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Mandolin Madness

Second Annual Tucson Friends Of Traditional Music Showcase
6 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25
The Muse
330 S. Scott Ave.
903-0918

For fans of "traditional music"--those who love their mandolins, lap steels, banjos, harmonicas, bousoukis, mandolas, fiddles, bajo sextos, accordions, bodhrans and more--the best deal in town on Saturday night can be found at the Muse, where a mere $10 will buy you five hours and eight-bands' worth of entertainment.

It's a bigger production than last year's showcase, and open to the whole family. It's also a fund-raiser for TFTM's concert series, so contributors will reap the rewards of keeping traditional music alive and well throughout the year.

At 6 p.m., the Determined Luddites--who recently received a "Best Band" TAMMIES award from this very paper--will open the evening's performances, followed at 6:40 p.m. by the Southern Appalachian-flavored "old-time stories and ballads" of the Red Sky Boys. Mzekala--a woman's singing group drawn together by a love of world music, particularly Balkans music--will perform at 7:20 p.m.; followed by Tomás Guzmán, "a troubadour in the 'nuevo canto' style"; the Privy Tippers; and the Celtic traditions of Gallus Chiels. Local traditions take over at 9:50 p.m. with the Mexican Norteño music of Conjunto Nopal, and Round the House--featuring the jigs, reels and hornpipes of Irish traditional music--finishes the evening with a 10:30 performance.

In between acts, there will be time to "win raffle prizes, purchase beverages and snacks, chat with performers, visit with friends and buy T-shirts and CDs." For more information about the event, or to donate a raffle prize or volunteer to help, call Concert Committee Chairman Dale Tersey at 906-0352. Tickets are available at the door.


Many, Many Exclamation Points

Save The World Now! Tour
7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24
Wilde Playhouse
135 E. Congress St.
770-1000

"She's 47! She's going through menopause! She's got HUGE hair and a GREAT butt!" So screams www.savetheworldnow.com, the Web site dedicated to a new, touring production--"Vote, Dang It!"--in reference to the show's truly wild ringleader, Joanie McGowan.

McGowan--who honestly has the biggest hair I've ever seen--is a 20-year veteran stage performer who left her job at Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Ore., to do what she could to "save the world."

"A lot of Americans are really frustrated right now," she says. "They are nervous about the economy, buried in debt, afraid of terrorism and feeling powerless to change what's going on in the world. Our play gives people a chance to blow off some of the stress by laughing about how crazy the world has become, and then we make them feel like superheroes who can go out and change the world!"

Sounds dangerously optimistic, right? But McGowan's play, It's Never Too Late to Change the World, apparently makes good on the promise to make you feel like a superhero; former Congressman Les Aucoin said, "I laughed 'til I cried, then I went out and did something virtuous!"

Save the World Now bills itself as "curiously nonpartisan."

"We believe it's not important who is in the White House, or outer space for that matter," McGowan says. "What matters is how we live every day, and how much we're willing to do to give our kids and grandkids a healthy, exciting and fun world to grow up in."

Tickets to the production are $8-$10; call the number above for additional information.


Radio Star

Reading by Amy Goodman
7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26
Centennial Hall
1020 E. University Blvd.
623-1000 ext. 13

Newt Gingrich said he told his mother not to speak to reporters because of people like her; Bill Clinton called her "hostile, combative and even disrespectful."

Regardless of what you think of Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! and author of The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them, the fact is she didn't get where she is today--that's famous, and the recipient of awards such as the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton (plus a Best of Tucson™ award for the second straight year)--by hanging out behind a studio microphone.

In the early 1990s, she traveled to East Timor to report on the U.S.-backed Indonesian occupation of the area. After witnessing Indonesian soldiers gun down 270 East Timorese people and being beaten herself by Indonesian soldiers (co-worker Allan Nairn's skull was fractured in the incident), she and Nairn made Massacre: The Story of East Timor, which also garnered awards from The Associated Press, United Press International and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 1996, Goodman and Democracy Now! Producer Jeremy Scahill went to Nigeria and returned with the radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, which exposed Chevron's role in the killing of two Nigerian villagers who had protested an oil spill in their community.

She's ferocious and brave, and you can hear her discuss her book--a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle and Amazon.com best seller--for $15-$17, available in advance by calling the number above. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.


Pretty Helpful

Harvest Moon Celebration
5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25
Tucson Mountain Park Ironwood Picnic Area
Parking at 3065 S. Kinney Road
877-6157

If you're a snooty intellectual, Earth has only one moon. If you're a down-home farmer, it's got 12.

The Strawberry Moon, Buck Moon, Pink Moon and once-in-a-while Blue Moon have been around since before the advent of modern calendars, handed down through generations as both story and a guide to planting.

But the Harvest Moon doesn't merely mark time--it actually behaves differently. While regular moons wait politely for about 50 minutes after the sun sets to appear, the Harvest Moon pops up only about 30 minutes after sunset, giving northern farmers--who are working longer days to harvest their crops before autumn--some extra light.

But it gets prettier than that. China's Harvest Moon Festival harkens back to legend of Chang Er, who was believed to have taken a pill and changed into a fairy, then flown to the moon to escape her husband.

Whatever the case, this year's Harvest Moon could be especially beautiful, according to NASA. Thanks to dust storms in Africa and wildfires in North America, our atmosphere is filled with aerosols, which can lend the moon extra-bright pink and orange hues.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation will open the Ironwood picnic area for a special evening Harvest Moon celebration that will include live night-creature presentations, storytelling, folksongs, bat detection, moonlit strolls and telescope viewing. Park at the address above to catch a shuttle to the free event.

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