MUSIC, FOOD AND AWARDS--ALL FREE!The big story in music (around these parts, anyway) is the upcoming TAMMIES ceremony.
In case you're unfamiliar, that stands for Tucson Area Music Awards (don't ask us why it's not the "TAMAS"), and we here at the Weekly have been giving them out to deserving musicians for the last 14 years. They were started as a way of giving a little something back to the artists who provide us with so much musical goodness throughout the year, a small way of saying thank you to those who toil away in sometimes nearly empty clubs and venues for the love of it, and for our entertainment.
Each year, we ask you, the reader, to vote for your favorites in the Readers' Choice Awards. And for the last four years, we've assembled a group of folks who work in some capacity in the local music scene, to pick their favorites for the Critics' Choice Awards. Who will win these coveted trophies (or, more accurately, plaques and certificates)? Well, you can sit on your bum and wait for next week's edition of this fine paper to appear in those little red boxes across town to find out. Or, you can be one of the kids at the cool table and actually attend the ceremony, which takes place at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The actual ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and will feature musical performances from Mostly Bears, Ryanhood, Al Perry, New Town, Salvador Duran and Ernie Menehune and his Polynesian Revue (and if you've never caught Ernie doing his thing at Kon Tiki or Ye Olde Lantern, we urge you not to miss him).
However, you're strongly urged to get there early in order to have prime pickin's for the Taste of the TAMMIES portion of the event. Translation: free food for all, courtesy of the fine folks (and sponsors) at El Charro Cafe, Enoteca, Cushing Street Bar and Grill, Sports on Congress, Casablanca, Lindys on Fourth, Touch of Class and Javalina's.
Additionally, at some point during the evening, we'll be celebrating Tucson's 232nd birthday with a free champagne toast. Oh, wait--did we mention the entire event is free? Free music, free food, a free champagne toast--did we leave anything out? And it's all open to anyone who wants to attend, which means people of all ages are welcome.
One more thing: Club Congress, right across the street at 311 E. Congress St., will play host to a TAMMIES After-Party featuring performances from Tom Walbank, Salt Lake City's Band of Annuals, The Wyatts and Phoenix's The Power of Positive Thinking. You've got to be 21 and older to attend, but, again, attendance is free.
We'll see you there!
THE RETURN OF NAKED PREYWe were a bit surprised--and rather pleased--to find Naked Prey pop up on this week's concert calendar. The group, led by Tucson music vet Van Christian, has been defunct for umpteen years now, only reappearing on the radar in the form of a somewhat bastardized version for the occasional show. This week, however, we'll be treated to almost the entire original lineup--guitarist Dave Seeger, who left the band early on, included. (Bass duties will be handled by Greyhound Soul's Duane Hollis, the sole replacement on the roster.)
Though he's been a member of such other bands as Green on Red, The Friends of Dean Martinez and The Band of Blacky Ranchette over the years, Christian will be forever known for his singing and songwriting work in Naked Prey. The group was probably the second Tucson band I ever heard growing up in Illinois--their potent blend of country, punk and a touch of the blues got them national distribution via Enigma Records and helped signal the invention of the patented Tucson desert-rock sound.
Naked Prey perform at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., on Friday, Aug. 10. Opening at 9 p.m. is Eleisha Eagle. Admission is a paltry $3. For further details, call 623-3200.
MASH-UP MASTERUp in Phoenix several years ago, there was this guy, a DJ who went by the name Z-Trip. He had this crazy idea to mix together songs by different artists, often from disparate genres. (Depeche Mode and Bruce Hornsby, anyone?) He did this mostly in clubs, until he decided to release an album. That album was called Uneasy Listening, Vol. 1, and it helped popularize a new musical entity: the mash-up. Of course, he hadn't bothered to get clearance to use any of the songs included in those mash-ups, and music-industry folks started freaking out, claiming copyright infringement. The album was almost immediately pulled from shelves and is now a highly sought-after collector's item.
But the mash-up, of course, lives on. And so does Z-Trip, who is now one of the biggest DJs in the world--not only because of his pioneering work with mash-ups, but also as a remixer, recording artist and, of course, a live act.
Catch Z-Trip, along with co-headliner Aceyalone, next Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. with sets from openers Drunken Immortals and Jivin' Scientists. Advance tickets are available for $20 at the venue's box office, online at rialtotheatre.com or by phone at 740-1000. Use the same number for more info.
ON THE BANDWAGONThree local bands are gathering this week to play a Benefit for Roger Mikulas, who was injured during this year's Tucson Folk Festival. On Saturday, Aug. 11, Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave., will host the event, which will include live performances from The Wayback Machine, Kevin Pakulis with special guest Ned Sutton and The Last Call Girls. Emcee for the night, which kicks off at 8 p.m., will be KXCI DJ Shorty Stubbs. Admission is a suggested donation of $10, all of which will support Mikulas and his family during his recovery. Questions? Push these buttons on your phone: 690-0991.
"Americana with attitude." That's how a lot of people are describing North Carolina trio The Avett Brothers, whose latest album, Emotionalism (2007, Ramseur), has the tongues of just about everyone who's heard it wagging. The group sticks to acoustic instruments, appropriate for the type of music they play, but it's how they play it (with boundless energy) that makes all the difference in the world. Trust us: If you haven't heard of The Avett Brothers yet, you will. Be the first on your block to say you saw 'em in their element by heading to the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Monday, Aug. 13. Langhorne Slim opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Advance tix are available for $16 at the Rialto's box office, at rialtotheatre.com or at 740-1000.
Last week, we told you about a show featuring a former member of The Weary Boys, Mario Matteoli, and this week, we get The Weary Boys themselves. The Austin combo, whose raucous take on traditional country music (to which they add elements of rock, bluegrass and gospel) made them a Tucson favorite over the last several years, is calling it quits, and this week's show will be their last in town. Do yourself a favor, and don't miss The Weary Boys when they perform at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., on Saturday, Aug. 11. Opening at 9 p.m. is Cadillac Mountain. Admission is $10. Call 623-3200 for more info.