FASHION AND FAME: Wednesdays at the Club Congress haven't been quite the same since the beautiful, incomparable Chick Cashman dispensed with his regular weekly appearances. Despite a few interim shifts in Countrypolitan personnel--you may have noticed some familiar faces at the Club Crawl appearance (was Al Perry The Man on bass, or what?)--the glamour, not to mention the kick-ass music we've come to expect, remains undiminished. Returning with a fury on Friday, May 2, Cashman and the Countrypolitans play host and back-up band all evening to the inspiring and sensational (you might call her a diva, but I think she's too svelte for the costume) Angela Bowie, who unveils an all-new set of tunes especially for the occasion. And if that's not enough, Portland's Irving Claw Trio also makes an appearance, as does the Valley of the Sun's renowned queen of drag Felicia Farr, offering a full range of cabaret-style entertainment. Sources confirm she has real breasts and loves to show them off. Show time is 9 p.m. at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

HOT PICK: After such a long, intense struggle to keep the doors open at the Luna Loca Café, 546 N. Stone Ave., the time has finally come to bask in the moonglow. If you haven't made it down to check out any shows at one of downtown's most eclectic and musically liberated venues, get your feet wet with an event a little more sedate than the Luna Loca's usual repertoire. Bring a blanket, a pillow or a lawnchair, along with that dollar you found in the laundry last week, and check out the stellar evening of intimate acoustic music on the garden patio, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3. Set to entertain by the light of tiki torches are a variety of performers, including Chris Laterzo (in from California), Windsong Strum, Nervous Duane Normal, Gary Bear, Chris Morrison, and the debut performance of punk/country outfit Water. You can't beat it for a buck! As always, the Luna Loca is open to all ages, interests and haircuts. Additional performers are yet to be announced. Call 882-4488 for more information.

SWAG SWINE: No, it's not a barbecue, but that is bacon you smell--in fact, it's Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs. Get your Cinco de Mayo celebration started a few days early at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at The Third Stone Bar & Grill, 500 N. Fourth Ave. No strangers to Tucson, Bacon and the Pigs squeal in from San Diego with a full trough of new material, aptly titled The Other White Meat. The Pigs pour it on thick, blending Tex-Mex, rockabilly, jump and swing blues and country into what they refer to as "Tex-Mex blues-a-billy" (one step beyond scrapple--everything and the oink!). I don't care what you call it, the bottom line is that your $4 at the door buys more rollicking, roadhouse-rock fun than you've seen this side of Hazard County. Call 628-8844 for more information.

LAST NOTES: Les Arbuckle, a legend on the tenor sax, highlights the continuing Plaza Suite Spring Series at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at St. Philip's Plaza, 4380 N. Campbell Ave. Joining Arbuckle will be a local trio featuring Jeff Haskell on the piano. Tickets are $4 for TJS members, $8 for non-members. Call the TJS hotline at 743-3399 for more information.

A bit of late breaking news: That big blue superhero so close to our hearts, The Tick, is back on the air, at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on Fox. Perhaps the groundswell of Tick-deprived unrest that culminated in the Blackmoon Graffiti/Club Congress "Save The Tick" benefit last winter reached some corporate ears. Whatever the reason, "Justice is a foot," as our hero once rejoice!

NEW KID ON THE LOT: If you've been scouring the Sonora Desert for a place to buy techno, ambient, jungle and other hip music, your long quest is at an end: The newly opened Subvox Music, 37 S. Fifth Ave., has great prices on lots of new and used electronic music CDs. Best of all, you can listen before you buy. In keeping with the relative obscurity of their wares, they've shacked up in a hard-to-find corner of the east parking lot on Fifth Avenue just north of Broadway, next to that black-and-blue nightclub formerly known as the Rialto Cabaret. Hours are limited to noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call 903-9900 for information.

CONGRATULATIONS! SAX-Mania, an eclectic jazz/classical saxophone quartet from the School of Music and Dance at The University of Arizona, won a Downbeat Magazine award as the best college classical instrumental chamber music group. The award was announced in the May 1997 edition of Downbeat. Terry Peffer, founder and director of SAX-Mania, is completing his Master's in jazz studies and saxophone, and has been a teaching assistant in jazz studies at the UA for the past two years, director of the UA Jazz Ensemble II, and coordinator of jazz combos. Congratulations Terry and SAX-Mania! TW

--Lisa Weeks
City Week
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