Thursday, April 27, 2017

Win Tickets to See Rhiannon Giddens

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 5:19 PM

Rhiannon Giddens is playing Sunday, April 29 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street at 7 p.m. Tickets to this all ages show are $26-$28—unless you're lucky enough to win a pair from us!

You can read about the show in this week's Weekly. Here's a snippet: 
"This was an album that came into being as we were doing it. You can't think too hard about it." Giddens would much rather do the prep work, build the team, and then watch what happens. "I can't work any other way. I really believe in holistic, organic music making. You craft these relationships and collaborations, and then you let it happen."

So far, the response has been enthusiastically positive, even on the other side of the world. The new album's debt to U.S. history wasn't a barrier to audiences on Giddens' recent Australian tour. "If people from outside of the States are into this music, then they have an understanding and an interest in the history," she observes. "I always find that very interesting. People are willing to dig into the slavery and civil rights aspects in a way that not everybody at home is."

Not that Giddens is only interested in preaching to the choir. Her natural instinct for collaboration has led to her working with everyone from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Iron & Wine and New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint. Last year, she wound up on mainstream country radio, when an edited version of Eric Church's "Kill A Word" with Giddens' featured vocals became a Top Ten single.

"I don't ask 'what am I getting paid?' I'm always like, 'does that sound like a cool thing to do?' I don't worry about anything else, and that's served me well," she says apropos of the pairing. But what about performing on The Tonight Show and at the CMA Awards? "I take it all with a grain of salt. If doing something like ["Kill A Word"] will help more people learn about what I do, that's great, but I really don't care about the glitz and the glamour."
Interested in attending? Enter here and we'll pick a winner on Friday, April 28:

Fill out my online form.

Streets of This Town: Skeleton Crew

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 1:45 PM

Skelton Crew. - BRIAN SMITH
  • Brian Smith
  • Skelton Crew.

"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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Tucson Superstars Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez, Carlos Arzate and Others to Play Naturalization Benefit for Their Own

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Tom Walbank calls Tucson home.
  • Tom Walbank calls Tucson home.
Yes, the United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from around the globe. During the last decade more than 6.6 million naturalized citizens were welcomed into the crucible. The cost of citizenship is becoming prohibitive to permanent residents before being able to complete the tedious naturalization process necessary to take the oath of allegiance.

Join the damn cause already. Che’s Lounge will be the site for a weekend-long Benefit for Naturalization—featuring the music of Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez, Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls, Tom Walbank and guests—to raise money to assist two adopted and beloved Tucson Musicians, Tom Walbank and Thøger Tetens Lund, in their quest for citizenship.
Thøger Tetens Lund (standup bass), here performing with Rosie Starke and Naim Amor. - LISA LEMKE
  • Lisa Lemke
  • Thøger Tetens Lund (standup bass), here performing with Rosie Starke and Naim Amor.

Saturday, April 29 at 10 p.m., globetrotting local heroes Gabriel Sullivan and Brian Lopez will deliver sets accompanied by full band.

Sunday, April 30, Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls and bluesman extraordinaire Tom Walbank will perform in the evening starting at 6 p.m.

Che’s Lounge, 350 N. 4th Avenue. No cover. A portion of the proceeds from bar sales will go towards the cause.

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Cinema Clips: Free Fire

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Bullets whiz, whistle and rip with a darkly comic ferocity in Free Fire, the latest from little known but super talented English director Ben Wheatley.

Wheatley has quietly been establishing himself as a solid indie director of action and horror with obscure gems like Sightseers, High-Rise and A Field in England, along with one of the better installments in the horror anthology The ABCs of Death.

With Free Fire, Wheatley gets to employ his action-directing prowess along with sharp dialogue and snap acting. He’s working with his biggest cast yet that includes an Oscar winner in Brie Larson, along with Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Sharlto Copley. The film is co-produced by Martin Scorsese, and the setup sounds like the sort of movie he should be making.

Two groups come together in a deserted Boston warehouse sometime in 1978. Things go awry, and the whole movie becomes one elongated shootout where everybody is taking bullets, and the losers will easily outnumber the winners. The movie is a blast, thanks in large part to Wheatley’s staging of the event, and the actors (especially Hammer) taking it to great heights. There’s some mystery involved in the payoff, but it’s secondary to the action, which is appropriately disorienting at times. I couldn’t always tell who was shooting who, but this works for the movie in adding to the chaos of the situation.

Throw in an extremely well placed John Denver song, and you have what amounts to a solid, eccentric step in the evolution of Wheatley, a white-hot director who is just getting started.

The Weekly List: 12 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


Don't Cry for Me, Argentina. Come experience the Tony-Award winning musical, Evita. Learn the remarkable, true story of Eva Perón and how she went from living in the slums of Argentina to becoming the First Lady. Arizona Repertory Theatre concludes their season with this popular musical. It is directed by Danny Gurwin and features music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The show will run through April 30. Shows at various times through April 30. The Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Rd. $32 with discounts available.

The Sci-Fi Slumber Party. The Loft Cinema is hosting a slumber party dedicated to all sci-fi fanatics that will include 12 straight hours of aliens, robots and apocalypses. The night will include six sci-fi movies plus trailers, games and prizes. Movies include “The Matrix,” “Logan's Run” and “Robocop.” Food will be provided by The German Food Truck from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets purchased in advance and Loft member tickets are $13. Day-of tickets are $15.

Arts and Culture

Tucson International Mariachi Conference Espectacular Concert. Spend your Friday night celebrating the sounds of the southwest with performances by Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, special guest Rafael Palomar and Ballet Folklorico los niños Colima under the stars. 7 p.m. Friday, April 28. AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Rd. $20.

Etherton Gallery presents Color Theory, an exhibition featuring three local Tucson artists. Color Theory is a mixed media exhibition showcasing the work of Kate Breakey, Andy Burgess and Gail Marcus-Orlen. Through paintings, paper and photographs these artists show vibrantly colored artworks that transform their subjects. The exhibition will be open through May 31. Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14-May 31. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. 6th Ave. Free.


Pima Paws for Life at The Shelter Cocktail Lounge. Calling all animals lovers who would like a well-deserved cocktail after a long workweek. All proceeds for the cocktails will go to support animals in the shelter that are ill or need a little care before getting adopted. What's better than helping animals while drinking booze? 5 - 9 p.m. Friday, April 28. The Shelter Cocktail Lounge, 4155 E. Grant Rd. Bring money to donate and for booze.

Comedy for Charity presents “Thank You for Serving: The Benefit.” Come raise money for Rally Point, a nonprofit focused on supporting veterans and their families. This event is being put on by Comedy for Charity, an organization aimed at preventing violence. This year the event hopes to raise money and awareness about veterans committing suicide. The comedy show will be emceed by David Fitzsimmons and will feature comedian, Tommy Blaze. 7 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress. Tickets range from $60 (VIP), $30 and $20 (students and veterans with ID).

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Ed Shorts

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM

A few thoughts from recent Arizona education news.

Writing about U.S. News' Best High Schools rankings: When in doubt, read the instructions. The story that BASIS dominated the U.S. News & World Report high school rankings got lots of press in Arizona, but few reporters bothered to look carefully at how the ratings were calculated. The four steps are neatly laid out on the website. The first three are hurdles schools have to jump over—state test scores, achievement by disadvantaged and minority students, graduation rates—to make it to the final round. Over 20,000 schools made the cut. Then the actual judging is all about the percentage of seniors who've taken Advanced Placement courses and how well they did on the tests. The first three steps don't figure into the final results, contrary to the impression left by most articles on the topic. BASIS long ago decided to require a slew of AP courses in high school, and part of the reason was so the schools would score high in national rankings. You don't get that many schools at the top of the heap without figuring out how to game the system. Any reporting on the rankings that doesn't understand and explain the ratings system is doing BASIS a big favor while it misleads readers.

BASIS believes it costs more to educate low income students. BASIS is planning to open a few new Arizona schools in low income areas to see if its educational model will work with a less academically select group of students, but it says it needs more money to do it.
[BASIS.ed CEO Peter] Bezanson said the Basis model can be replicated to teach more diverse students, and his team would like to be the one to do it. But they can only do it with adequate funding. 
Elsewhere, Bezanson said he's planning to look for outside funding to make the new schools work. I find that fascinating. I'd like to see him testify up at the Capitol to ask for extra funding for all schools in low income areas. If BASIS thinks it can't teach those kids with the same amount of money it gets for its wealthier, more academically prepared kids, maybe that would help Republican legislators understand it takes more money, not less, to give low income kids the extra enrichment they need. Other industrialized countries understand that. Apparently BASIS does too.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cinema Clips: The Void

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

This throwback to John Carpenter/Clive Barker horror films is completely insane, horribly acted, and totally great for anybody who likes their horror served up with a side of cheese.

A brash policeman (Aaron Poole) picks up a stranger on the side of the road and takes him to a sparsely populated hospital (shades of Halloween 2). While there, a possessed nurse (shades of Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness) murders a patient, then promptly turns into a messed up monster (shades of Carpenter’s The Thing) while the hospital is besieged by a zombie-like throng of people dressed in white cloaks (shades of Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13).

Shortly thereafter, the head doctor dies, but comes back, promptly skins himself, and unleashes a world down below filled with mutants (shades of Barker’s Hellraiser). That’s just some of the homages, and they all come together to make little or no sense. Still, the style of the movie, which features schlocky special effects and both over and under acting, makes the whole mess work in an effective horror revival sort of way. If you hate horror films full of blood and puss where skinless doctors are bellowing devilish incantations, this one isn’t for you.

If you are a fan of the recent Stranger Things and the Carpenter fare of old, this one will satisfy you.

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 1:58 PM

The Tucson sun is heating up again, which means indoor air conditioning will be everyone's best friend soon enough. For those days that it is too hot to do anything, including to leave your bed, kick back and relax in the comforts of your makeshift igloo with one (or all) of Casa Video's top 10 best-sellers of the week.

Star Wars: Rogue One

Hidden Figures

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Why Him?




A Monster Calls


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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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