Golden Boots shows have been few and far between for far too long now; the upside of that is when the quintet do get together for a sporadic date, it's always a major event for us here in Tucson. Much has been written about band members Dimitri Manos and Nathan Sabatino's involvement with the primarily Philadelphia-based and fantastic indie-rock band Dr. Dog, who get better and more popular each passing year. And that's wonderful and well-deserved--there's argument there. But it does mean that the importance of Golden Boots sometimes needs to be restated.

Golden Boots' insinuating and haunting sound is cobbled together from strands of traditional country, '60s folk-rock and British Invasion styles with fragments of eerie psychedlia and high-plains melancholia. In other words, their music is evocative of what you'd think the desert sounds like. That's not new to Tucson--similar ingredients have been juggled by countless local rock 'n' roll bands for decades now with varying degrees of success. The style is known as desert-rock, and depending on your age and who your friends are, that term is either vomit-inducing or our city's rightful claim to fame. But Golden Boots is not only great at this sub-genre, their existence represents a turning point for it, where a new generation of young musicians reinterpreted it, revitalized it and turned an artistic dead end into a blank slate with infinite possibility, paving the way for Tucson's current crop of roots-based rock 'n' roll bands with off-kilter sensibilities, like Otherly Love or Katterwaul, both of who share members with Golden Boots.

Golden Boots performs with Acorn Bcorn at The Maker House on Friday, December 12 at 8 P.M. See for details.


Local quartet Lethal Dosage's official debut album, "Consume," released on Battleground Records earlier this year, was a fine slab of bleak brutality with a loose storyline about the trajectory of one possible outcome of alcoholism, which is death. The record was expertly played, written and ultimately, cathartic, but Lethal Dosage lightens up this week to headline a Toys For Tots Charity show over at The Rock. Tombs of Kaliche, Our Daily Trespasses, We Killed the Union, Animus Divine and the decidedly pro-alcohol Apostles of Ale are also scheduled to play the show on Friday, December 12. Doors open at 6 P.M., admission is obviously some sort of toy and more info is available at

Another benefit for Toys For Tots will take place at La Cocina on Tuesday, December 16 at 5 P.M. Featured performers include Creating the Scene, Aztral Folk Duo, Karima Walker, Lauren Wiggins, TANJU and Mik and Scott, the latter's wonderful debut album was released a couple of weeks ago. Along with gift donations, 10 percent of all food and drink sales will be given to the charity organization. Details for this event can be found at


Tucson's music community suffered a huge loss on Sept. 1 this year, when the beloved and amazingly talented Cyril Barrett passed away. His influence and memory extends far beyond local circles, however, as proven by the lovely various-artists tribute album "The Banks of the Ship Canal: The Songs of Cyril Barrett," released on Heathen Records shortly after his passing. It's a beautiful testament to a man who touched so many lives through his music and spirit. Featured performers on the record—all playing Barrett's compositions—include Gabriel Sullivan, Howe Gelb, Joey Burns, Leila Lopez and Brian Green, Carlos Arzate and Ryan Alfred, along with many, many others. 75 percent of sales of "The Banks of the Ship Canal" go directly to Cyril's favorite charity, No More Deaths, and I cannot overstate the profound treasure trove this album has to offer. It's available at Give it to someone you love.

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