Do you hear what I hear?

This town is full of talented musicians, even if COVID has made it challenging for them to find a spot to perform and limited the number of people who are willing to go out and see a show. Still, many of them have taken advantage of the downtime of record new albums. This week, managing editor Jeff Gardner rounds up 10 terrific albums across a range of genres that were released in 2021. If you’re still looking for a present for the music lover in your life, consider supporting a local artist and checking another box on your gift-giving list. Jeff does double duty this week. Besides sounding off on local music, he catches up to the UA astronomers who are working on the James E. Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch next week. It’s another major milestone for the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, which has been in the space biz from the birth of NASA.

Elsewhere in the book this week: Staff reporter Alexandra Pere informs us that hospitals continue to fill up with COVID patients (so if you haven’t been vaccinated or gotten a booster, now’s the time); columnist Tom Danehy explains why Attorney General Mark Brnovich has disgraced himself so thoroughly that he no longer deserves your vote; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith fights off the holiday blues; Chow contributor Matt Russell gets a taste of some holiday cocktails downtown; music writer Matthew Singer catches up with The Jons ahead of their holiday show this weekend at downtown’s Rialto Theatre; XOXO columnist Xavier Omar Otero fills you in on the various live acts you can catch this week; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott tells you about how one local dispensary is going solar (and the crazy amount of energy involved in cannabis farming nationwide); calendar editor Emily Dieckman is full of ways to celebrate the season; and there are more fun diversions scattered throughout the book for your reading pleasure.

Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor

Hear Nintz talk about holiday happenings and more at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings on the world-famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

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