Monday, July 16, 2018

Watch XIXA's New Video to get Ready for the Show Friday

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Does the video to “Tombstone Rashomon,” XIXA’s latest single, draw any philosophical parallels to Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 Japanese allegorical period piece, Rashōmon? Or to director Alex Cox’s take on the historic Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone-Rashomon (2017)? It’s a thorny matter. The whistled melody line in the song, however, does nod towards Ennio Morricone’s epic theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Scope out the stunning video—directed by Lesli Wood and Daniel Martin Diaz—for clues. And ask them yourself when the psychedelic cumbancheros return to Club Congress on Friday, July 20.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine This Weekend at the Loft

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM

One of my favorite movies as a kid was The Beatles' Yellow Submarine. (I'm not saying I really followed the plot when I kid, but man, did I hate those Blue Meanies.) For the film's 50th anniversary, it's undergone a frame-by-frame restoration and this weekend, it's opening at the Loft Cinema. Get your friends all aboard and join the battle for the future of Pepperland.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Pitbull Coming to AVA Amphitheater Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 3:35 PM

  • Courtesy


If you think the Sonoran Desert is scorching, how about a night of heat all the way from Miami? Pitbull, the one and only Mr. 305, Mr. Worldwide will grace the AVA Amphitheater stage at the Casino del Sol on Sunday, July 8.

"Feel the Moment" with the number one Latin pop singer for a Fireball-filled night of fun. Pitbull will set the house on fire with “International Love” for an upbeat show sure to keep you on your feet.

International star, musician, rapper and fashionisto Armando Christian Perez, also known as Pitbull, has soared to the top of the Latin Pop music scene since his first album M.I.A.M.I. released in 2004. Pitbull now has over ten albums and has recorded songs with stars including Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera and Ke$ha to name a few.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Michael Franti Encourages Rialto Crowd To Stay Human

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM

  • C.Elliott Photography
A gigantic multi-colored peace sign served as theatrical backdrop. A near capacity throng of approximately 1,150 stared at it blankly, on occasion, in between idle chatter and sips from plastic cups. Expectantly, they awaited Michael Franti & Spearhead to take to the Rialto Theater stage. It was a sweltering Friday night, June 8, and for the uninitiated the temperature was soon to rise.

Here are a few highlights.

When the funky guitar lick on “Once A Day” began to ring out—a song about unexpected moments in life—that’s when Michael Franti manifested. “Tucson, how you feeling?” The audience roared back. It goes without saying some days evince beauty and others far less than. “I had a really challenging moment when my son was diagnosed with a kidney disease. Moving through the initial tears made us realize life is precious. We need to hug, kiss and be close to each other every day and through that we could rise up and face his illness together,” says Franti, providing the backstory behind the song.

A trajectory of optimism was set for the evening.

For “The Sound of Sunshine” Franti was accompanied by a brightly dressed young girl. They jumped about and sang in unison, “And that’s the sound of sunshine coming down.” Soon, the band was pogoing up and down with elation too.

“Maybe you’re missing someone tonight? This is a song about loneliness,” says Franti, before counting in “I Got Love For You.” “I know today is a day that I might cry/I know you’re leaving to somewhere/Hope to find the peace of mind you’re seeking/In the back of a Greyhound bus you can be who you are/...I’ll be waiting right here for you.” Which after a few minutes the band cleverly segued into U2’s. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For…”

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Four Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, June 20

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • Shakey Graves — Twitter

Shakey Graves is the comfy soundtrack to a long, solitary road trip on two-lane highways through beat, half-boarded-up western towns. See, Graves’ songs are atmospheric and narrative at once. He pens and performs them like the one-man band he once was, with driving, straightforward rhythm—oh, the suitcase kick drum and rigged tambourine. The jangle guitar pairs with endless possibilities of passing scenery, and his voice, well-worn and multi-harmonic, is good as a worry stone in hand. The lyrics are understated and literary: “Well I’m tired of losing/I used to win every night of the week/Back when sex and amphetamine were the staples of our childhood physique.” Jesus. Hailing from Austin, there’s no trace of hipster cred to Mr. Graves, too much musical integrity. Comparable to Shovels & Rope in consistency and candor, Graves deals primarily with the existential versus romantic realm, somehow calling up nostalgia and unpretentious intellect at once. With Lauren Ruth Ward on Wednesday, June 20. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Doors at 7 p.m. $20-25, All ages. Details here.

The UA Art Museum. The UA’s art museum has several exhibitions up right now, including one on the evolution of women printmakers, one filled with art created by local high schoolers, an exploration of light and photography by multidisciplinary artist Richard Slechta and The Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo, one of the most important works to come out of 15th-century Spain. Check them all out, by do try to see the exhibit "X, Y, Z: Art in Three Dimensions" which features art that’s been formed, molded, carved, cast or otherwise arranged. As you take in the art, you can reflect on what it means to take up space, cast a shadow and have texture. "X, Y, Z" is on display through Sunday, June 24. Museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. UA Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. $8 GA, $6.50 seniors and groups of 10 or more. Free for members, students with ID, faculty, staff, military personnel, AAM members, visitors with a SNAP card or tribal ID and children. Details here.

Game Night at Casa Film Bar. Gather your family and friends for a little friendly competition (and drinks) at Casa Film Bar’s Game Night. There will be popcorn and soda, as well as a variety of local beer. The game lineup includes Jenga, Oregon Trail, Cards Against Humanity, chess, Uno and Star Trek Catan. 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 20. 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Details here.

Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch has long been hailed one of indie greatest live guitar heroes—his ability to harness crowd energy and volley notes with every other onstage instrument makes for an ear-bending orchestra of noise, what some have called epic sonics. Treepeople is the band where Martsch cut his teeth. In the late ’80/early ’90s, Treepeople were the Pac Northwest’s hottest ticket. After losing Martsch to Built to Spill, the guitar-based Treepeople fizzled, but two and a half decades later, he put together this reunion tour and the response is unequivocal. Described as “organized chaos,” (much like the Velvets of yore by the Brits), the band play tracks off their first three albums alongside classic covers including The Smith’s and Dylan, each complete with raging, throat-choke guitar wallops, scratchy (pre-grunge) vocals and some sweet restrained, jangle. With Tucson’s mighty mighty Lenguas Largas, and Prism Bitch. Wednesday, June 20, 191 Toole. Doors at 7 p.m.  $20-25, 21+. Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, Dylan Reynolds, BS Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling at House of Bards

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 12:35 PM

Nick Moss (left) and Dennis Gruenling perform with their band at House of Bards Sunday, June 11. - PHOTO BY DYLAN REYNOLDS
  • photo by Dylan Reynolds
  • Nick Moss (left) and Dennis Gruenling perform with their band at House of Bards Sunday, June 11.

The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling brought their powerful Chicago blues style to Tucson’s House of Bards Sunday evening, performing almost three hours for a crowd that warmed up as the show progressed.

The band is touring in celebration of their new album The High Cost of Low Living released in March as their first CD on Chicago’s famed Alligator Records. At Sunday’s show, the group impressed with their blend of technical musicianship and energetic showmanship.

Gruenling, in particular, energized the crowd with his wailing harmonica, swaying and dancing as he displayed the musical skill that’s earned him nationwide acclaim. His appearance — the patterned jacket, long hair, sunglasses indoors look— complimented his blues prowess.

The band's music is rooted firmly in sounds of the past, but they haven’t distanced themselves from the present. At one point in the middle of a song, Gruenling reached for his smartphone and started filming the performance while simultaneously playing harmonica. It was a symbolic reminder that blues still has a place in the 2018 music scene.

At several points during the show, audience members approached the stage to snap pictures of the band, and Gruenling obliged them, moving and posing for the photo-seekers.

Moss, for the most part, let his guitar do the talking. At 6’2” with a gruff blues voice, he doesn’t have to work too hard for attention. Dressed head-to-toe in black, he entertained with his expressive guitar work and vocals.

Whether it was Howlin’ Wolf covers (Sunday would have been the blues legend’s 108th birthday) or original material like the new album's “Tight Grip on Your Leash,” the music was performed with soul and power. The addition of long solo sections in the middle of songs had some of them reaching towards ten minutes, but the band’s virtuosity kept the performance interesting.

As the show went on, the largely middle-to-older-aged crowd became progressively more energized. A group of a dozen people started dancing beside the stage, several others stood up and clapped, and a few shouted affirmation during particularly skillful instrumental solos.
Perhaps that energy came from a combination of the music and the alcohol being served all night at the bar.

“Drink up," Moss joked early in the show, "and we’ll be the best band you’ve ever heard.”

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Friday, May 4, 2018

FORM Festival Is One Week Away: Fleet Foxes, Beach House, Chance the Rapper and More!

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 3:00 PM

The fifth annual FORM Music Festival coming up next weekend and tickets are still available. From May 11 to May 13, more artsy events are going to take place than you can possibly attend. So you better start planning now.

FORM takes place in the eco-experimental city of Arcosanti, between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The location is a bizarre acropolis of brass bell buildings, Italian-influenced architecture, and Arizonan flora.


Over the course of three days headliners such as Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Chance the Rapper, Courtney Barnett, and Charli XCX will play to the crowds of New Agers, campers, artists and music fans.

Some smaller performers to pay attention to are Grouper, Sudan Archives, Alex G and the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.

Beyond the music itself, Form is a cultural and artistic celebration of all types. There will be talks and panels by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, the Phoenix Art Museum and more.

In addition, there will be plenty of community events and “experiential art” such as outdoor screenings, yoga, nature hikes, stargazing and creative showcases.

For more information, visit

Thursday, April 26, 2018

In the Flesh: The War on Drugs

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 3:30 PM

The War on Drugs played the Rialto Theater on April 17. - C. ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY
  • C. Elliott Photography
  • The War on Drugs played the Rialto Theater on April 17.

The thousand or so folks that poured into the venerable confines of Tucson's Rialto Theater on Tuesday, April 17, were treated to a night of pulse-pounding, soul cleansing rock and roll.

Philadelphia-based sextet The War on Drugs, making their first appearance in the Old Pueblo in seven years, packed the downtown venue.

They didn't disappoint, performing virtually the entirety of their 2017 album, "A Deeper Understanding," while mixing in fan favorites from albums like "Lost in the Dream" and "Slave Ambient."

Singer Adam Granduciel and company played for 108 minutes of uninterrupted beauty, before taking a few minutes to catch their breath at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.

They returned to thunderous applause for a three-song encore, playing deeper cuts from their latest album, before walking off the stage for the final time.

The band's mixture of high-energy music and high-tech LED stage lighting, which beamed through a veneer of mineral oil to create a bars of light in front of the stage, was all part of a can't-miss experience that attendees will remember for a long, long time.

Granduciel waxed nostalgic on various bits of Tucson nightlife, remarking on his first trip to the region some years ago, playing at Plush (now known as The Flycatcher).

It was quite clear that Granduciel and his bandmates share a high level of camaraderie, given how in-sync they were on Tuesday, and how happy they seemed to be playing together.

The highlight of the night for me came just before the band's momentary break, when they launched into a rendition of the band's first AAA chart hit, "Under the Pressure."

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