LOTS OF TREATS—AND PERHAPS A FEW TRICKS
Somewhere along the line, Halloween became just as popular for adults as for kids—the difference, of course, being that adults often add the word "slutty" to the description of whatever costume they're wearing.
Accordingly, there are Halloween-themed nights seemingly everywhere this week. Hell, Hotel Congress is celebrating Halloweek with four nights of events.
The biggest is the return of Nightmare on Congress Street, a four-venue event that's all-inclusive with the cost of a single ticket, on Saturday, Oct. 29. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., will host a spooktacular version of Matt McCoy's Bang! Bang! dance party, along with the Ghost Town Funhouse, a haunted house with games and live screen-printing. Outside on the hotel patio, take in live music from the fresh-off-of-touring Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, American Android and Tom Walbank.
Across the street, at 318 E. Congress St., the Rialto Theatre joins forces with the art gallery Sacred Machine to present part of the musical portion of the gallery's Santa Muerte Music and Arts Festival (a festival within the festival which begins the previous night with an art opening at the gallery). The Rialto's portion of Santa Muerte will feature performances by The Jons, Blind Divine, Ensphere and The Mission Creeps; the gallery itself, located at 245 E. Congress St., will have live music by Philip Shiozaki and Raul Lizarraga. And even though the new venture by Kade Mislinski (of Hub Restaurant and Ice Creamery)—Playground, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Congress Street—isn't open yet, the Playground Rooftop will be operating as the Treehouse of Horror, which will feature music from People From the Sun, DJ Disco Bomb, DJ Bonus and Whiteboi. There's also a candy buffet. Sounds rather intriguing, no?
The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Admission to all four venues is $10 in advance, or $15 on the day of the event. The Rialto and Santa Muerte portions are all-ages, while Hotel Congress and the Playground Rooftop are 21-and-older. For more information, call the Rialto at 740-1000, Hotel Congress at 622-8848, or Sacred Machine at 777-7403.
Elsewhere in the Halloween spirit on Saturday, Oct. 29: Halloween J.A.M., billed as "an evening of electronic dance music and devilish delights," will feature DJ Spacecadet, Elektra Tek, Johnny Elvis, DJ Gus K and E.android, plus a costume contest. That one's in the new Arches Building, next door to Solar Culture Gallery. (Solar Culture is at 31 E. Toole Ave.) It's open to those 18 and older, and those 21 and up can BYOB. Start time is 9 p.m., and cover is $5. Check solarculture.org for more info.
Be sure to check our listings sections for tons of other Halloween-themed events throughout the week.
After a few dry local-release weeks—aside from the Luz de Vida compilation, of course—three Tucson bands are unleashing new CDs this week. (See Rhythm and Views on Page 47 for a review of Solace in Nothing's debut EP and info about the release show.)
Broken Romeo, your 2011 TAMMIES honoree in the Rock category, this week releases its first full-length in nine years. Desperation Daze (self-released) was co-produced by the band and Nando Rivas, who also engineered, mixed and mastered the album at his Og7 studio.
Broken Romeo's sound falls somewhere between the hard rock of the early '80s and the sort of heavy-ish alt-rock that came into favor in the 1990s. Singer-guitarist James Turpin's voice has Chris Cornell-style qualities and phrasing, but not the high range—which is fine by me; it suits the guitar-fueled tunes. The band is rounded out by guitarist-vocalist Steve Turpin, bassist Ari Sloane and drummer Matt Ringnell.
"Mark of Cain" is a real standout, utilizing soft-loud dynamics (or at least having the bass and one of the guitars drop out at moments of maximum impact); plus, it boasts one of the catchiest choruses on an album that, well, could use a few more. "Believe" coasts along on a dreamy guitar line influenced by the Edge and features a pretty pre-chorus—though the chorus itself is a bit lacking. "Is This Freedom?" tosses a bit of funk swagger into the mix, along with semi-tribal drumming and heavily effected guitars; it's got a mostly wordless sing-along chorus, but the song loses some steam when the meandering bridge hits. It does, however, win points by being one of the less-static songs on the album.
Simply put, if you're a fan of KFMA's brand of "new rock," you'll find much to like here.
Broken Romeo celebrates the release of Desperation Daze at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Oct. 29. Alien Jane opens at 9:30 p.m. Broken Romeo takes the middle slot, and Authority Zero's Jason Devore headlines. $7 gets you into the back room. Check out plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298.
Although we didn't receive a copy of the album by press time, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the Outlaw Rebels, "five guys with the likeminded interests of drinking, smoking, fast cars and loud music," according to their bio, will celebrate the release of their debut CD at the Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave., on Friday, Oct. 28. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. with an opening set by Psygoat, and cover is a fiver. For further details, head to surlywenchpub.com, or call 882-0009.
AWESOMENESS AT AVA
The Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre, better known as AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 E. Valencia Road, will be mighty busy this week.
First up, from Friday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 30, the Desert Bluegrass Association (DBA) will present the 12th Annual Desert Bluegrass Festival.
Friday's portion is devoted to the DBA's band contest, in which up to 10 acts perform and compete for $1,000 in prize money and the opportunity to perform during the festival proper. It starts at 7 p.m., and admission is free.
Saturday's and Sunday's events follow a traditional festival format, and here's what to expect:
On Saturday, Oct. 29, live music runs from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and here's who's playing: Blue Highway, Steve Smith and Hard Road, Kickin Grass Band, Whistle Stop, Copper River, Titan Valley Warheads, Crucial County and the Jam Pak Blues 'N' Grass Neighborhood Band. Admission for the whole day and night is $20; or you can buy a $15 ticket for the portion starting at 7 p.m., which will allow you to see Blue Highway, Kickin Grass Band and Copper River.
The events on Sunday, Oct. 30, run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and $15 will get you performances by Blue Highway, Steve Smith and Hard Road, Kickin Grass Band, Whistle Stop, Dusty River Boys, Manzanita Bluegrass and Rincon Mountain Boys.
Weekend passes are available for $30. Children younger than 16 will be admitted for free with a paying adult. For more information, visit desertbluegrass.org or casinodelsol.com, or call (800) 344-9435.
Beloved Los Angeles ensemble Ozomatli—whose forte is a potent brew of Latin funk, rock and hip-hop—is a member of Sound Strike, the coalition of musicians boycotting Arizona due to SB 1070. Back on March 10, the group made a much-appreciated exception by performing at Ron Barber's benefit concert for the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding.
This week, without a public explanation, the group will return to the state to perform at AVA at Casino del Sol. While we're mighty pleased to see they're returning, one wonders what led to the decision. My best guess is that the casino sits on tribal land, and is therefore not technically in Arizona, but who really knows. (An e-mail sent to the band's management the day before we went to press hadn't been returned by press time.)
It's not just Ozomatli performing at the show; their set is the culmination of a Latin-music festival called Festival Mundial del Dia de Los Muertos that will also feature The Jons, Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta, Salvador Duran, Mezzo Forte, Nefftys and Los Gallegos.
It all goes down at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1. Tickets are $20 to $40, and are available at casinodelsol.com, or by calling (800) 344-9435.
ON THE BANDWAGON
NoBunny and Acorn Bcorn at Club Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 1; Janiva Magness at Suite 147 at Plaza Palomino on Friday, Oct. 28; The Dillinger Escape Plan and others at The Rock on Sunday, Oct. 30; Filter, Menew and Stareater at the Rialto Theatre on Monday, Oct. 31; Don McLean at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Friday, Oct. 28; Bayside, Saves the Day, I Am the Avalanche and Transit at The Rock on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Check our listings sections for dozens more great shows this week.