As one of the organizers of The Great Cover-Up over the years, no one appreciates the combination of local musicians, a good gimmick and charity more than I do.
I also don't have an issue with stealing a great idea; just as we Cover-Uppers stole ours from Champaign, Ill., the organizers of this week's inaugural Tucson Rock Lottery took theirs from Denton, Texas.
And it is a great idea: On Saturday morning, 25 local musicians who play various styles of music will gather at Plush. There, they will draw names out of a hat—or engage in a similar method of random selection—to form five groups. Each of those groups becomes a band for the day, and they will have 12 hours to select a band name and come up with a set of three to five songs (with a one-cover-song limit) that they will perform at Plush later that night.
Who knows what the hell will happen?
If you're judging by the musicians who will participate, likely, good things. Just take a gander at this all-star list of brave souls: Mik Garrison, Winston Watson, Dante Rosano, Vicki Brown, Dana Fehr, Dave Mertz, Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez, Keli Carpenter, Joshua Butcher, Tracy Shedd, Ben DeGain, Fen Ikner, Mike Mihina, Kaia Chesney, Lana Rebel, Steven Yanez Romo, J Lugo Miller, Brian Green, Nick Letson, Vikas Pawa, David Clark, Ryan Janac, Geoff Hidalgo and Will King.
The primary organizer of the event is Dead Western Plains' Michael Sanger, who lost a dear childhood friend to cystic fibrosis and is the web developer at CysticLife.org, a social network and online resource for the CF community. All proceeds from the event will be donated to CysticLife, the organization behind the website.
The first Tucson Rock Lottery takes place at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., at 9 p.m., Saturday, May 7. Admission is a suggested donation of $6. For more information, call 798-1298, or head to plushtucson.com.
It's been just over a year since jagoffs in the state Legislature and our charming governor joined together to pass SB 1070, the racist "anti-immigration bill." It has, of course, been held up in the courts, with judges striking down some of its most controversial elements, but that hasn't stopped a fleet of bands and musicians from boycotting our state, apparently under the misguided impression that if Bright Eyes—one of many boycotting acts—doesn't play a show at the Rialto Theatre, it's actually going to make a difference to the lawmakers in Maricopa County.
In other words, it's a protest of inaction, which wouldn't seem to do anyone any good. After all, it's tough to engage anyone into action when you're not around to engage anyone.
Though some acts continue this boycott—Steve Earle recently scheduled a July 4 show at the Rialto because he thought the boycott had been "called off," and then canceled the show after being informed that it had not; way to think for yourself, Steve!—several acts that initially boycotted Arizona have recently started coming back to perform. Ozomatli performed at the benefit concert for the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding at the Tucson Convention Center Arena after being asked to by Jackson Browne; Los Tigres del Norte recently performed at the Pima County Fair; and this week, another boycotting band is slated to return to town after a prolonged absence.
Los Lobos was one of the first acts to cancel a scheduled show in Arizona after the passing of SB 1070. Pulling out of a gig scheduled for June 10, 2010, at the Talking Stick Resort in the Phoenix metro area, the band issued a statement which read, in part: "We support the boycott of Arizona. The new law will inevitably lead to unfair racial profiling and possible abuse of people who just happen to look Latino. As a result, in good conscience, we could not see ourselves performing in Arizona."
As far as I know, no statement was issued by the band regarding its decision to now return. (Perhaps that's why last year's cancellation was national news, and no one is reporting that they've now had a change of heart.) But I, for one, applaud the legendary East L.A. band for coming back, and I hope they use the show as an opportunity to speak out, to mobilize voters into taking action against the hideous law, and to register new voters to do the same.
Los Lobos returns to the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Friday, May 6. Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. General-admission floor tickets are $30 in advance, or $32 on the day of the show; reserved balcony seats are $38. For further details, head to rialtotheatre.com, or call 740-1000.
This year's KFMA Day, a single-day music festival curated by the folks at radio station KFMA 92.1 and 101.3 FM ("Tucson's New Rock"), hits Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium (formerly Tucson Electric Park) on Saturday, May 7. The all-ages festival will this year feature Sublime With Rome, Hollywood Undead, Flogging Molly, Sum 41, Black Label Society, All That Remains, Black Veil Brides and Drive A, who perform first, at 1 p.m. (Gates open at noon.) Advance tickets are available for $35 at all Tucson-area Catalina Mart locations until 8 p.m., Friday, May 6. After that, they will only be available at the stadium box office for $45. For more information, check out kfma.com.
It'll be a tough call for the hipsters on Monday, May 9, as three worthwhile double bills take place at three different venues.
At Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., you've got Jack White-approved garage rockers The Greenhornes and seriously fun garage power-pop duo Jeff the Brotherhood for $10 in advance, or $12 on the day of the show. Doors open at 7 p.m., and you can go to hotelcongress.com, or call 622-8848 for more info.
At 9:30 p.m., Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., will host the intricately textured indie-pop of Pinback and Oakland, Calif., "string metal" trio Judgement Day, who merge classical and thrash by running violin and cello through effects pedals. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $16 on the day of the show. Check out plushtucson.com, or call 798-1298 for further details.
Seattle's Telekinesis will headline Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., with their brand of supremely catchy, high-energy indie-rock, while Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who will release their debut album on Fat Possum on June 21, take the opening slot at 9 p.m. Cover for this all-ages show is $7, and you can find out more at solarculture.org or by calling 884-0874.
The B-52's at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, May 10; Leon Russell at the Fox Tucson Theatre next Thursday, May 12; the Moody Blues at AVA at Casino del Sol on Wednesday, May 11; the Johnny Clegg Band at UA Centennial Hall on Friday, May 6; Lord Huron and Forrest Fallows at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, May 10; Brandi Carlile and Ivan and Alyosha at the Rialto Theatre next Thursday, May 12; Pieta Brown and Carrie Rodriguez at Club Congress on Saturday, May 7; Junip (featuring José González) and Acrylics at Plush on Sunday, May 8; Jamie O'Brien CD-release party at Boondocks tonight, Thursday, May 5; Willie and Lobo at the Plaza Palomino Courtyard on Saturday, May 7; Lovers and Seashell Radio at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, May 8; Eisley at Club Congress on Tuesday, May 10; 'Til We're Blue or Destroy, Shaun Harris With Full Release and Dream Beans at Solar Culture Gallery on Friday, May 6; the B Foundation and Katastro at The Hut tonight, Thursday, May 5; Namoli Brennet and Eric Himan at Solar Culture Gallery on Saturday, May 7; Pugsley Buzzard and Lisa Otey at Boondocks Lounge on Tuesday, May 10; barbecue featuring Al Foul at the Red Room at Grill on Friday, May 6; Serene Dominic at Plush next Thursday, May 12; The Gallery, Van Gogh Rescue, AM Eye and Falling Out of Planes at Club Congress on Wednesday, May 11; Paramount Original Laser Spectacular featuring the Music of Pink Floyd at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, May 11.