While it's never funny and pretty much always creepy when a person refers to himself in the third person (see Suede from Project Runway), it's almost always funny when a person puts the word "the" in front of his name.

For an example of the latter, look no further than The Juan Maclean.

The Juan Maclean is the name used these days by John Maclean (using a translation of your name from another language: also funny), a former member of the defunct Sub Pop band Six Finger Satellite. During the grunge heyday, that band stood out on the Sub Pop roster as post-punk art-rock noisemakers who wielded their synths like weapons, and occasionally even got asses on the dance floor. Their final album, 1998's Law of Ruins, was co-produced by the band with one James Murphy, future dude behind LCD Soundsystem and the DFA label, both of which were largely responsible for bringing dance punk to the masses (and the asses) in the early Aughts. In other words, Six Finger Satellite were way ahead of their time.

But after they broke up, Maclean fell into drugs and stopped making music. He was coaxed back by none other than Murphy, who by that point had a home for Maclean's new music via DFA. These days, Maclean, who is backed by a full band on his current tour, strips away the traditional rock elements of Six Finger Satellite and emphasizes the dance stuff; it's a minimal, house-inspired brew that's hard to resist and falls squarely into the IDM (intelligent dance music) camp.

Sheikyourbouti when The Juan Maclean hits Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., for an all-ages show next Thursday, Sept. 18. Opening the show at 8 p.m. are Tucson's own synth-punk masters, Digital Leather. $15 gets you in. Call 622-8848 for more information.


What began a decade ago as a side project for Three Mile Pilot's Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, then of Thingy and Heavy Vegetable, has morphed into a full-time affair for both gents, as all three of those bands no longer exist.

Despite threats to break up, Pinback, who kick off a month-long tour in Tucson this week, not only still exist; they've just released their fourth full-length album, Autumn of the Seraphs (Touch and Go).

The album kicks off with an unusually driving number, "From Nothing to Nowhere," but soon drifts into more familiar Pinback territory. The band's music has always had a certain autumnal vibe, with layers of cleverly interlocking instrumental interplay and an oddly calming quality. (In rock crit parlance, it's "pastoral.") It's tight and catchy, even as it's deceptively meandering.

Pinback perform at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, Sept, 16. Tucson's Chris Black opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tix are $13 in advance, $15 on the day of show. Call 740-1000 for further details.


It wouldn't be fall if a couple new local releases weren't hitting the streets (or, in one of these cases, the Internets), so let's have a look-see at what's in store(s).

I didn't receive a copy of BeLIEve Me, the second offering from local young'uns AV, so thanks, MySpace, for helping me out here. I'm not a big fan of that emo-ish pop-punk that Hot Topic shoppers seem to spoon down their gullets, but I think I've got a discerning enough ear to separate the wheat from the chaff. That said, AV seem to do this sort of thing pretty darn well. "Deal With It" sounds like a hard-rock band covering an Arctic Monkeys tune--at least until the screams kick in; if an '80s band like Loverboy were still recording music (and for all I know, they may be), the result might sound something like the sugary "Leave You Begging"--at least until the screams kick in; "These Do or Die Situations" is a melodic merge of '80s lite-metal guitars, earnest emo vocals and the occasional Metallica-influenced riffage--even when the screams kick in.

AV celebrate the release of BeLIEve Me on Friday, Sept. 12, at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. The all-ages show starts at 6 p.m., with opening sets from A Change of Pace, Augustine, We Draw the Tide and more. Advance tickets are available for $10 at Bookmans and the venue; they'll be $2 more on the day of show. Call 629-9211 for the deets.

Local music fans might remember Sketching in Stereo. The group used to reside in Tucson before heading for, um, Scottsdale. Why? Let's refer to the band's one-sheet bio: "Thanks to a modest beginning in Tucson, Arizona, Sketching in Stereo could hardly afford to flip a coin for fear of losing it down a curbside drainage ditch or to a fleet-footed vagrant. OK, so maybe things weren't that bad, but it was clear what had to be done. If this band was going to make something of itself, a change was necessary."

Well, I've got a bit of news for Sketching in Stereo: If you think that moving from a soulful town with a great music scene to, um, Scottsdale is going to make your career, you are sadly mistaken. Especially when your music, as evidenced by the Technicolor Dreams EP, self-released this week (and available for free download at starting Tuesday, Sept. 16), is largely generic.

Sketching in Stereo don't suck--in fact, they come off as a musically proficient group of folks on the EP. But the songs don't offer much in the way of originality. Anyone who's tuned into KFMA in the last decade could tell you that there are scores of bands who have done this stuff much better, with more remarkable songs and catchier hooks. Maybe it's time for another relocation, dudes.

Sketching in Stereo celebrate the release of Technicolor Dreams with a CD-release party at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Sept. 13. They'll be sandwiched by openers ... music video? and headliners American Android, with music kicking off at 9:30 p.m. Cover is five ducats. Call 798-1298 for more info.


The Tucson Jazz Society's Jazz Under the Stars fall season kicks off with its annual Ultimate SuperJam concert, which will feature a plethora of local jazz luminaries riffin' with each other, as well as the presentation of the TJS Lifetime Achievement Award to saxophonist Bud Shank. Things get rolling at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, at St. Philip's Plaza, at Campbell Avenue and River Road. Tickets are $15 to $20, with children younger than 12 admitted for free with a canned-food donation for the Tucson Community Food Bank. For more information, call 903-1265 or head to

Throw Me the Statue is the nom de musique of Seattle's Scott Reitherman, who crafts a brand of slightly quirky, wistful bedroom electro-pop that will have Shins fans swooning. If that's your bag, you'd do well to head to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, Sept. 12, when TMTS headlines a free show that also includes The Static Session (featuring members of The Year of Acceleration), Princeton and RCougar. Music starts around 8 p.m., and you can call 622-8848 with questions.

Liam Finn, son of Split Enz/Crowded House member Neil Finn (see this week's Live for a review of brother/uncle Tim's show here last week), will demonstrate why it's kind of a bummer that he's always prefaced with the phrase "son of Neil Finn" (he's a fine singer and songwriter in his own right) next Thursday, Sept. 18, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. The Veils open at 9:30 p.m., and admission is $8. The number to call with questions is 798-1298.

More noteworthy stuff: Amos Lee and Mutlu at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Sunday, Sept. 14; Al Green at the Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road, on Sunday, Sept. 14; The Stay Classy USA Tour featuring Secondhand Serenade, I Hate Kate, Cory Lamb, Thriving Ivory and My American Heart at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Tuesday, Sept. 16; Children of Bodom at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. next Thursday, Sept. 18; the Wild West Metal Fest featuring Animus Divine, Grudge Holder, You Apart, Fracture Point and more at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 13; the SABHF Blues Challenge at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Sunday, Sept. 14; Less Talk More Rock Vol. 2, which features instrumental bands Sleep Like Trees, West, Standby Red 5 and Wolves Are Coming at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Sept. 17.


Be sure to head to for exclusive music coverage, including a Nine Questions with Nico Holthaus, director of the documentary film Mill Ave, Inc. , which will show next Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Loft Cinema; and a photo essay from this year's HoCo Festival.

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