Thursday, August 31, 2017

Laughing Stock: Good, Clean Fun

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 1:00 PM


In July, 2016, The Christian Science Monitor wrote a business article about an L. A. showcase of comedians who did not swear, discuss body parts or tell sex jokes. The promoter said many comedians wanted to perform clean, but didn’t want to be alone. He hoped to spin the showcase into a series.

The article even touted social benefits. “’Humor is rising to help close the gap that has been widening between religions, ethnicities, and different communities,’ says Joe Boskin, a professor emeritus of social history at Boston University.”

We wish we could report that it all worked out.

A year before that clean showcase made news, though, Marana residents Stephanie and Randy Jenkins had already launched a Meetup group with a clean comedy manifesto. The “About” section of their Clean Comedy Lovers Meet Up says, “In a world of increasingly low standards …. we are convinced that by replacing vulgarity with a variety of performers who say ‘No’ to objectionable material, our Meetup members don’t have to be worried about embarrassing moments with family (and) friends.”

Since June. 2015, that Meetup group has grown to 300 members, promoting its events only via the group and word of mouth. It now hosts shows the first Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at Falcon Auditorium, Marana Middle School, 11285 W Grier Rd, Marana; the first Saturday at 2 p.m. at Safford Center for the Arts, 980 S 14th Ave, Safford; and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Vail Theater of the Arts, Empire High School, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson.

The three-show weekend provides enough revenue to allow bringing a name comedian from the West Coast, with two openers chosen from the rich comedy scenes of Tucson and Phoenix.
All three shows this weekend are headlined by Hollywood’s Jason Love, who has appeared on Comedy Central and more than 20 other national TV broadcasts, as well as USA tours, cruises and well-known comedy clubs.

Opening for Love is Phoenix-area relationship comic Kristopher Royer, sharing insights from his life as a newlywed, and Tucsonan Amber Frame, whose comedy makes fun of her hipster life and her many tumbles into self-realization.

The September shows offer several discounts for members and groups. VIP reservations for the first few rows in each venue, are $20. Reservations are encouraged via Join the group to keep up with clean comedy others who enjoy it.

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The Weekly List: 21 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


48th Annual TMC Saguaro National Park 8-Miler. The Southern Arizona Roadrunners are hosting one of the few races that takes place on National Park land. The trail includes a number of hills, but it also has a number of aid stations to balance that out, and a 5k course if eight miles sounds a little too ridiculous. If you’re hesitant about waking up early on Labor Day to exercise, think about all of the extra room a morning workout will give you for calories at the afternoon barbecue. Over 1400 people registered for last year’s race, but this year, it will be capped off at 750. The event will raise money for SAR, the Children’s Fitness Fund and Friends of Saguaro National Park. 6:25 a.m. start time. Monday, Sept. 4. Saguaro National Park East 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd. $50 for 8-miler, $40 for 5k.

5th Annual Willcox Flyer Bike Ride. Take a ride up Highway 186 to the top of the Don Cabezas Mountains (elevation gain 1,129 ft), and, if those 33 miles aren’t enough for you, keep going for another 33 until you hit the entrance to Chiricahua National Monument (total elevation gain 1,965). Willcox is about 10 degrees cooler than Tucson at this time of year, and the ride starts early, so you probably won’t even be biking in 100 degree weather. Probably. Olympic cyclist Mike Allen will also lead a leisurely eight miler for kids, families or beginners. The course has 3 aid stations, and post ride festivities in Railroad Ave Park will include live music, food and vendors. Packet pick-up/Race day registration 6 to 6:45 a.m. 7 a.m. start for 66 miler, 7:05 start for 33 miler, 7:10 start for 8 miler. Festivities 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Sept. 2. Railroad Ave. Park, 100 S. Railroad Ave. $15-$50.


Say Goodbye to the Dog Days of Summer. But say hello to aquatic dog sports, brought to you by the original doggie paddlers. Dogs in pools are clinically shown to combine all the joys and therapeutic benefits of dogs and pools. The Pima Animal Care Center will have dogs up for adoption at Old Tucson Saturday and Sunday, Fun for K9s will present dog sensory shows (which sound sort of like scent scavenger hunts?) And K9 Dance will perform on Monday. One dollar from each adult admission all weekend will be donated to PACC. 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Rd. $18.95 for adults, free for kids 11 and under.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Quick Bites: Rhyme Thyme

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 4:04 PM

Hacienda Del Sol Heritage Foods Festival. A gourmet buffet and local brew, with wine and spirit tastings too. A farmers markets will be on-scene, as well as Chef Yim and his culinary team. Enjoy a panel discussion about local gastronomy and a chance to support local Tucson economy. Tour the organic gardens at a time opportune while the Rafael Moreno Quartet plays some tunes. You won’t want to miss all this booze and these eats, so what follows are all of the most crucial deets. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road. $55, RSVP required.

Villa Peru. In early August, a new restaurant came on the scene, serving up authentic Peruvian cuisine. Try the anticuchos skewers or the lomo saltado, inside a wonton skin and topped with avocado. The Salazar family owns and runs the operation, and this Tucson restaurant is their second location. The first was in Tempe, where they did quite well, named best Latin American Restaurant in 2012. Originally, the family hails from Peru, so you know it’s authentic (and so yummy too!) Did we mention that they’ve got a full-service bar, with a Pisco Sour cocktail? Bless the Salazars. 1745 E. River Road #165.

Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue Expansion. With two new locations at Tucson Premium Outlets and over at The Hub, Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue is expanding your options for grub. No longer must you brave the roads and play a somber ballad while you drive all the way to the eastside to get a beef teriyaki salad. We only wish that this change could have happened soona’, but now’s a perfect time to dig into a Big Kahuna. 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd. and 1011 N. Tyndall Ave.

Salsa, Tequila & Taco Challenge. Living here in Tucson, it would be more or less obscene to say you don’t enjoy the trifecta of classic Southwest cuisine. Put salsa on your tacos! Try the Salsa Borracha with tequila! Try the habanero cotton candy or the mini chilaquiles! Though this poem opened with describing a trifecta, it has even more offerings than you may have expected. Bundt cakes, churro tots, Tikki Masala and beer. What more reason could you need to make sure your schedule’s clear? 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3. La Encantada Shopping Center, 2905 E Skyline Drive. $55 in advance or $65 day of.

“Fighting Fire With Food: An Expert’s Inside Look at Nutrition and Inflammation… What Does the Science Say?” Arthritis and clogged arteries, and damaged tissues too. Do these symptoms of inflammations sound familiar to you? You may not feel this information relates to your palate’s predilections, but guess what! What you eat may have the power to alleviate your afflictions. Dr. Donato Romagnolo and Dr. Ann Skulas-Ray will separate fact from myth about nutritional science today. What is a Mediterranean diet? Is fish oil really so great? The answers to all of these questions and more (well, probably) relate. 6 to 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. Banner University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Free.

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Cinema Clips: The Trip to Spain

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 1:09 PM

I guess these “trip” movies, where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel the world, eat food and improvise, are sort of the modern day version of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope road movies.

Too bad they aren’t nearly as much fun.

Coogan and Brydon certainly have their moments in this third trip, and some of their impersonations are truly winning. But the whole shtick gets tired fast. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the film is almost entirely improvised, with slight plot threads weaved in to give it some sort of cohesive vibe. In the end, it’s just too much time watching these guys try to make each other laugh. Hey, they succeed sometimes, and when they laugh, we might laugh, but most of the humor is third rate. Coogan does have a dream about his being confused at the Oscars, and that’s the biggest laugh. By the time Brydon rolled out his Hugh Grant impersonation, I had had enough.

Winterbottom has made some good films in the past, including The Killer Inside Me and 24 Hour Party People. Hopefully, this will be his last trip movie, and he’ll rock something with a little more narrative and spine the next time out. As for Coogan, it’s time for another Alan Partridge movie. Actually, his upcoming Stan and Ollie, with John C. Reilly, looks damned interesting.

Dreamers #HereToStay

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:35 AM

Reports came out last week that Trump will decide any day whether to keep Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA recipients, or Dreamers, together with immigration lawyers, activists and allies gathered in front of Tucson City Hall, on Aug. 29, to say they're not going anywhere.

DACA recipients and allies tell the Trump administration that they're here to stay: "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido." - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • DACA recipients and allies tell the Trump administration that they're here to stay: "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido."

The Obama-era ruling protects close to 800,000 people whose parents brought them into the country, undocumented, as children. DACA makes it legal for them to work, get a driver's license, pay in-state tuition to college and to live their lives without fear of deportation.

"We continue to hear these threats against DACA," said Jessica Rodriguez, a member of the humanitarian organization Living United for Change in Arizona. "This is not going to stop. We're going to continue to take the streets. We're going to continue to call on our officials. We are not going to stop."

Immigration attorney Mo Goldman said to focus energy toward local elected officials.

"Call out representatives like Rep. McSally, who has said that she supports the DACAmented community and the Dreamers," he said. "She's been out there. She said it, and she needs to be held accountable. She needs to be on the phone talking to the White House."

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Durham Cruises To Win in Ward 3 City Council Primary

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 9:08 PM

Ward 3 Democratic primary winner Paul Durham: "Councilmember Karin Uhlich leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I hope to earn the respect of Tucsonans that she has earned."
  • Ward 3 Democratic primary winner Paul Durham: "Councilmember Karin Uhlich leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I hope to earn the respect of Tucsonans that she has earned."
Democrat Paul Durham won 45 percent of the vote in today's Ward 3 three-way primary in the race to replace Tucson City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich, who is stepping down after three terms.

Durham easily outpaced his Democratic rivals, teacher Felicia Chew (who got 32 percent) and small business owner Tom Tronsdal (who got 22 percent).

Turnout was light across Ward 3, where 5,307 votes had been counted as of 7:51 p.m. Tuesday.

Durham had raised more money and done more mailers than the other candidates, but he won the north-central ward the old-fashioned way: He walked door to door for months and personally asked for votes.

Durham thanked Ward 3 voters in a prepared statement.

"I campaigned on a plan to make Tucson a leader in sustainability and stand up to the Trump administration," he said. "From tonight’s results, it’s clear that the residents of Ward 3 share that vision."

He also thanked Tronsdal and Chew, saying that they "ran great campaigns and deeply care about the issues confronting Tucson. Councilmember Karin Uhlich leaves behind big shoes to fill, but I hope to earn the respect of Tucsonans that she has earned. I look forward to running city-wide this November alongside Councilmembers Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik and meeting even more people from every corner of Tucson."

Durham will face independent candidate Gary Watson in the November general election, where both candidates will vie for the support of voters citywide.

The only other primary contest pitted Mike Cease against Michael Oatman in the Ward 6 Green Party race. Cease cruised past Oatman with 64 percent by capturing 51 votes.

Democrat Steve Kozachik is seeking a third term representing the central-city Ward 6 against Cease and Republican Mariano Rodriguez.

Ward 5 Councilman Richard Fimbres will face no opposition as he seeks a third term.

My $75 Question to Martha McSally

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Martha, you almost had me there when you explained why it took you four days to condemn a white supremacist terror attack.

Let me back up. As many people know Congress has been on recess for the entire month of August. Southern Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally has used the recess to rebrand herself as a voice of reason in the healthcare debate. The voice I clearly remember is the one that famously said let’s get this “fucking thing” done shortly before voting for the AHCA, according to the Associated Press. That bill was the very unpopular healthcare (tax cut for wealthy) bill that the majority of her constituents and stakeholders in the healthcare industry begged her to vote “no” on.

During this August recess, the majority of her constituents have been left out of the conversation. We aren’t the direct targets of the rebranding campaign. Instead, Martha has been holding small roundtables, private meetings, events at schools or private businesses and granting interviews to provide cover for that vote by rebranding herself as a “moderate” working to solve the healthcare crisis. Pictures of these events are posted to Facebook and Twitter creating the illusion of engagement.

We discovered that she was going to be the the speaker at a Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce event on Friday, Aug. 25. The cost: $75. Well, if we had to pay to get access, then we would pay. We bought three tickets. The event was supposed to be a legislative update, but was instead a self-promoting campaign speech. You can read the account of her speech here and the harassment we received from the Metro Chamber here. Given the lack of a true legislative update as the event was billed, and the hefty price tag, I wanted to get my money’s worth and ask my burning question. My $75 question.

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HOCO Fest Countdown—The, Um, Effervescent Lana Del Rabies Picks the Five Albums That Changed Her Life!

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 12:45 PM

Lana Del Rabies: Unapologetically brutal .
  • Lana Del Rabies: Unapologetically brutal .

Know Your Product (Special Blog Edition!)
Stars Pick Their Top 5
This week: Lana Del Rabies

You have to love that name. We suspect even Lana Del Rey loves that name. When Phoenix media artist Sam An decided she wanted to create a solo electronic music project, Lana Del Rabies was born, and with it some of the most unapologetically brutal and almost-unmusical noise imaginable. German industrial and horror scores are likely influences, but it doesn’t matter. This is the stuff of nightmares. Del Rabies/An herself told us about the five albums that changed her life to celebrate the fact that she’s performing at the climax of HOCO

With Jock Club, Violence and Altrice on Sunday, Sept. 3 at the HoCo aftershow, secret venue. See for more information.

1. Nine Inch NailsThe Downward Spiral
I was 14 the first time I heard The Downward Spiral, and my interests in music were never the same after. The way Trent Reznor uses textures on this record influenced my production work later, and how I view what makes a "great" album- strong individual tracks that collectively execute a concept well.

2. PortisheadThird
I was a teenager when this album came out, and growing up in Tucson during this time, I didn't experience a lot of exposure to electronic music. This was the first Portishead album I heard, and it is still is my favorite of theirs. Third expands beyond the boundaries of "Trip Hop" and uses gritty but minimal production to enhance Beth Gibbons's beautifully melancholy songwriting.

3. Einstürzende Neubauten—Kollaps
I lived in Detroit for four years, and while I was there I was fortunate to help with an event while working at The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, surrounding the history of the Berlin music and art scene in the 1980's/90's. Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten and his wife, artist Danielle de Picciotto, were guests at the event who spoke of their projects and experiences. I dove into Neubauten immediately after and was never the same.

4. Giles Corey—Giles Corey
Dan Barrett is a true underground musician, who for me has always expressed what it is like to experience true depression in the most authentic and raw manner possible. His first album as his solo project Giles Corey is an atmospheric journey into an emotional and existential breakdown of the most heightened extremes. Of course I love it.

5. Pharmakon—Abandon
The first time I found out about Pharmakon, a friend was showing me a video of her performing at a gallery somewhere, this was around 2011. For the first time, I saw a woman performing exactly what I felt inside myself and never gave myself a chance to express. Margaret Chardiet is still an innovator in her genre, and it's undeniable that her work empowered me to do Lana Del Rabies in the first place.

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