Friday, July 7, 2017

In The Flesh: Casey Golden, Daycones and Fawn Bones Soothe and Rock the Smoking Area

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 5:16 PM

Like a mirage of water on asphalt so appeared Fawn Bones, Daycones and Casey Golden, whose music collectively lifted the listlessness after yet another oppressive day of desert heat, last night (Thursday) on the patio at Bar Passé.

Fawn Bones: “It feels like I am channeling something ... standing somewhere else outside of my body when I am playing.” - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Fawn Bones: “It feels like I am channeling something ... standing somewhere else outside of my body when I am playing.”

Fawn Bones
Fawn Bones was first up under the twinkling string lights on the rustic outdoor stage. The solo singer-songwriter/guitarist melded traditional blues and folk with experimental sounds, and performed a mix of original tunes sung in feathery voice, instrumental pieces, and a cover by cult singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. Notes: The young woman first discovered a spiritual connection through music at 15 years of age when learning to play guitar. “It feels like I am channeling something ... standing somewhere else outside of my body when I am playing.” And that's pretty much what it was like watching her.

Daycones: “Wait, dude, I want to play drums with you, man ...” - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Daycones: “Wait, dude, I want to play drums with you, man ...”


Armed solely with an acoustic guitar, Milwaukee native Ryan Cones, performing solo under the moniker Daycones, strode up next. Finding it hard to describe his sound, when asked, “Is it folk?” the somewhat cool and distant Cones replied “Sometimes ... it’s more of a recording project,” before trailing off. Daycones' sparse psych-tinged garage rock, on songs like “Imagination”—off his 2016 album New Landscapes—had a powerful, disquieting effect. Last night's stripped-down set of tunes felt more optimistic. A moment of levity came when someone from the audience blurted out, “Wait, dude, I want to play drums with you, man...” Cones amicably invited the dude to join him on stage. “Jeff Lownsbury, everybody,” of the Jeff Lownsbury Sextet. Not quite finding the right groove, Lownsbury made an aborted attempt to accompany the talented young singer-songwriter. Those in attendance audience, perched on wooden chairs, seemed thrilled nonetheless.

Casey Golden smoked in the smoking area. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Casey Golden smoked in the smoking area.

Casey Golden

Casey Golden—backed by the hardest working musicians in town, guitarist Connor Gallaher, bassist Grant Beyschau, and trapsman Adan Martinez-Kee—played last.

Golden describes his music as postmodern revival, indie-folk. But there's more there than that. It’s his uncanny voice, one that's both whimsical and otherworldly, like a strange child with a faraway smile and fey manner. In “Minor Leagues,” off of his self-titled album Casey Golden (Muscle Beach, 2017), his inflection and vocal timbre captured melancholia perfectly.

Because of the band, the night closed down dramatically in the otherwise low-key backyard smoking area at Bar Passé. Lush three-part harmonies soared atop Gallaher maniacal Telecaster riffing, and Beyschau and Martinez-Kee held down the backbeat with aplomb. In other words, smoking.

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In The Flesh: Black Marble, Body of Light, and Draa at Club Congress

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Body of Light performs at Club Congress in Tucson, Arizona on Thursday, June 29. - BRIEANA SEALY
  • Brieana Sealy
  • Body of Light performs at Club Congress in Tucson, Arizona on Thursday, June 29.

First, Tempe's Draa silenced the room. The poppy openers didn't put people to sleep, instead put them into a dream. People closed eyes and swayed, only slipping back into reality between songs to applaud. The next two acts were minimal two-piece synth outifits. Sun City, Arizona's Body of Light was up next, and the center of the dancefloor fully erupted. It was heavy—if you'd covered your ears it'd could've been a hardcore metal show. It's a group super loyal to 80s-styled synthpop, with no shortage of 'verbed-out vocals and heavy bass—heady vibrations made your heart skip a beat. The tunage brought out eccentrics going apeshit in front of the stage.
New York Black Marble Brooklyn headlined and folks drunkenly perched on the edge of the stage, heads bonging to the duo's warm sonic chill. In fact, Black Marble conjured up that most difficult of live-show juxtapositions, the kind mostly seen at Dead shows of yore: people jamming hard to soft synth. No wonder they signed to Ghostly International.

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Tucson Restaurateurs Victimized in Home Burglary

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Harmesh and Raksha Bhatti with Tucson Mayor Rothschild during India Oven's 20th Anniversary celebration in 2014. - ARC PHOTOGRAPHY VIA FACEBOOK
  • ARC Photography via Facebook
  • Harmesh and Raksha Bhatti with Tucson Mayor Rothschild during India Oven's 20th Anniversary celebration in 2014.

Consider visiting a restaurant that is as warm, familiar and familial as a friend’s kitchen. Imagine the walls, lined with family photos, and the smell of cumin, coriander and chilies lingering over good company.

Since 1993, Tucson’s India Oven (2727 N. Campbell Ave.) has proudly served up a taste of Indian home cooking. Harmesh and Raksha Bhatti, the proprietors of this longtime Tucson-staple, find their second home inconspicuously nestled in a Campbell mini mall. The restaurateurs, as much as the restaurant itself, attract patrons from across the valley to experience the welcoming warmth of India Oven.

For 24 years, the Bhattis, as dedicated proprietors to their business, arrive some hours before the restaurant’s opening, and stay hours after close. On one such day two weeks ago, the Bhattis returned from a full day of work to find their home ransacked and burgled.

“We had been working here all day,” Raksha said. “We no go home until very late, sometime like 10:30 p.m., and to see our home like that…very sad. They took everything.”

It would seem the burglars left no stone unturned. Tears well in Raksha’s eyes, as she explains the totality of the burglar’s damage. Generations of jewelry, all gone; the delicate gold bands that linked Raksha to the communal memory of her parents, as well to the memories of her wedding day and granddaughter’s birth, all lost. A 65-inch, flat screen television Raksha bought for Harmesh on Thanksgiving: gone. Computers housing files and photos, as well as cameras used to document the many journeys of the Bhatti family: gone.

In addition to the many family heirlooms and memories lost to the burglary, the Bhatti’s home was also destroyed.

“They smashed up the whole couch and throw our clothes across house,” Raksha said. “They smashed up everything: all my paperwork… everything. It is very scary.”

Though Tucson police responded to the scene, no leads have been determined. Additionally, the Bhatti’s home was uninsured during the time of the accident.

“Our people do not think about it that way,” Raksha said. “I have little idea how to take insurance, I never thought we’d need it. We work 24 year in this place. We think America is good… We never think something like this could happen in our community.”

The Bhattis now set out to rebuild their home. Though the police have yet to catch the culprits of this crime, Raksha remains hopeful that good will prevail.

“At least I have this business,” Raksha said. “We will build again. It is no easy for me, but we will build again with community help.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated.

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DeVos Delays Loan Relief For Students Ripped Off By For-Profit Colleges

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
For-profit colleges have been ripping off the federal government and defrauding students for years. The systematic fleecing of the Feds and the students was reported as far back as 2009, but the government was slow to take action. In 2015 due to pressure from the Obama administration, the Corinthian College chain and ITT Tech Institute closed their doors and other colleges like the University of Phoenix saw their enrollments plummet when they were outed for illegal practices.

Last October, the Obama administration created a program known as borrower defense whose purpose was to compensate students burdened with loans from schools offering minimal education. It was scheduled to start July 1. A Hillary Clinton administration would almost certainly have followed through, but Betsy DeVos, Trump's Secretary of Education, has put on the brakes. The reason for the delay, she claims, is a suit filed by an association of for-profit colleges, but that appears to be a ruse. The Trump administration started looking for a way to delay the program before the lawsuit was filed.

Eighteen states filed a lawsuit against the Education Department for the delay.
“Since day one, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans,” said Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, who led the multistate coalition. “Her decision to cancel vital protections for students and taxpayers is a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law.”

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Cinema Clips: Transformers: The Last Knight

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The latest Transformers movie, Transformers: The Last Knight, gets the dubious distinction of being the worst in the series. That is some sort of major accomplishment. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to look at this collective pile of movie manure and decipher which of the five is the worst. It’s like going to a frat house the first week of a semester at Dickhead University and trying to pick out the dumbest, drunkest douche in the place. All of the qualifiers are terribly, criminally lame.

I’m giving the award of franchise worst because it’s just so clear how every participant in this enterprise, from director Michael Bay right on down to the production assistant who smeared glycerin on Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, is jaded, tired and played out. Nobody really wants to be in this thing.

The stink of “Who gives a shit … just pay me!” hits your nostrils with Wahlberg’s first line delivery. The best part of this movie is when Anthony Hopkins inexplicably goes to Stonehenge to witness a robot battle then gets blown up, leading to the silliest death scene ever. Yep, I just issued a spoiler.

Anthony Hopkins, who should be ashamed of himself for participating in this thing, dies hilariously in this movie. I hope this spoiler pisses you off so much that you don’t go to the movie. Be mad at me for the next 10 years, but I know I did you a favor.

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