Say goodbye to the mayhem of March music madness and hello to April, which is considerably less busy—aside from a bevy of festivals, including our own Spring Club Crawl®, KFMA Day, KLPX Fest, Country Thunder and the Pima County Fair. This week would seem to be indicative of what to expect for the rest of the month: There aren't a lot of high-profile shows, but there is one very special festival.
The festival of which I speak is none other than the semi-annual Calexico and Friends benefit show for community radio station KXCI FM 91.3. These events take place both during the holiday season and in the spring, usually at the Rialto Theatre and occasionally at the Temple of Music and Art. This time, though, the folks who organize these things—the aforementioned KXCI and Rialto Theatre, as well as Stateside Presents—decided to do something a little bit different and, in my humble opinion, a whole lot cooler.
While Calexico is usually generous in sharing the stage with fellow local artists, this time around, the event has been turned into a full-blown local-music festival, with nine acts performing. If that wasn't enough, the benefit has been relocated to the great outdoors, to the neighborhood that serves as the heart of downtown's vibrant music scene, Barrio Viejo.
Festival en El Barrio Viejo will take place on Saturday, April 3, at the intersection of Meyer Avenue and Cushing Street, and will feature two stages of entertainment for your listening enjoyment. (For those of us who have been around long enough to get nostalgic about such things, that's right where the old Weekly office used to be. Sigh.) Doors open at 1 p.m., and music will start shortly thereafter.
Here is the schedule of performers for the big ol' barrio hootenanny, in order of appearance: Fourkiller Flats (1:15 p.m., Main Stage); Courtney Robbins (1:50 p.m., Side Stage); Tom Walbank (2:10 p.m., Main Stage); Silver Thread Trio (2:45 p.m., Side Stage); Crawdaddy-O (3:05 p.m., Main Stage); Naim Amor (3:40 p.m., Side Stage); Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta featuring Salvador Duran (4 p.m., Main Stage); Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School (4:35 p.m., Side Stage); Calexico and Friends (5 p.m., Main Stage).
Calexico and Friends will play until sundown, and in addition to all the live music, there will be booths with crafts, food and drink all day long. Advance tickets are available for $20 ($18 for KXCI members) at the Rialto box office and KXCI; you can also get tickets by calling 740-1000. They'll be $25 on the day of the show. Children younger than 10 will be admitted for free with an adult who has paid to get in. If you purchased tickets in advance, please bring an ID to redeem them at the festival box office.
And now for a bit of the fine print: There is no re-entry. Please do not park on the street; parking will be available at the Tucson Convention Center. No outside food or drinks, blankets, chairs, pets or weapons. As long as we can all abide by those very simple rules, a helluva time should be had by all. Call the aforementioned number with any questions.
For those with a taste for experimental music, sound collage and the like, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) will host a rather interesting event next week.
Glenn Weyant, a self-described "sound sculptor, educator, baker, journalist and builder/designer of original instruments" who has "dedicated his audio work to the exploration of sonic boundaries and the local sound of ecology," is the founder of SonicAnta, "a grassroots record label and performance organization" whose work can be sampled at sonicanta.com.
Next Thursday, April 8, Weyant will perform Noise Where Prohibited, a sound installation that he calls "an immersive sonic meditation on the ghettoization of noise/sound/music composed for modified shortwave radio and instruments of original design."
In a press kit sent to the Soundbites desk (actually, it was rather charmingly addressed to "anyone who knows the difference between Nick [sic] and John Cage"), Weyant provided not only a copy of the sheet music for what he will perform that night (it looks a lot like Joan Miró doodles on staff paper), but a list of original/modified instruments that will be featured in the performance, among them: the "DroneZilla" ("designed to amplify and broadcast the natural oscillations of electric fan blades, engine and feedback") and the "Kenstrel 920" ("a sound transmogrifier of original design built to exploit the nano/overt vibrations created via assorted manipulations via contact microphone amplification").
If that's the sort of thing that oobles your wooble, you should head to MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave., at 7 p.m., next Thursday, April 8. Admission is $5 for MOCA members, or $10 for everyone else. For more info, head to sonicanta.com.
They're billing it as the First Annual Peace Fair, but considering the transgressive troublemaker who's behind it, B4Skin's John Sweeden, we have our doubts. B4Skin will headline the event, which takes place tonight, Thursday, April 1, at the Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., and sharing the bill will be The Runaway Five and Logan Greene and the Bricks. It all gets underway at 9 p.m., and, as always at the Red Room, admission is free. For further details, call 623-7621.
Since times are tough all over, here's another economically pleasing (read: free) option for you: Tonight and every Thursday night during the month of April, Al Perry and Loren Dircks will be performing alternating sets at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Expect some twangy good times and the occasional special appearance by Gila Bend, the band in which Dircks and Perry perform together. The fun begins at 8:30 p.m., and you can call 690-0991 for more information.
Brazil's Max Cavalera will always be best remembered as the former frontman for metal titans Sepultura, but for the last 13 years, he has steered the equally engaging Soulfly, which merges tribal drumming and world music with some seriously heavy metal. Before releasing a new album, Omen, on May 25, the group will wrap up its current tour with an all-ages show at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., which begins at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 4. Tickets are $22 in advance, or $26 on the day of the show. For tickets or more info, call 740-1000.
St. Louis' Story of the Year, whose MOR post-grunge brand of emo was practically designed to be played on "new rock" stations like KFMA, and who recently released a new album, The Constant, on Epitaph Records, will headline an all-ages show at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Saturday, April 3. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and will also feature performances by Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, After Midnight Project and Terrible Things, a new trio featuring former members of Taking Back Sunday, Coheed and Cambria, and Hot Rod Circuit. Tickets are $15, available at all Ticketmaster locations and ticketmaster.com, or by calling 321-1000. For further details, call 629-9211.
If you still haven't gotten over the fact that the Mountain Goats skipped Tucson on its latest tour, head to The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m., Friday, April 2, for an all-ages viewing of the Rian Johnson-directed concert film The Life of the World to Come. Admission is $5, and you can call 882-0204 for more info.
La Historia del Tango featuring Cuauhtémoc Trejo Barajas and Ramiro Martínez Piña with opener Salvador Duran at Solar Culture Gallery on Friday, April 2; Jonatha Brooke at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, April 7; Assemblage 23, Angel Theory, Alter Der Ruine and DJ Plastic Disease at the Surly Wench Pub on Saturday, April 3; The Jons, Crawdaddy-O and Grupo Sonido at Plush on Friday, April 2; Holy Rolling Empire, Run Run Run and the Gentlemen of Monster Island at Club Congress on Friday, April 2; Acorn Bcorn at the Red Room at Grill on Saturday, April 3; Kounterfeit Change at The Hut on Sunday, April 4; HammerFall and Echoes of Eternity at The Rock on Friday, April 2; The Tryst, Michael P's Big Band and Shrimp Chaperone at The Hut on Saturday, April 3; Caliche Con Carne at the Red Room at Grill on Friday, April 2.