To start, just a quick reminder that this week is your last chance to vote in the 2012 Tucson Area Music Awards, aka the TAMMIES. If you haven't already, head to to fill out your ballot. Local musicians work hard year-round to entertain you, so you sorta owe it to them to recognize them with an award, don't ya think?

Voting is limited to one ballot per person, and if you try to stuff ballots, we will hunt you down and do very bad things to you. (Seriously, we do have ways of detecting this stuff, and if we discover that ballots have been stuffed, we will disqualify the guilty artist.)

Voting ends at noon, Wednesday, Aug. 1, so you should probably just do it now so you don't forget. And remember: If you're not happy with the results, and you didn't bother to cast your vote, you only have yourself to blame. In other words, no bitching, please.

Happy voting!


In our July 5 issue, Carl Hanni wrote an excellent article about the revamped and expanded Giant Sand, dubbed Giant Giant Sand, who recently released the album Tucson: A Country Rock Opera, one of the finest of bandleader Howe Gelb's long and acclaimed career.

For a while there, it looked like only Europeans would get the opportunity to see the big band perform live—and Giant Giant Sand will indeed spend most of the remainder of the summer touring over there. But that was before Gelb and his band were asked to perform for a very special reason.

Mary Charlotte Thurtle, the executive director of Pan Left Productions, a "membership-driven collective of progressive media artists, activists and their supporters," according to a press release, has been diagnosed with cancer. Uninsured at the time of her diagnosis, she is struggling to pay her mounting medical bills.

Thurtle is also a member of the Tucson Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance, aka TAMHA, a membership-based organization established to provide health-care resources to uninsured and underinsured local artists and musicians. Upon learning of Thurtle's diagnosis, TAMHA immediately stepped in to provide her with an Emergency Relief Fund Award of $1,000, but as anyone who has ever dealt with a serious medical situation knows, $1,000 doesn't go very far. This is where Gelb and Giant Giant Sand, as well as Salvador Duran, come in.

The show itself promises to be spectacular—Giant Giant Sand is expected to perform the new album in its entirety, a real treat—but all of the money from the door will be donated to Thurtle in order to pay for a chunk of her medical bills.

The Benefit Show for Mary Charlotte Thurtle featuring Giant Giant Sand and Salvador Duran takes place on Saturday, July 28, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is a suggested donation of $5 to $10, though no one will argue if you'd like to donate more. And you may want to bring some extra cash, as there will be a silent auction as well. For more information, head to, or call 622-8848.


If you dig the gypsy-music-meets-rock thing, you might want to check out Diego's Umbrella this week.

The San Francisco-based band isn't as punk-influenced as Gogol Bordello, and is poppier than, say, DeVotchKa. They're more like a pop-rock band with gypsy influences and a sense of humor, and they certainly know their way around a hook. They're also supposed to be pretty killer live.

And guess what? You can check them out for free this week during the inaugural show in what Club Congress is calling its Like Club. What is Like Club? Well, the first rule of Like Club is that you do not talk about Like Club. No, wait—I'm mixing that up with something else.

Let's try again: The first rule of Like Club is that you "like" Club Congress on Facebook. The second rule of Like Club is that you must check in at Club Congress on Facebook when you get to the show. And the third rule is that you must talk about Like Club on Facebook. Follow all three rules, and your cover charge at the Diego's Umbrella show is waived. If you don't want to do the Like Club thing, admission is $5.

Diego's Umbrella performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Doors open at 8 p.m., and there's more info at, or at 622-8848.


Austin-based Sons of Fathers is a five-piece roots-rock combo that likes to leave their songs a little rough around the edges. That's not to say they're sloppy; they just don't seem to care if a song is perfect, and they subscribe to the policy that the vibe of a song is the thing.

Utilizing double bass, pedal steel and the occasional horn, along with the usual guitars and drums (plus some nifty, unusual harmonies), they also know when to show restraint, a lesson a lot of bands could learn. There's a bit of blues, some country and, especially, folk elements in there, and they can definitely write a song, as evidenced by their self-titled debut album, which was released on Blanco River Music late last year.

Sons of Fathers will perform at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, July 28. Local alt-country combo Silverbell opens at 9:45 p.m. Admission is $8 at the door. For more info, head to, or call 798-1298.


In the concert-promotion business, an "undersell" is when a band plays a room smaller than those in which they normally perform in order to make sure the show is sold out, and to create a higher demand for tickets.

The platinum-selling angst-rock band Hoobastank, who just happen to have one of the worst band names in the history of popular music, will perform an undersell show at The Rock this week. I won't be there, because I tend to enjoy "good music," but you can bet that the hordes of fans who snapped up the band's albums will be out in force, so get your tickets now if you're one of them.

Hoobastank performs an all-ages show at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., on Tuesday, July 31. Stellar Revival, Stars in Stereo and Disciples of Prime are also on the bill. Doors open at 7 p.m., and advance tickets are available at for $16. For more information, head to, or call 629-9211.


Rik Hoeflinger, who books acts at The Hut, will be feted with a big-ass birthday celebration at the club this week. Both the indoor and outdoor stages at the venue will be used, and the list of performers is mighty long and varied: Spartacus, Fayuca, Funky Bonz, 1967, Lovers Drugs, Deceptively Innocent, Be What It May, Despondency Denied, Electrosaurus, Frankie Lopez and others.

Rik's Birthday Bash takes over The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave., on Saturday, July 28. Doors open at 7 p.m., and admission is only $5. For further details, check out, or call 623-3200.


Some other fine shows happening around town this week: Earth, Wind and Fire at AVA at Casino del Sol on Tuesday, July 31; oOoOO and Yus at Club Congress on Friday, July 27; Black Cat Bones CD-release party with Bluz Night at Boondocks Lounge on Saturday, July 28; Love Mound, Hogjaw and Torn Hammer at Surly Wench Pub on Friday, July 27; Scotty the Kid's Homecoming Show at DV8 on Friday, July 27; Yardsale Heart, Passenger and Pilot and Ferrodyne at Plush on Friday, July 27; Collin Shook at Sky Bar on Saturday, July 28; Satellite Geekout (instrumental version of the Satellite Freakout) and Otherly Love solo at RR Nites at La Cocina, tonight, Thursday, July 26.

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