XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars…

Thursday, June 2

Bearing scars they won’t allow anyone to see, Phoenician electric folksters The Senators write a manifesto declaring aims in “This Old War.” To which, Sonoran soul singer Carlos Arazate opines. “Sometimes I want to break glass, instead of the glass breaking me.” He adds, “Democracy is ugly, and broken glass is a symptom of a larger problem that society doesn’t want to reconcile.” At Club Congress…

Early evening, baladista Salvador Duran serenades on the Hotel Congress Plaza…

The artful, jazz guitar-driven sounds of the Matt Mitchell Trio usher the descent into the Late Night. At The Century Room…

Purveyors of the blues. Featuring ace guitarist Johnny Blommer and Steven Jonas on harp, Porch Rockers mete out a punchy repertoire of blues, jump and swing. At Monterey Court…

Opti Club: A downtown dance scene institution returns. alice.km and Hot Leather Disco are behind the decks. At Club Congress…

Friday, June 3

Wild. One of the most endearing indie rock bands of their generation, Spoon return with Lucifer on the Sofa (2022). An album on which frontman Britt Daniel confronts the Adversary. Not a fiendish Lucifer overseeing torture throughout the Nine Circles of Hell, but more a slothful Belphegor smoking a blunt dissipating on the couch. “That character staring at me was really a part of myself,” Daniel tells Pitchfork. “It’s that inability to move forward and get past bitterness or loneliness.” Written and recorded in Texas before and amid the pandemic, eschewing endless overdubbing, the album captures the sound of a band playing together in real time, making music that feels less lonely. At Rialto Theater…

Danger. You are entering the World of Wonk. Like a runaway locomotive, English dubstep producer/DJ Monxx (né Josh Carling) plows the “Wonk Train” headlong into the dubstep abyss. At Gentle Ben’s…

Reaching far beyond their folk roots, on Too Close To The Riptide (2021), Sophia Rankin & The Sound explore themes of love, mourning, new beginnings and acceptance. At Club Congress…

Performing a selection of songs from The Great Lady Day (2011), vocalist Sheryl Ann Mckinley sings Billie Holiday. At The Century Room…

Afterwards, DJ Carl Hanni spins vinyl from across the jazz spectrum well past midnight. Late Night Lounge…

Strains of swampy, jazz inflected blues rock shall waft through the night air. Southbound Pilot are at Monterey Court…

Saturday, June 4

“Seeing ghosts, everywhere, and my life disappear, but I am not scared.” With one foot in the real world and the other in an enchanted dimension, neo-soul/folk singer Amos Lee returns with Dreamland (2022). Holding up a mirror to his lifelong struggles with anxiety, isolation and fear, Lee tells SongwriterUniverse about “Worry No More,” the album’s lead single: “My depression started when I was really young. It’s been its own journey. A lot of times, it can be a chronic thing. It doesn’t necessarily go away. A huge part is trying to find that door. What’s your way out? It’s something different for everyone. For me, the door has always been music.” At Fox Tucson Theatre…

With the release of his 1971 self-titled album, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, David Bromberg emerged as a wunderkind of American roots music. Tucson Jazz Festival presents David Bromberg Quintet. At Rialto Theater…

“Improvisational compositions meld together into auditory waves of fuzz, delay and modulation and every emotion under the Sonoran Desert sun.” Tucson abstract expressionists La Cerca commemorate A Nice Sweet Getaway (2020), their fifth release. At Club Congress…

We won’t back down. Taking their name from the Egyptian sun god, nu metalists Ra formed circa 1996. After years fraught with trials and triumphs, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, marked a turning point. The magnitude of devastation and loss had a profound impact on frontman Sahaj Ticotin. Reinvigorated, Ra dove headlong in pursuit of a dream. After a fateful performance at Boston’s Nemo Fest (2002), in front of an audience of 18, undaunted, an enthusiast in the crowd passed along a copy of the band’s demo to well-known radio personality Mistress Carrie at WKVB (107.3 FM). The request line lit up like Christmas. A short time later, Ra signed with Universal Music Group. At The Rock…

Performing “Phoenix 99”—originally released on 7” vinyl in 1987—and two sets of material from the band’s catalog, venerated Tucson jangle-poppers River Roses are at Saint Charles Tavern… “Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.” Paying homage to one of the most influential folk duos of our time, Homeward Bound: A Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel are at The Gaslight Music Hall - Oro Valley…

Electronic pop producer/songwriter and LGBTQ activist Sharkk Heartt unveils “How to Love,” her latest video. At Groundworks…

Singer-songwriter Carra “Mamma Coal” Stasney & Alvin Blaine perform traditional country and roots music. At MotoSonora Brewing Company…

Tucson’s ambassadors of the Great Swing Era, The Wholly Cats Swing Club (featuring vocalist Julie Buck) preserve the music of Benny Goodman. At The Century Room…

Van Hagar? Not for these guys. Mean Streets is a tribute to David Lee Roth-era Van Halen. At Encore…

Meaner than a pack of junkyard dogs. The Tirebiters (comprised of Tucson vets Steve Grams, Gary Mackender and Lex Browning) along with The McCallion Band (who perform original Americana and rock ‘n’ roll executed with joyful, punkish abandon) hold sway at Monterey Court…

“Making cathartic indie pop for weirdos, outcasts, queer folks, and anyone else who needs it,” Chateau Chateau make an in-store appearance to perform and sign copies of their debut release, Grow Up (2022, Kill Rock Stars). At Zia Records…

Sunday, June 5

Tucson Jazz Festival presents the legendary Herb Alpert and his wife, Grammy award-winning vocalist Lani Hall performing an eclectic mix of American standards, Brazilian jazz, some Beatles, classic Tijuana Brass and Brazil ’66 songs. At Rialto Theatre…

After the show, the
Max Goldschmid Quartet host the Herb Alpert Afterparty. At The Century Room…

With decades of musical experience, these longtime Tucson musicians billow embers to flame. Southern Arizona Blues and Heritage Foundation presents
Grams & Krieger. Congress Cookout. At Hotel Congress…

A conjurer, who manifests at times as a penitent. Although this sinner’s sacrament may not be altar wine, his lyrics are pointedly confessional. Singer-songwriter
Joe Peña and guitarist/pedal steelist Joe Novelli make storm clouds swell. At Che’s Lounge (patio)...

Looking for all ages, family fun? “This is it!”
DJ Herm laces up the skates, so as to glide behind the turntables, for the yacht rock edition of Spinnin’ Wheels: An outdoor roller disco & dance party. At MSA Annex…

Monday, June 6

Dance with abandon. Club Whutever DJs bring cool to a hot Tucson night. At Tap Room Patio…

Tuesday, June 7

On Lucas Acid (2018), frontperson/lyricist Chris Martinez came out as a transgender woman. The result: An unflinchingly ferocious album of trans anthems with a glitch-laden industrial edge. “The biggest difference was just being able to write freely, openly and honestly,” says Martinez. “Once you come out there’s a whole host of issues that you don’t really consider. This record has a lot of that in there.” Pioneers in noise rap, Moodie Black are at Club Congress…

It’s a Bluegrass Jamboree. Canyon Currents and Cadillac Mountain dish out traditional Applachian sounds. Just try to keep your feet from tapping. At The Gaslight Music Hall - Oro Valley…

Swathed in patches of blue and fitfully an eerie sun-scorched melancholia, alt. country/folkies Tammy West & The Culprits bring their latest release, Little Saint (2021), to Monterey Court…

Wednesday, June 8

HuffPost refers to award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Venuti as “a soul-stirring maestro.” The Ultima Zone: A full-spectrum music, visual and sound experience. At Solar Culture Gallery…

Honing his particular brand of high-octane Americana and outlaw country in the rough and tumble honky-tonks of California,
Mark Insley & the Broken Angels perform material from his latest album, Ten Cent Redemption (2020). At Monterey Court…

In Memoriam: Al Foul (August 23, 1971 – May 25, 2022)

A beloved figure on the Tucson music scene, Al Foul (aka Alan Lewis Curtis) died on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after a protracted battle with cancer.

Foul performed solo, as a one-man band, and as leader of small ensembles, creating primitive folk rock, drawing from the underbelly of the tattered American Dream.

Musician Naïm Amor (who often performed with Foul) notes, “I would say Al is a man who truly followed his dream. He built his own ways, his life, his music.”

As a restless young man, embracing self-determination, Foul left his hometown of Boston, leaving behind his blue-collar heritage for the freedom of the open road.

Eventually, the “Tequila Taxi” (a beloved Chevy Bel Air) found its way to Tucson. Where it parked, and stayed for a while.

In an interview with Tucson Weekly’s Brian Smith, Foul reflected, “In a weird way, I’m living the life that my father should’ve lived: I was going to be a rocker. I wasn’t going to stay in the same place. I wasn’t going to work a shit job.”

Author/chanteuse Marianne Dissard wrote in a memoir, “I never knew Al to play Wordle (maybe he did and unsurprisingly excelled at it—he had his ways with words, one of the finest lyricists this town has ever known). I met him pre-internet. Most evenings that summer, I’d shuffle down Convent Avenue, crack open an old wooden door wheezing fragrant swampy air, and tumble into one of Al’s bottomless Barrio Viejo soirées. Stylish down to his choice of social games, he’d be holding court (for a mix-and-match posse of ex-cons, Circle K fiends, and heat-seeking foreigners), bent over a tattered Mexican oilcloth lined with dominoes (and bits of Rizla paper), the ancient game’s stakes fluctuating as wildly (with each knock on the door) as the stack of Schlitz in the fridge. Al’s domino effect.”

His devoted wife Hannah Levin recalls, “He roared when he died at sunset last night. Not a metaphor. Like a lion. My love.”

Al Foul was 50 years old.

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