ANGLING FOR AUSTIN, SXSW UPDATE: Well, the Phoenix New Times last week bemoaned the meager assemblage of Arizona talent invited to showcase at South By Southwest this year, and given the fact that only 10 bands from Arizona are scheduled to appear, I'm inclined to agree that Grand Canyon State got the Grand Shaft. In case you're interested in which bands will be representing your hometown/homestate at this year's most auspicious festival, I've compiled this list of the whos, whens and wheres:

Thursday, March 13: Crawdaddy-O (TSN) at The Elephant Room; The Beat Angels (PHX), Sand Rubies (TSN) and Dan Stuart (TSN), all at Hole in the Wall; and Suicide Kings (PHX) at The Roadhouse.

Friday, March 14: Azz Izz Band (PHX) at The Flamingo Cantina; Giant Sand (TSN) at Stubbs; and The Weird Lovemakers (TSN) at Trophy's.

Saturday, March 15: Zack Phillips Band (PHX) at Alamo Drafthouse Theater; and Scenic (Sedona) at Bob Popular.

Good luck and safe traveling to everyone headed to Austin--see you there!

AND ON THE 19th: It seems every major venue in town has a special event slated for Wednesday, March 19. (Is there some holiday I'm unaware of? Shit, man, it's almost like living in L.A. this Wednesday.) So, rather than highlight only a couple, here's the rundown, age before beauty, all over town:

They want you to want them. Cheap Trick (how many of you, like me, still have a collection of their 45s?) pops into The Outback, 296 N. Stone Ave., fresh from studio work at Sub Pop with Steve Albini (for a sprinkle of ultra-cool fairy dust), and on the heels of their soon-to-be-released, self-titled Red Ant Records effort. Openers Silver Jet hit the stage at 9 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance and $17 the day of the show. Call 622-4700 for more information.

From New Orleans, the rock, rhythm and soul of The Radiators and their New Dark Ages converge at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. They'll be joined by local boys White Chrome Splendor with Xtra Ticket. Tickets for the Radiators are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Call 629-9211 for more information.

Not this Wednesday! The Stranglers show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., has been cancelled. Call 622-8848 for more information. Experimental and funkadelic with those crazy-ass costumes, Critters Buggin' are again in the Old Pueblo, this time headlining at The Empire Café & Lounge, 61 E. Congress St. Show starts at 10 p.m. Call 884-9779 for information.

LAST NOTES: Open Mic Night at the Airport Lounge, 20 E. Pennington St., has certainly taken off, not the least interesting aspect of which is the ongoing film project developed in conjunction with several of the Thursday performances. Footage from several of the open mic nights will be compiled into a documentary film chronicling the open mic scene here in the Old Pueblo. Thursday, March 13, is the next in the series to be filmed. On Thursday, February 27, more than 27 acts vied for slots, so potential participants should arrive early in order to sign up for a time slot. And remember, seating is usually at a premium. The madness, moderated by emcee George Martin, ensues from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call 882-0450 for more information.

The Spring Concert Series at the Winsett Park Stage, east side of Fourth Avenue south of Sixth Street, continues Saturday, March 15, kicking off at 2 p.m. with a solo acoustic set by Tammy Allen of 35 Summers, followed at 3 p.m. by the experimental rock-fusion of Project Slim. Headlining at 4 p.m., The Best Band You've Probably Never Heard But Should, Cortex Bomb, makes a rare live appearance. The weather should be great and the show is free--could it get any easier to support Tucson music?

Later that evening check out Al Perry and the Cattle opening for Flathead at the Empire, where you can lounge, listen, dance, dine or just drink to your heart's delight at the largest mahogany bar in these dusty parts. The show starts around 10 p.m.

Smash your head against this punk rock--The Hanson Brothers, Canadian "puck" rockers (their other car is a zamboni) crash into the Club Congress on Sunday, March 16, in support of their new release, an homage to hockey, girls and beer titled Sudden Death. It's not a hockey game until there's blood on the ice, and these rowdy sons get it going at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $4 at the door. Call 622-8848 for more information.

Irish eyes will be smiling on St. Paddy's Day, Monday, March 17, when Arizona's finest Irish and Celtic traditional band, New Potatoes, performs their yearly gig from 6 to 9 p.m. at Gentle Ben's, 865 E. University Blvd. New Potatoes have played every St. Patrick's Day since 1985, and for a mere $2 you can join them in their 12th year of this tradition. Call 624-4177 for more information. TW

--Lisa Weeks
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