So where, you ask, can a Tucsonan go for such an event? If you can accept the fact that Halloween arrives a few days early this year--and I bet, dear reader, that you can--you go to the biggest, most rockin'est Halloween bash to be found, which is, of course, Nightmare on Congress Street. Subtitled the Neewollah Street Dance, this marks its fourth year of existence, and it only seems to get better every year.
As always, Congress Street will be blocked off from traffic to accommodate the madness, which will include the requisite costume contests as well as three stages jam-packed full of pure eclectic fun. A $10 ticket, available in advance at both Zia locations, and a valid ID proving that this is at least your 21st All Hallow's Eve, will grant you access to the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.; Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.; and the outdoor stage smack-dab in the middle of the street.
The soundtrack for your night includes Santa Fe's The Blood Drained Cows, a '60s-style garage psych-pop trio (think Lenny Kaye's Nuggets compilations) that includes Gregg Turner, former Creem magazine scribe and founder of the seminal punk combo Angry Samoans; jam-rock mavens The Big Wu; the modern bluegrass sounds of The Larry Keel Experience; the hellacious honkytonk of the appropriately named Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash; roots-rockabilly courtesy of the Deviants; local alterna-rock faves Tongue Dried Sun; and the Hades-raisin', heavy-as-Satan, eardrum-rapin' rokk of Molten Leather. In the words of Martha Stewart, it's a good thing.
So go ahead and throw that costume on, and head out for the grown-up version of Halloween. It all kicks off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 28 (plenty of time to wash that greasepaint off before heading into work on Monday). Call 798-3333 for additional information.
JAILHOUSE ROCK: We all know by now that The Supersuckers rock, but who knew our former hometown heroes have a heart, too?
For evidence, look no further than the just-released compilation co-produced by head Sucker Eddie Spaghetti, entitled Free The West Memphis 3 (Koch Records). In addition to a healthy roster of acts including The Murder City Devils, Tom Waits, Nashville Pussy, Steve Earle, Rocket From The Crypt, Joe Strummer, and not one but two songs courtesy of The Supersuckers (one of which is a collaboration with a guy by the name of Eddie Vedder), the album serves as a benefit for the legal defense fund of the titular West Memphis Three, a trio of teenagers whiling away their days in prison--one on death row--on supposed Satanic cult-style triple murder charges, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting their innocence. (For more information on the case, check out the two chilling made-for-HBO documentaries Paradise Lost and Revelations: Paradise Lost Revisited, available for rent on home video).
Despite their brainless (and, yes, hella fun) brand of revved-up rawk, it's nice to see the once-thought apolitical boys take a stand for something they believe in. Kudos, gents. And of course it's always a blast to see the SSs play a homecoming gig (usually a healthy percentage of the audience is comprised of their parents--watch Mr. Spaghetti Sr. swell with pride as Eddie points at him while singing, "It's not so bad / when Satan is your dad"). This time around they're bringing two fabulous opening bands with them: The Amazing Crowns and Streetwalkin' Cheetahs kick things off at 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, at 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St. Tickets are $10 at the door, and you can call 670-9202 for answers to all those itchy, burning questions.
GLOWING PUNK KIN: You don't want to miss the Fourth Annual Nightmare on Congress street party on Friday, October 28, but make sure to guard a piece of your soul for the return of the Warriors of Make Believe on All Hallow's Eve (that's Tuesday, October 31).
Though currently paying rent in Phoenix, this trio of twentysomething UA fine arts grads still think of Tucson as home, and are clearly in their element when playing an Old Pueblo stage. (By the end of last Saturday's show at Solar Culture, an even mix of male and female fans were downright worshipful of their multi-media show.)
The irresistible vocals of lead guitarist Marta Wiley range from grrrl rock growl to an ethereal, operatic trill, while bassist Debbie Lorray spits out her own alto rhythms and rhymes along with vocalist/drummer Cristiana Wiley, whose presence in the background is anything but secondary.
The liquid chemistry of W.O.M.B. brings all three of its members into the spotlight with equal verve, creating a seductive surge of P.J. Harvey-inspired rock laced intermittently with rhythms from Mexico and Jamaica (the respective homelands of the Wiley sisters, and their childhood friend Lorray). Socio-political lyrics weave into a metaphysical, pop-cultural swirl of sound and image that, beneath the surface of irony and wordplay, sounds an insistent vibration of hope and humor designed to shake loose a cynical world.
W.O.M.B. celebrates the release of a new CD (on sale at the show for a mere $10) and a new single, appropriately titled "Halloween," at 10 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, at 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St. Call 670-9202 for details.