What a difference a couple of weeks make.

Earlier this month we were lamenting the lack of musical options as summer begins to wind down. But with UA students having returned to town from their air-conditioned homes in far-flung places (or maybe that's just my swamp-cooled house talking) and more great shows, special events and festivals than we'll even be able to cover in these pages this week (I doubt those two things are unrelated), summer in the Old Pueblo is over, regardless of what your calendar or thermometer says.


It's become tradition that each year I trot out a lame cultural reference that wants to be a joke but just isn't that funny to announce this: To misquote the sage philosopher MC Hammer: Stop! TAMMIES time!

Let's break it down: All the ballots have been counted and the results are ready to be announced at the Tucson Weekly's 18th Annual Tucson Area Music Awards ceremony and concert at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31. It's our yearly celebration of all things Tucson music as voted by you, our readers, and you are cordially invited to join us for the fun. And, hey, it's free to attend for those of all ages, so you have no excuse not to.

Here's a little refresher to explain the balloting process: There were two rounds of preliminary voting—one for readers, and one for a team of critics made up of music writers, local club bookers, DJs, and others with intimate knowledge of the local music landscape. The top vote-getters in each round were then placed on a multiple-choice online ballot, and the ultimate winners were picked by you, the readers, from that list.

Thank you to all who took the time to vote. We couldn't do this without you.

And we sure as heck couldn't do it without the hundreds of local bands and musicians who toil away in clubs, theaters, coffeehouses, art spaces and house parties each week in Tucson, often for little recognition. The TAMMIES is our way of saluting and thanking them, and we hope you'll join us Wednesday evening to do the same.

In case you've never been, the TAMMIES are not some staid, stale awards show (special thanks to Jeb Schoonover, who produces the event and makes sure of that, as well as the evening's host, Kristi Kline). The awards announcements are rather brief and interspersed by brief performances from an excellent, diverse array of bands and artists. This year's event will feature the music of Gabriel Sullivan and Taraf de Tucson, Seashell Radio, The Tryst, Greg Morton, and Hollywood Knights, as well as the 2011 inductee into the TAMMIES Tucson Music Hall of Fame, reggae royalty Neon Prophet. (Interesting side note: The performers are chosen before the voting closes, but it just so happens that every act performing at this year's event is in the running for at least one TAMMIE.)

Arrive early for free vittles courtesy of BrushFire BBQ Co., Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro, and Eegee's starting at 6:30 p.m.

Sure, you could wait until the next day, when you can read the TAMMIES results in the fresh-off-the-presses Sept. 1 issue of the Weekly; but why? The fun is in the ceremony itself, and in the performances, and in the food, and in the admission-is-free-ness of the whole shebang. It's a party, y'all, and everyone, regardless of age, is invited. Call the Rialto Theatre at 740-1000 with any questions. Otherwise, we'll see you there.


Craig Schumacher has contributed as much as anyone in this town in putting Tucson on the musical map. As owner and operator of WaveLab Studio, he has recorded albums by Calexico, Neko Case, DeVotchKa, Iron and Wine, Richard Buckner and countless others including loads of local acts. He's also a hell of a guy.

For the last several months Craig has been battling cancer, and it appears the treatments he's been receiving have been working. But it's been quite a haul, and the medical bills are beginning to pile up.

To help with that, Club Congress will be the site of two fundraising events for Craig: Part of the proceeds from one of the nights of next week's annual HoCo Fest will be donated to him; and this week the club plays host to Savelab, an all-locals event that will take place on two stages, one indoors and one outdoors. The indoor stage will feature performances by the Wayback Machine, the Last Call Girls, the Carnivaleros, Funky Bonz, and Sunday Afternoon, while the indoor club stage will be graced by the Determined Luddites, Stefan George, Tracy Shedd, and Ferrodyne.

Presented in conjuction with the Tucson Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance (TAMHA), all proceeds from Savelab will go directly to Craig.

Savelab takes place at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, Aug. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is a suggested donation of $5 (but feel free to be more generous). For more information about the event, head to or call 622-8848.

We love you, Craig, and we're rooting for you all the way.

While next week's special TAMMIES issue will feature extensive articles about both Schumacher and HoCo Fest 2011, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that next Thursday's (that's Sept. 1) Optimist Club will feature Atlanta-based DJ and producer Le Castle Vania, and will serve as the official kickoff for HoCo Fest. Doors open at 9 p.m. and cover is $3, or free with your Opti Club membership card.

This week's big-time music events aren't limited to downtown: There are two big ol' single-night music festivals going down on Fourth Avenue, too. Alas, they're both on the same night, Saturday, Aug. 27.

It's been two years since The Hut acquired, from the former wonderland that was Magic Carpet Golf, the giant Tiki head that welcomes patrons at the bar's entrance, and that sounds like reason enough to us (and the folks at The Hut) to throw a party.

In addition to fire dancers and (vegan alert!) a pig roast, Saturday's Second Annual March of the Moai will feature performances by L.A. surf instrumental trio Slacktone, Surfside IV, The Mission Creeps, Big Tiki Dude, Fish Karma, and 8 Minutes to Burn. Doors for the event open at 5 p.m., and admission is $12. The Hut is located at 305 N. Fourth Ave. For more info head to, or call 623-3200.

A hop, skip, and a jump away, O'Malley's on Fourth will present the UA-centric Back 2 School Party featuring headlining rapper Dirt Nasty (aka actor/comedian/former MTV VJ Simon Rex). The action will take place on both an indoor stage and an outdoor one, and the schedule of performers looks a little something like this: DJ Johnny G (8 p.m.), Phoenix hip-hop artist BobbyBrandNew (9 p.m.), Mastamonk (also at 9 p.m.), Dirt Nasty (11 p.m.), and DJ Dibs (midnight).

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, for the Back 2 School Party at O'Malley's on Fourth, 247 N. Fourth Ave. Advance tickets are available for $5 at the venue; they'll be $7 at the door. For more 411, call 623-8600.


There are dozens more great shows this week that we didn't have space to discuss. Here are but a few of them: Explosions in the Sky and Twin Sister at the Rialto Theatre next Thursday, Sept. 1; Active Child and Com Truise at Solar Culture Gallery on Tuesday, Aug. 30; Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart at Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino on Saturday, Aug. 27; Christopher Cross at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Friday, Aug. 26; Young Jeezy at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 27; Ramon Ayala at AVA at Casino del Sol on Saturday, Aug. 27; Ruby Jane at Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino next Thursday, Sept. 1; Purity Ring and Kuh Rye-oo at Solar Culture Gallery on Monday, Aug. 29; Vince Neil at AVA at Casino del Sol on Sunday, Aug. 28; DevilDriver at The Rock on Tuesday, Aug. 30; Bass Monster Tour with Reid Speed, Cyberoptics, and FS at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Aug. 26; Grave Babies and Arcsin(100) at Plush on Tuesday, Aug. 30; video? tour kickoff at Mr. Head's on Saturday, Aug. 27; Locals Only festival at The Rock on Friday, Aug. 26, and Saturday, Aug. 27; Norman at Plush on Monday, Aug. 29; North, Beware of Safety, and Stareater at Plush on Friday, Aug. 26; Caught on Film and The Early Black at Che's Lounge on Saturday, Aug. 27; Gaza Strip, Unday, and Muddy Bug at the Surly Wench Pub on Friday, Aug. 26.

Be sure to check our listings section for even more good stuff.

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