While the band's European dates were taken off the board, and the release of the highly anticipated forthcoming album, A Ghost Is Born, remains pushed back to June 22, all signs point to go for Wilco's U.S. dates, including the April 29 stop in Tucson, one of only eight shows currently scheduled. Additionally, our own Howe Gelb is still on board to open the stint. Barring a last-minute change of plans, expect to see Wilco as planned two weeks from today--and be the envy of your friends everywhere.
In an attempt to bolster his sagging career, five years ago, Carlos Santana released Supernatural (Arista), an album of duets with modern-day superstars like Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas and Dave Matthews. It was a bold attempt to regain significance that paid off in spades: Santana regained prominence on commercial radio and took home an armful of Grammys to boot. While it's tough to imagine that Toots and the Maytals' latest album will garner quite such drastic notice, if it doesn't, it won't be for a lack of trying.
Toots and Co.'s True Love (V2), released earlier this month, is a similar attempt to re-capture his due glory. Following the successful Santana template, the album is also a series of collaborations with familiar names from the past (Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards) and present (Ryan Adams, No Doubt, Trey Anastasio). Toots has already made the requisite Saturday Night Live appearance (which included a smoking version of "Funky Kingston," featuring guests The Roots and Bootsy Collins--"Roots, Toots and Boots") to support the album, which is also virtually inescapable on KXCI these days. Whether the album catches on to the extent Santana's did (unlikely, considering reggae is still somewhat ghettoized on commercial radio, especially compared to the pop fodder found on Supernatural) remains to be seen. And even though True Love comprises re-makes of old Toots tunes and covers written by his guests, we can't help but root for Toots.
Toots and the Maytals perform at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road. Advance tickets are available for $22 at the venue and all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 321-1000. For more information, call 733-6262.
Phoenix quartet minibosses have taken a different angle on paying homage to video games of yore. The band performs intricate instrumentals that could easily be mistaken for guitar-heavy prog rock, except for one minor detail: They're all songs from Nintendo video games, lovingly and obsessively rendered with oh-so-faithful metallic accuracy.
They'll perform this week as part of the First Annual Multimedia Game and Tech Fest, which will also feature screenings of Tron and Super Mario Brothers, free Nintendo game stations and opening sets from I Hate You When You're Pregnant and The Okmoniks.
The dorkfest commences at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Cover is $3 if you're old enough to imbibe, $5 if you're not (as long as you're at least 18). Questions? We'll bet! Ring 'em up at 622-8848 for answers.
The band's sixth and latest album, Supernatural Equinox (2003, Rainbow Quartz), sounds like it could have easily been released in 1967, alongside Love's Forever Changes, Moby Grape's self-titled debut, and The Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense and Peppermints. (OK, so the guitars have a bit of Detroit-centric MC5 in 'em, but you get the idea.) And it's no mere exercise in retro, either; these are just damned good songs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Nuggets comp. So, don't hold the fixation against 'em, OK? Just hit the bong before you show up and enjoy.
Outrageous Cherry perform on Monday, April 19, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Sugarbush opens at 9 p.m. Cover for the all-ages show is $6. For further details, call 884-0874.
C'mere, buddy. Yeah, I'm talking to you. You say you like punk rock of the down-and-dirty variety? Greasy, drunken, mayhem-inducing punk rock? You gotta just trust me on this one. Have I ever steered you wrong before? Didn't think so.
You gotta go to Club Congress this Sunday. Yeah, I know, it's a school/work night. But you gotta throw caution to the wind every once in a while, right? Just TiVo The Sopranos and get yer ass there, willya?
Three bands and I guarantee it'll be cheap: Denton, Texas' Riverboat Gamblers, plus Tucson's The Knockout Pills and Left for Dead. You can't lose. People will make fun of you for missing this show after the fact. Seriously.
I'd tell you to buy me a drink later to thank me, but I already know you'll be offering me free rein of your tab.
Yes, it'll be that good.
Wipe that puke off your shirt and head out to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. For more 411, call 622-8848.
Catch 'em at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Sunday, April 18, along with Amazing Larry and The Okmoniks, starting at 9 p.m. Call 622-3535 for more info.