If you haven't seen the mural painted on the east wall of the Rialto Theatre, you might think that Sunday's show there is just another Calexico concert (not that there's anything wrong with that). It is not.
Sunday is, of course, the day that this year's annual All Souls Procession—the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade—will take place, and this year's procession itself looks to be more special than usual: It's the 20th anniversary of the local event, so look for the masks to be even maskier, and the floats to be even floatier.
And, as for that mural, it reads: "Rialto Theatre Presents Calexico and the Filming of Flor de Muertos." Which means, yes, that Calexico will be performing at the venue following the parade, but also that the event and performance are being filmed for a documentary directed by local filmmaker Dan Vinik. (For more on that, see this week's cover feature.)
As such, this won't be the usual Calexico show. The Rialto itself will be decked out to resemble a street scene from the parade, with the stage being transformed into a shrine. The musicians will hold their own mini-procession inside the venue—and we're not just talking about the members of Calexico.
Calexico's set will include a number of guest performers including Barcelona, Spain's Amparo Sánchez, Salvador Duran, Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta and Mariachi Luz de Luna. Molehill Orkestrah will open the show.
Tickets are going quickly—as of this writing, balcony seats had already sold out—so get in on the action when Calexico and friends perform at this very special show, which begins once Flam Chen has performed its traditional parade finale, around 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8. General-admission floor tickets are $30 in advance, or $32 on the day of show. The Rialto is located at 318 E. Congress St. For more information, call 740-1000.
Time to grow out those Freddie Mercury mustaches, kids: Electric Six are coming back to town.
The Detroit-based band garnered attention following the release of its debut album, 2003's Fire (XL), when it was rumored that Jack White had sung on the single "Danger! High Voltage"—a rumor that has never been fully resolved. And then there was that video that showed Viking kittens singing the song "Gay Bar": "I wanna spend all your money / at the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar."
Cute? Yes. A little disturbing? You bet.
Further attention came when the band released a video for its cover of the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" that showed E6 frontman Dick Valentine dressed as Freddie Mercury at the Queen singer's grave. Some took it to mean that Valentine was dancing on Mercury's grave, but Valentine claimed that the intention was to resurrect the ghost of Mercury for inspiration, and that he's a fan.
If you get the impression that Electric Six like stirring the pot, you would be correct.
And why not? They're one of the few bands around today that can write songs that are just downright goofy and hilarious, yet still rock your shorts off. Somehow, the jokes don't get old. You haven't really lived until you've seen a grown man (pseudo) earnestly and urgently sing, "Fire in the disco! / Fire in the Taco Bell!"
Last month, the band issued its sixth album, Kill (Metropolis), which features such future classics as "Rubbin' Me the Wrong Way" and "The Newark Airport Boogie."
Electric Six performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Monday, Nov. 9. The Gay Blades and Millions of Brazilians open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 798-1298 for further details.
For those of you who want to up the fun level a bit, the Freddies—a group of locals who dress up like Freddie Mercury for the band's shows—will gather at Hotel Congress at 7 p.m. for a pre-party. Freddie accoutrements will be provided in a limited capacity.
A pair of notable female singer-songwriters are headed our way this weekend for two separate shows, on two consecutive nights.
In the late 1970s, Lucy Kaplansky was drawn from Chicago to New York City by the allure of a resurgent folk-music scene there, and she did pretty well for herself, performing at mainstays like Gerde's Folk City. A few years later, though, she decided to become a psychologist and began pursuing her Ph.D., even as she and Shawn Colvin were performing as a duo in clubs.
Eventually, after practicing psychology for a time, she realized that being a full-time folksinger was the way to go, and she recorded her debut album, 1994's The Tide (Red House), with Colvin at the helm. Since then, she's released five more critically lauded albums of original compositions and cherry-picked covers by the likes of Steve Earle, Gram Parsons and the Louvin Brothers.
Lucy Kaplansky performs an all-ages show at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave., on Friday, Nov. 6. Kathleen Williamson opens at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $23 at the door, and may be purchased at rhythmandroots.org. Head there for more info, too, or call 440-4455.
The following night, the commercially and critically successful folk and country singer Kathy Mattea performs. Since her self-titled debut was released in 1984, Mattea has released more than a dozen albums that veer from leaning toward pure folk and bluegrass to more pop-oriented commercial country concerns, earning her countless country radio hits and some Grammy Awards in the process.
Mattea grew up in West Virginia, where both of her grandfathers were coal miners, and her latest album, Coal (Captain Potato, 2008), is a rather bleak exploration of the coal-mining life inspired by both her upbringing and the 2006 Sago Mine disaster.
Kathy Mattea performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, at UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Tickets range from $15 to $44. To order tickets, head to uapresents.org, or call 621-3341.
The new location of the Eric Firestone Gallery, at 403 N. Sixth Ave., opens with a bang on Friday, Nov. 6. At 6 p.m., the gallery presents its inaugural show, titled Coatings, featuring works by Clif Taylor, Olivier Mosset and Jeff Bursey. Later that night, Taylor's garage-soul band Blackwood and Co. will perform. Admission is free.
Calling all music nerds! The Fifth Annual Tucson Record Show, which will feature more than 20 exhibitors hawking records, CDs, tapes and other music memorabilia, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, at Las Cazuelitas Event Center, 1365 W. Grant Road. Admission is $4; children 12 and younger get in free. For more info, e-mail Gordonfirstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Tucson's Ghost Cow will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a headlining spot at Vaudeville, 110 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Nov. 7. Opening the show at 10 p.m. are the Tone Monkeys and The Modeens. Admission is a fiver, and your questions will be answered by calling 622-3535.
Numerous great shows are coming our way this week. Here are some more worth your time and effort: Good Rockin' Live: A Tribute to Sun Records featuring Mr. Boogie Woogie, Robert Shaw, Steve Grams and Danny Krieger, at the Berger Performing Arts Center on Monday, Nov. 9; Hanson at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 10; Fourkiller Flats, Monahans and the Sand Rubies at Plush on Saturday, Nov. 7; D.R.I. at The Rock on Friday, Nov. 6; Everclear, Clayton Senne and Tongue Dried Sun at the Rialto on Friday, Nov. 6; Hot Buttered Rum at Plush next Thursday, Nov. 12; Red Elvises at The Hut on Wednesday, Nov. 11; Sugar and Gold, the Runaway Five and Mean Beans at Club Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 10; the New Heathers, Meece, Ha Ha Tonka and Without a Face at Plush on Tuesday, Nov. 10; Lenguas Largas and Hank Topless at the Red Room at Grill on Tuesday, Nov. 10; fun. and The Jakes at Club Congress on Friday, Nov. 6; Tracy Shedd and Stephen Budd at Hacienda del Sol on Saturday, Nov. 7; Mostly Bears, Nico Vega and The Ghost Dove at Plush on Friday, Nov. 6; Band Jam, a benefit for Christina Miranda, at Old Town Artisans on Sunday, Nov. 8.