Friday, December 6, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Mark Farina
  • Mark Farina
Saturday, Dec. 7

Known for his Chicago house, acid jazz and downtempo work, he's received props from URB, Muzik and BPM magazines and been recognized as one of the world's best DJs. Mark Farina's 2016 album, Mushroom Jazz Eight, hit No. 1 on Billboard's Top dance/electronic chart. Watch this early house music pioneer cut at 191 Toole...

Conceived by cartoonist and professional insultant David "Fitz" Fitzsimmons, The Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show is a variety show set in a fictional cafe. Join Mark Russell, "America's Greatest Musical Satirist," Crystal Stark, Bobby Rich, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, The Arroyo Players and Triple Threat, as seen on America's Got Talent, for a live taping y más. Proceeds to benefit Casa Alitas, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, HIAS and AZPM. At The Rialto Theater...

Celebrating a decade of collaboration, songwriters Carlos Arzate and Ryan Alfred present a collection of original material, new sketches and select covers. With special guest Adam Bruce. At El Crisol (formerly Exo Bar)...

Veteran singer-songwriter Joe Peña and guitarist/lap steel player Joe Novelli (Orkesta Mendoza, The Cloud Walls) join forces to form a lush musical palette. At The Dusty Monk Pub...

It's a birthday bash! With 10 candles on the cake. Garage rock duo Acorn Bcorn—sisters Marina and Leann—suss out "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" At Owls Club. Rounding out a rad night of DIY duos, Feverfew and Vasectomy bring fun party favors along for your enjoyment...

With songs about "Stripper Poles" and "Cherry Pop Tarts," Funky Bonz have been "Making It Funky" since 1993. They share the stage with the amalgam of barrio flavors that is Los Streetlight Curb Players. It goes down at Sky Bar...

From Nogales, AZ, these genre-crossing Tucson favs are comprised of six childhood friends who grew up wanting to rock. The Jons' Holiday Extra-vaganza pops off at Club Congress. With special guests, guitarist Jim Dalton (Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers) and Paul Jenkins ( video?, The Pangs)...

Holding the low end down with a tuba, imaginative rockers Deschtuco return to the scene. At Saint Charles Tavern...

Blues vocalist/violinist Heather Hardy and her all-star band perform at Monterey Court...

Looking for that perfect blend of country and rock 'n' roll? Rockabilly rebels the Al Foul Trio "keep the motor running." In the courtyard at Mercado San Agustin...

Sunday, Dec. 8

Hailing from the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, these veteran hip-hoppers meld EDM-tinged beats with their signature fast-rapping style on their latest release. New Waves (eOne Music, 2017), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's tenth studio album, marks a new direction. They "Creep" into The Rialto Theatre. Mike Jones and Sloan Bone (of Mo' Bone) kickoff this Winter Jam...

With its origins deeply rooted in the Gypsy culture of Spain, this traditional art form presents the interactions between song, dance and guitar, executed atop a percussive platform. Tablao Flamenco perform at El Crisol...

Performing funk and experimental hip-hop, Juliana Warkentin and Mik Garrison are Kaddywumpus. At Public Brewhouse...

Fusing together Detroit, Chicago and Delta blues, "Smooth" Johnny Rawls paints the night with shades of cobalt. At Monterey Court...

A Tucson treasure, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra—with pianist Sean Chen—perform a program spotlighting Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Antonio Estévez's Mediodía en el Llano and Camille Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2. José Luis Gomez is at the podium...

Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny, drummer Pete Swan and vocalist Holly Pyle perform America's only true original art form. At Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ...

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Down Thru the Chimney, But Where's Saint Nick

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 4:13 PM

Just a little after noon today, residents near Waverly Street and Grant Road heard a sound coming from the chimney of one of the homes.

No, this wasn't Santa making an early delivery stop in the Old Pueblo; it was a man in his 30s who, by his own account, had been stuck in the chimney for several hours.

Tucson Fire Department responded to the 911 call just after 12:20 p.m. and it soon became a full-on technical rescue.

The technical rescue team utilized a rescue ring and rope to remove him from the chimney and then he was able to use the ladder with assistance to get back down to the ground. 

The man got out of the chimney unscathed, though he is currently in police custody.

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Claytoon of the Day: Fun With Faux Outrage

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 1:00 PM

  • Clay Jones
Find more Claytoonz here

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XOXO: Where to rock, Friday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • La Cerca
Kim Wilson is perhaps best known for his 30-year tenure as the leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Not one to rest on his laurels, this acclaimed blues singer/harmonicist's hard-driving chops have appeared on albums by Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, James Cotton and others, surely earning him a place in music history. The Southern Arizona Blues & Heritage Foundation and KXCI present Kim Wilson's Blues All-Stars. They roll triumphantly into the historic El Casino Ballroom with The New Speedway Stompers—featuring Billy Wildman on harmonica—in tow...

Originating in the Mexican state of Veracruz, this regional folk music fuses indigenous, Spanish and African elements dating back to Spanish colonial times. Comprised of intergenerational students, Son Jarocho Collective keep the tradition alive. At El Crisol (formerly Exo Bar)...

Welcome the joy of the holidays into your heart with roots, dub and reggae that adds a unique pinch. Winter Reggae Fest features ZeeCeeKeely, Dub Society, DJ Jamar and Jahlos and The Rebels. At the Rialto Theatre...

Guitar-driven desert rock super collides into the intergalactic. La Cerca and Silver Cloud Express mashup in The Boxyard...

Denver-based musical traveler Curtis T performs an inspired set of originals and nostalgic covers ranging from the '50s to the present day. At Sand-Reckoner...

The ukulele-driven, gypsy-inspired, whimsical indie-pop of Little Cloud create a microcosm of bitter-sweetness inside a glass of wine. At Monterey Court...

Hosted by DJ Nic, Beatz & Sweetz finds Sonario, DJ Hart and Lunafluxx spinning a baker's dozen of fresh house music. At Batch Cafe & Bar...

1950s holiday inspired Burlesque anyone? Dashers, Dancers, Prancers & Vixens titillate. At the Surly Wench Pub...

Snowed In: Reveille Men's Chorus create the verisimilitude of a white christmas in the desert. At the Tucson Convention Center...

The Kinda Cool Quintet play jazz at The Dusty Monk Pub...

"Party God," DJ Jahmar leads the congregation of revelers towards Valhalla. In the downstairs lounge at No Anchovies...

From The ATL, DIY indie rockers Omni's latest effort Networker (Sub Pop, 2019) takes a candid snapshot of the "digital you" aspect of life in the internet age. With Ricky Shimo's Anchor Baby and Jade Helm at Club Congress...

With the scent of "Burnt Almonds" wafting through the crisp air, shoegazers Mute Swan return to Owls Club, "Just Like Weeds." Joseph Valentino aka Neglect lays down velvety layers of ambient electronica, up first...

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

An Axe to Grind: Axe Throwing World Championship comes to town

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 9:58 AM

A shot from last year's championship. - COURTESY WORLD AXE THROWING LEAGUE
  • Courtesy World Axe Throwing League
  • A shot from last year's championship.
The sport of axe throwing is nothing new, but over the last 10 years the sport has spread across North America, growing in popularity and becoming more accessible than ever before.

Just last year, Tucson saw two ranges come to town, including Splitting Timber Axe Range on 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd., which will play host to the world’s best throwers this weekend during the 2019 World Axe Throwing League (WATL) Championship.

The championship takes place on Dec. 8 and will pit 64 of the world’s best against each other for the title of world champion.

Evan Walters, commissioner of the World Axe Throwing League, said that Splitting Timber has applied to host competitions in the past as an affiliate member, and proved to be the perfect location for their biggest event.

He’s looking forward to seeing who the competition will bring out.

“There are so many awesome things about our tournaments such as seeing familiar faces, meeting new axe throwers, and just having fun with everyone in the axe throwing community, but for this competition it's much more high stakes,” he said. “All of the best axe throwers from around the world are competing for the title of world champion and it's going to be such a close competition. I'm very excited to see who takes it.”

Walters himself started out as an axe throwing coach just as a way to get out of the office before meeting the founder of the league and getting offered the role of commissioner. He’s involved in all aspects of the league, which has been around since 2017.

“Our vision is to prove that indoor axe throwing isn't just a unique experience; it can be a competitive sport,” he said. “We want to unite indoor urban axe throwing facilities from around the world under one professional axe throwing association.”

Walters said the sport is exploding fairly quickly.

“From just three years ago to being on ESPN, it's taking the world,” he said. “When we first started we had about six affiliated companies in four countries join, and now we have over 150 companies in 19 countries. We very well expect that to continue growing for some time.”

The championship will be a double-elimination tournament with the top 64 players from all of the league's seasons and tournaments over the past year. They'll face off in three-match rounds, with the best of the three matches moving on to the next round. If they lose they go into a B-bracket, and the winner of the B bracket and A bracket will compete at the end for the title of 2019 World Axe Throwing Champion. Along with the title, the winner will receive a cash prize.

Splitting Timber co-owner AJ Hughes loves to see people having fun and looks forward to introducing new people in Tucson to the sport this weekend.

“Axe throwing is all about the community and the people are the best part,” she said. “They’re all so welcoming, encouraging and supportive of one another.”

She’s especially excited to see some local axe throwers from the range have qualified to compete in the championship.

Tom Lickliter starting throwing about five years ago in his backyard for fun before joining leagues in January. He won his last three local regional championships, competed in two national events and qualified to compete in the World Championships a few weeks ago.

“I have been practicing four to five days a week since then,” he said. “My best advice is learn how to throw from an axepert at Splitting Timber then practice, join the leagues and most of all have fun.”

Shaun Thrush works at Splitting Timber and has been competing for about nine months. He will be competing in the Wildcard and Duals tournaments taking place Dec. 6 and 7.

“I had seen my friend’s video on Facebook last December, wanted to go, we went the following week and I was hooked,” he said.

To prepare for the championship, he has focused on “Lots and lots of practice and clearing his mind.”

Hughes, who runs Splitting Timber with daughter Bethany Buckmaster, is excited to share the fun of this sport with the community.

“I’m looking forward to see the axe throwers coming from around the world,” she said. “The people are what makes axe throwing so fun.”

For more information on the championship, including a full schedule, visit

The event is free to spectators and there will be a beer garden and several food trucks.

For those who can’t make the championship in person, it will be broadcast on ESPN.

How to get started with axe throwing
Some of Tucson’s local axe throwers from Splitting Timber shared their best tips for getting started with axe throwing.

“The best advice I can give for a new thrower is be patient at first and just figure out where to stand each time so the axe naturally hits the wood edge first.” - Jules Mondeau

“Best tip... find an axe, find a throw and stick with it. Consistency is key.” - Josh Brill

“It’s not about strength, it’s about finesse. If you throw too hard, the axe will over rotate.” - Bethany Buckmaster

“I always tell people that come in (to Splitting Timber) randomly to just do it. They come in and say they want to try it sometime. I tell them let’s do it now. Don’t be afraid and come as much as you can afford the money and time wise.” - Shaun Thrush

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Claytoon of the Day: Tickle Me NATO

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 8:53 AM

  • Clay Jones
Find more Claytoonz here.

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XOXO: Where to Rock, Thursday, Dec. 5

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Kip Moore
  • Kip Moore
Weathered by life's detours and disappointments, inspired by musical storytellers Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Springsteen, this country singer uses his voice to paint vivid portraits. Gone are the days of playing for "Beer Money," Kip Moore gives us a "Reason To Believe." At the Fox Theatre. Nashvillian singer Devin Dawson opens...

Slamming punk and gangsta rap together, "G-punkers" Hed PE lay siege to EncoreTucson. Flanked by homeboys, metallists Stands With Fists and shredders Within A Dream...

This 20-something DJ/producer exploded onto the EDM scene with his unique mix of dubstep, hardtrap and electro. From El Paso, Riot Ten brings the Hype or Die 2019 Tour to Gentle Ben's. Jessica Audiffred and Sharps provide backing...

This installment of Opti Club: Thanks For Nothing sees Los Discos join resident DJs H.R. Guerin and Lance Fairchild behind the decks. At Club Congress. With guests Chris Miranda and Alex Anders...

His love affair with the violin began at age 12 after hearing a cassette by French-Italian violin great Stéphane Grappelli. After studying classically at UC-Santa Barbara he spent time touring throughout Europe before arriving in Tucson. Violinist Nick Coventry showcases his unique swinging style of Gypsy jazz in the Lookout Lounge at the Westward Look Resort & Spa...

Yo, hip-hoppers, Top Nax, Yung Davon, Kinko Valentino and Raycoalfaxx will prowl the Club Congress stage, spitting rhymes...

A taste of Spain in downtown Tucson. Alternating weekly, throughout the month of December singer-songwriters Amanda Rochelle and Natalie Pohanic shall serenade for Tapas & Tonics. In the lounge at the AC Hotel Tucson...

Hard country with the Hank Topless Band can be found at Tap + Bottle-Downtown...

Doing the wango tango one last time before the festive piñata—chockful of adult party favors—drops at your backyard party ushering in 2020. Sucker for the Sour, Hussie and Associations rage unapologetically. At Sky Bar...

At the forefront of the swing revival, Rock This Town, the one and only Brian Setzer Orchestra tribute, faithfully renders big band swing and classic Rock 'n' Roll of the 1950s. In the Paradiso Lounge at Casino del Sol...

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Laughing Stock: We need clones

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 1:00 AM

This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones. - ANNAVALENZUELA.COM
  • This is black belt comic Anna Valenzuela who’s performing at The O on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the same time Cristel Alonzo is performing at the Rialto. We need clones.
CBCTAC presents Anna Valenzuela

“Latinas make 54 cents to every white male dollar, which is why I have to take a roll of toilet paper from every business I enter for rest of my life.”

So tweeted Anna Valenzuela recently, making us spew our coffee while holding up a mirror to the privilege in our white feminism. We can expect a whole set of such darkly colorful insights, delivered with authentic warmth and much laughter, at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7 at The O. Tickets are $5 via Eventbrite.

A legit black belt in karate, Valenzuela slayed the field with snaps on a recent Comedy Central Roast Battle. She appears regularly at the Comedy Store and The Improv and was a favorite at Second City’s Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Festival. She also hosts two podcasts: 12 Questions, an in-depth look at sobriety, and Bruja-ja, where three Latinas dish on all things Latinx.

A Los Angelean, Valenzuela will be the first touring headliner featured in the cheekily titled comedy show series Cunts Being Cunts Taking About Cunts. Organizers Mo Urban and Steena Salido have lately shortened it to CBCTAC in print, presumably for convenience, because: Why else?

The show opens with an improv set by AllReddy, comprising Allana Erickson-Lopez of Unscrewed Theatre and Katherine Morter. The lineup also includes Phoenician Alice Valpey and Tucson comics Andrea Salazar, Chinna Garza, Em Bowen and Kathie Hedrick.

As at every CBCTAC show, feminine hygiene products will be collected for Project Period, a program of the YWCA of Southern Arizona.

Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta - CRISTELAALONZO
  • cristelaalonzo
  • Cristela Alonzo visits with her idol, Dolores Huerta
Cristela Alonzo: My Affordable Care Act

Cristela Alonza performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 7, at the Rialto Theatre. Tickets are $19 to $36 at

Alonzo is comedy’s answer to Dolores Huerta, her idol. Her website,, devotes as much space to her causes as to her comedy. She writes, “I am a first-generation American born to an undocumented mother that taught me to love this country. I believe it is my duty to give back and fight so that everyone can get the same thing my family got: a chance.”

And then she quotes Huerta. “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

Alonzo created her own bully pulpit five years ago with Cristela, a network sitcom that she wrote, produced and starred in herself. Soon after, she began guest-hosting the daytime roundtable show, The View. In 2017, she became the first Latina lead in a Pixar film, voicing the part of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. Lower Classy, her first standup special, is streaming on Netflix.

Last month a Simon & Shuster imprint published her book, Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up. The stories reveal her vulnerability and her challenges, like the tap shoes she made for herself with bottle caps, and how standup comedy helped her process her grief when her mother died.

When not doing comedy, Alonzo devotes her time to activism around immigration, universal healthcare, social justice, HIV AIDS awareness and prevention, reproductive rights, Special Olympics and LUPE, La Union del Pueblo Entero, founded by Huerta with César Chávez. She’s on their board.

From the struggles she sees in others and in her own life, Alonzo crafts comedy that welcomes us into her world with the light of her humanity.

Mishka Shubaly at The Wench

Comedy at the Wench breaks its open-mic format at 7 p.m. Monday, December 9, to bring us comedian and pan-genius Mishka Shubaly.

Best known as a writer and musician, Shubaly has the wits and the wit to have turned a self-made disaster of a life into a livelihood. His childhood broke his heart, youth was a struggle and he was an alcoholic by the time he graduated college at 15. Yet at 22, he received the Dean’s Fellowship from the Master’s Writing Program at Columbia.

A dissolute life ensued, yielding six record albums, one with Brooklyn’s goth, post-punk band, Freshkills. Shubaly’s six Kindle Singles all have been best sellers. In 2016, Public Affairs published his memoir, I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You: A Life on the Low Road. He also teaches writing at the Yale Writers Conference. Luckily, he got sober at 32, inspired by marathon running.

The Wench show also features Jake Flores. Not to be reductive but we’re running out of space. Flores’ website URL says it all: Reservations are $5, or $10 for preferred seating in the show room. These special shows at The Surly Wench have been selling out, so we recommend reservations via on PayPal or @wenchcomedy on Venmo.

Arroyo Café Radio

David Fitzsimmons is having a busy weekend. Last week we wrote about his project for fellow old folks, Still Standing up. Featuring five comedians over 60, the show makes fun of things only old people know about. Take that, millennial smarty-pantses.

To recap, Still Standing Up is at 6 p.m., Sunday, December 8, at Laffs Comedy Caffe. Reservations are $10 via

On December 7, though, at 1 p.m., Fitzsimmons hosts another epic production of his annual Arroyo Café Holiday Radio Show at the Rialto Theatre. More than 20 local celebrities perform a loosely scripted radio play around musical guests and other entertainments and surprises, Including Wilbur Wildcat.

It’s all staged in an old-time radio show format with an iconic reconstruction of a ‘40s microphone. Comedians in the cast include KXCI’s Bridgitte Thum, Mike Sterner, Josiah Osego, Elliot Glicksman, Jay Taylor, Priscilla Fernandez, David Membrila and Bobby Rich. Tickets are $20 via Proceeds benefit three local organizations that help immigrants and Arizona Public Media, which broadcasts the show on Christmas Eve.

Lots More Comedy

Friday, Dec. 6: Standup with Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Improv 201 and 301 Student showcases at 7:30 p.m. and The Soapbox featuring rugby captain Kristin Pope at 9 p.m. at TIM Comedy Theatre (TIM)($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m., Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Saturday, Dec. 7: Standup with Michael Carbonara at 7 p.m. at Desert Diamond Casino ($27.50 to $47.50) Geoff Asmus featuring Brian Mollica at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Laffs Comedy Caffe ($12.50 and $17.50). Improv with Ugly Sweater Improv and Pilot Season at 7:30 p.m., and the 101 Student Showcase and The Dating Scene at 9 p.m. at TIM ($5). Family-friendly improv with Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU) at 7:30 p.m. and musical improv with From the Top at 9 p.m. at Unscrewed Theater ($5 and $8).
Monday, Dec. 9: Standup with John Waters at 8 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre ($33 to $110) and Mishka Shubaly with Jake Flores at The Surly Wench.

Free Open Mics

Sunday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., The O, and 8 p.m., Chuckleheads in Bisbee.
Monday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Comedy at the Wench, The Surly Wench Pub.
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m., Neighborhood Comedy at The Music Box Lounge.
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., The Screening Room and 8:30 p.m. at The Mint.
Thursday, Dec.12, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe and 8:30 p.m., Rockabilly Grill.

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Staff Pick

Reveille Men's Chorus presents Snowed In!

Imagine being Snowed In over the holidays in Tucson. Experience snow on the saguaros through Pop, Jazz,… More

@ Leo Rich Theater Fri., Dec. 6, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 7, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 8, 2-4 p.m. 260 S. Church Ave.

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  1. Claytoon of the Day: Fun With Faux Outrage (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Claytoon of the Day: Tickle Me NATO (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. XOXO: Where to rock, Friday (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
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  5. Down Thru the Chimney, But Where's Saint Nick (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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