As one of the folks who helps put together The Great Cover-Up each year (shameless plug: it's coming up Thursday, Dec. 12, through Saturday, Dec. 14), I'm a huge fan of a good idea, a big event, and steering the money raised toward a good cause – even if the idea itself is stolen from somewhere else.

So, just as we stole the idea for the Great Cover-Up from Champaign, Ill. (where it's still going strong, by the way), the organizers of this week's Tucson Rock Lottery stole their idea from another college town, Denton, Tex.

And a great idea, it is. Here's the deal: On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 16, 25 local musicians – including five drummers -- will gather at Plush. Each drummer will draw four names out of a hat (or a hat-like object). Those four people, plus the drummer who drew them, are a band for the night. The five randomly selected bands will then convene to write three original songs and learn a cover tune (and, ostensibly, come up with a silly band name). At Plush that night, all five bands perform what they've learned and written that day. Pretty cool, eh?

Here's a list of the participating musicians: Amy Mendoza (Sugar Stains, Blind Divine), Josh Skibar (Garboski, Gat-Rot), Lucas Moseley (The Pork Torta), Mario Cordova (Some of Them Are Old), Tim Milner (The Sadie Hawks), Lex Elias (Some of Them Are Old, Oddkin), Vikas Pawa (The Monitors), Justin Lillie (HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS), John Matzek (Some of Them Are Old), Carlos Arzate (solo), Dave Mertz (Holy Rolling Empire, Hollow Hills), Mark Mason (Still Life Telescope), Nirantha Balagopal (River Man), Kevin Shumaker (Giant Blue), Garth Bryson (Church Key, Garboski), Alex Greengaard (The Wolfgang), James Few (The Psychonauts), Keli Carpenter (The Tryst), Michael Huerta (Ex-Cowboy), Elizabeth Scarinzi (Silverbell), Andrew Francis (Brass Hands), Connor Gallaher (Liila), Corey Reidy (Good Talk Russ), Tadj Roi Hodges (The Electric Blankets), and Andrew Collberg (solo, Golden Boots).

Astute local music fans might remember that Plush hosted the first Tucson Rock Lottery in 2011. One of the event's organizers, J. Lugo Miller, who is also the booker at Plush, promises the event will be an annual one from here on out, and he'll be filming the action for a documentary he's working on about local music.

To make the whole shebang even more attractive, all the proceeds from the event will be donated to LPFM Downtown Tucson (, "the group aiming to bring a new non-commercial rock n' roll community radio station to the heart of the Old Pueblo," according to a press release.

The Tucson Rock Lottery begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Admission is a suggested donation of $7. There's more info at or by calling 798-1298.


It's been a running joke for years that Tucson bands and musicians are huge in Europe and, for some reason, Germany specifically. But here's the thing: It's not really a joke. They kind of are. I'll never forget, for example, at Club Congress' 20th Anniversary weekend, the pack of German dudes wearing matching jackets: RICH HOPKINS FAN CLUB.

Well, one of the men responsible for that is Holger Schubert, who runs Germany's Cactus Rock Records (, one of the labels that distributes American music –especially that of Arizona and Texas artists – in Germany and other European nations. According to Ken Andree, whose music Cactus Rock has distributed, "He really has been a great help to several Tucson acts."

It just so happens that Schubert is currently spending a month in the States, and while he's here, some of the musicians he's helped out wanted to throw him a party to say thanks. Performing at the event will be The Persuaders, Andree's Melodeons, Cheepness, Lisa Novak, Chris Holiman, Loren Dircks, and The Endless Pursuit.

The Cactus Rock Records Party takes place at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Doors open at 7 p.m. and cover is $5. That contact info again is or 798-1298.


Randy Mayer is an activist and the pastor at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita. For the past 15 years he's been involved with various humanitarian groups along the border. As he wrote in an email to Soundbites, "We decided a few years ago that we could amplify a border voice if we brought musicians like Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Guy Davis and many more (Peter Yarrow is coming this January) to the border to educate them about immigration and the struggles of the border." Which basically means that each performer Mayer and his crew bring to town to perform also gets a tutorial in border issues, in the hope that once they witness the struggles for themselves, they will be more apt to become an activist in these issues.

This week the church is bringing to town Tish Hinojosa, who may require less of an education about border issues than most of the performers who have performed as part of the series. Hinojosa has made a career of capturing the feel and culture of the border region, particularly that of Texas, where she calls home.

Hinojosa will headline a benefit show this week for Common Ground on the Border, a three-day event that will be held at Good Shepherd on March 13 to 15. Again, from that email: "Common Ground on the Border is a unique three-day experience where the deep artistic and cultural roots of the Borderlands are lifted up and conversation is created that bring[s] us across borders and move us to common ground." Also on the bill this week are Marvin Dykhuis, Ronstadt Generations, Ted Warmbrand, Ted Ramirez, and Pablo Peregrina.

The show takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Javarita Coffeehouse at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Canada, in Sahuarita. Tickets are $25 and available in advance at For more info call 625-1375.


A friend of mine was recently lamenting the lack of nighttime activites at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She'd do well to check out what the museum's got planned for Saturday, Nov. 16: In conjunction with the museum's Oasis Project, The Desert Museum's Mighty Sky Night will feature three performances – at 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. -- by the acclaimed singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, whose most recent release is the children's album The Mighty Sky. As a bonus, the Leonid meteor shower will be in full effect on Saturday, so there will also be Planetary Sciences Institute telescope stations for viewing.

Ticket prices are all over the map, so you'd do best to head here for more info: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is located at 2021 N. Kinney Road. Call 883-2702 with questions.


John Vanderslice and Bent Shapes at Club Congress on Monday, Nov. 18; Hopsin and Yelawolf at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 17; Peter Case at The Stage at Monterey Court next Thursday, Nov. 21; Maura O'Connell at the Temple of Music and Art on Sunday, Nov. 17; Eddie Money at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 20; Portland Cello Project at Solar Culture Gallery tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14; Weed, Prom Body, Hellshovel, Otherly Love, and AZ77 at Topaz tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14; Vaz (ex-Hammerhead) and Carbon Canyon at Plush next Thursday, Nov. 21; Gaelic Storm at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 16; Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 16; Chris Jamison at Borderlands Brewing Company tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14, and at The Stage at Monterey Court on Friday, Nov. 15; Feelin' 520 Showcase at the Rialto Theatre next Thursday, Nov. 21; Jim Breuer at the Fox Tucson Theatre next Thursday, Nov. 21; Relient K, Motion City Soundtrack, and Driver Friendly at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Nov. 15; Bobaflex, Death by Stiletto, Fire Glass, and Take the Hill at The Rock on Friday, Nov. 15; Mark Chesnutt at The Maverick on Wednesday, Nov. 20; "Girls Night" with Sabra Faulk, Heather Hardy, Lisa Otey, and Diane Van Deurzen at The Water of Life Church on Sunday, Nov. 17; Technicolor Hearts, Rider Rosie, and Scatter Gather at Sky Bar tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14; Big Meridox and Shining Souls at Plush on Monday, Nov. 18; Chance the Rapper at the Rialto Theatre tonight, Thursday, Nov. 14; The Modeens and Secret Meetings at Sky Bar on Saturday, Nov. 16.

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