XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars…

Thursday, April 28

In a career marred by controversies and legal troubles (drugs, weapons, assault, fraud charges)—T.I. dropped No Mercy (2010) while serving 11 months in federal prison—the Atlanta rapper has announced that Kill the King (TBA) will be his final solo album. In an interview with SOHH, T.I. reveals, “I’m ready to get the hell outta here. In chess, the object is to kill the king. Will they kill him or will he ride into the sunset?” At Pima County Fair…

With the encouragement of her parents, Ana Lila Downs Sánchez began her musical career at age 8, singing with mariachis in the Sierra Madre mountains of Oaxaca. Tapping into indigenous Mexican influences, Lila Downs has recorded songs in many languages: Mixtec, Zapotec, Mayan, Nahuatl and Purépecha. In addition to championing immigrant causes and women’s rights, Downs has fought to preserve Indigenous Mexican languages. According to Rolling Stone, Downs is “no stranger to raising hell and consciousness through the power of song.” Infused with infectious cumbia rhythms, Al Chile (2019), explores pleasure and pain, suffering and redemption, through the metaphor of Mexico’s ubiquitous chili pepper. At Centennial Hall…

The Century Room is the site of the official Lila Downs After Party. Mexican gypsy troubadour Salvador Duran entertains…

“Somewhere Between I Love You and I’m Leaving.” Cody Jinks started his musical career fronting a Fort Worth, Texas, thrash metal band before recasting himself as a country crooner. In 2016, this country outlaw’s breakthrough album, I’m Not the Devil (2016), made Rolling Stone’s best country albums list. At Encore…

Igor Yuzov grew up in Russia when xenophobia spurred the Kremlin to be ban rock music (1985). But the intoxicating lure of forbidden was too great. In 1995, Elvis Presley came to him in a dream, directing him to start a rock & roll band, thus sealing his fate. Better Than Sex, the Siberian surf-rock of Igor and Red Elvises will have you Grooving to the Moscow Beat. At 191 Toole…

“Don’t California My Texas.” Unapologetic, zealous, and patriotic, on “Cuz I’m Country” Texas-grown country outlaw Creed Fisher stays true to his unwavering form. “I got a wild side 10 miles wide, ain’t nobody gonna change me. I love my mama and the Bible but I still take a pull off the bottle, ’cause I’m country.” At The Maverick…

The Fox Tucson Theater presents Troubadour Thursdays. Olivia Reardon and her band are next to scatter bite sized morsels of musical confection at your favorite downtown eatery patios. See foxtucson.com for details…

Woke up in neverland. Heavily influenced by Travis Scott, Oliver Francis, 6LACK and psychedelics, Tucson native Nico Jordan’s second album A Beautiful Nightmare (2021)—full of ambient flows and confessional wordplay—is a woozy, downtempo collection of emo rap. At Chicago Bar…

Friday, April 29

“Back on the block, back in the hood.” Nashvillian bluesman Keb’ Mo’ (né Kevin Moore) returned to Compton to write Good To Be…

(2022). Moore tells NPR, “I was at home, enjoying winter in Southern California, in the house [where] my mother passed away…and all of this stuff came back.” On “Louder” Moore shifts his focus to the future. “At one time, I was part of a new generation. In my 20s, the Vietnam War, and [standing] against nuclear weapons and power plants and polluted oceans. We were mad at the previous generation because they let that happen. And then we became the old generation, and we didn’t do anything. So I’m calling us out, apologizing to the new generation.” And the five-time Grammy winner is ready to bring it. “I may be turning 70, but I’m still hungry. I’m still out there going for it every single day.” At Fox Tucson Theatre…

Wolfgang Van Halen started recording his music while he was still part of Van Halen. In 2006, his father Eddie prophetically stated on The Howard Stern Show, “Wait until you hear this kid play. He can do anything I do. The family legacy is gonna go on way after I’m gone ‘cause this kid is a natural.” Mammoth WVH. At Pima County Fair. Ayron Jones opens…

Named after the patron saint of musicians, they draw musical inspiration from across the globe. Humanizing the experience of the immigrant, from the outset this band of Los Angelinos set out to represent a bicultural identity. Percussionist Miguel “Oso” Ramirez tells NPR. “So much of our family history and lineage has to do with immigration and coming to this country.” La Santa Cecilia are “as American as apple pie and tacos.” At Rialto Theater…

On Spencer Sings the Hits (2018), veteran of many wars Jon Spencer (Pussy Galore, Boss Hog, Blues Explosion)—in reaction to the toxic waste dump created when gross narcissism runs riot—asked the question, “Is it possible to torch the cut-throat world of fake news and prefab, plastic-coated teen ennui with the cold hard facts of rock ’n’ roll?” A question left largely unanswered. Now, Spencer returns to unveil Spencer Gets It Lit (2022). A record that (as per his press release) “delivers friction, excitement, and post-modern depravity in a gonzo retaliation against idiocy that is as good a balm for our collective PTSD as any.” Jon Spencer & The HITmakers. At 191 Toole…

After a mysterious two-year absence, Mexican singer Virlan Garcia returns with a renewed awareness of the traps of life. The rising star tells EFE that on Hibrido (2021), a collection of neo-traditional banda, norteño y corridos, he exposes the nature of his duality. At Club 4th Avenue…

El Tambó Fest: Weekend One brings together cutting-edge DJs and cumbia bands from across the borderlands. Las Calakas, Uproot Andy, DJ Major League, DJ Awdre, y mas join El Tambó residents—Humblelianess, DJQ, Dirtyverbs, y Halsero—for a supersized version of Tucson’s legendary Latinx dance party sin fronteras. At Hotel Congress Plaza…

“I feel right at home in either.” Born in Texas, with roots in Chihuahua, this Mexican-American Norteño/Tejano singer-accordionist’s sound epitomizes border-straddling multiculturalism. It’s a life of “Honky Tonks & Cantinas” for Michael Salgado. In a Latinx mashup of biblical proportion, Ram Herrera, Grupo Xprezzion, y La Nueva Onda join Salgado to turn water into wine. At AVA Amphitheater…

This accomplished jazz pianist’s compositions reveal horn-like lines and an impeccable sense of implied time. Larry Redhouse Trio performs at The Century Room. Followed by Jason Carder Quartet. Late Night… Arizona’s longest running Grateful Dead tribute, Xtra Ticket. At The Rock…

Saturday, April 30

Relentless Beats presents Hello Summer. EDM artists Loud Luxury, Ship Wreck, and Cheyenne Giles headline this pre-summer block party. At MSA Annex…

“He’s regularly the best player in the room, hands down,” enthuses Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), of this Greensville, South Carolina blues-rock guitar phenom. The Marcus King Band recant their Southern Confessions (2018). At Rialto Theater…

Do it yourself. Indie-folk singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro (aka Lady Lamb) worked the closing shift at a Brunswick, Maine, video store before entering film school. After hours, with the owner’s permission, she used the sales floor as a makeshift recording studio. Embracing the DIY spirit, Spaltro’s first recordings were distributed in handmade packages via the local record store. At 191 Toole…

Known for their lively música fronteriza, a combination of borderland folk, mambo, and cumbia music, Frontera Bugalú entertain besotted revelers for Agave Fiesta. DJ Buttafly spins. At Hotel Congress Plaza… DJ Fat Tony holds down the Agave Fiesta After Party…

Strains of swampy, jazz inflected original blues rock will waft through the air. Southbound Pilot. At Monterey Court… Follow your indulgences into the dead of the Late Night. Classical/flamenco guitarrista Ismael Barajas performs jazz, bossa-nova, and traditional Mexican folk music. At The Century Room…

Sunday, May 1

Specializing in a traditional norteño and corrido style, since the grupos inception (1987), Los Tucanes de Tijuana have sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Enjoying significant crossover appeal, in 2019 they became the first regional Mexican music group to perform at Coachella. At Pima County Fair…

From The Land of Enchantment,
Felix y Los Gatos serve up a piquant olio of zydeco/Tejano/blues for the hungry masses. Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress Plaza… With a flair for contemporary Latino urbano music, Zona Libre bring the Annual Agave Heritage Festival to a close. At The Century Room…

Preceded by the piano stylings of
Nick Stanley

Monday, May 2

Emblematic of the Riot Grrrl movement (early 1990s), Bikini Kill worked to prove that feminism could be elemental within punk. Vocalist Kathleen Hanna would call women to the front of the stage, handing out lyric sheets to encourage participation. An unstoppable force, she was known to dive into the crowd to remove obnoxious male hecklers. At Rialto Theater…

Finding kindred spirits. Melding the harmonic complexity and conversational fluency of free jazz with the in-the-pocket groove of classic R&B and funk, Medeski, Martin & Wood emerged from the downtown Manhattan scene of the 1990s. Renowned drummer Billy Martin performs Solos and Duets. At The Century Room…

Tuesday, May 3

Driven at first by his father’s military career. Josh Rouse spent his youth living in seven states. Music was one of few constants. Later, this folk-pop singer-songwriter began his recording career in Nashville (1998) before relocating to Spain. Rouse explores Love in the Modern Age (2018). At 191 Toole. Freddy Parish opens…

Paying tribute to Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage, Celtic Woman presents Postcards from Ireland. At Tucson Music Hall… Squaring synthesizer patterns against drum tracks, horns, guitars, and found noises, Ajo Sunshine (2021), by J.R.C.G., is the experimental output of keyboardist Justin R. Cruz Gallego (Dreamdecay). At Club Congress…

Recognized as one of the best steel drum programs in the nation. Captivating audiences with the vibrant sound of the Caribbean, Jovert Steel Drum Band (from Tucson High Magnet School) is saying goodbye to Khris Dodge, who has led the band for the past 20 years. At Hotel Congress Plaza…

Wednesday, May 4

During a time of war, displacement, and dire need, Miss Olivia, Greg Morton, Salvador Duran, and Mark Insley circle the wagons to raise funds for global refugees. At Hotel Congress Plaza. All proceeds to benefit World Central Kitchen and Lutheran Social Services Southwest (refugee resettlement efforts)…

On the horizon: Patti LaBelle. May 6. At AVA Amphitheater… Lil Tecca. May 7. At Rialto Theater… Tucson International Mariachi Conference Espectacular. May 7. At Tucson Music Hall… Royal Blood. May 9. At Rialto Theater… Violent Femmes. May 11 At Rialto Theater…

Until next week, XOXO…

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