Just as the insane, and hopefully illegal, Senate Bill 1070 goes into effect this week (with any luck, it won't), Tucson is stepping up to fight other battles.
Why isn't there a jaw-dropping show to raise dough for anti-SB 1070 causes this week? I don't know. Hopefully all of you are already registered to vote, as the deadline was Monday—because that's the biggest way change in this state is going to happen.
But there are two shows focusing on issues that affect us right here, where we and our fellow human beings live, and I'd recommend supporting both—from a do-gooder standpoint, yes, but also because both are packed with good, rockin' entertainment.
To get in the giving spirit, all you have to do is show up to one or both of these events, which are both stacked with immense talent. There will be no feeling of, "Well, I guess I'm glad I showed up, but that was sorta lame." Nothing like it. You will see some great music, and feel good that you helped out in some way. Trust me.
First up, on Saturday, July 31, is the annual membership drive and fundraiser for the Tucson Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance (TAMHA).
They keep a pretty quiet profile, but TAMHA has helped out dozens of local musicians, artists and those related to the arts ("creative professionals") in the fight to keep health care available to those who are self-employed (and, thus, without employer-provided insurance) and/or those who work part-time jobs that don't provide health care options.
(Full disclosure: Despite my title of music editor, I am not considered a full-time employee of the Tucson Weekly, and am not entitled to any benefits. I am merely a freelancer. Though I haven't pursued it, I have been encouraged to file papers with TAMHA to cover part of my medical costs due to a broken ankle suffered earlier this year.)
Long story short, TAMHA (for which I have helped raise funds over the years by organizing the Great Cover-Up, whose proceeds in recent years have been donated to TAMHA) helps out numerous local artists, musicians and creative professionals, and I am proud to be associated with them.
Briefly, here's what they do. If you are an uninsured or underinsured member of the arts community in Tucson, TAMHA helps in two ways. First, they provide, according to a recent press release, "information about local health care and preventative-care resources," which means they steer you in the direction of how and where to get help when you're in a bind.
Second, they provide, through their Emergency Relief Fund, a medical stipend up to $1,000 for qualifiers who have insurmountable health-care costs, and who have an immediate need to cover their medical expenses. For those whose needs exceed that limit, TAMHA serves as an advocate on the sufferer's behalf. Talk to any local musician who has been helped, and you'll hear nothing but praises sung on TAMHA's behalf.
This week brings the organization's annual summer membership drive, and for it, they've constructed a doozy of a show. On Saturday, July 31, a dozen acts will perform as part of the "Cactus Catfight," a gathering of bands and musicians who will perform covers of songs by Stevie Nicks (who calls Phoenix home) and Linda Ronstadt, a Tucson native who fled a few years ago when the politics got too heavy.
TAMHA organizers have assembled a fine lineup of acts to entice you. They are, as of this writing: Tom Walbank, Emilie Marchand and Tasha Bundy, The Tryst, Ricky Gelb, Winston and Marcella Watson, The Determined Luddites, Mariachi Luz de Luna, Naim Amor, Maggie Golston and Chris Black.
All donations received at the door will go toward TAMHA's Emergency Relief Fund. In other words, a hell of a lot of fun will be had, and you'll be helping out your community in ways you can't even imagine.
The TAMHA "Cactus Catfight," happens at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, July 31, starting at 8 p.m. A $5 donation grants you membership in TAMHA, and proceeds will go toward the organization's Emergency Relief Fund. For more information about TAMHA, head to tucsonartists.org. For details about the event, go to plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298.
If you've been pissed off and/or awestruck at the damage done to the Gulf Coast due to BP's massive oil gusher fuck-up, and you've wondered how you could help (short of quitting your job and heading down to clean oil off of suffering animals, beaches and marshes), this week brings your chance to have a part in the solution.
Kevin Henderson, who fronts local band The Swigs, has recruited the local Center for Biological Diversity to gain all proceeds from his Spillapalooza concert, set to take place at The Hut on Sunday, Aug. 1.
According to a press release, all proceeds will go to the Center's Gulf Disaster Fund, which "pays for the Tucson-based nonprofit's efforts to hold BP, the federal government and others accountable for the spill and its disastrous effects on wildlife, wild places and the gulf's economy."
The center "has taken swift and decisive action since the early stages of the Deepwater Horizon spill. The group has filed lawsuits to require environmental reviews of drilling projects, petitioned the government for more wildlife protections, and sued BP seeking $19 billion for violations of the Clean Water Act."
For his part, Henderson says, "Oil drilling, spills, pollution—none of that's sustainable. Change has to happen, and it starts with each of us. We want to highlight positive steps people can make in their own lives."
To that end, Henderson has assembled a killer lineup to join him in the cause on Sunday, which includes Al Perry, The Swigs, Fish Karma and the Love Generation, Loren Dircks and Gila Bend, The Modeens, The El Camino Royales, The Wayback Machine, The Dusty Buskers, The Fisters, The Possibles, Vanessa Lundon and Aaron Gilmartin.
As Mike Stark, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity, puts it, "This is a disaster like no other in this country's history, and we need to make sure it never happens again. It's easy to feel helpless in the face of such a massive spill, but there are lots of ways for citizens to step in, help out and make their voices heard."
Do your part when the music starts at 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 1, at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 to $10 at the door. For more information, head to spillapalooza.com, or call 623-3200.
Civil Twilight, Neon Trees and Paper Tongues at Club Congress on Sunday, Aug. 1; Naim Amor: An Evening of Music and Videos at The Screening Room on Friday, July 30; the annual Xmas in July featuring the Silver Thread Trio, RCougar, Shaun Harris, DJ Pony Girl and a whole lot more yuletide madness at Club Congress on Friday, July 30; Batucaxé's annual Monsoon Mania Dance Party and Fundraiser at the Rhythm Industry Performance Factory on Saturday, July 31; TrioZona with Chet Gardiner, Gabriel Ayala and Will Clipman at ZUZI's Theater on Saturday, July 31; The Sparta Philharmonic at The Hut on Monday, Aug. 2; Brian Lopez and Thee Verduns (last chance to catch 'em before they head back to France) at the Red Room at Grill on Saturday, July 31; Limbless Torso album-release show with Retard Riot, Chapel Bomb and Inoculara at Vaudeville on Saturday, July 31; Soilwork, Death Angel and more at The Rock on Tuesday, Aug. 3; comedian Josh Blue in a benefit for Kristin Hahn at the Rialto Theatre tonight, Thursday, July 29; Zen Robbi, The Morning After and Third Alley at The Hut on Friday, July 30.