GET OUT OF DODGE: This being the special summer issue and all, I decided to do something in the spirit of the ever-so-glorious occasion--Tucson in the summer? Why, I'd rather (enter Catskills-esque hot joke here, followed by the words "at least it's a dry heat")--by determining the only way to properly deal with a Tucson summer is to get out of it once in a while. (Now, if I were writing a column on my own personal special summer issues, we'd be discussing Gold Bond medicated powder for just long enough to make things really uncomfortable between us. But I digress.) Nothing quite says summer like a road trip. So, for now, here are some noteworthy shows that just might be a good excuse to pile into the car with some friends and take it to the highway. Onward to glory --

PLENTY O' PUNK & METAL: OK, so Phoenix won't get you out of the heat, but hey, it's close enough that you can make it back in time for work the next day after checking out one of those big-time festivals that won't come near our smaller but cooler--in both senses of the word--burg.

Entering its eighth year of raising kids on the punk rock, the Vans Warped Tour is easily the best bargain of the summer. And while it's true that massive corporate sponsorship (so totally not punk rock) is responsible for keeping ticket prices low for the tour, it's tough to argue with 38 freakin' bands at the low, low price of $25.25 (before Ticketmaster rapes you on the service charge, natch). While I'm not going to list all 38 scheduled bands here, some of the bigger names include The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, NOFX, Lagwagon, No Use For A Name, Flogging Molly, MxPx, and Bad Religion, while some of the more promising lesser-knowns include the Alkaline Trio, Glassjaw, Thursday, Manic Hispanic, Ozma, and Icelandic industrial rappers--you heard me right--Quarashi. And, if you still feel like you're not getting your money's worth, there are always the exhibitions by pro skaters, BMXers, and Motocrossers. 'Cause the kids have short attention spans these days, y'know?

The Vans Warped Tour hits the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday, July 2. To order tickets call 321-1000 or log onto Doors for the festival open at 11 a.m.

Since Ozzy Osbourne appeared here on Halloween of last year, he's gone on to great fame and fortune as the star of the MTV show of his life. What's that? He's been rich and famous for over 30 years now? Well, now he's even more rich and famous, and he's out to show you how he got that way. Hint: It wasn't by cleaning up Mitzi's crap.

That's right, it's time for another installment of Ozzfest, or as Ozzy likes to call it, "Sharonfest." Regardless, the family has cooked up another lineup that has something for the metalhead in all of us. In addition to Ozzy himself, the scheduled performers also include P.O.D., Rob Zombie, System Of A Down, Down, Adema, Hatebreed, and just in case you weren't sure whether Jack had a say in who got booked, yes, Norwegian death metalers Meshuggah will have a spot on the side stage. No word yet on whether or not Kelly will be trotting out her version of "Papa Don't Preach" for 20,000 dumbfounded hessians.

Ozzfest 2002 takes over the Cricket Pavillion, in Phoenix, on Thursday, September 5. Apparently, Sharon has a bit of shopping to do, as tickets will run you anywhere from $40 to $100 before service charges. And what a surprise: you can get 'em through Ticketmaster (just don't use the word "monopoly" and don't ask any questions) by calling 321-1000 or online at Doors for this one open at the ungodly hour of 9:30 a.m.

COOL IN CALIFORNIA: Billed as a roots rock blow-out, Hootenanny 2002 features a diverse lineup that's a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, a whole lotta kickass. There are only two dates scheduled, one in Irvine, California, and the other the following night in San Diego. The same roster of bands play both dates, but the Irvine show will toss in a few additional acts that won't appear in San Diego. Headlined by the decidedly non-rootsy Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, both bills also feature X, Reverend Horton Heat, Hank Williams III, The Blasters, Lee Rocker, Nashville Pussy, Tiger Army, the Kingbees, the Original Sinners, James Intveld, Hot Rod Lincoln, Three Bad Jacks, and Russell Scott. There will also be a vintage hot-rod show for the gearheads in attendance. Plus, it's outdoors and both locations are guaranteed to be more temperate than Tucson. Oh, and it's in California, so they got, like, an ocean and stuff.

Hootenanny 2002 takes place on Saturday, July 6, at Hidden Valley, in Irvine, California, and again on Sunday, July 7, at the Embarcadero Marina, in San Diego. Both shows begin at noon, and tickets are $35 plus service charges, or $100 for the "Backstage package," which includes a commemorative T-shirt, VIP parking, and VIP wristband. Tickets are available through--shocker!--Ticketmaster. Since you already have their phone number and website memorized, I won't burden you with it again.

ON A MISSION: While the seminal Boston art-punk band Mission of Burma might have been too far ahead of their time to sustain a career when they broke up back in 1983, enough interest mounted in the years since to inspire what some never thought would happen: a reunion. Buoyed by their prominent inclusion in Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life, the band's three core members--guitarist/singer Roger Miller, bassist/singer Clint Conley, and drummer/singer Peter Prescott (original tape-looper Martin Swope was replaced by Shellac's Bob Weston)--the band performed a handful of shows in Boston and New York early this year, for what was originally supposed to be a one-off string of dates. But after being asked to appear at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England in April, the band simply couldn't refuse the opportunity to play their first non-Stateside gigs. Reviews and word-of-mouth (one friend of mine actually traveled from Tucson to Boston specifically to see a M.O.B. show) have been unanimously positive, with many suggesting the band sounds even better than they did the first time around.

Now comes word that Burma has decided to sate left-coasters who have waited nearly 20 years to witness them. Three shows--one at the Experience Music Project, in Seattle, on Wednesday, July 24; one at the Fillmore Auditorium, in San Francisco, on Friday, July 26; and, in the closest we're ever likely to have 'em come our way, at the El Rey Theater, in Los Angeles, on Saturday, July 27. Tickets for the L.A. show, which run $27.50, will go on sale at noon on June 15, at But you'd better act quickly, as the El Rey only has room for about 900 rabid Burma fans.

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