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TIME TO CRAWL!

It's a mighty busy week for live music in Tucson, so plan wisely to maximize your rock potential. As sponsors of the festival, we do, of course, encourage you to set aside time to attend one of the biggest musical events of the year: the Weekly's 2004 Fall Club Crawl™.

The semi-annual Crawls are two nights out of the year when Tucsonans of all stripes descend on the downtown area for a jam-packed evening (in both senses of the term) of kick-ass performances from local and regional bands of almost every genre of music on the map. If you want classical music, go to the symphony; if you're looking for blues, punk, jazz, country and rock and roll, head for the Crawl.

For the first time that we can remember, Congress Street will be blocked off from Fourth Avenue to Sixth Avenue in order to accommodate more outdoor stages than ever. Additionally, that entire area, as well as the whole of Hotel Congress, can be roamed freely, which means two things: fewer lines and the ability to carry drinks to an abundance of stages.

Be sure to check out the Fall Club Crawl guide in the middle of this issue for complete details--it tells you pretty much everything you'll need to know to formulate your plan of attack. And if you want to save a couple bucks, make sure to visit event-sponsor CD City before the day of the event to pick up a wristband for the low, low price of $8. They'll also be available at all participating venues for $10 on the night of the festival.

The 2004 Fall Club Crawl begins at 8 p.m. at most venues Saturday, Oct. 16. Please drink responsibly and use either a designated driver or a taxi service.


AVA BLUES

Though he was born in Louisiana, it wasn't until Buddy Guy moved to Chicago in the late 1950s that he began establishing himself as one of the true blues greats. Once there, the new kid on the block was quickly embraced by the city's blues elite--Muddy Waters, Magic Sam and Otis Rush among them. Though his early recordings owed much to his new buddies, by the time Guy began recording for the venerated Chess label, beginning in 1960, he had found his own voice--a tortured, soulful one that was accompanied by his deftly searing guitar licks. His talent on the frets was also utilized on recordings by a host of other blues kingpins such as Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf and Koko Taylor (that's Guy's guitar on her famous recording of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle").

He later recorded for Vanguard before pairing up with blues harpist Junior Wells for a series of potent tours and albums released by Blue Thumb and Atlantic. And revered though he may have been by both fans and fellow musicians (ask just about any blues-influenced guitarist alive about his/her inspirations, and the name Buddy Guy will likely pop up), Guy remained largely dormant throughout the '80s. But in the early '90s, he once again began releasing new material and, in the process, reawakened the public consciousness to the fact that his career was far from over.

He hasn't stopped since, and these days, Buddy Guy is widely and rightly regarded as the living king of Chicago blues.

The blues loves its tender-aged phenoms, so when Jonny Lang released his first album at age 15, he seemed to have a built-in following that showered him with praise. Though it seems as if he's been around forever, the gruff-voiced Lang is now only 22 years old and boasts two platinum albums and a Grammy nomination on his resumé.

Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road. Advance tickets are available for $38.50 (reserved seating) and $24 (lawn) at all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 321-1000. For more information, call 883-1700.


DEAD MOON RISING?

Dead Moon was garage rock when garage rock wasn't cool--or at least wasn't the dominant force that it is today. Featuring husband-and-wife duo Fred and Toody Cole, the Oregon trio has been issuing a steady stream of energetic and oddly romantic albums since 1990. They've met with respectable success in Europe, where they tour often, though Americans have been slower to embrace them. Two plausible reasons why: They don't tour the homeland much, and most Americans have ditched their turntables in favor of the convenience of the digital age--most of the band's albums are only available on vinyl.

Dead Moon performs Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. The Knockout Pills and The Okmoniks open at 9:30 p.m. Cover is a mere $6. For further details, call 798-1298.


GERUND FEVER--CATCH IT! OR DON'T

A friend of ours has a pet peeve: movie titles that begin with a gerund. While we've never discussed it, we're guessing he's likewise irked by the names of many latter-day emo bands that employ similarly syntactical monikers. For this reason (and because he's not a teenager anymore), we're pretty sure he'll have little use for Taking Back Sunday's performance this week.

With aggressive guitars, a shouter of a "singer" and an overabundance of angst, the Amityville, N.Y.-based band is largely unremarkable in a sea of bands that do the same sort of thing. In other words, they're a mopey-because-he's-so-angry teen boy's wet dream.

Sharing the bill are three surprisingly gerund-free bands: Matchbook Romance, Fall Out Boy and The Sleeping.

Taking Back Sunday perform at Coconuts, 296 N. Stone Ave., Tuesday, Oct. 19. The show begins at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $16.50 at all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 321-1000. The number to call with questions is 884-0600.

Speaking of generic bands with gerunds in their name, lametastic Pennsylvania rockers Breaking Benjamin are also in town this week. Give 'em this: They've figured out the current formula for mega modern rock radio success--plodding verses with woe-is-me lyrics and anthemic choruses that offer a glimmer of hope through the muck of post-puberty existence in a cruel world in which your parents just don't understand and you've been sprayed with girl repellent. (Our favorite lyric, which pretty much sums up the entire genre: "Why am I so pathetic?") Breaking Benjamin writes the songs that make the young boys cry.

Breaking Benjamin performs at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, Wednesday, Oct. 20. Doors for the all-ages show open at 8 p.m., with Thornley opening. Tickets are $16 and may be purchased in advance at all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 321-1000. For more info, call 733-6262.


UNEARTHLY MASSAGE

Another friend of ours (who shall remain nameless) recently confessed that he and his girlfriend enjoy listening to the music of Rasa--who bill themselves as "the essence of divine love" and record for New Earth Records--while giving each other backrubs. We started poking fun at him for his New Age ways until we realized that, hey, at least he's getting regular backrubs and has a girlfriend. Then we just got jealous and began to pout.

Luckily, we had a copy of Rasa's 2003 album, Shelter, to, um, center us. Though the duo's press kit is full of phrases like "classic Bengali songs in praise of Krishna," "reflects an unearthly beauty" and "invokes a mood of reverence and meditation," our uneducated ears found similarities to the equally ethereal Enigma. And we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that singer Kim Waters' voice is awfully darn purty.

Grab your massage oils and head out to see Rasa Sunday, Oct. 17, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Daniel Moore opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 884-0874 for more information.

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