XOXO: Mark Your Calendars


THURSDAY, MARCH 17

“Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues.” Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, the son of sharecroppers, this storied Chicago bluesman picked cotton for $2.50 per 100 pounds while learning to play the guitar on a two-string diddley bow he made. By the 1960s he rose to become the house guitarist at fabled Chess Records. By bending new curves into a blue note, his innovative style influenced Hendrix, Page, Richards, Clapton and more. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy holds court. At Rialto Theatre...

Mining a rocky field of sound strewn with sparkly guitars and opalescent synths, these alt-rockers formed in Tempe in 2007. Frontman John O’Callaghan tells Alternative Press how the anxiety witnessed throughout the world during quarantine influenced the writing process on XOXO: From Love and Anxiety in Real Time (2021). “The idea of the world coming to a halt minimized a lot of the talk. It became more like, ‘Let’s create instead of talk about creating.’” The Maine. At 191 Toole...

In the expanse between the fertile soil of East Africa’s EDM club scene and that of the less-cultivated metal underground emerges Duma. On their self-titled debut album (2020), death growl vocalist Martin Khanja and producer/ guitarist Sam Karugu cross-fertilize spermatozoa—the darkly atmospheric techno menace of Perc with the sonic doom of Sunn O)))—to spawn lethal tracks of feral intensity forever expanding the boundaries of African metal. The Guardian opines, “[These] extreme Kenyan metalheads bring doom to the dancefloor.” Duma. At Club Congress...

This L.A. DJ/producer’s big booty shaking bass and techno are certified party starters. FreakOn headlines Electronic St. Patty’s Day. With Westcoast go-go crew the AfterGlow Dancers. At The Rock...

Fiddler Billy Shaw Jr. and his band of merry cohorts put the “luck of the Irish” to the test. At Whiskey Roads...

Specializing in Celtic-inspired music, Cleavers & Clovers perform once a year to observe the death of the patron saint of Ireland. At Tap + Bottle (downtown)...

FRIDAY,MARCH 18

A first-generation Swede—his Argentinian parents fled from a right- wing junta in their native land—indie folk singer José González first rose to prominence in the early aughts fronting Junip. Recorded at his home studio near the coast of the North Sea in a lush forest of birch and pine, Local Valley (2021)—the first album where he sings in English, Spanish, and Swedish—again finds González alone with a nylon-stringed Spanish guitar. Immersing himself in an array of books by some of the world’s most august thinkers, González tells NPR, “Many of the songs have a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: anti-dogma, pro-reason. There’s no political agenda. The focus is on underlying worldviews, and on our existential questions as smart apes on a quest to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.” José González. At Rialto Theater...

Experience a dynamic array of chamber music’s best artists. Anchored by the esteemed Dover Quartet, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music present the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival. Runs through March 20. At Leo Rich Theater...

Maestro José Luis Gomez leads the Tucson Symphony Orchestra through The Splendor of Brahms. In the first of two performances. At Tucson Music Hall...

From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this Grammy and Tony Award-winning musical brings the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to life. Jersey Boys. Runs through March 22. At Centennial Hall...

Reflecting on his surroundings with a sharp pen, on Freewave 3 (2019), Westside Chicago underground rapper Lucki takes an unflinching look at his struggles with addiction (tagging himself a fiend) and dysfunctional relationships. After moving from Chicago to NYC to be with a woman, in a dispassionate and slurred voice, on “More Than Ever” Lucki raps, “I know she ain’t loyal, but she makes me better.” Lucki. 2 Neptune N Back Tour. At 191 Toole...

Mashing together music and visual art, this installment of Speakeasy pairs indie rockers Female Gaze with artist Ruben Urrea Moreno. At Habitation Realty...

Gypsy jazz ensemble ZAZU West salutes Django Reinhardt. At The Century Room...

SATURDAY, MARCH 19

With poisonous flowers strewn through their hair, Flor de Toloache formed a sisterhood in 2008, emerging as NYC’s first and only all-female mariachi. Their sophomore release Las Caras Lindas (2017) won a Latin Grammy award for best ranchero/mariachi album, breathing new life into a too often staid and testosterone permeated genre. Florecita Rock-ERA (2022)—an album of reinterpreted classic Latin rock anthems—finds these intrepid aventureras swapping out their embroidered bolero jackets for studded black leather. Flor de Toloache. At Fox Tucson Theatre...

Representing the four elements of hip hop considered to be its pillars—deejaying (“turntabling”), rapping (“emceeing”), graffiti painting (“tagging”) and break dancing (“B-boying”), THHF is a celebration of hip hop culture in the Southwest. Smif-N-Wessun and Che Noir top a bill featuring over 100 acts. Tucson Hip Hop Festival 2022: 2 Days, 7 Stages, 2 Locations. At 191 Toole and UA Poetry Center...

Growing up in Houston, rapper Mike Jones was close with his grandmother. In an interview with the Houston Press, Jones credits her with giving him the ideas to pursue rap and to write songs for strippers. Mike Jones. At Club 4th Avenue...

Bluesman Carvin Jones sets his Stratocaster ablaze. At The Rock...

This South Carolina sextet christened themselves Marshall Tucker after finding a keyring with the piano tuner’s name emblazoned on it in an old rehearsal space. Over the course of a career spanning five decades, they helped popularize Southern rock in the 1970s. The Marshall Tucker Band. 50th Anniversary Tour. At Tucson Music Hall. With special guest Dave Mason...

Portland post-punks Soft Kill’s latest, Dead Kids R.I.P. City (2020), depicts a desolate city where a post-punk underground scene once thrived. Soft Kill. At Club Congress...

After struggling to obtain a visa for years, Mexican reggaeton rapper José Luis Maldonado Ramos, vowed that he would not return to the U.S. until Donald Trump no longer occupied the presidency. C-Kan: Mi canción USA Tour. At Encore...

Songstress Gabrielle Pietrangelo performs two sets outdoors. At Hotel Congress Plaza...

Commemorating 28 years of sun scorched fury, Greyhound Soul circle the wagons. At Che’s Lounge...

Lap-slide, fingerstyle blues, gritty twang guitarist Joe Novelli adds his own original high-octane twist to American roots music. At MotoSonora Brewing Company...

The After Hours Quintet perform straight ahead and contemporary jazz. Flor de Toloache After Party. At The Century Room...

Mr. Crowley: A Tribute to Ozzy cover the hits. At House of Bards...

SUNDAY, MARCH 20

“I’ve joked in the past that if you take Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and Trent Reznor (NIN) then a Bob Moses song is somewhere in the middle,” Jimmy Vallance tells Euphoria. While the world stood still, Vancouver-bred electronic duo Bob Moses were in pre-production. “During the pandemic we really dove into some of our favorite records. Tears for Fears’ Songs From the Big Chair is one of the best blends of rock and dance ever released. U2’s Achtung Baby is another.” Eager to share A Silence in Between (2022), Tom Howie enthuses, “We’ve been working hard on putting together a setlist for this tour. We mix songs live like a DJ would, [except] with a full band. It creates this awesome dynamic energy.” Bob Moses. At Rialto Theater...

As a youth, Canadian country singer Corb Lund felt apprehensive about the church. In an interview with Gigcity, he explains. “At the time, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t like doing chores, either. It’s just something you’ve got to do.’ As it turns out, my instincts were correct. I’m definitely not religious.” Corb Lund. At 191 Toole...

Brooklyn art punks, bring their latest, Audio Drag For Ego Slobs (2021). Gustaf. At Club Congress. Tucson’s Weekend Lovers open the show...

Blues singer Amanda Fish turns a spark into flame. With Bad News Blues Band. Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress Patio...

New Orleans garage-psych crew Silver Synthetic are on the road promoting their self-titled album debut. At Groundworks...

MONDAY, MARCH 21

In what has been described as a “bizarro” yet “brilliant sequel” to 2007’s Colors— grafting together an unholy union of gospel and thrash, ragtime and bossa nova— Between the Buried and Me’s Colors II (2021) stands as an epic work. But striving to reach the high-water mark set by Colors was no easy task. Kerrang named the album one of the 21 best metalcore albums of all time. “You feel the internal pressure. It’s a gut feeling. [It’s] like, ‘Fuck man, if we don’t knock it out of the park, the rug could get pulled out from under us.’” Between The Buried And Me. Human Is Hell Tour. At 191 Toole...

TUESDAY, MARCH 22

After changing their name from Glut Trip to Clutch—telling fans that it stood for City/State Liberation Union To Cleanse Humanity—these Maryland stoner rockers began to gain popularity with their debut release Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes and Undeniable Truths (1993). Metal Hammer described the album as “a stark reminder of just how good angry music could sound.” In an interview with Psychology Today, frontman Neil Fallon casts light on his songwriting process. “I’ve always been attracted to the idea of a tall tale. But any story, take myth for example, may be filled with half-truths.” On 2018’s Book of Bad Decisions (the band’s 12th studio al- bum), they “Release the Kraken.” Clutch. At Rialto Theater...

These agents of chaos unleash their brand of crushing doom metal. YOB. At Club Congress...

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

Blues is about struggle, sadness and despair tempered by the redemptive voice of gospel. On “Kiss Of Death” (off of 2013’s Midnight Blue) Tinsley Ellis adds in melodrama. “If I can’t have you baby, I might as well drink gasoline.” A “bona fi de, worldwide guitar hero,” while in his youth—before discovering “The King of the Blues” BB King—his ears were captivated by the roar of the British Invasion and “tied to the whipping post” Southern rockers. Tinsley Ellis. Devil May Care Tour. At 191 Toole...

Until next week, XOXO

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