Friday, June 9, 2017

In the Flesh: The 4th Avenue Pack Attack: 'Eight Bands, Three Venues, One Night.' Lenguas Largas! Dad Jokes! Lots of Dudes on Stage!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Discord slammed into melody, then rolled about on dusty floor, before forming a daisy chain of unity, as the gods of rock commanded it. Well, sorta. “Eight Bands, Three Venues, One Night” is how it was billed. This past Sunday, Che’s Lounge, Bar Passè and The Surly Wench graciously rolled out their freshly swept hospitality mats to welcome a handful of Arizona bands and travelers from Texas and as faraway as New Zealand for The 4th Avenue Pack Attack.
Taking care to maintain a delicate summertime balance between ... um ... Tucson Weekly was there, and, weirdly, sober. Here’s the gist:
Krab Legz: It's a nautical nautical nautical world. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Krab Legz: It's a nautical nautical nautical world.

Krab Legz

Kicking off the evening, this versatile trio, led by Dmitri Manos and Ben Schneider, played musical chairs. As members deftly switched between instruments─guitars, percussion, baritone sax─throughout their set. The Legz delivered their brand of quirky nautically themed rock ‘n’ roll on Che’s patio while those victimized by the day’s 103 degree swelter had little choice but to seek relief in a near endless flow of ice cold beer, the devil’s kindness.

The Freezing Hands: Plaintive melodies, pop-chimes. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • The Freezing Hands: Plaintive melodies, pop-chimes.

The Freezing Hands

The Rickenbacker bass rumbled. Drum sticks twirled between fingers, crashed cymbals and skins. Electric piano filled melodic pockets. And guitar chords chimed with '70s power-pop grit (hey, Badfinger and The Raspberries!) in the hands of guitarist/songwriter Travis Spillers (formerly of Los Federales and The Knockout Pills) who sang plaintive melodies.
The Tunes? Well, with the infectious ditties like “Comeback Kid (Hits The Skids),” it’s small wonder Burger Records made haste, and delayed not to sign them to their label. The foursome─keyboardist Scott Landrum, bassist Mario Cordova, drummer Matt Rendon and Spillers─played on to twilight.

Tigers of the Sea: kiwis take flight! - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Tigers of the Sea: kiwis take flight!

Tigers of the Sea
Then, the festivities moved over to the outdoor stage at Bar Passè where The Ventures-inspired guitar riffs and rapid-fire surf drumming filled the sultry night air. There these psychobilly/surf punks from Wellington, New Zealand thrashed about to songs off their first EP Cut and Run like “Four Fades” a hellride that clocks in at under two minutes in length. “This is our slow dance song…” Yeah, right.
When asked how a bunch of dudes from New Zealand ended up in Tucson? Frontman Tim Glasgow explained that it was a friendship with Portland surf punk rockers Guantanamo Baywatch and their tales of adventure that piqued his interest and prompted the lads to venture through the American Southwest. Next stop: Vegas, of course.

Dad Jokes: Pizza, babes and beer.! Where the hell is Handsome Dick when  you need him? - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Dad Jokes: Pizza, babes and beer.! Where the hell is Handsome Dick when you need him?

Dad Jokes

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

In The Flesh: Killer Hip-Hop Show With Von and Edge, The 9 Boys, Roman Rhymes, and TXM at Classic's Barber Shop

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 11:15 AM

The 9 Boys perform at Classics Barber Shop in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday June 3. - BRIEANA SEALY
  • Brieana Sealy
  • The 9 Boys perform at Classics Barber Shop in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday June 3.

It's Saturday night at Classic's Barber Shop down on Grant Road. It's dark on the outside, but cars fill its parking area. Inside, hip-hop slams your ears and the bass resonates down to your bones.

Crowd waits for The 9 Boys to hit the stage at Classic's Barber shop in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday June 3, 2017. - BRIEANA SEALY
  • Brieana Sealy
  • Crowd waits for The 9 Boys to hit the stage at Classic's Barber shop in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday June 3, 2017.

Reyes "Angel" Renkert has been hosting rap battles and shows in his Barber Shop for a year now, and with the help of hip-hop artist Tony "Nova" Olmos, he's been able to gather performers from all over the city to perform. It's part of the festering Tucson underground hip-hop scene that one has to go out and find. Tonight, artists offer up a variety of songs that hit on rap subgenres, from trap to classic hip-hop.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Local Showdown! A Killer Kinda Battle of the Bands Contest That Runs Throughout Summer is Accepting Entries Now!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 12:59 PM


Music junkies, this summer—as Tucson temperatures rise to rival those found in the Sixth Circle of Hell─legendary venue The Rock and Tucson Weekly call out vaingloriously, to the faithless and faithful alike, to announce the First Annual Local Showdown.

The Local Showdown is a summer-long showcase where local bands/musicians, from all genres—from highbrow to lowbrow, from bluegrass to rap—battle it out before a panel of music aficionados to decide a winner. All ages are welcome to bring it on. Whoever is best at what they do wins, and then there are runnerups.

At the end of the contest, after the bodies are carted off, to the victor belong the spoils. Prizes include: A feature article in Tucson Weekly, professional studio recording and music video shoot (for a single), sweet merch and marketing packages and a mini-tour (plus gas/food cards). Not to mention bragging rights.

The Showdown kicks off June 30 with subsequent rounds on July 8 & 22, Aug. 5 with semi-finals on Aug. 19. Finals will be held Sept. 9.

It’s simple to enter into the competition: submit a video or audio link (YouTube, SoundCloud, bandcamp, etc.) by June 15 the new and extended entry deadline of June 22! to Only the first 150 submissions will be accepted.

Pre-sale tickets are $6 (with a cut to the bands). $8 at the door. All events to be held at The Rock, 136 N. Park Avenue, (520) 629-9211. Shows start at 6 p.m.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Tour Diaries! Final day of the Marianne Dissard Euro Tour: No Dirt, Jacques Brel and Wooden Sailboats!

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Day 12, and last show- June 2.  Düsseldorf​: ​
I live in dread of not performing ever again. It's not an irrational fear. Tonight's show at the Düsseldorf Jazz Festival marks the end of our European spring tour, the "Woman, Who's A Woman" + special "man" guest tour. I did it all. Booking, promotion, hiring, firing, buying flights, driving and singing. Time to scream. We play a loud, raging set with hefty doses of sweetness and spunk alike to a very attentive audience. I speak little to our audience tonight, circling back to the image of the Titanic, deck chairs reshuffled and those words: "make the planet great again." I can't think of much else all day. Shivering, I nail "Amsterdam." the Jacques Brel cover, and shatter when I get off stage, unable to stand. Darkness pierced by smiles of strangers and friends, hugs. Is this it? What changed during the course of this tour? Sylvie Simmons now owns my Tucson home as of yesterday. I've fallen in love every single night with a different sound man—with my bandmates too, my wonderful, supportive, talented and wickedly fun and unencumbered bandmates Annie Dolan, Connor Gallaher and Brittany Katter. Dear Brian and Tucson Weekly, I have no dirt for you. No one got in trouble on this tour. No one got hurt. We weren't tar and feathered. Howe Gelb, our own homebrewed Casper, haunted the tour from Paris to finish. This has been easy. Not much else from this point will be. The return to mundane reality. Silence. In the morning, we will drive back to Paris and return flights to Tucson for the band. On Tuesday, I will go back home to my wooden sailboat in England. Thanks for reading. Till next!

Read the previous Marianne Dissard Tour Diaries entry here.

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Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr on the Dwight Twilley Band's 'Sincerely'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Phil Seymour (left) and Dwight Twilley.
  • Phil Seymour (left) and Dwight Twilley.

Power pop was a thing that just never panned out for its artists or its fans. It rolled in, drafting behind car No. 2, new wave. And was punk rock's well-adjusted kid brother. A cross pollination of Brit Invasion, Brian Wilson and an army of tambourines.

Dwight Twilley was in the first class of retro-rock, a student of the game. How to rewrite pop
gems without turning breakfast into a soggy clump of Fruity Pebbles.

Twilley was an early riser a back-to-a-blueprint forged by The Flamin' Groovies, Brinsley Schwarz and Big Star, quick with three-minute turns about love, TV, losing love.

It works that way, a sun-kissed variation on universal themes that rings new bells in listener ears and was designed to survive on radio play, even three and 1/4 seconds in a snappy ad to sell a soft drink. But its main attraction was the paint-by-numbers efficiency of a record that carries its weight in near-perfect pop songs.

Dwight and partner Phil Seymour had been playing shows and home recording in Tulsa, Oklahoma since the late '60s, and they grew into each other. Multi-instrumentalists—Twilley played guitars and keys, and Phil did drums and bass—while their voices became one in unison or in the deceptively simple harmonies with which they layered their music.

In late 1974, the Dwight Twilley Band signed to Denny Cordell and Fellow Okie Leon Russell's Shelter record label and with little promotion garnered an infectious Top 20 single in '75 with "I'm on Fire," but had no album to back it up because the Shelter heads battled for months with lawyers and legalese. It was a tough break for the young band.

They recorded in England but were unhappy with the results, so they finished their debut long-player, Sincerely, back in Tulsa. Some tunes were recorded at Russell's home studio and Russell also played on a few of the songs.

The record hit in '76, nearly two years later then expected, and any buzz from "I'm on Fire" had long since faded. The album placed well outside of the Top 100 on the Billboard album charts, and thus it must've felt like a wasted effort, considering all the love and care they'd put into the project.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Tour Diaries! Day 10 and 11 of the Marianne Dissard Euro Tour: Why Are We Such Needy Monsters and a Night at the Bumfuck Mitteleuropa Radisson

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Connor Gallaher pondering his pedal board fix. - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • Connor Gallaher pondering his pedal board fix.

Day 10​—May 31.
​Breakfast on tour is a hit-it-now or forever hold your tongue. Scrambled eggs make my heart leap. I rate ours **** this morning at the bumfuck Mitteleuropa Radisson. At the music mega store, we emergence Connor's power supply - his many pedals sucked dry the previous. Oh, how I wished we'd stayed put on that retail floor until proven the new power was key-turn easy and ready to pounce that rack of slugs and sloop benders, wheeze tuners and tone coughers that Connor nicknamed "my pedal board." 
Our show boat in Frankfurt - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • Our show boat in Frankfurt

Springing life back onto the daisy-chained checker board will occupy most of our sound check time allowance in Frankfurt that evening and I try not to blow a fuse, not to beat myself too hard for letting it happen. Sound check is an ace-it-now or forever bite your tongue. But the show goes on and what a show! Again, we rock - the boat, yes truly as we are playing on a barge on the sleek and ducks river. A storied reunion of sort, with old friends and bookers from Das Bett, and a bright-eyed sound man with a full sleeve of scorpios black as midnight ink. Hotel that night sucks bad. Trip Advisor reviews warned us: "worst hotel in Europe." I love this life.

"Snail-pacing through Germany, Europa, trucks a wall of metal and money. " - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • "Snail-pacing through Germany, Europa, trucks a wall of metal and money. "

Day ​11—May 31. Frankfurt:
Yep. That hotel sucked. But there was a bathtub. Hot water. Electricity. Wifi. It's 1 a.m. and I'm taking a bath, at last a bath. The phone rings. Connor forgot an adapter at the venue. I scream. Must drive back there now. Gas. Power. Frankfurt. Our hotel a block from the European Central Bank building. Power.​ And machines adding lanes on kilometers after kilometers of highways. Reconstruction. Autobahns. Snail-pacing through Germany, Europa, trucks a wall of metal and money. We make it at last to Nuremberg, a two-hour trip turned into a five hours acid wash. In town too, the traffic is insane. Our show? I drag myself on stage, muscles tense, mind a blank, with little force or consciousness. Power? From that pit of fear - to suck, to have nothing to give—come a shower of surprises. Here, a new way of singing, more meaning, there better fun, surprises between instruments, hilarious turn of syllables, notes bouncing on vocal walls. What do I fear most? I live in dread of never being able to be on stage again. Our venue tonight? Used to be a military caserne during the war. Our war today? We are our own worst enemy. Hot water. Electricity. Gas. Food. Power. We are so blind. You ask, why such tension on stage, why the rage—and the sweetness too? Aren't you enraged, aren't you? We are such fools, suckers, such needy monsters.

Read previous Tour Diary entries by Marianne Dissard here.

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Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr Weighs in on Kraftwerk's 'Radioactivity'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Kraftwerk: A sort of Euro Popular Mechanics for oddballs.
  • Kraftwerk: A sort of Euro Popular Mechanics for oddballs.

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Germany was ground zero for the avant-garde. Electronic exploration by students and artists, working in mediums music and visual arts. A sort of Euro Popular Mechanics for oddballs, if you will, following the leading figures of a burgeoning scene. Amongst them John Cage, Wendy Carlos, and fellow statesman Karlheinz Stockhausen, whose heady subject matter in the ‘50s included directionless sound, temporal field and controlled chance with applications to forward-thinking musical and non-musical endeavors. Both groups Can and Kraftwerk studied under his tutelage.

Kraftwerk had little modern gear in their early efforts and they so hit up IBM for use of their computers. In fact, their first recordings were constructed using the electronic junk-pile left behind by the Third Reich’s war machine, whose practice of stealing timeless works of music, books and prestigious art had been geared to crush peoples’ cultural identities.

Kraftwerk’s minimalism rose heavy on repetitious "click tracks" used as rhythm machines, which can be heard on their first U.S. breakthrough, '74s hyper-hypnotic "Autobahn," which hit No. 3 on the U.S. pop charts.

Ralph Hűtter and Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk's main songwriters, along with Flur and Bartos, would catch up to their own shadow, building the Kling Klang Studio in Dűsseldorf, re-upping the stakes of information and instrumentation via Moog, ARP Odyssey and their own computer systems. It all led to a robotic pop whose technology had been waiting for a purpose. Along with Can, Tangerine Dream and other likeminded groups, Krautrock was born.

In 1975, Kraftwerk released the mechanized record Radio-Activity, a black album cover with a radio speaker, a concept of all things static. Geiger counters, S.O.S. blips and bleeps, the HAM radio operator gone to heaven with hooks, melody, and vocals fed into vocoders—an early cousin of today’s overused and abused Auto-Tune, heard on four out of five pop hits today.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tour Diaries! Days Seven, Eight and Nine of the Marianne Dissard Euro Tour

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Day ​7​—May 28. Berlin: ​ At last, at last! We played a show tonight, the four of us finally reunited, Connor back from Cologne, Annie from rollerblading, me from my cave and Brittany from the ER. Earlier today, I went swimming in a small neighborhood lake with my Berlin friend Anne. We put down our towels on the grass. I stared for a long time at the baby ducks huddled under a tree by the water. The water was cold. Naked men and women walked and swam around. I got a bit of a sunburn. But back to the show. It went great, smooth, fun, wild and oh, we are happy. Connor commented how he had missed playing. He hates days off as much as I used to. I'm happy tonight, in a quiet way. 
Parts of the setlist and the intro / motto to our tour "Woman, Who's A Woman," lyrics by me with a composition by Naïm Amor. - MARRIANE DISSARD
  • Marriane Dissard
  • Parts of the setlist and the intro / motto to our tour "Woman, Who's A Woman," lyrics by me with a composition by Naïm Amor.

​Day ​8​—May 29. Berlin to ​Fulda​:​ ​I couldn't sleep last night after the show. Wired, restless, hungry, lonesome, tired, worried about the storm raging on the British harbor where my sailboat - home - is moored. In the morning, Anne brings us to her special lake for a swim. Brittany and I dip in while Connor and Annie find a spot away from the dozens of naked young and old sunbathers. The culture shock reaches peak level. 
Connor privately serenades an enormous and very slanted tree that Annie has climbed. - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • Connor privately serenades an enormous and very slanted tree that Annie has climbed.

The afternoon is a long drive from Berlin south to Fulda. Tired, I get gloomy and a bit depressed, feeling lonelier and darker than at any point since the start of tour. Always happens after a great show and leaving friends behind. We stop for burgers at a picture-perfect chrome and vinyl booths replica of an American roadside diner. Some hours later, we park at last on the street of our AirBnB in Fulda. It's Big Trash Day in Fulda and the people of "our" street celebrate it with a communal sidewalk BBQ. We join in, eat sausages and drink beer on the street, discussing with these hardcore German hobbyists their collection of VW bugs and lowrider bicycles projects while Annie rollerblades our guitars and bags from the van to the safety of our rooms. I wish I had a photo of that.

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Staff Pick

George Lopez

George Lopez brings his #THATSTRUE comedy tour to Casino Del Sol for two shows on June 24,… More

@ Casino del Sol Event Center Sat., June 24, 7-8:30 & 9-10:30 p.m. 5655 W. Valencia Road.

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