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Tucson music: Let's get into trouble

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Tucson music: Let's get into trouble

Hank Topless, The Myrrors, Horse Black & more

  • Hank Topless
    Hank Topless

While Tucson's music landscape is as rich, vast and rife with possibility as the city itself, fans of local acts — the best of which stand up to any act in any locale you care to name — have seen coverage of it shrinking at an alarming rate recently. There are many places where you can read about the fair, middling and occasional gem of mid-level touring bands and artists — and that is important — but with this new column, named after Tucson's decades-old and defunct local music public access television show "Let's Get Into Trouble, Baby," is your solid source for serious coverage of our weird and wonderful homegrown monster of a music scene.

The kid with the replaceable head

Residencies, though rare locally, are a great idea for several reasons: It gives an artist an opportunity to get settled in at a venue on a regular schedule, which leads to an arc of development over the course of several weeks. One-off collaborations often take place, as do the kind of fearless experimentation that — whether artistically successful or not — serve as fascinating glimpses into the creative process. In other words, residencies can facilitate the broadening of a sound and vision, and lend a greater intimacy to the relationship between performer and audience.

Local country singer/songwriter Hank Topless is a perfect candidate for such a situation. Throughout his two-decade performance history, Topless has gleefully toyed with the boundaries of the country genre, incorporating the sounds of '60s and '70s hard rock with a venomous punk delivery, reconciling the salt of the earth with the salt in his wounds. Topless' refusal to work inside the parameters of any genre should do much to liven up his month-long Wednesday night residency at R Bar, next to the Rialto Theatre at 350 E. Congress St., Suite 110. Admission for each show is free.

Down at the rock and roll club

Twelve months ago, even the most dedicated of local music connoisseurs could be forgiven for drawing a blank at the psych-rock collective known as The Myrrors, due to their then-rare Tucson performances. At that time, the band was making waves in underground psych circles nationally and internationally. A year later, The Myrrors have recorded and released a fantastic record, "Arena Negra" on the perfectly named Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, and are becoming fixture on the local live music circuit.

Unlike many of the bands in Tucson's frequently cutting-edge psychedelic revival, The Myrrors' interpretation of music for mind expansion is fundamentally literal and classicist. Their style is based on the sound of late-'60s psych-rock rather than its flighty aesthetic. Still, this hardly prevents them from being endlessly listenable. The Myrrors perform with the Italian self-described "occult psych" act Father Misty and locals CIA Style at The Flycatcher on Monday at 9 p.m.

Love comes in spurts

Other noteworthy shows this week include Horse Black's album release show at Club Congress with Brass Hands and the Electric Blankets on Friday at 9 p.m.; School of Thought: AZ Hip-Hop Battles at Pursue Studio, 125 E. 7th St., on Saturday at 5 p.m.; and Lenguas Largas with Spaceface and OutDoors (a side project of Tucson's Golden Boots) at Sky Bar, 536 N. 4th Ave., next Tuesday, at 8 p.m.

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