I'd love to meet Elizabeth Esselink (a.k.a. Solex) sometime to try to read her, to figure out whether she's one of the most pretentious people I've ever met, or one of the most guileless. I'm sure it's one or the other.
In my heart of hearts, I really hope she's the anti-Beck, eventhough experience tells me she'll soon be in cahoots with Señor Irony. She's by turns sexy, disturbing and schizophrenic. She just might be the quintessential post-modern heroine. Her music is confusing, confused and completely compelling. You're a girl, I'm a boy, and we both can love her equally.
A lovely, lilting ballad is ultimately disturbed by percussion so clanging it would wake up Kathleen Brennan. Finally, a left-handed melody shows up, shell-shocked and wobbly, impossibly alluring just the same. All of a sudden, Pere Ubu becomes the backing band, all awkward shotgun-blast guitars, with Elizabeth left singing some boogie-woogie tune all by her lonesome. The track is called "The Burglars Are Coming," and it's on Solex's debut LP Pick Up, released last year on Matador Records. There's also some opera, string sections, creepy samples of talking men, a singing saw, a beat box, a touch of bossa nova, march-like trip-hop, and some straightforward girl-pop. It's all really interesting, and it's all really good. Guaranteed to confuse and please.
I can't even begin to imagine what the hell Solex is gonna be like live, but I guaran-damn-tee I'll be there to see for myself at 9 p.m. on Monday, June 12, at Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave. If you need further incentive, the ass-stompin' local duo we like to call Twine will be on stage for your pre-show pleasure. It's only $5, man; get your ass there. Call 884-0874 for more info.
JUKEBOX HEROES: Got the jones for the days when you were a young'un and "Carry On My Wayward Son," "Cold As Ice," "Point Of No Return," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and "Dust In The Wind" were inescapable on your local FM station? If the answer is yes, you can see all these songs and more live when Kansas and Foreigner team up for an I-remember-when show at 8 p.m. at the Libby Army Air Airfield at Fort Huachuca on Saturday, June 10. Advance tickets are $10 through Dillard's (1-800-638-4253), and $15 at the gate. For further details log on to www.mwrhuachuca.com.
ACT OF CONGRESS: I didn't mean to mislead you a couple weeks back: Club Congress will still be hosting the occasional live show; it's just not gonna happen every Friday anymore. The Congo folks say they'll have about six shows a year, and promise that when they do, it's gonna be big.
In the meantime, the last regularly scheduled Friday night show hits Congress this week, courtesy of celtic-punk freaks Flogging Molly, who take a night off from their grueling Vans Warped Tour schedule to entertain the locals.
I've never seen these gents, but I've been told by more than one person that if you like The Pogues (whom I just happen to worship), you'll love Flogging Molly.
The packaging for opening band Four Star Mary's CD, Thrown To The Wolves, contains a sticker that boasts, "As Featured on the Hit TV Show Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Y'know what? I couldn't give a rat's ass if you were featured in the new John Waters movie, you will still write and play the most horribly insipid, worthless, selling-your-soul-to-get-played-on-KROQ bullshit I've ever heard. You represent everything wrong with music today. I'm sure you're all really nice guys, I just hate your band. OK? (Whew. Sorry, but that felt really good.)
Rich Hopkins and the Luminarios kick off the proceedings at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 9, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Cover is $5, and you can call 622-8848 for more 411.
ON THE BANDWAGON: The recent influx of excellent Cuban dance bands making Tucson a tour stop continues this week with a performance by the youngsters of Bamboleo. Sure to please, the 14-piece timba ensemble makes a stop at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 9. Advance tickets are available for $20 at CD Depot, Guitars, Etc., Zip's University, Hear's Music, and Congress Street Store. They'll be $25 at the door. Questions? Call 798-3333.
San Francisco Latin-ska masters Monkey make their way to the Old Pueblo this week along with their like-minded buddies from Texas, Los Skarnales, who also inject touches of rockabilly and swing into a Latino-based stew. Locals Scud open the fiesta at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 9, at Double Zero, 121 E. Congress St. Call 670-9332 for cover charge info.
Double Zero is also the venue for a show by local beer-soaked rockers Thunderosa, who appear along with Atlanta's Truckadellic on Tuesday, June 13. Show starts at 9 p.m. and cover is cheap.
And finally--just so ya know--a couple of updates on the Monsoon Madness schedule I gave you last week: On June 9, the Bujinkan Yamaneko martial arts demo team performs from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by new local rock by Loose Leaf, featuring guitarist Mike Sydloski from 8 to 10 p.m. Tricky Luz has cancelled their appearance.
On June 30, As Short As Possible will play, but Jon Murphy won't. As usual, all performances run from 6 to 9 p.m on each Friday outdoors at the Winsett Peforming Arts Center, 316 N. Fourth Ave. All performances are free, free, free!