping the songs into a record that both stretches the band’s sound mold and exceeds fan expectations.

“Jim was a huge part of it, but I think he’d be the first to say we brought him a good batch of songs of. We had a connection and it felt really good,” Offer says.

Along the way the band backed away from any worries that changes in sound might alienate their audience.

“We take an album template as ‘Do whatever and it will sound like you.’ You shouldn’t be trying to make it sound like you it will, definitely. Don’t worry,” Offer says. “Most everybody listens to many styles of music, so it’s not so strange to switch. A big unifying thing for us has always been dance music but there’s lots of different dance music. I’ve had some arguments with friends in other bands, there’s this thing that you have to think about your audience. But as a kid I remember listening to somebody like Bauhaus and they’d attempt so many different styles, but at the end it all came under that Bauhaus blanket.”

Pushing the envelope sound-wise also resulted in a nine-song record that avoided settling into any rut, with dynamic song-to-song shifts. From “One Girl / One Boy” to “Slyd” to “Californyeah,” the album’s singles represent a creatively restless band. 

“With a lot of records, I hear three or four songs and I don’t need to hear the rest of it,” Offer says. “You’re just trying to make and album that you’d like.”

When !!! began in Sacramento in 1996, they were drawn to dance music, which was all-but nonexistent in the rock world, so Offer and his bandmates sought elsewhere.

“During the 90s all we listened to was R&B and hip-hop. We didn’t like a lot of the rock music that was going on. In the ‘90s it was very separate. Rock music became very rock. Rock music wasn’t supposed to have drum machines. I feel like the ‘90s music separated specifically into white and black music and now it feels a lot more integrated. I think now is a good time for mixing styles together,” he says.

But that era gave !!! a unique voice from the very beginning.

“There should always be a little bit of trying to create your own thing,” Offer says. “I’m sure whoever is creating the most exciting music now is some who thinks the current music is bullshit and they’re thing to do their own thing. We definitely wanted to make our own music.”

!!! play Club Congress tonight with Acorn Bcorn at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for the all ages show.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Weekend in Sonoran Strip Club News

Posted By on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Remarkably, there arent photos of Boleiro TD’s online, so we grabbed a stock photo.
  • Image courtesy of Shutterstock
  • Remarkably, there aren't photos of Boleiro TD’s online, so we grabbed a stock photo.

Just like the rides at an amusement park, should strip clubs also have a sign warning those with heart conditions of what they're about to experience?

From the Nogales international:

According to Nogales, Sonora municipal police, officers responded at 10:20 p.m. on Friday to a report of a dead body at Boleiro TD’s on Calle Elias. When they arrived, they met with paramedics from the Cruz Roja who told them that they had found the victim, a 64-year-old resident of Nogales, Ariz., in a private room, showing no vital signs.

The man, who had a pacemaker, apparently died of a heart attack.

The paramedics also told police that they had seen one of the club’s employees, 36-year-old Raul Pelayo Huerta, take a gold chain from the body.

Pelayo, who works as a DJ at the club, allegedly confessed to taking the chain and returned it to police, saying he had removed it only in order to apply first aid...

The three employees, along with Loremy Martinez Ceballos, a 29-year-old dancer at the club, were taken into custody and placed at the disposition of a local prosecutor “for the clarification of responsibilities,” the police department said in a news release.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

When Drinking Liberally Goes Wrong: Tucson Group 86'd by The Shanty

Posted By on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM


The Tucson chapter of the political social group Drinking Liberally has been banned from 4th Avenue bar The Shanty, its longtime hosting venue, following an alleged incident on June 25th, which prompted Shanty owner William Nugent to ask, via the Shanty Facebook page, that “Drinking Liberally, as a whole, not return to The Shanty." In the statement posted Friday evening, Nugent also singled out chapter members Jim Hannley and his wife Pamela Powers Hannley, and accused the group of "inappropriate and badgering comments" directed at regular Shanty patrons. Nugent cited DL's "rude behavior displayed toward staff and a general sense of entitlement," though he stated that DL members themselves were always treated with respect from the historic bar's employees.

According to those familiar with Tucson's chapter of Drinking Liberally, which has been holding weekly meetings almost exclusively at The Shanty for nearly a decade, tension has been building over the last year between the two. Nationally, Living/Drinking Liberally has dozens of chapters in 42 states, with its goal to “build democracy one drink at a time.” As Nugent stated, Tucson's DL meetings were initially "a casual setting to converse about government issues and current events." The Shanty and DL have long been a go-to stop for any local or statewide political candidate seeking the approval of well-connected Tucsonans on the left. Together, the two have hosted functions featuring Rep. Raul Grijalva, former Rep. and Shanty fixture Gabrielle Giffords, and several Free Baja Arizona rallies, including the taping of a Daily Show segment with correspondent Aasif Mandvi that never aired.


One local Drinking Liberally member who did not wish to be named pointed to the departure of longtime DL host and Tucson attorney Michael Bryan as one of the key factors in the group recently losing its vitality and relevance within Tucson's political circles. As this member bluntly put it, after Bryan left, “they were just left with the nitwits. In the end, the more obnoxious holier-than-thou slacktivists were all that was left. Given how they treated other patrons and how little money they spent, I'm surprised Bill (Nugent) didn't kick them out sooner.”

The final straw for Nugent occurred during a June 25th meeting billed as “Broadening Broadway.” The rear patio which Drinking Liberally normally uses was being occupied by a paid private event; DL members allegedly complained loudly and profusely about being moved inside. A confrontation between Nugent and DL followed the alleged harassment of the private event's guests by DL members. It should be noted that The Shanty has never charged Drinking Liberally for any of these patio meetings and events through the years, which can last from three hours to an entire evening.

Since the volatile June 25th meeting, Drinking Liberally has been searching for a new venue in July, jumping from The Shelter, Borderlands Brewing Company, and, this past Wednesday the 16th, the Red Garter Saloon. A photo posted on Facebook during the Red Garter event included the comment: “We had a great time on the patio at the Red Garter for DL classic. More joined us later. So nice to have plenty of parking, a decent pour of pretty good wine, many beer choices, FOOD, service on the patio, and we don't have to bus our own frickin' tables. Good-bye, Shanty. Speaking for myself and not DL, I will never be back.”

The photo has since been deleted, but not before prompting Shanty owner Nugent to post his definitive statement on the bar's relationship with Drinking Liberally. The screenshot of the Red Garter photo and comment below was obtained by the Tucson Weekly.


UPDATE: At 10:45 am today, Pamela Powers Hannely responded on Facebook to The Shanty's statement and gave a clarification to the Red Garter photo comment:

What I wrote isn't an attack. It's the truth. His accusations are unfounded. I've never seen or heard a DL person being rude to the staff. Speaking for Jim and I only, we always tipped the bartender and became pretty friendly with some of them over the years.

The last DL meeting at the Shanty was horrid because Nugent booked a large group on the patio without telling DL in advance. That night we had a pretty large crowd also and great speaker who couldn't be heard. Some coordination by the Shanty would have been the professional way to handle the situation he created. Nugent should have come out on the patio and apologized to both groups for the double booking; instead he avoided the scene on the patio. The only reason I've been going to The Shanty since 2006 is for Drinking Liberally; there were many nights that DL folks were the only people in that bar. I got sick of the stale popcorn, crappy wine, and bird poop years ago. (Again, my personal opinion.) From a business standpoint, attacking former regular customers is not wise.

In a private message, Powers Hannely added, "The Shanty has a lot of new competition within walking distance. I think he will have to step up his game if he expects to survive."

Continue reading »

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Take Some Pictures of Wrestlers With Fanny Packs This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Fanny packs are back in fashion. The front pouch carrier is best place to keep your personal belongings and business cards. I never realized it, but fanny packs are pretty common in the wrestling world. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Throwback Thursday fanny pack filled photo

If you that wasn't enough, here's the best wrestling themed Tumblr of the week. Some poor soul (with nothing better to do) created a Tumblr photo blog that features old school wrestlers in their fanny pack best. Who knew Hulk Hogan was a fanny pack connoisseur?

Feast your eyes, Brother:

click image tumblr_lljommJG791qbp34ro1_400.jpg

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“Weird Al" Yankovic's 'Word Crimes" Is Word-Nerdy

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

If Henry can put up a video from "Weird Al's" new album, "Mandatory Fun," by God, so can I. It's "Word Crimes." Think Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." Spoiler alert: I'm posting a few lines from the song after the "Continue reading" link.

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Tucson Scientifically Proven More "Exciting" Than Scottsdale, Less Than Tempe & Flagstaff

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

A recent study analyzing Arizona's most populous cities has proven what you already knew in your heart, but is now backed up with scientific data: Tucson is a more exciting city than Scottsdale. Using the same per-capita data, however, real estate firm Movoto also found the cities of Tempe and Flagstaff to be more "exciting," based on criteria which factored in the number of restaurants, live music venues and nightlife, while taking into account each city's population density and its citizens' age.

To narrow the field in its latest city-based-clickbait-we-love-to-hate comparison, Movoto broke down Arizona's cities into areas with populations of 10,000 or more, as determined by the 2012 US Census.

Movoto took these 66 cities (that's a lot of mini-Maranas!) and used the follow criteria to measure excitement, because Science:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)

  • Live music venues per capita

  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)

  • Arts and Entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.)

  • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)

  • Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better)

  • Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better)

  • Population density (the higher the better)

Here's how the bigger cities in Pima County ranked:

3. Tucson
9. Casas Adobes (Tied with Phoenix)
15. Flowing Wells
16. Catalina Foothills
17. Vail
34. Sahuarita
38. Oro Valley
40. Green Valley
49. Marana

Regarding the Old Pueblo, Movoto had this to say:

Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona, with over 520,000 residents, so when we tell you that 29.25 percent of this population is between the ages of 18 and 34, you just know that’s a whole lot of young people. It’s the sixth highest amount in the state, actually.

According to our analysis Tucson residents, both young and old, are privy to all sorts of excitement, especially when it comes to arts, nightlife, and active life options. In fact with the Museum of Contemporary Art, galleries galore, bars like Club Congress and the Surly Wench, and more gyms, running clubs, trails, and fitness centers than you can count—the only problem might be figuring out where to start.

Movoto has provided this handy chart of the results, listing the top 50 of the 66 analyzed. Keep in mind these are all based on per-capita data, but are still chock-full of eye-opening fodder for one of Tucsonans' favorite pastimes, endless debates on urban sprawl in the desert.

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Steff & the Articles Debut the Official Music Video for “What a Terrible Thing to Do”

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Steff Koeppen
  • Steff Koeppen

It's been one hell of a week for the local music scene. Steff and The Articles teased a new track "Call You Mine" earlier this week. The always evolving and maturing four piece indie band debuted the offical music video for "What a Terrible Thing to Do" off the Why It Was So EP.

From Bullett:

“The song revolves around a feeling of guilt derived from not being able to love someone back, but still using their love to fill a certain amount of loneliness,”Koeppen tells me. “More specifically, it speaks of two people experiencing intimacy on different emotional levels. The video reflects this personal experience of mine during the aftermath of a past relationship, as represented by the contemplativeness of my character and the overall disconnect between both characters.”

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Watch this Disney Character's Mug Fall Off During a Live Performance

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Lately, I have been looking for an excuse to take a Greyhound up to Anaheim, Calif., and go to the "happiest place on earth." Unfortunately, time and money has prevented me from being happy. So, watching this video of Disney character's face pop off is the next best thing.

Spoiler alert: Elastigirl is really Mickey Mouse.

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Staff Pick

The Best of the Best: Prize Minerals From the Vaults of Arizona's Collectors

Remarkable specimens from private collections, and the unique stories about finding them, are featured in an exhibit… More

@ Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays, 1-4 p.m., Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. & 6-9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 26 1601 E. University Blvd.

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