SINCE JAN. 8
Since this issue marks the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 8 Safeway shootings, I thought we'd take a quick look back at the efforts made by musicians to help heal our community over the past year.
The Rialto Theatre was the first to spring into action, announcing on its Facebook page on the afternoon of Jan. 8 that the staff would open the theater's doors that night to anyone looking to gather, and to any musicians who might like to perform. Several took to the call, including Seashell Radio's Courtney Robbins and Fen Ikner (whose set you can see at www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBeATewQu3M). The Rialto placed a message on its marquee—"We love you Gabby"—that remains today.
On Feb. 16, Ron Barber, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' district director, who was injured in the shootings, established the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding, whose mission is "to sustain and build upon the outpouring of good will, compassion and kindness that the community responded with after the tragic event on Jan. 8, 2011."
On March 10, the fund held its first benefit concert, a star-studded affair at the Tucson Convention Center Arena that drew about 4,500 people and featured performances by Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Ozomatli, Dar Williams, Sam Moore, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Calexico, Mariachi Luz de Luna, Nils Lofgren and Jennifer Warnes. Barber has said that he plans to do more fundraising concerts in the future, though mostly on a smaller scale. The next scheduled benefit for the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding will take place on Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Fox Tucson Theatre. The show will be headlined by Ben Folds and Calexico, and will also feature performances by Mariachi Luz de Luna, Salvador Duran, the Silver Thread Trio, and Mitzi Cowell and Friends featuring Sabra Faulk. (More on that next week. Head to foxtucsontheatre.org for more info.)
The first of two benefit albums, Can We Get Together?, produced by University of Arizona law student Robert Current, was released on April 11. Proceeds from the double-CD and download, which featured a collection of 30 songs by local acts that spanned genres from punk (Wax 78) to choir (Tucson Girls Chorus), are earmarked for Homicide Survivors, under the consolidated Tucson Together Fund, the only officially sanctioned fund established to assist victims, families and witnesses of the Jan. 8 tragedy. (For further details, go to coseismic.org.)
On Oct. 22, the second compilation album, Luz de Vida, was released on Fort Lowell Records and feted with a release party at the Rialto Theatre. The album was released in two formats: as a 37-song download (originally $10, and currently discounted to $5) featuring local artists such as Kiss and the Tells, Lenguas Largas, Giant Sand, Calexico, and Dead Western Plains, as well as national artists with close ties to Tucson including Spoon, Robyn Hitchcock, Neko Case, the Meat Puppets, DeVotchKa, and Jimmy Eat World; there is also a yellow-vinyl LP version featuring a dozen songs by local acts which comes with a download card for all 37 songs.
The album was produced by the organization Music Against Violence, of which I'm a member, along with the Rialto Theatre's Curtis McCrary and Ryan Trayte; Loveland Studio producers and engineers Tom Beach and Nathan Sabatino; Tucson Weekly contributor Eric Swedlund; and Fort Lowell Records owner and operator James Tritten. More information is available at musicagainstviolence.org.
We haven't seen the last of the generosity from local and national musicians. In addition to Barber's upcoming benefit at the Fox on Jan. 15, this weekend, local blues band the Bryan Dean Trio has chosen to release its second album, Sobriety Checkpoint, as part of the Beyond Tucson commemoration, happening citywide on Saturday, Jan. 7. The band—guitarist Dean, drummer Ralph Gilmore, and bassist Koko—won the 2010 Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation's blues challenge, and made it into the semifinals in the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this free show, which will take place at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. For more information, check out hotelcongress.com/club, or call 622-8848.
The Bryan Dean Trio isn't the only local act releasing new material this week.
If you've been following the Weekly's daily dispatch, The Range (daily.tucsonweekly.com) you've no doubt seen (and heard) a new song each week for the last four weeks by instrumental rockers Sleep Driver. The first, "319," is available for free download, and the other three are available to stream at The Range. The full album, Signals, features seven tracks that aren't quite math-y enough to be considered post-rock, but that's probably the catchall category they'll be filed under. Good stuff.
You can purchase the album as either a CD or download at sleepdriver.bandcamp.com, or better yet, pick one up directly from the band when they celebrate the release of Signals with a show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, Jan. 6. Doors open at 8 p.m.; the bill also features Tugboat and Scrilla Gorilla. Admission is $5. For more information, head to hotelcongress.com/club.
As a member of the team that put it together, I'd like to offer sincere, heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the success of this year's Great Cover-Up, which was held Dec. 15 to 17, at Plush, Club Congress and the Rialto Theatre. Thanks to your efforts, we'll be writing a check for about $7,000 to the event's beneficiary, the nonprofit TAMHA, the Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance.
Of course, we couldn't have done it without all of you, so let me take a moment to single out those who helped the most. Big ups to the following: Weekly contributor Mel Mason; Matt Milner and Randy Peterson of KXCI FM 91.3; Curtis McCrary, Ryan Trayte, Alyssa Hoyt, Bruce Momich and all at the Rialto Theatre; Tom Beach, Kris Kerry and all at Plush; David Slutes, Dana Fehr and all at Club Congress; promoter Dan Hernandez; our sponsors: Sticks N' Strings, Chicago Music Store, KXCI and the Tucson Weekly; all of the participating food trucks; and most of all, all of the performers who donated their time and energy to a great cause and treated us to some truly amazing music: Muddy Bug, Jeremy Michael Cashman, The Swigs, Genevieve and the LPs, Still Life Telescope, The Monitors, Faster Than Light, The Distortionists, Shaun Harris and Full Release, Young Mothers, Early Black, Fish Karma, Shrimp Chaperone, Ferrodyne, Crosscut Saw, Ryan Green, Cameron Hood, Some of Them Are Old, Flagrante Delicto, Emergency Broadcast System (whose Alex Italics proposed to his girlfriend during their set—congrats!), Spacefish, Gabriel Sullivan, DJPJ and Celeste, the David Clark Band, Marianne Dissard, Smallvox, Affirming the Consequent, Run-On Sunshine, Peaks, Jumper, The Gunrunners, the Wayback Machine, Planet Jam, Roman Barten-Sherman, Worm, Boreas, Alisha Peru, the Good Little Thieves, Christopher Stevens, Katie Haverly, Sugar Stains, Gaza Strip, Funky Bonz, Al Perry, Monster Pussy, Leila Lopez, the Awkward Moments, Doctor Dinosaur, The Wyatts, American Android, The Jons, Seashell Radio and The Modeens, Sergio Mendoza, 8 Minutes to Burn, Krista Khrome's Feed, and The Tryst.
Of course, thanks to all who attended, too. Our appreciation is boundless. We'll see you again next year.
ON THE BANDWAGON
The Dirt Daubers (featuring Legendary Shack Shakers front man J.D. Wilkes) at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, Jan. 10; Malaikat Dan Singa, Larkin Grimm, Vox Urbana and Jeremy Jules at La Cocina on Wednesday, Jan. 11; The Young (recently signed to Matador Records) at Solar Culture Gallery next Thursday, Jan. 12; The Temptations at the Diamond Center at Desert Diamond Casino next Thursday, Jan. 12; combination video release for Savant's "Beast and the Best" and video shoot for Big Meridox's "Whiskey Breath" featuring performances by Savant, Big Meridox and DJ Bonus, and Shaun Harris and Full Release at Mr. Head's on Saturday, Jan. 7; HuDost at the Galactic Center inside the Arches building (at 35 E. Toole Ave., next door to Solar Culture); Rhythm and Roots Birthday Bash (celebrating its first year in its new location) featuring The Coolers at Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino on Saturday, Jan. 7; ... music video?, Little Lo and Future Loves Past at Plush on Friday, Jan. 6; Wednesday 13, Aiden, Modern Day Escape and others at The Rock on Sunday, Jan. 8; the Carnivaleros at Boondocks Lounge tonight, Thursday, Jan. 5; the Black Jackalope Ensemble, Mean Beans and Havarti Orchestra at Sky Bar next Thursday, Jan. 12; Zo Carroll and the Soul Breakers at Boondocks Lounge on Sunday, Jan. 8.