To start off, a quick reminder to all clubs, restaurants, other venues and/or promoters that are hosting a New Year's Eve celebration featuring live music or other similar festivities: There are only a couple days left to send me details about your event in order for it to be included in our annual New Year's Guide. Considering how few I've received so far, I'm not sure what part of "free publicity" you don't understand.

All you need to do is send complete details--that's performers, location, address, phone number, Web site, time, cost and a description of the event--to the music editor and the listings editor no later than Friday, Dec. 12, and your event will be covered in the guide.


The Great Cover-Up, 2008 edition, continues with two more rockin' nights of local bands who normally play original music performing 20-minute sets of covers by a band or artist they've chosen--all in the name of charity (the Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance, to be specific).

Last week, we provided a full history of the event's origins as well as a schedule of events for Thursday, Dec. 11. Here, then, is a schedule--up-to-date at press time, but subject to change--for the other two nights:

Bands performing on Friday, Dec. 12, in order of appearance: Evil Fudd, Al Perry, The Monitors, The Fell City Shouts, Atom Heart Mother, ... music video?, Feed, Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, Spacefish and Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout.

Bands and artists whose music will be performed on Friday (in no particular order): Michael Jackson, Nirvana, KISS, Pink Floyd, Sex Pistols, Bryan Adams, Spinal Tap, Pérez Prado, Alice Cooper and cheese-rock songs.

Bands performing on Saturday, Dec. 13, in order of appearance: Low Ones, Young Mothers, The Hounds, Golden Boots, Ryanhood, The Static Session (formerly The Year of Acceleration), Silverfox and Emergency Broadcast System.

Bands and artists who are being covered on Saturday: Cheap Trick, Flight of the Conchords, Television, TV theme songs, Sublime, Willie Nelson, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Doors for all three nights open at 7:30 p.m., and admission is $7 for one night, $12 for two or $15 for all three. Because it's a charity event, these are suggested donations. For more information, call 622-8848 or head to the Hotel Congress Web site.


A pair of new, local discs out this week will be feted at a combo CD-release party.

Having picked up the Up-and-Coming Artist of the Year honor at the 2008 TAMMIES, the Dusty Buskers will release their debut album, The Life and Times Of ... , on Old Bisbee Records. The group, which started as the duo of Uncle Fiddlin' Phoenix (aka Phoenix Michael) on lead vocals and violin, and Dusty Squirrelfisher (aka Stuart Oliver) on guitar, mandolin, harmonica and vocals, has expanded its ranks in recent months, which is reflected here by the inclusion of contributions from Cousin Dylan Charles on mandolin and The Mighty Joel Ford on washboard, as well as Gary Mackender playing the squeezebox on a pair of songs.

For those who have seen the Buskers perform live, you'll get exactly what you'd expect on The Life and Times Of ... . For those who haven't: The group performs traditional (mostly) Irish folk tunes with unbridled energy and a trace of Appalachia. It's not quite the Irish-punk intersection where the Pogues reside, but it ain't exactly the Clancy Brothers, either. Highlights on the nine-song CD (the ninth is a bonus track) include the accordion-abetted "New York Girls," in which the boys take liberties with the traditional lyrics to make mention of Congress Street and "Tucson girls"; a spirited take on the always-fun "Whiskey in a Jar"; and the chicks-on-a-bender tale "Three Drunken Maidens." In fact, pretty much all of these songs involve some combination of three subjects: traveling ("The Irish Rover," "Wild Rover"), women ("I Once Loved a Lass") and drinking ("All for Me Grog"), and, as you might guess, this leads to a certain sameness that runs throughout.

Meanwhile, Caroline Isaacs, Gabrielle Pietrangelo and Laura Kepner-Adney constitute the Silver Thread Trio, whose self-titled debut album was produced by Stuart Oliver and will also be released on Old Bisbee Records, which he owns. (Additionally, Oliver and the Trio are collaborators in another band, Family of Light.)

The CD contains 15 songs of, again, mostly traditional (and often somewhat obscure) folk songs, performed with the help of a who's-who of local musicians and arranged to highlight the vocal harmonies of the three singers. If there's a complaint to be had about the disc, it's this: Harmonies often draw their strength from the juxtaposition between a single voice and several combined in harmony. But the Silver Thread Trio sometimes overplays its hand, using harmonies in places where a single voice that leads into a harmony might be the better way to go. That said, the harmonies and arrangements here are undeniably lovely, and the ladies show proper restraint on their takes of songs such as "Careless Love" and the a cappella "Two Sisters," while the harmony arrangement and vocal performances of "Moon River," probably the most recent song tackled on the album, are stunning.

Silver Thread Trio, the Dusty Buskers and Nancy McCallion and the Wild Irish Revue perform starting at 9:30 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 18, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Admission is $5. For further details, call 798-1298.


Two local radio stations are at the heart of several events this week.

The first--which we neglected to mention next week--takes place tonight, Thursday, Dec. 11: KWMT FM 92.9 The Mountain's Fifth Anniversary Listener Appreciation Concert, which, in addition to being a mouthful, will feature performances by Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette and Augustana. Doors at the Tucson Convention Center Arena open at 6 p.m., with music starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39 to $69, and are available at all Ticketmaster locations. For more info, point your browser to

Meanwhile, month-long events celebrating community radio station KXCI FM 91.3's 25th Anniversary draw to a close this week--with a bang, not a whimper.

On Sunday, Dec. 14, Kevin Pakulis will perform a fundraiser for the station at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Music goes from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is a donation to the station. Call the club at 690-0991 for further details.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, The 17th Street Band, the local supergroup composed of Harvey Brooks, Tom Kusian, Arthur Migliazza, Tom Walbank, Darryl Roles and Dustin Busch, will perform its monthly KXCI benefit (the third Tuesday of each month, y'all) at Barrio Brewing Company, 800 E. 16th St. Things get rolling around 7 p.m., and admission is a $5 donation. Call 791-2739 for more information.

And, sandwiched between those two, on Monday, Dec. 15, KXCI will broadcast one of our favorite local music events of the year, Sonic Solstice, in which local musicians gather at the station's studio to perform live versions of their favorite holiday songs--both covers and originals. Hosts of this year's show are Laurie Starr, Dr. Dan Twelker, Mel Mason and Michael Serpe, and performers include Caliche Con Carne, Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, the Dusty Buskers, Namoli Brennet, Amber Norgaard, Space Over Desert, The Hounds and Jeremy Michael Cashman. Expect to hear recorded versions of some of the many highlights from years past, too.

The show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at 91.3 FM or online at For further info, call the station at 623-1000.


The fine new local indie-rock act Young Mothers will perform a full-band show this week that doubles as a solo tour kickoff show for frontman Zach Toporek. Openers for the Wednesday, Dec. 17, show at Club Congress are Golden Alphabet and Hands on Fire.

Elsewhere: The mighty Fishbone are at The Rock on Friday, Dec. 12; rapper-cum-actor Ice Cube--whose "It Was a Good Day" was my personal Election Day 2008 theme--makes it two rap legends in two weeks (the first being Wu-Tang) at the Rialto Theatre when he performs there on Tuesday, Dec. 16; Darker My Love will be at Solar Culture Gallery on Monday, Dec. 15; The Medic Droid are at The Rock on Saturday, Dec. 13; Junior Brown performs at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 13; Beyond the Citadel hit The Rock next Thursday, Dec. 18; and Lamb of God pummel the Rialto Theatre into submission on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

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