Friday, September 30, 2016

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 11:30 AM

There's a lot going on over the next few days, but that doesn't mean you have to partake. I, for one, will be sitting at home trying to convince a 5-month-old kitten that he should nap instead of running around in circles. A movie marathon just might make that bearable. 

Here's your weekly list of what's popular at Casa Video:


1. Captain America: Civil War

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Quick Bites: Don’t Miss Miss Saigon’s New Late Nights

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Sometimes you need soup. - MISS SAIGON
  • Miss Saigon
  • Sometimes you need soup.

Miss Saigon’s downtown location (47 N. Sixth Ave.) closed for a while when it underwent renovation last spring, but it’s back and better than ever with late-night hours on weekend nights—and it’s now the only Miss Saigon offering delivery service.

Just a few weeks ago, the yummy Vietnamese café decided to stay open till 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, so you more options for food while you’re hitting the downtown bars and clubs.
Call 320-9511 for more information, or visit misssaigon-tucson.com. (It’s the Campbell location’s website—but don’t worry; the folks there can also answer your questions about the downtown restaurant). 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Song of the Day: 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me' by Linda Ronstadt

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 8:49 PM

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Tucson’s own human siren song was already an itchy-palmed dream for boys (and girls) by this ’78 single—a household name really, no doubt helped by a fetching Time Magazine cover story that featured a shot of a scantly-clothed Ronstadt sipping steaming sauce over a stove, sexualized for the American mass consciousness.

This version of “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” didn’t top songwriter Warren Zevon’s godhead version, but damn if it ain’t peerless in a ’70s radio-rock, sterile production, hit-single sorta way. Golden-eared producer (and Ronstadt manager) Peter Asher kept the spirits alive in a way that transcended said sterility because the man understood songs. Hear that.

A sweet acoustic drone and cowbell opens to Ronstadt’s hip-swinging sexuality and Waddy Wachtel's anthemic four-on-floor riff, and you can visualize coke-gacked grins on faces of the post-Laurel Canyon mellow mafia all over this—a weirdly beautiful thing in hindsight. And god love fright-haired Wachtel and his bong-smoke-clearing power chords that bestow the tune with indelible weight and oomph.

Zevon’s version, with all the suicide and domination in the lyrics etc., was ironic self-mockery passed off jokingly as narcissism yet still narcissistic as hell, on purpose. But Zevon knew that—that’s how fucking smart he was, and his had the requisite weatherbeaten vocal tone to match the literate and deceptively simple sentiment. But Ronstadt’s slightly cleaned up version had real sexual verve, and her unstoppable voice, which gave the song staying power.

Still, it’s really too bad Ronstadt switched the song’s gender here because that changes the male/female power dynamic in the worst way (a woman-pummeling dude ain’t no “credit to his gender”). Had she kept the gender as written, the tune would’ve been wickedly subversive in its time, but no Top 40 hit. Also dropped “West” from “West Hollywood.” Another meaning-changer. Shame.


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Quick Bites: Arizona's Oldest Craft Beer Turns 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 2:45 PM

It’s time for the 25th birthday of the longest continuously brewed craft beer in the state of Arizona: the iconic Barrio Blonde. 

Ah, 25—a great age. If the Barrio Blonde were, say, a young, craft-beer-loving University of Arizona co-ed (a blonde, of course), she’d probably celebrate this birthday by gathering friends for a few rounds at her favorite local brewery.

But the Barrio Blonde is a beer, not a person … and in fact, the brewery that brews the Blonde is the very entity that’s celebrating the beer’s birthday. Oh, and the brewery—housed at both Barrio Brewing Company and Gentle Ben’s, both owned by brewmaster Dennis Arnold—is basically celebrating its birthday, too.

Gentle Ben’s—which Arnold purchased in 1991—has long been located in the heart of UA territory, on North Tyndall Avenue, in a building once serving as the Pi Beta Phi sorority house and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house (not to mention, previously, as the official residence of the university’s presidents. In 1994 Gentle Ben’s moved to its current location on University Boulevard in Main Gate Square—still smack in the middle of UA stomping grounds—with Barrio Brewing Company launching 15 years later (at a not-too-far-away separate location) to increase Arnold’s brewing capacity.

Actually, the birthday party planned for the brewery (and the birthday beer, the Barrio Blonde) isn’t too different from a bar-party gathering ... but it will run for seven straight days.

Starting Sunday, Oct. 2, and continuing through Friday, Oct. 7, Barrio Brewing Company and Gentle Ben’s are both hosting anniversary dinners at the bars. Anyone who shows up to celebrate at either venue will get a special appetizer, a choice of entrée (and beer!) and a gelato dessert, plus a commemorative T-shirt and pint glass, all for $25.

There’s no special seating situation or mandatory times of arrival—just come when you feel like it. (You can still go to the bars between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7 and order anything off their menus, of course—but to officially participate in the party, just pay the 25 bucks and get the special course and souvenirs, OK?)

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Cinema Clips: Blair Witch

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 1:45 PM


This is the second sequel to The Blair Witch Project, the original “found footage” horror film. Would Lionsgate take this opportunity to reintroduce a once promising premise into a new style of film, perhaps a traditional narrative about the Blair Witch set in the forest without the gimmick of people running around with cameras filming themselves, even when they are in great peril?

Nope—opportunity wasted.

This movie is essentially the original with louder noises, a few more gizmos—drones, walkie talkies, better tents—and, yes, lots more sticks tied together with twine and piles of rocks. For those of you who are scared shitless by stick men made out of twigs and twine (and piles of rocks in front of tents), this movie will fuck your shit up. I’m thinking that accounts for perhaps .00009832 percent of the movie-going population. The rest of you will be bored out of your minds.

James (James Allen McCune), long suffering brother of the original film’s Heather, who vanished all those years ago, has found … a tape. That tape contains shaky footage made by somebody moronic enough to try to keep the action on camera rather than focus on their much needed getaway. In said footage, a messed-up looking woman is glimpsed for a second, so James instantly thinks it’s Heather. James assembles a crew of idiots to go into the forest, the cursed forest where people disappear and strange tapes are found, in search of the house where the footage was filmed by some moron who didn’t just drop the stupid camera in favor of weaponry and get the hell to safety.

The results: not scary and not entertaining.

The Weekly List: 27 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 days

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo. 

Pick of the Week

Vintage photo of Sambo’s Pancake House on Broadway, now refurbished and renamed the Welcome Diner. - TUCSON HISTORIC PRESERVATION FOUNDATION
  • Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation
  • Vintage photo of Sambo’s Pancake House on Broadway, now refurbished and renamed the Welcome Diner.
Tucson Modernism Week: Dive into our town’s mid-century modernist architecture with Tucson Modernism Week, an extravaganza of tours, lectures, exhibitions, movies and parties. Festivities include a Vintage Trailer show, an unusual architectural bus trip to Nogales, Ariz, a lecture on American Modern Architecture in Alfred Hitchcock's Cinematic Space, a tour of the diner most recently known as Chaffins, self guided tours of six Tucson homes—and so much more. Grab your calendar and read more about the events in this week's Weekly

Food & Booze

World Margarita Championship: This 10th Annual Margarita Championship is back again! Join the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Tucson Originals as they partner to bring serve up an unforgettable evening of tequila and southwest cuisine. Tickets are $55, and are expected to sell out. Friday, Sept. 30 6 p.m. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, 3800 E. Sunrise Dr. $55 each. 21+.

Booze, Blues and BBQ: Enjoy some whiskey while you learn about the making of your favorite spirit from Charlie Garrison of the Garrison Brothers distillery from Hye, Texas and Stephan Paul of Hamilton Distillery. The two whiskey connoisseurs will be at the bar to chat about their booze at this whiskey seminar. Guests can enjoy some custom tasting flights that highlight the spirits of the two distilleries. There will be blues, snacks and (of course) whiskey all night long. Thursday, Sept. 29 3-4 p.m. The Good Oak Bar, 316 E. Congress St.  

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Whiskey Party at the Good Oak

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 8:39 PM

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Whiskey lovers, Good Oak Bar (316 E. Congress St.) is calling your name this Thursday, Sept. 29.

If you want an education experience all about whiskey, get excited because Charlie Garrison of Garrison Brothers Distillery in Texas is hosting a seminar at the bar from 3-4 p.m. You'll want to RSVP for the event and it'll cost you $10.

The party really begins at the 6 p.m. with Garrison and Tucson's Stephen Paul from Hamilton Distillery, both of whom will be hanging out during the event to talk about their original whiskeys.

What more can you ask for? Good Oak promises bourbon-friendly food (including barbecue burgers!) on the menu, plus country and blues vinyl all night long.

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Song of the Day: 'Yardsale Heart' by Lenguas Largas

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Lenguas Largas can't afford the sweetest girl in town.
  • Lenguas Largas can't afford the sweetest girl in town.
"Never be the ground/It could end your story," Lenguas Largas singer Isaac Reyes intones at the outset of “Yardsale Heart,” from the Tucson-based garage/psych band’s self-titled 2011 debut album. He then issues a series of commands, extolling the virtues of emotional honesty (“lead a sentimental life”) but warning not to give everything away (“think about your tongue”). The ensuing verses and choruses shroud these contradictory impulses in the language of pop music classicism: “I can’t afford the sweetest girl in town … yardsale heart/just like mine.”

The song’s music is far less mixed-up. Trading Lenguas Largas’ usual inscrutability for a compositional straight line of build, explode and repeat; second verse, same as the first. “Yardsale Heart” fuses a cyclical two-chord frame to an arrangement of near-orchestral grandeur, recalling nothing as much as the early-’60s productions of Phil Spector. The band seemed to not be unaware of the song's anthemic overtones; both Reyes’ lead vocal and the tracks of percussion are significantly louder than those of other songs on the album, bringing the accessibility of “Yardsale Heart” to the forefront and rendering its melodies timeless and indelible. Again, Spector’s influence looms large—if the sweeping introduction of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” bypassed subsequent verses and skipped directly to its climactic conclusion, the result would be quite similar in tune and spirit to “Yardsale Heart.”

But despite its lyrical clarity of confusion, the track is essentially a blank slate. It's a rallying of ecstasy and a breached dam of romantic anguish. A song of unbridled connection and one of broken convictions. But in its unending waves of sighs, it's unquestionably a triumph of the human comedy.











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Staff Pick

MONA LISA IS MISSING: THE TRUE STORY OF THE MAN WHO STOLE THE MASTERPIECE

A documentary examining the fascinating mystery behind the theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from the… More

@ Loft Cinema Sun., Oct. 2, 2 p.m. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

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Popular Content

  1. Song of the Day: 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me' by Linda Ronstadt (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Quick Bites: Don’t Miss Miss Saigon’s New Late Nights (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Arizona's Oldest Craft Beer Turns 25 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. The Weekly List: 27 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Casa Video Top 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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