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TAKE COVER: Just in case you haven't been following the saga in the last several editions of Soundbites (shame on you!), the local musical highlight of the week/year is, of course, the Fifth Annual Great Cover-Up. On Thursday, November 14, and Friday, November 15, 24 local bands will each perform a 20-minute set of songs previously done by a band more famous than themselves (this dictum being questionable only in the case of Calexico), all in the name of charity. It's the sort of thing you really don't want to miss out on, lest you be the scorn of all your so-called friends for the next several months: "Dude, how hot was it when (enter band name here) kicked out that jam on (enter song title here) at the C-U? What? You weren't there? Get outta my face you freakin' toad!" Ah, but I digress.

In the interest maintaining the "surprise factor," we're not going to tell you who's playing what, but we will let you know which bands are performing on each night, and give you a list of artists being covered each night. (Guessing games are fun!) You've probably seen the posters by now, but here's the most up-to-date schedule available at press time:

Bands performing on Thursday: Ladies and Gentlemen (7:30 p.m.); Sun Zoom Spark (8 p.m.); Manifold (8:30 p.m.); The Hillwilliams (9 p.m.); The Deludes (9:30 p.m.); Red Switch (10 p.m.); Calexico (10:30 p.m.); Fourkiller Flats (11 p.m.); scratchingthesurface (11:30 p.m.); Mankind (midnight).

Bands being covered on Thursday: Weezer, Public Enemy, Nirvana, New Kids on the Block, Soundgarden, Violent Femmes, Minutemen, Gary Glitter, Camper Van Beethoven, and a rather timely tribute to Run -- D.M.C.

Bands performing on Friday: SubSpark (6:30 p.m.); Chris Holiman (7 p.m.); Luminarios (7:30 p.m.); Topless Opry (8 p.m.); Okmoniks (8:30 p.m.); Ozlo (9 p.m.); The Jons (9:30 p.m.); Love Mound (10 p.m.); Great American Tragedy (10:30 p.m.); Truck (11 p.m.); Spacefish (11:30); Shoebomb (midnight); and Chango Malo (12:30 a.m.).

Bands being covered on Friday: Talking Heads, Tina Turner, Psychedelic Furs, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, The Modern Lovers, Madonna, AC/DC, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gordon Lightfoot, The Ramones, Joni Mitchell, songs from the Top Gun soundtrack, Rush, and Cameo.

Please bear in mind that every band performing is receiving absolutely no money for their efforts, due to the fact that every dime collected at the door is going straight to The Brewster Center, a local non-profit organization devoted to a multitude of domestic violence services. And also keep in mind that each and every band performing, regardless of whether they're on at 6 p.m. or midnight, has put in weeks, if not months, of prep time in order to participate in the event. Therefore, we strongly urge you to get there early, in time to catch all participating bands (and to ensure entry, as the shindig is expected to sell out). To further sweeten the deal, we've managed to finagle Club Congress, the event's host, into having 50-cent well drinks and draft beers until 8 p.m. on both nights. Additionally, the event will be MC'd by KLPX DJ Chita, with assistance from KXCI's Don Jennings.

Be there or be a complete dork.

The Fifth Annual Great Cover-Up begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, and 6 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $7 for one night, or $11 for both nights. For more information call 622-8848.


STRING FEVER: Further proof that U A doesn't entirely suck: Flamenco guitarist Chris Burton Jacome earned two BA degrees there, one in Classical Guitar and the other in Spanish Literature. From there, he studied in Spain for a spell, performed as first guitarist in Olivia Rojo's Flamenco Y Mas dance company in Tucson, and toured the East Coast with Carlota Santana's Spanish Dance Company of New York. He now lives in the Valley of the Sun, and earns his keep as musical director of 'Zona Flamenca, a 14-member dance troupe based in Scottsdale.

Jacome has just released his second solo album, Pa'lante (CBJ Music), which incorporates prominent use of the violin, as well as the African udu drum, the Egyptian oud, the zarb drum from Iran, and a bunch of other instruments you've probably never heard of. The good news is that, unlike a lot of modern Flamenco guitar practitioners, Jacome never succumbs to the murky depths of new-agey-ness. He forgoes the slick vapidity of smooth jazz-inflected "modern Flamenco" for the real deal: heartfelt, mostly restrained playing that puts the listener first, instead of merely showing off his chops. And he adds an unusually far-reaching range of music types to the traditionalism, including an acid rock electric guitar freak-out on "Enchufao" and Gilberto Gil-influenced Brasilia on "Obrigado."

Chris Burton Jacome performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant, 198 W. Cushing St. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Brew & Vine, CD City, and Enchanted Earthworks, or online at www.dotucson.com. For further details call 297-9133.


THANK GOD THEY'RE COUNTRY BOYS: It's an embarrassment of roots riches for a petty amount of cash, as Congress hosts a quadruple bill of twangeriffic singer/songwriter-type dudes this week. Headlining is the honky-tonkinest of the bunch, Bloodshot recording artist Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys, who play real country music, the kind yer grandpappy usta listen to. Preceding Rex is veteran troubadour John Wesley Harding, of whom I was merely a moderate fan until I saw him perform live several years back. With the heart of Billy Bragg and the sardonic wit of Elvis Costello, not to mention some highly entertaining between-song banter, Harding had the crowd, myself included, in the hairy palm of his hand. Rounding out the bill, former member of Dieselhed Virgil Shaw plays the brand of country-rock pioneered by Gram Parsons, albeit from a 21st-century perspective; and Josh Ritter has been compared to Ryan Adams and Richard Buckner.

The fantastic foursome of Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys, John Wesley Harding, Virgil Shaw, and Josh Ritter perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is a paltry five bucks.


RIALTO REVIVAL: As great a gap as the Rialto Theatre fills in town, it's hard not to look around the venue's interior and see the tremendous potential to make it even better. But that, of course takes money. Lots and lots of money. To that end, a pack of local bands have teamed up for a series of three shows to benefit the venerable venue. Each show will feature five bands, and all will be recorded for future release of a CD also benefiting the Rialto.

The first installment of Rock for Rialto will feature Good Talk Russ, Is To Feel, The Jons, Easyco, and Camp Courageous, and will take place, 'natch, at the Rialto, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, November 16. Admission is $5 in advance, or $7 at the door. For more info call 798-3333.


MEDICINE MEN: The last time Portland, Oregon's The Dolomites were in town, they were supporting their first album, which demonstrated a band hell-bent on winning the award for Band That Sounds Most Like The Pogues. On their second release, Medicine Show (Walking Records), the band has added elements of Gypsy, ragtime, and klezmer, and has developed a healthy obsession with Tom Waits. They'll perform a set opening for everyone's favorite triangle-shaped-guitar-playing Serbian band, the Red Elvises, at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Questions? Give 'em a call at 798-1298.

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