XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars…

Thursday, May 5

Touching on themes such as “human connection, goodbyes, and ultimately, growing up,” Get Yourself A Friend (2021) is a collection of songs that exemplifies the spirit of a previous age. In an interview with Clash, frontman Jakob Armstrong (son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong) reveals: “My favorite band of all time is The Cure. I definitely draw from them subconsciously. At the time of making this EP, we were really into that first Interpol album, Bloc Party, and The Futureheads.” Armstrong adds: “I think this era of our band is bittersweet. We’re no longer kids anymore, but we have so much more to give.” Ultra Q. At 191 Toole…

Laissez-faire capitalism knows no bounds. Primarily observed in the States, this annual celebration of Mexico’s victory over the French at the 1862 Battle of Puebla—often confused with Mexican Independence Day (Sept.16)—gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s due to targeted marketing efforts by alcohol distributors eager to bolster sales, now on par with those of the Super Bowl. Cinco De Mayo. Santa Pachita and DJ Buttafly preside over the festivities. At Hotel Congress Plaza…

House. Techno. Dubstep. Bass. This spring festival features art, go-go dancers, interactives, pop-ups, and three stages showcasing over 30 of Arizona’s hottest DJs and producers: Lance Fairchild, Lunarfluxx, Walters The Don, Mental, Alex Anders, Low Audio, Xochique, and more. ZIMA Music Festival. At Zen Nightclub…

Singer Diego Zegarra reflects on what his favorite Pearl Jam song means to him. “I was 14, my parents were getting a divorce and [“Corduroy”] was just one of those songs that [felt] like ‘it was written for me.’” Corduroy: The Pearl Jam Experience. At Encore…

Pueblos del Maíz present Naïm Amor & the Cocktail Hours followed by Rafael Moreno Quartet. Musical groups whose diverse jazz inflected repertoires cover the expanse from Paris, France to Latin America. At The Century Room…

“We are here to create shit we love and give two fucks how you feel about it,” comments Tucson rapper Cash Lansky regarding the release of his new EP, May All Your Dreams Come True (2022). At Thunder Canyon Brewstillery…

Cut loose on shore leave, these landlocked mavens of maritime madness, with a slight S&M bent, run unrestrained. Surfbroads. Live & Free. At Tap & Bottle…

Friday, May 6

With a voice capable of “matching the wail of a fire engine,” R&B legend Patti LaBelle’s career perdures into its sixth decade. Initially taking flight fronting The Bluebelles (1960s girl group), then LaBelle (’70s funk trailblazers), she has earned the sobriquet “The Godmother of Soul.” In an interview with Georgia Voice, LaBelle attributes her continued success, in part, to the support of the LGBTQ community. “The gay fans are some of the reason, one big reason, I’m still standing.” LaBelle adds, “They loved me when other people tried not to.” At AVA Amphitheater…

The supersized version of Tucson’s Latin dance party sin fronteras, El Tambó Fest: Weekend Two brings together legendary cumbia bands—Vox Urbana y El Santo Golpe—along with the El Tambó crew—DJ Humblelianess, Dirtyverbs y Halsero—to celebrate the cultural remezcla germane to the borderlands. At Hotel Congress Plaza…

Riding the bus to see how far it will take them. Comprised of University of Arizona classmates, alt-rockers The Basements celebrate the release of Long Stories Get Short (2022), their shiny new debut EP. At 191 Toole…

It all started humbly on a Fostex four-track tape machine, nearly a decade ago. Following the release of Barnyard (2021), Stefan Blair, one half of Australian indie rock duo Good Morning, tells NME, “We’re really lucky to tour anywhere. All these wild opportunities from this stupid little band, playing in Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan.” Blair reflects: “What we wanted to do at the start, [was] make music and figure out a way to see the world.” At Club Congress…

Promulgating a message of one love, General Tchefary & Soldiers unite the people through the power of music. Roots Reggae Night. At Monterey Court…

With a repertoire that draws on classic jazz, with an emphasis on the work of Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Jelly Roll Morton, Pueblos del Maíz presents contrabassist Alan Lewine’s AZ Xtet. At The Century Room…

Celebrate Seis de Mayo (is that a thing?) with reggae rockers Rilen’ Out. At Chicago Bar. With special guest Diluvio

For those who dare venture towards the zero hour, a night of psychobilly and garage rock awaits. Dead at Midnite (Las Vegas), The Reztones (Navajo Nation), and The Vooduo (Long Beach). At Thunder Canyon Brewstillery…

Visions of the Vibe: An art and music event showcases the work of six photographers who routinely focus their lenses upon Tucson’s music scene. The Vapor Trails (Howe Gelb, Nick Augustine, and Tommy Larkins) provide the tunes. At Revel Wine Bar…

Saturday, May 7

With roots entrenched south of the border, Invisible People (2020) by psychedelic soul outfit Chicano Batman is a mighty statement of hope. Analogous to a Latinx Bruce Wayne, with Olympic standard physical attributes, proclaiming that despite race, class, or gender we are all invisible people, capable of overcoming our differences to stand together. At Rialto Theater…

Commemorating the cultural and agricultural significance of maíz in the Sonoran desert, Tucson City of Gastronomy presents the first annual Pueblos del Maíz. Hosted by DJ G. Gertie & the T.O. Boyz, Los Hermanos Cuatro, Las Trillizas y Dulce, and Native Creed provide the soundtrack for this family-friendly, maíz-themed block party. At Congress and Fifth Avenue…

At 16, NYC rapper Tyler-Justin Anthony Sharpe (aka Lil Tecca) catapulted into the mainstream with “Ransom” (2019), a single which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. On his latest album, We Love You Tecca 2 (2021), Sharpe tells XXL that it’s all about the sound. “You always gotta go forward, but reintroduce. Make a nostalgic feeling. Recreate that whole vibe.” At 191 Toole…

Tucson’s own Mariachi Cobre and Grammy Award winning Mariachi Los Camperos headline the Tucson International Mariachi Conference Espectacular. With special guest vocalist Lupita Infante. At Tucson Music Hall… Preceded by Fiesta Garibaldi. At TCC…

¡Vamos! With a knack for fostering community wherever he goes. From his plain-spoken lyricism to the playfulness of his live shows (known to include sing-alongs and races), NYC via Uruguay indie rocker Juan Wauters finds magic in Real Life Situations (2021). At Club Congress. Los Velvets open…

The art of finding beauty in sun ravaged leavings. Like a mirage, this Joshua Tree, California guitarist/oudist’s experimental folk compositions mirror his gnarled desert surroundings. Derek Monypeny. With Phoenix-based computer musician Gabriella Isaac. At Solar Culture Gallery…

Pueblos del Maíz presents accomplished classical and jazz guitarist Gabriel Ayala. Late Night. At The Century Room…

Funky Bonz incite jacquerie on the dance floor. At MotoSonora Brewing Company…

While Gaza Strip and Four Point Play promise to melt faces. At Sky Bar…

On a mission to champion the local metal scene, in their inaugural event, Tucson Metal Society presents Metal de Mayo. Sub-Terraneo (Mexi-metal harshers), Theocide, and Az the World Burnz break the sixth seal. At House of Bards…

Colliding together like leptons and quarks in a particle accelerator. Birds + Arrows and Daphne + The Glitches. At Che’s Lounge…

Sunday, May 8

Propelled by a mighty 8-piece horn section, The Coolers bring an ice chest chockful of bluesy R&B and soul. Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress Plaza… “Wild Women,” vocalist Diane Van Deurzen and pianist Lisa Otey perform boogie woogie, blues and torch songs. At The Century Room… Followed by a jazz jam session hosted by After Hours Quartet


Monday, May 9


Following the accolades that resulted from the success of How Did We Get So Dark (2017), Brighton, England’s Royal Blood were being lauded by some as the saviors of rock. But behind the scenes, chaos ran riot. Frontman Mike Kerr, tells The Independent, “My appetite for hitting the self-destruct button began the moment I started drinking.” Having pulled back from the precipice, now sober, they’re back with a new, somewhat discofied, album, Typhoons (2021). Set deep in the psychodrama of his darkest days, “Trouble’s Coming,” Kerr sings, “In my reflection I see signs of psychosis.” He adds, “I spent so long in this fuzz, in this washing machine of negativity.” At Rialto Theater. Cleopatrick open…


Tuesday, May 10


Noted for their extensive use of harmonized twin lead guitar passages. Over the years, Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica and numerous others have cited these British hard rockers as influences. To observe the 50th anniversary of Argus (1972), their most commercially and critically successful album, Wishbone Ash will perform it in its entirety. At Rialto Theater… “Mr. Pitiful,” Matt Costa and Sea Wolf present an evening of delightful indie folk. At Club Congress…


Wednesday, May 11


The Blind Leading the Naked. In a career strewn with break-ups and legal entanglements between band members—over the licensing of the band’s classic “Blister in the Sun” to Wendy’s—in 2013, Milwaukee folk-punks Violent Femmes re-formed. Since then, they have gone on to release two albums of new material: We Can Do Anything (2016) and Hotel Last Resort (2019). At Rialto Theater… Blurring the lines between pop sensibilities and electronic esoterica, San Francisco-based producer Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation), is taking his new project out for a test drive. At Club Congress… With a sweet tooth for classic pop songwriting, Minneapolis indie rockers Bad Bad Hats perform material from Walkman (2021). With The Ophelias. At 191 Toole… Believers that love is everyday magic, Chicago DIY trash-poppers Dehd return with Empty in My Mind (2022), their latest EP. At Club Congress…


Until next week, XOXO…

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