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Weekend music

The Nights who say N.O.L.F. (Night of the Living Fest VI)

Night of the Living Fest is a tradition within a tradition.

The official “pre-party” of Tucson’s community wide All Souls Procession, the multi-stage concert is now in its 6th year celebrating live music from Tucson and beyond while helping to raise funds for Many Mouths, One Stomach, the fundraising arm of All Souls in Tucson.

After a brief return to simplicity with last year’s one night, single stage affair at 191 Toole, the festival is once again a weekend-long event across multiple stages, with most acts playing at the MSA Annex just west of Downtown and a handful of shows taking place at Fourth Avenue’s Cans Deli.

As in prior years, this year’s “NOLF” features a diverse mix of both local and far flung bands, some of whom you may know well and others you’ve likely never have heard of. Never fear, though - your friendly neighborhood music columnist did the homework so you didn’t have to. Behold, your guide to the highlights of this year’s Night of The Living Fest…

The Exbats 

Regular readers of this column should know by now of my ever abiding love for Bisbee band The Exbats, but if you don’t know them, this year’s NOLF is as good a time as any to immerse yourself in their catchy, drum focused 2 and a half minute primitive punk anthems. 

Asian Fred

Tucson’s Asian Fred, by contrast, is characterized by lush, layered, Motown and Stax-style harmonies, '60s and '70s funk, soul and pop influences and Ringo Starr-esque drum beats, all underlying frontman Fred Huang’s nuanced commentaries on pop culture and subtle racism in modern society.

Golden Boots

From their high energy and high weirdness infused rock shows at Downtown venues like Cans to their tiki lounge incarnation “Tiki Boots,” Golden Boots may be the funnest band in town, but don’t underestimate the seriousness of Golden Boots. Dimitri Manos and crew put in a fine live show, with stellar musicianship to back it up, evoking everything from '70s funk to modern indie swagger.


Feverfew is sometimes a one woman cyclone and sometimes a full-band hurricane, but always loud, fuzzy, aggressive and personal as hell, invoking the twin spirits of Kurt Cobain and Cold Turkey era John Lennon with a little extra dose of PJ Harvey and a certain inspired spark that is like no other band ever. Catch them now and say you knew them when.

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Other notable locals include the ever fabulous Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout!, Aztral Folk, The Pangs and Phoenix’s Dry River Yacht Club, while out of towners Tweak Bird, Tight Fright, Treasure Mammal, Same Sex Mary, Parlor and electro-rockers Basic Biology and Metrognome:Falcotronik and March Fourth Marching Band complete this year’s lineup.

March Fourth Marching Band

Among those “just passing through” for this year’s NOLF, perhaps the most notable (and definitely the most unmissable) act is festival headliner March Fourth Marching Band. March Fourth's live performances are an experience unto themselves, as much vaudeville thring ring circus as musical act. Repeat visitors to Tucson, the Portland troupe incorporates amazing feats of circus arts wizardry and acrobatic flair into their stage show, with performances incorporating everything from flaming hula hoops to intricately choreographed sword battles and dance numbers by stiltwalking slashbucklers set to a soundtrack of New Orleans jazz meets gypsy cabaret modern marching tunes.

Night of the Living Fest VI takes place at MSA Annex on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4, beginning at 4 p.m. each day with official after parties Saturday and Sunday night at Cans Deli, beginning at 11 p.m. each night.

Birds & Arrows CD release show

North Carolina expats Birds & Arrows have embraced their new hometown of Tucson with a wild passion and their newest release "Aribitrary Magic" reflects this influence in spades. Guest appearances by notable Old Pueblo musicians abound, including intricate guitar work by Ben Nisbet and Connor Gallaher and an old school soul diva guest vocal by Katie Haverly.

The band’s original Hotel Congress release party was preempted by last month’s late season mini monsoon rain, but the show is back on, this Friday night at Club Congress, with a little help from the best little band with a big, big sound in town, The Rifle.

Birds & Arrows CD release show with The Rifle takes place at Club Congress Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Club Congress

Roman Barten-Sherman & Tom Walbank

Tom Walbank has been channeling the swampy, dark magic of the Delta blues for decades now, cutting a striking figure as a pale, gaunt English gent seemingly possessed by the ghost of Robert Johnson. But hot on his heels, another unlikely bluesman is coming into his own, with a little bit of mentorship from Walbank himself. At the tender young age of 15, Roman Barten-Sherman already has nearly a half decade of professional experience under his belt and has earned the right to lay aside the title of “prodigy” for just plain great musicianship. This Saturday, the pair debut Barten-Sherman’s self titled 5th album at a joint appearance at Exo Roast - a venue not too far from the proverbial “crossroads” of classic blues lore.

Roman Barten-Sherman and Tom Walbank’s CD release show takes place at Exo Roast on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Check your local listings

Each week this column compiles a choice selection of live gigs in and around Tucson with the help of good venue and band event announcements and other resources.  If you've got a gig coming up and you'd like your event listed in this space (or if your local band has a major announcement or a new release) drop me a line at arts@tucsonsentinel.com.

Friday, November 2

  • November Fair Weather Reading - 7 p.m. Exo Roast
  • Jesse Sensibar reading w/ Billy Sedlymayr - 7 p.m. Gallery 2 Sun
  • Mustang Corners - 7:30 p.m. Borderlands
  • Birds and Arrows CD Release w/ The Rifle - 7:30 p.m. Club Congress
  • Tech N9e - 7:30 p.m. Rialto
  • Spafford - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Club Sanctuary Vampire Ball - 9 p.m. Can
  • Shit Knife, Shovel, Sherbet and Champagne - 9 p.m. District Eatz
  • Velocity - 9 p.m. House of Bards
  • Natalie Pohanic - 9 p.m. Saint Charles Tavern
  • Joe Pena w/ MOI Trio - 9 p.m. Sky Bar

Saturday, November 3

  • Westside Pedaler - 3 p.m. Westbound
  • Night of the Living Fest VI - 4 p.m. MSA Annex
  • N.O.L.F. Afterparty - 11 p.m. Cans
  • All Souls Procession of Little Angels - 3 p.m. Armory Park
  • Tucson Salvage - 4 p.m. The Loft Cinema
  • Prison Blues Band - 6  p.m. Button Brewhouse
  • Transient + Bastard Noise, Sorrower, Realize, Woundvac - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • Cheap Thrills: Psygoat, The Exbats, DJ Nullius - 7 p.m. Hotel Congress
  • Ice 9 -  7:30 p.m. Borderlands
  • Roman Barten-Sherman w/ Tom Walbank - 8 p.m. Exo Roast
  • Long Beach Dub Allstars - 8 p.m. Rialto
  • In Tha Zone - 9 p.m. House of Bards
  • Van Christian - 9 p.m. Saint Charles Tavern

Sunday, November 4

  • All Souls Face Painting -  12 p.m. Borderlands
  • 29th Annual All Souls Procession - 4 p.m. West Tucson and Mercado San Augustin
  • Night of the Living Fest - 4 p.m. MSA Annex
  • All Souls Procession Finale w/ Xixa - 10 p.m. Mercado San Augustin
  • N.O.L.F. Afterparty - 11 p.m. Cans
  • Face Paint Town w/ The Artisanals - 12 p.m. Hotel Congress
  • Mr. Twin Sister - 7 p.m. Hotel Congress
  • Power Trip, Glacial Tomb, Get A Grip - 8 p.m. Club Congress

Monday, November 5

  • Donna the Buffalo - 8 p.m. 191 Toole

Tuesday , November 6

  • Election Watch Party - 12 p.m. Borderlands
  • Parker Milsap - 7:30 p.m. Club Congress

Wednesday, November 7

  • Droll, Kryge, Dayak - 8 p.m. Cans
  • Atala, Mother Of Thousands, Via Vengea - 8 p.m. Club Congress
  • Buck Meek and Run Riah - 8 p.m. Exo Roast Wednesday

Thursday, November 8

  • Sleep Signals, A Liar Like You, Ashes of Jupiter, Black Amethyst - 6 p.m
  • Suicide Forest, Vouna, Shadows of Algol, Azfarat - 7 p.m. Cans
  • Dust & Stone Review featuring Billy Sedlmayr - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • Rickie Lee Jones w/ Anders Osborne - 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre Tucson
  • Bettye Lavette - 8 p.m. Rialto
  • Avi Buffalo, Haunted Summer, Dirt Friends  - 8:30 p.m. Sky Bar

Stay tuned next week for more music news and listings, including the debut of Moontrax...

Thanks to our donors and sponsors for their support of local independent reporting. Join Corrine Cooper, Leslie Owens, and Margaret Iverson and contribute today!

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March Fourth Marching Band

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