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FALL IS ALMOST HERE

You wouldn't know it by walking outside, but take a gander at a calendar, and it'll tell you that summer is in its final weeks—which means the start of fall music series and festival season.

Last week featured the HoCo Fest and the TAMMIES, and this week's feature article is about The Wiyos, who kick off the Rhythm and Roots concert series. But there are several more series and festivals headed our way. Here's a look at a few of them.


HELLO, LAVA; GOODBYE, FRIENDS OF MUSIC (FOR NOW)

In addition to Rhythm and Roots, the Live Acoustic Venue Association (LAVA) starts its fall season this week with a performance by X-Train, a high-energy, blazing-fast bluegrass band featuring Peter McLaughlin on guitar, Ross Nickerson on banjo, Mark Miracle on mandolin and Bob Denoncourt on bass. Among the group's accolades is a win at the 1988 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition. Local performances are a rarity, so catch 'em while you can. They'll perform at LAVA's fall season headquarters, Abounding Grace Sanctuary, 2450 S. Kolb Road, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8. Advance tickets are available for $15 at brownpapertickets.com. They'll be $20 (cash only) at the door.

Other shows in LAVA's fall season include Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements on Saturday, Sept. 15, Wyatt Easterling on Saturday, Sept. 22, Chuck Pyle on Saturday, Sept. 29, Ronstadt Generations on Saturday, Oct. 6, and Cosy Sheridan on Saturday, Oct. 20. A full schedule and more info are available at lavamusic.org.

It's also worth noting that for the first time, LAVA is offering season tickets: A $100 season pass will get you into all 10 shows in the fall series.

Meanwhile, another stellar local bluegrass band closes St. Philip's in the Hills Friends of Music summer series this week. The Titan Valley Warheads—whose current lineup consists of Gary Kuitert (mandolin), Earl Edmonson (guitar), Ed Davenport (bass), Andy McCune (banjo) and Tom Rhodes (fiddle)—will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9, at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. Admission is a suggested donation of $15. More info is available by calling 299-6421.


DIVINE MELDING OF MUSIC AND ART

The Third Annual Santa Muerte Music and Arts Festival gets under way this week, too. The festival is curated by visual artist and musician Daniel Martin Diaz, and his wife and bandmate in Blind Divine, Paula Catherine Valencia.

The festival features an art show with works by 27 renowned artists including Joe Sorren, Robert Palacios, Michael Page and Elizabeth Frank, as well as musical events running at a variety of venues (though the majority take place at the festival's ground zero, Diaz and Valencia's Sacred Machine gallery) throughout the next two months.

The festival's opening celebration takes place at Sacred Machine starting at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, with performances by In the Woods (7 to 9 p.m.) and d[foRm] (9 p.m. to midnight) in addition to the art opening.

It continues at the same location at 8 p.m. the following night, Saturday, Sept. 8, with performances by Nathan Carman (8 p.m.), Chris Black (9 p.m.) and Blind Divine (10 p.m.). Admission both nights is free.

Sacred Machine is located at 245 E. Congress St. For more information, including a full schedule of events as well as a sneak peek at some of the artwork, head to sacredmachine.com. Questions will be answered by calling 777-7403.


SHOWS WITH BENEFITS

A pair of noteworthy benefit shows is taking place this week.

A whole lot of Tucson music fans who have been around for a while look back fondly upon the era of Stunning Tonto Records, a label spearheaded by the members of the now-defunct Chango Malo that released albums by a number of local bands, as well as an era-defining compilation, Stunning Tonto Presents Vol. 1, which featured 16 tracks by the likes of mostly bygone bands such as Good Talk Russ, Red Switch, Lloyd Dobbler, Truck, and Manifold. (The only two still-extant bands on the comp are Love Mound and the Last Call Brawlers.)

But Stunning Tonto was more than just a label; it was an extended musical family whose members were incredibly supportive of each other. In those days—we're talking 10 years ago—if you went to a show by any of the Stunning Tonto bands, you'd notice that front-and-center were members of other Stunning Tonto bands.

While most of the bands on that compilation, and of that era, no longer exist, many of the members have gone on to perform in bands that do still exist—and they've hatched a plan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the comp's release. Plans are in the works for several bands including members of the Stunning Tonto crew to put out another compilation, this one featuring some of those current bands covering songs originally performed by Stunning Tonto artists. Among the artists set to participate are Anakim, Fort Worth, HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS, Church Key and Garboski.

In order to fund the project, a Kickstarter campaign has been set up to collect donations. As of this writing, nearly $2,000 of the $4,000 target has been raised.

In order to bump that tally up, there will also be a fundraising show happening on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave. Headlined by HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS, the show will also feature Garboski and Church Key. Music begins around 10 p.m., and cover is a suggested donation of $5 (though they certainly won't turn you down if you'd like to contribute more). For more information, head to the Kickstarter page, or call the Wench at 882-0009.

Also this week: Eastside Sound and the Tucson Rock Alliance are teaming up to present Rock for a Cure 2012, which will raise money for the PKD Foundation (polycystic kidney disease), as well as Trey Ratzan, an 8-year-old child who needs a double kidney and liver transplant due to PKD.

The event runs from 2 to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the children's outdoor performance area at Lincoln Park, 8155 E Poinciana Drive, where two stages will be set up: a main stage featuring performances by Top Dead Center, Blazing Edisons, Frantic, the Ben Hyatt Band and Armastus; and an acoustic stage, which will include performances by John R. Holmes, Mason Reed, The Living Breathing, Brandon Jim and Mr. Martin Tanner.

In addition to the performances, the family-friendly event will include outdoor games, raffles, food and drinks for purchase, and a playground for kids. Advance tickets are available for a $15 donation; day-of-show entry will be a $20 donation. For more information, head to the event's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/409157062479480.


ON THE BANDWAGON

Once again, we've barely scratched the surface of all the great musical happenings, so be sure to check our listings for more. In the meantime, here are some notable shows and events: Silver Thread Trio, Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman and Run Boy Run at Plush on Friday, Sept. 7; N9NE Fest and Barstool Blackout Tour present F*ckin Foam at the Tucson Convention Center Arena on Friday, Sept. 7; DâM FunK (live band performance), Zackey Force Funk and Tortilla Factory at Club Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 12; Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford at AVA at Casino del Sol on Wednesday, Sept. 12; It's a Beautiful Day and Stefan George at Club Congress on Friday, Sept. 7; Second Saturdays Downtown featuring The Dunwells, LeeAnne Savage and many others, downtown on Saturday, Sept. 8; I Was Totally Destroying It at The Hut next Thursday, Sept. 13; Neal McCoy at AVA at Casino del Sol on Friday, Sept. 7; Holy Rolling Empire, Of the Painted Choir and La Cerca at Club Congress on Saturday, Sept. 8; In Repair and Those Beatles Guys at The Hut on Friday, Sept. 7; Get Scared, Dead Rabbits and Rob the Cartel at The Rock on Wednesday, Sept. 12; The Jive Bombers at Boondocks Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 8; The Horse Thieves at Sky Bar on Saturday, Sept. 8; Opti Club presents Hume at Club Congress next Thursday, Sept. 13; The Rocketz, Full Story at Midnight, Justin Valdez and The El Camino Royales at The Bashful Bandit on Friday, Sept. 7; Apocalyptic Takeover Tour with The Sammus Theory, Cage9, Take the Hill, Despondency Denied and others at The Hut on Saturday, Sept. 8; Black Cherry Burlesque at Surly Wench Pub on Friday, Sept. 7; No Wave Punk Downtown Block Party on 19 E. Toole Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 8.

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