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FRONTIER JUSTICE. They say Old West justice consisted mainly of six-shooters and drunken speculation; and those meting out such quarter were often only a few paces ahead of the rope themselves.
Still, there was a beautiful, brutal simplicity to the whole matter. The line between good and evil, between law-breaking and law-making, was typically drawn by whomever toted the biggest heat. And the frontier masters didn't let niceties like due process or double-breasted lawyers get in the way.
Those raucous, primal days have proven an ongoing source of fascination, even as the facts keep getting fuzzier with Hollywood and other myth-makers adding their romanticized two-cents' worth.
Four more authors offer their versions of what really went on in the Old West, as part of the National Association for Outlaw and Lawman History Conference, continuing through July 25. (For more information on the conference, call (520) 455-9365.)
John Boessnecker wrote Lawman, the Story of Harry Morse, and Badge and Buckshot. Casey Tefertiller is the author of Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend. Robert K. De Arment authored Bat Masterson, Alias Frank Clanton; and Philip Steele penned Outlaws and Gunfighters of the West.
Tonight, all four penslingers sign and discuss their work from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Book Mark, 5001 E. Speedway Blvd. For details, call 881-6350.
LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS. Or maybe just javelina, skunks and snakes. Those are a few of the desert denizens likely to turn out during Saguaro National Park East's night walks near the Rincon Mountains. The walks are offered the second and fourth Friday of each month through the summer. Led by trained naturalists, these free, leisurely strolls traverse some of the Southwest's most beautiful real estate, and explore the nocturnal behaviors of desert creatures. Participants should bring water and a flashlight, and dress appropriately.
Hike runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For registration, directions and other information, call 733-5153.
PUBLIC VISIONS. Just chewing over what art is--and what art ain't--is tough enough. But when you start talking about what makes good public art, and whether John Q. Citizen ought to pay for it, things can get downright cantankerous. After all, one man's brilliant portrayal of the human condition is another man's muddy mess. And if all those throbbing noggins in Congress and the NEA can't tell the difference, how are the humble folks of the Old Pueblo supposed to tell?
Enter the Tucson/Pima Arts Council. Tonight they'll plumb these contentious depths through the lens of local videomakers with Visions of Public Art. Videos by Patti Cassidy, KT Good and Eleanor Kohloss will explore the ongoing debate. Afterwards, each artist will chat about her ideas with the audience. Refreshments will also be provided.
Free event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the T/PAC offices, 240 N. Stone Ave. For details, call 624-0595.
BIG PICK. Peter McLaughlin isn't any stranger to the spotlight. Twice he's won the Telluride Guitar Contest, and in 1988 he took first place in the National Guitar Flat-Picking Championship. He's played with the Titan Valley Warheads, Flying South, and for seven years toured with Laurie Lewis and her Grant Street Band.
Now McLaughlin returns to Tucson hot on the heels of his latest release, Cliffs of Vermilion, and will be accompanied by the touring band Frog Mountain.
For the picker, it simply continues a process begun when he was a kid. "I heard Doc Watson's version of 'Black Mountain Rag,' " he says, "and about the same time I heard Beaumont Rag, and his medley with Ragtime Annie/Whistlin Rufus. Then my dad took me to hear Doc live at the Smithsonian in the mid-'60s, and that was kind of the final blow. I had to learn how to flatpick."
Of McLaughlin's new CD, Guitar Magazine says, "That enthusiasm and love of flatpicking guitar music infuses nearly every track of Cliffs of Vermilion with a sense of discovery and delight...."
Frog Mountain consists of Chris Brashear on fiddle and guitar, Mark Jones on mandolin, and Evan Dain on bass. They'll perform traditional bluegrass and Django Reinhardt-influenced swing, along with selections from McLaughlin's and Brashears' latest releases.
Show time is 8 p.m. in Plaza Palomino, 2970 N. Swan Road. Advance tickets are $10, available at Hear's Music, Piney Hollow, and the Plaza Palomino Management Office. Tickets will be $12 at the door. KXCI members receive a $1 discount. For information, call 297-9133.
EYEING THE LINE. The border culture of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, is spotlighted from a trio of perspectives in Three Visions of Nogales, a photography exhibit by José Galvez, Will Monahan and Amy Zuckerman.
All three shoot primarily in black and white. Zuckerman and Galvez were part of the Arizona Commission on the Arts Traveling Exhibits program, and did a joint exhibition focusing on Nogales. Monahan is a Nogales resident who's been photographing his town over the past several years.
Exhibit runs through September 5, with an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 25, in the Galvez Gallery/Mexican Cultural Arts Center, 743 N. Fourth Ave. For details, call 624-6878.
RIPPIN' WHIPPERSNAPPER. His ma handed him his nickname. His way with the harmonica cemented his reputation. The upshot is that these days George "Wild Child" Butler travels from town to town spreading his blues gospel like an enfant terrible. Now he brings that powerful sound to Tucson as part of the "Nothin' But the Blues" series, produced by Terry O and hosted by the Boondocks Lounge.
Considered one of the most stylistically interesting and underrated bluesmen in the business, Butler's known for standing his ground, unwilling to temper his rootsy sound for commercial success. As a result, he plays and sings the blues in the same authentic style today that he developed and learned from his rural Alabama sharecropping days some 40 years back.
Not that he hasn't been prodded to go contemporary: "Record companies have asked me to do that before," he says. "I wouldn't do it then, and I wouldn't do it now, just to sell more records. The way I do my blues, that's me. The blues isn't just something that I do, it's something I am."
Wild Child Butler blows some southern hospitality into the Old Pueblo at 9 p.m. at The Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Advance tickets are $10, available at The Boondocks and Hear's Music. Tickets are $12 at the door, $10 for TBS members. Call 690-0991 for details.
TEMPERATE TIMING. In Tucson, this season may mean an overload of lowdown sweltering heat. But it also provides the chance to reach civilized heights with eventw like the Saint Andrew's Bach Society's summer series.
Featured in this second concert will be Desert Sands, described as "a bravura duo" comprised of Sandy Schwoebel on flute and Jeffri Sanders on piano and organ. They'll perform works by Mozart, Haydn and Fauré, in addition to various contemporary composers such as Arizona's Robert Muczynski.
Schwoebel is considered a performer of great versatility and technical virtuosity. She holds a degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and currently is editor-in-chief of The Flutist Quarterly magazine. She's performed with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra and the Santa Cruz Symphony.
Sanders is likewise a key player in his own right (no pun intended): A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Westminster Choir College, he served as associate music director at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church for five years. He's currently co-president of the Arizona Early Music Society.
Show time is 3 p.m. in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 545 S. Fifth Ave. Tickets are $8, $5 for seniors and students, available at the door. For details, call 621-8119.
DE GRAZIA FINALE. The summer screenings of the late artist Ted DeGrazia's eccentric films wrap up today with three celluloid gems. Not necessarily great art, these works nonetheless offer a funky glimpse into DeGrazia's reality, and provide a fascinating window on the days before this region was blighted by massive suburbanization.
Showing today are Story of Padre Serra and the Artist's Philosophy, The Rose and the Robe, and DeGrazia 1977. Screenings are free, and begin at 1:30 p.m. in the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road. For information and reservations, call 299-9191.
MEDIA MADNESS. The cameras keep rolling for Upstairs Film's ongoing Multimedia Mondays series at the Hotel Congress. Showing tonight is "RetroGENESIS," José Garcia's dark, comedic take on Adam and Eve in the nuclear age; "Walking With the Dead," a John R. Killacky film about just what makes a disease fatal; "Daddy Log's Drive-In Candy Hoppin' Car Babbies" and "String Around a Stick," a pair of music videos by Bob Log III and Mike Plante.
Tonight's musical guests are The Derailers, Quintrone and Miss Pussycat, and Bob Log III.
Films will screen at 8 p.m. and midnight, with music from 9 p.m. to midnight, in the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $4 at the door.
FEMINIST VOICES. Janet Monk's longtime work with the UA Women's Studies Department and Southwest Institute for Research on Women has helped give voice to female scholars throughout the country. Now her efforts take on a different perspective following her recent trip to Israel. Tonight she shares insights gained from that journey with Listening to Israeli Feminists, a lecture sponsored by the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona.
Lecture is 11:30 a.m. in El Parador Restaurant, 2744 E. Broadway. Cost is $11, and includes lunch. For information, call 881-7060.
UNDER ELECTRIC SKIES. Tucson's own Sidewinders take on the Calgary Cannons tonight in some top-notch Pacific Coast League play, all under well-lit skies. If you haven't been out to the new Tucson Electric Park, now's your chance. The facilities are sharp, the grass is green, the brews are cold and the competition is highly charged--and still pretty darned cheap.
Game time is 7 p.m. in Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Admission is $4, $3 for children ages 6 to 16, $3 for military personnel and seniors. For information, call 434-1000.
VISUAL TRAVELER. The entire world is subject matter for photographer Jonathan Kaplan. Now that global perspective--including landscapes from such far-flung climes as Israel, Maine, Mexico, San Francisco and Sedona--grace Fourth Avenue's charming Aroma Café.
Program director for the UA Hillel Foundation, Kaplan grew up in Connecticut and his early images were infused with New England's varied geography. This new show proves that such intimacy with the land travels well.
Exhibit runs through August 13 in Aroma Café, 346 N. Fourth Ave. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Call 623-2088 for details.
DEADLY EFFORT. Killing Floor was British author Lee Child's first book to feature former military cop Jack Reacher. But this writer's obviously onto something big: Killing won him an Anthony Award for Best First Novel, and praise from The New York Times for its "great style and careful plotting."
Now Reacher is back, and this time he's doing battle with a band of paramilitary thugs in Die Trying.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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