HELP OUT: The Tucson music community has always taken care of its own, and this week you're asked to do your part. Here's the deal: Shannon Marino, bassist for Al Foul and the Shakes, was in a neck-breaking (literally) motorcycle accident back in April. While the accident wasn't his fault, and he luckily escaped without paralysis, he also didn't have any medical insurance. As such, he's now buried under a pile of medical bills that would suffocate David Blaine. That's where you come in.

In attempt to defray a portion of his expenses, Arizona roots rockers will band together this week for a very special benefit show for Marino. Scheduled to appear at press time--more acts may be added--are Phoenix's The Trophy Husbands and The Oh-No's, Flagstaff's The High Rollers, and Tucson's Last Call Brawlers, Tom Walbank and Friends, and of course, Al Foul and the Shakes themselves. All bands--even the traveling ones--are donating their precious time in order to raise a steamin' heap o' dough for Marino. The least you can do is show up, make a donation, and have a hell of a good time doing it.

The Benefit for Shannon Marino kicks off at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. While there is no cover charge per se, there is a $6 suggested donation, and only a scumbag of the highest (or is that lowest?) order would refuse to pay it. Questions? Ring 'em up at 622-8848.

DOUBLE T'S: Over the course of nine years, Tool have established themselves as one of the smartest bands in the pummel-rock camp. Led by falsies-wearing art-rock weirdo Maynard James Keenan, the band merges murky, metallic riffage with arty, post-punk prog-rock dynamics, appealing to both fans of mainstream nu-metal and more discerning underground types. Not like I need to sell anyone on a Tool show--their devoted are many--but if you do go, make sure to get there on time to catch the opening band, Tomahawk.

The word "supergroup" gets tossed around way too much, but in Tomahawk's case it aptly applies. Comprising vocalist Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Fantomas, Peeping Tom), guitarist Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Hank Williams III, loads of session work), bassist Kevin Rutmanis (Cows, the Melvins), and drummer John Stanier (Helmet), the band's self-titled debut album, released last year on Patton's Ipecac label, is a moody melange of anti-genre exercises, intermittently disrupted by surprisingly palatable scorched-earth noise. Did you expect any less?

Tool and Tomahawk perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight, July 18, at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets will be available at the TCC Box Office. For more info call 791-4266.

CRAW-STICKIN' ROCK: Lulling and breathy one minute, noisy enough to give one of those guys who guides airplanes into the gate tinnitus the next, Scotland's Aerogramme cruises into town this week as part of its first U.S. tour.

If you thought fellow Glaswegians Mogwai rocked the soft/loud dynamic thing to its sonic end, you simply haven't heard Aereogramme, which includes Ganger's Craig B. On their debut full-length, A Story in White (2001, Matador--they've also released a pair of singles and an EP through Bis' Chemikal Underground label), a typical song hums along a path of minimalist beauty like a Radiohead ballad for a couple minutes before erupting like the heaviest freakin' hardcore band you've ever heard. Rinse. Repeat. Sorta like Slint, but softer in the soft parts, waaay harder in the hard ones.

Be sure to get there early to catch The Deludes, one of the finest of an excellent crop of new local bands, for a healthy dose of straightforward guitar-driven pop-rock that'll stick in yer craw for weeks to come.

Aerogramme and The Deludes perform at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission is a fiver. Call 884-0874 for more details.

KNUCKEL SURF SANDWICH: In addition to a nostalgia-inducing, way cool Evel Knievel tour poster (anyone remember those hand-crank-release motorcycle and rocketship action-figure toys?), Madison, Wisconsin's Knuckel Drager will bring with them a batch of trashy instrumental surf tunes to town this week. You know the kinda stuff I'm talkin' 'bout--loud guitars, heavy on the reverb, samples about girls, cars, and monsters and that hip-wigglin' go-go dancin' beat. And just in case that's not enough, this five-piece is intent on entertaining yer ass with a show that includes spookalicious masks and pyrotechnic sass.

Catch Knuckel Drager at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at the now re-opened, newly air-conditioned Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St. For further details call 622-3535.

YER KILLIN' ME: Take a self-obsessed and sexee American chick and Brit boy who churn out snaky blues riffs and lyrics about "fuckin' and fightin' in the basement" and what have you got? The answer is The Kills, a London-based duo that is gaining a reputation for intensely riveting live shows. If you like The Gossip, rough sex, or stripped-down blues-pop tunes with come-hither male/female vocals (or any combination thereof), this be for you.

The Kills appear along with an unnamed opening band at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. To find out more call 884-0874.

LAST NOTES: It's 2002; do you know where your AC/DC records are? If not, head on down to the newly revamped 7 Black Cats (that rickety ol' balcony has been removed, giving the room an entirely different ambiance) for a dose of what ails ya: heavy, blues-based riffs courtesy of San Jose's Ledbender, and a shot of whisky. That's right, the downtown mainstay now serves the hard stuff. Lucky you, ya stinkin' alcoholic!

Ledbender and locals Wasted Aces perform at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St. Punch up 670-9202 for extra info.

If you're down with the high lonesome sound, you won't want to miss this week's Larry Keel Experience show. Keel has won the highly coveted Telluride Flatpicking Guitar Championship twice, and has collaborated with the likes of Sam Bush, Vassar Clements and Curtis Burch. Opening the show will be McClinton & DeMarco, featuring Clay McClinton, son of Texas roots music legend Delbert McClinton.

It all goes down at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Advance tickets are available for $8 at Antigone Books, CD City, and the Hotel Congress front desk, by phone at 1-866-468-8499, or online at Admission will be $10 at the door. For more information call 297-9133.

Fans of "thinking man's metal band" Queensryche have likely already got their tickets in hand for singer Geoff Tate's solo outing this week. Tate has just released his eponymous debut solo record (Sanctuary), which is a slightly poppier affair than anything Queensryche has committed to plastic.

Geoff Tate performs on Tuesday, July 23, at The Backstage, 6350 E. Tanque Verde. Locals Ash Black open the show at 7 p.m. Advance tix are available for $15 at all Zia Records locations and The Backstage. For further details call 733-6262.

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