When bad things happen, it never takes long for Tucson's music community to spring into action. Such is the case this week regarding the victims of the shootings of Jan. 8.
I received an e-mail last week from Karen Greene, who identified herself as a "local music fan," the spouse of Dan Davis of the Determined Luddites, and the woman who ran the "Local Music Live at Your Library" program last year. Karen has an idea.
"I was thinking it would be a nice idea to get together a care package of local music to send over to Gabby once she moves into rehab. I know she's a big local music fan, and I know how much music can heal, energize and revitalize."
To that end, Greene is seeking bands (or anyone, really) willing to donate local CDs to add to that care package. If you're interested and have CDs to donate, please contact her at email@example.com. In order to get the CDs to Gabrielle Giffords' office in a timely manner, she will need to receive the CDs by Saturday, Feb. 5.
Meanwhile, the Tucson Musician Club, described by president Dale Iverson as "a not-for-profit social club for local musicians, songwriters and sound engineers here in Tucson," will hold a concert this weekend to benefit the victims and their families.
The event, which runs from 4 to 10 p.m. at O'Malley's, 247 N. Fourth Ave., on Saturday, Jan. 29, will feature performances by Shaky Bones (4 p.m.), the Wayback Machine (5 p.m.), The Gotes (5:55 p.m.), Railbirdz (6:50 p.m.), East2West (7:55 p.m.) and Giant Blue (9 p.m.). Admission is $5, and there will also be a raffle featuring impressive prizes donated by a slew of local businesses. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Tragedy in Tucson Victims' Fund. For more information, head to TucsonMusicianClub.com, or call O'Malley's at 623-8600.
That's not the only benefit show happening in town this week.
Candelabra Gallery, 412 E. Seventh St., will host a benefit for nonlicensed radio station Free Radio Chukshon, whose freewheeling broadcasts can be heard from 4 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 9 p.m., Sunday. After a period during which the station was broadcast at 103.3 FM (the same frequency as the late, lamented Radio Limbo), in September of last year, the station moved back to its original haunt at 90.9 FM. Listeners can also stream the station as well as listen to archived broadcasts at freeradiochukshon.org.
But ... back to that benefit, which will start at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28, and will feature performances from La Cerca, The Runaway Five and Bradford Trojan, as well as art by numerous local artists. FRC's DJ Lingos will spin tunes between bands. There is a suggested donation of $5, which will help the station cover operating costs, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Call 370-1465 for more information.
Following the breakup of the underrated, Pavement-influenced Minneapolis band Hockey Night, two of the band's members, Scott Wells and Paul Sprangers, relocated to Philly and found three new musicians—Geoff Bucknum, Nicholas Shuminsky and Evan Wells—with whom they formed Free Energy. They also palled up with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who produced some of the band's early material, released it on his DFA label, and even played a little bass.
Last year, the band issued its debut full-length, Stuck on Nothing (DFA/Virgin), an amalgam of big '70s rock riffs and the more bombastic elements that sometimes accompany them. It often sounds like a cross between the arena and glam rock of the '70s, and the pop sensibilities (and synths) of the '80s, but with a modern spin, courtesy mostly of Sprangers' very indie-rock vocals. (It seems he couldn't quite shake that Pavement influence after all.) If you're bummed that Weezer hasn't put out a decent album since Pinkerton, you might want to throw some Free Energy on your iPod.
Better yet, check out Free Energy live when they play at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Sunday, Jan. 30. The Postelles open the early all-ages show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 on the day of the show. Go to hotelcongress.com, or call 622-8848.
Perhaps it's because Plush is currently closed for renovation, and there was some slack to be picked up, but Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., has a rather impressive string of shows this week aside from Free Energy and Charlie Faye. (See the music feature this week on her.)
Guitarist extraordinaire Keller Williams, who appeared in town last July as part of the Rhythm Devils touring band alongside Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, this week brings the "one-man jam-band" aesthetic for which he's known to town.
Notable among jam-band enthusiasts for his whimsy and humor, Williams last year issued a pair of very different albums: In May, he released Thief, a baker's dozen of Keller-ized takes on songs originally performed by artists as diverse as Amy Winehouse, Kris Kristofferson, The Raconteurs and the Butthole Surfers. And in October, he released Kids, an album of original children's songs that should appeal to parents almost as much as the kiddies. Both were released on SCI Fidelity.
Keller Williams performs at Club Congress at 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $22 on the day of the show.
Baths is 21-year-old Californian Will Wiesenfeld's latest musical project; he's also released music under the monikers Post-foetus and Geotic. As Baths, he's released only one album, July's Cerulean (Anticon).
Wiesenfeld began taking piano lessons at age 4, and at 12, he began teaching himself other instruments including guitar, double bass and viola. It's difficult to tell what's played live and what's sampled on Cerulean, though I'd guess that even the instruments played live have been sampled and reconfigured. It sounds that way, anyway. The album is about half-instrumental, while the other half features vocals, often in a falsetto. The beats are electro-glitchy, but this is no mere dance-floor album; throw on some headphones, and you'll hear all sorts of random sounds filtering into the mix (reportedly including the sounds of a pen clicking and scissors snapping). When the term IDM (intelligent dance music) was coined, it was albums like Cerulean that provided the inspiration.
Baths performs at Club Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 2. The show begins at 9 p.m. with openers Star Slinger and Zackey Force Funk. Admission is $8.
Also hitting Congress this week is a double bill of Sugar and Gold and Yip Deceiver. S&G is a San Francisco-based duo that combines synth pop, funk, electro and disco into a dance-floor-ready set of grooves that double as pop songs; they rightfully get compared to both Prince and MGMT. Half of Sugar and Gold, Nicolas Dobbratz (aka Painless), spent some time as part of of Montreal's touring band, and the opening act on Sugar and Gold's current tour is Yip Deceiver, the side project of of Montreal bassist Davey Pierce.
Sugar and Gold and Yip Deceiver perform at 10 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 1. Admission is free. Club Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. For more info, check out hotelcongress.com, or call 622-8848.
Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin at Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino on Saturday, Jan. 29; Darwin Deez at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, Feb. 1; the Count Basie Orchestra at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Friday, Jan. 28; George Winston at the Berger Performing Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 28; Angelo Spencer et les Hauts-Sommets, Kendl Winter (both on K Records), Run-On Sunshine and Human Behavior at Dry River Collective on Tuesday, Feb. 1; Sublime tribute band Badfish, Scotty Don't, Funky Bonz and Three Point Turn at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 1; Adler's Appetite (featuring Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler), Dirtnap and more at The Rock on Saturday, Jan. 29; Gary Morris at the Vail Theatre of the Arts on Sunday, Jan. 30; Davis Jones at Shot in the Dark Café on Saturday, Jan. 29; Lenguas Largas, Caliche Con Carne and Ricky Shimo at the Red Room at Grill on Friday, Jan. 28; Vanish Twin, Flying Donkey Punch, Inoculara and God of the Sea at Vaudeville on Saturday, Jan. 29; Electric Blankets and The Ghost of 505 at Sky Bar on Saturday, Jan. 29; Warhound, Wasteoids, Sin Eater and more at Noise Venue on Wednesday, Feb. 2; a screening of the documentary film Lemmy: 49% Motherf**Ker, 51% Son of a Bitch at the Loft Cinema on Wednesday, Feb. 2; Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers' Annual Jam at J.J.'s Cantina in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, on Saturday, Jan. 29.