(* Denotes an attempt, not a promise. ** Denotes a potential, but unverifiable, lie.)
Let's do this, shall we?
The man of a million flattering nicknames--"The President," "Mr. Country Music," "The Rolls Royce of Country Singers," "The Possum," "Basketball Jones" (no, wait, that's a Cheech and Chong joint, isn't it?)--has, due to his past lifestyle choices and the resulting actions of that lifestyle, been cursed with one rather burdensome one, too: The guy didn't earn the nickname "No Show Jones" for nothing. (See what alcoholism, drug addiction and the worst hair in country music--read that back: the worst hair in country music!--will do for you, kids?)
And therein lies the allure of George Jones: The legendary country crooner--considered by many to be one of, if not the greatest, country vocalists in the history of the genre--was once willing to piss his career away, in order to live life his way. Shit, isn't heartache and rebellion what country music's all about, anyway?
Read 'em and weep, people: "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "A Good Year for the Roses," "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Race Is On," "The Grand Tour," blabbity, blabbity, blah. Jones is to country music what Sinatra was to the standards, and don't you regret never seeing him perform live? Lord knows I do.
George Jones performs at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Advance tickets are available for $57.50 (plus service charges) at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com or by calling 321-1000. For more info, call 791-4101.
Which is to say, in its own somewhat unclassifiable way, The Living Blue manages to somehow sound fresh right now. I can't stop listening to Fire, Blood, Water, and I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's because the songs sounded so much better the second time I heard them than the first, and better the third time than the second, and so on. But I don't remember the last time I liked such a straightforward, no-frills indie-rock album this much, without being able to articulate exactly why.
I'm not alone, it seems. The accolades just keep pouring in for these Midwestern lads: five stars in Alternative Press; two feature articles in the Chicago Tribune in as many months; props from Little Steven and Jason Lee; opening slots for The Strokes, the New York Dolls and The Stooges; soundtrack placement in both film and television.
I have a feeling the band won't disappoint live, either, though I'd imagine a few prior listens to Fire, Blood, Water would make the experience far more enjoyable. Recommended.
The Living Blue, along with The Year of Acceleration and Bombs for the Bored, performs at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Feb. 4. Admission is $5. Things should kick off around 9 p.m. For further details, call 622-3535.
For anyone who has listened to Cat Power's recent The Greatest, and found herself missing the ghosts that haunted Chan Marshall's early recordings, I have some advice: Go buy The Mezzanine. Like Cat Power of yore, the album is haunted and haunting, spare and pretty. Durrett's voice and songwriting are clearly influenced by Marshall's, but for some reason--likely the quality of the songs--it's difficult to merely write her off as a rip-off artist. This is quietly powerful stuff.
Liz Durrett performs at Plush, 340 E Sixth St., at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5. Admission is free. For more information, call 798-1298.
And there's also a reason that people make much of his being influenced by The Beatles in the same manner that Elliott Smith was. (See above.)
In fact, you could sum up Hanson's self-titled, second solo album for Kill Rock Stars by saying that it sounds like that one Elliott Smith album where he was experimenting with helium inhalation--if there actually were such a thing. Well, thanks to Hanson, there basically is. Thankfully, Hanson is a fine songwriter, so if that sounds remotely appealing, you'll probably dig his thing, once you get past the initial oddness of it all.
Jeff Hanson performs an all-ages show at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole. Ave., on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Southerly and The Crowd open at 9 p.m. Admission is $6. For more details, call 884-0874.
With a slew of unusual stringed instruments and a rig of electronic effects, San Francisco's Darin Schaffer layers textures of sound that include, according to a press release, "traces of jazz, classical, East Indian, folk and ambient pop." He'll play two free, local gigs, first at about 9 p.m. at The Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., on Monday, Feb. 6 (623-7621), then at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Bookman's, 3373 W. Ina Road (579-0303).
Comprising local jazzy blues singer-pianist Lisa Otey, Holland's Harm van Sleen on bass and French drummer Fabrice Bessouat, the Lisa Otey Trio will perform a CD release concert for their new album, Trio, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $18 in advance, available at Antigone Books, Kool's Native Arts in Green Valley or by phone at 370-5912; they'll be $20 at the door; or $15 for Tucson Jazz Society members. For more info, head to lisaotey.com.