Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Know Your Product - The Sword

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 8:30 PM

The Sword’s general approach to music is a proven method of success: Driving, heavy guitar that pierces through a wall of crashing cymbals and snares, all the while soaring vocals keep the whole thing afloat. This might seem derivative, but when it's combined with imaginative songwriting and vastly conceptual albums, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Singing songs about chronomancers, wolves and goddesses, they pull obvious influence from bands like Black Sabbath, but their modern production techniques make their sound all-original. 


They’ve moved through multiple classic rock motifs in their time. From their fantasy-themed debut Age of Winters, to the unapologetically badass science fiction of 2010’s Warp Riders. It’s as if The Sword was trapped in stasis since 1975, and only got more awesome for every year they waited to break free.

Grasp The Sword this weekend at 191 Toole, with The Atomic Bitchwax. Doors open at 9 p.m., Friday, June 8. $20. 21+.

Album picks by bassist Bryan Richie.

Phoenix Alphabetical

Absolutely flawless record - I remember being totally confused by it initially because it wasn't as straightforward as their first album, United. Still funky though quite a bit darker than I expected, it took me a while to understand it but once I did I was rewarded with a beautiful piece of art. I love all their albums, they are an amazing band.


Fiona Apple When The Pawn...

Fiona Apple's second album is also one of my favorites - a Jon Brion produced, Rich Costey engineered slab of sonic goodness. The songwriting is dark, the delivery is dramatic, and the arrangements are next level - dense in the right way. 10/10 - guaranteed to get you over a bad relationship in six listens!


Steely Dan The Royal Scam

Steely Dan are the baddest, period. It's perfect music and you can't deny that - don't even try, it's been proven to be fact. Listen to Green Earrings and try to not get taken by it - I DARE YOU. The drum break that starts at 02:01 into the guitar solo, get outta here. It's untouchable.


Television Marquee Moon

I can’t imagine what it would have been like to been in Blondie or the Ramones and have Television as a peer. Marquee Moon is a total stunner - song writing and playing is well beyond what anyone else was up to at the time. All the guitar oriented indie rock bands of the early aughts, they owe some ducats to Television. It's really raw, and at times feels like it's about to bust but that's part of the magic of this record.


Yelle Safari Disco Club

I wanted to put something French on here, Daft Punk, Justice, Air, Breakbot, Alan Braxe, it was a hard choice but this Yelle record is rock solid from front to back. High energy, very tastefully done pop music. It's the kind of music I imagine people would listen to in a post-apocalyptic disco that's covered in dust.



Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 2:48 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


Duran Duran Tribute. Are you hungry (like the wolf) for some good entertainment as a prelude to the weekend? Don’t miss a performance by Planet Earth, a group of five musicians who love the ’80s and like to incorporate period instruments and precise costuming into their sets. They’ll be playing stuff all the way from the early ’80s to the mid-2000s, so the odds of your favorite Duran Duran song being in the mix are high. It’s hard to believe something this great could happen in an Ordinary World, but it can! 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31. Paradiso Lounge at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road. Free, 21+.

This is Folklife: Unpacked. No matter how much you know about country music, you could almost certainly learn something from ethnomusicologist Kate Alexander, a UA professor who is currently researching queer country music and dance culture. She’ll give a talk that will include country music’s European and (enslaved) African origins, the masculine country cowboy archetype, and alternative forms of country like the ones she studies. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 2. 44 N. Stone Ave. $45.

Creed Bratton at 191 Toole. There are few characters quite so charming as Creed in The Office. He once said “I am not offended by homosexuality. In the ’60s, I made love to many, many women, often outdoors in the mud and rain. It’s possible a man could’ve slipped in there. There’d be no way of knowing.” Through his signature wow-that’s-so-creepy-it’s-kind-of-funny delivery of lines, viewers learned Creed’s character in the show was a man who knew his cults, his painkillers, his mung beans and his DIY hair-dyeing techniques. At this show, viewers have the chance to see Creed in a totally different role—a sweet, folksy singer-songwriter. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31. 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave. $20 to $25.

Friday Night Live Summer Jazz Concert Series. Have you been going to the concert series at Geronimo Plaza? If you haven’t, why not? These Friday night shows are completely free! And this week’s band Purple Spectre has so much going on, it’s really like seeing several different bands at once. The modern jazz/fusion quintet features Angelo Versace of the UA School of Jazz on the Rhodes Organ, as well as musicians on the electric bass, saxophone, trumpet and drums. Get ready to feel really classy as you spend your evening in the park listening to jazz. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 1. Geronimo Plaza, 800 University Blvd. Free.


The Little Big Art Show. For such a small word, art is one of the biggest, broadest and universal things out there. While in that sense, there really is no little art, art sometimes comes in the form of small-scale sculptures, covers compact canvases or uses miniature mediums. When you bring a bunch of those together for a display at the Contreras Gallery, you get a “Little Big Art Show.” Check out art by the likes of Jane Buckman, Nina Duckett and Ruben Moreno, and be free from the worry that you’ll spend your whole time at the gallery staring at one enormous piece on the wall that you don’t understand. Show runs Saturday, June 2 through Saturday, July 28, with opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 2. Contreras Gallery and Jewelry, 110 E. Sixth St. Free.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Zari Needs a Home

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 4:13 PM

Hi, my name is Zari!

I am a 2-year-old girl who is looking for the purr-fect home! I love attention and will thank you with many purrs. My dream home would have a scratching post just for me! In the past I have done well with other cats.

Come fall in love with me at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. You can also give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173.

Many Purrs,
Zari (855139)

T.H.R.E.A.T. Watch: It's Getting Real

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 3:32 PM

This is getting real. It's getting realer by the day.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Laughing Stock: Quiñones' Creeper Rides High

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Frankie Quiñones is at Laff's on June 3.
  • Frankie Quiñones is at Laff's on June 3.

Best known for the breakout “Cholofit” videos on his YouTube channel “The Funny Drop,” San Francisco comedian Frankie Quiñones comes to Laff’s Comedy Caffe on Sunday, June 3, courtesy of tucsoncomedy.com, Chad Lehrman’s new website promoting our town’s expanding comedy scene.

Quiñones’ stand-up set inspired Saturday Night Live auteur Lorne Michaels to recruit him to the Más Mejor lineup of Michaels’ production company, Broadway Video. “The Funny Drop” chronicles the cholo life of Creeper, a cross between Noel Gugliemi, Richard Simmons and Mister Rogers.

“Creeper's a positive character,” says Quiñones. “A lot of times cholo culture is associated with gangbangers, but (Creeper is) trying to get people safe, to get in touch with their spirit.”

A cholo's look may represent a legacy of badassery, but Quiñones says that in real life, they take care of their families and communities. Their vehicle of choice is the low rider; their language is a kind of Spanglish version of hip hop flow. And the lifestyle has spread wide from its Southwestern U.S. origins. “In Japan it's huge,” Quiñones says, recalling his tour stops there. “They have a whole cholo culture. They embrace the whole low-rider scene.”

Creeper and other Quiñones characters, like the popular Juanita Carmelita, are based on his family. As himself, he’s appeared on Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Funny Or Die.

“Standup is my first love,” Quiñones says. “I've been doing (it) for 11 years, but now I come onstage three times. I do my standup as myself, and then I come up as Juanita and the Creeper.”

The show is at 7 p.m., Sunday, June 3; age 21+. Tickets are $20 via tucsoncomedy.com or at 520-247-0988. There’s a two-item minimum.

Local Jokels

Tucson Improv Movement now serves beer and wine. Special shows for Memorial Day weekend include gubernatorial candidate Kelly Fryer in The Soapbox at 9 p.m., May 25 and executive directors of TIM and Unscrewed Theater competing in the Game Show Show at 7:30 p.m., May 26. Comedy at the Wench celebrates its second anniversary at 9 p.m., Monday, May 28, with Phoenix comedian Leslie Barton and top locals Monte Benjamin, Chris Thayer, Matt Ziemak, Rory Monserrat, Steena Salildo, Aaron Panther and Kristofer Royer. The Mint’s Tuesday open mic closes until fall after the 9 p.m., May 29 show reprising Kristine Levine’s Critical Comedy,d in which she critiques comedians’ sets. Clint Lapsansky’s Monday open mic at The Garage is now at 9 p.m.  Dogs are welcome.

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The Weekly List: 19 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


Sun Records: A Million Dollar Story. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly have Old Tucson put on a brand new show, written especially for everyone’s favorite Wild West attraction. Michael Monroe Goodman’s show is all about the record label that brought the world rock ’n’ roll, by being the first to record artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. If you’re not All Shook Up with excitement about this show, you should be! This is the first in a trio of shows which will include a Marty Robbins tribute in June and an Everly Brothers show in September. If you buy all your tickets at once, you can use the promo code ALL3 to avoid paying three separate online convenience fees. Dinner at 6 p.m. and show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $48.95 includes the price of dinner.

Terry Fator. Whether you’re into the fine art of ventriloquism or not, Terry Fator has a pretty cute little story of how he got so famous. He got his first dummy when he was in fifth grade, and spent years and years in a band and performing as a ventriloquist at county fairs. One time he performed for the ONE person who showed up in a 1,000 seat venue. Then, of course, he won season 2 of “America’s Got Talent,” and skyrocketed to success, along with his cast of characters, including the little girl with the big voice, the Impersonating Turtle, the Elvis Impersonator and the annoying neighbor. How does he do it? No one knows—his lips are sealed. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road. $35 to $70.

John Philip Sousa in the Park. The Tucson Pops Orchestra is seeing off Memorial Day weekend with a tribute to the good ol’ American March King. Sousa, or JP to his friends, wrote such bangers as “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Semper Fidelis” and “The Liberty Bell,” all of which you’ve heard even if the names don’t sound familiar. (As a side note, Sousa also wrote three novels, and was a fantastic trapshooter.) At this event, you’ll hear just one piece by Sousa, and then a smattering of compositions including “Hymn to the Fallen” and “America the Beautiful.” You’ll also see the world premiere of “Fairy Tale, an Imaginary Ballet,” by composer Pete Fine. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 27. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free—but BYOFSOB (Bring Your Own Folding Chair Or Blanket).

The Wizard of Oz. If you were off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, what would you ask him for? To keep net neutrality safe? To have all the potholes in your neighborhood fixed? Or something simple, like an eegees now that it’s getting hot? You’d better get your answer ready for when you go to see the Academy of Ballet, Tap and Jazz Dance School’s presentation of The Wizard of Oz. Dancers of all ages will be dancing down the yellow brick road, past the flying monkeys and through the Emerald City. It sounds like it’s going to be totally wicked. 2 p.m. Sunday, May 27. Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $16.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Evolution and Devolution of Diane Douglas

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM


The Evolution and Devolution of Diane Douglas, short version:
In 2014, Diane Douglas was the Republican Tea-Party/Wingnut Education Superintendent candidate from hell. But when she was elected, she evolved into a higher form of herself. She became a do-no-harm official who made an creditable effort at learning on the job and working in a nonpartisan manner for Arizona's teachers and students. Then came Trump's candidacy, which tapped into Douglas' inner wing nut. She's been in a devolutionary slide ever since. A second Douglas term could turn out to be as bad as I feared the first would be. Donald Trump/Betsy DeVos bad. Or worse, since she's closer.

The longer version:
My colleagues and I at Blog for Arizona had a hand in Diane Douglas' winning the 2014 Republican primary. We outed then-Superintendent John Huppenthal's compulsion for writing anonymous comments on blog posts ranging from scattered-but-reasonable to loopy to downright racist. When his anonymous comments made it to the mainstream media, Huppenthal's campaign crashed and burned. Good riddance, I thought. We should be able to defeat Douglas.

Douglas leaned way, way right. An example. When she served on the Peoria School Board, Douglas said she "vehemently opposed" the International Baccalaureate program because its "goal is to promote world government." During the campaign, she was nearly incoherent in interviews and refused to talk to reporters. Her most in-depth interview was with recalled senator and virulent racist Russell Pearce. She stayed out of urban Arizona, spending her time in small towns.

In the general, Douglas lost both Pima and Maricopa counties, yet she managed to eke out a win. I was certain when she took office, she would adopt the racial animus of her predecessors, Horne and Huppenthal, and plunk a pile of soggy teabags on top of their mess.

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Saving the Sanctuary: Tucson City Council Pushes for Historic Status for Midtown Benedictine Monastery as Development Battle Intensifies

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 3:03 PM

The high-rise buildings that developers wanted to build around the Benedictine Monastery, represented in the architects' renderings, has been halted by the Tucson City Council seeking Historic Landmark designation. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • The high-rise buildings that developers wanted to build around the Benedictine Monastery, represented in the architects' renderings, has been halted by the Tucson City Council seeking Historic Landmark designation.

Tucson City Councilmember Steve Kozachik is taking a new tack in the battle over the future of the midtown Benedictine Monastery.

Kozachik initiated a process that could give the monastery a Historic Landmark designation, which the City Council unanimously approved during a May 22 study session. The Historic Landmark designation would protect it from being torn down and create added guidlines about what types of developments can surround it.

“The building remains one of the last expressions of this architectural style in the Tucson area,” Kozachik wrote in his proposal for the Council. “It has been a cultural, architectural and spiritual landmark in Tucson since 1940.”

Local architect Roy Place developed the monastery for the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration 80 years ago, in his signature Spanish Revival style. The sisters sold the monastery to local developer Ross Rulney in September 2016 for $5.9 million.

Before the sisters sold the monastery, they put it on the National Registry of Historic Places, thinking that would protect it from demolition. The certification is framed, hanging on the wall of the monastery. But the national registry doesn’t protect the historic structure—it’s purely honorific.

The current zoning in that area is for offices and high-density residential—aka student housing. There’s also a maximum 222 living units and a 40-foot height, or about four stories. There’s no restrictions against tearing down historic structures and no requirement for neighborhood participation or design review.

Architects for the project, Poster Frost Mirto, Inc., said at a March community meeting that they were helping Rulney develop the site and making sure the monastery is protected. It would be the seventh Roy Place creation Poster Frost Mirto, Inc. has worked to preserve.

Together, the architects and developer proposed the Historic Landmark designation, but in exchange, the city would have to allow Rulney to build higher than 40 feet around the monastery and expand the number of allowed apartments or condos. As part of the deal, Rulney would agree to prohibit renting by the bedroom—the typical student-rental arrangement—and to hold several reviews for public input.

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Staff Pick

Saturday Tour & Tasting

Visit Hamilton Distillers every Saturday at 2 pm and 4 pm for a tour of the distillery… More

@ Hamilton Distillery Saturdays, 2 p.m. and Saturdays, 4 p.m. 2106 Forbes Blvd #103

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