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PRINE TIME: Of all the "new Dylans," perhaps none has enjoyed the career longevity and success of John Prine (you won't likely see Steve Forbert headlining Centennial Hall anytime soon). During his beginnings in the Chicago folk scene of the early '70s, when he befriended cult folkie Steve Goodman, Prine wrote diverse tunes from the cautionary Vietnam tale "Sam Stone" to the dippy, hippie-ish pro-drug "Illegal Smile." In his mid-'70s period he plugged in and rocked out, but his later work returned him to his folk roots, highlighted by the 1991 album The Missing Years (released on Oh Boy, his own label). Prine is like a modern-day Kris Kristofferson, a deft, literate storyteller who can write both horribly grave tales and humorous ones convincingly.

He rarely tours anymore, so consider yourselves lucky that Prine, along with opener Todd Snider, will appear at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall on the UA campus, on Saturday, November 10. For more information or to charge tickets by phone call 621-3341.


BOMBS AWAY: OK, so they kinda fall into the dinosaur camp these days--22 years since the release of their first album, nearly a decade since their last--but there is no denying the sheer fun that is a B-52s show. It's the only band that remembered sheer goofiness and the value of high camp at a time when you had to be either a punk or a rocker, not to mention the first band to have a cultural impact from the still-fertile breeding grounds of Athens, Ga. The fact that they survived the death of founding guitarist Ricky Wilson and are still spreading the gospel of utter, danceable nonsense is cause for celebration.

The party hits Tucson this week when the B-52s perform on Saturday, November 10 at the Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater at Casino del Sol. For tickets, hit up Ticketmaster or call 321-1000.


GET THE DRANO: A mysterious CD passed across my desk this week in the form of Triskaidekaphobia: 13 Songs from the Kitschsinsynch, a local release that bore very little in the form of background info. Actually, there wasn't even a track listing so I have no idea what any of these songs are called, but stylistically it's as jumbled as a They Might Be Giants record, and like that band's output, some of it's interesting and quirky, some of it's a bit annoying. There's a nifty little slice of hurdy-gurdy psychedelic folk here, a cloying tune that goes nowhere about "a black man singing the blues" there, a convincing Doors-meets-The Zombies cut (one of the highlights), and a Timbuk 3 sound-alike that's a bit too close for comfort. The recording screams "I did this on my 4-track all by myself!" and as such it's a worthwhile effort--hell, it's nice to know someone out there is even attempting something so ambitious completely under the radar--but a good portion of the songs here would be well served by a full band treatment.

And perhaps they will when the Kitschsinsynch celebrates the disc's release with a CD release party at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13 at Berky's, 5769 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information call 296-1981.


EMO'S FIRE: Colorado's Pinhead Circus has expanded its repertoire beyond the drunken punk rock antics of yore with the release of its new album, The Black Power of Romance (BYO Records), and delves head-on into the melodic emo stylings that send the sensitive indie kids home weeping.

Pinhead Circus returns to Skrappy's, 201 E. Broadway Blvd., at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, along with opener Whippersnapper. Cover is $6. For further details call 620-1824.

And speaking of emo bands, one of the most beloved in the genre, Pennsylvania's The Juliana Theory, makes its way to the same venue this week. After shifting a surprisingly large number of units with its three releases on Tooth & Nail, the band, with its feet planted firmly in pop territory (as opposed to Pinhead Circus, which is still punk rock at heart), will provide a litmus test of sorts for major labels everywhere, as its next album is due to come out on Epic. They picked the right band for sure, as JT is, above all, accessible.

The Juliana Theory appears along with openers Burning Troy and Shotstar at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 12 at Skrappy's. Admission is $10 at the door, and that number again is 620-1824.


BEENIE, BABY: The contemporary king of dancehall reggae, Kingston, Jamaica's Beenie Man (aka Moses Davis--a way cooler name than Beenie Man, if you ask me) is one of the few reggae DJs wise enough to incorporate liberal doses of hip-hop into the skank, as he first did on last year's Art & Life (Virgin), his mainstream breakthrough which featured guest appearances from Redman, Mya, Kelis, and Wyclef Jean. Bonus useless trivia: He co-produced the recording debut of martial arts dickweed "actor" Steven Segal.

Beenie Man appears as headliner of the multi-act Tropical Storm 2001 tour at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Advance tickets are available for $18 through Ticketmaster or by phone at 321-1000. For more info call 798-3333.

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