Just as Labor Day traditionally signals the end of summer, it also marks the beginning of one of the busiest music periods of the year, as local bands come out of their heat comas. It's also the start of one of the busiest touring seasons for out-of-towners.

In other words, there's way too much great stuff happening this week to fit here, so be sure to check out our listings sections for more. Here's a sampling to get you started.


Last week, it was the Tucson Area Music Awards, and this week, it's the Fifth Annual Tucson Musicians Museum Celebration of Music and Culture charity event.

The museum, which was co-founded by current presidents George Howard and Susan French, states its goal as "working with the community to celebrate, preserve and perpetuate Tucson's unique musical heritage and culture," and this week's event is the organization's big annual fundraising shindig/induction ceremony.

Ten local musicians will be inducted into the museum's class of 2011 at the event: veteran blues guitarist Bryan Dean; Dean Armstrong's right-hand woman for nearly 40 combined years, country bassist and singer Toni Clark; 40-plus-year veteran mariachi trumpet player Jose Yebra, who is active in the group's mentoring program; drummer Carl Cherry II, who has performed with everyone from Neon Prophet to Bruce Hornsby in several different styles, including his current love, gospel (he serves as full-time worship pastor at Pantano Christian Church); classical violinist and bassist Richard J. Leek, who is about to start his 45th year as bassist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and his 43rd year performing with the Tucson Pops Orchestra; jazz sax player Mike Kuhn, music teacher at Pima Community College and Cochise College; multi-instrumentalist Tim O'Connor, who played fiddle and sax with the Frank and Woody Show in the '70s, and currently performs and records with numerous acts; singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist Howe Gelb, the desert-rock pioneer who fronts Giant Sand and performs solo; bagpiper, fiddler and vocalist William Don Carlos, who currently serves as pipe major of the Seven Pipers; and composer, clarinetist and bassist Dave Plank, one of the founding members of Tucson's Big Band Express.

Being inducted posthumously are singer and bassist Gerald Ptak, and bassist/singer Ricky Dean "The Pilgrim" Pegram, a 32-year veteran of Tucson music including, most recently, the Saddle City Band.

Previous TMM inductees Chuck Morrow, Dean Armstrong and Plato T. Jones, all of whom passed away this year, will be honored in memory.

In addition to the induction ceremony, there will, of course, be live music (including a live video feed of Howe Gelb from Iceland), food, a cash bar and a silent auction. Proceeds from the night will support the event itself, the museum and its considerable mentorship program for youth.

The Fifth Annual Tucson Musicians Museum Celebration of Music and Culture takes place from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. Tickets are $40 and available in advance at 17th Street Market and the Chicago Store. For more information, check out


After a brief hiatus from playing local shows, Lenguas Largas will perform twice this week in preparation for a 3 1/2-week tour of the West Coast. First up is a 10 p.m. date with Ryan Rousseau at the Red Room at Grill on Saturday, Sept. 10.

That will be followed by a killer triple-bill that includes theatrical Puerto Rican garage-rock ensemble Davila 666, and Cheap Time, which trades in a mix of punk, pop and glam. That one's an all-ages early show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Doors open at 7 p.m., and cover is $8.

The show at the Red Room, 100 E. Congress St., is free, and you can call 623-7621 for more info. It should start around 10 p.m.

Speaking of Lenguas Largas and the Red Room, L-squared's frontman Isaac Reyes' other band, the stupendously great punk trio Shark Pants, will make a very rare appearance along with Fermented Music at the Red Room on Friday, Sept. 9. Music will begin around 10 p.m., and admission is free. Don't miss it!

Lenguas Largas isn't the only local band headed out on tour soon that's playing in town this week. Tonight, Thursday, Sept. 8, also at the Red Room at Grill, Zappa-esque rockers and provocateurs Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout will split a bill with quirky guitar-poppers Otherly Love. Mr. Free will be on the road opening West Coast dates for Bob Log III later this week. Again, admission, as always, is free at the Red Room, and the show should start around 10 p.m.


Hot on the heels of its "Tulle: A Tribute to Alexander McQueen" event, the freaks over at Powhaus Productions return to more-familiar ground this week with Glitter Ball 3000. The ball is a sequel to (or, according to Powhaus, a rerun of) one of the group's most popular events, January 2010's Glitter Ball. Just as the 2010 event was, this week's shindig will be a rock 'n' roll dance party paying homage to the glam rock of the 1970s, so dress accordingly. In addition to the usual Powhaus shenanigans, the night will include live performances by The Electric Blankets, Thriftstore Throwdown and Faster Than Light; DJs The Vinyl Baron and B-Rad spinning glam tunes; and, of course, your host(s), Kitty Quasar and His Space Queens.

(Side note: Powhaus will be taking this show to Club DeVille in Austin next week, its first foray into other cities. If you're headed there for the Austin City Limits festival, show up, and show 'em some Tucson love.)

Glitter Ball 3000 begins at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9, at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Admission is $5, and the event is open to anyone—and I do mean anyone—18 or older. For more info, head to, or call 740-1000.


Here's a bit of info about a few more can't-miss shows:

Residing on Sub Pop offshoot Hardly Art, one of my favorite labels, Seattle's The Moondoggies specialize in harmony-rich country-rock that hearkens back to the sound of the three B's of the genre—The Band, The Byrds and the (Flying) Burrito Brothers—and do it with aplomb. Don't believe me? Head over to Spotify and listen to "It's a Shame, It's a Pity," from the band's second album, Tidelands (2010). I'll wait—and then I'll see you at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., next Thursday, Sept. 15, when the group will perform an early show along with openers Romany Rye. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and admission is $8. Head to, or call 622-8848 for more info.

When I received an e-mail about Brazilian singer Luísa Maita, I expected her to trade in the samba and bossa nova sounds that famously emanate from that country—which would have been fine by me, as I love that stuff. Instead, upon listening to her latest album, Lero-Lero, released in July 2010, on Cumbancha, I found something even more intriguing: Bossa nova and samba are but two ingredients in Maita's fantastic modern stew of sultry jazz-pop, which adds electronic flourishes to its warm, organic sound. Best comparison: She's Brazil's answer to Sade, and that's meant as a very high compliment.

Luisa Maita performs an all-ages show at 8 p.m., next Thursday, Sept. 15, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission is $10. For further details, check out, or call 884-0874.

Also at Solar Culture this week: musical chameleon Carla Bozulich, who has dabbled in industrial rock (Ethyl Meatplow), blues/country/rock/chamber music (Geraldine Fibbers) and country (she released a re-imagining of Willie Nelson's The Red Headed Stranger album featuring Nelson himself). Her latest release is In Animal Tongue (Constellation), by her Evangelista project, which gloriously fucks with conventional song structures.

Carla Bozulich performs at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 10. Chris Black opens the all-ages show at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. More info at or by calling 884-0874.


Doug Benson at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 10; Ziggy Marley at the Diamond Center at Desert Diamond Casino on Friday, Sept. 9; Queensrÿche at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, Sept. 14; Young Dubliners at Plush on Friday, Sept. 9; Savoy Family Cajun Band at Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino on Friday, Sept. 9; James McMurtry at Club Congress on Saturday, Sept. 10; Greeley Estates at The Rock on Friday, Sept. 9; Trevor Hall and Ben Michaels at Club Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 14; Ariana Saraha at Solar Culture Gallery on Wednesday, Sept. 14; Alejandro Fernandez at AVA at Casino del Sol on Saturday, Sept. 10.

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