June 1 - June 7, 1995


MOVING HOUSE: The lights will still go on and the drinks will still go down in the French Quarter of Tucson. The only difference in KXCI community radio's House Rockin' Party featuring Marcia Ball, Beau Jocque and The Zydeco Hi-Rollers and Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys is that it has been moved from The Rock to the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave.

The whole thing still happens at 8 p.m. Monday, June 4.

Riley and the Playboys start the house rockin' with traditional and progressive Cajun music. Having played accordion in Cajun legend Dewey Balfa's band, Riley honors the old school while pushing himself, his band and music in new directions, too.

His 1993 album Trace Of Time received a Grammy nomination. If you're among those who've enjoyed Beausoleil's appearances in town, you'll want to hear Riley and company. Although no one matches Michael Doucet and his group when it comes to Cajun artistry, Riley is a young stud virtuoso who may someday wrestle the Cajun crown from Doucet.

He's only 25 years old but has been playing his handmade 10-button diatonic accordion since 1983.

Beau Jocque is a few years older at 40, and definitely a lot less traditional than Riley. Jocque takes the conventional Cajun-style rhythm and blues mixed with Afro-Caribbean syncopations and plugs in hip hop-like breakdowns and raved-up reggae-rock palpitations.

It all boils down, or boils up is probably more accurate, to a high-pressure hurricane of dance music spinning 'round the six-foot-six Jocque (his name translates as "really big guy" in French Creole) squeezing the Louisiana life out of his accordion.

His new live album--Git It, Beau Jocque!--makes you break into a sweat even on CD. I'd hate to see anyone have a heart attack on the dance floor of the Southwest Center when this band kicks into gear, but it'll be a spasm of happiness, I guess.

Jocque and The Hi-Rollers do a seriously funky version of the Neville Brothers "Yellow Moon" and a one-minute sparse and gruff cover of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mister Charlie."

But it's the stuff like "Give Him Cornbread" that zydeco lovers are going to eat with a big spoon. Jocque shouts out the one-line lyrics ("give him cornbread"), gooses his accordion over and over and his band rocks right along.

Beau and his band are going to be a hard act to follow, but I suspect Marcia Ball is up to the challenge. Her music isn't as manic as Jocque's, but it'll get people dancing just as fast.

She'll also get people dancing slow to fat, sensuous blues like "The Facts Of Life" (a song dedicated to Willie Dixon) and "St. Gabriel" from last year's Blue House album.

Ball moves effortlessly from slow swing to second-line Bourbon Street parade rhythms, rump-rolling rhumbas and rollicking New Orleans rhythm and blues. It's always a pleasure to watch the long-legged pianist swaying on the bench with her feet wiggling to the music, fingers punching and kissing the keys and long hair flying as her head bobs to the beat.

All three acts at this party are part of Rounder Records' twenty-fifth birthday celebration. The independent label out of Massachusetts has become the leading trafficker in Louisiana music; recording, packaging and promoting music legends like Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams and D.L. Menard and nurturing the careers of rising stars like Ball, Jocque and Riley.

Advance tickets to the show are $10; $8 for KXCI members.

LAST NOTES: Bring a priest, nun or pastor to The Electric Hellfire Club concert on Thursday, June 1, and get them unsaved.

After a few minutes of the Satanic disco pulsings and industrial roar, they'll be tearing off their sacred garb, torching it and dancing around the flames. Yup, Electric Hellfire is that groovy.

"I am the God of hellfire," a voice of demonic doom booms in redundant tribute to the great and powerful Ozzy Osbourne in "Hellfire," on their Kiss The Goat album.

Every song on the album is thunderous, Lucifer-loving nonsense, but it's all in good, clean fun. Maybe.

Penal Colony opens the show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $5.

Jad Fair has been doing strange things to music since the late '70s, both inside and outside of his influential punk, primitive rock and ragged pop band, Half-Japanese.

What he and the group are up to these days is anyone's guess. Find out before the Clinton-imposed 50 percent tariff sets in.

The Richies (Germany's version of The Ramones), Helldriver and the Weird Lovemakers open the concert at the Downtown Performance Center, 530-B N. Stone Ave. Admission to the all-ages show is $5.

While we're on the subject of the DPC, we'd like to thank sound technician Bruce Momich of the DPC for his work during the TAMMIES Showcase Shuffle. He was inadvertently overlooked in last week's list of thanks in Big Noise.

Reggae Sunsplash pours into Tempe this Friday, June 2, at Hayden Square. The traveling festival's line-up includes Dennis Brown, Grammy nominees Wailing Souls, DJ Sister Carol, Wurl-A-Girl (a band claiming to be the world's first all-female dancehall group), Junior Tucker, Skool, Los Angeles' Christafari and the emcee of the event, Tommy Mr. Cowan.

Advance tickets are $20 from Dillard's, $22 the day of the show.
--By Michael Metzger

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June 1 - June 7, 1995

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