Music

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Reverend Horton Heat Swag!

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 at 1:26 PM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo

The Reverend Horton Heat is coming to town and we have a last-minute giveaway for ya!

Enter for your chance to win a CD of the new album Whole New Life signed by the band.

One lucky winner will also win the grand prize of a vinyl record of the album and two tickets to tomorrow night's show at 191 Toole! (Wednesday, Jan 16 at 7:30 p.m.)

Music writer Mark C. Horn highlighted the band's story in the Tucson Weekly music section this week:

81pcthleoql._sy355_.jpg

For the better part of three decades, that band has spotlighted an alt-music cult legend who is often confused for his band's name. That man is Jim Heath, who—alongside longtime stand-up bass thumper Jimbo Wallace—has entertained his legions of fans with tireless tours up and down the highways and byways of the United States and abroad.

Heath and Wallace, who have weathered the rotation of a few able-bodied double bass drummers over the past 30 years, have a new album, aptly titled Whole New Life, via Chicago-based Victory Records. The band's 12th studio effort—and first since 2014's REV—proves it's never too late to teach an old dog a new trick.

The title of the new release is underscored by the additions of veteran Dallas drummer Arjuna "RJ" Contreras (Eleven Hundred Springs, Grammy-winning nuclear polka band Brave Combo) and precociously slick West Virginia blues piano player Matt Jordan to the mix.

And if that's not enough, Heath has expanded his vocal range to add menacingly fun vocals that are more than road-tested and built for speed in higher registers.

Coming to 191 Toole with their latest incarnation, Reverend Horton Heat will be hitting the Tucson stage to showcase the new album and play old crowd favorites with the newly expanded line-up...     

Read the full story here.

Enter to win:

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

In The Limelight | Ed Arnaud

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

During the apogee of bell bottom jeans, then burgeoning guerrilla photographer Ed Arnaud waxes nostalgic about how he managed to snap such killer shots, usually without the band’s permission. “I used to sneak my camera into shows in knee-high tube socks under big bells. I only had a 50mm lens at the time.” You could see a wobble in Arnaud’s strut as he passed through the entrance doors. Duping the bouncers—this before invasive full-body pat-down procedure became de rigeur.

From local punks Civil Death to punk icons Black Flag, photographer Ed Arnaud presents Lake of Fire: Tucson Punk in the 1980s. A photographic event on Saturday, Jan. 12, 6 to10 p.m. at Wooden Tooth Records.

“Wooden Tooth describes my show as Tucson punk in the '80s.” Arnaud expands, “To be more specific, it’s photos of punk and underground bands that played in Tucson during the early ‘80s.” And, what Arnaud presents in his retrospective is only a glimpse into the richness of the scene. “There were so many great bands that came through Tucson then. Sometimes two or three shows in a week.” Most of which were low in attendance. “Drawing 10 to 50 people.”

Here is a sneak peak into rarefied air.

"The Vandals at the Unitarian Universalist Church on 22nd St. in Tucson, 1984.  During the show lead singer Stevo Jensen used a funnel to ingest enough beer to immediately regurgitate it on stage.  Pictured is Jan Nils Ackermann on guitar and Stevo Jensen on vocals. The spiky hair belonged to Lenny Mental who was also in attendance." - ED ARNAUD
  • Ed Arnaud
  • "The Vandals at the Unitarian Universalist Church on 22nd St. in Tucson, 1984. During the show lead singer Stevo Jensen used a funnel to ingest enough beer to immediately regurgitate it on stage. Pictured is Jan Nils Ackermann on guitar and Stevo Jensen on vocals. The spiky hair belonged to Lenny Mental who was also in attendance."
"Tucson’s own Conflict (US) playing at Nino’s on 1st Ave., Feb. 27th, 1984. Conflict (US) was one of the very few female fronted hardcore punk bands. Karen Allman (Karen Nurse) formed the band in 1981 with drummer Nick Johnoff. Nick worked so hard to build the punk scene almost single-handedly and booked almost all the touring hardcore shows back then. Ironically, I think this was Conflict’s very last show." - ED ARNAUD
  • Ed Arnaud
  • "Tucson’s own Conflict (US) playing at Nino’s on 1st Ave., Feb. 27th, 1984. Conflict (US) was one of the very few female fronted hardcore punk bands. Karen Allman (Karen Nurse) formed the band in 1981 with drummer Nick Johnoff. Nick worked so hard to build the punk scene almost single-handedly and booked almost all the touring hardcore shows back then. Ironically, I think this was Conflict’s very last show."
"The Circle Jerks at the Stumble Inn on Park Ave., March 4, 1984.  My hot shoe mounted flash was knocked off my camera fairly quickly by stage divers when the show started. The Stumble Inn had railing in front of the stage which people used to launch off of.  Pictured is Keith Morris on vocals, Greg Hetson on guitar and in the back, Chuck Biscuits on drums." - ED ARNAUD
  • Ed Arnaud
  • "The Circle Jerks at the Stumble Inn on Park Ave., March 4, 1984. My hot shoe mounted flash was knocked off my camera fairly quickly by stage divers when the show started. The Stumble Inn had railing in front of the stage which people used to launch off of. Pictured is Keith Morris on vocals, Greg Hetson on guitar and in the back, Chuck Biscuits on drums."

"Civil Death at The Backstage on 4th Ave., May 13, 1983. Civil Death was a Tucson band formed by singer Lenny Mental, drummer Nick Johnoff and guitarist Zach Hitner. My friend Paul Young, who has since passed away, joined in late 1983 on guitar.  Paul used to let me get on his shoulders during shows to take photographs above the crowd. Pictured is Paul Young on guitar, Johnny Glue on bass, Lenny Mental on vocals, Nick Johnoff on drums and Zach Hitner on guitar." - ED ARNAUD
  • Ed Arnaud
  • "Civil Death at The Backstage on 4th Ave., May 13, 1983. Civil Death was a Tucson band formed by singer Lenny Mental, drummer Nick Johnoff and guitarist Zach Hitner. My friend Paul Young, who has since passed away, joined in late 1983 on guitar. Paul used to let me get on his shoulders during shows to take photographs above the crowd. Pictured is Paul Young on guitar, Johnny Glue on bass, Lenny Mental on vocals, Nick Johnoff on drums and Zach Hitner on guitar."
"Black Flag at The Backstage on 4th Ave., May 13, 1983. I got on stage next to Greg Ginn soon after they started playing because I knew taking photos in front of the stage would have been difficult with the crowd movement. Luckily no one kicked me off stage." - ED ARNAUD
  • Ed Arnaud
  • "Black Flag at The Backstage on 4th Ave., May 13, 1983. I got on stage next to Greg Ginn soon after they started playing because I knew taking photos in front of the stage would have been difficult with the crowd movement. Luckily no one kicked me off stage."

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Monday, January 7, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Tucson Jazz Festival Shows

Posted By on Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 11:52 AM

BOBBY MCFERRIN
  • Bobby McFerrin
This week our cover story highlighted the triumph and talent of the  Tucson Jazz Festival, and here is your chance to go for free!

Enter to win a pair of tickets to one of four different shows happening between Jan. 11 and 20.

Shows included in the Giveaway are:
  • Joey Alexander, Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band on Friday, Jan 11.
  • Special EFX All-Stars, Groover Quartet on Saturday, Jan. 12.
  • Tucson Swings Brightly with Nelson Riddle on Sunday, Jan. 13.
  • Bobby McFerrin: Circlesongs on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Giveaway entrants may win tickets to one show only. Winners of the ticket giveaway will be notified by email and must come to the Tucson Local Media office to pick up their tickets.

To read our cover story about the festival, click here.

To find a full calendar of the shows and performances, click here.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

In Memoriam | Yvonne Ervin

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 11:07 AM

Yvonne Ervin
  • Yvonne Ervin
Yvonne Ervin was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. Her love for music blossomed early. As a child she played clarinet, eventually transitioning to alto and tenor saxophone. Later, at Springfield High School she “booked a band for the first time” for her freshman class dance, testing the waters as impresario.

In 1979, Ervin attended Illinois State University. Then, in 1981, the University of Arizona where she completed a double major in journalism and music performance. After graduation, she made Tucson her home.

In a touching homage to Ervin, filmmaker Bret Primack said, “She was a doer not a talker.” And achieve, she did.

For the past 30 years, Ervin worked as a journalist/editor/producer for radio and print media publishing articles, writing columns and liner notes, producing programming and interviewing jazz legends for KUAZ-FM, Tucson Weekly, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen, Hot House Jazz, Down Beat and Music Hound’s Guide to Jazz, as well as RCA, Capri and Doubletime records. Thirty of Ervin’s interviews are archived at the Library of Congress.

A charismatic stage presence, Ervin emceed and interviewed jazz greats on stage at the Monterey, Montreux, Tanglewood and Telluride jazz festivals.

In 1989, Ervin became the founding executive director of the Tucson Jazz Society—working as a volunteer for eight years before becoming the organization’s first paid employee—erecting the structure from the ground up, brick by painstaking brick, into the largest jazz society in the country. Beginning her reign as “The Queen of Jazz in Tucson.”

She produced Jazz on the Border: The Charles Mingus Project and organized Primavera, the world's longest-running women’s jazz festival. Bitches Brew, her all-female ensemble in which she played saxophone, often performed. She served as the executive director of the Western Jazz Presenters Network—a coalition of 45 jazz festivals and venues in the West—and The Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance. Ervin served as vice president of the Jazz Journalists Association and the American Federation of Jazz Societies—representing the jazz industry on the International Association of Jazz Educators Board. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hired her to write the curriculum to train new jazz presenters for a National Endowment for the Arts funded program.
The Tucson Jazz Music Foundation has established the Yvonne Ervin Jazz Music Memorial Scholarship for Girls. tjmfdn.org/scholarships
  • The Tucson Jazz Music Foundation has established the Yvonne Ervin Jazz Music Memorial Scholarship for Girls. tjmfdn.org/scholarships

As a certified fundraising executive, Ervin, worked in New York City for a dozen years as executive director of the Candie's Foundation. After returning to Tucson in 2011, she was director of development for the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry and marketing director for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Dance Theatre.

Impressive as such, this is in no way a comprehensive list of Yvonne Ervin’s accomplishments.

After being approached by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Elliot Glicksman, Esq., in 2015, she launched the Tucson Jazz Festival. A labor of love.

Primack expands, “She loved the music and the people who played it. She cared and helped people. She was a hero.” From the festival’s inaugural concert—which saw such diverse artists as Burt Bacharach and the Robert Glasper Experiment to this year’s lineup which includes Bobby McFerrin, Pink Martini and Trombone Shorty—Ervin led a one-woman crusade to bring world-class jazz to Tucson.

Yvonne Cerise Ervin left this world on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018. She had been hospitalized since October with hepatitis A. Following liver transplant surgery she succumbed to a heart attack. She was 59 years old. 

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Chris Black | A Song Per Week

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 10:51 AM

Chris Black - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Chris Black

ChamberLab mastermind, composer/performer Chris Black is charging into the New Year with a glut of fresh material. And, he’s pledged to release a song per week exclusively to his email list.

Here’s what you have missed so far.

Week 1 delivered “Angel Goodnight.” A lullaby for solo double bass using natural harmonics.

Week 2 introduced “Butch.” A stomp for bass, drums, and glockenspiel, heralding the arrival of Butch. “If you're a friend of Butch, this is a happy song. If you aren't, then it isn't,” Black says, enigmatically.

And, Week 3 brought “Came Unglued.” Which Black describes as “frantic and calming. Suitable for all listeners.”

Piqued your curiosity? You may want to sign up: www.chrisblackmusic.com

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Laughing Stock: Fitz's Arroyo Cafe Radio Hour

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM

David Fitzsimmons, left, and Marty Bishop will produce the fifth Arroyo Café Radio Hour at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, December 22. - DAVID FITZSIMMONS
  • David Fitzsimmons
  • David Fitzsimmons, left, and Marty Bishop will produce the fifth Arroyo Café Radio Hour at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, December 22.

David Fitzsimmons once dreamed of hosting his own Prairie Home Companion. It was 2008, and at the prompting of radio personality Bobby Rich, he began creating celebrity-studded radio plays to benefit the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank. “Attendance swelled,” Fitzsimmons says. He was onto something. 

In recent years, he’s translated the format into The Arroyo Café Radio Hour, a live show and AZPM broadcast he produces every December at the Rialto Theatre. This year’s event is Saturday, Dec. 22. Tickets are $15 at rialtotheatre.com. The show always sells out. 

“We’ve raised more than $20,000 in the (four) years we’ve been at the Rialto,” Fitzsimmons says. “This year the funds are going to AZPM (Arizona Public Media), because I love NPR, Reveille Men’s Chorus because I love their mission and music and Mariachi de Pueblo High School because Pueblo educator John Contreras has a wonderful music program that deserves support.”

Reveille’s Grandsons of the Pioneers are a regular feature of the show, performing in the almost-forgotten harmonies of the popular Western music genre. The 20-year-old organization promotes excellence in music, but also human rights, diversity and advances against AIDS.

“Our musical director Lindsay McHugh is the heartbeat of our show,” Fitzsimmons says. “She is a music teacher and a classical opera virtuoso. She gives us our Gaslight melodrama flavor.”

Besides the Grandsons of the Pioneers, the show’s musical guests include Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School, the popular folk and roots quartet French Quarter and Tucson’s American Idol contender Crystal Stark. Fitzsimmons says, “Her comedic chops always delight us.” 

Each year, an all-star cast of comedians begin meeting in September with veteran radio producer Marty Bishop to write the show. Regulars include Estrogen Hour co-founder Nancy Stanley; KXCI personality and podcaster Brigitte Thum; veteran sketch writer Mike Sterner; comedian and attorney Elliot Glicksman; in-demand local Josiah Osego, and, shaking off the cobwebs of comedy retirement, adman Jay Taylor.

Also featured are Wilbur Wildcat and, and a mystery guest. Fitzgerald says only that “It isn’t Santa Claus.” 

AZPM Producer John Booth, who formerly worked for the PBS documentary series Frontline, edits the show. Fitzsimmons says Booth hopes to take the show statewide one day.

Rialto executive director Curtis McCrary says the venue’s staff looks forward to the Arroyo Café Radio Hour to kick off the holiday season. “It really brings the spirit of the season alive—corny jokes, uncomfortable events with your relatives, music that drives you crazy, hokey Christmas fashion, and at the center of it all, Mr. Dave Fitzsimmons, serving as the Ham that no Christmas celebration should be without! We all get to have super Christmas fun while raising money.”

Comedy Family Christmas at The Mint

Drown your family-holilday-anxiety hangover at The Mint on December 25. The club’s Tuesday comedy night, hosted by Jose Joey G, takes a hiatus in January, but closes out the year with headliner Polo Cisneros and feature comedian Bri Giger. An open mic follows. 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In The Flesh: The Juilliard String Quartet Bears Gifts

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:51 AM

The Juilliard String Quartet - CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO
  • Claudio Papapietro
  • The Juilliard String Quartet
Tucson was gifted with a pre-Yuletide performance by the world-renowned Juilliard String Quartet last Wednesday, Dec. 5. Taking the near-capacity audience at the Leo Rich Theater through the gamut, from pianissimo to fortississimo, at times galloping furiously in mellifluous harmony and, at others, building tension. Playing off the intentional push/pull of contrapuntal discord, crescendo followed by diminuendo, they stewarded the music to dizzying heights until allowing it to rupture into sharply pointed spires.

Formed in 1946, as the quartet-in-residence at the Juilliard School, this lauded assemblage perdures. The present incarnation consists of cellist Astrid Schween, violist Roger Tapping, second violinist Ronald Copes and Areta Zhulla, the most recent violinist to occupy the first chair. Its forebearers’ intent: “To play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new.” These descendants stayed true to the mission statement.

Composed circa 1798, the Juilliard String Quartet executed Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in D major, Opus 18, No. 3 with striking aplomb. Despite its numbering, it's actually the first quartet Beethoven composed. With gentleness and a sense of wonder the ostinato delighted throughout the composition until the fourth movement. During the presto the Juilliard String Quartet shifted the centre of gravity attacking the motif in dramatic ways driving headlong to a breathtaking resolution.

Teetering between consonant and dissonant harmonic intervals, creating tension that leaves the ears of a Western audience longing for resolve, the Juilliard String Quartet explored during Lembit Beecher’s One Hundred Years Grows Shorter Over Time.

“The movements of this quartet are like successive generations retelling the same story. As I wrote, a melody kept coming into mind: A waltz written by my Estonian grand-uncle in the 1950s. I first played this music with my brother when we were teenagers. Over the years we kept returning to it. The waltz appears fully realized, as if an old recording,” Beecher said of his piece.

Schween provided contrapuntal anecdotes while Tapping and Copes sautilléd their bows off the strings in powerful unison leaving Zhulla free to soar.

After the intermission, the Juilliard String Quartet returned for Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in F Major, Opus 77, No. 2. It seemed fitting to close the program as Haydn is widely considered the creator of the genre. Achieving delicate equilibrium, they masterfully created sublime contrast between the galant style of the 18th century and the dignified seriousness of the Baroque.

Executed as by the unfailing hands of surgeons, over the course of the evening, the Juilliard String Quartet performed with barely containable ardor—that at moments impelled their bodies to rise upward from the benches and chairs they sat upon—displaying unparalleled artistry, effortlessly laying claim to a shared sovereignty as one of the world’s finest.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

In Memoriam | Chris Burroughs

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:34 AM

Christopher Charles Burroughs grew up in West Milford, New Jersey. He studied journalism at Rutgers University before moving to Tucson to pursue his dream of a career in music. With a penchant for language, he put pen to paper. Combining social commentary and vagabond philosophy, vivid storytelling became his musical trademark.

In the summer of 1982 Chris Burroughs and the Nationals made their debut playing local clubs—Nino’s, Dooley’s and such—leaping onto the scene with contemporaries Eighty Go Ninety, Jonny Sevin and The Fred’s. The Nationals spent the next two years playing dive bars and watering holes from Bisbee to Flagstaff before the bright lights of Los Angeles beckoned.

“We would do something like eighteen one-nighters in a row… And only play three cities,” Burroughs was quoted as saying.

Burroughs released six albums—his debut West of Texas (Triple Bar Records) was released in 1988—and appeared on numerous others. In addition to The Nationals, he fronted Chris Burroughs and the Mercenaries and most recently Hardpan, with stints in Yard Trauma, Losers Club and Creosote, acquiring fans throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Christopher Charles Burroughs passed away unexpectedly at his Tucson home on Monday, Nov 19. He was 60 years old.

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Staff Pick

Pink Martini and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra

PINK MARTINI performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece,… More

@ TCC Music Hall Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 20, 2-4 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

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