TONIGHT'S TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME: Just when someone says, "It's always over 100 degrees in Tucson, but at least we don't have any concerts to go to in the heat," we get a night like tonight. That is, it's tonight if you pick up your Weekly promptly. If you grab it Thursday morning, afternoon or early evening--this is the right time to be with the music you love.
We've got Burning Spear playing The Rock, Dick Dale at Club Congress and Kristina Olsen at the Southwest Center For Music--all on Thursday night.
Olsen is the least famous of the trio, so we'll make her infinitesimally more famous by starting a rundown of tonight's line-up with her.
She released her third album for Philo Records earlier this year. Hurry On Home is an 11-song amalgamation of delicately crafted, emotional folk songs, snarls of blues and bright sparks of humor.
Call someone a folk singer today and you're likely to get laughs from anyone under 30 years old. It conjures up images garnered from their parents' worn LPs with big photos of Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio, Judy Collins, John Prine and Peter, Paul and Mary. The 12 inches of vinyl have songs about the virtues of peace and love, the destructiveness of racism and war, and the decimation of our environment etched into it, all topics derisively dismissed as PC today.
Olsen, like many of her peers, is best when writing and singing about interior problems rather than societal ills. The mark of any good folk singer lies in the lyrics and how well they express inner or outer predicaments. The title cut of her new album is a reflective love song, full of an ache just about everyone can relate to:
"Hurry on home/ Well, that's what I'd say to you if I could climb through the phone," she sings in her crystalline voice. "I would get myself next to you/ I'd breathe in your hair/ You would not dare to say no/ I think you'd better."
Olsen follows with the droll and goofy "Angel Of Death." She tempts the dreaded spirit with abandon.
"The angel of death has a really big cold sore/ I'll bet she is a carnivore...The angel of death has a big case of bad breath/ I caught her reading MacBeth/ She still smokes those cigarettes."
Another shift in tone comes in "I Don't Care What You Say." It's gritty, frisky blues with Olsen dropping down to an occasional growl and picking a gently piercing steel guitar.
Olsen plays the Southwest Center For Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., tonight after Teresa Tudury completes a set of her soulful, jazzy blues. Tickets are $8 in advance.
DICK ROCK: Another good musical choice is available at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., tonight when surf-god-guitarist Dick Dale unleashes his Stratocaster on the crowd. If you missed his concert earlier this year, you need to let Dale's waves of staccato and fuzz wash over you. If you were there, you're ready for a cleansing that won't be a copy of the first one.
"I create a sound. That's why I never play a song the same way twice," he said in an interview with The Weekly this spring. "So every show is always different in the way I play. I always wish I could bottle up the sounds at the end of every night because I don't know what I did. All I know is that when I get going, you set a feeling and the people feel what you feel and you feel what they feel and it just builds and builds."
The night begins with the gargantuan onslaught of '70s arena-style rock (especially Kiss and Deep Purple) that is known in these parts as Stinky Slinky. If you're feeling suicidal there's no need to waste a bullet around these boys. Just aim your left ear at one of their Marshalls and your brain will blast out of the other side. I dig 'em, but I face the sound system straight on when I slink out for a little stink.
Tickets to hear Dick Dale and Stinky Slinky are $13.
STILL BURNING: Burning Spear rounds out your major musical choices for this Thursday. He'll lay down the roots Reggae groove at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Lay down $12 and you can be there with one of the genuine giants of Reggae.
ROCK & ROLL, HOOTCHIE DOO DOO: He may be burnt, but he's still ready to play his "Rock & Roll Hootchie Coo" just for you and everyone else at Sgt. Pepper's, 4066 N. Oracle Road. on Friday, September 22. He's Rick Derringer and if he's not suffering from burn out, it would be a miracle on the order of someone figuring out how to pronounce the current "name" of the artist formerly known as Prince.
Rick had his first hit, "Hang On Sloopy," when he was just 16. That was 30 years ago. You do the math involving time, miles on the road and intoxicants consumed.
Way Station opens the show in Spandex and poofed hair, playing their way tired version of glam-metal. Tickets are $10. It might be a good idea to call 887-1591 and see if tickets are still available. They're said to be going fast.
LAST NOTES: The King is still alive in the chic and cheesy form of El Vez (one of the innumerable Elvis impersonators roaming the world). He and his band burn up a hunk of Club Congress on Friday night. Al Foul and The Shakes open the night. Admission is $6.
Pop Defect plays Congress with Paper Tulips and M.I.R.V. on Sunday, September 24. Admission is five bucks.
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