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Thursday, April 25

click to enlarge TLC: Thursday, April 25 @ The Pima County Fair - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • TLC: Thursday, April 25 @ The Pima County Fair

During the 1990s, despite numerous well publicized spats with the law, their management and with each other, this girl group scored four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100: "Creep," "Waterfalls," "No Scrubs" and "Unpretty." TLC get CrazySexyCool at the Pima County Fair... The Tucson International Mariachi Conference 2019 kicks off with a showcase on Thursday, April 25, followed by a Espectacular Concert on Friday, April 26, and culminating on Saturday, April 27, with Fiesta de Garibaldi. At AVA Amphitheater. Detail here: tucsonmariachi.org ... The Members Only Tour brings "Greatest Asian rapper alive" Kid Trunks plus Craig Xen and Rob Banks to 191 Toole. With Coolie Cut and Bass Santana... For the moshers: Knocked Loose, The Acacia Strain, Harm's Way, Sanction and Higher Power provide all-ages mayhem at The Rock... Deeper: DJs Atom Energy and Lunarfox spin house at Passé... The Titan Valley Warheads perform bluegrass and western at Monterey Court... Featuring local poets Kristen Nelson and Aura Valdes, The 36th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival launches with readings at the Steinfeld Warehouse Community Arts Center...

Friday, April 26

On their latest Cheers—an album that winks at mid-century folk and '70s glam with tinges of R&B and hip-hop—the three frontwomen of the band leaned into their differences and gave each other unprecedented freedom in the studio. "It was a scary thing for us," said Mackenzie Howe, "because when you have three writers, you often have to tame your differences and come to some sort of agreement. It was the first time we said, 'Screw that, why don't we just record the songs the way they should be done?'" With harmonies that feel like bright light suffusing a dim room, The Wild Reeds perform at 191 Toole. With support from Valley Queen... In the mood for a three-way? Gotcha. Rock 102.1 KFMA presents P.O.D., Buckcherry and Adelitas Way

click to enlarge Buckcherry: Friday, April 26 @ the Pima County Fair - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Buckcherry: Friday, April 26 @ the Pima County Fair

"It's heaven and hell" at the Pima County Fair... Blue-collar hard rockers Mason roll the dice at Harbottle Brewing... Indie/alt rockers Demonyms are at Tap + Bottle Downtown... Saxophonist Neamen Lyles fills the evening air with jazz as part of the Friday Night Live Free Concert Series. At Main Gate Square... Rock, pop: Latino singer/guitarist Oscar Fuentes entertains at Monterey Court... Later, Santa Pachita will bring the dancefloor to life. Also, at Monterey Court... Sister Solace is a unique harmony-based vocal group. They will perform an evening of folk revival at the Scottish Rite Cathedral... Native Voices features three award-winning Native American artists performing a scared evening of story and song in the round: Gabriel Ayala, Darryl Tonemah and Randy Kemp. At The Sea of Glass–Center For The Arts... Featuring an ever revolving cast of esteemed pickers, Freddy Parish's monthly residency, Dry 'n' Dusty, takes the listener on a musical journey from Bakersfield to the Appalachian Mountains. At Exo Roast Co... Conveying a modern sense of urgency through traditional music, perfect for troubled times. Just Najima and Brokedown Palace are at the Sky Bar... DJ NoirTech presides over the Purple Rain '80s Dance Party at the Surly Wench Pub... Nitecall sees DJ Mijito and guest DJ Blvk Cat spinning witch house/electro/dance punk/wave. At R Bar... Project 54: A Time Traveling Disco Experience transports revelers to when a disco ball was more than a light fixture. DJs spin at Solar Culture... Utilizing irresistible cumbia rhythms as lingua franca, El Tambó Fest 2019: Cumbia Summit of the Borderlands features live performances by cumbia legends Vox Urbana, Native Creed, Frontera Buglalú, Sister Mantos and La Diabla. And, globetrotting DJs—Riobamba, El Dusty, Chaboi alongside Sonido Tambó residents DJQ, Dirtyverbs, Humblelianess and Quiahuitl—dropping bomb after mad bomb of sonido Latino... Follow the voice of the giant Tiki head to The Hut, Where Jacob Acosta's latest project Burning West (alt rock with a twist) will perform. Along with Eric Underwood and the Brian Berggoetz Band... Downtown Radio and Zia Records presents The fourth annual Psych-Out. This year's event features Sugar Candy Mountain, The Desert Beats, Silver Cloud Express, Tropical Beach, and The Psychedelephants. At The Rock...

Saturday, April 27

Inspired by the music pouring out from the gin mills across the Trinity River while still in junior high, he first took pen to paper. Later, it was the hard knocks and broken bones earned on the rodeo circuit that prodded this singer-songwriter to record Black and White Label (2006), his first self-release. Country star Cody Johnson is in a "Honky Tonk Mood." At Desert Diamond Center... Australian electronic musician/producer What So Not pushes the boundaries of bass. At Gentle Ben's. Backed by beatmaker Tails... NYC by way of Tucson, indie folk singer-songwriter Naomi Vernon is back in the desert to perform in the tasting room at Sand-Reckoner... Performing original compositions and adaptations rooted in various pan-African styles: African Folk, Afro-pop, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The Key Ingredients of African Soul mesmerize and make bodies involuntarily sway at Monterey Court... Americana songstress Joyce Luna shares the stage with fiddle and cello duo Young MacDonald in honor of her birthday at Congregation Chaverim... Tradiciones Entre Peruanos perform a blend of songs true to their Latin American roots. At Exo Roast Co... Billed as "An evening of acoustic music, fiddles, freaks and fervor": The Subnormal Trio hold fascination at The Dusty Monk Pub... Master of a 23-string homebuilt banjo Paul Metzger and vocalist/guitarist/thereminist John Saint Pelvyn improvise at Subspace... All-ages pandemonium is sure to ensue at Spark Project Collective when Whiskey Drunk, Robber's Roost and Crow Cavalier crank up the amps... After selling 40 million albums worldwide as frontman for Poison—and all the excesses that come with that—Bret Michaels has taken to the road solo to prove that he remains "Unbroken." At Encore (formerly Club XS). Flanked by Drop D and Push...

Sunday, April 28

click to enlarge John Mellencamp: Sunday, April 28 @ Tucson Music Hall - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • John Mellencamp: Sunday, April 28 @ Tucson Music Hall

His credo: You Only Live 2wice. Despite narrowly dodging a gunman's bullets in 2014 and despite being arrested in Toulouse, France, then extradited to Austria in 2016 to face allegations of sexual assault, rapper Freddie Gibbs rebounds with his latest, Bandana (RCA Records, 2019). At 191 Toole... "Born in a small town," strewn with "Little pink houses for you and me..." John Mellencamp presents his populist brand of rock at the Tucson Music Hall... This tempestuous chanteuse made her mark as co-lead vocalist with Pink Martini. Now, fronting a gutsy new band, Le Bonheur, Storm Large tears out pages from the American songbook and writes new anthems as soul-stirring rock goddess. At the Fox Theatre... Love. Is it only a capricious exercise in futility? Cole Swindell pleads his case that it always results with a "Break Up In The End." At the AVA Amphitheater... With music swimming in her family's gene pool, this percussionist, singer-songwriter, author, humanitarian, actress and all-around badass made her first public performance at the age of 5. Fifty years later, Sheila E. is out touring in support of her latest album Iconic (Pledge Music). At the Rialto Theater... FIRE Music Video Release and Storybook Concert is a multi-media event: Leigh Lesho & The Great Light will perform the 12 chapter storybook with Level 2 Flamenco Dance Group. At Mercado San Agustin Annex... Mary Timony's D.C. power pop trio Ex Hex prove that they are "Tough Enough." With L.A.'s psych/punk/grunge/post-future rockers Feels, featuring Shannon Lay on guitar, at Club Congress. Local mystics Lenguas Largas opens the show. Expect chaos... This powerhouse all-male Argentinian company blends precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song that originated in the 17th-century in the South American pampas. Che Malambo unleash their formidable energy on stage at Centennial Hall...

Monday, April 29

With an impressive arsenal of chart topping hits to draw from, three of country music's biggest artists—Terri Clark, Pam Tillis and Suzy Bogguss—perform an intimate evening of acoustic music. "I'd been thinking about putting this together for years," says Clark. "There is a short list of women that have the hits to back it up. Pam and Suzy are a great fit." Chicks With Hits promises to be packed with A-list musicianship, stories, girl power, harmonies and more. At the Fox Theatre...

Tuesday, April 30

Bound by deep roots, these Central Texas country boys share brotherhood and an even deeper passion about rock 'n' roll. Out on the road, Copper Chief bring their "Body Aches" with them to 191 Toole... This month, in a benefit for Tucson Roller Derby, the feminist talk/variety show Ladytowne transforms into Skateytowne. Steena Salido opens with a comedy set followed by songs for hopeless romantics with teeth via Sharkk Heartt. At Club Congress...

Wednesday, May 1

He's drawn comparisons to provocateurs like Hendrix and Davis. From funk to bluegrass, classical to jazz, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro has taken the instrument to places that Don Ho (the icon of breezy Hawaiian pop) could never have imagined. At The Rialto Theater... Evolving away from self-indulgent metallic riffing—finding inspiration in hip hop and R&B grooves—interweaving guitar lines towards a more focused melodic sound, Polyphia bring the Look But Don't Touch Tour to 191 Toole... On "Beat Up Broke Down Town," off Hangovers and Heartaches, this Tucson country singer mourns a loss—just maybe with an ice-cold beer in hand. "Those city light can't hold you the way I can." Drew Cooper is on the plaza at Hotel Congress. With Safford, AZ's The Cole Trains, who celebrate the release of the Lucky Stars. An album full of Americana, country and a lil' bit of rock 'n' roll...

Thursday, May 2

With venomous snakes for fingers akin to the strands of Medusa's hair, this Swedish neo-classical metallist was recognized by Time in 2009 as one of the 10 Greatest Electric Guitar Players of All Time. Yngwie Malmsteen sets the World on Fire. At the Rialto Theatre. Sunlord and Paralandra provide buttressing... A chiming 12-string acoustic guitar sets the mood on "Under The Milky Way" for the shadowy lyrics to whisper at the mysteries of the cosmos. It remains at the pinnacle of this Australian bands catalogue, now 26 albums deep. Dream poppers The Church drift the Starfish 30th Anniversary Tour into 191 Toole... After shining brightly during reggaeton's explosion in the 1990s, this addicted, broke, depressed and overweight rapper-singer sought self-exile in Puerto Rico to sing "cheesy pop covers" in a hotel lobby. In a near miraculous comeback, "El Amante" bounced back in 2015 to top the Billboard Latin charts five times. Nicky Jam plays the AVA Amphitheater... With early influences that include Tupac, LL Cool J and Eminem, this Indiana rapper describes his own style as not only "modernized" hip hop, but also "the essence of real hip hop." Mark Battles brings the Still Fortunate Tour to Club Congress. With local heavyweight Tommy Will...

On The Horizon

"Fans have been asking for an album centered just around me. So I give them N9NA." On his just released video, "Like I Ain't," this indie rapper is on mission to convert non-believers. "This is me, wholeheartedly. It's something for die-hard fans and for all newcomers. I'm rapping like never before. Like I've never sold a gold or platinum record." Tech N9ne rolls the It Goes Up Tour into the Rialto Theatre... Playing the role of modern-day outlaw, country singer Gary Allan is placing his "Used Heart For Sale" on the auction pedestal at the Desert Diamond Center on Friday, May 3... And finally, "Being famous was never the goal," says lead vocalist/guitarist Andrew VanWynGarden, who from the outset had a knack for writing songs that sounded like they were "filtered through a kaleidoscope." Well, if you waited on getting tickets, bad news. Rumor has it the MGMT show at the Rialto Theatre slated for Sunday, May 5 has sold-out...

Until next week, XOXO...

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