Trailer Bash

TRAILER BASH: Relative roots-rockin' veterans, Tucson's Trailer Park Mark and the Wheels have selected a mighty weird time for a CD release party--four days after Christmas and two days before New Year's Eve. But never you mind that; if you're in town for the holidays, it'll be a night well spent.

The band--which consists these days of guitarist/vocalist Mark See; multi-instrumentalist Collin Scott, who plays everything but the kitchen sink; bassist/backup vocalist Vikas Pawa; and Morgan Schlaline, who bangs the skins and sings backups--issues its debut disc, the self-released Roll With the Best, this week. A sturdy affair all the way through, Roll ranges from the blistering cowpunk of "The Wheels" to the high and lonesome harmonica-abetted "Holly Song" ("She used to be my valium when I'd stay awake for days"); it lurches from a funky jam like "Early Sunday Morning" to the drunken she left me sing-along "Who's Gonna Put the Bubbles Back in My Beer?" The disc was excellently recorded and engineered by Pawa, the songs are strong, the playing is tight, and See's Neil Young-scraped-across-gravel vocals fit the tunes to a T. What more can you ask for?

Check 'em out for yourself when they celebrate the CD's release at 9 p.m. on Friday, December 29, at 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St. Single File Noise and Chick Band kick things off, and you can call the club at 670-9202 to inquire about cover info. For the faithful, anyone wearing a TPM T-shirt gets in free.

BLUES NOTE: Got the holiday blues? The Boondocks Lounge has just the cure you've been looking for. Blues queen Janiva Magness drifts back into town for an appearance this week, still touring on the strength of last year's powerhouse disc My Bad Luck Soul (Blues Leaf). One of the guests on that album, Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Kid Ramos, will open the show. Ramos released his second solo disc this year, West Coast House Party (Evidence Music), which features a guest list that reads like a who's who of modern blues--including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Rusty Zinn, James Harman, Duke Robillard and Junior Watson--and which has begun appearing on many a critic's Best of 2000 list, always cited as "the jump-swing party album of the year."

Check out this double-bill extravaganza at 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 30, at Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Advance tickets are available at the club for $12; admission is $15 at the door. For further details call 690-0991.

BREATHING LESSONS: Former Tucsonan Dave Wright, who now lives in Portland, Ore., has been recording and touring under the name Not Breathing for eons now. Currently signed to Chicago's Invisible Records, which released his third disc for the label, Itchy Tingles, this summer, Wright released scores of albums on tiny indies before that, most of which are out of print and highly collectable.

Like other challenging electronica artists such as Aphex Twin, Not Breathing's recordings are geared as much to at-home headphone listening as they are the dance floor, using custom-programmed beats, gurgling synths and found noise for a wholly new approach to electronic dance music.

Check out the homecoming of Not Breathing at 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 28, at Plush, on the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street. For more info call 798-1298.

IN THE PINK: Too young to have had the honor of seeing the actual Pink Floyd? Here comes the next best thing: You guessed it, a Pink Floyd tribute band! Hell, there's a tribute band for everyone else these days, so it was only a matter of time before someone saw to it that Floyd's bases were covered, too. As if it matters, the tribute band's name is The Great Gig in the Sky, and it promises three full hours of your favorite Floyd tunes from such albums as The Wall, Wish You Were Here, Meddle and, of course, Dark Side of the Moon, along with a "spectacular light show" and quadraphonic sound. So suck on that blotter and get your heiny down to the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, December 30. Doors open at 8 p.m., and showtime is 9 p.m. sharp. Advance tickets are available for $15 at all Zia Records. For details call 798-3333.

LAST NOTES: You'll think you've died and gone to rockabilly heaven when three of Tucson's best greaser bands take to the stage this weekend. Al Foul and The Shakes, Lastcall Brawlers and The Tribulators will be triple-teaming the masses at 9 p.m. on Friday, December 29, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. For cover info call 622-8848.

For a more complete run-down of what's happening in our fair burg on New Year's Eve, please refer to Tim Vanderpool's cover story in last week's issue. Have a safe and happy New Year, y'all.

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