It's Keith Sweat Week


So much good stuff this week, everyone, including the Ceremony/Nothing /Coathangers show next Thursday, July 31 at 191 Toole (covered in the feature this week), the can't-miss-if-you-love-loud-stuff Boris show at Congress on Saturday, July 26 (learn more in Primer), the Melvins' King Buzzo's acoustic show on Wednesday, July 30 (also at Congress), Friday's George Acosta set at the Underground, and, of course, our cover subject Prom Body's tour kickoff show at Topaz on Tuesday, July 29. So go see something, OK?

And yet, there's all this cool stuff (and more I'll discuss in the forthcoming paragraphs), but the show that I'm most excited for this week? Keith Sweat, Ginuwine, Al B. Sure! and Jon B. at AVA Saturday night, July 26.

I've become somewhat infamous in my time at the Weekly as the torchbearer for late '80s and early '90s R&B, so it's no particular surprise that a concert featuring one of the kings of New Jack Swing, the guy who made one of the best bump-and-grind tracks of all time and two other guys would be up my alley, but here's my short pitch on why you should attend anyhow. First of all, when I last saw Keith Sweat, at some weird club above a fancy mall in Hollywood, he had a full-time talkbox guy, a little-person hypeman and a seemingly-albino female back-up singer. And every single woman in the audience (I was among approximately five men in attendance) was all-in with every moment. It really was something, especially considering Mr. Sweat can fill a set-list with a few songs you know very well ("Twisted," "I Want Her," "Make You Sweat," "Make It Last Forever") and a bunch of songs you have that "Oh, I remember that one" moment for ("Nobody," "Keep It' Comin'," "Merry Go Round").

Also, it should be mentioned that last time Ginuwine came to town (for R Dub's Slow Jams Live show at the TCC in 2013), he placed a black towel on the stage and showed off what I suspect were the moves he uses on the ladies in his life. OK, let's be frank, he humped the towel. There was also a moment when his DJ said "HOW MANY OF Y'ALL WANT TO SEE GINUWINE TAKE HIS SHIRT OFF?" It was a concert experience I'll never quite forget.

We don't get that many R&B shows here, plus it's bound to get sexy and weird, so as far as I'm concerned, this seems like a can't miss concert. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show range from $25 to $55 and are available at


Same night, but on an entirely different note, the Rialto is hosting a benefit show for the Southern Arizona Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance (or SAAMHA) with a number of really excellent local acts, including Chris Black, Carlos Arzate, Copper & Congress and The Jons (who might be on hiatus or broken up or something; see "Pressing Reset" from our May 8 issue), all paying tribute to The Police for an event called Tea in the Sonora (GET IT?). SAAMHA, which provides local artists and musicians access to healthcare resources, is a great cause and the quality of the musicians involved means you'll get a solid night of entertainment. Plus, most Police songs still hold up if you can manage to block out how insufferable Sting was/is. Admission is a suggested $8 donation, but why not just cough up the $20, get you and a friend in and feel good about yourself for a few minutes? More info available at


As far as I'm concerned, Lyrics Born could coast forever on one of my favorite rap tracks of all time, "Lady Don't Tek No," one of the original Solesides singles with his sometimes-partner Lateef The Truthspeaker as the duo Latryx. However, the Japanese-American rapper has an impressive catalog over his 20-year career, making the sort of hip hop records people who complain that rap sucks now tend to like: funky, sonically interesting and not necessarily leading you to want to clean your ears out with bleach (I like those records too, but you probably know what I mean). Lyrics Born is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund his eighth album, titled Real People recorded in New Orleans with a slew of the area's legendary musicians with members of Galactic on-board as producers. I'd imagine some of those tracks will show up on Friday night as Lyrics Born takes over the Club Congress stage for an all-ages show at 8 p.m., with Big Meridox, DJ B-Rad and others opening. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 day of.

Also worth mentioning, there's a ton of music and assorted mirth surrounding Hotel Congress this week connected to some extent to the streetcar launch. There's a free show starting early on the hotel plaza with Mik Garrison, Tom Walbank and DJ Dirtyverbs Friday night, which could be a precursor to the Lyrics Born show inside or a night on its own, plus Saturday night, Dave Slutes and company are shutting down Fifth Avenue and crossing over to the odd and fascinating temporary beach set up in the MLK gravel lot. That party is also free and promises a water slide, mechanical bull, water balloon fights, dunk tanks, bands, DJs and rampant ridiculousness. More info at

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