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Andrew Gardner closes the circle on psychedelic rock, again

Resonars, Fish Karma both take stage this weekend

In the past couple of years, it's begun to seem like every other new band in Tucson is "reinventing" psychedelic rock. But Andrew Gardner, frontman of Tucson indie band La Cerca is not surprised that the music he was listening to at a young age is coming back into style.

"We did something like that to more rhythmic music a while back, we just didn't have as many pedal effects as we do now." he jokes.

"I have always been into the guitar bands, even the heavy metal bands and progressive rock, but the pop song was my first obsession and when you add some blaring melodic guitar, those pop songs sound even cooler," Gardner said.

La Cerca has been playing its signature brand of symphonic, dreamy psych pop since long before psych was the sound d'jour of downtown venues and local record release parties.

Now, after over a decade of playing together, Gardner and longtime guitarist Bill Oberdick are just as excited as ever to be refining their music and evolving the band's sound, seeking new challenges as they explore new material.

The band is working on a new record, a follow-up to 2014's "Sunrise For Everyone."

Gardner is so far pleased with the results.

"The songs have different color values, shapes and rhythms," he said. "We have been exploring different emotions."

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In addition to recording, La Cerca's most recent major venture was a visit to SXSW, a trip that the band experienced as much as a festival as a serious networking event.

"We had four shows in 48 hours, tried to eat healthy and not over-step the party," Gardner said. "Levitation was so cool, as we started the stage that afternoon, groups of people showing up (with) each song and they really dug it. The Xemu Tiki party was great because we played such a cool show with great bands."

The band members followed up the event with an impromptu road trip staying in haunted Texas motels before returning to Tucson to gear up for a handful of upcoming tour dates on the West Coast.

Before heading out West, La Cerca is playing some hometown shows, starting with an upcoming show at The Flycatcher. It's a chance to see a band at what might be their creative prime. Effects pedals included.

La Cerca, Christina Antipa, and Phoenix band Strange Lot play The Flycatcher, 340 E 6th St, on Friday. Show starts at 9 p.m. Free.

Fish Karma at Surly Wench on Friday

The music Tucson is most known for these days is defined by '60s inspiration, retro influenced garage, psych and lofi punk. Once upon a time, though, this town was known for a messy, joyous brand of cowpunk/punk served with a twisted sense of humour. And none did it better than Fish Karma, a man once described as sounding like "Neil Young after a swift boot to the naughty bits."

Fish and his band The DeRailleurs are still on the scene and they promise to entertain, offend and amuse you at this Friday night show at Tucson's favorite pirate bar, The Surly Wench. The folk punk band will be joined by Honky Tonk Killers and folk punkers The Eulogy Project at Surly Wench Pub 424 N. 4th Ave. on Friday. Show starts at 10 p.m.

The Resonars at Che's Lounge on Saturday night

The patio crowd at Che's Lounge on any given summer evening is laid back and mellow and dressed to whatever the opposite of "the nines" is - jeans, shorts, flip flops, faded band t-shirts and the occasional baseball cap or slightly balding ponytail.

If you were asked to spot figures in the local music scene amid this crowd, you'd be forgiven for not immediately recognizing them among the understated, Zen, blue-collar, beer-sipping crowd, but it wouldn't be uncommon to run into members of such bands as Lenguas Largas, Free Machines, Whispering Wires, The Rifle and the band that paved the way for all those other bands, legendary Tucson psych/garage band The Resonars.

Live sightings of The Resonars are becoming rarer these days, but Tucson music fans have been gifted with a handful of the band's gigs this summer, including this Saturday's show at Che's.

The Resonars and Flight 13 play Che's Lounge 350 N. 4th Ave., on Saturday. Show starts at 10 p.m. Free.

Also happening this week

In this ungodly heat, hotter than the rays of a thousand suns, odds are you're becoming something of a shut-in, shuttling from air conditioned office to swamp-cooled living room and back and more or less avoiding the light of day. But it's the weekend now, and misery loves company. Why not get off the couch and enjoy someone else's air conditioning for a change? Tons of promising shows abound this weekend at lots of friendly, ice-cold bars and venues.

Friday June 23

  • Amy Mendoza & the Strange Vacation "lounge-style" 6 p.m. at Flycatcher Lounge, 340 E. 6th St. (Downtown)
  • Leila Lopez Band 8 p.m. at Saint Charles Tavern, 1632 S. 4th Ave.
  • Brian Lopez with Birds and Arrows 8 p.m. at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. (Downtown)
  • The End Party & Starbot w/Special Guests 8 p.m. The Loudhouse Rock & Roll, Bar 915 W Prince Rd (NW Tucson)
  • Yacht Rock 2017: The Rescue of Magic Kenny 10 p.m. at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. (Downtown)
  • Hot Chocolate with Roach and guests 10 p.m. at R Bar, 350 E. Congress St. (Downtown)

Saturday June 24

  • Santa Pachita 10 p.m. at The Hut, 4th Ave. (Downtown)
  • The Myrrors 'Hasta La Victoria' Release Party 8pm, 191 E. Toole. (Downtown)
  • The Blind Owls, The GayBoys and westOasis 9 p.m. at Sky Bar, 536 N. 4th Ave. (Downtown)
  • Rival Shapes 7 p.m. Independent Distillery, 30 S. Arizona Ave. (Downtown)
  • Saturday Night in Bisbee with Natalie Pohanic and Half-Broke Town 9p.m. at The Quarry, 40 Brewery Ave. Bisbee (2 hours southeast of Tucson.)
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Gardner, center, and La Cerca

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