One of the greatest flamenco guitarists of the 20th century, Paco de Lucia has dabbled in jazz, Cuban, and perhaps most notoriously, Brazilian bossa nova rhythms, in addition to straightforward traditional flamenco. Over the years he's worked with such talents as Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, and in 1989, opera tenor Placido Domingo. No matter what forms of music he's incorporating, de Lucia's amazing combination of dexterity and style are never anything less than virtuoso. Catch Paco de Lucia when he performs with his septet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 4, at UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E University Blvd. Tickets range from $26 to $38, with discounts available for students and staff, and UApresents season subscribers. Call 621-3341 for information.
If your musical diet requires even more flamenco (or if you simply can't afford tickets to the Paco de Lucia show), sate your hunger with the return of Fresno, California's Cerro Negro. As evidenced on their eponymous debut CD (Mata L'Arana Records), the trio combines elements of traditional flamenco music (e.g. fingerpicking the guitar strings, as opposed to using a pick) with a unique and exotic blend of percussion instruments like cajon, djembe, clave and palmas to achieve a sound more contemporary than many flamenco practitioners.
Earlier this year, the band wowed a small but fervent audience at downtown's Plaza Pub, 20 E. Pennington, where they'll return on Friday, November 5. Kim Howell opens the show at 9 p.m. Cover charge is a mere $3; call the Pub at 882-0400 for further details. Even if you think you have no interest in this show, I urge you to check it out.
MOE. BETTER JAMS: Like spiritual brethren Phish, contemporary jam band moe. knows that without a decent tune to serve as a springboard, an extended improvisational jam is just noodling. There's no noodling in the bands' potent and distinct brew of virtually every style of music.
On moe.'s newest release, last year's Tin Cans and Car Tires (Sony 550 Music), the country-fried funk of Little Feat provides a starting point on such tunes as album-opener "Stranger Than Fiction," but the music soon scampers all over the map. "Letter Home" is a wispy slice of country-blues melancholy; "Spaz Medicine" sounds like the creation of an XTC hailing from New Orleans and dabbling in reggae; and the opus "Plane Crash" manages to cram psych-pop, prog-rock, bouncy jazz, straight-forward anthemic rock, and a nifty string arrangement into just under nine minutes, somehow avoiding pretension through it all.
One of the most surreal musical moments I've witnessed all year came during the band's performance last February: during the encore, moe. launched into a blazing cover of the Ramones' punk rock anthem "I Wanna Be Sedated," sending more than 1,000 hippies and frat boys ecstatically bouncing off the Rialto Theatre walls. Maybe we can all get along. Expect the unexpected when moe. returns to the Rialto, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 10. Advance tickets for the all-ages show are available for $10 at the Congress Street Store, CD Depot, Hear's Music, Zip's University and Guitars, Etc. They'll be $12 at the door. Call 740-0126 for more info.
DANCE DEMENTIA: For a night of 100-percent fabulosity, head over to Club Congress for a delicious triple bill of sheer eclectic fun. Headlining the evening's festivities are Mr. Quintron and Miss Panacea Pussycat (see this week's Rhthym & Views), who play a stripped-down, organ-fueled, swampy, lo-fi sort of dance music. If Jimmy Smith had grown up listening to garage punk, he might have ended up sounding something like this.
Also on the bill are Coin (a.k.a. Doo Rag's Thermos Malling), whose self-titled and self-released debut CD is comprised entirely of sounds from vintage video games cut and pasted on a Commodore 64 computer; and hell's lounge house band, Bebe and Serge, who like the cars that go boom. The madness begins at 9 p.m. Friday, November 5, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Call 622-8848 for more info.
TRICKY DICK: Surf guitar legend Dick Dale literally invented the genre back in the early '60s, and hasn't slowed down since. The last several years have seen him tour incessantly, release three albums of new music (one of which, 1993's Tribal Thunder on Hightone Records, received four-and-a-half stars from Rolling Stone magazine) along with a tremendous career-spanning double CD anthology, Better Shred Than Dead. Anyone who's witnessed his recent shows knows that Dale relishes his '90s career resurgence (thanks to Quentin Tarantino's inclusion of Dale's "Miserlou" on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack), as he introduces song after song by referring to himself in the third person: "In 1963, Dick Dale unleashed a song on an unsuspecting public called..." Always good for a laugh, but more important is that the guy's playing is still completely intact.
Catch Dick Dale at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 6, at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Local reggae band Stuck in a Groove opens the show. Advance tickets are available for $12 at The Rock, CD Depot, Puff-N-Stuff on Speedway, Zip's University, Strictly CDs, Majestik Tattoo and Sticks & Strings. They'll be $15 at the door. Call 629-9211 with any questions.
OLIVER'S TWIST ON JAZZ: Emerging smooth jazz artist Steve Oliver makes a stop in Tucson this week as part of a 15-city West Coast tour promoting his brand new album, First View (Native Language Music), which features several guest artists, including Steve Reid of The Rippingtons. Oliver's forte is a blend of dexterous acoustic guitar and unique vocal stylings that reproduce bass lines or percussion, instead of traditional lyrics. Could he be the first human beat box for the adult contemporary set? Decide for yourself when Steve Oliver performs at 7 p.m. Friday, November 5, at Borders Books and Music, 4235 N. Oracle Road. Admission is free. Call the store at 292-1331 for more details.
FOR THE RECORD: One event I never miss is the Tucson Area Record Collectors' Semi-Annual Record Show. Although your shopping options are certainly wider if you own a turntable, there's always a bunch of other cool stuff to dig through, too, such as CDs, videos, posters, tapes and memorabilia. You never know what kind of goodies await until you step through those doors. At the last show, I unearthed a couple of vintage Stiff Records T-shirts that probably hadn't seen the light of day in 15 years. The Eighth Semi-Annual Record Show runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 6, at the F.O.E. Eagles #180 Lounge, 1530 N. Stone Ave. (four blocks north of Speedway). Early admission is $4; at 9 a.m. the cost drops to $2, or $1 with two cans of food to benefit the Community Food Bank. A portion of the monetary proceeds will be donated to KXCI-FM, 91.3.