guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Pick of the Week: Dillinger Days
: One of Hotel Congress’ claims to fame is the historic 1934 fire that lead to the capture of bank robber John Dillinger. Dillinger and his men were taking refuge at Congress after a series of robberies when the hotel caught fire. Later, the fireman who had helped the gang rescue their gun-and-cash-carrying luggage recognized the criminals in True Detective Magazine, ultimately leading to his arrest. Commemorate this moment in history with Congress with a speakeasy, vintage firefighting equipment, live music, Public Enemies and, of course, a reenactments of the capture at the Cup Cafe. Jan. 20-21. Check Hotel Congress’ website for event times, prices and other details.
Borderlands Fifth Anniversary Party
: Celebrate five years of craft beer, live music, local business and cool architecture. Borderlands Brewing is turning five this month, and you can wish them well by enjoying a few pints and listening to ever-enjoyable tunes courtesy of AZTRAL FOLK. Noon - 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Borderlands Brewing Co., 119 E. Toole Ave. Bring money for beer.
Tucson Rodeo & Parade Barn Dance: Obviously, the Old Pueblo loves the rodeo—it’s the cause of our favorite February holiday! But the bull riding, lasso dancing fun is in full swing long before the kids get to skip a couple days of class. Grab your drinking-age friends and get your boots on and start the party early with a little live music courtesy of Jack Bishop. 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum, 4823 S 6th Ave. $5.
4th on 44th Block Party
: Live music, food trucks, alcohol and coffee — what more could you ask for in a block party? Three Wells Distilling Company and Ten Fifty-Five Brewing teamed up to bring Tucson the ultimate opportunity to support the Tucson Police Officer’s Association and break out your most embarrassing dance moves while doing so. A portion of the proceeds will go to the TPOA, and donations are also welcome. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. 3790 E. 44th St. Drink tickets are $6.
The All Nite Scream O' Rama
: If you love the goosebumps, cold sweats and yelps of terror scary movies incite, the Loft Cinema is the place to be. The theater will be showing 12 hours of horror, encompassing seven of the most hair-raising films ever made. The movie list includes: The Shining, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Fright Night, Green Room, Trick 'r Treat, Return of the Living Dead and Cat in the Brain. Tasty food and drinks will be ghoulishly themed. Enter...if you dare. 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Jan. 28- Jan. 29 The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $13 for members or in advance online or $15 at the door.
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
: Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath—What more do you want? Danish filmmaker Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 silent film is a unique hybrid of documentary and fiction exploring the history of witchcraft, demonology and Satanism. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $6.
Conversation with Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black
: Substance abuse, mental illness and prison cliques are all fair game on deck to be addressed by Piper Kerman, the woman who shared her devastating and sometimes hilarious story of a year in prison. Hear her dive into her personal experiences and commentate on the criminal justice system at the Fox Theatre. Her presentation will be hosted by Mayor Rothschild and you can purchase your tickets online. 4-6 p.m. Feb. 1. The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $25 for her presentation and the Q&A session OR $100 for the presentation, Q&A, private reception with Piper and a copy of the book.
Free Family Movie Night! featuring The Sandlot: A classic film, a night away from the kitchen and evening under the stars. Catch a free screening of the Sandlot, and get the kiddos into the spirit of the movie with the inflatable batting cage, speed pitching contest, t-ball home run competition for ages five and under. 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Tucson Event Center, 1861 W. Grant Road. Free, bring money for food.
Rethinking the Rules of Reality
: The UA lecture series are always worth attending, and this semester’s “Rethinking Reality” is no exception. In the first lecture of the series learn about the connections between symmetries, forces, and conservation laws, and the fundamental building blocks of the natural world—and what they indicate physics might be heading in the future. Lastly, the lecture promises “weirdness at the extremes,” including discussion about the emergence of a new “dark sector” populated by modern ghosts. Each lecture will be streamed live by Arizona Public Media On Demand, will stream on television the following week, and will later be available digitally. The series begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Free.
Women’s March on Washington - Tucson March
: Have an issue with how women have been treated in recent political dealings? Spend the morning with like other concerned individuals, marching in solidarity of women’s rights, safety and health care. Meet at Armory Park and make your way down to the Joel D. Valdez library plaza. 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Armory Park, 221 S 6th Ave. Free.
Frida al Fresco Friday
: Experience Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City right here in Tucson at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Celebrate the Mexican and feminist icon’s art exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, while listening to live music representative of her vibrant culture. You can even get your very own flower crown and binge on food and drinks inspired by Frida’s own family recipes. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N Alvernon Way. $13 adults, $12 for students, seniors and military, $7.50 for kids ages 4-17, kids 3 or younger and Garden members are free.
A Community Benefit Starring Howe Gelb, Joey Burns et al
: In a true moment of graciousness and generosity, a group of Tucson music stars is coming together to aid a musician suffering from a head injury. (Sadly, he isn’t cognizant enough at press time to agree to have his name released.) This musician is beloved in Tucson and he’s in dire financial need because he has no health insurance, which, as we all know, has long been a devastating problem among artists and musicians and writers and so on. Even with Obamacare. Forget anything improving there with that mook landing in office on Jan. 20. Anyway, this benefit is now a big-named event, with performances by Howe Gelb, Joey Burns (he’ll be live on video), Louise Le Hir, Street Blues Family, Steff and the Articles, Joe Novelli and more. There will be music instruments up for auction. The night finishes on an all-star jam featuring all concerned, a one-off performance called The Affordable Care Act Band. Saturday, Jan. 21 at 191 Toole, 191 Toole. 8 p.m. $15-$20 donation.
To call La Cerca Tucson desert pop sounds so reductive, but really this dreamy combo is all about Tucson desert pop. See, the tunes fizz, hum and lift, like those made by classic melancholy poppers My Bloody Valentine and Big Star, two bands La Cerca adore. But there’s something else going on within their often lovely melodies—it’s a lonely, desolate thing that sounds so much like how the Sonoran desert feels, if that makes any sense. (Listen to the soaring-yet-fragile “Climate Control” from their killer 2014 album Sunrise For Everyone.) Like the desert, their music has an end-of-the-world quality, with so much sparse, stark beauty, and a tremendous sense of open space. And you’ve gotta love any band that makes a reference to “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones.
This show celebrates the 20-year musical relationship between
La Cerca's John Matzek and Mario Cordova, and features the three other bands they've played in together: How to Build a Rocketship, Ghost Lodge, and Kicking Leaves. Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Flycatcher, 340 E 6th St. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. The event is also a benefit for Downtown Radio.
: Kohl-eyed goth-glamsters are back from the dead, or maybe that’s what they’d like you to believe. Or maybe they never died and just sort of faded away, which is worse. You’ll recall Orgy had a fairly sizable hit with New Order’s classic “Blue Monday” (theirs was a truly a wickedly dirty cover), and their ’98 debut album, Candyass, sold huge, going platinum stateside. But after three studio albums, Orgy had left a shallow legacy. Truth is, they are worth so much more than that. The band never got credit for defining a moment in time. For one thing, they captured the milieu of the decadence of the porn-driven decline of late ’90s suburban Los Angeles, that bizarre cultural dead zone, and soundtracked it with the industrial throb of underground Hollywood clubs, putting their own “death-pop” sizzle on it. It’s remarkable how their singular sound had a wonderfully nihilistic tint to it that reflected Southern California underbellies. Their latest, a seven-song EP called Talk Sick, dropped in ’15, and it’s formidable dancefloor thunder-smack, blending infectious melody with EDM. A new EP, Entropy, is just coming out. With Powerman 500, Death Valley High, Knee High Fox, Lethal Injektion, and Swindy on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. 6 p.m. $18-$20. All ages.
: We love any group that blends lots of Industrial slam with bits of Latin music. And Silver Snakes adores bands like Nine Inch Nails and Sleep, as well as gifted Mexican singer Lola Beltrán. They also show hints of metal crunch not unlike the Deftones, even walls of Sex Pistols-sounding power chords! Their dancefloor-filling, rafter-rattling racket is as infectious as anything ’90s heroes Ministry or NIN ever put out. Formed in 2011, these Snakes just released their third LP, Saboteur, an absolute sonic suckerpunch. With Aeges, Harlette, and others on Friday, Jan. 20 at Club XS, 5851 E. Speedway. 7 p.m. $12-$15. All ages.
: Here’s a rare Tucson appearance from the too-overlooked Brooklyn-based (don’t hold that against them) combo who swimmingly mix shoegaze with surf in distorted harmonic beds. It’s a powerful female universe in their hands, with no shortage of Jesus and Mary Chain guitars, and it’s poppy as shit—sometimes girl-group poppy, sometimes Ramones poppy, sometime Velvets poppy. Their 2015 ditty “Postal,” with its chorus “You got me going postal,” is the best love song of the last half-decade or so. And their latest single, 2017’s “Putty” is exactly that in your heart, a gorgeous little stunner of desire, delivered with a neat-o vocal that transmits sweet indifference perfectly. The tune reminds us of ’60s–era Pretty Things meets Potty Mouth circa ’16. In other words, amazing. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. 21+. Free.
: This Minneapolis rapper owns the stage when he moves, has a flow like Jay Z on a mellow trip (no shit), and can bust out the minimal beat bangers with aplomb. Even Lil’ Wayne became fan back in 2011, when Novyon was still a teenager, and wound up helping Novyon’s career. What you should know is Novyon’s 2016 release, Believe in Mpls, is a fairly chill yet powerful collection of potent rhymes and spare hypnotic beats, and it burrow deep beneath your skin like a Loa Loa and stays there. His national following is swelling too. With Prof, Metasota, and Willie Wonka on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 191 Toole, 191 Toole. 7 p.m. $15-$17. All Ages.