To begin, I'd like to offer a quick shout-out to the illustrious Gene Armstrong, who filled this column with his musical wisdom while I was gallivanting in Austin at South by Southwest.
Between that trip and last weekend's Festival en el Barrio Viejo (see this week's Live), I may need another vacation soon—this one restful, perhaps with a beach and cocktails with little umbrellas. And very little live music.
But, as they say, there's no rest for the wicked, so here are some musical and cultural options this week for those who have a bit more stamina than my middle-aged ass.
A masterwork project for Philip Heilman, Breast Fest: A Local Music Festival for a Breast Cancer Charity, will bring together six diverse local bands tonight, Thursday, March 31, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation; the performers are Manic After Hours, who play "reggae, fusion and alternative rock"; good-time folk-rockers Logan Greene and the Bricks; Mostly Bears and their accessible, neo-progressive rock; The Bare Electric, described as "not so much a band as it is a musical collective composed of aspiring musicians, producers and artists" that specializes in "psychedelic hip space rock hop"; and The Hounds, who merge reggae, blues and hip hop into a feel-good porridge that will be tasty for fans of bands like Sublime.
Breast Fest kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight, and tickets for the all-ages show are $11 at the door. The event also includes a silent auction of items donated by a number of local businesses. For more info, head to rialtotheatre.com or breastfesttucson.com; call 740-1000; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Whitby, an employee at the Grant Road location of Bookmans, wrote in to tell us about a benefit he's organized to raise money for the Sculpture Resource Center. He describes April Fool's Fest as "an eclectic art event featuring locals artists, artisans, music and beer. The night will culminate in an interactive art event that will be so much fun you might not know what to do with yourself. It involves throwing 1,500 magnetic LED throwies like crazy around the SRC and onto sculptures made especially for the show." Participating artists include members of the SRC, Keegan Rider, The Tunnel of Questionable Enlightenment and others.
If you're not curious enough to show up just to find out what "1,500 magnetic LED throwies" are, consider that you'll also be treated to musical performances by White Chocolate and the Cigarettes, Tracy Shedd, Sister Emma Brother Noah and Some of Them Are Old. Whitby also mentions that the event will be filmed, and the footage will be used "to exhibit how unique and artistically alive Tucson is."
April Fool's Fest begins at 7 p.m., Friday, April 1, at the Sculpture Resource Center, 640 N. Stone Ave. Advance tickets are available for $5 at the SRC and at Bookmans locations. They'll be $8 at the door. For more information, head to sculptureresourcecenter.com.
Yet another season of the Tucson Roller Derby—the all-girl flat-track roller derby league formed in 2003—has come to an end. While the ladies of the Furious Truckstop Waitresses, the Iron Curtain, the VICE Squad, the Copper Queens and the inter-league Saddletramps may be hanging up their skates for the time being, they're not about to let the end of the season die without commemorating it.
These tough-ass ladies, who in their normal lives are "teachers, bartenders, mothers, students, scientists and countless others all bonded together by their love for the game," do lots of things very well, and one of them is throwing parties—which they'll do on Sunday, April 3, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. In addition to the usual Sunday-night karaoke madness, the event will also feature live performances by the Lemon Drop Gang and Kiss tribute band Wasted Aces. Doors open at 8 p.m., and best of all, the whole shindig is free. Congrats on another fine season, ladies! For further details, head to hotelcongress.com, or call 622-8848.
After being closed for an extended period of renovation, and then reopening before those renovations were finished, Plush will celebrate the completion with a grand reopening next Thursday, April 7, featuring a local lineup appropriate for its usual eclectic bookings. Headlining the show is the dark electro-indie group Horae; the middle slot will by occupied by hip-hop act Jivin Scientists; and Super Stereo brings its danceable synth-pop to the opening slot. They'll start at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5.
This week, Plush will play host to two local CD-release parties.
After performing for the last six years under the name Stillsuit, that band has changed its name to Spiders Can Fly, just in time for the release of its self-titled debut album. The CD was recorded with producer Dan Naiman, formerly of the Solace Bros., and is influenced by the 1990s golden era of indie-rock, running the gamut from soft to loud and back again, with inspiration from Sunny Day Real Estate and Smashing Pumpkins to Led Zeppelin and Jane's Addiction.
Spiders Can Fly will play the middle slot of the three-act bill that also includes headliners The Provocative Whites and openers The Early Black, who get things rolling at 9:30 p.m., Friday, April 1. Cover charge is $5.
With its members split between Tucson and Phoenix, Race You There—the now-four-piece, indie-pop act fronted by the crooning singer Jacob Acosta (also of Roll Acosta)—will celebrate the release of Catalyst, its second EP, at Plush on Saturday, April 2. The EP follows the band's 2010 full-length, Acts of Treason. They'll headline the show, which will also feature sets by Sketching in Stereo and Phoenix's Milo the Mayor, who kick the night off at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5.
Plush is located at 340 E. Sixth St. For more information about any of these shows, head to plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298.
Critically acclaimed rapper Talib Kweli—veteran of Black Star, which also featured Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek—returns to town for an all-ages solo show next Thursday, April 7, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Opening at 9 p.m. are Fashawn, Black One, 520 Boyz and DJ Unknown. Tickets are $22 in advance, or $25 on the day of the show. For more info, head to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
Led by the lead singer of NYC hard-core punk pioneers Agnostic Front, Roger Miret and the Disasters fall more into the catchy, good-time street-punk genre than AF, but they're awfully damn fun nonetheless. They'll headline a show at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., next Thursday, April 7, that will also feature Flatfoot 56, Bricktop and The Fighting 48th. The all-ages show begins at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $10; they'll be $12 at the door. For more information, head to rocktucson.com, or call 629-9211.
Don't forget about these fine shows, too: Caliche Con Carne and I Was Totally Destroying It at the Red Room at Grill tonight, March 31; Ruthie Foster at Suite 147 at Plaza Palomino on Sunday, April 3; Southeast Engine and Silverbell at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, April 3; Steel Tigers of Death, Matt McCoy and Dewtron at Black Mondays at Surly Wench Pub on Monday, April 4; Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sextet at the Tubac Plaza Main Stage on Sunday, April 3; Wolfgang Gartner, Harvard Bass, Tranceducer and Corbin Dooley at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, April 3; Quetzal Guerrero and the Warriors and LoCura at Solar Culture Gallery next Thursday, April 7; Natty Vibes Sound at The Hut on Sunday, April 3; Diane Van Deurzen and Lisa Otey's "Wild Women" at the Gaslight Theatre on Monday, April 4; Nancy McCallion and Danny Krieger at Abounding Grace Church on Saturday, April 2; Hans Christian at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, April 5; A Rocket to the Moon, Anarbor, Valencia, Runner Runner and Go Radio at The Rock on Friday, April 1; Mostly Bears and Faster Than Light at Sky Bar on Friday, April 1; Saturnalia, an evening of wine, music and magic featuring Kenny Stewart and (Weekly contributor) Carl Hanni at La Cocina on Friday, April 1; The Mission Creeps at Red Room at Grill on Tuesday, April 5.