Saturday, October 22, 2016

American Babylon: Former GOP Chairman Michael Steele at the Third Presidential Debate

Posted By on Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM

American Babylon caught up with former GOP Chairman Michael Steele, who says he doesn't rule out the possibility that he will be Michelle Obama's campaign manager in 2024.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:16 PM

"... like some lost Byrds track when Gene Clark was burning up songs like cigarettes."
  • "... like some lost Byrds track when Gene Clark was burning up songs like cigarettes."
Louise Le Hir is one of those people you meet and you’re not for sure where it is she’s going but you’re damn sure she’s gonna get there. She called early one fall morning two years ago, asked if I’d like to go with her to a studio where she was making her first record, meet the owner and take in some music, see the setup. I was drinking my first cup of coffee when she pulled up in a small car that wouldn’t shift into first or second gear, making a short drive more dangerous than usual. But there’s little that’s usual about Louise. She’d been in Tucson seven years, give or take, playing, singing, drinking men under the table, and doing her music slow and patient. She stands out, a natural with long wispy brown hair, a low pitch in her speaking voice, a hint of the Midwest twisting through a throaty laugh, long legs that carried a complex life full of people and places where you don’t go but rather end up, just the same.

Amongst chords, equipment and a drum kit, I met Matt Rendon, the young, motivated music lover who had made a sort of umbrella of different bands, his bands, mainly The Resonars, and projects all out of Rendon’s midtown studio. A large amount of his work comes out on super-buzzed Burger Records in California. He seems inspired by singles, A and B sides that once stood for creative achievement in three minutes, that blew out of the radio like a precious sledge hammer. He also relates to ’60s pop, but he ain’t stuck in a decade long gone; nah, he just has earnest love affair with music. He is unpretentious and warm. He’s recording music that he feels makes a difference.

So I took a chair in a corner of the room and asked if I could hear a finished tune from the month they’d been working slow but steady. Matt gave me headphones and Louise asked him to que “Cosmic Love Song No. 23” for me. The snare drum rolls into an uptempo groove, Lana Rebel holds up the bottom on bass guitar. It is full on. Louise chipping away at her Les Paul Jr. as she begins a narration of a lover’s ups and downs, free of metaphor or apology. Harmonies come strong and large behind her words, an amalgamation of Billy Sherrill’s production sound adjoining some sharp lost Byrds track when Gene Clark was burning up songs like cigarettes. The first verse ends and the chorus busts wide open, pedal steel solo fresh, free of indulgence, just lonesome hearts splashed against Jackson Pollock’s canvas. Connor "Catfish" Gallaher’s solo rings to the heavens and the next verse is moving as we try to stay with it. Louise belts out grace without pretense and we hit that chorus one more time: And I only fall in love to feel the pain/Ain’t no ordinary thing I can explain/I need life to keep on livin’/I love you for your misgivin’s/And I only fall in love to feel the pain. It’s like one beautiful paper cut you bear for its magic and then the song slows and a single chord rings.

This is a haunting, gorgeous song, comes in under four minutes, and later this month a
video of this pearl will be out for all to watch, once and then again and again.

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Will Hispanics Help Elect Hillary in Arizona? 'Nah,' Said Jan Brewer, 'They don’t get out and vote.’

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM

  • Courtesy of
Here's something to add to "Taco trucks on every corner" and "Nasty Women" on social media. "Jan Brewer says, Hispanics don't get out and vote."

Everybody's writing about Arizona right now, with Hillary looking like she's edging past Donald in the polls. If Hillary takes Arizona, that means a lot more than a few electoral votes. It could mean a purpling, maybe even a bluing, of the state. And one big reason would be an assertion by a growing number of Hispanics of their power at the ballot box.

Former Governor Jan Brewer says she's not worried.
Some Republicans dismissed the notion that Democratic-leaning Hispanics will become a significant enough force to tip the balance to Clinton.

“Nah,” former Arizona governor Jan Brewer said in an interview. “They don’t get out and vote.’’

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The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Celebrate life, love and good fortune in Casa Grande on Friday, Nov. 11 at the annual Lantern Fest, where thousands of people join together to release lanterns into the night sky.

The event kickstarts just before sundown. Friends and families huddle around campfires in the middle of the desert to keep warm and enjoy food, live music, a stage show, face painting, s'mores, balloon artists and more.

Historically, lanterns have been used to symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, or to celebrate the life of a loved one—just to name a few. The creators of the festival, Sack Lunch Productions, refer to the release of these lanterns as a metaphor for "our highest hopes, deepest regrets and fondest dreams."

The atmosphere is unlike anything else. Everyone at is smiling, hugging, talking and truly taking in every moment. When the sky is completely dark, you'll watch everyone release their beautiful, yellow lanterns up into the sky and soak in the experience together. As the lights float on into the darkness, they begin to look like tiny stars. Then, everyone sits in silence and soaks up the beauty before them.

  • Lantern Fest Gallery

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Remembering Abril and Luisa Castillo

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 10:08 AM

With heavy hearts, the Tucson community is morning the loss of two special individuals. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Abril Castillo and her 12-year-old daughter Luisa were tragically killed in a car crash on the Interstate 10. They were en route to Luisa's to school when their car was hit by a semi truck that lost control. 

Even though this event is plagued with tragedy, we must remember Abril for the amazing woman and mother that impacted many lives in the Tucson community, and her daughter for the intelligent and bright young girl she was. 
  • You Caring Funding Page
Founding incredible projects such as T-Town Sessions and Tucson People, Abril was a talented artist and photographer dedicated to shedding light on the beauty of Tucson. With T-Town Sessions she worked tirelessly to showcase the rich local music and art scene, and with Tucson People she gave a voice to the local individuals who make Tucson what it is. 

In memory of these two incredible people, a memorial fund has been made in their name. You can make a contribution to the fund here, or plan to attend the benefit being held in their honor this weekend at Caffe Passe. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 3:30 PM

It might be 90 degrees outside, but it is fall and with fall comes a series of delicious and refreshing Oktoberfest-ivals. This weekend, the fest to not miss is 4thtoberfest.

This Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1 to 7 p.m., enjoy bands, brats and so many local beers on 4th Avenue. 

Now, you can get into the bars and see the bands without purchasing a $15 ticket, but it does sound like a good deal (and a portion of sales will be donated to KXCI): A ticket gets you eight tasting tickets redeemable for 1 nickel pour each, a 5 ounce logo glass and a discount on your brat plates (plan to spend $5 on those) plus exclusive access to some specialty beers—but we'll get to those in a second. 

First, lets get you in! Five lucky people are getting a pair of tickets from us. Fill out our entry form here and we'll get in touch with winners today (Thursday, Oct. 20) and tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 21).

Now that we've got all the logistics out of the way, let's go over what you'll be putting in your mouth:

Continue reading »

Chuck Huckelberry Is Getting Tired of Ally Miller's Fishing Expedition

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Maybe Miller can fill potholes with all those email records she's going through in lieu of helping actual constituents with their issues. - COURTESY ARIZONA DAILY INDEPENDENT
  • Courtesy Arizona Daily Independent
  • Maybe Miller can fill potholes with all those email records she's going through in lieu of helping actual constituents with their issues.
After Dylan Smith of the Tucson Sentinel (followed by Joe Ferguson of the Arizona Daily Star and yours truly) requested emails and other electronic records in order to get to the bottom of the absolutely bizarre story regarding one of Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller's aides masquerading as a reporter, the public learned that Miller was a big fat liar when she claimed she didn't use her personal emails for the public's business. 

Exposed as someone who fibs about following the law, Miller has fought back by requesting hundreds of thousands of emails from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and her fellow Pima County Supervisors in an unsuccessful effort to prove there was a massive conspiracy among county officials and local media to discredit her. This is a perfect example of Miller's paranoia; there is no conspiracy. We media types pursued the story not because we were ordered to by Chuck Huckelberry; we pursued them because (a) it was a bizarre story and (b) it was obvious to anyone with half a brain (which evidently excludes Miller and her various flying monkeys in social media and conservative radio circles) that now-former Miller aide Timothy DesJarlais was lying about not being involved in the harebrained Arizona Daily Herald caper. 

Miller still hasn't turned over her emails and is the subject of a slow-moving investigation by the Arizona Attorney General's Office. Meanwhile, rounding up the records this would-be champion of the taxpayer has requested is taking up an insane amount of time and financial resources for the County Clerk's Office while producing zero evidence that anything improper has been taking place, no matter how hard the dumbass Arizona Daily Independent tries to spin things. Miller is now the equivalent of one of those vexatious litigants who file an endless number of lawsuits to harass people.

It now appears that Huckelberry is out of fucks to give regarding Miller, as illustrated by yesterday's memo to the County Attorney's Office wondering if there's some way to stop Miller's relentless requests to read all of his email (which is really ironic given that she was convinced that Huckelberry was reading all of hers as soon as she took office, which is why she instructed her staff to ignore public-records laws and use private emails when talking about the District 1 office's business on behalf of taxpayers).

Here's the memo:

To: Thomas Weaver
Chief Civil Deputy County Attorney

From: C.H. Huckelberry
County Administrator

Re: Continued Burdensome Records Requests by Supervisor Ally Miller

Supervisor Ally Miller has renewed her expansive and onerous requests for public records from me and other members of my staff. While her previous July 13, 2016 requests for records were equally expansive, they at least carried the pretense, stated repeatedly by her on various social media accounts, that she was seeking evidence that my office, the other four supervisors and the County Communications Office conspired with the local media to have them write stories about her mishandling of her employee’s attempt to masquerade as a journalist. She also sought proof we subsequently conspired with the media to have them report her apparent four-year effort to illegally cloak the business of her office in secrecy via the use of personal email and encrypted computer files and portable data storage devices.

Supervisor Miler’s records requests of September 22, 2016 are virtually identical to the requests of July 13, but without the pretense. The media have mostly moved on from the Timothy DesJarlais scandal, and her gross violations of State public records laws are being investigated by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Yet Supervisor Miller continues her expansive and onerous requests of my office, Chair Bronson’s office and the Communications Office; attempting to discover any mention of the DesJarlais scandal – as well as obtain every email sent or received by any of my staff, the Communications Office, and Chair Bronson and her staff – as well as a host of other electronic communications and internet browser data. Lacking the DesJarlais scandal pretense, one can only conclude the sole purpose of this latest series of requests is harassment.

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Grand Opening: Three Wells Distilling Company Cocktail Room

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Think back to 2008. The stock market has just crashed and things you used to be able affordable, luxuries no longer an option. Well, this misfortune became reality to one man in particular. While this exact mishap happened to many back in 2008, it is what this man did in the face of adversity that is the real story.

“I was a contractor, I owned my own business for eight years. It went under with the housing market crash, but I made a lot of money during that time,” said Matt Montgomery, founder and co-owner of Three Wells Distilling Company. "I got really used to high dollar tequilas, but suddenly I couldn't afford them, so I thought ‘How hard could it be?’”
  • Gisele Smith

Three Wells Distilling Company was incorporated in 2013 by two men that still run the company to this day, Matt Montgomery and Chris Dudding.

“We really never expected to do anything like this,” said Montgomery.

Three Wells started off as a dream and since has grown tremendously. With a total of four spirits under their belt (Agave Silver, Sonora Copper, Sonora Silver tequilas, and Mt. Lemmon Gin), they are continuing to expand and innovate, while still maintaining the principle that all ingredients are completely Arizona born and never sourced.Not only are they innovating when it comes to their spirits, Three Wells has another trick up their sleeve.

“What we have learned being in the craft distilling industry, is that it is not so much that you open a craft distillery and people just come in and buy your booze, to get the point of where you are making enough money, we had to do something,” said Montgomery.

After much research and development, Three Wells have decided to open up a Cocktail Room.

Inspired by what other craft breweries were doing in the area, Montgomery and Dudding decided on the next step for their business. 
  • Gisele Smith

“The unique experience of drinking beer crafted right there, while looking at the inner workings of a craft brewery is so cool and Chris and I realized that we have the opportunity to provide folks with a similar experience at our distillery,” said Montgomery.

Continue reading »

Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

Carnival of Illusion conjures an evening of old-world magic by blending their international travel theme with all… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays, 5:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 3, 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 5 & 8 p.m. Continues through April 22 160 South Scott Ave

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