Monday, March 18, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock Monday March 18, 2019

Posted By and on Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Hotel Congress
L.A. psychedelic rock mashes together with NYC dream pop when Wand and Teen collide at club Congress. Details here.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock This Weekend: March 15 to 17

Posted By and on Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy of 191 Toole
This band of Los Angeles “bad boys from heaven,” shortly after releasing their debut album Less Religion More Sex, felt it prudent to announce that they were parting ways with their bassist following allegations of sexual misconduct. Cherry Pools behave badly at 191 Toole. TiLLie opens the show. Details here.

“Is this thing on?” Featuring live sets from Taking Back Harambe, Tucson is the Reason and Dirt Friends, Emo Night Live celebrates its third anniversary at Club Congress. Details here.

Dance to the Queen of Tejano projected on giant video screens with other ’90s and Latin anthems mashed into the mix. Club ’90s LA presents Selena Night at the Rialto Theatre. Details here.
  • Courtesy of The Rialto Theatre
Amped-up Seattle punk rockers Monsterwatch blaze through Sky Bar. With The Exbats and Taco Sauce in tow. Details here.

Conductor José Luis Gomez leads the Tucson Symphony Orchestra through a program that highlights Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Pianist Joyce Yang and trumpeter Conrad Jones are featured soloists. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Tucson Symphony Orchestra
During the 1920s, this charismatic vocalist introduced Weimar era cabaret songs and pop from the American songbook to audiences across Europe. Max Raabe & The Palast Orchester are at the Fox Theatre. Details here.
From London via a lost corner of New Mexico, Lonesome Shack’s latest release Desert Dreams, while finding a new home in the urban jungle, has not lost sight of the desert’s mysticism where this musical journey began. At Exo Roast Co. With blues and American Primitive fingerstyle guitar wunderkind, Roman Barten-Sherman. Details here.

Borderlands Brewing Taproom Sessions presents multi-instrumentalist/producer Brandon Bailey Johnson, who holds the Guinness World Records title for being the Youngest Professional Music Producer. Achieving this distinction at 12 years of age for his debut album My Journey. Details here.

Adara Rae makes her tasting room debut at Sand-Reckoner. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Adara Rae Facebook event page
Entwining assertions, assumptions, predictions and reflections around a core of transcendent harmonies, their style has been described as “exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop.” Darlingside reconcile with a “God of Loss.” At 191 Toole. North Carolina-bred folk-rockers River Whyless provide underpinning. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment
Following an elbow injury, this erstwhile college baseball pitcher took up songwriting. “Here Tonight,” country pop singer-songwriter Brett Young is at the Diamond Center. Details here.

It’s time again, The Lucky Ones kick off St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the sunshine on the back patio at Crooked Tooth Brewing. Details here.

Jahmar International and guest DJs—L3XX, Jam-Is-On, Touch, Jah Fyah, Strip, Papa Ranger and Shrek—spin in honor of St. Patty at Mr. Heads. Details here.

Febbo & Fuentes play Mexican-Americana in the tasting room at Sand-Reckoner. Details here.

The Tequila Taxi pulls up just long enough for the Al Foul Trio to fall out and entertain in the courtyard at Mercado San Agustin. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Agustin Kitchen
From SoCal, the world’s only all-female tribute to Iron Maiden, The Iron Maidens, are at the House of Bards. With The Jack doing a fine rendition of AC-DC. Details here.

Club Sanctuary resident DJs Plastic Disease and Black Flagg spin industrial/goth/EBM for St. Batty’s Day. At the Surly Wench Pub. Details here.

Sky Bar is the site for the 2019 Great Cover-Up Reprise. Which finds The Distortionists channeling The B-52’s, Miss Olivia and The Interlopers taking on Bjork and Big Mean interpreting Depeche Mode. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Golden Boots and Otherly Love at Che's Facebook event page
Golden Boots and Otherly Love worship the alter at Che’s Lounge. Details here.

Vocalist-songwriter Mattea performs her lushly beautiful music at Hotel McCoy. Details here.

The latest musical project from Wesley Eisold—author of Deathbeds (Heartworm Press) a compendium of darkness chronicling the constant struggle that is depression and the bursts of energy absolutely necessary to see another day—has become a name synonymous with the contemporary resurgence of darkwave and synth-pop. Cold Cave trip the light macabre at 191 Toole. Adult. and Vowws provide support. Details here.

St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Hotel Congress features performances by the Maguire Academy School of Dance and “the best, most almost authentic Irish band in town,” the Bastard Sons of Patrick. Details here.

DJ Mijito curates After Dark: Darkwave/post-punk/coldwave/synth at Passé. Details here.

In a fundraising event, Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School perform a tardeada at El Casino Ballroom. Details here.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

SXSW Q&A: Small Time Napoleon

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 2:35 PM

  • Courtesy of Small Time Napoleon
Louisville, KY-based band Small Time Napoleon is headed to SXSW with a couple of guitars, a stand-up bass, a drumset and lots of accolades from their home state in tow. With influences ranging Tom Waits to Elvis Costello and Paul Simon, the band serves up a unique mix of sounds they like to describe as "jazz-ish." Vocalist and guitarist Jeff Thomas answered some questions in advance of the band's performance in Austin.

Is this your first year at SXSW? What are you most excited for?

We've never been to Texas, let alone SXSW. So we're super excited to check out the musical landscape of that area of the country along with the vibe of the festival as a whole.

What sparks your creativity? Is it a place? A person? A specific type of sandwich? (Your answer is not limited to those options)

Creativity can come somewhat randomly, but most often from life events. They seem to lead to the best tunes for us, anyways. We have songs about close family deaths, relationships being built and lost and other random life events. Writing about what you know almost always seems to be the best practice.

You describe yourself as a "jazz-ish" band. Do you specifically work to make music that can't be pigeonholed into one category, or do you just make what sounds came to you and worry about what to call it later?

We describe ourselves as jazz-ish because jazz can be such a divisive word. If you're into jazz, calling ourselves jazz might disappoint you because we write tunes with pop influences. If you hate jazz, calling ourselves a jazz band might turn you off before you listen. We've found that our jazz influences help us stand out against other bands who play similar pop-influenced tunes. Hopefully we live in the sweet spot between "too jazzy for mainstream" and "not jazz enough for those seeking something new/different."

What is your favorite song of yours, and why? What song of yours would you recommend people listen to first, and why? If these are different songs, why?

I polled the band and everyone has a different answer for this question.
  • Dave, our bassist, best likes a tune called "Tower Song" off our first EP. Tower Song is primarily in 5/4, but mixes in 4/4 and 6/4 throughout. It's easy to make mixed meter stuff sound ham-fisted, but in the case of "Tower" it serves the song. It's easy to not even realize the tune is jumping back and forth from time signature to time signature.
  • Zack, our drummer, cited "Me and Mary Magdalene" (from our full-length LP) as his favorite. It starts off as a low ballad, just acoustic and voice, and continues to build into an extremely hard-hitting and wild tune.
  • Dan, one of our singer/guitarists, said he enjoyed "Maybe," also off the full length, as his favorite. "Maybe" is a multi-part tune that shifts between fermata style sections, funk, and rock. Lyrically, it's somewhat cheeky, all while remaining approachable.
  • Jeff, vocals/guitar, really likes a tune of ours called "High Wire," off our most recent EP, Too Big To Fail. It has a really laid-back feel to it. Lyrically, it's simultaneously about a poker game and a bar fight. Its also a story song that prequels a tune called "Boring Little Play" from our LP.
If you're going to listen to us for the first time, I would suggest "Sucker for a Tomboy." Its an upbeat, approachable tune with cryptic lyrics worth exploring.

Do you have and your other band members have day jobs? If you do, what are they and what drives you to do music as well?

We each have day jobs. Dan works in IT, Dave is a title abstractor, Zack works for the University of Louisville's medical department and Jeff is a front-end developer. I don't think any of us could imagine a world in which music wasn't a part of our lives. In that way, we don't have a choice not to be musicians.

Small Time Napoleon's SXSW set is Thursday, March 14 in The Elephant Room, 315 Congress Ave.

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XOXO: Where to Rock Thursday, March 14

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Rumor has it that British electronic music producer/DJ Chris Lake’s show at Gentle Ben’s has sold out. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Sold Out - Chris Lake | Gentle Ben's Facebook event page
Spektrum: QG Dance Party—DJ Mijito and Vamp Feline spin goth/darkwave/industrial/techno—at R Bar. With a special performance by Lav Andula. Details here.

The Oro Valley Concert Series brings together Sabra Faulk and Amber Norgaard. Whisking together country, folk, blues and rock, this veteran duo promise a high-energy performance. At Oro Valley Marketplace. Details here.
  • Courtesy of Oro Valley Concert Series feat. Sabra Faulk and Amber Norgaard Facebook event page

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

SXSW Q&A: Trupa Trupa

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Trupa Trupa. From left: Rafał Wojczal, Wojtek Juchniewicz, Tomek Pawluczuk, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski - MICHAEL SZLAGA
  • Michael Szlaga
  • Trupa Trupa. From left: Rafał Wojczal, Wojtek Juchniewicz, Tomek Pawluczuk, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski

Polish quartet Trupa Trupa recently signed to Sup Pop Records, and are kicking off their world tour with several SXSW performances. Their alt rock/post hardcore songs sound upbeat but feel philosophical (the press release says, "just beneath the surface of Trupa Trupa’s bright and indelible songs, there is a world teeming with nihilistic considerations, slyly dark humor, and survivalist self-assurances"), and come about through a dedicated strategy of running a democratic ship.

This is the band's second year at SXSW. In an interview with The Wire Magazine, vocalist and guitarist Grzegorz Kwiatkowski explained how his amp broke, and by the time they got it sorted out, their set was almost half over. They played 35 minutes worth of songs in 20 minutes. Then, the  bass player's guitar broke in the middle of the set, so he started shouting. The the audience (including the journalists present) loved it. "We are lucky to have strange accidents working on our side," he said.

Kwiatkowski answered a few questions in advance of Trupa Trupa's SXSW sets about how they do their music and how they hope there's no broken amps at this year's festival:

So, this is your second year at SXSW. What are you most excited for? What did you enjoy the most about last year?

For sure we will meet our new partners from Sub Pop and Paradigm, and it's very exciting because we like to cooperate in a friendly and family style. So we are happy to meet our new family soon. We're going present some new songs at SXSW gigs, so it's also very exciting. Last year was crazy - gigs were just unbelievable and full of chaos and madness. We were frightened, but after all very happy. It was like a blow. We also enjoyed family meetings – it was the first time we met Jim McGuinn, David Newgarden, David Fricke and many more of our great supporters and friends from the U.S.

What sparks your creativity? Is it a place? A person? A specific type of sandwich? The meaningless, inescapable routine of daily modern life? (Your answer is not limited to those options.)

Many things from non-musical stuff have a big impact on the music. We try as much as we can to have some distance from the music environment and to have our own private stuff that we later put into compositions. Definitely our city has some impact, as well as beautiful nature around us, because we live in a really great place – the city of Gdańsk in the north of Poland, surrounded by the sea, forests and lakes.

You said in your interview with The Wire that your albums are "a bit boring," because you like to be bored, and also that you don't exist for the audience - you exist for yourselves. How do you balance those desires when you're making music for a world full of people demanding to be entertained and catered to?

All the time I am changing my point of view. And of course Trupa Trupa are four individuals. I am one of them and I am not a frontman or leader. So this is only my point of view. But anyway, I am sure all of us make music for ourselves, and I don't find it controversial. It's just one of many spiritual ways of doing stuff. But we don't have anything against the artists who think differently and address their music to specific audiences. It's all good. I just think we are a band made by accident and we are all made by accident. You know what I mean. We are not uber mensch. We are weirdos and rather weak people.

What is your favorite song of yours, and why? What song of yours would you recommend people listen to first, and why? If these are different songs, why?

I really like "To Me” from our Jolly New Songs album, because it's so easy and simple, but on the other hand or - maybe because of that - it's very powerful and straightforward. I also enjoy "Dream About,” our new single song from Sub Pop. For me it's a kind of Samuel Beckett's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A mantra and love song to nowhere. Almost dream pop stuff. I like such combinations.

Do you have a day job?  If you do, what is it and what drives you to do music as well?

I am a poet, Tomasz Pawluczuk is a graphic designer, Wojtek Juchniewicz is a painter, and Rafał Wojczal is a photographer and reporter. It's has a big impact on the music. It's great that we are different people, and we have a democratic structure in the band, and everyone of us has a different perspective on life and a different job and a different understanding of music. It's the key to our band: this polyphonic way of doing things.

Trupa Trupa’s SXSW sets are at 12:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 14 at Hotel Vegas and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15 at Flatstock Stage in the Austin Convention Center.

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SXSW Q&A: Moonlover

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 4:17 PM


Moonlover is the recording project of Quang Dinh, a DIY multi-instrumentalist from Melbourne (formerly the bassist of the band Little Red.) His debut album, Thou Shall Be Free, from last year was created over nine months of DIY rockin’ and rollin’ in Dinh’s bedroom studio. Dinh also produces delightfully wacky music videos for the band, like for "Wedding Day," a song off Thou Shall Be Free.

When I asked Dinh about his plans for SXSW and thoughts on music, he talked about taxi drivers two separate times, offered some animation tips and tricks and talked about why he and the band are all the better for not having “a Beyonce budget."

Is this your first year at SXSW? What are you most excited for?

We are excited to just be in the thick of it. Show people our wares. And rock out! It's such a hustle to get over here and do the thing, so we're getting used to that vibe. But I watched Taxi Driver before coming and think I may have a twisted understanding of what might go on here. Thanks, Martin Scorsese.

What sparks your creativity? Is it a place? A person? A specific type of sandwich? (Your answer is not limited to those options.)

Creativity is sparked from any place, anytime, any person or thing. It's just a matter of being open to feeling and emotion. It's like being on a yacht in a still wind and then all of a sudden the wind starts blowing and you do your best to get the yacht moving.

Where did you learn to make your cool music videos?

I learned from the internet. I loved making the Moonlover music videos. It was accessing another part of the creative mind. Animation and Final Cut and After Effects are all deep oceans and I just piddled my foot in there and got what I got. A damn good lot of hungry collaborators helped. There is no shortage of them in Melbourne town. I like DIY stuff. Limitations allow a lot of ideas and workarounds to happen that wouldn't be possible with Beyonce's budget.

What is your favorite song of yours, and why? What song of yours would you recommend people listen to first, and why? If these are different songs, why?

I think one of my faves is "On The Day That I Was Born." I think I could play this song for the rest of my life and it'd still make sense. It's one of those songs that really hit a nerve with me.

Do you have a day job? If you do, what is it and what drives you to do music as well?

My day job is as a taxi driver. I realized a few years ago music was my calling, and I am going to do it for the rest of my life. Music is an endless exploration and you can go as high or as low as you can possibly conceive. I enjoy most when songs and special things fall down from the ether. It feels amazing to not know what is happening and to look back and go 'hey, that was alright!'

Moonlover's official SXSW showcase is at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13. They're also playing shows at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 at the Austin Taco Project, at 2:45 p.m. on the Aussie BBQ Front Yard Stage on Thursday, March 14, at 8:30 p.m. at Whip in on Friday, March 14 and at 4 p.m. at the ABGB and 7 p.m. at Hotel Indigo on Saturday, March 16.

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XOXO: Where to Rock Wednesday, March 13

Posted By and on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 1:00 AM


Honing their skills in The Big Easy, this roots rocking octet are known for giving an energetic live performance. The Revivalists bring the Take Good Care Tour to the Rialto Theatre. Influenced by the sound of his father’s pedal steel, Nashville singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter kicks off the night. Details here.

You can never be sure what they’ll pull out from the record crate. DJs Carl Hanni and Steven Ramshur present The Suffering Jukebox. At Exo Roast Co. Details here.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2019 at 11:30 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • ORI

Editor's Note: A few of the Tucson Weekly family are in Austin this week for the annual South by Southwest Conference and Music Festival. They will be bringing us a taste of Texas throughout the week, so keep an eye out for artist profiles and blogs letting those of us stuck in Tucson live vicariously through them.

ORI is the performance name of Ori Alboher, a Jersusalem-born songwriter, musician and record producer now based in Germany. His synth-y soul, with lots of looping and repetitive beats often gets him compared to James Blake, and NPR described his song "Black Book" from his latest album, 1986, as "a strange, immersive sound-world" when they selected it for this year's Austin 100. His music is atmospheric, haunting and continually surprising, leaving you wondering where he thinks these tunes up. So we asked him!

Is this your first year at South by Southwest? What are you most excited for?

Yes! It's my first time here, and I'm really taking everything in. I think I'm most excited about playing to a new audience/audiences I haven’t met before.

What sparks your creativity? Is it a place? A person? A specific type of sandwich? (Your answer is not limited to those options)

I’m inspired by Hummus! Just kidding.

For me the starting point of any musical effort has to be an emotional place. I let whatever I’m going through unfold in sounds, which is something I have been doing to balance myself since I can remember myself. I create music mainly to heal and process.

I saw in your interview with Who Sampled that a tragic coffee incident ruined your process early in the stages of working on 1986. So you started working with live instruments, but you also started experimenting with your voice. And you're not just changing the pitch of your singing - you're using sounds like your breathing and the clicking of your tongue. What got you interested in trying that?

I’ve been always using my voice as a musical instrument. As a kid, I used to love places that echoed. I would experiment with my voice making weird sounds and later got obsessed with great artists like Rahzel and Bobby McFerrin who blew me away with the ways they were using their voices.

You sampled poet Jack Hirschman doing a reading of "Path" for your track of the same title. Who are some of your favorite non-musician artists?

I’m very happy you brought up Jack Hirschman, I’m deeply inspired by his words and his voice. In a very strange way I feel like he’s an integral part of my music, although we've never met.
I’ve always been very drawn to painting, I used to study M.C. Escher’s drawings for hours when I was little. I love the way Alexander Hodorovsky uses his art in film.

I suspect there’s something about the manipulation of distorted optics that I can relate to.

What is your favorite song of yours, and why? What song of yours would you recommend people listen to first, and why? If these are different songs, why?

I guess that changes from time to time. Right now my favorite song of mine is “Better Days.”
[Here's a preview of the song ORI posted on his Instagram page] It’s a new song that I wrote recently and will be released soon. What I most like about that song is it’s simplicity - I’m using only vocals and a piano recording. Usually that wouldn’t be enough for me, but I feel such a deep connection with the lyrics, that I felt like this was enough.

“Black Book” seems to be the song people always tell me they discovered my music with. It’s a combination of an R&B melody and some dark ambient. I guess there’s something about this song that captures my musical roots.

Do you have a day job? If you do, what is it and what drives you to do music as well?

I’m fully dedicated to my music. However, whenever I have some spare time I enjoy producing other musicians that inspire me from all genres.

ORI is playing at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at Parish, at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15 at the Hilton Hotel Cannon & Belle Lobby Bar - Second Stage, and at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Hideout.

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Staff Pick

Menopause the Musical!

The cast of four fabulous women shop for laundry at a Bloomingdale’s sale, sing 25 songs about… More

@ The Gaslight Music Hall Tue., March 19, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 21, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 22, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 24, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., March 25, 6-8 p.m., Tue., March 26, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 27, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 28, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 29, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 31, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., April 1, 6-8 p.m., Tue., April 2, 6-8 p.m., Wed., April 3, 6-8 p.m. and Thu., April 4, 6-8 p.m. 13005 N Oracle Rd

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