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OUT LIKE A LAMB

If last week's concert calendar was bleak, this week's is virtually nonexistent. Sure, there are some decent things happening on New Year's Eve--but since those are covered in our annual New Year's Guide (in this issue), I shan't recycle them here.

Read on for your scant musical options.


TUCSON'S BIGGEST BAND DOES GOOD

It's been an eventful year for our own Calexico. They released another fine new album, Carried to Dust (Quarterstick/Touch and Go), and toured Europe and North America to support it; they also made a video for the haunting "Two Silver Trees" that doubles as a love letter to Tucson. ("Hey, isn't that the Tap Room?! Look, it's Wig-O-Rama! Ooh, sweet shots of the airplane graveyard!")

Along the way, they kept an online tour diary for Paste magazine; appeared on several notable radio shows, including Chicago Public Radio's nationally syndicated Sound Opinions, hosted by Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis; played the renowned Newport Folk Festival, where they outraged longtime fans by "going electric" (OK, not really); had their song "Crystal Frontier" beamed into space for a wake-up call for the crew of the space shuttle Discovery--which, not coincidentally, was carrying Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, at the time (Giffords chose the song); then returned the favor by performing at a benefit show at the Rialto Theatre for Giffords' re-election campaign along with Jimmy Eat World's Jim Adkins.

January will see them head back over the pond for another set of European dates, and in March, they'll be the house band at an R.E.M. tribute show at New York's Carnegie Hall, where they'll collaborate with folks like Patti Smith and Bob Mould.

Before that, though, they'll play another local benefit show.

As most Tucsonans probably already know, Calexico has, for the last several years, performed an annual year-end benefit show for community radio station KXCI FM 91.3, at the Temple of Music and Art. And while this week brings another installment of that series, this year, it has moved from the Temple to the larger Rialto.

Calexico and Friends perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Monday, Dec. 29. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. with an opening set by Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta. General-admission standing-room-only tickets are $19 in advance, and $20 on the day of the show; reserved-seat balcony tickets are $26. Tickets are available at the Rialto box office, rialtotheatre.com and by calling 740-1000. Use the same number and Web site for more information.


ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER KICK-ASS COVER-UP

I'd like to give a sincere, heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the success of this year's Great Cover-Up, held a couple weeks ago at Club Congress. Thanks to your efforts, we'll be writing a check for approximately $5,600 to the event's beneficiary, the nonprofit TAMHA, the Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance.

We couldn't have done it without you all, of course, so please indulge me while I single out those who helped the most. Big ups to the following: Dan Hernandez, David Slutes and all at Club Congress; Curtis McCrary; Chita, Cindy Craig and all at KLPX FM 96.1; Duncan Hudson, Cathy Rivers, Dr. Dan Twelker, Mel Mason and everyone at KXCI FM 91.3; Mike Sydloski and all at Rainbow Guitars; Justin Bernard and everyone at Sticks N' Strings; Jill A'Hearn and all at the Tucson Weekly; Jennie Grabel; Ryan Trayte; the women of Birdsnest; and most of all, the bands and artists who performed at the event: Early Black, The Runaway Five, The Distortionists, Rock Sauce, Love Mound, Tongue Dried Sun, Evil Fudd, Al Perry, The Monitors, The Fell City Shouts, Atom Heart Mother, ... music video?, Feed, Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, Spacefish, Low Ones, Young Mothers, The Hounds, Golden Boots and Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, Ryanhood, The Static Session, Silverfox and Emergency Broadcast System.

Of course, thanks to all who attended, too.

Our appreciation is boundless. We'll see you again next year.


ON THE BANDWAGON The Gallery, Gat-Rot and Juarez at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, Dec. 26; ... music video?, The Otterssey and R'Cougar at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Dec. 27; annual Kool Shades Year-End Blowout with Kool Shades and Captain Squeegee and the Soapsuds at Club Congress on Sunday, Dec. 28; Greyhound Soul and Michael P. at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., on Friday, Dec. 26; B7 reunion show with Sabertooth Snatch and Legion of Xemu at Club Congress on Tuesday, Dec. 30; the Mike Ronstadt Trio at Javalina's Coffee and Friends, 9136 E. Valencia Road, on Friday, Dec. 26; The Static Session, Mascaron and Pureform at Plush on Friday, Dec. 26; Marianne Dissard with Matt Mitchell and Le Big Band at The Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., on Friday, Dec. 26; My Second Surprise at Plush on Monday, Dec. 29; Pete Kartsounes at Javalina's Coffee and Friends on Saturday, Dec. 27; Fracture the Times, Starving Arms and Class Project at Club Congress on Saturday, Dec. 27; At the Spine at Crave Espresso Bar, 4530 E. Broadway Blvd., on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Happy holidays, everyone.

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