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XOXO 

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Star-crossed lovers or strangers in the night, as we descend towards V-Day, let XOXO guide you through the "Burning Ring O' Fire." Lyle Lovett swings on "This Old Porch." Ani DiFranco does it her way. Ward Davis gets "Good and Drunk." Chastity Belt causes genitorture and so much more. Read on...

Thursday, Feb. 13

click to enlarge Ani DiFranco: Thursday, Feb. 13 @ Fox Theatre - GMDTHREE
  • GMDTHree
  • Ani DiFranco: Thursday, Feb. 13 @ Fox Theatre

Grammy Award winner and founder of Righteous Babe Records, Ani DiFranco is no longer just the "Little Folksinger." She now adds author to her list of accomplishments with the release of her memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream in 2019. DiFranco plays Fox Theatre. Genreless singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop is first up... Since their formation in 1983—possessing elegant style, impressive technique and emotional breadth—this quartet has become one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles. Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents The Shanghai Quartet. At Leo Rich Theater... Hailing from a sector of deep space, Arizona EDM legend ILLEKTROLAB joins resident DJs Lunarfluxx and Atom Energy to celebrate Deeper's 1st Anniversary. At Bar Passé... Imagine the brainchild of Dr. Seuss, Frank Zappa and Stanley Kubrick? Performing on an instrument, made out of steel pipes and a single bass string, That 1 Guy brings "earthshaking future funk" to Club Congress... Speed-dating + kissing booths + star-crossed lovers everywhere? Yes, it's the Valentine's Day Eve installment of Opti Club. That's not all, POSIS8n mans the decks inside the club while Heartbreaker (Phoenix) joins Xam Renn and Nitro on the plaza. At Hotel Congress... From the Black Forest of Germany, The Booze Bombs drop a Rock-a-Billy bombshell. At House of Bards... The Billy Shaw Jr. Band supplies the foot-stomping soundtrack for GALentine's Ladies Night Out. Party with your besties at The Maverick... Emitting the frequency of love, Love Hertz sees Seth Myles, Rex Garcia, I am Stranger and others team up for a full-spectrum night of EDM. At Irene's Holy Donuts... Guillotines, Screech Of Death, Gutter Town and Single Finger Theory tell the status quo where to shove it. At Spark Project Collective... Singer-songwriters Nancy & Neil McCallion perform original Americana acoustically at La Cocina... "I think I better dance now." Connie Brannock's Tiny House of Funk unleashes a smackdown as part of the Oro Valley Concert Series. In the Oro Valley Marketplace...

Friday, Feb. 14

click to enlarge bigstock-young-couple-kissing-behind-pr-19421999.jpg

St. Valentine's Day! This British producer/prog rocker reflects on the early days: "We had so much negative criticism. Like being pretentious for constantly making concept albums." Altering their formula, in 1982, Eye In The Sky (Arista) peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard charts. Alan Parsons Live Project is at Fox Theatre... Highlighting black contemporary artists Black Museum reflects a cultural renaissance. History Of Us unfolds at 191 Toole... Singer Emelie Marchand leads her red-hot musical flames—Thøger Lund, Ben Nisbet and Dimitri Manos—through a repertoire that spans from "The Devil's Music" of 1920s to the wicked soul jams of the 1960s. Lola & The Torchbearers' Valentine's Cabaret casts sparks at Club Congress... Strains of swampy, jazz inflected blues rock waft through the air. Southbound Pilot are at Monterey Court... Tackling Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 and No. 6, Tucson Symphony Orchestra are All About That B. Conductor José Luis Gomez leads the charge. At Tucson Convention Center... Before falling into "a burning ring o' fire," Johnny Cash and June Carter, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, George Jones and Tammy Wynette sang exultant love songs. Roots musicians Mamma Coal and Buddy Woodward offer a night of Country Duets. At El Crisol... "Si, si!" Led by country crooner David Bryan, Loveland perform a special Valentine's Show. At Tap + Bottle Downtown... Peace, love, unity and respect. Communiverse Vol. V: A micro-music festival, art, dance and community event. Featuring Jamaste, Atom Energy, Mental, Mr. C, Soulular and more. At Solar Culture... Sand-Reckoner invites you to spend Valentine's Day with singer/guitarist Sabra Faulk... Performing classical, jazz and original compositions, Flautist Erica May, accompanied by guitarist Josh Rhoads, perform at Wilhelm Family Vineyards at Ventana... Take a ride on the supercollider of love, heading straight towards the Surly Wench Pub, where La Cerca, The Rifle and Louise Le Hir are on a collision course...

Saturday, Feb. 15

click to enlarge Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Saturday, Feb. 15 @ Tucson Convention Center - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Saturday, Feb. 15 @ Tucson Convention Center

Taking a humorous approach to feminine stereotypes in their lyrics, indie rockers Chastity Belt confront gender norms and femininity as a construct. At Rialto Theatre... On "Beat Up Broke Down Town," off Hangovers and Heartaches, this Tucson country singer mourns a loss, with an ice-cold beer in hand. Drew Cooper—alongside Caiden Brewer and County Line—are at Rialto Theatre... "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Post V-Day romance with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. At Tucson Convention Center... Obstinately crafting acoustic music for the sophisticated urban hillbilly, The Determined Luddites drag their hairy knuckles into the Saint Charles Tavern... With bloodshot eyes, singer-songwriter Joe Peña entertains on the patio at Hotel Congress around [gasp] noon... Southern Reins will raise the dust, at the 2020 Tucson Rodeo Coors Barn Dance, as part of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. At Tucson Rodeo Grounds... The world renowned Kings of Pleasure take their swingin' blues to the stage for Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show. In the Oro Valley Marketplace... DJ NoirTech spins '80s bangers, Pretty in Pink '80s Prom Party. At Surly Wench Pub...

Sunday, Feb. 16

click to enlarge Ward Davis: Sunday, Feb. 16 @ Rialto Theatre - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Ward Davis: Sunday, Feb. 16 @ Rialto Theatre

This Nashvillian singer-songwriter has had his work recorded by country legends Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Not half bad, right? Ward Davis is at Rialto Theatre. Country troubadour Josh Morningstar opens... Country/soft rockers Pure Prairie League perform their chart topping hits: "Amie," "Let Me Love You Tonight" and more. Along with Texas cowboy Michael Martin Murphey. A night of reminiscences awaits when at Fox Theatre... Out of Flagstaff, psychedelic space rock cowboys Sci-Fi Country do unspeakable things on the Club Congress stage. Jim McGuinn & The Cosmic Cowboys and Hannah Yeun partake in the debauchery... With its origins deeply rooted in the Gypsy culture of Spain, this traditional art form presents the interactions between song, dance and guitar, executed atop a percussive wooden platform. Tablao Flamenco perform at El Crisol... Playing original jazz, bossa novas and experimental French esoterica, Dark Maps—Jeff Grubic, Sean Rogers and Dmitri Manos—play The Coronet... Their track "Gospel" is the theme song during the closing credits in the animated film Monsters University (Disney/Pixar). MarchFourth bring a spectacle of high-energy compositions, a kaleidoscope of performers and irrepressible charisma to the MSA Annex. All ages...

Monday, Feb. 17

Turning first hand experiences into compelling songs, Canadian folk singer Lucie Blue Tremblay expresses her desire for world peace and LGBT rights on President's Day. At Club Congress... "Perfect for late-night karaoke comedowns, plaintive morning walks, and conjuring the spirit world," Molly Sarlé (from Durham via Big Sur) brings open-hearted, unflinching songwriting to El Crisol. Songwriter Chelsey Trejo adds appreciably to the evening... With songs about "Stripper Poles" and "Cherry Pop Tarts," Funky Bonz provided reason to take a "Walk on the Wild Side" on a Monday night. At Elliott's on Congress...

Tuesday, Feb. 18

The still life captured in "This Old Porch," embodies the spirit of the evening. "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." Acclaimed singer/composer/actor Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group perform at Fox Theatre... Making modern indie pop "For Lovers Only." Luna Luna are at Club Congress. Pro Teens and The Trees help shake out the love...

Wednesday, Feb. 19

click to enlarge Naim Amor
  • Naim Amor

In 1969, following the dissolution of The Mothers of Invention, legendary composer Frank Zappa released Hot Rats, self-described as a "movie for your ears," and hailed today as a masterwork of jazz-rock fusion. Keeping the legacy alive, Dweezil Zappa presents Hot Rats Live + Other Hot Stuff 1969 Tour. At Rialto Theatre... At Club Congress you will find the polished neo-soul fusion of Street Blues Family. They promise to make you swoon... Recently, drummer Tasha Bundy broke a hand while riding her horse, greatly limiting her ability to work. Comrades Howe Gelb, Tom Walbank, Golden Boots, Emilie Marchand, Naim Amor, Loveland, Thøger Lund, Katie Haverly and more will circle the wagons to help a cowgirl out. Bash For Tash at El Crisol... Boasting Arizona Blues Hall of Famer Mike Blommer on guitar, blues institution Bad News Blues Band rip and tear. At Chicago Bar... Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the music that stopped World War II, The Finest Hour—featuring Davina & The Vagabonds and The Hot Club of Cowtown—showcases music from the '40s combined with modern-day stylings. At Centennial Hall... "Born to be bad," The Other Troublemakers raise Cain. At Monterey Court... Continuing the Singer-Songwriter Series, Jacob Acosta will perform at Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort... Southwestern Gothic soul shaker, Just Najima holds court at Crooked Tooth Brewing Co...

Thursday, Feb. 20

click to enlarge Dweezil Zappa: Thursday, Feb. 20 @Rialto Theatre - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • Dweezil Zappa: Thursday, Feb. 20 @Rialto Theatre

Let's swing! Mayhem ensues when The Black Market Trust cut loose their infectious brand of traditional vocal-driven jazz at Club Congress... This edition of Ladytowne Live—your favorite local feminist variety show welcomes guests: Adiba Nelson, Ashley La Russa, Stells Di Rossi and Misty Tea. With a set of alternative fusion by Method to the Madness. At Club Congress... DJ Mijito presides over Order of The Owl IV: Goth Night. At Owls Club... Check out new art installations—celebrating black women as part of Black History Month—while shaking it to live DJ sets. Silent Disco. At MOCA Tucson... A taste of Spain in downtown Tucson? Alternating weekly, singer-songwriters Amanda Rochelle and Natalie Pohanic shall serenade for Tapas & Tonics. In the lounge at the AC Hotel Tucson... Esteemed pianist Elliot Jones hosts Piano Bar Thursdays. At The Dusty Monk Pub...

Shout Out

"Parties & Vices?" Indeed. Indie rockers Dirt Friends celebrate the release of Close Enough—their second full-length album—with an epic bash, of course. On Saturday, Feb. 15. At Club Congress. Soda Sun and Jess Matsen join in the festivities...

On The Horizon

An erstwhile member of Green on Red and The Pedestrians, singer-songwriter Van Christian brings his "Hard Roots" sound on Friday, Feb. 21 to Saint Charles Tavern... Formed in a UK boys school in 1975, their first release for Island Records was "Ku Klux Klan" a chastisement at the evils of racism. Roots reggae artists Steel Pulse "Cry, Cry Blood." On Friday, Feb. 21. At the Rialto Theatre... Breaking gender norms, Ezra Furman performs Twelve Nudes. On Tuesday, Feb. 25. At 191 Toole... Led by guitar monster Zakk Wylde, heavy metallists Black Label Society play their Grimmest Hits. On Wednesday, Feb. 26. At Rialto Theatre...

Until next week, XOXO...

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