LOCAL MUSIC HEAVENThe handy 12-page pullout located between pages 44 and 45 of this issue should provide you with all the info you need about this weekend's Weekly-sponsored Fall Club CrawlTM 2005, taking place mostly on Congress Street in the downtown area, on the night of Saturday, Oct. 8. So, we'll just take a moment to mention how awesome it's going to be. It's gonna be awesome. Really, really awesome. Really.
About 80 local and national acts will convene on nearly 20 stages in a relatively small area, thereby making Tucson feel like the ever-growing city it is, as opposed to the big, small town in normally feels like. Streets will be closed off; music will flow from stages all over the area, and much fun will be had by all.
If you haven't stopped by CD City to pick up your advance wristband yet, we strongly urge you to do so ASAP. You'll save yourself a couple bucks (they're $8 in advance, with the added bonus of an excellent local CD compilation, Club Crawl Volume 2, thrown in for free; they'll be $10 on the day of the event), and be guaranteed entry; please be aware that wristbands have sold out in the past. Advance wristbands are available at Hippie Gypsy and Hotel Congress, too.
As always, if you're going to be imbibing, please use a designated driver or a taxi. As Mom always said, have fun and be careful. We'll see you there.
FOR THE INNER DORKIn case you're reading this rag on the day of its publication--Thursday, Oct. 6--you should know that several local bands will be playing nothing but songs by the Smiths tonight at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Our inner Morrissey/Marr dork has been waiting for this one for a while, eating vegan and abstaining from sex whenever possible (which thankfully is not very often). Yes, it's time for the Smiths to be feted by way of a local tribute show, and lord knows the die-hards will be cruel critics. (Quick aside: People are coming from all over to be at this thing. One local Smiths fan recently confessed to driving to California before for a Smiths tribute show, and says it's not uncommon--people will even travel for hours to get to club dates where DJs spin nothing but the Smiths and Morrissey tunes.) Participating performers are Tom Walbank, The Fashionistas, Ten Percenters, Bella Union Gap, Seven to Blue and Sencha. Things kick off rather early, at 8:30 p.m., so primp that pompadour into action at a reasonable hour. Cover is $5, and the number to call for more info is 798-1298.
ROLL OF THE DICEPeople seem to either love Brooklyn experimental-noise combo Black Dice or hate them. Over the course of eight years that have bore three full-length albums and a handful of singles and EPs, they've toyed with and explored the concept of what exactly music is. In their case, it's usually a cacophony that integrates tranquil passages, electronic chaos, empty spaces and vocals that range from chattering, chopped-up fragments that make no linear sense to grating screams. It's jarring stuff, and will likely only appeal to the most adventurous of listeners.
That said, those who cotton to what Black Dice do will tell you that they'll change the way you listen to music, and what you've come to expect from being an attuned listener. I won't waste time here debating their merits--you've probably already made up your mind as to what you think of them. But I will tell you that they're reportedly best experienced in a live setting, and that you'll get a chance to decide for yourself this Monday, Oct. 10, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. with openers Growing and Blood on the Wall. Cover is $8, and you can call 884-0874 with any questions you may have.
BUT WHAT ABOUT HAIRY BUNNIES AND FAIRY BRAINS?Those choosing to skip the Fall Club CrawlTM this time around have a pretty splendid show to fall back on, as Devendra Banhart returns to town in support of his fourth and latest album, Cripple Crow (XL, 2005). Where his previous three releases have largely been sparsely beautiful affairs, centered mostly around fingerpicked guitar and Banhart's warble of a voice, Cripple Crow draws upon a far wider sonic palette. It's not exactly lush, but there's more of an emphasis on varied, dynamic arrangements and the plethora of instruments used to create them. Where Banhart and the freak-folk movement that he spearheads have always flirted with a modern hippie sensibility, the new album delves into full-on psychedelia. If the Beatles-esque harmonies and sonic experimentation weren't enough, he goes ahead and spells it out lyrically in songs like "Long Haired Child" and "Lazy Butterfly." Hell, his current backing band is called Hairy Fairy.
Still, this is his most interesting album yet. His previous albums introduced us to his unique sensibility, but taken as a whole were somewhat homogenous. On Cripple Crow, each song stands on its own; each one is finally different.
Devendra Banhart and Hairy Fairy perform at Plush, 340 E Sixth St., on Saturday, Oct. 8. Bunny Brains open at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $14, available in advance at virtuous.com. Call 798-1298 for further details.
HALL OF FAMER COMES HOMETucson-born jazz bassist extraordinaire Brian Bromberg returns home this weekend for a gig as part of the Tucson Jazz Society's fall concert series. Currently based in Los Angeles, Bromberg was plucked at the tender age of 19 to tour as part of the Stan Getz Quintet, and he hasn't looked back since. The ensuing years have seen him perform with the likes of Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Vaughan, Gerry Mulligan, and Arturo Sandoval, and he has appeared on several film soundtracks, most notably The Fabulous Baker Boys. Last year, he was inducted into the Tucson Music Hall of Fame.
The Brian Bromberg Band performs at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, at St. Philip's Plaza, at the southeast corner of River Road and Campbell Ave. Tickets are $17 for the general public, $12 for TJS members and students, and may be purchased in advance at tucsonjazz.org. For more information, call 903-1265.
A PEEP FROM SALT?Who the hell even knew Veruca Salt was still around? The alt-rock darlings, who inspired a major label bidding war in the mid-'90s based on a rather tasty 7" single, hit paydirt with their first album, American Thighs (Minty Fresh/DGC, 1994), which featured a reworked version of the single's A-side, "Seether," that went on to be a major MTV smash. Videogenic frontwomen Louise Post and Nina Gordon certainly helped propel the album's success, but the songs were there, too. Smart money said that Veruca Salt would only get bigger, but smart money was proven wrong.
The band issued a Steve Albini-produced EP in 1996, then a rather misguided foray into cheese-metal with their second full-length, Eight Arms to Hold You (DGC, 1997), which somehow managed to hit gold status. Gordon left the band soon thereafter to pursue a solo career, which stalled; Post put together a revamped version of Veruca Salt that released an album, Resolver (Beyond), back in 2000, which also fell upon deaf ears. Since then, we've heard nary a peep from the group--until now, that is. The group is preparing a new album and touring to remind everyone they're still alive and possibly even kicking.
The current version of Veruca Salt will perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, Oct. 11. This early show starts at 7 p.m. with opening sets from The Lovemakers, Porcealine (that's how Congress' Web site has it spelled, anyway) and Dig Jelly. Cover is $10. Call 622-8848 for more info.