XOXO: Mark your calendars

Mark your calendars…

To be a rock and not to roll. This week sees Marty Stuart, Tech N9ne, Pat Metheny, Geoff Tate, Cleopatrick and more pass through town. Read on. 

Thursday, Sept. 30 

Heavy metal has a pleasurably sordid affair with mariachi music? Metalachi, “The world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band,” do unholy things to metal classics. Bring your holy water aspergillum. At 191 Toole... Infusing neo-psychedelic garage rock with Motown flourishes, Shannon & The Clams pay deference to the Year Of The Spider (2021). On Club Congress Plaza. With the fuzzy-wuzzy, classic horror flick campy, softcore porn pop of The Paranoyds... 

Friday, Oct. 1  

A child prodigy, this country/bluegrass living legend was gifted his first guitar when he was just 3 years old. As a young boy, Marty Stuart met Bill Monroe after a concert. “Do you want to play the mandolin, boy?” The bluegrass icon asked, before handing him his mandolin pick. “This right here will help you out.” “I carried that pick to school with me every day like it was kryptonite in my pocket,” Stuart recalls, in Country Music, a film by Ken Burns. By 12, Stuart had taught himself to play both mandolin and guitar. After sitting in with Lester Flatt’s band, The Nashville Grass, he became a permanent member just shy of his 14th birthday. After Flatt died, Stuart toured with country icon Johnny Cash’s band for six years. One could easily conclude that Stuart has led a truly charmed life, before even taking his solo career into account. Since the 1990s, the five-time Grammy winner has risen to become a country music torchbearer. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives celebrate the 20th anniversary of his iconic album, The Pilgrim, at Rialto Theater. Nashville singer-songwriter Ward Davis opens... Born Aaron Dontez Yates, at 17, he found the inspiration for his moniker after a gangster (Black Walt) heard him rap. “He said I sounded like an automatic weapon.” Finding early inspiration in the work of N.W.A. and Public Enemy, it wasn’t until hearing The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (Def Jam, 1988) that Yates began developing his signature rapid-fire “chopper” style — cramming 13 syllables or more in every second. Now, 20 years into his career, Yates entered the new decade with a trilogy. Starting with Enterfear (April 2020) his 22nd studio album. Followed by two EP’s comprised of studio outtakes, More Fear (Aug. 2020) and final installment Fear Exodus (Oct. 2020). At 49, Yates keeps pushing. “Fears are going away. When you’re fearless you can say whatever the fuck you wanna say.” Tech N9ne rolls the Strange New World Tour into the Rialto Theatre. With special guests Rittz, Krizz Kaliko and more... “Fake it ‘til you make it,” Luke Gruntz confesses, in an interview with Loudwire. “I’d been doing some online sleuthing trying to figure out how bands get fans.” Tired of playing shows to a steady audience of 10—realizing that “no matter how loud we are, [or] how hard we try, our voices aren’t gonna be heard”—this Canadian rock duo was willing to sidestep their integrity to get “Hometown” a larger audience. After being featured on Spotify’s Rock This podcast (hosted by Allison Hagendorf), their 2017 single catapulted into the stratosphere (receiving over 50 million streams to date). “I sent [Hagendorf] this totally BS email pretending to be a fan. ‘Oh my God, Alli, you’ve gotta check out this band Cleopatrick,’” Gruntz recalls. “Within like 20 minutes, she replied and had put us on one of her playlists.” New rock mafia Cleopatrick make a stop at 191 Toole. Toronto rockers Ready The Prince open... Released in 2020, during the darkest days of the pandemic, to little attention, awash in fuzz with canyon echoes and glass-like feedback, A Nice Sweet Getaway, points to unseen dangers that lurk in open spaces. La Cerca fêtes their latest album at Sky Bar Tucson... Big on sleaze, short on substance, The Dirt is a band of filthy “dirtbags”—inspired by the androgynous, hell-raising bad boys that trolled the Sunset Strip of the 1980s—dolled up in leather, CoverGirl makeup, kohl eyeliner and a superabundance of Aqua Net. Performing the glam metal hits that defined the Decade of Decadence. The Dirt: ’80s Hair Metal Experience gives “love a bad name.” [Prophylactics strongly recommended.] At AVA Amphitheater... Officially forming in London in 2012, these Atlantans chose the name Algiers for its reference to a place where violence, racism, resistance and religion historically have clashed and commingled. Their appeal is broad, finding acceptance with everyone from “recovering goths to Motown obsessives to indie-rock fiends to hip-hop heads.” The Guardian tabbed their sound, “Dark stuff, but good grief they’ve got soul.” But the road to arrive at this unique destination rarely takes the shortcut. “I think if a process doesn’t go through that entire range of emotions, then maybe you’re not doing something right,” Lee Tesche told NPR. “I’d be worried if we went through the whole process thinking we were making the greatest record... I’m sure we’d come out with a record that was a total piece of trash.” Algiers perform material from There Is No Year (Matador, 2020). At Club Congress... 

Sunday, Oct. 3  

Making a difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. Good Trouble performs classic rock covers for The Red Concert—a fundraising event in support of TIHAN (Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network)—at Monterey Court... 


Tuesday, Oct. 5  

The title track to Queensrÿche’s 1990 album “Empire”—which contains an odd spoken passage citing U.S. law enforcement expenditure statistics—warns of an unstoppable, dystopian future, rife with violence, in which drug trafficking leads to societal collapse. Reaching triple-platinum status—fueled by the chart-topping success of hit single “Silent Lucidity”—Empire (EMI, 1990) stands as Queensrÿche’s greatest commercial success, garnering this “thinking man’s progressive metal band” critical acclaim. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Geoff Tate and band will perform Empire in its entirety. Additionally, the setlist includes Queensryche’s second studio album, Rage for Order. Operatic vocalist, Geoff Tate brings theatricality and a 4-octave range to the Rialto Theatre. The “bald man” Kurt Deimer opens... In a blinding flash of aggression, these heavy metalists emerged from the primordial soup (otherwise known as L.A.) in 2012 with the release of their self-titled EP. Drawing their name from a Plasmatics song, “Butcher Baby,” these Wendy O. Williams acolytes gained traction from a YouTube video of their headbanging interpretation of “Fucking Hostile” by Pantera. After completing a North American tour supporting Goliath (Century Media Records, 2013), frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey spoke about their decision to ditch the nipple-tape look. “We got tired of it,” Shepherd told Artisan News. “The band started [as] an ode to the Plasmatics. Wendy O. Williams was a badass. She didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought. We share that spirit.” When asked if they were concerned about the nipple tape overshadowing their music, Harvey retorted, “[My] nipples were sore. We wanted to evolve.” Despite their record label’s disfavor for the album’s title and artwork, in 2015 they released Take It Like a Man. Harvey explains, “It’s not a gender thing.” 

“It’s the inner strength you have to find in order to pull your boots up and keep moving forward.” Butcher Babies whirl into a “Headspin,” at 191 Toole. Flanked by Infected Rain and Stitched Up Heart... After hearing Miles Davis’ Four & More (Columbia, 1966)  this world-renown jazz guitarist—incorporating articulation customarily reserved for horn players—began developing his trademark style. Throughout a storied career, 20-time Grammy Award winner Pat Metheny has consistently sidestepped convention. Working with a diversity of artists, including Ornette Coleman, David Bowie, Milton Nascimento and Steve Reich, to become one of the most accomplished jazz artists in music history. “It starts when we disappear.” Pat Metheny with pianist/organist James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson performs selections from Side-Eye NYC (Modern Recordings, 2021)—a head-first reinvention of the 1960s organ, drums and guitar trio, popularized by artists like funky Hammond B3 master Jimmy Smith. At Fox Tucson Theatre... 

Wednesday, Oct. 6  

A triptych of local art—works by Golden Boots, Touchy, and Female Gaze—can be viewed and appreciated live on the Club Congress Plaza... 

Thursday, Oct. 7  

Dana Cooper’s lifelong love affair with music began early. One of his fondest memories is that of an excursion, tagging along with his father, to The Calico Cat, a Kansas City dive bar. After popping coins in the jukebox, he recalls his dad marveling at his then-2-year-old son singing along with Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb platters. Years later, now an integral figure in the Nashville songwriting community, Cooper has collaborated with renowned writers like Tom Kimmel, Kim Carnes and Don Henry. His upcoming release, I Can Face the Truth, (slated to drop in early 2022), finds this insightful storyteller facing hard truths head on with humor and unfeigned expression. Dana Cooper spins yarns. At Monterey Court... 

Until next week, XOXO...