CAN WE CHILL?
You certainly have your choice of entertainment options on Friday, May 16, but if I actually manage to drag myself out of the house, there are two I'll be choosing from. First up, Club Congress is hosting a free show with three quite good local bands at 9 p.m., featuring Sweet Ghosts, Fur Family and Marvin and the Cloud Wall. All three acts would be worth coughing actual money up to see (Sweet Ghosts frontwoman Katherine Byrne's voice should be considered a local treasure; Fur Family seem to my ears like a weird amalgamate of Spoon and Midlake, a comparision that I am willing to retract if necessary, and Marvin and the Cloud Wall features Joe Novelli, who is the sort of musical genius you should see in whatever context you can), so if you can catch all three and use that cover charge cash for a delicious beverage all the better. For more info, go to clubcongress.com or call 622-8848.
I wrote about Skaters Gonna Skate in City Week awhile ago, but here is your helpful reminder that you can see one of Tucson's best DJs playing music to roller skate to once a month. This month's theme? The House Party-esque "Pajama Jammy Jam," with $2 off for those wearing nightwear. For what its worth, the time I went, I just had a nostalgia-fueled blast. My ankles hurt for a couple days and I realized that I kind of suck at rollerskating, but pain and a bit of internal humiliation are a small price to pay for a fun night out. Skaters Gonna Skate takes over Skate Country (7980 E. 22nd St.) on Friday starting at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes skate rental. More info at the event's Facebook page, which I imagine you can find if you look a bit.
10 IS WHAT THEY RATE
I already plugged the Against Me! show at the Rock on Tuesday, May 20 in a previous edition of Soundbites, but you really should go if you didn't already grab tickets. Fronted by Laura Jane Grace (WHO FAVORITED A TWEET I WAS MENTIONED IN OVER THE WEEKEND OMG OMG), the Florida group does the punk rock thing better than anyone, for my money and their new album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, is as good as anything I've heard this year. Tickets are $20 for the all ages show, which starts at 8 p.m., with Tony Molina (who we were going to profile this week, but he only does in-person interviews which is a little tough for a paper trying to preview a show, but OK) and Big Eyes opening. More info at rocktucson.com
RAP GAME KING TUT
It's possible that no one actually enjoys the music of Houston rapper Riff Raff. Sure, people come to his shows and download his endless stream of mixtapes, but he's more of a pop culture icon and Twitter talking point than someone who is known for the music he produces. No joke, Google search the guy ... here's an article about a Riff Raff-themed vending machine in Houston, something about the Spring Breakers controversy, an article from LA Weekly titled "Is Riff Raff Serious?"
I personally fall into the camp that could live without listening to his brightly-colored weirdo-product-placement take on syrup-fueled Houston hip hop, but I do appreciate one thing about the guy: his endless stream of nicknames starting with the words "the rap game..." Whether you're all in on the cult of Riff Raff or not, you might enjoy this (very) partial list of his self-given pseudonyms I collected from Twitter:
The Rap Game Garfield; The Rap Game Marge Simpson; The Rap Game St. Patrick's Day; The Rap Game Louisana Purchase; The Rap Game 7th Grade Volcano Project Due on Friday; The Rap Game Jason Aldean; The Rap Game Dawson's Creek; The Rap Game Shooter McGavin; The Rap Game Perfect Pancakes; The Rap Game I'll Spread My Wings and Learn to Fly I'll Do What It Takes to Reach the Sky; The Rap Game Yo-Yo Tricks; The Rap Game Ted DiBiase; The Rap Game Shirley Temple; The Rap Game Jake the Snake With a Birthday Cake; The Rap Game Larry Bird; The Rap Game Allen Iverson; The Rap Game Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria; The Rap Game Charles in Charge; The Rap Game Thunder Dan Majerle; The Rap Game Bud Bundy; The Rap Game I Am Whatever You Say I Am; The Rap Game 15 Year Old Freshman Throwing Crisp Chest Passes That Impresses the Varsity Basketball Coach and Makes the Senior Point Guard Nervous; The Rap Game Harry Styles.
Riff Raff is scheduled to perform on Monday, May 19 at The Rock at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the all ages show. More info at rocktucson.com, but keep in mind that Mr. Raff cancelled his Rialto show last year at the last minute. Don't get too excited is all I'm saying. He's sort of The Rap Game George Jones.
While the Giant Sand predecessor Giant Sandworms still hold the number one spot on the list "Bands Who Took Their Name From the Frank Herbert Epic Dune," Shai Hulud, the metal/hardcore/punk act, probably comes in second, possibly because I can't think of any others. But still, second's not bad? Anyhow, Shai Hulud have seemingly been around forever, at one point fronted by Chad Gilbert (who joined the band at 14), who ended up founding New Found Glory, but over the years have influenced a bunch of bands kids who still read Alternative Press like a lot, like As I Lay Dying and Unearth. I couldn't figure out who's singing lead for the band now (Gilbert returned for a bit, Wikipedia seems to believe Justin Kraus is singing now, although when he fell ill last year, a different former lead singer stepped in, so your guess is as good as mine), but if you like big metal riffs and yelling about the unbearable sadness of our being, you'll want to catch their show at 191 Toole with Seeker, This Time Around, Evasion and Three White Lies opening on Tuesday, May 20. Doors are at 6 and tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. More info at facebook.com/191toole.