HARBOR FOR MY SOUL
I'm not the best person to discuss the Access Tucson situation, with the community media organization facing a really uncertain future between city budget cuts, the race for downtown real estate and other pressures, but last week, Wavelab's Craig Schumacher proposed an interesting idea to make Access' Broadway location a multimedia technology hub, bringing in KXCI and other partners in one place. As an experiment of how that might work, Matt Milner hosted an episode of his Locals Only show at Access last week, featuring Calexico while they're (mostly) in town working on a new album. While they didn't perform any new material on camera (the songs are still mostly in their early stages, Joey Burns mentioned), the episode was a nice run through their catalog. You can see it on Cox channel 20 or Comcast's channel 74 starting tonight, Thursday, June 19 at 7 p.m., with a repeat on Saturday, June 21 at 11 a.m., then available to stream online. If we can get our own smaller scale Austin City Limits—like show out of a more formalized Access Tucson/KXCI collaboration, I'm all for it.
WHAT'S FOREVER FOR?
Thanks to the folks behind Flycatcher who put their June calendar up on Facebook last week. While it certainly seems like there are an infinite number of places to find out about shows these days, whether that's the endless (but appreciated!) stream of Facebook event invites out there or a bunch of websites that have some shows listed but not others, I personally still appreciate when a venue has an actual website with an actual calendar of what's happening any given night. Flycatcher promised in their calendar post that a website is coming soon, but I appreciate at least having something. To think, however, there was a time when you had to call an answering machine to see who was playing the DPC. Technology might have ruined the music business, but it does benefit the live music fan.
So on that note, nothing massive on Flycatcher's slate this week, but the venue is showing its renewed commitment to local music with solid lineups Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Michael P., The Modeens and Silverbell take the stage on Thursday, June 19; Marvin and the Cloud Hall headline on Friday, June 20; and Banana Gun, Joe Peña and Sorry About the Garden play Saturday, June 21. All three shows have $5 covers, with Thursday's show at 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday's at 8 p.m.
Also, I don't think we've mentioned it in this space before, but Flycatcher also features DJs starting at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday—Bob Felix on Friday; E Rupt and DanH on Saturday and as far as I can tell, no cover either night. Add those to the ever-growing list of stuff to do downtown at night.
STILL TAKING CHANCES
It might be just the general volume of shows lately, but it seems like there's been an influx of hip-hop shows lately featuring somewhat obscure/critically acclaimed rappers from the early 2000s. People Under the Stairs were here not long ago, then Casual from Hieroglyphics, now C-Rayz Walz, a New York rapper who had a run on Def Jux records from 2003 to 2005. Walz, an adept freestyler, might have dropped off the edge of the mainstream in recent years, but is still at it with a mixtape late last year, ALMIGHTY: The Solar Facts, which is a good listen if you were into "underground" East Coast rap, even if there are seemingly 18 million guests (hey, look! Sadat X!) over the 22 tracks. Also on the bill, Scarub of California's Living Legends crew and seven other acts, including Tucsonan Big Meridox. Tickets are $15 at the door for the show on Thursday, June 26 at 8 p.m. More info at rocktucson.com
WHAT AM I DOING HANGIN' AROUND?
Let's be honest, this isn't the greatest time of year for shows here (although there's still a ton to choose from), but the calendar for the rest of 2014 seems more ridiculous (in a good way) every week. The Fox announced their fall schedule and I'm personally looking forward to Dwight Yoakum (August 27), Mavis Staples (September 5) and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Allan Touissant (November 13). More info on those shows at foxtucsontheatre.org.
Looking forward to October at Congress, Poliça, who put on an amazing show—including a Keith Sweat cover—as part of Exile on Congress in 2013, is scheduled for Monday, October 13 and hip-hop/R&B parodists Turquoise Jeep (of "Lemme Smang It" fame) will be in town later that week on Friday, October 17. Buy tickets for those shows at hotelcongress.com.
Rialto Theatre, not to be outdone, has a bunch of great shows worth looking forward to as well, including Atmosphere (August 31), Kaiser Chiefs (September 23) and The New Pornographers with Pains of Being Pure at Heart (October 28). Might be worth looking into a part-time job to pay for tickets this fall. More info on those shows (and more) at rialtotheatre.com.