Cirque du Horreur: That's the name Club Congress has lashed to their tenth anniversary celebration happening over the next six days. What's it mean? Hip Italian lingo loosely translated as Circle Of Hors d'Oeuvres? Maybe chilled French meaning Circus Of Horror? Maybe not.
I do know, but it kicks off tonight with The Toadies, a popular Alternative Rock band getting lots of airplay on Tucson's two alternative-rock radio stations. Of course, the words "alternative rock" have been rendered meaningless, or worse, come to mean mainstream music selling millions of copies to people believing alternative is a genre unto itself. A genre defined by Nirvana by some, R.E.M. by others and Green Day by still more people. It used to mean music outside heavy rotation on MTV and radio stations owned by obese corporations. The dead word needs to be replaced as soon as possible. If you think of an alternative to alternative there's a cush gig in the music biz waiting for you.
The Toadies are joined by Shoebomb and White Chrome Splendor on Thursday, October 26, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Tickets are $10.
The anniversary horrors (hors d'oeuvres) continue Friday night with a local smorgasbord: Caitlin von Schmidt, Chris Holiman and Tammy Allen, Fish Karma, Panic Over Trainwreck (formerly Big Bug), Starcrunch, The Luminarios, Rainer, The Zsa Zsas and Blackmoon Graffiti. Admission is five bucks.
Saturday's line-up is headed by The Meat Puppets (see Quick Scans for a review of their new album). They're joined by Dog And Pony Show, Shovel and Al Perry. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 on the day of the show.
You can hear Yo La Tengo, The Drakes, Greyhound Soul, Caitlin and The Stickponies, The Zero Kings and Sasabe Giants on Sunday at Congress. Admission is $6.
Monday features Giant Sand, Rainer, The Blue Runners and Stefan George.
Which brings us to Tuesday, October 31--the last night of the anniversary parties. Joe Doe (of X) is the big name on the bill; preceded by Chick Cashman (and his cabaret/vaudeville dementia), Phantom Limbs, Spillblanket and Al Perry and The Sultry Heifers (the first band to play the club 10 years ago). Tickets are $10 in advance; or pay an extra $3 on the day of the show.
You can skip all these advance ticket prices and day of show increases by buying a $25 wristband at the club that will get you into all of the Cirque du Horreur concerts, some of which will be outside under a huge circus tent while others take place inside the venue. Call 622-8848 for information.
YOU PICKED A FINE NIGHT TO VISIT, LUCILLE: He's still the man of blues, as he has been for several decades now. Even people who hate the blues know who B.B. King is and what he does for a living. His job is make you feel the passion and power of blues that has kept him going for close to forever. I saw him a couple of years ago at a big blues show in Phoenix with Buddy Guy, Santana, Dr. John and The Fabulous T-Birds. B.B. outplayed 'em all, no question, no doubt.
The legendary guitarist brings his Gibson known as Lucille to town on Halloween night. Yeah, it's a Tuesday and you've got to be at work on Wednesday, but remember: King just turned 70 last month and you don't know how many more chances you'll get to see him. B.B. and his band play the UA Centennial Hall at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 each.
MORE HALLOWED COMPETITION: This Halloween is one of those nights music lovers pray for and concert promoters dread: a night of competition. John Doe is at Congress, B.B. King is at Centennial Hall and The Gangster of Love, Steve Miller, is at the TCC Arena--all on the last night of October.
I feel a strong tug toward the TCC. Doe is slowly devolving into John Cougar Springsteen and I've already worshipped at the throne of the King, but I've never seen the little guy from San Francisco in person. "Livin' In The U.S.A.," "Space Cowboy," "Your Saving Grace" and "Going To Mexico" are songs I grew up smoking cheap Mexican weed to while zoning to his white-boy blues and rock.
Most people probably want to hear that '70s trash: "The Joker," "Rock'n Me," "Jungle Love," "Jet Airliner" (an exception to the trash), "Take The Money and Run" and "Fly Like An Eagle."
I'm sure we'll all get to hear our favorite Steve songs sometime that night. Tickets are $12.50 in advance.
LAST NOTES: You can hear a New Mexican version of Cajun music when Bayou Seco plays the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., on Saturday, October 28.
I saw the quintet five or six years ago and didn't think much of them then. Pretty sloppy and unimaginative stuff--but that's quite a while ago and chances are good they're better these days. Advance tickets are $8.
Finally, I'm out. I'm leaving The Weekly after a four-year term in office. Actually, I spent little time in the office on Cushing Street. I've been holed up in a cramped, dusty, beer bottle and cigarette-butt clogged dungeon cranking out columns for these past two hundred weeks.
It's been mostly fun. Getting paid to hit the gin mills, blow my eardrums and spew opinions is a great way to live below the poverty line. I'm lucky to have been chosen for the position and I'm lucky to be moving on to something new. It's time for a fresh voice in this space and it's time I said goodbye. Thanks for reading whenever you've had the inclination. I appreciate it more than I can say. Thanks also to my publisher and editors, co-workers and freelancers who helped me do the job, and most importantly, the musicians making the sounds spinning us around.
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