Two weekends ago, it was the Country Thunder music festival in Florence; last weekend, it was the Tucson Weekly's own Spring Club Crawl®; the weekend after this one is the Tucson Folk Festival ... you can see where I'm going with this, right, folks? We're smack-dab in the middle of the spring festival season—and this weekend is no exception, with two major festivals hitting our burg.

Celebrating 30 years in 2012, the Tucson International Mariachi Conference has left its longtime home at the Tucson Convention Center for new digs at Casino del Sol.

While I preached the virtues of the TCC in this space last week, it's hard to blame the conference organizers for pulling up stakes, if for only one reason: The Mariachi Conference brings in hundreds of people from out of town, and that's hundreds more people than there are decent hotel rooms downtown to accommodate them—and that's a shame. (Translation: If downtown Tucson hopes to hang on to events like this, we need a decent new hotel downtown, fast.) But I digress.

The Mariachi Conference runs through Saturday, April 28, and here's a quick summary of some of the highlights.

At 6 p.m., tonight, Thursday, April 26, the Student Showcase Concert, featuring more than 500 mariachi students ranging in age from elementary school to college, hits the Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre (AVA) at Casino del Sol. Tickets are $10, and children 12 and younger will be admitted for free.

Also at AVA, at 7 p.m., Friday, April 27, the annual Espectacular Concert brings in some of mariachi's brightest stars for a mega-concert. Performers at this year's concert include singer-songwriter Shaila Dúrcal, who is the daughter of Spanish singing legend Rocío Dúrcal and 1960s Filipino pop idol Júnior (aka Antonio Morales Barretto); Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, which was founded in 1965 in Guadalajara and has released more than 50 albums; and Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlan, an all-female mariachi band. Tickets are $20 to $60.

And on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., the festival closes out with the Fiesta de Garibaldi, an all-day festival of music and dance that takes place on several stages, both indoor and outdoor, as well as art, culture and food. Tickets are $10, and children 12 and younger will be admitted for free.

Casino del Sol is located at 5655 W. Valencia Road. For tickets or more information, head to or, or call (800) 344-9435.

Also this weekend, on Sunday, April 29, to be exact, is the 13th annual KFMA Day, the festival thrown by Tucson's "new rock" station. This year's event will be headlined by Incubus, and will also feature performances by Cage the Elephant, Chevelle, The Dirty Heads, Neon Trees, Awolnation, Anberlin and Civil Twilight.

KFMA Day 2012 takes place at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Doors open at noon, and music begins at 1 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $39 at all Domino's Pizza locations and They'll be available on the day of the event at the box office for $49. KFMA's site has all of the information you could possibly need.


If you're looking to do a little bit of good for the community while enjoying some live music, there are a couple of options in the way of benefit concerts.

The latest in a series of shows called Music From the Soul takes place at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch, 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road, at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 27. As with past Music From the Soul events, all proceeds will be donated to Integrative Touch for Kids, whose website describes it as a "nonprofit organization whose purpose is to enhance well-being, minimize suffering and facilitate healing for children with developmental disabilities, genetic conditions, cancers and other chronic, acute and life-limiting illnesses." Performers at this installation include the Silver Thread Trio, Tom Walbank and Stefan George, and Michael P. and the Hot Action Healers. Tickets are $15 at the door, and you can call 299-1501 or head to for more info.

On the following night, Saturday, April 28, DV8, 5851 E. Speedway Blvd., will be the site of Stop the Violence, which will feature a lineup of local rappers memorializing Carlos Sandoval, a Salpointe Catholic High School student who was murdered at age 17 last New Year's Eve. Performers include Eclipzo, E-Fresh, AZ Celebrities, Monster House, Cash Lansky, Celena Santa Cruz and Killa Highlife. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Homicide Survivors, whose mission statement reads, in part: "Homicide Survivors Inc. is a nonprofit victim-assistance organization dedicated to meeting the crisis and long-term needs of families of murder victims. Through support, advocacy and assistance, we help survivors cope emotionally, stabilize economically and help survivors seek justice for their loved ones. Homicide Survivors is committed to ensuring that no one has to endure the murder of a loved one alone."

The event begins at 11 p.m. on Saturday at DV8. Advance tickets are available for $6 by calling Gabriel Morales at 304-3809. (You can also e-mail him at Tickets at the door will be $7 for those 21 and older, or $11 for those 17 to 20.


Three local acts are releasing new CDs this week. Alas, we're a bit short on details, as we don't have any of the discs to review, but here are some details about each of the release shows.

On Friday, April 27, at Club Congress, The Project, a six-piece band that features a pair of rappers flowing over smooth soul grooves reminiscent of early-'70s Motown, will release its debut album, Child Support. Also on the bill is Church Key, which will also release an EP at the show, along with guest MCs BMFT and Test 1, The Aces, Pop East, Av-Lo, Dumb Geek, Scrilla Gorilla, Too Tall, D-Toy and Douglove. Captain Antenna will DJ, too.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and your $10 cover charge includes a copy of Child Support. Club Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. For more information, call 622-8848, or head to (Check back next week for a review of the show.)

The same night, over at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., local indie-rock trio The Vases will also be releasing its debut album, Manic. Openers will be HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS and Research. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and cover is a fiver. Call 798-1298, or point your browser to for further details.

And on Saturday, April 28, at, of all places, Kon Tiki, 4625 E. Broadway Blvd., blues-rockers The Jonestown Band, which is headed up by Trinidadian singer-songwriter Malo Byron Jones, will release The Last Days of Jonestown. Will Johnson will kick off the evening at 9 p.m. Admission is free, and you can call 323-7193 for more info.


Ingrid Michaelson at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, April 29; Caveman and A House, A Home at Club Congress on Saturday, April 28; Roberta Flack at the Tucson Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 28; Active Child, Balam Acab and Superhumanoids at Club Congress on Sunday, April 29; Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and Yardsale Heart at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, April 27; Ted Nugent at the Pima County Fair on Saturday, April 28; Pato Banton, Spirit Familia and Planet Jam at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, May 2; Curren$y and lots of others at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, April 28; the Bisbee Pop Narkotic Party featuring more than a dozen acts from Tucson and Bisbee, including Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, The Tryst, Hans Hutchison, One Gentle Mule and Jacob Acosta, at the Battle Stags Fine Art Garage (Seventh Toole avenues) on Saturday, April 28; Van'sGuard at Solar Culture Gallery on Saturday, April 28; the "Every 5th Sunday" singer-songwriter circle with host Mark Insley plus Kathleen Williamson and Jerry Careaga and Stephanie Gladhart at Boondocks Lounge on Sunday, April 29; La Cerca and One Big Happy Sound at Double R Nites at La Cocina, tonight, Thursday, April 26; Attack of the Shredders From Planet Thrash Pop featuring music by Shrimp Chaperone and live art by ROGO and Donovan White at The Source (3382 E. Speedway Blvd.) on Saturday, April 28; the Battle Royale Festival at The Rock on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28; The Black Jackalope Ensemble and Havarti Orchestra at Solar Culture Gallery on Friday, April 27; Leila Lopez, April Smith and the Great Picture Show and Copper and Congress at Plush on Saturday, April 28; The Unday at Sky Bar tonight, Thursday, April 26; gHosTcOw at Mr. Head's on Saturday, April 28.

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