This week is jam-packed, with a little something for everyone, but the biggest day of all is Saturday, April 18.
Of course, there is the Weekly's own Spring Club Crawl™, which features roughly 100 acts on stages and in venues all over the downtown/Fourth Avenue district. You can read all about it in the insert in the issue you're holding (you onliners can find it with a click), but I'll quickly mention a few things.
The spring Crawl—unlike the Fall Club Crawl™, which is almost exclusively local—features Tucson-based, regional and national acts, the latter of which this year include the fabulous M. Ward and Rootz Underground. (Unfortunately, the Watson Sisters had to cancel their scheduled appearance.) My honest assessment? This is one of the strongest lineups we've had in a while.
Wristbands are a steal at $8 in advance, available at both Zia Records locations, or $10 on the day of the event, available at most participating venues or at the gates.
While we urge you to have a blast, we also urge you to do it responsibly. Cabs and designated drivers are the way to go, people.
If the Crawl isn't your thing, and you're looking for some killer garage rock, might I suggest the Black Lips show at Plush? The Atlanta foursome has become known as much for its onstage antics—nudity, getting run out of India earlier this year for said nudity, pissing into their own mouths—as their hooky tunes, but at a Black Lips show I attended in Austin last month, the band played a straight set, and nobody seemed to miss the antics. They're good enough that they don't really need them.
Black Lips perform at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, April 18. Opening at 9:30 p.m. are Flowers Forever and Golden Boots. Tickets are $10. Call 798-1298 for more information.
If, like me, you were bummed to find out that Club Crawl™ and the Black Lips were happening on the same night, I've got a perfect solution: Black Lips, along with local rapper Mike Superhero, will be performing and signing autographs earlier the same day at the Zia Records store at 3370 E. Speedway Blvd., as part of Record Store Day, a celebration of the virtues of record stores, which are plentiful. A slew of limited-edition releases from dozens of great acts will be released that day as well, so be sure to bring some cash. For further details, call Zia at 327-3340.
The Pima County Fair, which features a merely so-so schedule of live music this time around, gets underway this weekend, too. Performers this year include Phil Vassar on Saturday, April 18; Ramon Ayala on Sunday, April 19; Breakdown Tucson on Monday, April 20; Nat and Alex Wolff on Friday, April 24; Bret Michaels on Saturday, April 25 (skank alert!); and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers on Sunday, April 26.
All concerts are included in the price of fair admission ($7 for adults, $2 for children 6-10, free for kids five and younger, $5 for parking), which, let's face it, is kinda awesome. For more info, head to pimacountyfair.com.
It saddens us to report that saxophonist Bud Shank, who was scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 19, as part of the Tucson Jazz Society's Jazz Under the Stars series, passed away on April 2. Instead, saxophonist Doug Webb, who was originally scheduled to perform with Shank, will perform a tribute starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, at St. Philip's Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Tickets are $15 for TJS members, $20 for the general public, and $10 for students, and may be purchased at www.tucsonjazz.org, Bookmans or by calling 903-1265.
Before playing in a number of band configurations and joining the reunited Stooges, the legendary Mike Watt played bass and sang for the Minutemen (respect!) and fIREHOSE (ditto!). If you've never seen him perform live, you're missing out on one of the most entertaining and ferocious bassists around. (He doesn't call his instrument the thunderstick for nothing.)
Watt begins a tour with his latest band, Mike Watt + the Missingmen, on Friday, April 17, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. As a press release puts it, the band will be "premiering and honing the repertoire of Watt's next studio album, Ten and Tweny (sic) Don't Make Fifty, which will be recorded on May 5, in Brooklyn," in the middle of the tour. Garboski and The Monitors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 798-1298 for more info.
The importance of Earth Day seems to grow each year, and the folks at Club Congress are throwing a big ol' shindig. The event, which will be solar-powered, will feature nine bands on two stages: Grams and Krieger and Friends, The Wayback Machine, the Kevin Pakulis Band, Johann Wagner and Raina Rose, all on the outdoor stage; and DJPJ, 21 Pump Street, Mike Superhero and Monster Pussy, all on the indoor stage.
It all starts at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, and admission is free. Call 622-8848 for further information.
Hot on the heels of their biggest hit ever, "You," from the awesomely named 2008 album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, as well as the release of a deluxe version of their best album, 2002's God Loves Ugly, Minneapolis-based hip-hoppers Atmosphere will return to town for a show at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Friday, April 17. Opening the show at 8:30 p.m. are P.O.S., Los Nativos and Attracted to Gods. Tickets for the all-ages show are $20. Call 740-1000 for more information.
After releasing a rather lackluster second album, Scotsmen Franz Ferdinand, they of the angular guitars and dance beats, rescued themselves from likely obscurity with a fine third album, Tonight, released in January. They'll make an appearance at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Sunday, April 19. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. with openers Born Ruffians. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 on the day of the show. For further details, call 740-1000.
The Living Room, located at 413 E. Fifth St., will be holding a benefit to raise funds for the new Skrappy's, which will be opening, well, at some point, in a new location on Toole Avenue. The show, which will feature performances from Kool Shades, Golden Alphabet and Broken End Stereo, starts at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 18. Cover is a suggested donation. For more info, head to myspace.com/thelivingroomtucson.
San Diegan John Reis has a pretty fine musical pedigree, having fronted great bands in the past including Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. His latest is The Night Marchers, whose debut album, See You in Magic, was released a year ago. If you dig, no-frills, loud, good-time rock 'n' roll, you could do far worse than to check these dudes out when they perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, April 17. Opening the show at 10 p.m. are The Mission Creeps. Admission is $7. Call 622-8848 with questions.
There's plenty more action, including: Rupa and the Fishes and Salvador Duran at Solar Culture Gallery on Monday, April 20; the Robert Cray Band at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, April 22; Trust Company, The Dreaming and others at The Rock on Tuesday, April 21; Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, April 19; Dieselboy at Level Lounge next Thursday, April 23; Flametrick Subs, High Rollers and Last Call Brawlers at the Surly Wench Pub on Friday, April 17; Meiko and Po' Girl at Club Congress on Friday, April 17; James Morrison and Diane Birch at the Rialto Theatre on Monday, April 20; and Willard Grant Conspiracy, the Silver Thread Trio and Barn Burning at Plush next Thursday, April 23.
Finally, some pretty fantastic news: Thanks to the folks at the Rialto Theatre, the mighty Wilco will be returning to Tucson for a show at UA's Centennial Hall on June 18 for the first time since 1996. Why am I mentioning it now? Because tickets go on sale on Friday, April 17. (Presale tickets are on sale now at wilcoworld.net.) Tickets to the all-ages show are $32 in advance via Centennial's box office, the UA Student Union Bookstore and uapresents.org. Hells yeah!