NEVER AS TIRED AS WHEN I'M WAKING UP
Last week, we ran previews of most of the big shows coming to town this month which was a solid idea as far as alt-weekly features go, but that has made the Soundbites gig a little more difficult. But, hey, there's still plenty to cover. Skipping Joe Ely at the Copper Room? Foster the People are right across the street at the Rialto (although I'm not sure how many people are fans of both acts, but let's just run with it). Decided against Neko Case (more on her in our music feature)? There's Dick Dale! Neither Case nor Dale your cup of tea? There's always Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas in Sahuarita. OK, maybe not the best example. Let's just get into some of your other musical options.
YOU WANTED A HIT
April will end up featuring several sold out shows at the Rialto (please don't ask me if I have tickets for Beck because I don't have any to give you, OK?), but as of writing this column, there are still tickets left for the Broken Bells show, which is a bit surprising. Everything that producer Danger Mouse touches turns to gold (the most recent Black Keys records, including May's Turn Blue, the Gnarls Barkley project, a Norah Jones album, the forthcoming U2 release) and if James Mercer's other band, The Shins, were scheduled at the Rialto, that would likely sell out, so what's keeping you from buying in on the concert on Sunday, April 13? Tickets are generally affordable ($30.50 - $38) and while I get it, going to work on Monday will suck a little, it should be a great show. Critics have been somewhat unkind to After the Disco, the second Broken Bells album, which came out on Jan. 31, but I actually prefer it to their 2010 self-titled disc. It's a jaded, subtle, hooky yet danceable record and Mercer's presence ensures that there are actual songs in there as well. It's sort of a weird adult-contemporaryish take on club music, but I've listened to it a lot this year and I think it's reasonably fair to assume that the duo will bring something interesting to their live performance as well. Stop sulking that you didn't get Neutral Milk Hotel tickets in time and have some fun. Rialtotheatre.com or 740-1000.
Having joined Facebook in November of 2013, apparently Neon Eon haven't been around all that long, but man, their sound seems awfully together for being around less than six months (I just assume that bands set up a Facebook page before they play a note these days; I could be wrong on the timeline). They're playing Che's on Saturday, April 12 (WHY SO MUCH STUFF ON SATURDAY, GUYS) starting at 10 p.m. and their loud guitar-driven blues-influenced (there's a video of their cover of the Allman Brothers' "It's Not My Cross to Bear," if that tells you anything) party rock should be a perfect fit for the place and heck, it's free, right? What do you have to lose (other than the opportunity to be at the 80 other shows on the same night, I guess)? If you like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or the Afghan Whigs, these guys should be right up your alley and if your taste in music is anything like mine, Neon Eon might be your new favorite local band. They might be that good. For more info, check out the show's event page at facebook.com/events/812918838736531.
TIME TO GET AWAY
The Frytown Toughs, playing Sky Bar on Saturday, April 12 at 10 p.m., are an interesting act. Hailing from Sierra Vista via Tombstone, the brother duo play a blend of actual old-timey ragtime numbers and more modern songs adapted to the barrelhouse style. Fans of steampunk style will probably find the sounds (as well as their bowler hats) of the Toughs appealing and at the very least, you'll likely get some enjoyment of hearing an anachronistic take on the Cypress Hill track "Insane in the Brain." While the Toughs have regular gigs at Bisbee's Copper Queen, our sister publication, the Sierra Vista Herald, described the Sky Bar date as the group's "biggest show to date," so why not stop by and check them out for a bit. For more info, head to skybartucson.com or call 622-4300.
DANCE YRSELF CLEAN
Also from the "recreating the musical past on Fourth Avenue" department, Plush is hosting an evening celebrating the music of kings-of-hipster-dance DFA Records on Saturday night. For a crisp five dollar bill, you'll be treated to DJ Matt McCoy spinning tracks by the likes of Black Dice, Holy Ghost!, the Juan Maclean, Liquid Liquid, Shit Robot, YACHT and others, plus a live LCD Soundsystem tribute band with what the event's Facebook page promises are "TOP Tucson musicians." Should be a good time, although I might just be saying that because I've spent a fair amount over a decade now idolizing James Murphy, frontman for LCD and co-founder of DFA. The kids are coming up from behind, but you can be there. More info on the 21 and older event at plushtucson.com or via the telephoning device at 798-1298.
Despite its general Caribbean origins, cumbia has established itself as more or less the official Latin dance sound of Tucson in recent years, possibly due to the tireless championing of the genre by Logan Phillips—a.k.a. DJ DirtyVerbs—locally. As part of Club Congress' semi-regular cumbia dance party, El Tambo, on Friday, April 11, Phillips will share the Congress stage with Oakland's La Misa Negra. The eight-member act features basically everything people love about cumbia: a driving funky rhythm section, energetic horn riffs and a ton of energy. Check out their 2013 album Misa de Medianoche on Spotify or your music engine of choice ... If their live show is half as fun and entertaining as the recorded product, you won't want to miss this show. Tickets are $7 for the 21 and older show. More info at hotelcongress.com or 622-8848.
In case you missed the news, the White Lies show previously scheduled for Friday, April 11 has been cancelled. In anger, I'm going to delete their music from my hard drive and just listen to old Doves records instead. Take that, moody Brits! That's what you get for caving to "circumstances." Also, the Waka Flocka Flame show originally scheduled for Monday the 14th at the Rialto is now on Sunday the 20th.