Filler Soundbites

FAREWELL, FARRELL: With gasoline prices rising faster than an oil company executive's stock bonus, we were all thrilled to hear the fifth annual Lollapalooza would be right here in Tucson this year on Wednesday, July 31, at the Pima County Fairgrounds (I-10 and Houghton Road). Our hearts really started pounding when we saw this year's festival includes "known commodities" like Metallica, Soundgarden and the Ramones--a line-up decision reflecting the fact that fest co-founder Perry Farrell has left the building.

The decidedly alternative billing of Sonic Youth, Pavement, Beck and Hole in Lollapalooza '95 produced lackluster ticket sales compared with previous tours. Although co-founder Marc Gieger insists financial concerns didn't factor into the mega-metal line-up, it's already being referred to as "Metal Fest '96" by squawking critics.

It figures--the first year the 'palooza travels to Tucson, Arizona's holy land for fringe elements of modern rock, we get the overpeddled metal.

Yeah, well, so fucking what? If you've been living on a diet of Cranberries, Garbage and Smashing Pumpkins, a dose of Metallica is just the tonic to put the lead back in your pencil. Besides, there's always been a certain charm to drummer Lars Ulrich, who has the personality metal drummer colleague and silicone-sycophant Tommy Lee could only dream of. Soundgarden, whose subtleties keep them from landing firmly in the metal ranks, continues to make each album better than the last by continuously challenging themselves musically. If the girls want to ogle Chris Cornell, SFW to that, too.

And besides, here's a chance to see The Ramones before they really retire.

If all this hasn't convinced you to go out right now and get your ticket, here's yet another added bonus: In addition to the second stage, there will be a third stage this year for indie acts! Go crazy and have a rager in that July sun. After all, at least you won't have to drive home from Phoenix.

The gates open at noon and the show begins at 2 p.m. All tickets are general admission, available at all Dillard's ticket outlets for a mere $38.75, including all those miserable convenience charges they tack on to suck away a few more of your hard-earned bucks. Charge by phone at (800) 638-4253.

LAST NOTES: Acoustic blues great Steve James appears in concert at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., on Friday, May 24. James fuses blues with country on his latest release, American Primitive. Blues fingerpicker Roy Book Binder and newcomer Ana Egge, whose expert guitar and mandolin playing belie her young age, open the show.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $8 for TBS members, available at Hear's Music, The Folk Shop and the Southwest Center for Music. Call 884-1220 for reservations and information.

Back by popular demand, the king of jump blues, Nappy Brown, will appear in concert at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., on Friday, May 24. Tucson's own King Pleasure opens the show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Rialto.

Superjam, featuring more than 50 of Tucson's finest jazz musicians, will take place on Sunday, May 26, at St. Philip's Plaza, 4380 N. Campbell Ave., with proceeds going to benefit the Tucson Jazz Society's education fund. Tickets are $8, $4 for Tucson Jazz Society members, and will be available at the gate. Call 743-3399 for more information.

Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., presents Noise Night with Mark Hosler from Negativeland (with Peter Regan and Jeff Robins of KXCI's Machine Shop) on Sunday, May 26. Howe Gelb is slated to loudly open the show at 8 p.m. Admission is $4. Call 622-8848 for more information.

Celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, with singer-songwriter Greg Brown, who brings his smoky baritone to the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. Brown's suitcase full of songs contains a rich mix of powerful lyrical images illustrated on a canvas of blues, rock, calypso and jazz. In addition to having his songs recorded by Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brown gained national attention when he worked on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio show in the mid-'80s. With 12 albums to his credit, Brown's musical career continues on a brilliant path.

Veteran bluesman Hans Olson adds his impressive guitar and harmonica talents to the occasion, with Howe Gelb and Mystic 13 opening the show at 7 p.m. There will also be a raffle for items ranging from guitars, CDs, concert tickets, weekend getaways and more. Raffle tickets are available at Zia Records, in addition to all outlets selling tickets for the performance. You don't have to be there to win.

Tickets are $15, $20 for center section, available at Hear's Music, The Folk Shop, Workshop Music, Loco Music, and Zip's. If some strange Voodoo curse prevents you from entering a record store, you can charge by phone at 881-3947. All proceeds benefit the Charitable Fund for Rainer Ptacek. Call 327-4809 for more information.

Hipsters know the place to hang is Café Luna Loca, 546 N. Stone Ave., where over the last four months regulars have already seen three of the four bands playing the too-cool Indie Stage at Lollapalooza. This week, the cutting-edge café presents a three-band line-up on Wednesday, May 28, featuring Toenut, Polvo and Pine Wyatt. This all-ages show starts at 8:30 p.m. Call 882-4488 for information. TW

--Jennifer Murphy
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