NEW YEAR'S NOTES
In case you missed it, most of the music-centric New Year's Eve events going on around town were covered in last week's issue, so we won't be covering those here. But we will quickly mention a couple New Year's Eve programming notes that came in after deadline for that article. (You can also find calendar listings on Pages 20-25.)
The Fuck All Night Superstars (F.A.N.S.S.) will perform what they're claiming will be their last-ever show at The District Tavern, 260 E. Congress St., on a bill that also includes The Pork Torta and DJ Buttafly. Showtime is 9 p.m., and admission is free. Call 791-0082 for more information.
Howe Gelb wrote to tell us that, although his 10 p.m. performance at the Fox Tucson Theatre, as part of the downtown First Night celebration, is being billed as a solo show, it will actually be an appearance by a "power trio" incarnation of Giant Sand—Gelb, bassist Thøger Lund and drummer Peter Dombernowsky, who is flying in from Denmark for the concert. "It kicks off the 2010 25-year anniversary since our first record, I guess," he writes.
There's been talk of some archival material being released to celebrate, too, so keep your eyes and ears open for that in the new year.
IT'S SONIC YOUTH WEEK!
Not to steal Howe's thunder, but 2010 will make it 28 years since the release of the self-titled debut EP by Sonic Youth—a milestone that now officially renders the band's name ironic. Though someone out there may know more than I, as far as I know, 2010 will also mark the group's first Tucson appearance. (I can already hear the letters pouring in telling me that they played Nino's in '85, that there were only a dozen people there, that I'm an idiot.) Regardless, even if it did take 28 years for them to grace us with an appearance, it should prove worth the wait. Though I have absolutely no power to make such declarations, I hereby proclaim the first week of 2010 to be Sonic Youth Week.
Sonic Youth Week begins on Saturday, Jan. 2, with a triple bill at Che's Lounge, 346 N. Fourth Ave. The Matt Zivich Trio (aka MHZ Trio)—Zivich, Jeremy Lemos of White/Light and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley—will headline the show. According to Sonic Youth's Web site, it will be the band's first U.S. appearance; they've previously performed in "such exotic locales as Chile (2x—once in prison), Berlin and Paris." Also on the bill are Tom Watson and His Clients (Watson is a veteran of Slovenly, The Red Krayola and Mike Watt and the Missingmen) and Tall Sirs, which is Aaron Mullan of Tall Firs, who just happen to record for Ecstatic Peace, the label founded by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Pretty cool, eh? And you know what's even cooler? Since the show's at Che's, that means it's free to get in. The music starts at 10 p.m., but as your attorney, I advise you to get there early. Questions? Ring 'em up at 623-2088.
Then, on Monday, Jan. 4, Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Mark Ibold (who is going to have a mighty busy 2010 with the reunited Pavement) join Shelley to perform as Sonic Youth at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.—you know, the building with the giant Sonic Youth mural on its side.
It was Ranaldo, you may recall, who fractured his wrist while playing tennis, forcing the band to reschedule the current tour; they were originally scheduled to play the Rialto in October (tickets purchased for that date will be honored at Monday's show). But if the show hadn't been pushed back to this week, chances are we wouldn't be treated to the Che's show, so thanks, Lee's wrist!
As for Sonic Youth, well, I can't really tell you anything about them that hasn't already been written somewhere else. But suffice it to say they're one of the most important and influential bands in rock of the punk and indie variety of the last 30 years; they've never released a bad album; and 2009's The Eternal, their first album for Matador and 15th full-length overall, finds them at the top of their game. Oh, and this: If you've never seen Sonic Youth live, trust me, you're in for a real treat. Muhfuckas bring it.
Drag City's Sic Alps open the show at 8 p.m.
Tickets for Sonic Youth are available in advance for $25; they'll be $27 on the day of the show, and all ages are welcome. Call 740-1000 for more information.
Finally, Sonic Youth Week concludes with what is being billed as a Post-Sonic Youth Fun Fest: Monster Pussy and Sssssss will perform a free show at The Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St. Monster Pussy frontman Mullarkey assures us that the show won't begin until the last bit of feedback has been wrung from Thurston's Jazzmaster. Call 623-7621 for further details.
NEED SOME VARIETY?
Perhaps you've heard about Clusterf**k, a rock 'n' roll dance party and variety show hitting the Rialto Theatre this week. But what you may not know is that the event is merely the first step in a rather ambitious endeavor by a newly formed local production organization.
Presented by Powhaus Productions, Clusterf**k will be the first installment of a monthly dance-party series at the theater. But it's not just a rockin' dance alternative to the local dance-club scene; it seeks to be an updated, 21st-century version of dance-oriented variety shows of yore—think American Bandstand and Soul Train meets the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia dance parties Andy Warhol once held at The Factory.
In addition to you, the general public, who will pay a mere $3 to dance all night to rock 'n' roll music mostly from the '60s and '70s—and with an emphasis on garage rock, as spun by DJ Dan Shapiro—there will also be a brief live performance from the new local band The Creamys (Billups Allen, Travis Spillers and Amy Shapiro) modeled after those aforementioned TV shows (i.e., just a few songs); an appearance by the local female scooter club the Mary Janes; and a special surprise guest appearance by another local band. The event will be hosted by Kitty Katt, Clif Taylor and Desert Diamond Dallas, and the whole shebang is being recorded on video for broadcast on a soon-to-be-revealed Powhaus Productions Web site, as well as YouTube (and possibly, in the future, on public-access TV).
As if that weren't enough, a motley crew of characters—in the fictional sense—called the Maximalist Dancers will be there, too. The MDs are, again, modeled after fabulous prototypes that hung out at The Factory—they'll basically be the stock characters for Powhaus' video productions, which, in addition to the edited dance-party shows, will include a variety of planned vignettes that will be found on the Web site.
Powhaus is already planning two more events for the coming months: a Warhol-themed party in conjunction with the Tucson Museum of Art's upcoming Andy Warhol: Life and Legends show, and a proto-punk dance party.
Powhaus Productions presents Clusterf**k at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Jan. 2. Doors open at 9 p.m., and the action gets underway at 11 p.m. Admission is $3, and all ages are welcome. Call 740-1000 for more info.
ON THE BANDWAGON
Sabertooth Snatch 7-inch release party at Vaudeville on Saturday, Jan. 2; a fundraiser to send the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation Blues Challenge winners, Tom Walbank and Arthur Migliazza, and the Sweet Willie D Blues Band, to Memphis to compete on a national level, at Club Congress on Saturday, Jan. 2; comedian Lewis Black at the Tucson Music Hall on Sunday, Jan. 3; Slave at Monsoon Nightclub at Desert Diamond Casino on Saturday, Jan. 2; Drew Andrews of The Album Leaf at Plush next Thursday, Jan. 7; Yacob and Kim, Sabertooth Snatch, BOATS! and Busted Bearings at The HangArt on Monday, Jan. 4; This Time Next Year at The Rock next Thursday, Jan. 7; Tumbledown House at Plush on Tuesday, Jan. 5; Shades of Green and Blue at Old Town Artisans on Sunday, Jan. 3, and It's A Grind Coffeehouse on Monday, Jan. 4.
Sweet dreams, Vic Chesnutt, Nov. 12, 1964-Dec. 25, 2009.
Happy New Year, everyone.