XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

click to enlarge XOXO: Mark Your Calendars
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Christopher Cross performs at Rialto Theatre on THursday, Sept. 22.

Thursday, Sept. 22

Although best known as a vocalist, Christopher Cross can shred as a guitarist. In 1970, when Ritchie Blackmore fell ill shortly before a Deep Purple concert Cross was tapped to fill in. His prolific chops once led to an unfulfilled invitation to play with Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan, the gold standard in rock pretentiousness. Born Christopher Charles Geppert, Cross burst into mainstream consciousness with the release of his 1979 self-titled debut album. Cross made history at the 23rd annual Grammy Awards, taking home gilded gramophones in the most prestigious categories: record of the year, album of the year, song of the year and best new artist. A feat not replicated until Billie Eilish won all four awards 39 years later. Post-1984, with the rise of MTV and an edgier new wave sound dominating the music scene, Cross’ star began to dim. Despite that, Cross’ yacht rock anthems “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind” remain mainstays on adult contemporary radio. This year, Cross is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough debut album. “This tour celebrates the first chapter in what has been my life’s journey.” Christopher Cross sails into the dry dock at the Rialto Theatre…

Trapsman/producer Pete Swan presents saxophonist Mike Moynihan. Guitarist Ed DeLucia, double-bassist Scott Black and Swan join Moynihan for two sets of edgy jazz at The Century Room…

¡Vamos a bailar! Noche de Verano Sin Ti is a dance party celebrating the music of Bad Bunny. DJ Ruido Suave spins a set on the Hotel Congress plaza…

Radiating their signature soulful, funky grooves, Miss Olivia & the Interlopers tell “Tiny Tales” at Tap & Bottle Downtown…

Sweeter than a song, Tucson-based multi-instrumentalist and storyteller Sunny Gable & the Whiskey Machine mix bluegrass, country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll into a concoction they call “SoulGrass” at Monterey Court…

Friday, Sept. 23

Vogue has called post-“Urban Cowboy” country artists Midland “equal parts heartthrobs and fashion risk takers.” Since coming together in 2013, bonding over common influences when the trio convened at bassist Cameron Duddy’s wedding — in which lead vocalist Mark Wystrach and guitarist Jess Carson were groomsmen — Midland have been on mission to reintroduce “the Western plains, Laurel Canyon-cum-Bakersfield and Lone Star juke joints to country music.” After more than a year away, Midland has returned to touring. “The crowds have been absolutely feverish,” Wystrach said. To prepare for a run of dates, and grueling two-hour sets, the band trained like olympians for the next leg of their retro-nuevo journey. Out in support of “The Last Resort: Greetings From…,” these road warriors have a “Longneck Way to Go,” and then some. Kings of Saturday night, Midland brings its “Drinkin’ Problem” to the Tucson Arena. Special guests Flatland Cavalry come along for the ride…

From the start, Habstrakt’s distinctive production style caught the attention of EDM heavyweights Diplo and Skrillex, who remixed his tracks. His latest single “High” is a high-octane bass house speaker scorcher. From the South of France, DJ/producer Habstrakt detonates bombs on the dance floor at Gentle Ben’s…

The progeny of a jazz giant, pianist Dave Brubeck, bassist/trombonist and composer Chris and drummer Dan Brubeck’s lives have been immersed in music from as far back as they can remember. The brothers cut their first record together in 1966. Today, with the addition of guitarist Mike DeMicco and keyboardist Chuck Lamb, the quartet’s 2012 release “Lifetimes” — integrating elements of funk, blues and world music — remained on the Jazz Week’s radio airplay charts for an impressive five months. Tucson Jazz Fest presents the Brubeck Brothers Quartet. They embrace the spontaneous spirit of jazz at the Rialto Theatre…

The Pete Swan Quartet hosts a Brubeck Brothers preshow soirée. And, trumpeter Max Goldschmid keeps the party going into the Late Night with an afterparty at The Century Room…

Led by maestro José Luis Gomez, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra open their season with Arturo Márquez’s Fandango: A concerto for violin. Featuring esteemed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, Fandango was written especially for her and premiered in 2021 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The program also features works by late Tucson composer Robert Muczynski and comes to a crescendo with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. This fandango fabuloso unfolds at The Linda Ronstadt Music Hall…

From humble beginnings performing with his jug band in Ann Arbor High School’s senior talent show — a notable affair that also included the future Iggy Pop on the program — to touring the world with Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and ostensibly birthing Americana with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, guitarist Bill Kirchen’s top-shelf chicken pickin’ has elevated his status to that of honky-tonk god. Telecaster-master guitarist Bill Kirchen performs solo sets — electrified and acoustically — on the Hotel Congress plaza…

Revered for over 20 years as one of the leading purveyors of the slam genre, New York death metal act Pyrexia unleash the cataclysmic fury of “Gravitas Maximus” at The Rock… Rising from a nanoscopic subterranean rehearsal space to playing the mainstage at Dusk Music Festival in 2021, The Basements — five Theta Delta Chi frat brothers from the UA — along with Bummer Girl, Kulululu and Rosemonte, are part of The Back to Toole Show at 191 Toole…

Including members of The Flaming Lips, “retro-futurist dream rockers” Spaceface harness “the transcendent pulse of the spacetime continuum into catchy songs that twist and stretch.” The band’s 2022 release “Anemoia,” charged by the Sun, shines like “a glow-in-the-dark Slime Science Lab kit.” Spaceface — along with rising alt-folk outfit Soda Sun — bend time and space at Club Congress…

Latin-fusion specialists Santa Pachita is at Chicago Bar…

Led by guitarist Steve Shell, veteran rockers Shell Shock keep the classics alive at Monterey Court…

Saturday, Sept. 24

Dubbed “The Springsteen of the Southwest,” in 2019, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers joined legends Alice Cooper, Linda Ronstadt, Buck Owens, Glen Campbell, Stevie Nicks and Waylon Jennings when they were inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. Heady stuff, to be sure. But just what was Clyne’s early motivation to pursue a career in music? “It was to meet girls,” Clyne said. He used his experience performing in the school choir to land the gig. Moreover, he found something else. “I stood in front of a microphone and went, ‘Wow, this is a new kind of power.’” At that moment a metamorphosis took place. Straddling the fence, with one dusty Converse sneaker smeared with the grime of rock ‘n’ roll, while the other remains stuck on the sharp leaf-tip spines of an agave plant, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers bring their trademark mariachi horn-laden sound to the Rialto Theatre. Special guests Desert Fish add a touch of reggae-rock to the fiesta…

Akin to a shaman-led ayahuasca ceremony, traversing a surreal desert landscape, since the band’s first EP, “Shift and Shadow,” XIXA have been on a mystic quest to decipher the mysteries of an unwritten language. The band’s latest LP “Genesis” delves into the age-old battle between good and evil. “That’s a thematic cloud throughout the entire album and surely a relevant topic in today’s current affairs,” said co-frontman Brian Lopez. “I get out into the desert and it’s insane and prickly and fierce. There’s beauty to it. But it’s bleak out there, and ruthless. I think about the music we’re making like that.” Like a desperado from a Robert Rodriguez film charging with two handguns ablaze, Tucson’s own mystic cumbia rockeros XIXA perform on the plaza at Hotel Congress…

After slogging through the trenches of the Tucson music scene for over 40 years — casting aside desert rock tropes — honkytonk/hard country-blues provocateur Hank Topless & The Dead Horsemen are still making music their way on the patio at Che’s Lounge…

The jazz guitar-driven sounds of the Ed DeLucia Quartet lead the descent into the Late Night at The Century Room…

Absorbing the musical influences of German immigrants, polka, Spanish missionaries and Mexican norteño music, waila — also known as “chicken scratch” — originated with the Tohono O’odham people. Gertie and the T.O. Boyz will have you dancing for Oktoberfest: A Sonoran-style beer festival at MotoSonora Brewing Company…

Sunday, Sept. 25

On a mission to bring the studio recordings of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin to life once again on the concert stage, Get the Led Out: A celebration of “The Mighty Zep” is at the Fox Tucson Theatre…

Copping their name from the title of a Clive Barker novel, Canadian darkwave ensemble The Birthday Massacre incorporate elements of electronica, goth and new wave into their ambient sound. They present their post-lockdown release “Fascination” at Encore. Openers LA electro-rock outfit Dead Posey rail against the establishment…

In a special acoustic performance, XIXA perform two sets of “psych-rock, cumbia, goth rock, cowboy folk and windswept desert blues” at The Century Room…

Fronted by firebrand vocalist Connie Brannock, Lil’ House of Blues stoke the fire for the latest installment of the Congress Cookout on the Hotel Congress plaza…

Performing a repertoire of original country with a melancholic twang and a handful of old school anguished covers, singer-songwriter Little Cat purrs and yowls in a twilight serenade on the patio at Che’s Lounge…

Monday, Sept. 26

Nada mucho.

Tuesday, Sept. 27

Foregoing his usual high-octane parodies — no costumes, no props, no video screens — for his latest tour “Weird Al” Yankovic, instead, is selecting original pieces from his 14-album catalog. Songs that have largely escaped the pop culture radar. “Weird AlYankovic comes around again with “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” to the Fox Tucson Theatre…

Following in the footsteps of the real Queen — whose first public shows were held at London University — Killer Queen made its debut on the same stage decades later. Lead singer Patrick Myers reflected, “We thought our band would last maybe a summer at the most.” But as the concerts grew and grew they ended up selling out the same arenas that Queen played at their zenith. “It’s been quite a surreal ride.” Killer Queen: A tribute to Queen is at the Rialto Theatre…

This musician, artist, composer and producer has spent her adult life perfecting her unique cocktail of jazz-tinged pop, folk and orchestral rock. Now, Katie Haverly debuts a new piano project at The Century Room…

What began as the musical fumblings of a 14-year-old tinkering with GarageBand on his iPhone, morphed into a real band as other like-minded musicians fell into place. On “Flower Moon” — rife with throwback drum machine beats and synth-pop grooves — the Dallas indie rockers reflect on past regrets and daydreams about future possibilities. “It feels like we’re taking part in a blissed-out night of conversation among friends.” Luna Luna is at Club Congress…

Flowing in on a saccharine stream of “Watermelon Sugar,” DJ/musician Miss Abysmal spins eclectic selections — funk, soul and rock with sprinkles of new indie and hip-hop from around the globe — on the Hotel Congress plaza…

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Living blues titans, guitarist Elvin Bishop — a founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — and harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite — who paid his dues in South Side Chicago clubs working with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Joe Williams and John Lee Hooker — are out on the road performing music from “100 Years of Blues.” This first collaborative project represents blues at its deepest and most compelling. The Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite Duo are at the Fox Tucson Theatre…

“Diatribist, confessor, provocateur, humorist, even motivational speaker,” punk rock icon Henry Rollins presents “Good to See You,” a spoken word tour, at the Rialto Theatre…

Their sound defies categorization. Frontman Keith Roberts explains, “The sound was intended to be a hybrid because we all come from different backgrounds.” To an extent, the Young Dubliners can be seen as Ireland’s answer to Los Lobos, with a similar mix of traditional acoustic folk music, raucous electrified rock ‘n’ roll and a penchant for blurring the lines. Two of their songs — “Caroline” and “(I Don’t Think I’ll) Love Anymore” — have been featured in the biker noir series “Sons of Anarchy.” “Sinners and Saints,” the Young Dubliners wrestle with moral dualism at 191 Toole…

Erik Alejandro Iglesias Rodríguez, known professionally as Cimafunk, is a Cuban musician known for mixing funk and hip-hop with Cuban and Afro-Caribbean music. On a quest to create “One Nation Under a Groove,” Cimafunk became a household name in Cuba with his 2018 hit “Me Voy.” Subsequently, he was christened “Artist of the Year” by Vistar Magazine. Recognizing Black music’s power to eclipse borders and cross-pollinate, Cimafunk has created something special, not only musically, but culturally, by redefining contemporary Cuban music as well as Afro-Latin identity and the fusion of Black cultures. Parliament’s George Clinton said, “He is the one, the next one.” KXCI, Arizona Arts Live and Best Life present Cimafunk. He brings “El Alimento,” his monumental sophomore release, to the Hotel Congress plaza…

Until next week, XOXO…

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