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XOXO... 

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I think music is an instrument. It can create the initial thought patterns that can change the thinking of the people. –John Coltrane

MARK YOUR CALENDARS...

Thursday, Feb. 1: Formed in the ponderosa pine forest of Flagstaff, husband and wife duo Kyle and Greta MIller comprise the heart of Tow'rs. Their 2017 release, Grey Fidelity, is decidedly folk filled with rich harmonies, cello, piano, acoustic and electric guitars. Comparisons can be drawn: Mojave 3 and Kings of Convenience come to mind. "At the end of the day, you can try hard to sound like somebody you respect, but all you can do is be you. We tried to embrace fully who we are on this record," says Kyle Miller. With Corey Kilgannon at Club Congress...

Friday, Feb. 2: Not everyone can claim to have worked with "The Godmother of Punk Rock" Patti Smith. Guitarist Oliver Ray can. C'mon, is that not enough street cred to get your tired carcass off the couch? Ray—accompanied by Clay Koweek, Thøger Teetens Lund and Anna Jo Phipps—will be previewing songs and poems from his upcoming self-titled solo album. At Exo Bar... People standing up to help others is love supreme. Recently Clay Desmond, guitarist for Black Medicine, lost his nephew Giovanni from rejection of his donor heart at 21 months. Black Medicine, Street Blues Family and The Rifle are putting on an event to raise money for pediatric heart transplant research at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Hearts & Guitars Benefit takes place at The Flycatcher... Ukraine by way of Canada, DJ/producer REZZ (née Isabelle Rezazadeh) took to DJing young. Before long drawing the attention of Skrillex and Deadmau5 with her dark minimalist electronic sound. Her 2017 debut, Mass Manipulation (mau5trap), peaked at No. 15 on Billboard's dance/electronic chart; REZZ was barely old enough to drink legally in most U.S. states. At The Rialto Theater... Over the years, The Octopus Project have gained a reputation as an extremely loud, extremely fun live band. Their performances have evolved into elaborate multimedia experiences. In the process becoming festival favorites at Coachella, Lollapalooza and the once fabulous now erstwhile All Tomorrow's Parties. Memory Mirror (Robot High School), the band's sixth studio album, marks The Octopus Project's evolution from purveyors in raw, thrift-store electronica to cutting edge provocateurs. With New Fumes at 191 Toole... Laura and the Killed Men tie their dusty, twangy country to a creosote hitching post anchored in the desert of the American Southwest. While singer/guitarist Laura Kepner-Adney's voice fires off bullets that reverberate off canyon walls. Celebrating guitarist Sam Golden's return to town, Laura and the Killed Men are gonna party down at Che's Lounge... Propelled by brass, percussion and electric guitar, Santa Pachita's fusion of salsa, cumbia and ska will have your hips shakin' on the rooftop at Playground Bar & Lounge... Über talented songstress Katie Haverly is celebrating the release of her fifth studio album, Pluto, with a soirée at Club Congress. With Jillian and the Giants and Phoenix's House of Stairs...

Saturday, Feb. 3: Originating in the UK, Stomp is a percussion group that uses found objects—push brooms, hubcaps, hammer handles, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and yes, even the kitchen sink—to create magnificent rhythms and an explosive theatrical performance incorporating pantomime and acrobatics. At Centennial Hall... She is native to Brooklyn. Yet, amidst the Joshua trees and austerity of the California desert Christina LaRocca discovers, in her latest music video, that she is a "Child of the Sun." LaRocca brings her soulful blend of Americana and rock to Nancy's Boondocks... They have traveled the great expanses playing jump, swing and West Coast blues since 2002. Now, catch The Kings of Pleasure jump, jive and wail at Playground Bar & Lounge... "When you throw one Southerner and two Northeasterners into a blender and then pour them out in Los Angeles you get Ned and the Dirt." With Dirt Friends and Half-Broke Town at Club Congress... Known for his Chicago house, acid jazz and downtempo work. He's received props from URB, Muzik and BPM magazines recognized as one of the world's best DJs. Mark Farina's 2016 album, Mushroom Jazz Eight, hit No. 1 on Billboard's Top dance/electronic chart. Watch Farina cut at 191 Toole...

Sunday, Feb. 4: Her story is compelling. A life that includes being trampled by a horse and a car accident that paralyzed her right vocal cord. As a child, Mary James (aka Mean Mary) practiced guitar, banjo and fiddle five hours a day. A wunderkind, she started performing on a daily Alabama TV show while in the second grade. Now, she hosts Nashville reality TV show The Never-Ending Street. Not busy enough? James is out touring in support of her latest book Hell Is Naked (co-authored with Jean James). Which has spun into an album: Blazing: Hell Is Naked Soundtrack (Woodrock Records, 2017). Americana/bluegrass/folk artist Mean Mary stops to catch her breath at Monterey Court... Playground Bar & Lounge have put together a winning combination: Trumpets & Tequila. With Mariachi Luz De Luna up on the rooftop... DJ Brad Moontribe believes in the transformative power of music and collective dance. He sees the role of DJ not simply as selector and technician but that of artist and shaman. With Elliot Tierney and NoodleBox at Galactic Center...

Tuesday, Feb. 6: She has toured with Julien Baker. Recorded her debut 7-inch with Ryan Adams. Her songs have been featured on TV shows (Switched At Birth and Castle). Her words are introspective; Their message expressed in whispers and shouts. At 23, Phoebe Bridgers' emotionally charged debut album, Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans), is drawing attention. With Soccer Mommy at 191 Toole... After years of break-ups, numerous line-up changes and normalized dysfunction The San Francisco Bay Area metal band Skinlab are giving it another go. Their latest effort, The Scars Between Us (2009). Bear witness as the mayhem rains down at The House of Bards...

Wednesday, Feb. 7: "We're all about love," states the band of native Hawaiians. Infused with elements of dub and rock, Iration's deep-rooted reggae will fill The Rialto Theater with sunshine. The Movement and Tyrone's Jacket open the show...

Thursday, Feb. 8: In the 1980s, Californian Chuck Prophet became an adopted son in the hearts of Tucsonans as a member of the first-wave of desert rockers, Green on Red. Prophet's latest album, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins (Yep Roc Records, 2017), refers to the mysterious death of '60s musician Bobby Fuller. Speculation still runs wild. Was Fuller murdered by order of the mob or Charles Manson? As some have speculated. Or was it a suicide? Fuller's corpse was covered in petechial hemorrhages suspected to be caused by gasoline vapors. Prophet explores mysteries and the tension between romance and cynicism at Club Congress... OK. Now imagine Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese rockin' "the absolute fuck" out while covering Black Sabbath tunes. Bear witness to this bizarre spectacle when Mac Sabbath take you into the void at 191 Toole... Then, come feast upon Krab Legz at The Flycatcher. With San Francisco's Bear Call and Jeff Lownsbury's JL6... Finally, not a musical event but on the rad scale this rates a 10. Brace yourselves for a fantastical evening of epic myth and legend when the Drunk Drag Queen Storytellers take over the party room at Welcome Diner...

HOT WAX...

Maya is a Sanskrit word meaning the divine power of illusion; A limitless reality which makes room for everyone and everything. That inclusiveness is reflected in Lando Chill's wordplay; It's how he sees the world. My. Maia. Mayu (Mello Music Group), Chill's fourth release, is an assemblage of neo-soul and conscious hip-hop written and produced by Chill and multi-instrumentalist The Lasso. Featuring Chris "Deep Greasy" Pierce on bass and Maya Vera on vocals. A rare concert inside WaveLab Recording Studio is taking place on Sunday, Feb. 4 to celebrate the release. My. Maia. Mayu drops Feb. 2 on all platforms...

SHOUT OUT...

"Catering to the up and coming as well as established artists." With a roster of local releases—including Golden Boots, Acorn Bcorn, Louise Le Hir, Naim Amor, Run Boy Run, Mik & Scott, Laura and the Killed Men, Head Over Heart and Katterwaul—local imprint Baby Gas Mask Records is doing their part to keep Tucson's music scene alive and kicking. Baby Gas Mask are celebrating the opening of a new studio and record store (960 E. 17th Street) on Saturday, Feb. 3. In an event that promises blazing fire pits, Vietnamese food truck and flowing beer. Cheers! The eclectic country of Lana Rebel & Kevin Michael Mayfield along with the inimitable Golden Boots are featured musical guests. Bravo!

ON THE HORIZON...

A leading explorer in the genres of space, drone and new-age music, composer Steve Roach's album, Spiral Revelation (Projekt, 2016), received a Grammy Award nomination in the New Age category. Roach returns to Tucson for two nights of "ultra psychoactive ambient-electronic adventures in the the deep end of the immersion pool." Feb. 9 & 10 at the Galactic Center... Now, "this here" event is guaranteed to soften even the leathern heart of the lovelorn. Sweethearts of The Rodeo deliver an apocalyptic Valentine as they lasso together a winning group of ladies—Lana Rebel, Amy Rude, Lonna Kelly, Lisa O'Neill, June West, Karima Walker, Cristina Williams, Marina Cornelius, Tulip Sweet—for a romantic night of harmony, singing the sweetest of country duets. This is a kid-friendly event to support Kelly Fryer as she steps onto the political stage making a run for governor. Giddy-up! Wednesday, Feb. 14 in the listening room at Exo Bar... On Thursday, Feb. 15, a night of storytelling through song awaits when acclaimed singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen take the stage at the historic Fox Theatre... The Tucson Symphony Orchestra, under the stewardship of Josè Luis Gomez, present Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Niccolò Paganini. Pianist Vadym Kholodenko (Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist) makes his TSO debut. Prokofiev's romantic ballet music and the Argentine folk dances from Alberto Ginastera's ballet complete the program. Friday, Feb. 16 at the Tucson Convention Center...

Until next week, XOXO...

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