It's March that comes in like a lion, right? Despite the Sound Strike's (best?) intentions to keep Arizona without live music, we're sure as hell not hurting for it around these parts right now.
This is easily the most jam-packed music week so far this year, and the parade will continue at least for the next few weeks, as acts make their way to and from Austin for South by Southwest. But it's not just that; there are local release shows and a music festival that will feature 50 bands all on its own.
Oh, and don't forget that tonight, Thursday, March 10, is the benefit concert for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona's Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, featuring Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Sam Moore, Nils Lofgren, Calexico and many others, including Roger Clyne, a recent addition.
Great lineup, great cause. See you there.
And now, on to the madness.
The festival I mentioned above is Bröötal Sun Fest II. Now in its second year, the festival takes place at two venues: Skrappy's (191 E. Toole Ave.) and Dry River (740 N Main Ave.). (Actually, it's three, if you include a house show that's also part of the fest.) The festival, organized by Logan Greene, Mullarkey and some friends, is as DIY as it gets. It resembles a weekend musical retreat as much as a music festival (how many music festivals include a basketball game?), and as such, the organizers are referring to it as a DIT (do-it-together) festival.
Here's a tidbit from the novella-length press release: "Inaugurated in 2010, Bröötal Sun Fest brings together musicians, artists and fans for three days of music, community and fun each spring. We encourage everyone attending the fest, including the bands, to come early, make friends, sleep over, hang out, party, dance and be good to each other. The fest relies entirely on the support of volunteers (hence "do-it-together"), so anyone is welcome to lend a helping hand. Any money generated by the fest is distributed to the touring bands and the nonprofit venues.
"Bröötal Sun Fest unites acts from diverse genres within the DIY scene. There's something for everyone: poppy, punky, dancey, heavy, folky. This year's lineup brings together great bands from Tucson, across the states, and Canada."
The festival kicks off tonight, Thursday, March 10, with an 8 p.m. show at Dry River featuring Logan Greene and the Bricks, Real Phony, The Teeets, Reservado and the Runaway Five; and wraps up with a show at Skrappy's on Sunday night, March 13, at 7 p.m., featuring Andrew Jackson Jihad, Kind of Like Spitting, Jaime J and others. In between, there are two shows on Friday night, March 11; shows during the day, a dinner show and a night show on Saturday, March 12; and another day show on Sunday.
It would take the bulk of this column to list all the acts performing, but notable bands include ROAR, David Neff and the Retroskeptics, French Quarter, Doctor Dinosaur, Monster Pussy, Steff Koeppen and the Articles, Shark Pants, The Shrapnelles, The Pork Torta and Faster Than Light.
Admission is $5 per show, but your best bet is to pick up a Bröötal Pass, which gets you into all the shows for $15. Even better is the $25 All-Access Bröötalest Pass, which includes entry to all shows plus meals served by SB's Late-night Lunchbox. All events are all-ages, with no alcohol allowed. For the full 411, including complete schedules, head to brootalsunfest.com.
In addition to the Ferrodyne CD being released this week (see Rhythm & Views), several other local bands are releasing new works.
Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout are releasing a new 7" single that features the most straightforward and accessible song they've ever done. While the band normally trades in creepy/fun, multi-part, Zappa-esque workouts (represented here by "Snakes in Orifice"), "Slay to Play" sounds like that moment in time when disco's glitter was just starting to fade, but its enthusiasts didn't quite remember how to rock, and weren't quite ready to give up dancing yet—like that brief moment in time when Hall and Oates, Billy Joel and Rick Springfield were trying to make you think they had turned new wave.
MFSF's 7" release show happens at the Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., on Saturday, March 12. Discos opens at 10 p.m. As always, admission is free. But for $10, you can pick up a copy of the single, a beer and a shot. Call 623-7621 for more info.
Following an extended hiatus, Funky Bonz began playing shows around town again a year or two ago, and this week, they're back with a new four-song EP, Prince Charming (Expat). The sound is pretty much the same—with its semi-rapped verse and a catchy chorus, the title track sounds a bit like the Red Hot Chili Peppers—but the newly expanded lineup (they're now a six-piece) includes horn players, which fills out the arrangements quite nicely; the band as a whole sounds more assured. It doesn't hurt that the EP is superbly recorded, either.
Funky Bonz performs on a bill with The Supervillains, Lionize and others at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., starting at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12. Tickets are $10 at Bookmans and all Ticketmaster outlets. Call 629-9211 for more details.
A St. Patrick's Day celebration next Thursday, March 17, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., will double as a release party for The Dusty Buskers, whose Buskin' CD (Old Bisbee Records) will be available for purchase. Also on the bill are Phoenix's the Haymarket Squares and Silver City, N.M.'s Silver City String Beans, who start off the night at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5, and the number to call for further details is 798-1298.
The Dusty Buskers will also play host to the Old Bisbee Records Showcase happening at Sky Bar, 536 N. Fourth Ave., on Friday, March 11. The night will also feature sets by Dylan Charles, Kate Becker and the Zodiacs and the Silver Thread Trio. The show starts at 8 p.m., and, as always, admission is free.
The following night is the kickoff for South by Sky Bar, a series of five shows at the titular venue featuring acts making their way to and from SXSW. This week's SXSB shows are A Son y Sol and Sinner's Circus on Saturday, March 12; Fergus and Geronimo on Sunday, March 13; and Buckeye Knoll and Wave Array on Monday, March 14. For more info about Sky Bar shows, head to skybartucson.com, or call 622-4300.
Last week, SST Records founder and owner Greg Ginn paid a visit to Tucson (see Live), and this week, a veteran of two bands that resided on that label brings his latest band to town. Led by the Minutemen and fIREHOSE bassist, Mike Watt and the Missingmen return to Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Sunday, March 13, with a fine new album, Hyphenated-Man (Clenchedwrench/Org). Opening at 9 p.m. is Lenguas Largas, who just released their own, self-titled debut album (Tic Tac Totally/Recess). Tickets are $14 in advance, or $15 the day of the show; 798-1298.
Music as a Weapon Tour with Korn, Disturbed and Sevendust at the TCC Arena on Friday, March 11; MarchFourth Marching Band at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, March 11; Supersuckers' Eddie Spaghetti on the patio at Hotel Congress on Friday, March 11; Red Fang, Danava and Lecherous Gaze at Plush on Tuesday, March 15; The Dodos and The Mumlers at Club Congress on Saturday, March 12; Peter Murphy at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, March 15; Burger Records Tour with Mean Jeans, Apache, Audacity, Cosmonauts, Feeding People and Summer Twins at the Red Room at Grill and Vaudeville on Sunday, March 13; Street Dogs, The Have Nots and others at Club Congress on Monday, March 14; Joan Rivers at UA Centennial Hall on Wednesday, March 16; Tiger Army's Nick 13 at Club Congress on Tuesday, March 15; The Zsa Zsas at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, March 12; Carnivores at the Red Room at Grill on Monday, March 14; Judgement Day and The Missing Parts at Solar Culture Gallery on Saturday, March 12; Henchmen and Curse of the Pink Hearse at The Hut on Sunday, March 13; Burnt Ones, Soft Kill and Dangerous Boys Club at Red Room at Grill on Tuesday, March 15; and many, many other shows. Check those listings!