XOXO: Mark your calendars

Harsher than whiskey, sweeter than wine. This week Black Veil Brides, Jake Shimabukuro, Murs, The Toasters, Marie Osmond, and Louis Prima Jr. are in town. Read on.

Mark your calendars… 

Friday, Nov. 26 

In the Roman Catholic church, a black veil is used as a sign by a nun who has married into the church, disavowing all worldly pleasures to devote her life to Christ. She is then deemed a black veil bride. With reverence to the shock rock and glam rockers of the past (namely KISS and Mötley Crüe), the Black Veil Brides formed in Cincinnati, in 2006. Pursuing a gothic vision first conjured by an isolated small-town kid fascinated with death, theatricality, rock & roll, and the things that go bump in the night, they soon Set the World on Fire. After production complications caused by the pandemic forced the delay of the release of their sixth studio album, Black Veil Brides return with The Phantom Tomorrow (2021). At Rialto Theater. With Brace Yourself, Echoes and Pyrotechnica... Tin or aluminum? How time flies. The Coolers—an eight-piece R&B/soul sensation—preside over Monterey Court’s 10th anniversary celebration... N8NOFACE, Dayak, Kid Violet and Glacier.Wav perform at Hanksgiving: A benefit for Sonoran Prevention Works (a grassroots group working to reduce vulnerabilities faced by individuals and communities impacted by drug use in Arizona). At Club Congress. DJ Nada spins... 

Saturday, Nov. 27 

From Oahu (known to islanders as The Gathering Place), this virtuoso’s musical milieu is equally as welcoming. Funk to bluegrass, classical to jazz, and rock ’n’ roll, Jake Shimabukuro has taken the ukulele to places that Don Ho (the icon of breezy ’60s and ’70s Hawaiian pop) could have never imagined. His latest release, Jake & Friends (2021), continues this trend with an impressive and diverse roll call of collaborators: Willie Nelson, Billy Strings, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Jack Johnson, Bette Midler, Ziggy Marley and that is just the short list. “Looking back on it all now, it feels like a dream,” Shimabukuro says. “I grew up fantasizing that one day I might be able to meet my musical heroes, and here I am on my own record playing with them.” Bringing joy to the world with a new holiday show, Jake Shimabukuro debuts Christmas In Hawaii. At Fox Tucson Theatre... In a career that dates back to the mid-’90s, with power, poise, and purpose, this South Central L.A. born rapper has lit up the indie hip-hop scene. Intellectually violent, possessing full command of a vocabulary capable of delivering a death-dealing blow, Murs has nothing left to prove. On Love & Rockets Vol 2: The Declaration (2020), his latest release, Murs has finally found fulfillment. Murs is one of the “Real Ones.” At 191 Toole. With Oswin Benjamin and Tortilla Factory... Post-grunge/alt. metalists Tantric add up The Sum of All Things (2021). At Encore... 

Sunday, Nov. 28  

Formed in NYC in 1981, this lean and mean ska machine’s brass-knuckle sound forms the nexus between punk and R&B, jazz and calypso, with a tight embrace of the Jamaica-born pop sound that flooded into England during the 1960s. Skaboom! After racking up 10 studio albums, The Toasters have been compared to punk pioneers the Ramones, due to their longevity and devotion to creed. Staying true to a mantra, Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down, after surviving four decades leading the 2-tone army, The Toasters are still skankin’. At The Rock. With Endless Pursuit and Sucker for the Sour... Coming of age in Sonoma County, California. Just “Downstream” from the Valley of the Moon—a mystical place where early settlers claimed to see the moon rise and set seven times. Freddy Parish credits his Arkansas-born father, and their Ozark family heritage, for inspiring a lifelong love of country music, informing his folk and bluegrass imbued neotraditional style. Like a fine single-malt Scotch, possessing a voice that carries “just enough sweetness to make the heartbreak go down smoother,” Freddy Parish hosts the Country Club (a monthly residency). At Hotel Congress (plaza)... Exploring the idea of a song as a living, breathing thing is at the center of Edwin and Andy White’s work. Constantly on the road, the brothers’ songs become something a little different every night. Adding to the process, they record everything. “We Just hit that button and don’t worry about it. Even a shitty recording can possibly be salvaged or used in a different way.” With time their songs morph into distinct objects. On Petunia (2021), the brothers’ 18th studio album, the process begins anew. Experimental/noise rock duo Tonstartssbandht stop for a visit. At Club Congress. With Sean Nicholas Savage and Video James... Hailing from Albuquerque, Felix y Los Gatos perform their distinct brand of zydeco/Tejano/blues for the hungry masses at the Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress (plaza). With Connie Brannock... 

Tuesday, Nov. 30 

From the band’s earliest gigs, playing house parties in backyards in Whittier, California, to touring the world with the musical heroes they grew up with, Skeletal Remains are hellbent on upholding the classically influenced death metal praxis—exploring themes of sickness, violence, death, and gore—while integrating modern musical overtones. As such, the quartet has emerged among the next-gen of classic death metal artists. Join Skeletal Remains for a “Congregation of Flesh.” At The Rock. With Dead Heat... A new trio of old vets, The Tirebiters (comprised of Steve Grams, Gary Mackender, and Lex Browning), are dropping the top and taking their new ride out for a spin around the block. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... Frontman Ian Shelton’s unflinching lyrics are usually released in intense streaks. “A lot of times my songwriting can be about deprivation. It’s about withholding until the right moment to make the most impact,” Shelton says, describing the whiplash-inducing hardcore found on Crime and Punishment (2021). “Ultimately the record is about taking ownership of your life. You have to do that when you do good, and when you do bad.” Making music that thrives on extremes, Seattle hardore punks Regional Justice Center have “Sickness on Display.” At Club Congress. With Groin and Murder Rate... 

Wednesday, Dec. 1 

Not content to ride on his father’s laurels, the scion of “The King of Swing” Louis Prima is making his own mark. “We didn’t set out to simply write music we thought the fans wanted to hear,” says Louis Prima Jr. “We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and also challenge the listener.” Return of the Wildest, Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses swing well into the 21st Century. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... 

Thursday, Dec. 2  

Swathed in the Yuletide spirit, Marie Osmond beams, “It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year... Let’s celebrate the holidays with music guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit. With as many instruments we can fit on stage.” Marie Osmond presents a Symphonic Christmas. At Casino Del Sol Event Center. With David Osmond and Daniel Emmett... Recorded in the Catskill Mountains in Simone Felice’s (The Felice Brothers, Lumineers) old converted barn studio, The Senators’ sophomore album, Wild Wide Open (2020), blurs the line between organic instrumentation and synthesis, laying hold of the expansiveness of the desert Southwest they call home. Phoenician electric folksters The Senators are “Harsher than Whiskey” and “Sweeter than Wine.” At Hotel Congress (plaza). With RISO and Danielle Durack... 

Until next week, XOXO...