HEAL IN THE HOWLING
Halloween is one of those nights where everyone seems to go out costumed-up to get a drink and Tucson's bars and nightclubs have gone all in on the sorta-holiday, especially Club Congress, which went for a week's worth of events. There are many, many options out there for you, person likely dressed as something involving Ebola, but my three favorites this year are at the Rialto, Flycatcher and Tap & Bottle.
The Rialto is going for a lineup of local music with their Spooky Prom, which also has the bonus of being all-ages. Starting at 7 p.m. for $5, you can see Ghostal, Sun Bones, Numb Bats, Neon Eon, Prom Body and an evening-ending DJ set by Altrice. Plus, because you're required to with these things, there's a costume contest, plus free candy, a photobooth and more. Solid deal all around. For more info, head to rialtotheatre.com.
Also $5, the Flycatcher is hosting "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," which features costume contests every hour starting at 10 p.m., indoor and outdoor entertainment, plus a Daft Punk tribute. More info at theflycatchertucson.com.
If you want to save the $5 you were going to spend at the Rialto or Flycatcher on admission, head over to Tap & Bottle for their second annual evening "dressing up" the bar as another Tucson watering hole. Last year, it was the Meet Rack, this year, it's the Red Room. Yes, they'll have tater tots, but also a lineup of acts that will be familiar to fans of the late venue next to Grill, including Dante Rosano, Hank Topless, Amy Rude, Golden Boots and more. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. More info at thetapandbottle.com.
WE HAD A VISION
Tinariwen's guitar driven sounds of the Tuareg people may not be immediately appealing to everyone, let's go ahead and face it. However, if music by North African nomads doesn't sound like your thing, queue up their latest album, Emmaar, and listen to a few songs. Beyond even the group's amazing story (one member of Tinariwen was kidnapped for several weeks in early 2013 as part of a rebellion in Mali in which an Islamic group denounced popular music), the music itself is incredible in its layered creativity, with rhythms and melodic patterns rolling atop each other as each song opens up. Yes, there are hints of the blues in there (although the band says they didn't hear American blues until they toured here in recent years; they did hear music by other Western acts via bootlegged albums, plus the music of Mali musicians like Ali Farka Toure), but what's great about the revolving lineup of Tinariwen is the beauty of the art they've created from their struggle. If you've seen Tinariwen during their previous visits to town, you're likely ready to see them again. If you've missed them before, be sure you come to Solar Culture on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. for a show unlike anything you've likely ever seen. Tickets are $25. More info at solarculture.org.
WHEN MY DOG GETS OUT LET HIM RUN
It might just be me, but some time around the height of Mumford and Sons' popularity, when they were touring America via train, that's when I basically had it with alt-country. This was somewhat surprising, since I was all in at some point, subscribing to No Depression magazine and searching out Ryan Adams outtake compilations online, but possibly after everyone else had moved on, I was still there holding out hope that the Avett Brothers might really make it until those stupid Brits ruined everything. Somehow, we ended up in an era where just because people CAN buy banjos means they MUST buy banjos and a band like American Authors get classified as Americana, befuddlingly.
Anyhow, O'Death (seemingly named after a Ralph Stanley song, which is a plus) are some form of alt-country, but not really in the manner of emulating old Uncle Tupelo records or just playing a watered down version of bluegrass, but more in a way that they just happen to like old-timey country records and mix that influence into the other stuff they enjoy, ending up sounding a bit like 16 Horsepower (if that's a band anyone else remembers and I mean that as a good thing). If you like spooky Applachian stuff performed by a band that doesn't pretend to be anything but the New Yorkers that they are, check out O'Death at Congress on Monday, Nov. 3 with Human Behavior and Lonesome Leash. Tickets are $12 for the all-ages show with doors at 7 p.m. More info at hotelcongress.com.
WAIT FOR FIRE
Like most weeks, there are far more many shows worth mentioning than we have space for, but there are two in particular I had intentions to fit in this week, but couldn't. First, Grams and Krieger are celebrating the release of their sixth CD, "The Best?", on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Boondocks. The disc has 18 original songs, including some remakes of the duo's favorites. The cover's $10 for the 8 p.m. show with the Bad News Blues Band and the Fluffingtons opening.
An interesting show at Flycatcher on Nov. 3 as the Kyle Gass Band takes the stage. You probably know Gass from being the not-quite-as-famous guy from Tenacious D and his own Jack Black-less band is touring in support of their new album "Grandpa's Finger." Tickets are $13 for the 21 and over show. More info at theflycatchertucson.com.