Fun in General

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 12:30 PM

One of the best things about movies is that they grant us an escape from an annoying day at work, a frustrating bumper-to-bumper commute or just our daily obligations in general—at least for a couple of hours.

If an escape from any of the above sounds like what you need this week to keep some sanity, pick up these best sellers from Casa Video.

Moana


Passengers


Doctor Strange


Fences


Assassin's Creed


Sing


Moonlight


Arrival


Collateral Beauty


Solace

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Laughing Stock: Tickling the Surly Wench

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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“First off, I love comedy,” says Surly Wench Pub founder and owner Stephanie Johnston. “I host a lot of burlesque shows, and making people laugh their asses off is the best feeling.”

So when Roxy Merrari, long-time good Wench customer, and her pal Mo Urban approached Johnston about hosting Tucson’s only female-run open mic, she jumped right on board. “They’ve since broadened it to two nights,” Johnston says, “because it went over so well. Everyone seems to have a great time, and the staff likes it, too!”

A regular on Tucson’s stand-up comedy scene, Merrari wanted to be able to do her favorite thing at her favorite club. The idea got legs over a friendly breakfast with fellow comic Urban. “We were talking about how all of our guy friends (in stand-up) were doing comedy around town, but we noticed there just weren't many women,” Merrari says. “We said, ‘We need some more women! We can't wait around for other people to invite us to their shows. Let's just start one!’”

Urban says, “Initially in 2012 (when she started doing stand-up) I had a bad experience. I didn't feel comfortable just because I didn't have a lot of women to connect with. I didn’t feel safe having a voice, and I didn't come back for a few years.”

Now, she says, “I've seen a huge shift. I think it's a very supportive scene, but I also recognize that I can have a voice now, and I feel safe having a voice, whereas I did not before.” Urban points to the recent Tucson Women’s Comedy Festival, hosted by Tucson Improv Movement, as an example of Tucson’s growing appreciation of women’s comedy.

“Once we got the idea to do the show,” Merrari says, “Every time a woman came to Laff's (Comedy Caffe) open mic we pounced on them!” Urban says, “We started asking ourselves, ‘Are we just coming off weird?’" But the encouragement is working, and several new female comics are now learning the ropes at local open mics.

Comedy at the Wench is a show-up-to-go-up open mic at 8:30 p.m., the second Tuesday of every month, and a hosted mic for invited comedians on the fourth Tuesday. Donations are $5, but no one is turned away.

March 28 guests are Dana Whissen of the Torch Theatre Company in Phoenix; the masked comedian Dick Strangler; Southern California comedy scene transplant Marilyn Lopez, aka M Lo; Lilliya Souslova whose riffs often recall her Russian homeland and Arizona’s Funniest Comedian finalist, Conor Dorney.

The Surly Wench is at 424 N. 4th Avenue. “Like” Comedy at the Wench on Facebook to receive reminders and information about upcoming shows.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Some nights all we want to do after a long, exhausting day is change into that worn-out sweatshirt, grab our favorite snacks and curl up next to our furry friends on the couch for a mindless Netflix marathon. When even Netflix runs out of binge-worthy shows for your tastes, have no fear—Casa Video is here! Here are the current top ten rentals you too can snag from Tucson's favorite video store.

Moana


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Secret Sisters and Other Indie Heartbreakers

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 9:40 PM

The Secret Sisters play an Americana Ladies Night at SXSW. It's the first time Lydia and Laura Rogers bring their melancholy old-timey ballads to the festival in Austin, Texas. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • The Secret Sisters play an Americana Ladies Night at SXSW. It's the first time Lydia and Laura Rogers bring their melancholy old-timey ballads to the festival in Austin, Texas.

The Secret Sisters are as joyful on stage as their songs are depressing. Laura and Lydia Rogers love the dark days.

“We sell antidepressants at our shows,” Laura jokes on stage at Cooper’s BBQ’s Americana Music Association showcase, which became Americana Ladies’ Night when the organizers realized all their headliners were women.

In front of a brick wall with a neon Budweiser sign over the shape of Texas, the Alabama women sing “Bad Habit,” a song their mother calls “intense.”

The huge head of a longhorn bull looks down on them as they harmonize with a rapturous twang. Over 100 people sit on the floor, fill the tables and stand along the walls. The whole room is silent, enchanted.

Between songs, Lydia tunes her guitar, and Laura chats with the audience, joking and telling stories. Chewing gum, she tells them about meeting the Everly Brothers. Laura says she was so excited, she burst into tears, and they weren’t pretty tears. She looked like she’d “just been born—red and shiny and wet."

The sisters love music from another time, and most of their favorite musicians are dead. It shows in their music—an old-timey feel with a sadness that’s older than they are.

“And now we’re going to segue into happier material by playing a murder ballad,” Laura says. It’s a sequel to their first murder ballad and will be on their next album, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore,” produced by Brandi Carlile and out this summer.

“Don’t tell us if you don’t like it,” Laura tells the audience, laughing. “That’s like telling someone they have an ugly child.”

The women get a lot of their inspiration from failed relationships, which is why Laura hasn’t written a song she likes since she got married to a “redneck from Alabama” last April. So they play the last good song she wrote: “He’s Fine,” about the last man who broke her heart.

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Laughing Stock: Frank Powers' Life in the Funnies

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 5:53 PM

Frank Powers and Friends - PHOTO BY DANIEL SENNETT OF TAO PHOTOGRAPHY AZ
  • Photo by Daniel Sennett of Tao Photography AZ
  • Frank Powers and Friends
Frank Powers is a high-energy, action packed cartoon super hero of his own making. Tucson’s top comic strippers, David Fitzsimmons and Max Cannon, are joining Powers’ plot for WORLD DOMINATION, with help from stand-up comic Jacob Breckenridge and jack-of-all-trades Mark Zepezauer. The four are guests for the launch of Powers’ first live talk show, “After Hours with Frank Powers!” at The Screening Room, 8:30 p.m., Saturday, March 23, $5. A video of the event will follow, and Powers promises to repeat the format every other month.

Just a week later, Powers presents “Animated Arizona,” the state’s first animated short-film fest at the Screening Room, March 31 through April 1; $6.
“’You’ve always done all those things,’” Powers says, quoting his dad. “’Who knew you had to do them all at once to make it work?’” The Origin Story! Fast-forward to the present day!

Powers supports himself as a freelance graphic designer. Currently he’s rebranding a charter school and creating educational animated short films in superpower style. But he also runs a retail space and studio-rental operation, Constant Con (constantcon.com) at, 117 N 6th Ave. The building is home to ten Tucson graphic artists, and something like heaven for the Con-crazed Tucsonans who shop there for comics, costumes, props, posters, stickers, T-shirts, and ephemera for characters created by the space’s tenants.

“Pissed Off Panda” is Powers’ own trademark character, available in every format. Fans follow Panda’s provocations and the rest of Powers’ prodigious creative output by following @Frankenstylin, on every app he’s ever found. He also has a radio show from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Saturday at 99.1 FM Downtown Radio. That show has him jolly-ing it up in his turbo-charged Radio Man voice with whoever he thinks his audience might find interesting.

Powers says Steve Romo’s “Romo Tonight”, inspired the live version of “After Hours,” but he had always wanted to be in radio. “That’s a real career, though,” he says. “I knew I could never walk in and be a radio announcer.” He saw his chance when independent Downtown Radio begin to thrive. “I figured out how it worked, and I pitched them a show.”

At the time, the only slot the station had left was 7 to 9 a.m., Saturday mornings. He says, “That’s perfect! So I made a Saturday morning cartoon show, ‘Fun Times with Frankenstylin’. After Hours With Frank Powers debuted on the station at midnight last New Year’s Eve.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

How Susan Holden and Don Armstrong Uphold the Honor, Tradition and Beauty of Folk Music

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Don Armstrong with Friends is playing the Rhythm and Roots Concert Series at Hotel Congress on Sunday, March 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. - COURTESY OF RHYTHM AND ROOTS CONCERT SERIES
  • courtesy of Rhythm and Roots Concert Series
  • Don Armstrong with Friends is playing the Rhythm and Roots Concert Series at Hotel Congress on Sunday, March 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Rhythm and Roots Concert Series is showcasing a variety of folk genres including Americana, blues, bluegrass and Celtic. The series, which gives musicians the space and resources to share their craft, is taking place this week at Hotel Congress with two free shows.

“‘Music is medicine’ is our motto,” says the series director Susan Holden. “Rhythm and Roots wants to bring—especially in this day and age—some healing with music.”

Monday night features a Mardi-Gras-themed party featuring the Carnivaleros. The band pulls from Eastern European sounds, with remnants of old western movies, as well as borrowing from genres like zydeco, waltz and swing. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., with the Carnivaleros on at 7:30.

Don Armstrong with Friends will play on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. A longtime, local folk musician, Armstrong spent 42 years performing with his wife Victoria Armstrong until her death in 2014. They recorded nine albums together, empathetic songs that could make you cry or want to hop in your car just to feel wind in your hair. His debut album comes out later this year on Ronstadt Records.

“When you hear his music, it kind of transports you to either where he was when he wrote it or what he was thinking,” Susan says. “He just has his own unique style, and you can hear sort of the history of folk music come through him.”

The concert series was founded in 1996 by Susan’s husband Jonathan Holden. Before his death in 2012, Jonathan brought some big-name folk and blues artists to the Southwest, including Richie Havens, Dave Van Ronk and New Riders of the Purple Sage. Holden was also known for his part in founding Tucson community-radio station KXCI.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Get Lost in the (Buffalo) Sauce

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 12:30 PM

The competition will be fierce, but only one can be the Lord of the Wings.

click image TUCSON MEDIA WORKS
  • Tucson Media Works

40 local restaurants and 30 breweries will be coming together at this year's Tucson Wing Festival on Saturday, March 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Rillito Park Race Track to provide the best wings and beer the Southwest has to offer. The chefs will be able to compete for the Lord of the Wings title by whipping up their finest creations for a panel of judges. Not only will guests be allowed to sample wings from every booth, but they can also learn about the best pairing techniques from the brewers.

Two bands and a DJ will also be there to encourage guests to resist the inevitable food coma by moving, dancing and staying active after feasting. As if this event needed any more entertainment options besides booze, food and music, there will also be carnival rides and interactive games on site.

As much food and beer samples your heart desires are included in the ticket price. General admission is $40 and VIP admission, which includes a private seating area, servers, exclusive beers and extra food, is $85. You can purchase tickets on this Eventbrite page. Guests must be 21 years old or over.

click image GIPHY
  • GIPHY

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Painting for Pups

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Spend the night of Saturday, Feb. 25 from 6-9 p.m. helping the sweet companions at Pima Animal Care Center find their forever homes and getting crafty at the same time. Win-win.

click image TIPSY PICASSOS
  • Tipsy Picassos
An art class sponsored by Tipsy Picassos will teach you how to paint this "Starry Night Dog" masterpiece for $35. All art supplies are included in that price, and food and drink will be available for purchase at the event. Pima Animal Care Center receives $10 of every purchase.
You can purchase your tickets here: https://www.paypal.me/tipsypicassos/35, and make sure you write you're planning to attend "Starry Night Dog" in the notes.

What could be more fun and rewarding than helping the pups at PACC who are as adorable as the one you'll be painting? Maybe only adopting a new best friend, too.

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Staff Pick

Tucson Pops Concerts "Music Under the Stars"

May 14th marks the opening of the 63rd season of Tucson Pops “Music Under the Stars” Concerts… More

@ DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center Sun., May 14, 7-9 p.m., Sun., May 21, 7-9 p.m., Sun., May 28, 7-9 p.m., Sun., June 4, 7-9 p.m. and Sun., June 11, 7-9 p.m. 1100 S. Randolph Way.

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