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TAMMIES TIME: It's more humid than wet rats fucking in a tube sock. University students are starting to trickle back into town. And those few venues lucky enough to have gone on summer vacation are back up and running. Which means the relative musical drought of Summer 2003 is finally subsiding, and that it's time again for the TAMMIES--the annual Tucson Area Music Awards.

Now in its 10th year, the Weekly-sanctioned event is intended not to be a serious competition per se, but rather a celebration of all things musical in Tucson. It's a way to acknowledge the hard work that local musicians put in each year, and a way to give our readers, who voted on the winners, a voice to say thank you to their favorite performers. And, the awards ceremony itself has been streamlined to be as fast-paced and entertaining as possible. In other words, as in recent years, the acceptance speeches of TAMMIES ceremonies past have been replaced by performances by a diverse cross-section of musical veterans and newcomers alike. This year's performers include Lisa Otey, PH8, Cathy Rivers, Los Changuitos Feos, Kathleen Williamson, Whiskey Bitch, Teddy Morgan, Nancy McCallion and the Mollys, Mala Vita and the 4 Corners Band. Best of all, admission is free to anyone who turns out.

The 10th annual TAMMIES ceremony begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. For more information call 798-3333.


HALF A PEACH: New York City's lower Manhattan boasts a rich history of anti-folk performers, those who use traditional folk means--acoustic guitars and intelligent lyrics--to arrive at a style of music as informed by punk rock as it is by anything Woody Guthrie ever wrote. Some of the anti-folk artists of the past have gone on to fame and fortune--Beck, for example--while others have toiled away in the netherworld of cult fandom--where have you gone, Roger Manning?--but the undisputed darlings of the current NYC anti-folk scene are the duo of Kimya Dawson and Adam Green, who perform under the banner of the Moldy Peaches.

With charmingly amateurish, lo-fi songs that veer from hilariously juvenile ("Who mistook the steak for chicken? / Who'm I gonna stick my dick in?") to heart-wrenchingly romantic and wide-eyed ("And besides you're probably holding hands / With some skinny, pretty girl that likes to talk about bands / All I wanna do is ride bikes with you / And stay up late and watch cartoons"), people tend to either love 'em or hate 'em. (I fall wholeheartedly into the former category. Augmented by a full band, the Peaches' performance at last year's South By Southwest music conference was the best I saw all week.)

Unfortunately, the Moldy Peaches are currently on hiatus, and there's no sign of when, or even if, they'll reconvene for another album. In the meantime, Green has just released his ambitious third solo album, Friends of Mine (2003, Rough Trade), and following her solo debut--last year's critically acclaimed I'm Sorry That Sometimes I'm Mean (Rough Trade)--Dawson most recently and quite inexplicably popped up as a guest on the new Third Eye Blind album. Try not to hold it against her.

Oh, yeah, she's also currently touring (I knew there was a reason I was writing this.) and will appear at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., on Sunday, Aug. 3. Tucson Weekly contributor Annie Holub opens the show at 9 p.m. Cover is $6. For further details call 884-0874.


MOORE MUSIC: Though he made his name as a hotshit Texas guitar-slinger playing soulful blues, in recent years, Austin's Ian Moore has exposed a different side by releasing 1999's Ian Moore's Got the Green Grass (Hablador Records) and embarking on solo acoustic tours. Though he's released a live album with his band, Ian Moore Action Company, in the years since (Hablador also released that album, Via Satellite, in 2001), Grass is a good starting point for the newbie, as it showcases the deft touch he's learned to bring to a wide swath of styles. Gorgeous strings and Moore's honeyed voice are featured on "Airplane"; "Closer" explodes into an update of vintage Beach Boys; "Pennyroyal Tea" (not a Nirvana cover) is a rockin' little chugger that could garner airtime on college rock radio, while "Paris, Texas" finds Moore in familiar acoustic blues territory. At times the album, which also features a few covers by the likes of Dylan and the Beatles, sounds more like a schizophrenic compilation than a solo artist exploring the vast treasures of musical Americana. All the more remarkable, then, that there's not a bum track to be found here.

Ian Moore performs on Thursday, July 31, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Stefan George opens at 9:30 p.m. For more info call 798-1298.


DEAD JEALOUS: The former singer/guitarist of the underrated '90s adrenaline-addled indie-rock band Knapsack, Blair Shehan, has new band, The Jealous Sound, that debuted their first full-length album, Kill Them With Kindness (Better Looking), in June. While Shehan's patented scream is nowhere to be found in the new band, it's been replaced by impressive guitar interplay (John McGinnis and Pedro Benito supply the axes, while Shehan mostly sticks to bass here) and a keen sense of melody indicative of modern-day emo. Not unlike Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard, the immediate intimacy of Shehan's voice draws you in from the get-go, and while there's nothing groundbreaking going on here, the hooks and their execution place the Jealous Sound head and shoulders above the bulk of their similar-minded contemporaries.

The Jealous Sound perform on Friday, Aug. 1, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. The show begins at 9 p.m. For further details call 884-0874.


ALTERNATIVE TO TOMB RAIDER: Though he made his name as a director, screenwriter and actor, Billy Bob Thornton was slogging away in bar bands long before he stepped in front of the camera lens. Sure, it was his film career that enabled him to record and release albums--Lost Highway released Private Radio in 2001, and The Edge of the World is scheduled to be released by Sanctuary, on Aug. 19--but Thornton's music reeks far less of a vanity project than, say, Keanu Reeves' Dogstar (and it helps to enlist Marty Stuart to produce, as he did on the debut). The missteps are many: The lyrics can be a bit melodramatic at times, and his voice, which sounds a bit like a gruffer Tom Petty, can come off like he's trying too hard (i.e., overwrought, especially on the ballads), but overall, his roots-oriented albums are better efforts than one might expect. And if you go see him, please do everyone a favor and don't request "Angelina," no matter how many Jack and Cokes you've got in your belly.

Billy Bob Thornton performs on Friday, Aug. 1, at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road. Holly Williams opens the show at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $27 at the venue and all Zia Records locations, online at www.ticketweb.com, and by phone at 866-468-7621. For ticket information call 733-6262.


HOWL AT THE SUN: Best known for her years as co-leader of the legendary art-noise combo Swans, Jarboe is a fiercely independent spirit whose eerie voice can manifest itself as an ethereal moan, a disturbingly guttural howl, husky lounge-jazz crooning and all sorts of operatic points in between--think of her as the anti-Enya. Her latest arty concoction of the sacred and profane is 2002's Dissected, an album of other artists remixing existing Jarboe material and it's as bizarrely intriguing as her fans have come to expect.

Jarboe performs on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Italy's Larsen open the show at 9 p.m., and cover is a mere $6. Questions? That number again is 884-0874.

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