HALLOWEEN BAG: Once every seven years, we're graced with
the opportunity to dress up in silly costumes, go out in public,
anonymously make complete asses of ourselves, and have all of
Sunday to recover from our shenanigans. That's right--Halloween
falls on a Saturday this year, which means the ante is officially
upped for big, scary fun...and Tucson's clubs have made sure to
take full advantage of the situation by throwing parties you'll
remember till 2005. What follows is an incomplete list of shindigs
that will show you a frighteningly good time. In no particular
With three stages of entertainment, probably the biggest party going down this year is the Second Annual Nightmare on Congress Street, which will be blocked off to accommodate the festivities. The Neewollah Street Dance will feature such oddities as life-size marionette gunfighters, a live torture chamber, the amazing mountain of blood and bones, storytelling clowns, and fire performances by Flam-Chen. Oh yeah--there's music, too.
The eclectic assortment of bands assures something for everyone. In the roots rock category there's The Paladins and Billy Bacon and The Forbidden Pigs; ska fans can skank to the sounds of Hipster Daddy-O and The Hand Grenades; power popsters can groove to the energetic vibe of Shoebomb; and jam band Spirit Union Revival provides the hippie-hippie shake.
The epicenter of activity is the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. If you're 18 or older, advance tickets are $8 per person, $12 per couple, available at all Zia locations and at Yikes Toy Store. They'll cost $10 and $15 at the door, ID required. Call 740-0126 for more details.
If down 'n' dirty roots rock is your bag, you'll want to check out the hoedown at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., for their triple bill of some of the finest in the genre. The outdoor show features hillbilly white-trash funk with Southern Culture on the Skids (don't worry about bringing your own fried chicken--it should be provided), the country swing of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, and the feisty vocal acrobatics of Neko Case. Inside the club, Spyder Rhodes will be spinning "techno for the damned" all night long.
Tickets are $12 in advance, available at Zip's University or at the club. They'll cost $15 at the door. Call 622-8848 for more information.
Another eclectic bash is yours for the taking at 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St. Rockabilly masters Al Foul and The Sheiks (yes, Sheiks--it's Halloween, remember?) will be augmented by the fabulous Chick Cashman on lead guitar, not to mention a couple of belly dancers for your visual pleasure. The lineup also includes the voodoo lounge-a-billy sounds of Splendida, and white-boy funk by The Money Shot. Cover is a mere $5, and you can call 670-9202 with additional inquiries.
If you've outgrown juvenile antics and are looking for something slightly more highbrow, you'll want to make your way to the Jazz Masquerade Party at the Cottonwood Club, 60 N. Alvernon Way. The music will be provided by Leon Kittrell & Statesboro, Peaches, and Paul Elia, and the $14.95 advance tickets--available at the club--include a buffet and appetizers. Tickets will be $2 more at the door, with reservations recommended. Call 326-6000 for more information.
Funk and hip-hop fans who don't mind road trips will want to hop in the car and make the trek north for the Second Annual Freak Show at the Celebrity Theater (this is a change from its previously scheduled run at the Mesa Amphitheater) in Phoenix. The roster includes Phoenix funksters the Phunk Junkees, hip-hop pioneers RUN-DMC, witty rappers The Pharcyde, Cousins of the Wize, and the Bombshelter DJs, in addition to a spectacular laser show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with show time at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at all Dillard's outlets, the Celebrity Theater box office, or charge by phone at (602) 503-5555.
Needless to say, all of the aforementioned events will feature costume contests. As my mom used to say: Have fun and be careful!
LAST NOTES: If you just can't wait till Halloween proper to get your spooky groove on, there are a couple of noteworthy shows hitting town on Friday, October 30.
The self-proclaimed "Scariest Band in the World," zombie rockabilly greasers Deadbolt, bring their stuff to Club Congress on that night. If you think Peter Murphy's voice is deep, you gotta check this shit out. Phoenix's Cadillac Angels and Tucson's James Dead open the show, and Hot Rod Ron will be spinning tunes between bands. Cover is five bucks.
For the musically adventurous, San Francisco's Caroliner will be in the Old Pueblo on Friday as well. The group, in its 16th year together, is truly one of the most interesting and fucked-up bands I've ever heard. Think beautifully twisted noise, and you're on the right track. Though they tour the U.S. very rarely these days, their live show is as much a Technicolor freakout theater performance as it is a concert. They'll be wreaking havoc at Nimbus Brewery, 3850 E. 44th St., at 9:55 p.m. Cover is only $3, and pints are $2, as usual. Call 745-9175 for more details.
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