Arts and Culture

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Know Yourself! Know Your Rights! Teens to Gather at Joel D. Valdez Main Library to Connect with Activism, Art, Each Other

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:15 PM

Calling all teens: The Third Annual Rising Voices Arts Showcase and Youth Summit are this weekend (Friday and Saturday) at Joel D. Valdez Main Library.

Rising Voices was developed by youth, for youth as a safe and fun event to connect, learn, and grow as leaders. This year's theme is Know Yourself! Know Your Rights!

In the midst of the #MarchForOurLives movement, we know the power of young people's words. Rising Voices is designed to help teens deepen their engagement with the community and the issues they're most passionate about—be it gun reform, environmentalism, or LGBTQ+ rights.

Now more than ever, youth voices are being amplified across the nation. Rising Voices is a chance to make yours heard in Tucson!

Questions about this or other Pima County Public Library events and services? Call Infoline at (520) 791-4010 or visit library.pima.gov.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Free Event with Noam Chomsky this Friday, April 13!

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 2:02 PM

click image JOHN DE DIOS
  • John de Dios
Noam Chomsky presents American Exceptionalism Reconsidered at Joel D. Valdez Main Library (Jácome Plaza) on Friday, April 13 at 7 pm.

Chomsky, considered the founder of modern linguistics, has been called one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world and America’s most useful citizen. He's also authored more than 100 books on topics as wide-ranging as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media.

Now he'll present a free lecture offering a timely and important discussion of how American society has departed from the world, sometimes in extreme and hazardous ways. Included will be a look at gun culture, a topic that has dominated headlines in recent years.

Tickets and RSVPs are not required. Seating will begin at 6 pm, one hour before the event. For your comfort, feel free to bring camp or folding chairs!

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

SXSW 2018: The Boys Are Back In Town

Posted By on Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Luna Lee on the Gayaegum - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Luna Lee on the Gayaegum
Our boss, Jim Nintzel, wasn’t wrong when he wrote in his last blog entry that the there’s lots of good girl power vibes at this year’s SXSW. Today, we saw Luna Lee, in all the way from Korea with her traditional (and insane looking) Korean string instrument, the Gayaegum. She started her set with a traditional Korean tune, but was really in her element playing pieces by the likes of Nirvana and The White Stripes. Between watching her fingers fly across the strings and hearing her announce cheerily “Let’s go!” before every song, it was hard not to love her.

But the guys came through today as well. Two of my favorites? Chihuahua, Mexico’s Coma Pony and Hawthorne, CA’s Cuco.

Coma Pony guitarist Marco - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Coma Pony guitarist Marco
Coma Pony has been around since 2011, if you include a hiatus of about two years in the middle. Their 2016 breakout hit was “En Doming Las Niñas Van A Jugar al Parque.” If you don’t speak Spanish, no worries—they’re an instrumental band that somehow makes dreamy math rock that’s completely groovy. Audience members were dancing throughout the set, and the guitarist—a guy named Marco with an enviable afro—was rocking out so hard that his glasses flew off at least five times. (He said afterwards that, despite his rocking out with wild abandon, he’s never broken them because he’s very, very careful.)

Cuco at the Mohawk - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Cuco at the Mohawk
Cuco, or Omar Banos, is 19, and he’s on the rise. It’s hard to write about him without using the word “heartthrob.” Girls in the front row are losing their minds as he sings “Baby don’t trip, I’m coming home. Kick it with me—I don’t care if the sun is gone.” But he had more to offer than boy band-esque lyricism and charm. His show was fun. There were colorful projections on the wall behind him, he joked around with the audience and he even pulled out a trumpet few times. (What's more fun than a trumpet?) Perhaps his fun, mildly self deprecating humor is best summed up by his Twitter handle: @Icryduringsex

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SXSW 2018: Low is an Oasis in the Frenzy

Posted By on Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 11:18 AM

Whereas many outdoor concerts go for being as frantic and in-your-face and attention-grabbing as possible, indie rock outfit Low takes it slow and steady. This was especially clear when they followed-up the electropop freak-out of Superorganism at SXSW.

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Since 1993, Low has reacted to noisy rock shows and rambunctious audiences by turning their volume down. As purveyors of “slowcore,” the three members hardly move on set and their instrumentation progresses minimally, methodically and hypnotically. Sure, it might be melancholy, but this style can also result in powerful jams.

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Awash in reds and purples, Low’s music offered tired festival-goers an auditory break—at least some of the time. Many of their songs started subdued and sad, but grew into greatly layered behemoths of fuzzy guitar, bass and kettle drums.

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Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, their music is often as bleak and cold as their surroundings. But in a hot, manic Austin night, this could be just what the (witch) doctor ordered.





Friday, March 16, 2018

SXSW 2018: Josh T. Pearson Works with the Chaos of SXSW

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 10:59 AM

Nothing should have worked with Josh T. Pearson’s set at SXSW: He lost his voice the previous night, there were some technical difficulties, he revealed he was working on probably an hour of sleep, and to top it off, his four-piece band was only about three days old. Despite all of these setbacks, Pearson delivered an enrapturing performance. Perhaps it was simple luck, but for anyone who knows the indie-rock-gone-country-singer’s music, Pearson works well in the midst of disaster.

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Pearson and his band played some select singles from his upcoming album, The Straight Hits!, as well as some reworked songs from his critically-acclaimed The Last of the Country Gentlemen.


His once sparse and depressive acoustic dirges received a second life. The keyboard player added lush and delicate layers, the drummer added a surprisingly effective beat to the experimental songs, and the bassist added a slick core to bring them all together. For a band that just, and I mean just, formed, they played tight and with a great amount of chemistry.

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You’ve heard honest, twangy country rock like Neil Young, and you’ve heard the lengthy, epic (occasionally ambient) instrumental movements of post-rock—well Josh T. Pearson and his band somehow combined the two to make some bonafide country post-rock, if that can be called a thing.


And although the set was rife with apologies by the singer, it was also filled with great one-liners between the songs and a cheering, mesmerized crowd.


The Straight Hits! releases April 13.


SXSW 2018: "Thank You, Music Lovers!"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 10:44 AM

Los Lobos guitarist Cesar Rosas - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Los Lobos guitarist Cesar Rosas
Los Lobos guitarist Cesár Rosas shouted his thanks across SXSW outdoor stage in downtown Austin: “Thank you, music lovers!”

It’s a city full of music lovers. You can see it in the way that people play their music: During country artist Josh T. Pearson's set (which pretty much broke all of our hearts and put them back together again with every song), every member of the four-person band blurred the lines between human and instrument with their passion. When I tell Pearson’s bassist—a guy named Noah who met Pearson for the first time four days earlier—that I could tell how much he loves music just by watching him, he bubbles over with thanks.

“I need music in my life,” he says. “Sometimes, when I talk about some of my favorite bassists, I just get goosebumps.”

Or there’s Australian artist Gordi, an indie pop songwriter whose voice rings with relatable honesty (“every fiber of my being’s agreed that what you want can become something you need”), whether she’s belting with abandon or slipping into a sweet falsetto. Gordi introduces herself as Sophie Payten afterwards and mentions she finished medical school recently, and has an internship next year. She tries to keep it on “the back burner,” though, because music is her priority.

Indie pop crooner Joey Dosik - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Indie pop crooner Joey Dosik
You can see it in the way people watch their music. When R&B/indie pop/soaring voice-coming-from-a-slight-frame musician Joey Dosik performs at The Barracuda, people are singing along, dancing, sometimes closing their eyes the way you do when you want to make sure you remember something for a long, long time.

Violinist and vocalist Sudan Archives - EMILY DIECKMAN
  • Emily Dieckman
  • Violinist and vocalist Sudan Archives
Or, during a set by violinist, vocalist, and all-around performance artist Sudan Archives, one woman mouths along the words to nearly every song. She’s so enraptured that I don’t see her pull out her phone one time during the whole set… and what’s a more serious demonstration of love than not looking at your phone for a solid 20 minutes to pay attention to another person?

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Laughing Stock: Marga! Plus Parts and Flowers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Marga Gomez channels her father in Latin Standards Feb. 14 through 18. - MARGA GOMEZ
  • Marga Gomez
  • Marga Gomez channels her father in Latin Standards Feb. 14 through 18.

Marga!

“I grew up thinking I'm an artist because I didn't know any other way,” says actor, stand-up comedian and writer Marga Gomez. “My parents were both creative. All their friends were performing artists, so I was very comfortable in this world.”

Thus did Gomez become a Cuban Liza Minelli, only lesbian, del pueblo and a lot more savvy.

Her mid-century upbringing, although periodically rocky, surrounded Gomez with humor and filled her with drive. Her mother was a professional dancer; her father was a comedian and songwriter, and a producer of popular, Follies-scale variety shows for New York’s large community of Spanish-speaking immigrants. The hustle to stay on top of the entertainment business defined her family.

Between them, her parents have inspired half Gomez’ output of a dozen popular solo stage shows. The latest is Latin Standards, her tale of the father-daughter entertainer dynamic. Its title refers to the genre of her father’s music; “The comedy is a survival tool,” Gomez says. The New York Times named the show a Critic’s pick when it opened last year at The Public Theatre (Hamilton).

Borderlands Theatre presents Gomez performing Latin Standards February 14 through 18 at the Steinfeld Warehouse, 101 West 6th Street. The run opens with a Valentine’s day fiesta, including live music and food. Details and reservations are available at tinyurl.com/LatinStandards.
“I started writing solo shows because my parents were important but forgotten,” Gomez says. “I wanted the Latino community to know about these people and their times.

“At the end of the show, the great thing that people tell me is, even though I'm a Latina, I'm a lesbian, I'm from New York and I'm neurotic, people can totally relate to the father-daughter story, and they see their own father.”

Parts & Flowers

Mo Urban and Steena Salido bring their third C*nts Being C*nts Talking About C*nts Comedy Show to Flycatcher, free, at 9 p.m., Sunday, February 11 (after the Estrogen Hour benefit at Laff’s at 6). C*nts, etc., features seven comedians, including Genevieve Rice from Phoenix; poet Janet Spencer, and the all-woman rawk band, Sugar Stains. The event benefits the YWCA’s Project Period.

For Valentine’s Day, Hotel Congress presents Rebecca Tingley’s talk-show-format comedy show, Let’s Talk About Sex Baby, also featuring Randy Ford and Tammy King. Local comedians play truth or dare and answer audience questions.

Also on Valentine’s day, comedy siren Lisa Landry headlines a show at Laff’s where every woman will get a rose. Visit laffstucson.org for details.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Three Best Ways To Have Fun Tonight: Dance, Drag Queens and Beer, Beer, Beer

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 1:24 AM

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Beer Week! A few highlights as Beer Week kicks off: Pueblo Vida celebrates with a spirit of friendliness and teamwork by releasing a brand new beer. The "Just Friends," a pale ale, is the product of a collaboration with Wren House Brewing. 4-10 p.m. Meanwhile, at downtown's Thunder Canyon, two of the biggest and most active local breweries are joining forces like the Power Rangers to release a delicious Pineapple Gose beer. What better way to start off the week than that? 5 p.m. to midnight. If you just can't get enough of those sweet, sweet carbs, consider pairing them together in two of their greatest forms: beer and pan dulce! (That's Mexican sweet bread). 1912 Brewing and Rancho Preciado are teaming up to give you some of the best of both worlds. You might never go back to pretzels to accompany your brews. 5 p.m. 2045 N Forbes Blvd, suite 105.

UA Presents: Straight Outta Philly.
Phildanco, the dance group founded by Joan Myers Brown in 1970, is bringing its innovative, traditional African American dance-influenced, barrier-breaking performance to Tucson. Rennie Harris Pure Movement, founded by Harris himself and expanding the boundaries of hip hop, will take the stage as well. Both dance institutions will fuse hip-hop and ballet for a show that will have you bopping and reflecting in equal parts. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb 8. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 8. $20 to $55+.

Drunk Drag Queen Storytellers. Sometimes you just need a night at the diner with some friends. Sometimes you just need to hear some stories from drunk people. Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your fave local drag queens. But did you know you could get all of these pleasures in one place? Head over to Welcome Diner to enjoy all of the above, plus $1 PBRs, $4 well drinks, half-off bottles of wine, and-of course-food to fuel you through the night. 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Welcome Diner Tucson, 902 E. Broadway Blvd.

Complied by Emily Dieckman and Jeff Gardner

Staff Pick

Free Mozart and Beethoven Concert

Members of True Concord are joined by pianist Stephen Carlson for quintets by Mozart and Beethoven in… More

@ Dove of Peace Lutheran Church Sun., April 22, 2-3:30 p.m. 665 W. Roller Coaster Road.

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