Yet another week so jam-packed with rock action that I could never hope to cover it all. Nice, huh? And you people complain there's nothing to do here in Tucson ...

First off, let me say that if any bands are on the fence about committing to participating in the Great Cover-Up, we are hereby granting you a reprieve of sorts. If you're interested and haven't e-mailed us yet (that address again is, please get your shit together and e-mail us ASAP. No guarantees of a spot, but you will still be considered at this point.

If you're utterly confused, please go here for more info: Especially if you have a band whose karma is due for a tweakin'. (It's all in the name of charity, after all.)

Side note: In order to accommodate a Trail of Dead show at Club Congress the very same week as the Great Cover-Up, the dates have been slightly modified. The Cover-Up will kick off on Wednesday, Nov. 10, take a day off for Trail of Dead, then return for more action on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13.


The last time KFMA-FM (92.1) threw a concert, we ripped it. Hard.

I wrote in these pages about what a lame lineup the spring KFMA Day had before the show, and Jon Hobson, in a review of the show, confirmed my suspicions (and in the process earned the scorn of the station's morning show DJs). Book crappy bands, and you're gonna get a crappy review, people. It's not brain surgery.

Thankfully, for this weekend's KFMA Fall Ball, the station has a far better chance of hitting the mark. How could they not?

Headlining is legendary (and I don't use that term lightly) punk band Social Distortion, which has earned the right to rest on its laurels as much as anyone, but thankfully refuse to. Yeah, all their stuff sorta sounds the same, but it's a damn good song. Their latest album, Sex, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll (Time Bomb), their first collection of new material in eight years, embodies everything you ever loved about 'em in the first place.

If you live in Tucson, you know how amazing Ozomatli can be live. 'Nuff said.

Meanwhile, Scottsdale's Chronic Future win the award for most unlikely comeback, if nothing else. Even if you wanted to kill them when they were merely a pack of spoiled rotten (barely) teen brats with equipment far too pro for their skills back in the '90s (and, really, who didn't?) you gotta hand it to 'em for their tenacity, connected daddies and all.

Catch The Used while you still can. The screamo poster boys seem to be headed for a collision course with disaster, courtesy of singer Bert McCracken's, um, problems.

Also on the bill: My Chemical Romance and Lostprophets. Kudos to KFMA for such a wildly varied line-up. (See, guys, we're not so mean after all.)

The KFMA Fall Ball kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Advance tickets for the all-ages show are available for $25 at all local Domino's Pizza locations. For more information, head to


Haven't registered to vote yet? What are you thinking?

Luckily, the local music community hasn't given up on you yet. A pair of shows this weekend double as voter registration drives for all you slack motherfuckers.

Wavelab Studio head honcho Craig Schumacher is the mastermind behind a free show at Plush that's being billed as Wavelab vs. The Man--Part II. It will feature headliners Chango Malo, as well as sets from scratchingthesurface, Al Perry and Dirty Little Secret. Sez Craig: "There's really no reason not to vote; that's why we live in this country." Amen, brother. Added incentive: anyone who registers to vote at the show, or can prove they're already a registered voter, will receive a free compilation CD of local bands that have recorded at Wavelab.

Wavelab vs. The Man--Part II starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Admission is free. Call 798-1298 for further details.

The very same night, local covers combo The Wayback Machine will be celebrating--for the second time--the release of their latest CD, Barrio Jam (Sherman & Peabody Productions), which was recorded at Wavelab. (For a review of the disc, head to The Carnivaleros will open, and you can register to vote there, too.

This one also starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Call 690-0991 for more info.


Like his labelmate and fellow Omaha resident Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos), Tim Kasher has two outlets for his songwriting, one fast and hard, the other more contemplative. Cursive, just off The Cure's Curiosa tour, is the former, while The Good Life is the latter. The band's last album, Black Out (2002, Saddle Creek), chronicled the tales of a late-night barfly, sung in a voice that resembled The Cure's Robert Smith. As impressive as that album was in all its depressive glory, the band's latest disc, Album of the Year (Saddle Creek), is even better. The vocal resemblance to Smith is far less pronounced, which is to say Kasher's "side project" has finally come into its own, has finally found its own identity.

Kasher has long been fond of concept albums, and Album of the Year is no exception. There are 12 songs on the disc, one for each month of the year. And in keeping with his past efforts, they chronicle the collapse of relationships in a most profound way. Who among us can't identify with the recounting of a breakup found in the opening title track: "The last time that I saw her she was pickin' through which records were hers / Her clothes were packed in boxes with some pots and pans and books and a toaster / Just then a mouse scurried across the floor."

Downcast as they are, there is an underlying sense of hope in these songs, an element largely lacking in previous efforts. Maybe it's because the album simply sounds so gorgeous, employing arrangements that veer from sparse to widescreen deployment of a plethora of sounds. Simply put, it's one of the better albums I've heard so far this year.

The Good Life performs on Friday, Oct. 1 at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. with opening sets from Neva Dinova and La Cerca. Admission is $8. For more 411, call 884-0874.


Head Luminario and Sand Ruby Rich Hopkins has just issued a mighty weird CD on his San Jacinto label. Los Monstros del Tucson Rock gathers an assload of Tucson music vets too numerous to name in full here (in addition to Hopkins himself, they include Ken Andree, Jesus Acedo, Fish Karma, Stefan George, Randy Lopez, Randy McReynolds, Ernie Mendoza, Jim Howell and MC5 bassist Mike Davis), who perform a collection of originals and covers by a rather bizarrely diverse group of artists, including Waylon Jennings, John Coltrane, Cameo, the Dream Syndicate and Funkadelic. It works surprisingly well.

Highlights include a desert rock take on Waylon's "Satisfy You," recast here as a fuzz-guitar rave-up; a guitarcentric spin on "Word Up"; and the feedback-drenched Dream Syndicate nugget "That's What You Always Say." Better than it looks on paper.

The CD release party for Los Monstros del Tucson Rock hits Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. Cover is five bucks. Call 622-3535 for details.


Latino ska-punk veterans the Voodoo Glow Skulls hit town for a show on the very day their new album, Adiccion, Tradicion y Revolucion (Victory) drops. They'll be at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, Oct. 5 for an all-ages show. Openers Pistol Grip, Los Kung Fu Monkeys, and the Last Call Brawlers get the party going at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. That number again is 622-8848.

Julia Groves of Solid Donkey and Al Perry and the Cattle is building a straw bale house this weekend, and she needs your help. To celebrate, both of her bands are performing a show at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, at the Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Groves and anyone who wants to help will commence construction on the house with a wall raising that will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. If you're interested in pitching in, the address is 29 N. Melwood Ave. For more info on the show, call 882-0009; for details on the wall raising head to

Fronted by former Sepultura singer Max Cavalera, the rhythmic metal combo Soulfly barrels into town for a performance at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, on Friday, Oct. 1. The all-ages show kicks off at 9 p.m. with opening sets from Gridlokt and Blynd. Advance tickets are available for $17.50 at the venue, all Ticketmaster outlets,, or by calling 321-1000. They'll be $20 on the day of the show. For bonus details, call 733-6262.

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