To start off, a quick reminder to all clubs, restaurants, other venues and/or promoters hosting New Year's Eve celebrations that will feature live music or other similar festivities: There are only a couple of days left to send me details about your event to be included in our annual New Year's Guide. Considering how little information I've received so far, I'm not sure what part of "free publicity" you don't understand.
All you need to do is send complete details—that's performers, location, address, phone number, Web site, time, cost and a description of the event—to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com no later than Friday, Dec. 11, and your event will be covered in the guide.
'Tis the season of giving, and there's no shortage of people who are in need these days. Why not help out by attending one of the following benefit shows?
Two benefits are being held this week for Marc Scape Lind, our pal and an all-around swell guy. (Note: Details removed at the family's request.)
Tonight, Thursday, Dec. 10, at Vaudeville, 110 E. Congress St., a special edition of the weekly Werd Em Up series called My Brother's Keeper, featuring Junior Bangers, will be held in Marc's honor, with all proceeds going towards his medical costs. Things get started at 9 p.m., and admission is a suggested donation of $5.
The following night, Friday, Dec. 11, a gathering will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at NoRTH at La Encantada, 2995 E. Skyline Drive. Free appetizers will be offered from 8 to 9 p.m., and a raffle featuring prizes from RA Sushi, Zoe Boutique and others will be held, too. Raffle tickets are $5.
Both events will also feature specials on Marc's drink of choice, the Matador, all night long. For further information, call Vaudeville at 622-3535, or NoRTH at 299-1600.
Dan Bunnell, a veteran of several local bands and current host of musicians' jams at The Hut, Stadium Grill and the Bashful Bandit—you may know him as The Deacon—has a favorite saying: Sometimes you get chicken, and sometimes you get feathers. The Deacon has encountered his share of feathers recently in the form of health issues, and a benefit will be held for him all day and night at the Bashful Bandit, 3686 E. Speedway Blvd., starting at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13. Performers were still being rounded up at press time, but among the already confirmed are Shell Shock featuring Bob Russell and special guest Michael Bruce, from the original Alice Cooper band, Kuz-N-Stanley Band, Mikey and the Maniacs, Bryan Dean, Split Decision, Megan's Law, Usual Suspects and The Cobras. Admission is a suggested donation of $5. Call the Bandit at 795-8996 with any questions you may have.
Avid Tucson Weekly readers may remember a column Randy Serraglio wrote in our Oct. 29 issue about Dwight Metzger's Gloo Factory, which has been doing low-cost or free printing for numerous progressive, environmental and human-rights organizations in town over the last 20 years. The Gloo Factory is currently housed in yet another of the warehouses that is being auctioned off by the Arizona Department of Transportation, and a campaign is underway to raise cash for the Gloo Factory to buy the building.
Blues for the Gloo Factory: A Benefit for Tucson's Not-for-Profit Printing Co-op will take place at 7 p.m., next Thursday, Dec. 17, at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. A suggested donation of $5 to $7 gets you in the doors for performances by Caliche con Carne, the Pinche Blues Band and Lefty Larry and the Avengers. For more info about the organization or the benefit, head to savethegloofactory.org.
It's not really news that state budget cuts are hitting schools hard these days, and things will likely get worse before they get better. To combat the cuts, some parents of kids who attend the Miles Exploratory Learning Center, which recently lost its Opening Minds Through the Arts funding, and which, according to a press release, "(serves) the needs of children in (the Tucson Unified School District) who are hearing-impaired or autistic alongside their typical peers," have put together a benefit "to underline the importance of music and art education for our city's children."
The ever-fabulous Howe Gelb and His Melted Wires, an ad-hoc band featuring drummer John Convertino (Calexico), bassist Thøger Lund (Giant Sand) and trumpeter Jacob Valenzuela (Calexico), will perform at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. It will be Gelb's only local live performance in 2009. Following the live segment, the theater will screen 'Sno Angel Winging It, a 50-minute film documenting Gelb's collaboration with the Voices of Praise gospel choir. Admission is $13.50, and all proceeds will be donated to Miles E.L.C.'s music and art programs. For further details, call 795-7777.
Formed in 2007, Cheepness features local music veterans Randy McReynolds (vocals, guitar), Mike Sydloski (vocals, guitar), E.E. Mendoza (drums, vocals) and the Weekly's own Duane Hollis (vocals, bass). This week, the group will release its debut album, Shakin' Hands With the King (Isabelline), and celebrate it with a CD-release party.
Shakin' Hands contains a dozen songs that the band calls "(hard) rock and Sonoran blues," and that's a pretty accurate description; Cheepness is clearly rooted in the blues-rock that was so prevalent in the 1970s. Opener "I Can't Believe" sounds like one of those Keith Richards-sung songs that Jagger only allowed one or two of per Stones album—all slinky groove and sly vocals. "Wind Up Dead" suggests what the Meat Puppets would have sounded like had they worshiped slide-guitar blues instead of the Grateful Dead, and "Evel," sung from the point of view of the greatest daredevil who ever lived (an Evel Knievel doll has a very special place on my fireplace mantel), is classic desert rock, pure and simple.
Elsewhere, "Painful" is a guitar-centric homage to ZZ Top (with a bit more of that Meat Puppets influence); "Another" is a wistful power ballad straight outta the '70s; and the 6 1/2-minute "14 Me" features searing dual-lead guitar work. The term "bar band" has taken on negative connotations in the last decade or two, but Cheepness has proudly reclaimed it: They're a damn good bar band.
Cheepness celebrates the release of Shakin' Hands With the King by performing in the middle slot at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Dec. 12. Gila Bend, which is also releasing a new album any day now, headlines, and The Monitors open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is five bucks, and you can call 798-1298 with questions.
You can also catch Gila Bend’s frontman leading the Loren Dircks Band at Vaudeville, 110 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, on a bill that includes The Fisters and the Tucson debut of rabble-rouser Fish Karma's new band, Fish Karma and the Love Generation, whose forthcoming album Halloween in America will be released on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. That one should get rolling around 9 p.m., and you can call 622-3535 for more info.
File this one under "holy crap!": Spot, the dude who was the house producer and engineer for most of the albums released on the mighty SST Records between 1979 and 1985—he is credited on albums by Black Flag, Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, and the Meat Puppets among many others—will perform a solo show on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Red Room at Grill. He'll begin playing around 10 p.m., and as always, admission is free. Call 623-7621 for further details.
There's a ton of great shows this week that we simply didn't have room to tell you about—among them, performances from the Supersuckers, Agent Orange, Nitzer Ebb, The Devil Wears Prada, Saosin and P.O.S., Ryanhood, Eric Church and The Kris Special—so be sure to check out our listings section.