Arizona Kids Make Good
7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19
Fox Tucson Theatre
17 W. Congress St.
If you were into post-grunge rock music in the early- to mid-'90s, then you've heard of the Gin Blossoms. If not ... well, you've probably heard of them anyway.
Hailing from Tempe, the band has been part of the Arizona and national music scene for more than 20 years (with a break from 1997 to 2002).
"We heard through the grapevine that they were touring, and we thought it would be a great show for the Fox," said Craig Sumberg, executive director of the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. "We are trying to rebuild our concert calendar and do more promoting of ourselves. This is part of our attempt to use the Fox as a concert venue in addition to (hosting) the movies and community events."
The band will be making a one-night stop in Tucson to perform at the Fox in promotion of their fifth album, No Chocolate Cake, which is slated for a Sept. 28 release on 429 Records. Ticket prices range from $15 to $50; fans can also purchase VIP passes that will grant them entrance to a reception and meet-and-greet with the band an hour before the show.
Local band TreeHouseFire will open the concert with what, according to the band's website, "might best be described as Americana, alternative rock or acoustic indie folk."
Referring to the Gin Blossoms, Sumberg said, "I think they are trying to reconnect with their audience, and I think bringing them to the Fox will work out well." —E.B.
Break It Down
Ecstatic Dance Tucson
7:30 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18
Rhythm Industry Performance Factory
1013 S. Tyndall Ave.
Do you love dancing—but not the packed floors and sweaty drunk people that you may find at the average Tucsonan nightclub? Perhaps your moves are too eccentric and wild, and therefore don't fit into the general public's well-manicured dance style.
You may want to check out Ecstatic Dance at the Rhythm Industry and Performance Factory, which offers an alcohol-, smoke- and judgment-free space to express yourself through movement and music.
Ecstatic Dance was founded in San Francisco and has since spread across the nation. The Tucson version of the get-together is held on the third Saturday of every month.
Karen Smith, who organizes the local event, said that the dance caters to and attracts a wide range of individuals.
"We have people who come from the community college and the university who have heard that they can arrive at 7:30 p.m., and that they can dance nonstop until 10:30 at night, and that is their idea of a party. And there are people who practice yoga, and they find that dance is a way to bring all of that breathing to another activity. You get people for whom dance is prayer. I mean, it's a really a huge mix," Smith said.
The first 30 minutes are a guided series of free-form exercises; an eclectic mix of music starts promptly at 8 p.m.
Smith explained, "We do blends of pre-recorded music, and those blends are assembled by different dancers and musicians. Each one has a very different character and contains everything from global dancing to old Motown hits. The idea is, obviously, if you are going to dance all night, there needs to be an ebb and flow."
A donation of $7 is requested, although the organization charges based on a sliding scale. —E.B.
So Close, yet So Far Away
Aaron Boyd and Kimberly Toscano in concert
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21
UA Crowder Hall
Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue
On a symphony stage, the concertmaster and the timpanist couldn't be farther apart. However, in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, these two musicians are actually quite close.
On Tuesday, Aaron Boyd, concertmaster for the TSO, and principal timpanist Kimberly Toscano will perform without their fellow TSO musicians as part of the UA's Faculty Artist Series.
"The reason we decided to do a more intimate endeavor in terms of our music is because although we are at the farthest points of the stage that you could possibly be, we have a very strong bond in keeping the orchestra moving how we want it to move," said Toscano.
A strong stage relationship between the concertmaster and the timpanist is vital, according to Toscano, because they actually have related onstage roles.
"I am the concertmaster of the orchestra. It's my job to make sure what the conductor wants happens in a physical way with the instruments," explained Boyd. "I learned very early on, thanks to Kim, that I could have allies in doing that, and for me, the timpani has become my most important ally."
Toscano acts as a leader from the back of the stage. "I see it as the backbone of the orchestra," said Boyd.
The concert will consist of music by living composers for percussion, violin, viola and other instruments. "I will play the whole family of percussion instruments, but not timpani," said Toscano. "My job is timpani; therefore, this concert is my opportunity to stretch myself on the other instruments I don't normally work with."
The musicians will perform five pieces, three of which were commissioned specifically for Boyd and Toscano.
Tickets are $5 general admission at the UA Fine Arts Box Office, by phone or online. —K.M.
Special Effects Master
"Douglas Trumbull: A History of Special Events in Film"
7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 20
UA Crowder Hall
Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue
Have you ever wondered how special effects in films are created? Or how theme park attractions such as Universal Studios' Back to the Future: The Ride were developed?
Douglas Trumbull, a legendary filmmaker and visual-effects pioneer, will have all of the answers to your questions in his presentation, being sponsored by the University of Arizona Museum of Art in conjunction with the current Metropolis exhibition.
Trumbull will speak about his career, the history of special effects, current trends and much more.
"I will be showing material that goes all the way back to the era of (1927 science-fiction film) Metropolis, (shows) behind-the-scenes work with my films, and takes us right to the future of IMAX and simulation rides," said Trumbull.
Trumbull is best known for films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner. He is still very involved in the film industry and the advancement of media technology.
"I am currently working on a science-fiction space film which may or may not be shot in 3-D, in addition to a virtual-set film," said Trumbull.
From time to time, Trumbull will conduct lectures about a particular film, or some of his new developments, but this will be his most comprehensive lecture yet.
"I hope people can take away an understanding of the dramatic changes that are currently taking place within the media industry and the more immersive projects within new media that are still being developed," said Trumbull. "What we have right now is a profound transition from film to digital media, and it's going to continue to evolve."
Tickets are $12, or $6 for students and UAMA members. —K.M.