Friday, March 29, 2019

Meet Some Authors This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 4:28 PM

If you like Route 66 and chimichangas, you’ll want to meet local authors Rita Connelly and Terrence Moore Saturday afternoon at the Barnes and Nobel on Broadway. Starting at 1 p.m., Rita Connelly will be signing copies of her latest book, Arizona Chimichangas. While many restaurants from Flagstaff to Bisbee claim to have been the first to turn a regular burrito into a crispy chimichanga, what remains undisputed is that it was created in Arizona. Connelly tells the contested history of how chimichangas got their name and explores whether Chinese immigrants really invented them.

Starting at 4 p.m., Terrence Moore will be signing copies of 66 on 66, a collection of 66 of his finest 35mm color film images taken along Route 66 over the last 40 years. The romance of “The Mother Road” beautifully documents the relics of a bygone era: roadside attractions, marvelous kitsch, storefronts and the great neon signs designed to temp curious travelers.

Hot Wax | Taco Sauce - Original Hot

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 2:17 PM

  • Courtesy

Hot on the spiked heels of Taco Sauce’s debut release, Original Hot—a freewheeling retro hell ride that navigates a few of the pitfalls faced by Generation Y-ers, including dating app hookups and the manipulative psychology of gaslighting—XOXO caught up with frontwoman Gabi Montoya to pick her brain. Saucy? Si señora, just like a worn pair of glitter splatter ankle boots.

Ok. Let’s start with “Swipe Left.” What is the backstory to that song?

I wrote “Swipe Left” a few years ago when I was single and doing the whole Tinder online dating thing. I was both amused and frustrated with how ridiculous it was. Most profiles were making stupid demands like, “you have to like this and if you don't, swipe left.” And, of course, the unsolicited nudes that Tinder is famous for.

What does the release of Original Hot mean to you?

Mostly, it means finally giving our friends and fans what they've been asking for at every show. It's really exciting because we built a big local following way faster than we could have imagined. Many people who came to our shows assumed we were already a well-established band. So, we finally get to use the momentum we gained over the last year and get our music into the hands of our fans. It's just so mind-blowing that we actually have people who have been waiting for this. We're really grateful.
  • Courtesy

What adjectives best describe your live performances?

Our live performances are engaging, surprising, sexy and oftentimes, pretty silly. Me and [bassist] Isabella [Rodriquez] enjoy teasing each other and making witty banter on stage.

Taco Sauce… Hmm. So, where did the name come from?

The name for the band was a combination of ideas. I like the word “saucy.” We thought something about tacos or Mexican food or Chicano culture would be fitting. And, very Tucson. Also, I think the name appeals to dirty minds, considering we're an all-woman band with queer members.

What about “Gaslight.” What was the inspiration there?

“Gaslight” came from reflection upon relationships with men in which I wasn’t, umm, shall we say, ‘satisfied.’ I realized that it’s still a very common tactic for men to blame women for aspects of their relationship that they're not happy about; essentially, gaslighting women into believing that the woman is the problem or the problem is all in her head.

Is Original Hot self-released or on a label?

Original Hot is self-released. The tracks were recorded at three different studios to help us experiment with finding our sound.

So, is there an album release party on the horizon?

Isabella and I are currently planning a summer tour. Our original drummer [Dessa Keys] left the band a few months ago. Now, Gaby Lisk is acting as our drummer. So, we're just trying to reorganize and figure out who we want to be going forward. We feel more free to do what we want. We aren't going to do a release party per se. But, we'll definitely treat all of our upcoming shows as a celebration of this new release.

There you have it.

Taco Sauce's debut EP, Original Hot, is now available for streaming on Spotify. Or purchase at

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All Bets Are On: Breaking Down the Sweet 16, Arizona Women's Basketball and the Sugar Skulls

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 1:31 PM

Co-hosts Christopher Boan and Tyler Vondrak return for an action-packed show that covers the gamut of topics.

Both break down the night's action in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, before delving into Thursday's Women's National Invitational Tournament win for Adia Barnes and the Arizona Wildcats.

The final segment of Friday's show previews the Tucson Sugar Skulls' home game against the San Diego Strike Force, breaking down their favorite indoor football memories.

Tune in each Friday for fresh episodes of the Tucson Weekly's sports podcast, at 

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Arizona Beats Idaho, 68-60 Advancing to WNIT Elite 8

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 10:09 AM

6,307 fans piled into McKale Center on Thursday night to cheer on the Wildcats. - CHRISTOPHER BOAN
  • Christopher Boan
  • 6,307 fans piled into McKale Center on Thursday night to cheer on the Wildcats.

A crowd of more than 6,000 people roared in unison as the final seconds drained from the center-court clock at McKale Center on Thursday evening.

The red-and-blue-clad fans that filled the arena were treated to a four-quarter duel between the host Wildcats and a spunky Idaho Vandals squad that never relented.

The two sides virtually matched each other shot-for-shot all night, with the Wildcats taking a 36-26 lead into the half, and a 48-39 advantage into the game’s final quarter.

The Wildcats buried the Vandals in the game’s final stanza, hitting 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) of their shots to clinch a 68-60 victory in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament Sweet 16.

The Wildcats’ victory came, thanks to an egalitarian offensive attack that saw four players score in double figures, with guard Aari McDonald leading the way with 18 points and 11 assists.

McDonald, who suffered a severe cut to her upper lip during a third quarter collision at midcourt, thanked her teammates for their perseverance against the Vandals.

The redshirt sophomore guard from Fresno, California said she never had any intentions of leaving the game after the injury, wanting to finish the game with her teammates.

“It's bigger than me, honestly. It's about my teammates obviously winning,” McDonald said. “So, I just have to suck it up and go back in and finish the game.”

Continue reading »

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22 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: March 29 to 31

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 1:30 AM

Happy Hour Hobble at Tucson Hop Shop. Want to have a drink and feel healthy at the same time? Join the Southern Arizona Roadrunners and about 100 running friends for a free social run (or walk). Folks are meeting at Tucson Hop Shop at 6:15 p.m. before taking off for a three-mile run around The Loop. After the exercise, you get to hang out at the Hop Shop and enjoy local brews and a food truck. Think about how much better those food and drinks will be knowing you earned them! 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 29. 3230 N. Dodge Blvd. Free. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Happy Hour Hobble at Tucson Hop Shop Facebook event page
The Golden Pita. For National Pita Day (because that’s a thing, right?) Pita Jungle is having a Willy Wonka-inspired promotion where customers can win prizes when they dine in and receive a special golden wrapper. One special customer will win Pita Jungle for a year if they get a golden wrapped pita, and 24 others will get $50 gift cards if their food comes wrapped in similar packaging. But be aware, you schemers, the golden wrapper will be hidden under the regular wrappers so diners will need to be on the lookout! Friday, March 29. Available at all Arizona locations, including the two locations in the Tucson area. Details here.

Mozart Requiem. You know when you’re really sad and feeling sorry for yourself, so you listen to sad music and just kind of soak in sadness? That’s sort of what Mozart did when he wrote the Requiem at the end of his life. But instead of being pathetic or mopey about it, he made something that expresses grief in a beautiful, unforgettable way. In contrast, this night also features five-time Grammy winner Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna (Eternal Light). Though it was written in response to his mother’s death, it’s full of light. Lauridsen will be in residence with True Concord Choir, Orchestra and Soloists. the week of these performances. 7 p.m. on Friday, March 29 at Valley Presbyterian Church in Green Valley, 2800 Camino Del Sol. 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31 at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. $20 GA, $40 premium. Details here.

  • Courtesy of AZ Resist
Naila and the Uprising. The UA School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Center for Middle Eastern Studies present this free screening about a woman in Gaza who must make a choice between love and freedom. While set in the 1980s, this film’s themes echo on today. The film is followed by a discussion with Dr. Maha Nassar. Also hosted by the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 29. 1130 N. Mountain Ave. Free and open to all. Details here.

Clueless. If you’re looking for a nice helping of pure, condensed ’90s, the Loft Cinema has you covered with back-to-back weekend screenings of this high school drama classic. It’s satirical, it’s funny, it’s…an adaptation of a novel published in 1815? Thinking of skipping this screening? As if! 10 to 11:45 p.m. Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8. Details here.

Bravo Vino Wine Festival.
Oh wine, what won’t we do for you? Willcox Wine Country and the Tucson Opera League have partnered to bring a wine festival to Tucson, including drinks from multiple local wineries, such as Zarpara Vineyard, Pillsbury Wine, Bodega Pierce, Keeling Schaefer Vineyards and more. There will also be bands performing and food from local chefs. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 30. 3231 N. Craycroft Road. $15 to 20. Details here.

Meet the Winemaker: Callaghan Vineyards. And the wine events keep coming in Tucson! The Arizona Wine Collective is hosting Kent and Lisa Callaghan of Callaghan Vineyards for their Winemaker Series. If you want an inside view of winemaking, as well as some special wine tastings, head on down. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 30. 4280 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 155. Details here.

Blues and Brews Festival. Hosted by the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation, this 34th annual festival at Reid Park is a smorgasbord of local food, craft beer and the sweet sounds of blues music. Featuring the performances by Canned Heat, Dennis Jones, the Tucson Jazz Institute and more. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30. At the Demeester Outdoor Performance Center, 900 S. Randolph Way. $25 at the gate, $20 advance general admission, $100 VIP. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Animalia. Members of the Tucson Girls Chorus’ Bumblebee chorus (for kindergarten and first-grade girls) and the Mariposa singers (typically sixth- through eighth-grade girls) will be singing their hearts out in this edition of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s “Just for Kids” series. It’s interactive, it’s animal-themed, and has a bunch of little girls who love to sing. What more could you ask for? One of the best ways to support the arts is to encourage young people who are just starting out, after all. 10 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday, March 30. Tucson Symphony Center, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Free. Details here.

  • Courtesy of 2nd Annual Tucson Time Traveler's Masquerade Facebook event page
Second Annual Tucson Time Traveler’s Masquerade. You ever feel like you don’t get enough opportunities to explore your fantastical side? You ever feel like you don’t spend enough Saturday nights watching fairies dance with aliens, or chatting up steampunk airship captains and Medieval women? Boy, does Riddlemetrue Leathercraft have an event for you. Spend your evening doing all of the above, among local and regional vendors and plenty of other fantastical souls. There will also be entertainment by groups like the Whisky Bards, the Circus Academy of Tucson; folk, courtly and waltz dance classes; and tours of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple with a Mason. 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Details here.

Fiesta Sahuarita. The town of Sahuarita is 25 this year, making it the same age as pop stars like Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Or the same age Joseph Smith, Jr. was when he published the Book of Mormon. It’s a significant age to be, sometimes for different reasons. Sahuarita is celebrating with a water park, a foam pit and plenty of live entertainment. You like free T-shirts? They got ’em? How about food trucks and other vendors? Yup. A Ferris wheel and a gyro spin? Oh yeah. A mascot parade might just be the day’s highlight. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Animal Park, 17501 S. Camino de las Quintas (shuttles from some locations are provided by the Sahuarita Unified School District. See for more info). Details here.

  • Courtesy of Fiesta Sahuarita 2019 - Anamax Park Facebook event page
Spring Festival of the Arts. The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance is back at it again with their biannual festival that has become one of Southern Arizona’s largest regional art events. With more than 100 artists and exhibitors, a fantastic mix of food choices and plenty of live music, it’s a practically perfect way to spend a weekend. Treat yourself to something new, support local artists, and get out there to enjoy this lovely spring weather. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Free. Details here.

  • Courtesy of SAACA
Container Gardening. You may have noticed that the soil you find in Tucson isn’t the most arable in the world. In fact, it’s more sand than soil, isn’t it? So, container gardening is a pretty good option if you’re looking to start a garden. Southwest Victory Gardens is presenting this discussion about the special growing requirements that come with container gardening—including how to grow vegetables! Vegetables taste a hell of a lot better when you grew them yourself, we promise. So why not learn more about how to do it? 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Dunbar African American Culture Center, 325 W. Second St. Free. Details here.

Prom-O-Rama. In Cinderella, the fairy godmother floats in at the last minute and makes sure our heroine has all the stuff she needs to look good at the ball. Cinderella’s Closet, a nonprofit founded in 2009, provides new or nearly new dresses, shoes and accessories for local high schoolers to wear to prom. At this year’s event—the 10th annual iteration—more than 1500 gowns will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s good for the environment, because the dresses are getting recycled! It’s good for high schoolers, because they get to go to prom. It’s good all around. So if you’re not picking up a dress, you can donate a clean prom dress or make a tax-deductible donation. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Tucson JCC, 3800 E. River Road. Free. Details here.

All Nite Scream-O-Rama!
The Loft Cinema is making sure you don’t get any sleep, with 12 straight hours of classic horror flicks. Some of the films are cheesy, some are great, some are downright weird. Feel free to bring your pillows and pajamas for this “cinematic slumber party massacre.” Films include: The Blob, Psycho, Candyman, The Howling and more. 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, March 30 to Sunday, March 31. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $17. Details here.

A Swingin’ Soiree.
Presented by the Junior League of Tucson, this fifth annual fundraising event is a night full of dancing, food and desserts. There will also be wine, beer and cocktails on the menu. And like all good fundraisers, there will be silent auctions galore! 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 31. 245 E. Ina Road. $65 per person, $120 for couples and $50 for designated drivers. 21+. Details here.

Purim Costume Run. It’s time to head back to the Tucson J for their second annual Holiday Fun Run Series! Do a 10K, a 5K or even a 1K, and feel free to either run or walk. The 10K and 5Ks are timed, while the 1K event is just for fun. Bring the family! If you have kids between 2 and 8 with you (the 5K is free for kids 6 and under with a registered parent, by the way), you might want to stay after for Science Sunday, where childhood experts teach kids about space and earth science, physics and more. Registration available until 7:30 a.m. on race day, with the 10K starting at 7:45 a.m., 5K at 8 a.m. and 1K at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, March 31. Science Sunday is 9:30 a.m. to noon. Tucson J, 3800 E. River Road. 10K: $40 advance/$45 race day. 5K: $25 advance, $30 race day. 1K: $10. Science Sunday is free. Details here.

Sonoran Spring Gala. Spring is a lovely time in the desert! And it’s always a lovely time at Tohono Chul. So celebrating a springtime at Tohono Chul is a beautiful way to spend a day, and to support your local gardens. Domingo DeGrazia and his Spanish Guitar Band are providing the live music, the Garden Bistro is providing the delicious food, Tohono Chul is providing the nature and it’s up to you and your fellow Tucsonans to provide the good company. This year’s grand raffle prizes are a two-night stay for two at Silver City, New Mexico’s Bear Mountain Lodge AND a two-night stay for two at the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa and a two-hour Vortex Jeep Tour for two in Sedona. 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. $130, and raffle tickets are $10. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Tohono Chul
Agave University: An Immersive Exploration of All Things Agave. Oh yeah, agave! That’s the stuff you drink, right? Well, there’s a lot more to it, actually. In this three-hour cultural immersion class, Gary Paul Nabhan will teach you all about the genetic diversity, ethnobotany and cultural history of agave cultivation here in the Southwest—from the Hohokam using it thousands of years ago to us using it today. But don’t worry: Doug Smith and Bill Steen will also be talking about mezcal production, and a tasting of agave spirits, including some lesser-known alternatives to tequila, will cap the event off. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 31. The Drawing Room, upstairs at Maynard’s Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave. $55. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Sam Hughes Neighborhood
Sam Hughes Neighborhood Home Tour. Are you ready for live music, lovely art and 21 beautiful venues in the one-square-mile by the UA that makes up the Sam Hughes Neighborhood we all know and love? This year, 11 of the venues will be private homes, and you’ll be able to sample refreshments from some of the neighborhood’s new restaurants and businesses. Take a self-guided stroll, check out the plans for three new developments they have in the works and try not to get too green with envy if you don’t live in Sam Hughes yourself. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Sam Hughes Neighborhood (street parking is plentiful). $30, or $20 for current Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association members. Details here.

Tucson Sugar Skulls vs. San Diego Strike Force. Tucson’s favorite indoor football league team, the Sugar Skulls, are facing off against their San Diego counterparts this Sunday. They’re coming off their first-ever loss earlier this month, so don’t let the sweetness of their craniums fool ya—the Sugar Skulls are ready for a win. So come enjoy a game of good, old fashioned indoor football, which is different than regular football in that the arena is smaller and it’s indoors, but is not actually all that different. 3 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $17 to $99+. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Tucson Sugar Skulls
Tesoros (Treasures). As the Tucson Cine Mexico closes out, there are still some chances to see screenings this week. One such film is Tesoros, about young siblings from a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Mexico who embark on a search for lost pirate treasures. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 31. Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18. Free. For a full list of Tucson Cine Mexico screenings, visit Details here.
Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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XOXO: Where to Rock This Weekend, March 29 to 31

Posted By and on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy of The Rialto Theatre
This pop star started her career penning songs for Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. And, the girl’s got “Issues.” Recently, in People she admitted to bad behavior in the name of creativity. “I think as an artist it’s fairly easy to become stagnant. When that happens you do a lot of really shitty things to people, that you don’t really mean to.” Julia Michaels reveals her Inner Monologue at the Rialto Theatre. Accompanied by a handful of rising artists: Billy Raffoul, Josie Dunne, Corey Harper and Spazz Cardigan. Details here.

Her sound is smoky. The reverb-drenched twang bears a 1950s feel, reminiscent of when beehive bouffants ruled the Earth. She declares defiantly, “You Don’t Own Me,” only to find that “There’s Still a Tear in [Her] Beer.” Country songstress Whitney Rose is at Club Congress. Gus Clark and the Least of His Problems opens the show. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Hotel Congress
Originally self-released in 1969, Ode To Quetzalcoatl was then championed in The Acid Archives as “one of the ultimate incarnations of tormented religious loner, downer folk.” Psychedelic folk outlier Dave Bixby triggers weird acid flashbacks or conversations with the risen Christ. At Wooden Tooth Records. With the freak folk of Dave Merrell. Details here.

This Tucson OG plays blues, Motown and everything in between. The George Howard Band keeps the party going in the Tropico Lounge at Casino Del Sol. Details here.

On the rooftop, ’80s and Gentlemen keep the decade alive. At Playground Bar & Lounge. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Playground Tucson
Echo Chamber features performances by Kristen Miologos, Karima Walker, Michael Dauphinais and Bryan Jacobs. A day of new, experimental music awaits at MOCA Tucson. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Borderlands Taproom Sessions present: Natalie Pohanic Facebook event page
Borderland Brewing’s Taproom Sessions presents Natalie Pohanic. Details here.

Guitarist, folk storyteller Gene Moran performs at The Dusty Monk Pub. Details here.

Johnny Hootrock, The Vooduo and The Shivers do unspeakable things with planks of wood and strings at the Surly Wench Pub. Details here.

The feral Hank Topless Band show little in the way of restraint at Saint Charles Tavern. Details here.

Parisian guitarist Naim Amor leads A Jazz Trio at Exo Roast Co. Details here.

Avant-garde viola and harp duo Hatpin enchant with original compositions in the tasting room at Sand-Reckoner. Details here.

Springboarding the Spring Concert Series, chameleonic neo-soul/jazzers Mesquite are on the patio at Hotel Congress. Details here.

Vocalist/guitarist Ben Gibbard culled his band’s name from the title of a song performed by the infamous Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Death Cab for Cutie careen into the Tucson Music Hall. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Loveland Facebook event page
The backing soundtrack to this Christian music singer-songwriter’s childhood was bluegrass music. “The first sound I remember as a little barefoot boy was my daddy’s Martin guitar and a five-string banjo.” His latest, Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows pays homage to his rural Kentucky heritage. Steven Curtis Chapman helps us “Remember to Remember. At Leo Rich Theater. Details here.

The country music institution that is Loveland congregate at Crooked Tooth Brewing. Details here. 

Folk/Americana practitioners Dash Pocket work their craft at BlackRock Brewers. Details here.

Creating a playlist from one of the most successful vocal groups in rock history’s chart topping hits, Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees is a quintessential tribute. At the Fox Theatre. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Hotel Congress
Got chops? This all-ages/genres/styles competition serves as a showcase for up-and-coming drummers, and sundry others, to gain exposure. Oh yeah, and a chance to win really cool swag. Tucson Battle of the Beats 2019 bashes at Club Congress. Last year’s winner, Matthew Wineinger returns to uphold his badassery. Details here.

On the patio at Hotel Congress, a unique multidisciplinary event unfolds layer by layer. Synesthesia features the sentience of artist Joe Pagac, whose paintbrush will be guided by what he hears in real time, while providing the auditory stimulation is the newly christened Chris Black Quartet. Details here.

Proclaiming to be “all things that go bump in the night,” horror rockers Epitaph Romance top a bill brimming with metallic darkness. At House of Bards. With Olden, Never Born and Copper Magma. Details here.

  • Courtesy of 191 Toole
Influenced by blues and jam rock, from the Ozark Mountains, Vintage Pistol “Lay It Down” at Sky Bar. With the deep, spacious, soulful sound of Zero Miles to Empty. With “Only Girl” Juju Fontaine. Details here.

Since coalescing in London in 1975, groundbreaking jazz fusionists Brand X display Unorthodox Behavior, for all to witness, at 191 Toole. Details here.

Surf rock champions Shrimp Chaperone make everything groovy at Saint Charles Tavern. Details here.

Combining ’60s pop with Latin influences, Los Puchos bring their lo-fi aesthetic to Exo Roast Co. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Joyce Luna Debut! Facebook event page
Drawing from a rich culture through a fresh, contemporary lens. And, its intoxicating rhythms: Son, cha cha cha and rumba. Asere! A Fiesta Cubana features musicians and dancers from the Havana Club All-stars. At the Fox Theatre. Details here.

Songstress Joyce Luna, performing her confessional style of folk/Americana, makes her debut at Public Brewhouse. Luna will be accompanied by mandolinist Mike Markowitz. Details here.

A rousing night of post-modern Americana is promised when P.D. Ronstadt & the Company and the Kate Becker All-Star Band join forces at Monterey Court. Details here.

Twain & Little Mazarn are at Exo Roast Co. With an opening set by Chelsey Lee Trejo. Details here.

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tucson Cine Mexico Celebrates Thriving Mexican Film Industry

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:50 PM

Martha Sosa, the producer of such award-winning films as “Amores Perros,” “Presumed Guilty” and “Plaza de la Soledad,” and Tucson Cine Mexico co-director Carlos Gutiérrez discuss nurturing new film talent at the festival’s opening night Wednesday. - NICOLE LUDDEN | CRONKITE NEWS
  • Nicole Ludden | Cronkite News
  • Martha Sosa, the producer of such award-winning films as “Amores Perros,” “Presumed Guilty” and “Plaza de la Soledad,” and Tucson Cine Mexico co-director Carlos Gutiérrez discuss nurturing new film talent at the festival’s opening night Wednesday.

Since she was a child, Martha Sosa has learned life lessons from the films that demonstrated them to her.

“I’ve always been a very keen cinephile, thanks to my dad, whose way of talking to us was through films,” Sosa said. “I got a very deep relationship with the cinema experience through watching films in a very loving way.”

Now, Sosa uses the lessons she has learned through films to create award-winning films of her own.

Sosa, the producer of such popular Mexican films as “Amores Perros” and “Plaza de la Soledad,” is a special guest filmmaker at this year’s Tucson Cine Mexico festival.

The film festival, a partnership between the University of Arizona Hanson FilmTV Institute and the New York-based Cinema Tropical, has become an immense platform for Mexican cinema in the United States, attracting more than 20,000 attendees since its premiere in 2004.

The 16th annual festival, which began Wednesday night and runs through Sunday, is free and open to the public.

On opening night, Sosa participated in a panel about the current boom in cinematic production throughout Mexico.

“Now we have a healthier industry. I cannot say it’s the best it can be; of course it can get better,” she said. “But by now we’re making many films and a few of them are really an international level of quality and with a very original narrative.”

This original narrative exists in “Plaza de la Soledad,” the award-winning documentary Sosa produced in 2016 that will make its Arizona debut at the Center for Creative Photography during the festival on Thursday night.

The film follows the lives of four women in Mexico City caught in the often relentless cycle of prostitution.

“Whenever you listen to that word, prostitute, it’s like you have a relationship with that word,” Sosa said. “You have heard it as an insult, you have an image in your head. When you listen to these women and you get to know them in this very intimate way, all of your prejudice, it gets in front of you.”

In addition to the nuanced issues Mexican cinema brings to light, festival co-director Carlos Gutiérrez emphasizes the importance of Mexican cinema during a time of increased production throughout the country.

“Mexico is going through a sort of second golden era of cinema. The country is producing 170 films per year, more than ever. It’s really become an international film powerhouse,” Gutiérrez said.

Festival co-director Vicky Westover believes the reach of Mexican cinema should span beyond the country itself, especially in the historically Mexican area of Tucson.

“They’re our neighbor, we should be watching and celebrating the work of our neighbor,” Westover said. “I think in the United States, we’re very American-centric and we just watch films that are coming out of Hollywood. There’s really a plethora of wonderful films being made around the world, but people just don’t get to see.”

Local film buff Trayce Peterson, who attended the festival’s opening night, appreciates the opportunity to learn more about a different country.

“I am not Mexican, I’m African-American, but I think it’s really important for me to learn about different cultures and to appreciate the creative expression of different kinds of folks. I love film, and that’s a great way to feel and learn and express,” Peterson said.

The event gives festival-goers the rare opportunity to see works that are otherwise inaccessible in the U.S. “Cinderelo,” a romantic comedy directed by Beto Gómez, will make it’s U.S. premiere as part of the festival on Saturday.

“We have an audience that’s hungry for that kind of cinema, because they’re not getting to see it. In many cases, the films that we show, you’re not going to get a chance to see again,” Westover said.

The Tucson Cine Mexico film festival kicked off its 16th year Wednesday night with celebration, dancing and discussion about the Mexican film industry. The festival will run through Sunday with film debuts, panel discussions and other events each day. - NICOLE LUDDEN | CRONKITE NEWS
  • Nicole Ludden | Cronkite News
  • The Tucson Cine Mexico film festival kicked off its 16th year Wednesday night with celebration, dancing and discussion about the Mexican film industry. The festival will run through Sunday with film debuts, panel discussions and other events each day.

In addition to the type of movies they screen, the Tucson Cine Mexico festival prides itself on the diverse audience it attracts.

“Anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of our audience every year is self-describing Latino,” Westover said. “They want to see their culture on the screen, and they want to hear people speaking Spanish. We have the most interesting eclectic audience.”

In order to focus on emerging filmmakers, the festival gives a Jaguar Award for the most impressive directoral film debut. This year’s recipient is “La Camarista/The Chambermaid,” which will make its Arizona premiere at the festival on Saturday.

Gutiérrez said “La Camarista” is the only film in the Tucson Cine Mexico lineup that has secured U.S. distribution, with a June opening.

As a drama addressing issues of the working class in Mexico, “La Camarista” brings attention to the talent of director Lila Avilés. This year, over half the films in the festival’s lineup are directed by women.

“I would highly recommend ‘The Chambermaid.’ That’s making the waves in international film. It’s been winning prizes at different film festivals around the world,” Gutiérrez said. “I think it’s a good example of the excellence and artistry of Mexican cinema.”

By displaying stories through film on the big screen, Tucson Cine Mexico aims to create a collective experience for its audience.

“I hope that people understand that there’s shared stories, we’re all kind of living a shared experience,” Hanson FilmTV Institute Intern Mattheo Sawyer said. “The stories across the board, if done interestingly, can help us relate more. I think that’s one thing this festival is doing.”

Gutiérrez also believes Tucson Cine Mexico has been successful in providing enlightening Mexican films for an audience hungry for international cinema.

“The festival has become one of the most important platforms in the U.S. for Mexican cinema,” Gutiérrez said. “The work of 16 years has really paid off, and we’ve built a very dedicated audience locally. I urge local audiences to really go and look for all these shows.”

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"The Dirt" Isn't Worth Your Time on Netflix

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:25 PM

Jeff Tremaine, director of the Jackass films, tries to deliver an actual narrative movie and bombs miserably with this lame biopic of Motley Crue.

Based on the book written by members of the band, the film covers the band from formation through their career, and makes a mess of the whole thing.

For starters, Tommy Lee lookalike Machine Gun Kelly delivers a bad performance as the iconic drummer, making him into more of a cartoon than he already is. Daniel Webber is an annoying prick as lead singer Vince Neil, who actually is an annoying prick in real life, too, so I guess he gets a pass. Douglas Booth renders bassist Nikki Six boring, while Iwan Rheon is the closest thing to any fun as the old, grumpy guitarist Mick Mars.

I confess, I’ve never liked the band and I find their music amateurish and shitty, so me liking a movie about them might be a stretch. Still, we are talking some bad wig acting here, and nothing revelatory whatsoever about the group. (They had groupies, they did drugs, blah, blah, blah.)

I never thought I’d see a rock biopic that annoyed me more than Bohemian Rhapsody, but here you go. (Streaming on Netflix).

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Meditation and Buddhist study

Saturdays at Little Chapel of All Nations, 1401 E 1st St. We have 2 periods of 25… More

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