XOXO: Mark Your Calendars

click to enlarge XOXO: Mark Your Calendars
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Bright Eyes perform at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Mark your calendars…

Thursday, Oct. 27

During the 1980s — on the strength of a string of hit singles, “Suddenly,” “Caribbean Queen” and “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” and others — Leslie Sebastian Charles, known professionally as Billy Ocean, rode a wave of international popularity. In 2020, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences. Ocean shares the bill with one of the greatest Motown, R&B and funk acts of all time, The Commodores, at the AVA Amphitheater. The group formed in 1968 while members were attending the Tuskegee Institute. After being discovered by Motown Records impresario Berry Gordy — having first caught the public eye while opening for the Jackson 5 — the Commodores went on to sell over 60 million records for Motown. The group’s most successful period was in the late 1970s and early ’80s when Lionel Richie and Walter Orange fronted the band as co-lead singers. The band’s biggest hits are ballads “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady,” and funk-influenced dance floor bangers “Too Hot Ta Trot” and “Brick House.” For five decades, the Commodores — with longtime members William King, Orange and James Dean Nicholas at the core — remain a force in the music industry, having laid a foundation that just won’t budge. …

Culling their name from director Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1968 film classic “Planet of the Apes,” in which Dr. Zira calls George Taylor “bright eyes” as a term of endearment, the Omaha-bred band Bright Eyes has released 10 studio albums. Its debut album, “A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997,” received a lukewarm reception by critics. Despite praising singer-songwriter Conor Oberst’s lyrics and songcraft, AllMusic’s Nathan Bush opined that many of “the songs disintegrate as his vocals are reduced to the unintelligible babbling of a child.” In contrast, 2020’s “Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was,” received a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic indicating “universal acclaim,” based on 24 reviews. Early this year, the band announced plans to reissue its first nine studio albums. Each album will come with an EP consisting of five reimagined versions of the album’s tracks, plus a cover song. Elliott Smith’s “St. Ides Heaven” — featuring Phoebe Bridgers — is the first cover Bright Eyes has released as part of the project. “Elliott’s songs have been such a part of my life,” said Oberst, now 42. “I can’t say I feel a lot different about it. Maybe I just never grew up. When you listen to his songs, and if you have a penchant for drug use, you can kind of relate to it. I guess I’m still a teenager at heart.” Amid the uncertainty and global upheaval, Oberst has reunited with bandmates Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott as both an escape from, and a confrontation of, trying times. For Bright Eyes, this long-awaited re-emergence feels like coming home. Bright Eyes at the Rialto Theatre. Special guests Lala Lala open…

The Juilliard String Quartet hasn’t performed in The Old Pueblo since December 2018, but it returns to electrify. The evening program features: Beethoven’s “String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135,” the last major work he completed months before taking his last breath in March 1827; highly regarded Jamaican born British composer Eleanor Alberga’s “String Quartet No. 2,” a work described as a pure shot of adrenaline; and Antonín Dvorák’s “String Quartet in A-flat Major, Op. 105,” his last piece of instrumental chamber music in a vast oeuvre is considered a masterwork of superb construction and undeniable inspiration. Arizona Friends of Chamber Music present the world-renowned Juilliard String Quartet, at The Leo Rich Theater…

Part rebel, part traditionalist, Texas country radio star Jon Wolfe’s songs are loaded with plenty of rock ‘n’ roll swagger, but not too much to compromise his true-hearted love affair with classic honkytonk. Like “Boots on the Dance Floor,” Jon Wolfe comes to town on the heels of “Dos Corazones,” his latest album, for a boot scootin’ good time at Whiskey Roads…

This group of childhood friends grew up in Nashville, backdropped by the bright lights of Music City. Cutting their teeth in the local honkytonk as well as rock clubs, Teddy and the Rough Riders developed a compelling sound — with a setlist flush with hard-hitting country rock songs bursting with screaming pedal steel work married with close Appalachian bluegrass-style harmony vocals — capable of turning “rock ‘n’ roll fans into cowboys, and hillbillies into headbangers.” Teddy and the Rough Riders storm into the Club Congress. Sci-Fi Country opens the show…

With a career marred by excessive drugs and alcohol, and violent outbursts, outlaw country singer Jackson Taylor’s has been blacklisted from many venues across the country and internationally, further cementing his image as a wild man. His music embodies an adolescence of hard labor, hard living and working-class poverty. In “Cocaine,” Taylor tells the story of a once good man turned bad. “Yeah, I like the cocaine / I like the whiskey too / And I like all of the wicked things I’m learning how to do / I like the dark side / I like the wild ride / I like the dirty girls too.” Touted as the modern evolution of what country music should be, Jackson Taylor & The Sinners are at The Maverick. Special guest Jay Faircloth kicks things off…

Screamfest: A benefit for Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA), finds DJs Grapefruit Steve, Chrysillus, Psynapple, Alice.km, NADA and Shelby Athouguia dropping beats on the Hotel Congress plaza…

This week producer/trapsman Pete Swan presents Indigo Social Club. They bring their jazz-infused, genre-transcending sound to The Century Room…

Like the binding molecules that the band is named after, The Morpholinos attribute their unique sound to contributions from songwriters Neil McCallion and Gary Mackender combining sequences. The Morpholinos play a mix of rock, Americana, Tex Mex, Zydeco, and they’ll even throw in a polka or two, at Monterey Court… 

Friday, Oct. 28

In honor of Sepultura’s seminal albums — “Beneath the Remains” (1989) and “Arise” (1991) — the Cavalera brothers who founded the influential Brazilian thrash metal institution in 1984 have taken to the road, despite no longer being members of the band. Continuing on the U.S. leg of the Return: Beneath Arise Tour, Max & Igor Cavalera — backed by Soulfly bassist Mike Leon and Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez — return to the Rialto Theatre. With local support from Bewitcher

Shoreline Mafia alumnus Fenix Rybins, aka Fenix Flexin, has been on a steady grind since his former group announced its was disbanding in April. “I’m just bringing that and then doing it on my own,” Flexin said. “Got the same fan base, got a solid fan base. After this project I ain’t even gonna stop.” Fenix Flexin brings “Fenix Flexin Vol. 2” to 191 Toole. R3, Da Chili Man and Lil’ Maru kick things off…

Downtown Tucson’s biggest Halloween party, Nightmare on Congress Street features live performances by King Quice, The Surfbroads, Early Black, DJs HumpHouse and Bex & Halsero at the rumored haunted Hotel Congress…

For one ghastly night resident prince of the underworld DJ Mijito lords over La Noche de Brujas at The Royal Room…

Birds & Arrows and DJ Humblelianess provide the soundtrack for Howl at the Museum: An interactive art event at Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block…

The Dead in My Arms 15th Anniversary Tour brings mavens of death metal Carnifex to Encore. With support from Spite, Left to Suffer and Crown Magnetar

“Conceived in Chicago and cultivated in Austin,” the Boots And Culture Fall Tour brings reggae giants Lion Heights to the Chicago Bar. Phoenix’s A-1 Reggae opens…

In an epic clash pitting vampires against werewolves, The Limit Club, The Reztones and Shitouttaluck practice the dark arts of rockabilly and psychobilly at the Surly Wench Pub…

A Halloween extravaganza — featuring a fire performance, burlesque, glass walking, magic and live sets by Znora and DJ Hyperfix — unfolds at Sky Bar…

Embodying the Allhallowtide season, pianist Susan Artemis presents I Put A Spell On You, a special program of jazz from the darker side of the lounge at The Century Room… 

Saturday, Oct. 29

Reflecting the diversity, beauty and day-to-day struggles of life in their home city of Tamanrasset in Southern Algeria, the Tuareg quintet Imarhan uses its platform as a wake-up call for unity, to remind people that we are all connected. The Tuareg people are a matrilineal society with many maintaining a semi-nomadic existence herding livestock. Championed as “the new wave of Tuareg music,” on the band’s third studio album “Aboogi,” the act takes on traditional Tamasheq music whose arresting melodies and rhythms are juxtaposed with trippy, hypnotic, guitar-based rock. Imarhan not only take the next step forward in the evolution of Tuareg music, it boldly leaps into hyperspace. Special guests Trees Speak add appreciably to the lineup, at 191 Toole…

Mashing together rock ‘n’ roll and wrestling — delivered with the underhandedness and sheer brutality of the Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver — Psycho 78: A tribute to the Misfits soundtracks this lucha libre melee. Dia de las Luchas pops off at the Rialto Theatre…

Formed in 2014, The Babe Rainbow is a stoner pop quartet from New South Wales, Australia. They are purveyors of laid-back, retro-’60s inspired psychedelic rock packaged in sun-drenched surf culture imagery. The band sums it up. “The Babe Rainbow is a rococo palace built to the most powerful God of all: Mass entertainment.” Washing over you like the waves of the sea, Babe Rainbow spread the good vibe at Club Congress…

Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation presents Blues Heritage Festival 2022, its first festival since 2019. With live performances by Annika Chambers & Paul DesLauriers, Carvin Jones Band, The Sugar Thieves, Tom Walbank and the Ambassadors, The Coolers and ZNora at the historic Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley… Synthesizing grimy industrial beats, darkwave and gloomy synth-pop into sweeping soundscapes filled with longing, lust, and despair, TR/ST is the brainchild of Canadian electronic musician Robert Alfons. During the process involved in bringing his two-volume album “Destroyer” to fruition Alfons gained valuable insights. “The giant agaves outside my home only bloom every 20 or 30 years. Being around that was a powerful lesson in slowness and in tenacity,” Alfons reflected. “The environment I work in has always guided me. But it took a long time to submit to the kind of patience these songs were asking of me.” Dressed for space, TR/ST makes a landing on the plaza at Hotel Congress. After the show, DJs Bex & Halsero curate the Hot Jams…

In an unholy conclave of ghouls, hierophants and grave robbers, Tucson Metal Society presents All Hallows Eve Party. Endavus, Never Reborn, Subterraneo and others deliver ferocious sets of metallic mayhem at House of Bards…

Method to the Madness and Samurai Spaceman hold down an All Hallows Day celebration at the Chicago Bar…

SIN Entertainment presenta el Día de los Muertos House Party. DJs Flow, SI3GAL and Hart spin relentless sets of house hexcraft potent enough to raise the dead at The Jackrabbit Lounge…

DJ Herm hosts the Halloween edition of Spinnin’ Wheels: An outdoor roller disco and dance party at MSA Annex…

In the days before All Saints’ Day, when the souls of the dead are set free to once again dance with the living, the funkiest of Tucson institutions Funky Bonz will cause your tail feathers to move involuntarily at The Hut… 

Sunday, Oct. 30

Alternative R&B singer Steve Lacy, as a member of The Internet, belongs to a small class of artists who have recorded and co-produced a Grammy-nominated album — using the Garage Band app on his iPhone — while still in high school. “Ego Death” was nominated for Best Contemporary Urban Album in 2016. His second “fearlessly funky” and “seriously steamy” solo album, “Gemini Rights” (2022) — written in response to a breakup — broke the top ten of the Billboard charts. Describing his musical sound as “plaid,” like the tartan fabric, Lacy said that he produced “about 90% of the record” and came up with the album title while “tipsy” at a bar. The Give You The World Tour brings rising star Steve Lacy to the Rialto Theatre. Special guest Fousheè opens the show…

A concert performance by organist Dave Wickerham takes the audience through a spine-chilling Halloween inspired repertoire featuring Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Phantom of the Opera Medley,” Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” — held by many as the ultimate piece of scary music, thanks to the numerous horror films that have co-opted its thundering motifs — and Camille Saint-Saens’ “Le Danse Macabre.” Wicked Wurlitzer Halloween Organ Concert enchants and mystifies at the Fox Tucson Theatre…

“Blues-O-Ween, you ask?” Who would have known. Performing the songs they love, style or genre be damned, the Cochise County All-Stars add their unique flavor to the Congress Cookout on the plaza stage at Hotel Congress…

This installment of Singer-Songwriter Sunday showcases the songcraft of Laura Jean and Rebekah Rolland for an evening of Americana, folk and country at the Saint Charles Tavern…

Standing as testament to the Ronstadt legacy, P.D. Ronstadt & the Company perform original post-modern Americana and traditional compositions, as part of a monthly residency at Monterey Court…

In what may be the last chance to get right with the Almighty, before the descent toward Samhain reaches tipping point, the Last Sunday Revival — presided over by Delta bluesman Christopher T. Stevens — offers salvation at Tap & Bottle Downtown… 

Monday, Oct. 31

Celebrated by ancient Celtic pagans, Samhain marks the end of the harvest season — when the veil between the living and the dead was believed to be especially thin — and the beginning of the darker half of the year. Halloween Dead Decades Dance Party is an all-night costumed affair taking revelers into the witching hour at Hotel Congress… 

Tuesday, Nov. 1

Bubbling up like a cauldron from the toxic tar pits of Los Angeles, Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ primordial groove has been a constant on the psychedelic garage rock scene for the better part of the last decade. Raising the devilry to that of bacchanalian proportions on the Feast of All Saints, Frankie and the Witch Fingers present “Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters…,” the band’s latest LP, at Club Congress. Flanked by Mute Swan and Cairos Creature Club… 

Wednesday, Nov. 2

“That noise could be louder.” Three dynamic duos, Hermosillo’s Sgt. Papers, L.A.’s Warm Drag and Tucson’s Touchy unite hand in hand — with special guests Lenguas Largas — for a night full of lonely psych punk, seductive beats, esoteric samples, smooth synths and serrated guitars. Cultures collide as the intrepid sounds from the Southwest underground unify fittingly on this Day of the Dead blowout — when the souls of the dead are believed to reunite once again with the living — at Club Congress… 

Until next week, XOXO…  

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