Sound Bites IT MUST BE LOVE: I'm sure everyone's noticed--how could you not?--that the gift-card aisles in all the stores have made their mid-winter switch from green and red to red and pink. The shelves are stocked with all manner of sweets for your sweet, and the commercial holiday machine has rallied from its brief slumber to renew its assault on the consumer. In other words, St. Valentine's Day is once again upon us this Saturday, February 14, and it's time to wine, dine and make merry, whether you're riding shotgun or flying solo. Below are just a few swinging live events you may want to check out:

As usual, the Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., can't pass up an opportunity to stage a no-holds-barred spectacle of epic proportions. Dubbed "Cupid's Carnival: For Lovers and Wannabe Lovers," the Congo, in conjunction with KFMA and Budweiser, hosts The Days of the New and Black Lab, with an intermission fashion show by Mr. Lulu's of Congress Street. Black Lab gets the party rolling at 9:30 p.m., but the orgy begins outside at 8 p.m. In addition to an oyster bar and carnival games, they'll be dragging out the drag queens, belly dancers, flame twirlers, mystics, tarot readers, palmists and, of course, let's not forget the kissing booth. Carnival events held in the parking lot are free, and admission to the club is $10. Tickets are on sale now. Sorry, kids, this event is 21 and over. Call 622-8848 for more information.

The Hammertoes arrived in Valley of the Sun by way of the Big Apple, bringing with them their rock-bossa nova-jazz stylings and stellar sax sound. The Hammertoes kick into the Old Pueblo to join Tucson's favorite brass band, Crawdaddy-O, at 10 p.m. at The Airport Lounge, 21 E. Pennington St. Cover is $4. Call 882-0400 for more information.

If eclecticism and yummy $2 pints are more your speed, check out this trio of talent: Lazy Horse, The Pork Torta, and Barely Bipedal, at 8 p.m. at the Nimbus Brewing Company, 3850 E 44th St. Call 745-9175 for more information.

Hipster Daddy-O and the Hand Grenades will be swinging at the Third Stone Bar & Grill, 500 N. Fourth Ave. They put on a kick-ass show last Saturday at The Rialto Theater--the kids were skankin' like there'd be no ska tomorrow--so don't forget to wear your two-tones to this one. Call 628-8844 for more information.

As you're walking hand-in-hand with your sweetie, be sure to head down Fourth Avenue, where the fabulously talented Annie Hawkins Trio performs live from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Follow your ears--the show will be located either at Winsett Park or on Magpies' Patio, and is free to all comers.

EN FRANÇAIS! Extend the romance of St. Valentine's Day throughout the weekend with an afternoon of early music--The Arizona Early Music Society presents Parisian Ensemble Clément Janequin, a six-man vocal group specializing in sacred and secular polyphonic songs of 16th-century France. The Ensemble was founded 20 years ago by director and counter tenor Dominique Visse, and over the past two decades has enjoyed the support of the French Foreign Ministry and the France Télécom Foundation, performing for audiences worldwide. Their program, titled Fricasées Parisienne, includes selections by Clément Janequin, Roland de Lassus, Josquin Desprez, Claude Gombert, Guillaume Costeley and many others. Intermixed in the polyphonic "fricasées" will be lute and guitar solos by Ensemble member Eric Bellocq. The concert begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 15, at St. Philip's In The Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. Before the 2:30 p.m. performance, the artists will discuss the historical context of the music they'll be performing. Tickets are $13 general admission, $10 for seniors and $3 for students, available at the door. Call 318-1567 for more information.

LAST NOTES: Jackyl--"Back again, bigger than life and twice as ugly." That's right, members of the Atlanta five-piece are no patsies for popular demand--Jackyl may have changed labels, but its members claim their sound remains the same. The band is currently touring its third full-length album and Epic debut, Cut The Crap, produced by Mike Frasier of ACDC and Metallica credit. Since the releases of its smash 1992 self-titled debut, which sold 1.2 million copies, and its less than overwhelming 1994 follow-up, Push Comes to Shove, Jackyl has been touring steadily (Aerosmith, KISS, Woodstock '94) to add to its somewhat flagging momentum. If you loved 'em then, you'll love 'em now--Jackyl performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, February 12, at the New West, 4385 W. Ina Road. Tickets are only $10. Call 744-7744 for more information.

KAMP Student Radio and the Rialto Theater present variations on a roots-rockabilly theme, hosting Deadbolt, Cadillac Angels and Al Foul. The show is all-ages, bar with ID, and begins at 9 p.m. Thursday, February 12. Come prepared to dance at one of downtown's best dance venues, the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St. Tickets are $4 at the door. Call 740-0126 for more information.

Yoko Love makes the long trek down to the hinterlands of Tucson from buzzing metropolitan Phoenix for a free, all-ages, in-store appearance at 8 p.m. Friday, February 13, at Zia Records, 3370 E. Speedway. They arrive in support of their debut release, Who's Your Daddy? Call 327-3340 for more information. Later that evening, the three-piece rages against the machine with a full-on funky stage show at the Third Stone Bar & Grill. Call 628-8844 for more information.

If you're in the mood to relax, enjoy a latte or a bowl of café au lait in pleasant environs, and listen to music with a softer touch, then head to Fourth Avenue. After an incredibly successful show with Amor Belhôm Duo and Calexico, the Aroma Café, 346 N. Fourth Ave., continues its schedule of entertainment with a free solo performance by singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist Tari Tenace from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 13. Call 623-2088 for more information. TW

--Lisa Weeks

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