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IN THE WEE WEE HOURS

Where does the time go, people? It seems like just a few days ago I was prepping you for the insanity of the busy fall concert season, and now here we are, smack-dab in the middle of it.

Rocktober (sorry!) is almost over, and we all know what that means: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Weekend are basically here. We'll cover the latter in next week's issue; but since Halloween is next Thursday, Oct. 31, let's take a look at some of the special events planned for that spookiest of all nights, shall we?

Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., is traditionally home to one of the biggest Halloween blowouts in town, and this year they're throwing not one, but two shindigs.

First up, on Saturday, Oct. 26, is the annual Nightmare on Congress Street party, which will feature entertainment on indoor and outdoor stages including '80s cover band '80s and Gentlemen, creepy tunes as only Chris Black (with Gabriel Sullivan) can play 'em, ethereal jams from Burning Palms, as well as dance music courtesy of DJ Sid the Kid, DJ Bob Felix and more. There will be carnival games at Slobby's Side Show, free zombie makeovers courtesy of the folks at The Slaughterhouse, and, of course, a costume contest with cash prizes.

The action begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $8 in advance, or $10 at the door (if they're not already sold out).

On Halloween proper, the theme for the weekly Thursday Opti Club dance night is Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. Sadly, Tracy Jordan will not be attending, but there will be two stages of DJs, including TABS, Crystobal, BoBFelix, DanH, Jaime J and more, plus costume contests for both individuals and couples/groups. And, in this Halloween's biggest WTF moment, give the mechanical bull a whirl. (Sorry, I've been to my share of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, but I've never seen a mechanical bull at any of them. Jews riding a mechanical bull? Are you kidding me?!) It's a 21-and-older event, which means the boys will become men, and the men will become wolves.

This one gets rolling at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31, and admission is $3, or free with your Opti Club membership card. For more info about either event, head to hotelcongress.com/club or call 622-8848.

Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., will play host to the Holla Ween dance party, which will feature a trio of DJs: MAC ("deep house and nu-disco"), E_Rupt (your host for the night, who will be rockin' "disco, indie, non-radio pop, electronic and everything in between"), and Bonus (soul, rap, funk, etc.). The requisite costume contest hits at midnight. Three bucks gets you in the door, and the action starts at 10 p.m. Further details are available at plushtucson.com or by calling 798-1298.

Perhaps it's because some preacher long ago declared that metal and hard rock were "the devil's music," but there seems to be a plethora of such shows this Halloween.

The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., will feature "A Hard Rock Halloween Party," headlined by Kill Devil Hill, which features former Pantera and Down bassist Rex Brown, and metal royalty drummer Vinny Appice, best known for his work with Dio and Dio-era Black Sabbath. Also on the bill are Black Water Rising, Eyes Set to Kill, Dirtnap and more. And, yes, there will be a costume contest, with $250 in prizes. Doors open at 6 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 31, and tickets are $15 in advance. All ages are welcome. For more info check out rocktucson.com or call 629-9211.

Over at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., the Local Love series of showcases of local bands continues with—you guessed it—Local Love Metal Halloween, which will feature sets by Santo Diablo, Giant Destroyer, The Gallery, Stands With Fists, Take the Hill, Solace in Nothing, and Soul Siphon. As far as I can remember, tickets to the Local Love series are always five bucks (as they are for this show), which means it's a great, virtually risk-free way to check out a whole slew of local bands. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and all ages are welcome. There's additional information at rialtotheatre.com or by calling 740-1000.

If you're looking for a bargain this Halloween, you could do far worse than the next two events.

Blind Divine, Tucson's only goth-prog-rock band that I know of, will be playing along with Shrimp Chaperone (motto: "It's like surf music—but evil") at Sky Bar, 536 N. Fourth Ave., where admission is almost always free (as it is for this show). The good times begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. Get more info at skybartucson.com or call 622-4300.

Finally, in case you're unaware, every Thursday night Paradiso Bar and Lounge at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, features a tribute band—usually a touring one. For Halloween they're getting into the mood by playing host to Astrocreep 2000, which pays homage to the music of Rob Zombie/White Zombie. Showtime is 8 p.m., and it appears admission is free, as it usually is for tribute-band nights. Further details can be had at casinodelsol.com or 855-765-7829.

Speaking of tribute acts—although this one isn't Halloween-related—Purple Reign, which plays the music of one Prince Rogers Nelson and is one of the most popular tribute bands in the country, will be stopping in at the Sahuarita location of Desert Diamond Casino's Diamond Center,1100 W. Pima Mine Road, for a performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Tickets run from $10 to $17.50. Answers to your questions are available at ddcaz.com or by calling 294-7777.

SNATCH IT BACK AND HOLD IT

Several months ago, KUAT, the local PBS affiliate, showed a concert video called Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981. It begins with live footage, which appears to have been shot with an early version of a camcorder, of Buddy Guy playing with his band at the titular club, which Guy then owned, in the Windy City. But a few songs in, a limo pulls up—and keep in mind, this is in South Chicago, which I'm guessing didn't see many limos in those days—and out pour (and I do mean pour) the members of a little rock band called the Rolling Stones.

They cause a commotion—because the Rolling Stones!—as they angle for seats; then, one by one, the members join Guy onstage for a run-through of blues standards. It's a fascinating document, not only because you get a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a once-in-a-lifetime slice of blues and rock history, but also because you can feel the sense of worship of Guy by the biggest band in rock 'n' roll.

To put it bluntly, Buddy Guy is arguably the most respected, most influential living blues guitarist in the world. It's been some years since I've seen him perform, so I can't attest to his current chops; but if you've never seen him play live, do yourself a favor and catch this legend while you still can.

You have the opportunity to do so on Friday, Oct. 25, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. with an opening set by The Record Company. Tickets range from $41 to $63 and are available online at rialtotheatre.com or by calling 740-1000. Use the same info for further details.

SHIPS IN THE OCEAN

Nicolas Moog Retour a Sonora book signings and art exhibitions with musical guests Howe Gelb and Chris Black at Café Passe on Saturday, Oct. 26, and with musical guests Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez, and Billy Sedlmayr at Borderlands Brewery on Wednesday, Oct. 30; KRS-One, Big Meridox, and Jivin Scientists at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 29; Mellowhigh (featuring Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain of Odd Future) at Club Congress on Tuesday, Oct. 29; Rusted Root, Goodnight, Texas, and Spirit Familia at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 30; "The Golden Age Tour" with Dizzy Wright featuring Emilio Rojas at The Rock on Wednesday, Oct. 30; Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque at the Rialto Theatre on Monday, Oct. 28; Lariats (early show) with Logan Greene Electric at Toxic Ranch Records, and Lariats (late show) with Brass Tax and Sleep Like Trees at Plush, both on Thursday, Oct. 24; Mark Karan and Dave Hebert with Top Dead Center and Xtra Ticket at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 26; The Parish Gastropub's Two-Year Anniversary NOLAween Party with The El Camino Royales at The Parish on Saturday, Oct. 26; Lenguas Largas and Far Corners at Sky Bar on Saturday, Oct. 26; Rhythm Nights: Jazz at Tohono Chul – A Smooth Night of Jazz on Friday, Oct. 25; Golden Youth, Signals, and Spider Cider at Club Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

R.I.P., Snacktray.

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