Mark your calendars...

Thursday, April 5: "Sweet Child O' Mine" mariachi style, anyone? If you answered yes, don't miss Metalachi at Casino Del Sol... DJs Nullus + Plastic Disease launch a Thursday night residency. SPEKTRUM: A collective of alternative DJs informed by the modern dark underground. At R Bar... Touring in support of Thread (Razor & Tie Records), Red Sun Rising release post-grunge angst at Club XS... The swells are rising and set to break when surf guitar paragon Dick Dale crashes into 191 Toole. With bluesman Tom Walbank... Pop icon Janet Jackson, "It's Ms. Jackson if you're nasty," holds court at the Tucson Convention Center... From Nashville, acoustic duo Danika Holmes & Jeb Hart's repertoire braids together originals and inspired rock and R&B covers sung with soul. At Monterrey Court... Hey, Bucko! serenade with their sun-baked spaghetti westerns at Tap & Bottle Downtown... It's time once again for Country Thunder 2018. Four days of country music heaven on earth in Florence, Arizona. Featuring Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Big & Rich, Tracy Lawrence, Brett Young and many more. Check out countrythunder.com/az for all the details... Influenced by the folk rock icons of the 1960s and '70s, Eric Schaffer & The Other Troublemakers spin yarns at Sky Bar... Kyklo brings to port the sound of the Mediterranean to Agustin Kitchen... Sentient and dynamic, contrabassist Thøger Lund, guitarist Naim Amor and trapsman Gil Rodriguez play jazz classics at Exo Bar... And country superstar Clint Black is "Killin' Time" at Casino Del Sol...

Friday, April 6: The rock 'em, sock 'em robot battle—where finalists compete for a coveted slot opening the show at KFMA-Day 2018—rages on. This year's finalists: A Fall To Break, Bordertown Devils, Exit.Dream, Sorrows Ruin and Stands With Fists. Don't miss Battle For KFMA-Day at The Rock... Scoot your boots to traditional Mexican and Peruvian music with Conjunto Nopal and Grupo Tradiciones. And, help raise funds towards the re-creation of the Spanish Colonial walled garden at historic San Agustin Mission. All proceeds to benefit Friends of Tucson's Birthplace. At Exo Bar... Jesse Dayton's "Daddy Was a Badass." And Scott Biram's momma nicknamed him the "TrainWrecker." Country and punk rock 'tude collide head-on when these two hard chargers join forces. With Rod Melancon. Outdoors at Hotel Congress... One man, one guitar. Hank Topless performs his blend of honky-tonk country/blues at Sierra Bonita Vineyards... This Haitian rapper's first studio album in seven years—The Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee—features contributions from luminaries Afrojack, Avicii and Emeli Sande. Wyclef Jean's Carnival Tour makes a stop at The Rialto Theater...

Saturday, April 7: "[His] songs move like the wind/He is the lone coyote howling in the desert/He has no secrets/He knows where the water is/You have to listen carefully/Maybe get down on your knees/And put your ear to the ground."—John Densmore, The Doors. Nothing I can add to that endorsement. Singer/songwriter John Coinman Band at Monterey Court. With Ash Gray and Grady Humble... At the age of 2 he was gifted a handmade banjo. Now at 15, striking deep into the rich vein of ore of true Americana, this acoustic blues prodigy is releasing his fifth album. And unlike other words, prodigy is not being used lightly. Roman Barten-Sherman on the plaza at Hotel Congress. With Trans Van Santos and The Sinners... In numerology, number 222 has to do with manifesting miracles and auspicious opportunities. The timing feels right. L.A.'s 222 deliver poppy-punky/'80s & '90s influenced dance rock at Club Congress. With Bruja & the Coyote and Infinite Souls... As a lad, he was seduced by the sound of the guitar listening to his grandfather's BB King records. Today, "Carvin Jones is a young cat... who I think is the next up-and-coming blues player," says Eric Clapton. The Carvin Jones Band detonate explosive blues at 191 Toole... Backed by a 12-piece band and gospel quartet, Robert Shaw pays homage to the The King's favorite hymns. How Great Thou Art: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley at The Fox Theatre... Now, have you ever heard 1950s and '60s oldies done with a surf punk twist? Imagine the singer from Voodoo Glow Skulls wearing a lucha libre mask singing "Sea Cruise." Bam. "Oo-ee, oo-ee baby, Oo-ee." Tiki Bandits at The Loudhouse... It started simply as a hobby. Then came the '90s and this DJ emerged from the L.A. rave scene as a major player. Sandra Collins spins deep-house at Sky Bar... From the Yaqui village of Old Pasqua, Sur Block are set to rock their anthemic indie pop at Che's Lounge. With JL6...

Sunday, April 8: On "Social Suicide," Brooklyn punks The Brass echo a battle cry that sprouted out of a UK street movement during the late '70s—"Gotta live free or we're gonna die"—whose aim was banding together working-class youth. At Spark Project Collective... Singer-songwriter Natalie Pohanic will charm you off your seat with her dreamy folk/surf/Americana at Agustin Kitchen...

Monday, April 9: The cover of her latest single, "Enough," features this quote. "Remaining in the sheets of someone who doesn't want me back? I've had enough today." Experience heartache and the inner dialog of disillusionment when songstress Brie Capone (Asheville, N.C.) performs at The Flycatcher... Miguel's War & Leisure Tour is going fabulously well. As of press time this show is Sold Out... "Now shut your dirty mouth/If I could burn this town/I wouldn't hesitate/To smile while you suffocate and die/So bite your tongue/And choke yourself to sleep." A sardonic love song to L.A.? Deliciously so. Panic! At The Disco's bassist/keyboardist/songwriter Dallon Weekes rolls his new project, I Don't Know How But They Found Me, into 191 Toole...

Tuesday, April 10: His latest single, "1234," is dedicated to Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone as well as Jim Carroll. "May they all rest in peace... wearing leather jackets in rock 'n' roll heaven." So, is that not reason enough to go see the show? Kevin Morby at 191 Toole. With Hand Habits... Take loud, unapologetic garage punk. Songs with titles like "Blame The Patriarchy," "Misogynist" and "Daddy Issues." Add to that wildly playful stage antics. The mélange is destined to be fiendishly rad. "Always rude, never crude," says The Austin Chronicle of Sailor Poon. With Trash Romeo (Portland) and Tropical Beach at Club Congress...

Wednesday, April 11: These 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners showcase the lyricism of spoken word, delivered by the effervescent Tarriona "Tank" Ball. Laid down over a bed of sophisticated yet funky musicality: Think Queen Latifah over an Al Green "Let's Stay Together" groove with a side of Louisiana crawfish etouffee. Seasoned with heaping doses of magic: "Love and light, expression and all the things that make you feel whole." That's what makes Tank and the Bangas one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans. With Maggie Koerner at 191 Toole... Spanning decades, with a catalog that includes hits like "Listen to the Music," "Black Water" and "What a Fool Believes," these four-time Grammy Award winners have sold more than 48 million records worldwide. The Doobie Brothers at UA Centennial Hall... Feeling angsty? Down-tuned guitars emitting sludgy crushing tones is what you can expect when Atlanta noise rockers Wh**es team up with Seattle post-grungers Helms Alee. This is pure catharsis. With Scar Eater at Club Congress...

Thursday, April 12: Australian DJ/record producer Chris Emerson, aka What So Not, spins hip hop/bass/house/wonky at The Rialto Theater. With Duckwrth and James Earl... Signed to Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang Records in 2012, This Mexican-American Bay Area rapper's success has expanded into a chain of marijuana dispensaries. True entrepreneurship, he can now add budtender to his resume. Berner at 191 Toole... Finally, this Ameripolitan honky-tonker is endorsed by Lone Star: The National Beer of Texas. He sings, "Oh, I lie when I drink/And I drink a lot/And I only drink when I am kissing you." Best keep that in mind next time you decide to buy a round. Country outlaw Dale Watson and His Lone Stars with "Miss Atomic Bombshell" Celine Lee at Club Congress. It's gonna get hotter than a honeymoon hotel...


Not unlike a chameleon adjusting the nanocrystals nestled within layers of skin, producing dramatic color shifts, singer-songwriter Carlos Arzate is not limited to one style vocally or artistically. "I am the sum of the influences that I have bathed in over the years," says Arzate. Rich with cultural diversity, Camaleón, Arzate's latest release, features a bit of folk, neo-soul, rock, bolero and country. Conscious and engaged, Arzate sees the role of an artist in society as being critical in creating progress and unity. Channeling Otis Redding, shifting effortlessly from gravel-edged tenor to soul-drenched falsetto, "Broken Glass" is an impassioned call for justice. "I was inspired initially when Michael Brown was killed... then by the deaths of Walter Scott, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland." Arzate's eyes widened by the emphasis media placed on images of fire, looting and broken glass strewn on asphalt than to focus the camera lens on human beings. By doing so, in effect, the media marginalized community outrage and Black Lives Matter Movement. Poets Tere Fowler-Chapman and Logan Phillips make cameos on the track, banging the table. "Sometimes I want to break glass... instead of the glass breaking me," Arzate sings. "Democracy is ugly. And broken glass is a symptom of a larger problem that society doesn't want to reconcile." Carlos Arzate commemorates the release of Camaleón, Friday, April 6 at Club Congress. With special guests Salvador Duran and L.A.'s Buyepongo...

Camaleón is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play. Locally, the CD can be purchased at Wooden Tooth Records.

Lit up like Christmas. Irrational, skin crawling drunk. It's 3 a.m. and you stop the car, that you absolutely should not be driving, for a clown crossing the road. "Don't be afraid of the clowns," a still small voice whispers. Real or imagined? A "Wild West" themed guitar lick serves as foil to Carnivalero Gary Mackender's narrative. "Wake up in the morning and wonder where you are/There's a stranger next to you and a beat up old guitar/Burnt out candles by the bed, some soggy cigarettes/A couple empty bottles, several classic rock cassettes/It seems like I've been here... before." Mackender confesses, "I actually have no idea what this song is about." "What? You wrote it... own it," counters fellow Carnivalero Björgvin Benediktsson. "Oh yeah, it's autobiographical. This song is about... waking up and wondering what the hell happened?" Mackender concedes, scratching his head. "Where am I? Are these even my pants?" For the vocal track on "Liquor, Vice and Sin" Mackender strove to capture the feel of a carnival barker hawking through a megaphone. You can see the carnival midway lights in your mind's eye as the polka beat hop-steps along. A mix of bad luck and love with strains of what could pass for an Ennio Morricone film soundtrack, Tallsome Tales is the latest in that series for these neo-folk stalwarts. Carnivaleros raise a glass to honor the release of their sixth album, Friday, April 6 at Monterey Court. And the story goes on...

Tallsome Tales can be purchased at carnivaleros.com/music.html


Tossing their hat in the ring, along with bands like Jeb Bush Orchestra (Allston, Massachuestts) and The Highway Poets (Petaluma, California), Tucson's own Miss Olivia and the Interlopers have submitted their song "Leaving You"—four minutes and 59 seconds of blue-eyed soul—to the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Filmed at The Rialto Theater by videographer Peter Leon, this video captures the band doing what they do best. Check it out...



The solo musical project of Michelle Zauner (Little Big League), Japanese Breakfast make "Soft Sounds From Another Planet." With Snail Mail on Friday, April 13 at 191 Toole... This event features sixteen Tucson musician who will form four new bands, just for the night, performing acoustically. It's the first annual Tucson Acoustic Lottery, Saturday, April 14, at The Flycatcher. Proceeds to benefit the 2018 Tucson Folk Festival... And lastly, "Psycho Killer" David Byrne, performs in what could be a "Once in a Lifetime" concert event on Sunday, April 15, at UA Centennial Hall. With Perfume Genius...

Until next week, XOXO...


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