Remember how I've been warning you that this burg was going to be lousy with live music for the next couple months while we get the runoff from bands making their way to and from South by Southwest and Coachella?
And remember how I told you that on slow music weeks leading up to it that you should save your money for the onslaught? Well, friends, that time has arrived.
The South by Southwest music conference begins this week, which means the dozens of shows happening around town are but the tip of the iceberg for the next couple months—and trust me when I tell you this fucker could sink a ship twice the size of the Titanic.
Seriously, there's so much stuff going on this week, I don't even know where to begin. But I've gotta start somewhere, so...
JUMP ON IT
...Why not please the folks who put food on my table?
The Tucson Weekly is throwing a single-night festival on Saturday, March 8, at two venues—the Rialto Theatre and Club Congress. March Radness will feature about 10 acts both well established and up-and-coming. In practice, it will operate much like last April's Exile on Congress Street event, which featured performances by the likes of Dinosaur Jr. and Poliça. Here's a gander at what to expect at this week's shindig: Seattle's ass-worshipping Sir Mix-A-Lot will bring his posse to Broadway, er, Congress Street to headline the fest (check out this week's City Week section for Dan Gibson waxing poetic about Mr. Sir), which will also include performances by Pinback, Murs, Yacht, Iamsu!, Nite Jewel, Painted Palms, PigPen Theatre Co., Casket, and Stargazer Lily.
March Radness kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The Rialto Theatre is located at 318 E. Congress St.; Club Congress is at 311 E. Congress St. The festival is open to those of all ages. Advance tickets are available for $15, and they'll go up to $20 prior to the show. For more info check out rialtotheatre.com or hotelcongress.com. Or, for complete band descriptions and ticket giveaways, check out the Weekly's The Range blog at tucsonweekly.com.
I'LL ROLL YOU UP
March Radness isn't the only festival in town this week—and even a lot of shows taking place at single venues have more bands than usual to accommodate all the acts on their way to Austin.
As far as other festivals go, let's start with Topaz's annual Two Lane Blacktop Festival, which runs two consecutive nights, on Sunday, March 9, and Monday, March 10, takes a week or so off, then resumes for another two nights on Monday, March 18, and Tuesday, March 18. We'll get to those second two nights in next week's column, but here's what's in store over at Topaz for the fest's first two nights:
Sunday, March 9, Two Lane will feature Fullerton, Calif.'s Audacity, whose brand of garagey pop is loaded with more hooks than a band of pirates. After a pair of albums on Burger Records (and countless singles on other labels), the band's most recent album, 2013's Butter Knife, was released on Suicide Squeeze. Tucson's Lenguas Largas (my current favorite local band, for what it's worth) hasn't released a full-length album since 2011, but that's about to change. According to recent Facebook posts, the band is finally wrapping up work on the follow-up, which no doubt will be released sometime this year. In the meantime, it's anybody's guess what the mix of old stuff and new stuff will be at the group's performance on Sunday. From Oakland, Meat Market's brand of peppy, poppy punk sounds like the kind of stuff it will be impossible not to dance to. Vancouver's Jay Arner is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and remixer who recently released his self-titled debut solo album on Mint Records. To no one's surprise, it's a lovely slice of well-produced pastoral pop. Rounding out the night are three Tucson bands: AZ77, Teen Chat, and JRM (pronounced "germ," it features members of Prom Body/Sleep Like Trees and Dream Sick).
Night Two of Two Lane Blacktop Festival, on Monday, March 10, will be headlined by New Bums, the new band featuring Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance and Donovan Quinn from the Skygreen Leopards (check out Brian Mock's review of the album in this issue). Seattle's Midday Veil's jam is long-ass psych/prog/drone tunes that in a live setting will either slay or bore – tough to say. Three new Tucson acts—The Night Collectors, Cobra Family Picnic, and Ryan Chavira—start things off.
Both nights of the Two Lane Blacktop Festival begin at 7 p.m., and admission for each night is a sliding scale of $5 to $7. Topaz is located at 657 W. St. Mary's Road, No. C1A. For details head to templeofcairo.com.
Whether as a solo artist, collaborating with friends (e.g., Mikal Cronin), or as a part of bands such as Fuzz and White Fence, Ty Segall is one of the most prolific musicians working today. In 2013, Segall put out three 7-inches and a full-length as part of Fuzz, and a solo album called Sleeper. The year before that it was three albums: one with his touring band (Slaughterhouse), a solo album (Twins), and an album by White Fence (Hair). (Oh, wait, there was also the limited edition Gemini, which is a sort of Twins demo collection.) Which would be a lot, even if dude was some sort of Brian Wilson-type studio recluse, but he's not; he's also a road warrior of the highest order, touring in all these various incarnations. (If the guy isn't a speed freak, he should really write a book about his health regimen.)
While the Segall sound varies from project to project, it's safe to say that most of it is vaguely psychedelic, slightly garagey, and that it recalls the 1960s without actually sounding like it was created 45 years ago. And lest you get the idea that Segall spreads himself too thin, almost all of it is pretty great.
Ty Segall headlines a show at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Also on the bill are J.C. Satan, Burnt Ones, Our Meatbodies, and David Novick. Tickets for the all-ages show are $12 in advance, $15 on the day of show. For more 411 head to hotelcongress.com or call 622-8848.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Following a blowout of a grand opening show in mid-January that featured about half of the bands in Tucson, then a La Luz show at the end of the same month, 191 Toole, the new venue that took over the most recent Skrappy's location at—you guessed it—191 E. Toole Ave., the all-ages performance space lay largely dormant for the month of February. If this week is any indication, however, March will be a whole lot different. The venue is hosting three shows this week alone.
Tonight, Thursday, March 6, will feature a show comprising Red Sweater Lullaby, Clay Dudash, Head Over Heart, and Ocean Void. It starts at 7 p.m. and cover is $5.
The following night, Friday, March 7, marks the return of the Burger Records Caravan. This iteration of the never-ending tour of bands on one of the most exciting labels to come around in a while will feature sets by Cosmonauts, The Garden, Peach Kelli Pop, Mozes and the Firstborn, The Resonars, and the Electric Blankets. If you're mumbling "holy crap" to yourself right now, you are correct! This one will kick much ass. It starts at 7 p.m., is of course all ages, and will likely be the best five bucks you've spent in a while.
Finally, on Monday, March 10, the venue will play host to this week's winner of the WTF Show of the Week: In case you haven't heard, former child star Macaulay Culkin is one of five people in the band The Pizza Underground, which performs sloppy, sing-along versions of Velvet Underground songs with the lyrics changed to reflect their love of pizza: "I'm Waiting for the Delivery Man," "I'm Beginning to See the Slice," you get the idea. Reportedly, they keep their live sets short, which is probably a good idea since it's a one-note joke. They'll headline this show, which also features Creative Adult (see Casey Dewey's album review in this issue), Best Dog Award, Womb Tomb, and Toby Goodshank (Moldy Peaches). The all-ages show kicks off at 7 p.m., and tickets are $5 in advance, $8 on the day of show. For more information on all these shows, check out 191 Toole's Facebook page.
PUT 'EM ON THE GLASS
We haven't come close to telling you about all the great shows this week, so here's but a minor sampling of some others: The Parson Red Heads, Andrew Collberg, and Mimicking Birds at Plush on Monday, March 10; the Wild Feathers, Saints of Valory, and Jamestown Revival at Club Congress on Friday, March 7; Jessi Colter at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Warden Oasis Theater on Saturday, March 8; John Oates at the the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Warden Oasis Theater on Sunday, March 9; Sihasin at the Global Justice Center on Saturday, March 8; Kyle Eastwood Band at the Green Valley Recreation Center next Thursday, March 13; Pete Anderson at Club Congress next Thursday, March 13; The Besmirchers, Get Shot, and Get a Grip at The District Tavern on Saturday, March 8; Papadosio and The Main Squeeze at the Rialto Theatre on Tuesday, March 11; (Sky)XSW with Froth, The Resonars, Union Pacific, and Liila at Sky Bar on Saturday, March 8.
Please do yourself a favor and check out our listings sections for tons more great stuff this week.