Tucson sounds: Looking back at 2 years of local music for our 'columnversary'
Groundworks to break ground; Return of Surfapalooza & El Dia de San Juan
It's been two years since this column began documenting local bands, venues and music news in Ye Olde Pueblo and in that time we've covered a lot of ground. But the thing about local music scenes, is that they are pretty much always in flux, as a recent conversation with a fellow music writer reminded me. We were discussing bands that were active roughly a decade ago versus those still playing live now and it set me to wondering about the additions, subtractions and changes in lineups over even the short amount of time I've been writing this column.
And so, my friends, I give to you a quick snapshot of the state of local music from the summer of 2017 to now. Stay tuned next week for some more in-depth reminiscing on this topic, but for now, here're the stats to date.
Bands we've covered that are playing this weekend:
Tongs - Instrumental overdrive. Jazz, funk, elctronic rock fusion with a hint of video game soundtrack magic. Thursday night at Sky Bar.
Surfbroads - Surf rock instrumental prowess by badass femmes with subtle nods to rock and metal classics if you listen closely. Saturday night at Surfapalooza and Thursday night at Tap & Bottle.
Weekend Lovers - Prince meets Fleetwood Mac meets the Shangri Las meets the indefinable brilliance of Marta de Leon and crew. Friday night at Boxyard with the Rifle - Still bigger on the inside; lush, dreamy, chimey indie rock with a touch of psychedelic inspiration.
Lenguas Largas - The REAL border rock and roll; now with like 500 percent more MC5 meets Stooges Detroit rock and roll backbeat. With Sweet Knives on Wednesday night at Club Congress.
Miss Olivia and the Interlopers - And it was all right, the band was all together, and it was all right, the song went on forever, she was up all night, really quite out of sight. (Apologies to Mr. Bowie.) Miss Olivia and crew open for Led Zeppelin tribute act Zoso this Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Rialto.
Cool Funeral - Simple melodies, cymbals and snares, keyboards and spare guitar, gorgeous, spare melodies, thoughtful lyrics, china-cup delicate indie gorgeousness. Catch them along with Rough Draft and Big Bad at Saturday night's Groundworks benefit at 191 Toole. Did we mention that the kids are all right?
Joyce Luna - Folk goddess at it again at this Saturday night's Listening Room show at Congregation Haverim.
Juliana Warkentin - This talented local singer songwriter is back from Amsterdam this Tuesday night with a few new tales to tell.
Stripes - Local Wunderkinds take on locals FIST for another Tucson Duel this Friday night at the Screening Room.
Pigmy Death-Ray and Gutter Town - sharing a stage this Friday night at Surly Wench Pub. Double the debauched and punk tinged rock and roll.
Both Birds and Arrows and Seanloui have new releases on deck, with Birds and Arrows releasing a video Saturday night at Wooden Tooth Records, and Seanloui making multiple appearances this week in support of a soon to be released single. Hear more about both next week in this column.
Bands and venues that have left the building:
Los Guapos, Half-Broke Town, Switch Affect, Gaza Strip, the Frecks, Low Wines, Lowlife, Elegant Rabies, Flycatcher, Loudhouse, Cans, District Eatz and more.
Stay tuned next week for part two, as your friendly local music scribe brings you up to date on the other bands we've covered in this space, including:
Ted Riviera's Gunrunners, La Cerca, Mission Creeps, Shit Knife, Juju Fontaine, Free Machines,Exbats, Bruja and the Coyote, Natalie Pohanic, Leila Lopez, Trees Speak, Asian Fred, the Unday, Hank Topless, Millers Planet, Black Medicine, Hannah Yeun, Bryan Thomas Parker, Katie Haverly, Little Cloud, Marianne Dissard, Distortionists, Taco Sauce, Santa Pachita, Hipster Daddy-o, M. Crane, Untied Snakes, Fish Karma, Paris Accord, Mute Swan, Marshmallow Overcoat, Rival Shapes, Big Mean, Leigh Lesho, Marshal Man, Bescmirchers, Pork Torta, Moontrax, Seanloui, Silver Cloud Express, Infinite Beauties, Alter Der Ruine, Language Barrier, Hang the Bassist/Mudpuppy, Emilie Marchand, WestOasis, the Gem Show, Alien Jacket, Loveland, Sauced Up, Just Najima, Feverfew, Gutter Town, Yum, Somniac, Jillian Bessett,Sugar Stains, Paul Jenkins, For Love or Absinthe, Lando Chill, Anchorbaby, Deanna Cross, Samantha Bounkea, Adam Townsend, Resonars, Freezing Hands and maybe some more.
Also happening this weekend…
Surfapalooza returns to Hotel Congress Plaza this Saturday night with cold beer, fish tacos, beach party vibes and live surf rock from the Surfbroads, Shrimp Chaperone and the Furys. The event kicks off at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, over at 191 Toole, an all-ages fundraiser show celebrates the upcoming launch of new venue Groundworks. The show features Big Bad, Annie Jump Cannon, Rough Draft, Cool Funeral and takes place Saturday night, June 22, at 7 p.m.
On Monday June 24, the annual Tucson summer tradition of El Dia de San Juan celebrates summer in dramatic fashion as this year's blessing of the Santa Cruz River coincides with the city of Tucson's planned release of 2.8 million gallons of reclaimed water as part of efforts to bring the river back to life. Witness the river's resurrection at Mission Garden at 4:30 p.m. followed by a procession that culminates in the Fiesta de San Juan at Mercado San Augustin, including music, food and other festivities at 6 p.m.
Friday June 21
- Weekend Lovers & The Rifle - 8 p.m. Boxyard
- Cra$h Magic- 8 p.m. Westbound
- Pigmy Death-Ray, Noonday Devils, Gutter Town - 9 p.m. Surly Wench Pub
- Blue Collar Criminals, One Day at a Time - 9 p.m. Irene's Holy Donuts
- Freddy Parish - 8 p.m. Exo
- Rarefaction Jazz - 6 p.m. Dusty Monk Pub
- Dan Stokes - 6 p.m. Sand-Reckoner
- Eugene Boronow Trio - 9:30 p.m. Dusty Monk Pub
- Tucson Duels: FIST vs. Stripes - 10 p.m. Screening Room
- Zackey Force Funk - 10 p.m. Thunder Canyon Brewstillery
- Tropa Magica w/ Los Èsplifs - 8 p.m. Club Congress
- Then When, Forger Conformity, the God Awful Truth - 8 p.m. House of Bards
Saturday June 22
- Surfapalooza w/ surfbroads, Shrimp Chaperone, the Furys - 7 p.m. Hotel Congress Plaza
- Groundworks Fundraiser w/ Big Bad, Annie Jump Cannon, Rough Draft, Cool Funeral - 7 p.m. Club Congress
- Gabi Montoya - 7 p.m. Tucson Hop Shop
- Big Grin - 6 p.m. Sand-Reckoner
- Joyce Luna Listening Room w/ JC & Laney - 7 p.m. Congregation Chaverim
- Birds and Arrows, Krab Legz - 8 p.m. Wooden Tooth Records
- Febbo Fuentes Trio - 9 p.m. Saguaro Corners
- Seanloui - 9:30 p.m. Thunder Canyon Brewstillery
- Flying Half Full w/ Beyond the Firewall, Home is West - 9 p.m. Irene's Holy Donuts
- Labyrinth Dance Party - 9 p.m. Surly Wench Pub
- Quaker Folk Farewell Show - 9 p.m. Passe
- Tucson Hip Hop Summer Shoot Out w/ 9D5, Aske, Rick Tensai, Soul Point, Marne Dom, Ago, Shamiro Blitz, Based Hoezer - 7:30 p.m. Solar Culture
- Zoso: the Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience w/ Miss Olivia and the Interlopers - 8 p.m. Rialto
- Wyves, Greyhound Soul, Crooked Saints - 7 p.m. Club Congress
Sunday June 23
- Mik and the Funky Brunch - 12 p.m. La Cocina
- Kevin Pakulis - 2:30 p.m. Borderlands Brewing
- Little Cloud - 7 p.m. Che's Lounge
- Tonight's Sunshine, Am. Waves, Tongs - 8 p.m. Club Congress
- The Holy Who Whos - 6 p.m. House of Bards
Monday June 24
- El Dia de San Juan Fiesta Procession - 4:30 p.m. Mission Garden
- El Dia de San Juan Fiesta Finale - 6 p.m. Mercado San Agustin
- Wench Comedy - 8 p.m. Surly Wench Pub
- Big Business, Manguera - 7 p.m. Club Congress
Tuesday June 25
- Sanctuary Tuesday w/ Seanloui - 7 p.m. Royal Room
- The Swtich (comedy) - 8 p.m. Club Congress
- Juliana Warkentin - 7 p.m. House of Bards
Wednesday June 26
- Mike Kanne - 6 p.m. Crooked Tooth Brewing
- Akasha - 7 p.m. House of Bards
- Sweet Knives, Lenguas Largas - 8 p.m. Club Congress
Thursday June 27
- Dandy, Mesquite, Tongs - 9 p.m. Sky Bar
- New Wave Thursdays - 5 p.m. Libertine
- Surfbroads - 8:30 p.m. Tap & Bottle
- Deeper Thursdays - 8 p.m. Passe
- FST (Female Storytellers) - 7 p.m. Club Congress