The reason the United States of America, the land of immigrants, is so special is because it takes all of us together and we become America.

—Wyclef Jean


Thursday, Feb. 15: "And this old porch is like a steaming, greasy plate of enchiladas/With lots of cheese and onions/And a guacamole salad/You can get 'em down at the LaSalle Hotel/In old downtown/With iced tea and a waitress/She will smile every time." The still life captured in "This Old Porch," a song penned by acclaimed songwriters Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, embodies the spirit of the evening. A night of storytelling awaits at the historic Fox Theatre... Drawing influence from Steel Pulse and Aswad, Tribal Seeds add a twist of "The Devil's Music" to their Rastafarian roots reggae. At The Rialto Theatre... Black Ginger—like the medicinal qualities found in the plant—will invigorate at The Flycatcher. With TWGS and Sweaty Palm Trees... "Garage-a-billy" rockers Johnny Hootrock teeter on the verge of a psychotic break at The Loudhouse... Like street preachers fulfilling a command to an unseen entity, Al Perry and Loren Dircks spin yarns at Tap & Bottle... Man of many faces Jacob Acosta hosts a soirée at Bar Passé... Offering solace to the lovelorn, MOCA Tucson offers post-Valentine's respite for all ages. Featuring noisy new-wavers Aerico and post-hardcore shoegazers Hikikomori. DJs, food truck, artmaking activities, interactive light drawings and more...

Friday, Feb. 16: The pile driving metallic cacophony of Big Business roars through Club Congress. With Baptista (psych/stoner rock) and S.F. dream-droners Mother of Thousands... The Tucson Symphony Orchestra presents Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody, a theme of the "Devil's Violinist" Niccolò Paganini. Pianist Vadym Kholodenko (Van Cliburn gold medalist) makes his TSO debut at the Tucson Convention Center... In their 2016 project, Cumbia Corridos, Vox Urbana explore the plight of the immigrant; their hopes and heartbreaks too often encountered on a journey through the unforgiving Sonoran Desert. A night of mezcal and dancing awaits at Exo Bar. With klezmer funk maniacs Jerusafunk... Douglas Benson, frontman for Cash'd Out a tribute to Johnny Cash, channels the "Man in Black" meticulously. To such a degree, that Cash's daughter Cindy was so moved at a performance that she gave Benson a locket containing strands of Johnny's hair afterwards. See for yourself at 191 Toole... Experience the "dreamy sun drenched indie rock" of The Rifle. With a sound that may cause the uninitiated to "coconut cream their jeans." And, they have a sense of humor. Along with up-and-comers The Weekend Lovers. Led by NY transplant Marta DeLeon, The Lovers deliver rock 'n' roll with a velvety wistfulness reminiscent of Christine McVie starkly juxtaposed with the unrepentant snarl of The Pretenders. With Michael Ely at The Dusty Monk Pub...

Saturday, Feb. 17: An evening brimming with narcocorridos, banda y norteño is on tap when Omar Ruiz, Cornelio Vega and Adriel Favela storm the Tucson Expo Center... Commander Cody may have lost his Airmen, but he is still flying high. Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers (Blind Pig, 2009) takes the listener on a junket through a landscape inhabited by wastrels ravaged by addiction. Built on a foundation of boogie-woogie piano, Commander Cody was among the first country rock artists laying the groundwork for The Eagles and Poco. With Kevin Pakulis Band at Monterey Court... Remember the synth pop days of the '80s? Dent May—sans kohl eyeliner—will be at Club Congress. With Moon King and Liquid Summer... Bentley's House of Coffee & Tea presents Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, featuring author/educator Farid Matuk. His chapbook My Daughter La Chola was named "among the best books of 2013" by The Volta and Poetry Foundation... In 1958 their hit single "Tom Dooley" sold over three million copies establishing The Kingston Trio as a premiere act of the folk era. The legacy continues as kin of the original members now carry the torch. At The Fox Theatre... ¡Oye rockeros! Elis Paprika has been an important part of Mexico's rock scene since 2004. At The Neighborhood. With Mono Sound and Diluvio... In 1984 glam-metalers Dokken released Tooth and Nail (Elektra). Despite recording sessions stymied by clashing egos, excesses, burning through two producers and a reluctant record label the album scored three Top 40 hits. At The Rialto Theater...

Sunday, Feb. 18: Rolling Stone proclaims that he may be "Americana's most underappreciated songwriter." Now 25 years into a storied career, underground hero Slaid Cleaves' songwriting has never been more potent or beautiful. With a gift for capturing the humanity of downtrodden characters, Cleaves is out promoting his new collection of songs, Ghost on the Car Radio (Proper Records). At 191 Toole... Tucson Kitchen Musicians presents: Triple Play. Featuring Gary Maki & Slim Rost, Kevin McConnell, Sabra Falk, Duncan Stitt, Earl Edmonson, Nancy McCallion, Annie Hawkins and others who will perform songs by artists with three names. Proceeds to benefit Tucson Folk Festival. At Monterey Court... Best known for her work on the Juno soundtrack. Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson performs at Club Congress. With folk punkers AJJ and Cesar Ruiz Band...

Monday, Feb 19: After meeting in New York at a party, breaking the ice with a banality—"Hey, gotta light?"—guitar/vocalist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman became fast friends. Watch punky slop poppers Diet Cig smoke at Club Congress. With the slacker grunge of Great Grandpa and Glasgow's The Spook School...

Tuesday, Feb. 20: Portlandia's Blitzen Trapper bleed out their "tragic love, drug abuse, science fiction Americana" onto the stage at Club Congress... Melding electronic and hip-hop, Keys N Krates bring their forward-looking, sample-driven, auto-tune laden jams to The Rialto Theater. With PromNite and Jubilee...

Thursday, Feb. 22: Things should pop off when Rik & The Pigs (garage/punk from Olympia), Lenguas Largas (psych/rock/soul/punk/norteño), New Doubt (synth/punk) and Jack Topht (hip-hop) seize the stage at The Flycatcher... Since hitchhiking to Tucson in 1991, one-man band Al Foul has crafted his inimitable style—drawing on primitivism that nods towards the work of forebears Link Wray, Johnny Cash and Blind Lemon Jefferson—to that of working-class hero. At Owls Club... Austin's Money Chica traffic in a fuzzed-out, reverb drenched style of psychedelic cumbia—popularized in Columbia and Peru during the 1960s and '70s—known as chicha. Driven by cowbells, congas and timbales, this distinctive retro sound is both danceable and melodically delicious. With Santa Pachita at 191 Toole...


On "Fear In America," from Tommy Will's 2017 release Napoleon, the intrepid rapper tackles weighty subjects: Black Lives Matter and its countermovement Blue Lives Matter. The result is powerful. The joint kicks off with a female voice musing about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Will takes off from there. "This the new era/Face hidden from my new era/I'm sorry Sir, I've got to judge your judgment/And show my friends I'm not one to fuck with." After the chorus, Will takes a police officer's viewpoint. "Please put your hands on the concrete/It's just for safety, not only for me but for you/You think that I'm capable of taking a life?/How could I know you're not capable too?" Will's flow is rapid fire, yet every word delivered with clarity. "When freedom is crime/Let's break down the barriers/Just look in my eyes/I see the fear in America." Tommy Will celebrates the release of his latest Balloons Fly Higher Than Dreams. With Lando Chill, Kings Over Squares, Y Not, Jamal Air and El Toxic. At Club Congress on Thursday, Feb. 22... For lovers of electronic and house: Hormone—the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Jim Colby—recently released a self-titled E. Screamin' is six minutes and 47 seconds of pure four-on-the-floor disco wonderland. All of the Studio 54 era dance party escapism, without the gold coke spoon hanging from a necklace...


Diego's Umbrella roll the gypsy caravan into 191 Toole on Friday, Feb. 23... From graffiti to deejaying, breakdancing to rapping, Tucson Hip Hop Fest is like no other. Celebrating hip-hop arts and culture, homegrown and national acts, with raging passion. Bringing the badassery once again with headliner Bun B on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 191 Toole... Sure to be a highlight during Rodeo Weekend. It's Country Fest Tucson. Featuring Josh Turner, Ashley Wineland, Lucas Hoge, Frank Ray, Sim Balkey, Josh Gracin, Caiden Brewer, Billy Shaw Jr. and County Line on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Tucson Expo Center... A songwriter's songwriter and virtuosic guitarist David Wilcox will hold court at 191 Toole on Sunday, Feb. 25... Want to see sparks fly when operatic voices take on the repertoire of pop rock icons? In their new show, The Ten Tenors pay homage to musical legends lost before their time: David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston and more. On Tuesday, Feb. 27 at The Fox Theatre...

Until next week, XOXO...


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