THE WEEK IN ROCK
Question: How many shows can a city of a million people in the greater metro area support in one week, when it follows one of the most anticipated weeks of the year? Answer: I have no idea, but we should have a pretty good answer a week from now.
In an effort to cram in as much of it as I can here, let's do this chronologically and, hopefully, pithily.
THURSDAY, NOV. 7
Do Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt really need an introduction? Lovett, especially, is one of the finest roots singer-songwriters of his generation. Hiatt is just icing on the cake.
They'll perform together at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Tickets range from $39 to $108 and are available by calling 547-3040. At press time they were unavailable online, but you can at least get more info at foxtucsontheatre.org.
Hype has been building on San Francisco-based trio Geographer for a few years now, and their 2012 album Myth (Modern Art) justifies it. They combine electro and organic elements to arrive at a grandiose indie pop thing that reminds me of Bon Iver, if he weren't so damn boring and didn't insist on singing in falsetto all the time.
Knoxville, Tenn.'s Royal Bangs, who are opening, have little in common with Geographer besides sharing a record label. They're even better, plying a giddy, danceable sound that will remind you how good The Shins once were.
The show starts at 9 p.m. tonight at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission is $12 and all ages are welcome. More info at solarculture.org and 884-0874.
Jon Batiste is a New Orleans native who, like the rest of the members of his band, Stay Human, graduated from Julliard. In other words, these folks got some chops. Sometimes they play gorgeous piano-based jazz (Batiste is a keyboardist), sometimes it's Sly Stone-influenced funk, and sometimes it's cut from the same cloth as the weird-R&B stuff that's going around these days.
In conjunction with UAPresents, Jon Batiste and Stay Human will perform four shows at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., in three days: 7:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Nov. 7; 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8; and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. Tickets are $30 to $50 via ticketmaster.com. More info at hotelcongress.com or 622-8848.
Also on Thursday: Mountain Sounds, Sun Bones, and Valise at Plush; Sex Prisoner and Territory at Toxic Ranch Records; Baauer, DJ Mustard, and S-Type at the Rialto Theatre.
FRIDAY, NOV. 8
For more than two decades, the eclectic Clutch has combined monster riffs with the blues, funk, Southern rock, metal, and a touch of Zappa weirdness. At the very least, their dedication to their patented sound is admirable. Earlier this year they released their 10th album, the well-reviewed Earth Rocker (Weathermaker).
They'll be at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Friday along with The Sword and American Sharks. Showtime is 8 p.m., all ages are welcome, and tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of show. More info at rialtotheatre.com and 740-1000.
For more than a quarter-century, enthusiasts of scooters both vintage and modern have taken a weekend trek from Tucson to Nogales and back again, and the traditional meet-and-greet before the tires hit the pavement takes place the night before the ride begins, at Hotel Congress. This year's 26th Annual Scooter Rally kicks off there once again with music from The Furys, The Vexmen (because what would a scooter rally be without a ska band?), DJ Intensifiedboy and DJ Stiv.
It all starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, on the hotel's plaza, and admission is free. More info at hotelcongress.com or 622-8848.
Also on Friday: Senses Fail, For the Fallen Dreams and more at The Rock; Cadaver Dogs, Sugar Stains, and The Swigs at Plush; Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey at the Fox Tucson Theatre; Deer Tracks at Solar Culture Gallery; Shari Puorto and the Ed DeLucia Trio at Boondocks Lounge.
SATURDAY, NOV. 9
I'll be honest. I don't know a hell of a lot about The Bugs, but here's what I do know: They're a duo from Portland, Ore., who have a fair amount of friends in Tucson. One of those friends turned me on to them a few years ago, and I couldn't believe how goddamn fun and awesome they were. Their songs are short (they once crammed six of them on a 7-inch), spiky punk-pop; they're silly; and if you're not nodding along within seconds of each one starting, you don't like rock 'n' roll.
The Bugs perform at around 10 p.m. or so at Che's Lounge, 350 N. Fourth Ave. As always, admission is free. Call 623-2088 with questions.
AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, closes out its annual concert season with a performance by Heart, the enduring sister-fronted act that were from Seattle before it was cool. (Hold the emails: I know about The Sonics.) The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $30 to $85. Head to casinodelsol.com for more info.
Also on Saturday: Robert Cray Band at the Rialto Theatre; The Piano Man: Celebrating the Music of Billy Joel and Elton John at the Fox Tucson Theatre; Evolution: A Journey Tribute at Sky Bar.
SUNDAY, NOV. 10
Is there a socially conscious rapper who has courted more controversy than Lupe Fiasco? He's insanely talented—that much is indisputable; and often, his targets are well-aimed (hit-chasing record labels that delayed the release of his album Lasers for two years, for example). He's been an outspoken critic of President Obama, which is fine, but he doesn't vote in elections. But for a guy who positioned himself as an anti-establishment, anti-misogynist, thinking man's rapper, why the fuck did he release a single featuring Chris Brown this summer? Dude is complicated, as are my feelings about him.
The "Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo and Youth Preview Tour" hits the Rialto Theatre at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $41 in advance and $45 on the day of show. All ages are welcome. Head to rialtotheatre.com or call 740-1000 for tickets or more info.
Early in Blitzen Trapper's career, they were a tough band to pin down, veering from lo-fi ballads to something a bit artier to straight-up Americana. On this year's VII, their first album for Vagrant following a trio of Sub Pop releases, they seem to have settled (or maybe not – who knows what their next release will sound like?) into a sound as quirky as it is twangy.
Blitzen Trapper performs, along with opener Alialujah Choir, at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Tickets for the all-ages show are $14 in advance, $16 on the day of the show. Check out hotelcongress.com or call 622-8848 for more info.
Also on Sunday: How Great Thou Art: The Gospel Music of Elvis at the Fox Tucson Theatre.
MONDAY, NOV. 11
Despite the fact that Glenn Danzig quit the band 30 years ago (and they've broken up and reformed since then), the Misfits continue releasing albums and touring as a goth-metal act instead of one of the best goth-punk bands ever to exist, as they were in their Danzig (sure, he's a douche bag, but that dude can sing!) days.
Misfits perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. on Monday. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $27 in advance, $30 on the day of show. More info at rialtotheatre.com or 740-1000.
TUESDAY, NOV. 12
Formed on Leap Year in 1984, the pioneering German act KMFDM was one of the first bands to fuse industrial music and dance music, and a couple generations of acts that came after them owe them big-time. Unlike the Misfits, countless members have passed in and out of their ranks, but through it all, their leader, Sascha Konietzko, remains.
KMFDM performs at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Tuesday. Chant opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $21 in advance, $24 at the door. More info at rialtotheatre.com or 740-1000.
Also on Tuesday: Downtown Brown and Laser Dad at Plush; Jay Arner at Tucson Live Music Space; Of Montreal, Big Freedia, and La Luz at Hotel Congress.
ON THE BANDWAGON (DAMN – SO CLOSE!)
Despite my best efforts, this little chronological experiment didn't quite work out the way I had planned; so, here's a bunch of good stuff happening the rest of the week:
Wednesday, Nov. 13: Tera Melos and Zorch at Club Congress; Fred Hersch at the Temple of Music and Art; Drums, Percussion, Gongs: A Night With Dean Moore at Solar Culture Gallery.
Thursday, Nov. 14: Weed, Prom Body, Hellshovel, Otherly Love, and AZ77 at Topaz; Portland Cello Project at Solar Culture Gallery; Chance the Rapper at the Rialto Theatre; Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, and Hirie at The Rock; Cactus Raats and Freedom Assault at Toxic Ranch Records.