COUNTRY REUNIONTucson in the 1970s was home to a thriving country-music scene, and several of the bands at that scene's core have reunited for live performances in recent years. This week, you can add another name to that list.
For the first time in 28 years, all of the original members of Straight Shot--Donny Roberts (lead guitar), Frank Manhardt (lead vocals), Billy Bodean Odom (guitar/vocals), Jim Metz (drums), Rob Francis (keyboards), Glenn McKinney (bass/vocals) and Richie Cavanaugh (guitar)--will perform together this weekend in a long-anticipated reunion.
Straight Shot take the stage at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave., at 9 p.m., Saturday, April 26. Tickets are $15, available in advance at the venue. For further details, call 690-0991.
HELP THOSE WHO HELPThe Surly Wench Pub will host a benefit show this weekend for Information and Referral Services, described in an e-mail sent to us by event organizer Jason LeValley as "an organization that helps the homeless find jobs, among many other important social endeavors." The organization was recently robbed; the burglars got only $55 but caused more than $4,000 in damage. The benefit seeks to offset those costs.
Dubbed the Tucson Rock-a-Thon, the event will feature performances from The Provocative Whites, The Solace Bros. , The Deludes and Spacefish. It will be hosted by comedian Robert Mac.
The Tucson Rock-a-Thon kicks off at 8 p.m. sharp on Saturday, April 26. The Surly Wench Pub is located at 424 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is a suggested donation of $6. For more information, call 882-0009.
CANADIAN INVASIONFollowing a postponed appearance slated for Plush in October of last year, Caribou will make up the date this week at the club.
Caribou is basically Canadian Dan Snaith, who recorded albums under the name Manitoba in the early aughts until he was hit by a cease-and-desist letter from Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba. His work as Manitoba was a bit more experimental than that of Caribou, whose most recent album is 2007's almost universally praised Andorra (Merge).
These days, although Snaith still works largely with electronic instruments, Caribou's music falls squarely into dreamy, psychedelic, folky indie-pop territory, with a heightened emphasis on songwriting. The Onion described Andorra as "Beatles-style avant-garde psychedelia, processing the sound of a thousand orchestras into trippy cacophony."
Based on Caribou's last local performance, at Club Congress in 2005, Soundbites can attest that as great as the group's albums are, they've got nothing on the live show. Under a backdrop of psychedelic projections, Snaith and company created a blissful, trippy-as-hell, lush wall of sound that had us aching for the sort of mushrooms that can't be found at Safeway.
Catch the return of Caribou on Friday, April 25, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Fuck Buttons, whose recent album is reviewed in this issue, open the show at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more details, call 798-1298.
A MUTANT STRAIN FROM BRAZILAlso making up a cancelled fall 2007 date this week are Brazil's Bonde Do Role, whose music Spin magazine, in a rave review, described as "a mutant strain of baile funk--a whiplash-inducing mix of Miami bass, samba drums, Alice in Chains riffs and lascivious rapping."
Since that last scheduled appearance, the group has replaced lead MC Marina Ribatski with two new female singers, Ana Bernardino and Laura Taylor, who were chosen via auditions held in conjunction with MTV Brasil.
Bonde Do Role perform at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Monday, April 28, two days after their appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Opening the show at 9:30 p.m. are The Death Set, whose latest album is reviewed in these pages, and ... Music Video? Tickets are $8 in advance at ticketweb.com; they'll be $10 on the day of the show. For further info, call 798-1298.
GET YER PICK OUTThe Hut will showcase some of Tucson's finest underground bluegrass acts this weekend at Pickin' on the Ol' Pueblo. Acts slated to perform at the mini-festival include The Dusty Buskers, Cadillac Mountain, The String Figures, Ohio's Brittany Reilly and the Almost Acoustic Band, Angel Gear and Rudy Cortese.
The pickin' begins at 8 p.m., Friday, April 25. The Hut is located at 305 N. Fourth Ave., and admission is a mere $4. More info is yours by calling 623-3200.
BUT WHICH DJ IS YOUR DAD'S FAVORITE?World-renowned DJ and turntablist Kid Koala, who is still touring in support of his 2006 album Your Mom's Favorite DJ (Ninjatune) and is widely regarded as one of the genre's most accessible practitioners, will make a rare appearance at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., this week. DJ Jester the Filipino Fist will open the show, which starts at 7 p.m., Monday, April 28. Tickets are $10. Call 622-8848 for more information.
ONE JAZZY NIGHTThe Tucson Jazz Society's Jazz Under the Stars series comes to a close this weekend with a grand finale concert called Jazz Gets the Blues. Hosted by Jeff Haskell and Lisa Otey, the event will also feature performances from Cass Preston, Rob Boone, Ed DeLucia, Diane Van Deurzen, Stevie Woods, Scott Black, Chip Ritter, Walter Belcher, Heather Hardy, Tom Walbank and "Hurricane" Carla Brownlee.
The event takes place at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 27, at St. Philip's Plaza, at the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road. Advance tickets start at $20, or $15 for TJS members, and may be purchased at all Bookmans locations, through tucsonjazz.org or by calling 903-1265.
ON THE BANDWAGONHere are more fine shows to watch for this week: Juanes at AVA at Casino del Sol on Sunday, April 27; Kathleen Grace, The Rosano Brothers Virtual Quartet and the Silver Thread Trio at The Hut on Saturday, April 26; Arlo Guthrie at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Saturday, April 26; Loveland, Nobody, Et Al. , and Joshua Butcher and the Melancholy at the Surly Wench Pub on Friday, April 25; The Early Black, The Monitors and Feel Good Revolution at Club Congress on Wednesday, April 30; and the Sixth Annual Radio Electra Benefit featuring The Mission Creeps, Flam Chen, Verbabola, Clown Band, Metrognome and others at Nimbus on Saturday, April 26.
SO LONG, CHRISTucson and the international music community lost a friend and gifted musician last week when Chris Gaffneysuccumbed to liver cancer on Thursday, April 17, at age 57.
In a largely underappreciated career that spanned about three decades, Gaffney had released solo albums, was the frontman of the Cold Hard Facts and played guitar for Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men. But it was his collaboration in recent years with Paladins frontman Dave Gonzalez, as one-half of the core of the Hacienda Brothers, for which Gaffney finally began to get the recognition he so deserved, and for which he'll be remembered most fondly here in Tucson.
Though Gaffney lived in Southern California, he spent his formative years growing up in Arizona; part of that time was spent in Tucson. The members of the Hacienda Brothers considered Tucson home: The idea for the band was hatched in Tucson, in 2002, at a birthday party for Jeb Schoonover, who would go on to become the band's manager and occasional co-songwriter; all of the Hacienda Brothers' studio albums were recorded in Tucson. Before Gaffney was diagnosed, the group completed work on a third studio album, Arizona Motel, which was recorded at Tucson's Cavern Recording Studios and is slated for a June 24 release on Proper Records, with distribution through Ryko.
The Hacienda Brothers, under the guidance of legendary songwriter and producer Dan Penn, called their music "Western soul," because it combined the soulful heart of R&B with a tinge of country twang. One would be hard-pressed to think of a better vehicle for such a sound than Gaffney's gorgeously weathered voice.
We send our sincerest condolences to Gaffney's wife, Julie, his daughter, Erika, and the thousands of friends and fans he left behind. He won't be forgotten.