Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tour Diaries, Day Five and Six of the Marianne Dissard Euro Tour

Posted By on Sun, May 28, 2017 at 9:58 AM

Day 5—May 26. Berlin : Annie bought some roller blades this morning and sends me a video of her feet slicing through the streets of Prenzlauer Berg and into a church. Don't you go breaking an arm now, guitar player! We're not done playing. Me? I'm playing it very safe on our second day off. I'm still reclusing in the posh west end of town. I've got to make use of that time to put the finishing touches to my first book, a memoir of addiction and recovery that I started writing three years ago. It tells the story of how, exhausted and lost from years of touring and a bad breakup, I escaped from Tucson to regain my health and sanity in Europe. I must have learned a thing or two since. Days off used to scare me. I'd be missing the adrenaline of performance so much that I would behave like a mad monkey chasing a swarm of bees. Today, though, is truly a (dirty) laundry day. In the evening, I emerge to meet with three dear friends at Café Einstein in Schöneberg. We girls - the German, the Italian, the Greek and me, the mutt - talk about love and other little lies. On the way back, we drive past the site of the Christmas Market 2016 terrorist attack. East and West, past and present, no matter how you slice it, Berlin is a stitch job well done.

Annie Dolan in Berlin with her new blades:


Also of Annie with her new blades in a church:



​Day 6—May 27. Berlin: I was looking forward to a day of reclusing again, needed to prepare for tomorrow's show at B-Flat on Alexanderplatz. Needed to work on the new songs I'd soon be singing with my "other" guitar player - the British one - in our hometown in Kent. But that didn't happen. Today, I kept both tour manager and friend hats screwed on. I meet Annie in Prenzlauer Berg for a morning Pilates class at Remedy Studio (motto: I love my body. It's an action. It's a feeling. It's a lifestyle). I was hoping she'd like the new experience.
Annie Dolan, Ami Garmon and Emily Ranford at Remedy Studio in Berlin - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • Annie Dolan, Ami Garmon and Emily Ranford at Remedy Studio in Berlin

Afterwards, I help Ami, our teacher, an old friend and the studio owner, with flyering in the neighborhood. Brittany hasn't joined us. She has been coughing and running a fever since the start of tour and isn't getting better. She wants to go to a doctor now but, on a weekend, is better off going directly to the emergency room. I take her to Charité Mitte where we wait the customary four-plus hours. After a blood test and chest X-rays (stripping not a big deal here), the verdict falls. Viral. That's it. Nothing Brittany can do, really. The doctor asks if she wants codeine. She says no and we leave. We haven't seen a cashier. New nickname for Brittany: Elviral. Annie has been out rollerblading in the Tempelhof park. Me? No matter what I did today, I really only paid attention to the song looping under that tour manager hat of mine: the Gainsbourg/Birkin duo Je t'aime...Moi non plus. In a couple of weeks, I'll have to perform it, orgasmic spasms included for the UK audience. Yeah, I'm gonna have to prepare.
Brittany Katter after leaving the emergency room in Berlin - MARIANNE DISSARD
  • Marianne Dissard
  • Brittany Katter after leaving the emergency room in Berlin
Read the previous Marianne Dissard Tour Diaries entry here.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Anyone Can Teach. It's Easy! (At Least That's What Republican Legislators and the Governor Tell Me.)

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 7:00 PM

new_credential.jpg
Here's an idea. Let's have all those legislators who voted for the new teacher certification rules teach in some of the Arizona's public schools until Winter Break, in classrooms where the district hasn't been able to find a teacher. They can resume their jobs at the Capitol in January, writing budgets stiffing schools and bills insulting teachers.

Teaching is easy, right? That's why they passed a bill saying anyone with a bachelor's degree in an appropriate field can teach — and you don't even need a bachelor's if you've taught in a postgraduate school or worked in an appropriate field. The clever people who voted for the new rules should be able to step in and lend a hand, no sweat. Why, they'll even get a few months salary, including the 25 cents-an-hour raise they voted for, in the bargain. On top of all that, they'll get an official Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate to hang on their refrigerators. Everyone's a winner! (For those legislators who aren't college grads or did their college work in a field not taught in public schools, I say give them a break and let them teach anyway. They've demonstrated how much more they know about education than educators by passing bills most professionals in the field disagree with.)

For the rest of us, here's a little fun we can have. Everyone who wants can put ten bucks into a statewide version of an office pool. Half the money will go to winners in various categories like: Which legislator is the first to say, "That's it! I'm not going back to that classroom tomorrow, or ever!" What's the date that first legislator/teacher bails out? How many legislators will make it until winter break? And which ones will admit publicly, "I had no idea teaching was this hard. We need to give teachers the respect and money they deserve!" All legislators in that last group will receive a special trophy: a glowing light bulb mounted on a pedestal with the words "I finally get it!" engraved at the bottom. The other half of the pooled money will go to buy extra supplies for students in classrooms without regular teachers.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tour Diaries! The Second Entry (Day Four) of the Marianne Dissard Euro Tour

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 8:20 PM

Dissard imbibing on her day off. - ANNE PRESTING.
  • Anne Presting.
  • Dissard imbibing on her day off.
Day 4—May 25, 10 a.m.: I drive Connor to the McDonald's parking lot on the outskirt of Chemnitz. On our first day off, he's catching a car share ride - in a white convertible - to Cologne, a seven hours drive to reunite with his/our old Tucson buddy - and my first Europe tour drummer back in 2008 - Andrew Collberg who now lives in Germany. It's men's day, also known as father's day in Germany. Me and the girls checked out from the Chemnitz hotel at noon. At the first roundabout, three grown men standing in a circle in the middle of the street, peeing, just peeing on the ground and grinning, their flies down, their dicks dripping. We drive past in slow motion, looking at the flow of urine, the shoes wet, their faces red with laughter, alcohol and maybe what constitutes manhood. Further, men in bizarre costumes. Strange rituals. The town itself seems so sedate ordinarily. Is this how you cope with ordinary, once or twice a year? Pressure valve off. Today, 25 May, is a holiday in Germany - father's day - and we drive from Chemnitz to Berlin, then through Berlin with no traffic jams. Berlin feels empty, easy, enjoyable. I drop off the girls in Prenzlauer Berg with an old friend and escape to a refuge in nearby Charlottensburg, a century-old mansion in the woods. I finish my day lakeside with white wine, talks of illicit lovers and open love, fried sardines and watching boats swing by as the sun descends on the water. A day off. They don't usually go down that easy with me but I make it my duty to enjoy every minute of it. Tonight, I sleep in a bed where Howe Gelb slept not long ago. This is getting funny.

Read the previous Marianne Dissard Tour Diaries entry here.

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Streets of this Town: Trainsong

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:38 PM

The railroad earth still sends ... - BRIAN SMITH
  • Brian Smith
  • The railroad earth still sends ...

"Streets of This Town" is a little daily photo series featuring random pics I take on long walks through Tucson—to sort of coincide with Tucson Salvage.

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The Weekly List: 15 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping buy in the Old Pueblo.


Arts & Culture

Frida al Fresco Friday. Frida Khalo (essentially) moved into the Botanical Gardens at the beginning of the year and, as far as we're concerned, there's no need for her to ever move out. On the fourth Friday of every month, the gardens have been opening up for Frida al Fresco Friday. In addition to featuring the Frida exhibit, these evenings will offer a farmers market, food, drinks, live music, look-alike contests and lower crowns. Everybody love Frida, so grab the fam and settle in for a night of celebrating strong women, beautiful art and seriously gront eyebrow game. 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 26. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. "

Music

Drug Church: A cosmovision, dude.
  • Drug Church: A cosmovision, dude.

Drug Church
. Imagine a lyricist who makes Morrissey sound lighthearted. A cosmovision based upon the notion that "entropy is the natural state of things" yelled with the gusto of Jesus Lizard but the wry delivery of The Hold Steady with bits of David Byrne tossed in. Yes, the aptly named Drug Church is gleefully soul crushing. Fortunately, the band's funked-out, dynamic and often careening walls of sound are almost enough to help you forget all that pesky mortal crap. Take the verve of Trompe Le Monde-era Pixies with a dash of Les Savy Fav brazenness and a pinch of Arcwelder's shape shifting and you have approximated the instrumentals that take hold of your body and drag you back towards the man on the mic yelling how no one here gets out alive. It's a mindfuck for sure and one that, if you're up for it, might make your worst day pale in comparison. Power! With Help Me Sleep and Sin Luz on Friday, May 26. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 8 p.m. Free. 21+.

Hikikomori. Hikikomori has been called The Lost Generation of Japan. One GIF reads “Hikikomori—when you suck at everything in life, just retreat to your bedroom and never come out.” It's not just a word, it's a concept, and a damn good name for a Tucson screamcore outfit who harbors a love of old-fashioned punk rock and metal. Channeling the rage of alienation and its resulting self-isolation, this tumbledown act speed-shrieks through tight, technically masterful genre tunes. Sure, they’re hardly bustin’ new ground, but their hearts pump hard, and there’s a raw power that makes us down here TW headquarters want to hit the pit and fuck with with all that churning, cathartic energy. Artistic touches like a woman's voice, first mediated through television sampling, then singing sweetly in Spanish and finally screaming in an original duet, distinguish this band from an often generic pool of Dimebag Darrell rip-offs and wannabe Sepulturas. Aptly named, Hikikomori reflects a cross-cultural socio-anxiety in Spanish and English. Now get out the house and sweat shove peers. It is rare to find an embodiment of the sickness and the cure at once. With La Luna on Monday, May 29 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m., $5. 16+.
Mommy Long Legs: Shoutin' down the patriarchy, bitches.
  • Mommy Long Legs: Shoutin' down the patriarchy, bitches.

Mommy Long Legs. More than two and a half decades after their riot grrrl antecedents first grabbed the mic, Mommy Long Legs is repping a glittery new distaff gen who dare shout down the patriarchy and its weary mores. Their predesisters did the heavy lifting, so these women can be the kind of spiders that tickle, not bite. Mommy Long Legs is more likely to nail you with a pillow than a bloody tampon. But they know well their history and its tropes—monotonous descending basslines, jarring dance-punk guitars, and shrill, shout-out singsongs. Join a gleeful pit of post Lisa Frank-inspired humans who revel in glorious wordplay like, "You can take your tech job … you can take your asshole, and put it in your new car." Whatever your gender, the irreverence is universal. With Crown Larks, Gamma, Like Very Ultra, Miss Abysmal at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress on Tuesday, May 30. 8 p.m. 21+. Free.

Karen Meat. Mix up the earnestness of Death by Chocolate, the fucked-up wit of early Courtney Love, and a loving unironic nod of Sheryl Crowe’s “good beer buzz early in the morning” tremble, and you begin to approach the comely vocal and lyrical worlds of Arin Eaton aka Karen Meat. What began as a one-woman endeavor out of Des Moines, Iowa (?!) has blossomed into a combo. The result is garage rock with a performance-art twist—like Guided by Voices fronted by a beautiful, self-deprecating woman. “You want me to be the girl of your dreams, but I’d rather barf all the things I scarfed down earlier.” Karen Meat is constant surprise, able to tackle two-minute ditties with a definite nod to Peaches’ sexualized ambivalence. The result is clever, hard-hitting skronk-rock worth its weight in color-coordinated outfits and good whiskey nights. Wednesday, May 31, at PoMoRo, 933 North Main Ave. 8 p.m. 21+. $5 donation.

Fitness & Body

Yoga 101 Body Basics. There are people who love yoga, and there are people who haven't yet given yoga a chance. If you're one of the holdouts, grab a mat and some stretchy pants because this three-hour workshop is perfect for beginners who aren't brave enough to march into a formal class. Hands-on training will teach you good habits in form alignment from the get-go, so you can improve your skills gradually. Get your Zen on! 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Barefoot Studio, 7352 N. Oracle Road. $35 non-members, $29 members.

Memorial Day Canna-Q. Yes, 4/20 just passed, but there's an another holiday we're going to need you to celebrate with MMJ in mind. The Memorial Day Canna-Q is meant to bring awareness to cannabis decriminalization and support veterans who should be able to medicate safely. This will be a peaceful event to remember and honor veterans who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Plus: BBQ! 3-9 p.m. Monday, May 29. 420 Social Club, 643 N. 4th Ave. Must Have MMJ Card To Medicate.

Cinema

Some Like it Hot. Get your summer dose of mob movies when Some Like It Hot shows up at Cinema La Placita, telling the classic story of two male jazz musicians who flee from the mob by disguising themselves as performers in an all female band. When the band heads out on a train journey, the men (going by the pseudonyms Josephine and Daphne) meet the irresistible Sugar Kane (played to perfection by Marilyn Monroe). The men lust after Sugar, while she expresses her distaste for dating musicians—and her desire to find a millionaire to marry in Florida. Can these men-in-wigs on the run escape the mob and get the girl? There’s only one way to find out. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at the Tucson Museum of Art courtyard, N. Main Ave. $3 per person, including popcorn!

Boxing Helena. Wrapping up The Stars of Twin Peaks Month at the Loft’s Mondo Mondays is Boxing Helena, which stars Sherilyn Fenn (your Audrey Horne) as the titular character, a woman being preyed upon by Nick, a young surgeon played by Julian Sands, following a one-night stand. Watch as Nick tries to make the Beauty and the Beast-style Stockholm Syndrome love story work for him. 8 p.m. Monday, May 29. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $3.

Found Footage Festival. With the Loft Cinema’s main auditorium undergoing a makeover, the Loft staff is taking a trip to downtown’s Rialto Theatre for this year’s installment of the Found Footage Festival. Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prue (The Colbert Report) salvage VHS tapes from thrift stores, yard sales and who knows where else to assemble a very unusual collection of clips that they narrate for the audience. As a great man once said, when the going gets weird, the weird fire up the VCR—or something like that. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.

Movie Poster Sale. Take a second and look around at your walls. A little blank, eh? Surround yourself with scenes from your favorite flicks by purchasing movie posters from the Loft Cinema. Here's what the theater is promising at their poster sale which takes place the last Saturday of every month: Current posters of films that have ended their run during the month; miscellaneous Film posters of films the Loft did not show; and more than 100 posters (at least 50 titles) from their current poster inventory. At the end of the sale, the remaining posters will be donated to a local arts program. 8-11 a.m. Saturday, March 25. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $5 per poster.

Science


Mount Lemmon Sky Center Open House. You don’t really need an excuse to take a drive up Mount Lemmon, but if you’re looking for one, here it is: The Mount Lemmon SkyCenter is hosting an open house so you can check out everything the telescope compound has to offer, including 32” Schulman and 24” Phillips telescopes, science activities and much more. Schedule extra time for a short guided hike on Meadow Loop Trail if you need some steps on your Fitbit. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 27. skyschool.arizona.edu

Fun in General


Improvathon. Ever feel like you need two days straight of improv in your life? Tucson’s first Improvathon is here, showing off ambitious amateurs and layers and established teams from improv companies—and a little stand-up comedy to boot. Indulge yourself with 167 hours of comedy, plus consider signing up for one of the two Improvathon workshops: Listening Ultra and Active Mind, Mellow Play. May 26-27. 329 E. Seventh Street. $20, and half of the proceeds go to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Ladies' Garage Party. Always pictured yourself weaving in and out of traffic on a motorcycle? Leather on your back, wind in your hair and extra cash in your pocket thanks to you super fuel efficient ride? Skip the cosmos and spend your next ladies night making this dream come true. This workshop is geared to teach women how to get started riding and how to design, fit and personalize a bike as unique as them! There will be free food and raffles as well. RSVP here: marketing@tucsonharley.com and receive a free gift bag, too. Oh, and forget what we said about the wind in your hair. We're going to need you to wear a helmet. 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 25. Harley-Davidson of Tucson, 7355 N. 1-10 Frontage Road. Free.

Food & Booze

Produce on Wheels. It's the final Produce on Wheels event of the season, and you can take up to 60 pounds of produce home with you to cook and share with friends, family, neighbors and anyone else! If you volunteer for the event, you can even bring home your produce for free. 7-10 a.m. Saturday, May 27. St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church, 4625 E. River Road. $10.

Tour Diaries! Vol. 1 Finds Tucson Songster Marianne Dissard Galavanting Across Europe, With Old Pueblo Star-Shiners Brittany Katter, Annie Dolan and (Special Guest) Connor Gallaher in Tow

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 11:12 AM

The Tucson Weekly blog is today launching an ongoing Tour Diaries series that will see Tucson artists keeping daily, er semi-daily, track of their on-the-road shenanigans, the dirt, the grime, the glory, the hangovers, the warts, maybe even the schtupping. We'll be asking all artists to tell it like it is. For the inaugural Tour Diaries, we present Marianne Dissard ... this first installment features the first three days of the tour.


Day 1—Monday, May 22: A blur already and we haven't yet started. This morning, as I made breakfast —as close to huevos rancheros as I can manage here, baguette for corn tortillas, I thought of a good first story for the tour blog I'd write that evening. As I doubled-down on black coffee, checking live updates for flight arrivals at Charles de Gaulle from my laptop, I swear I had the whole thing figured out. 
The bleary-eyed Tucsonans.
  • The bleary-eyed Tucsonans.

Twelve hours later, it's all lost. I'm drained. Blame it on a full afternoon of rehearsals. Now I pop a melatonin and before crashing, conjure up this one story of today. Here it is. When guitarist Annie Dolan, bassist Brittany Katter and pedal steel player Connor Gallaher got off the plane this morning in Paris, I wasn't waiting for them - take a taxi, I had instructed. But someone was there, pacing the crowded hall. Someone from Tucson, a musician flying home from his own European tour as my band was flying in for our own. Howe Gelb himself, the man, had been waiting for them in the CDG arrival hall. He greeted the bleary-eyed Tucsonans with a handwritten sign that read 'punk'. Yes, welcome to Paris, punks. Let's start that tour. 
Howe Gelb at  Charles de Gaulle.
  • Howe Gelb at Charles de Gaulle.

Day 2—Tuesday, May 23: We're leaving Paris in the afternoon, direction Germany and our overnight Airbnb pit stop in some tiny village near Frankfurt. The Guardian, when I check it online, has an article here on the dark side of touring - Insomnia, anxiety, break-ups ... but the headline news screams Manchester. 
Street hassle.
  • Street hassle.

Ariana Grande, whose show the bomb blasted, tweets to her fans: 'broken'. Yes, broken. Two days after the Paris attacks in 2015, I left to tour. Today, as a little over a year ago, taking to the road and playing is the only fix I have to the breaking. I ask Connor if he would learn a new cover song, "Amsterdam," for our show's encore. Of course, he says, always the trooper, juggling a stir-fry and a bottle opener. Singing that song in the kitchen repairs me some.

Day 3—Wednesday, May 23: Our first show. I'm anxious. This lineup is fresh. How many shows have we got under our belts the four of us together? Two. Last tour, in October, Vicki Brown was with me, Annie and Brittany. Six months later, Connor Gallaher has replaced her. 'Replace' is not the right word. The balance is completely new, to be found anew. I don't want to over-rehearse us, don't want to second-guess myself. This is a fine, fine foursome. 
Photoshop by Connor Gallaher of his face onto that of Vicki on the venue's program.
  • Photoshop by Connor Gallaher of his face onto that of Vicki on the venue's program.

I know it, I've cast it and want to be surprised by us, by myself. And tonight on stage in Chemnitz, I am. Everyone rises to the occasion in a venue I've already played every couple of years for the past seven years—once with Sergio Mendoza, Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan, then the Tucson Tour and Andrew Collberg, and with my French guitarist Yan Péchin. The show ends. We're thrilled. We've clicked. Didn't click with our nice AirBnB from last night, though, the one in the tiny, tidy village on the outskirt of Frankfurt. Their review of us...? "Hi Marianne, I gave you a good (public) rating - just because you have so many good reviews. it is unpleasant when you leave the roof window shutters open, soap and other trifles disappear and the apartment looks as if no one have cleaned there for months … It would be nice if you would not book us again".

Stay tuned ...

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cinema Clips: Graduation

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 5:00 PM


Romero (Adrien Titieni), a concerned father, is forced to consider his own inadequacies while trying to help his daughter Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) in the aftermath of a vicious attack in Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s striking film about father-daughter relationships.

Romero wants his daughter to receive her free ride scholarship, but what was once a sure thing is cast into turmoil after she is attacked near her school. Eliza must deal with the investigation into her attack while sitting for her final exams. This puts Romero in the unsavory position of asking school officials for favors and pushing his daughter to do whatever it takes to pass her exams, even when she is emotionally traumatized. All this occurs while Romero carries on an affair that renders him all the more unreliable.

Mungiu’s character study is a strong and complicated one, with all involved delivering good work. It goes into soap opera territory at times, but it’s always pulled together by solid acting and production value. Worth a viewing, especially if you are a fan of Mungiu’s prior film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

Quick Bites: Summer Markets

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

The best kind. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • The best kind.

The hot months of summer may be quickly approaching, keeping Tucsonans tucked away in the coolness of their homes, but Tucson’s local farmers will still be out at their respected farmer’s markets to sell their summer season favorites. Be sure to step out into the heat to pick up some fruits and veggies to help cool down.

On Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market will be open at the Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento. The market will showcase fruits, vegetables, plants, eggs and baked or canned goods.

The farmer’s market at Steam Pump Ranch will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. This market attracts farmers, ranchers and culinary experts. The market averages about 30 vendors and brings in hundreds of customers every week. Check the website for events at the markets. Steam Pump Ranch is located at 10901 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley.

Sundays are for Rillito Park’s farmer’s market located at the Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave. The market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. A wide range of produce is offered from apples to oranges, beets or blood oranges. Food trucks are also usual vendors. Admission is free for all markets.


Staff Pick

Butterfly Magic

Butterfly Magic is a fully immersive experience that surrounds you with rare butterflies, tropical plants and orchids… More

@ Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 1-May 31, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

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