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FLATHEADS, REJOICE! Although this week's performance by Fourkiller Flats is being billed as a reunion show, the band's members say it's a misnomer.

"We never broke up," says singer/guitarist Jim Cox.

Either way, it's been a full year since the band performed in their hometown (the group's most recent show was in Phoenix, in February), and you can bet their fans will be lining up to once again hear the tasty batch of rootsy country-rock tunes that won them such a devoted following in the first place.

And after the "reunion" gig, what next? Says Cox, "I'm hoping this will lead to something." Stay tuned.

Fourkiller Flats perform on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Truck and Cathy Rivers open the show at 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 798-1298.


MUSICAL CHAIRS: Two new local bands containing members with familiar names and faces make their respective debuts this week.

TAMMIES winners Liberty School may have broken up, but the band's members have splintered off into other musical pursuits. Featuring former Schoolmates Mike Bagesse (guitar) and David Tracy (bass), The Fashionistas will perform for the first time this weekend. The band also includes Mona Chambers (cello), Dimitri Manos ("pots and pans"), Noah Thomas ("trumpet and intellectual property") and singer Emily Marchand ("torch songs and fashion statements").

Catch 'em at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Nov. 22. The Virtual Quartet opens the show around 9:30 p.m. For further details, call 622-3535.

Meanwhile, The Jons are still together, but keyboardist Sergio Mendoza has parted ways with the band less than amicably. Still, he wasted no time putting together his latest project, Seven to Blue, formed in a rather unorthodox manner. Mendoza, who was one of The Jons' primary songwriters, wrote a bunch of new songs, then recorded full arrangements of them himself. He then wrote charts for each instrument on each song and set out to find players who could read music (rarer than you might think) in order to perform them. Eventually, he landed bassist Joel Gottschalk and drummer Troy Hill (both of The Funkamentals), a guitarist named Steve (Latino Solido) and singer Katherine Byrns, who is also a member of the UA jazz band. The band's performance this weekend was originally intended to be a one-off, but the members are so happy with the results that they intend to keep gigging.

A rough Seven to Blue demo reveals Mendoza's songwriting style to be as quirky and eclectic as ever--lots of Beatles-esque chord changes and hints of everything from lounge jazz to singer/songwriter fare a la Elliott Smith, all performed with a pop sensibility.

See Seven to Blue's debut performance at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Thursday, Nov. 20. Emily Long opens the show at 9:30 p.m. For more info, call 798-1298.


RE-COVERING: As you read this, night one (and, possibly, night two) of the Sixth Annual Great Cover-Up will have already been performed. But, as promised in last week's column, we'll now reveal the lineup for Friday, Nov. 21, the third and final night of this extravaganza: Lucy Chair (7 p.m.); The Croutons (7:30 p.m.); Nowhere Man (8 p.m.); Ladies and Gentlemen (8:30 p.m.); Sugarbush (9 p.m.); Love Mound (9:30 p.m.); Topless Opry (10 p.m.); Sub Rosa (10:30 p.m.); The Hillwilliams (11 p.m.); Mankind (11:30 p.m.); and The Pork Torta and Friends (midnight).

Bands being covered on Friday, in no particular order: Rage Against the Machine, Simon and Garfunkel, Adam and the Ants, Glen Campbell, Culture Club, Journey, Tom Waits, songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, R.E.M., The Jackson 5, and Gary Numan.

Night three of the Great Cover-Up kicks off at 7 p.m. sharp on Friday, Nov. 21, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $7 for one night, $11 for two, or $14 for a three-day pass, with all proceeds benefiting The Brewster Center. Questions? Ring up 622-8848.


HOUSTON, WE HAVE LIFT-OFF: Don't be fooled by the name: Houston aren't from Texas. Instead, they're a Minneapolis-based trio who recently released their third album, Bottom of the Curve, on the 54, 40' or Fight! label. The band specializes in songs that utilize a huge guitar sound and a deft rhythm section to arrive at the point where dynamic, math-rock changes intersect with memorable melodies. Cross the Midwestern expansiveness of Shiner with the metallic edge of Queens of the Stone Age, and you're on the right block.

Houston performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Sunday, Nov. 23. Manifold and Batter the Drag open at 9 p.m. Cover is $5. For further details, call 622-8848.


NIGHT OF THE LIVING COLOUR: In the 1980s, Living Colour provided a swift kick in the nuts to the unwritten rule of that era that said that black people couldn't play rock and roll, and they did it with a bang. Their debut album, Vivid (1988, Epic), was a pure blast of blistering, political hard rock that incorporated elements of soul, jazz, and funk, and was inescapable, winning them a Grammy for its megahit, "Cult of Personality."

Since then, the band has released a couple more albums, broken up, reformed and released a couple more albums. Their latest, Collideøscope (2003, Sanctuary), is largely a musical treatise on the events of Sept. 11, and its sociopolitical repercussions, that's been garnering overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Living Colour performs at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, on Friday, Nov. 21. Tucson's Chango Malo opens the show at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $22.50 at all Zia locations and the venue, or online at www.calproductions.com. For more info call 733-6262.


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: In case you missed his summer performance, veteran singer/songwriter Tom Russell makes a second local appearance this week in support of his latest album, Modern Art (2003, Hightone), which includes guest spots from Eliza Gilkyson, Gurf Morlix, and Nanci Griffith, who sings on four of the album's tracks.

Over the course of his 20-year career, Russell's literary story-songs have been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, k.d. lang, and Iris Dement, to name but a few, and his 1999 album, The Man From God Knows Where (Hightone), was called "one of the most important folk records ever recorded" by no less an authority than John Lomax.

Tom Russell and his longtime guitarist, Andrew Hardin, perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Advance tickets are available for $20 at the venue; they'll be $25 on the day of the show. For more information, call 321-0928 or 690-0991.


SINGING THE BLUES: Local blues duo Steve Grams and Danny Krieger celebrate their new album, That's the Way We Work, with a CD release party this week. Upright bassist Grams and guitarist Krieger have both been inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame, and they boast about 70 years of musical experience between them. They'll be heading across the pond at the end of the month to tour Holland with Mr. Boogiewoogie, who also appears on the new album.

Grams and Krieger's CD release party begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at The French Quarter, 3146 E. Grant Road. For more details, call 318-4767.

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