Sound Bites REIGNING BANDS: Things move a little slower in the south, at least that's what folks say up north. Which might partially explain why the CD Release Party for Brine Storm--a Gouramie Records compilation featuring a plethora of local talent released last October--is happening at this seemingly late date. Whatever the reason, we're just glad the event has come together--it should prove one of the best local line-ups this side of the Tammies.

Promises for a big blowout celebration have finally reached fruition, with two concerts scheduled to feature a solid smattering of contributing bands. The first show is 21 and over, and set for 9 p.m. Friday, January 23, at the Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. The bands confirmed to play thus far include The Weird Lovemakers, Shoebomb, The Simplistics (formerly known as The Simpletons), Helldriver, Supermonkey, Beyond Seven and Chris Morrison's Bargain Town. Cover is $3 at the door. Call 622-8848 for more information.

In the spirit of equal access, the second Brine Storm show is an all-ages occasion at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 24, at Skrappy's, 3710 N. Oracle Road. Teeming with teen spirit, the best all-ages punk rock dive in town plays host to Percolator, Absinthe, The Weird Lovemakers and Beyond Seven. Call 408-9644 for more information.

Copies of Brine Storm and other merchandise will be available at both shows, so if you don't already have a copy, plan to pick one up. It's an ideal way to support local music, as well as a local record label--not to mention that Brine Storm is the most comprehensive compilation of local bands you could ever hope to find and IT ROCKS!

HOT PICK: The Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., once again utilizes its big stage to stage a big event at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 24: The Singer/ Songwriter Festival. With aspirations of the Festival becoming an annual event featuring both local and national talent, the Rialto has booked an extraordinary bill of top-notch performers. National headliners Ray Wylie Hubbard and Chris Wall will be joined by a wealth of local talent, including Stefan George, John Coinman, Duncan Stitt, Terry Pollack, Joe Rush, Al Perry; and soloing aside from their better-known work with popular local alternative bands will be Joe Peña of Greyhound Soul, Sapphire Kieft of Milkseed and Annie Hawkins of the Annie Hawkins Trio. In a word...WOW! Tickets are $5 at the door. Call 740-0126 for more information.

LAST NOTES: The Joseph Gross Gallery hosts a stellar five-piece musical ensemble at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 25, in conjunction with the opening of "Hindsight," an exhibition featuring the assembled art of seven artists whose works center around the theme of creating new pieces from historic thematic elements.

On the theme of hindsight, a quintet composed of renowned virtuoso double-bassist Patrick Neher, harpsochordist Suzanne Knosp, guitarist Michael Harding, violinist Mark Rush and soprano Christina Jarvis render a selection of music from the Renaissance to the present. The UA Joseph Gross Gallery is located at Speedway and Park Avenue. Admission is $5 at the door. Call 626-4215 for more information.

The Aroma Café, 364 N. Fourth Ave., has broken through to the other side in more ways than one. Since expanding into the adjoining corner shop last fall, the Café has shifted character from an often cramped coffee spot to a buzzing, of late featuring a variety of local entertainment on its small stage. Aroma offers a rare treat at 8 p.m. Thursday January 22: Calexico performs with Parisian guests Amor Belhôm Duo.

Given their often busy touring and recording schedule, Calexico has in the past few months had only the occasional opportunity to perform locally. In fact, they recently completed recording on Black Light, the long-awaited, full-length follow-up to Spoke, slated for release in April by Quarter Stick/Touch and Go Records.

Performing as Le Duo, the newly renamed Amor Belhôm Duo put on an amazing show opening for Al Perry on New Year's Eve at the Airport Lounge, and also recently performed at Nimbus Brewing Company.

A sophisticated combination of pop, lounge, experimental jazz, inspired percussion and burnished guitar work intermixed with a diversity of underlying pre-recorded aural images, they contrive an original sound that's stylish, emotive and musically compelling. Amor Belhôm Duo returns to the Continent at the end of January for studio work, so don't miss this chance to see them live this side of the Atlantic. Call 623-2088 for more information.

A new trio makes the scene--Groovebox combines acid jazz and trip hop, and features guitarist Kris Kostoff, formerly of Mr. Howell's Fortune, bassist Ron Malleis of Greasy Chicken, and fresh Michigan transplant, drummer Aaron Chisena. Groovebox is a creative experiment in funky improvisation, with plans to regularly feature a series of guest performers, including horn players, DJs, rappers and other vocalists. Groovebox makes its debut at Nimbus Brewing Comapny, 3850 E. 44th St., with an intimate, candlelit set starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, January 24. Cover is $2, as are the pints. Call 745-9175 for more information.

Anyone who made it down to The Airport Lounge, 20 E. Pennington St., for Crawdaddy-O's CD release party last November can testify to the Cajun craze the brass band cooked up with smokin' openers the X Old Ladies. Both bands return to the Lounge for a command performance on Saturday, January 24. Jimmy Carr joins the Ladies on keys and vibraphone, adding an extra twist to their already tweaked rootsy ramblings. Cover is $3. Call 882-0400 for more information.

Bob Margolin has been steady rollin' for the past 20 years, playing his signature slide blues at the side of Muddy Waters for seven years in the '70s, and lending his licks to just about everyone in the blues business--from Johnny Lee Hooker and R. L. Burnside to Etta James and Albert King. On Thursday, January 22, Margolin returns to Tucson and the Boondocks Lounge, 3360 N. First Ave., ready with a slew of new material from his latest, optimistically titled Alligator Records release, Up & In. Tickets are $10 in advance, $8 for TBS members. Call 690-0991 for more information.

And Finally: Musicians Register Forms are now being accepted by the Tucson Weekly for the Second Annual Tucson Musicians Register. You'll find them printed in these pages each week for the next few weeks, so fill them out and send them in ASAP! Details about the Register and the Tammies '98 are on the form. TW

--Lisa Weeks

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