Additionally, I'd like to wish those of you who celebrate Christmas a joyous one. And, as for my fellow Jews, I'll see you at the matinee of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, as well as the Chinese restaurant afterward.
Be happy and safe, everyone.
Austin country-bluegrass combo the Weary Boys have become Tucson favorites in recent years, partially due to the fact that their van (and, therefore, they) got stranded here a few years back while on tour. During that extended visit, they made the most of their time by playing as many gigs as possible, thereby giving locals plenty of opportunities to be won over by their hillbilly voodoo. (Van repairs aren't cheap.) The Boys enjoyed their spell in Tucson enough that they recorded their third album, Good Times, at Wavelab Studios. Their brand-new one, Holy Ghost Power, released on Dec. 15, ties together the tradition of merging gospel and country music that you almost forgot existed. The material here is superbly suited to the group's strengths and, as always, the Boys' exuberance is infectious. Still, as anyone who's seen them live can attest, their albums just don't do them the justice their performances do.
The Hacienda Brothers are the inspired pairing of roots rock veteran Chris Gaffney (he's one of Dave Alvin's Guilty Men) and Paladins frontman Dave Gaffney, both of whom are acclaimed songwriters. They were originally tossed together, along with the since-departed Teddy Morgan, to play a party here in Tucson in 2002, and hit it off well enough to write some songs together and record a demo. That demo wound up in the hands of the legendary songwriter/producer Dan Penn, who's had a hand in such songs as "The Letter," "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like a Baby." So wowed was he by the demo that he jumped in his Lincoln and drove 2,000 miles to Tucson, to produce the duo's debut album. Set for release on Feb. 22, on Koch Records, the self-titled album is chock full of vintage bluesy country with Southwestern teases, exotica surf nods and Memphis soul, not tacked on but fully integrated. My favorite five-word song lyric excerpt: "Hail Mary, full of gin."
The Hacienda Brothers and the Weary Boys perform at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., Friday, Dec. 31. The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $15 at the door, with a couple bucks off if tickets are paid for in advance. For more information, call 622-3535.
New Wave Year with The Zsa Zsas begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31. Advance tickets are available for $20 at the hotel's front desk; they'll be $25 at the door (if any remain). Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. For further details, call 622-8848.
Doors open at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, with live music beginning at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $12 at the club, or online at virtuous.com. They'll be $15 on the day of the event. Questions? Call 798-1298.
Galactic Federation of Love performs sometime around 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31. The Red Room at Grill is located at 100 E. Congress St. The number to call for more info is 623-7621.
Whiskey Bitch and the Sweat Band ring in the new year at the Surly Wench, 424 N. Fourth Ave., Friday, Dec. 31. Call 882-0009 for bonus details.