BLACKMOON GRAFFITIEchoes Of My Tribe
THE MOST POPULAR band in town right now, Blackmoon is ready to move upward in the vast, confounding music business. They've got this, their debut CD, and a fairly professional video of "Breaking It Down" to accompany their entry into the maze.
It's hard to tell if this effort will give them their deserved breakthrough. It mostly fails to convey the charismatic charge of their live shows, with the notable exception of "Echoes."
Rapid, dense tribal drumming propels this song above the softer Hip Hop that dominates the album. Here, vocalist Leo Powell kicks out the urgency that makes him a ferocious live performer and the band such a vital groove in Tucson.
Maybe next time they'll be able to deliver the funk in the studio that they so regularly detonate on stage.
FRIENDS OF DEAN MARTINEZThe Shadow Of Your Smile
THE SO-CALLED "LOUNGE revival" is a marketing ploy, like Combustible Edison's weak shtick. But Tucson's Friends have far more interesting, non-genre-specific sounds to offer.
So dig "Chunder" if you wanna hear how desert dwellers have learned to catch the big waves in the Rillito Wash come monsoon season (hint: with a steel guitar). This regionalism further includes Southwestern spaghetti western and country rock ("All The Pretty Horses," "El Tiradito") as well as traditional Mexican stylings ("Per Sempre"). Any nods to "lounge" such as the vibes and marimba in "Blood Of The Earth" and the unremittingly retro-romanticism of "Misty" (remember that?) are just parts of the whole package.
MATT GRIFFIN WAS a Tucson music scene mainstay from 1981-88, performing with such diverse acts as the wonderfully named hardcore punks Corporate Whores, as well as Useless Pieces Of Shit (U.P.S.), plus more garage-oriented bands such as Los Hamsters, The Cryptics and The Marshmallow Overcoat. He's been playing in Boston bars for the past seven years, finally settling in as a guitarist and vocalist with his band The Hexatonics. The trio's new demo showcases Griffin's expressive "Gene Clark meets Husker Du" stylings, highlighted by his expressive vocals and impressive acoustic arrangements. Old friends and potential new fans alike will have a chance to witness Griffin's solo acoustic homecoming--he'll perform at Café Luna Loca 546 N. Stone Ave., Thursday, August 17.
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