By Robert Breckenridge, Fen Hsiao, and Noah Lopez
Arizona Daily Wildcat February 16, 1996
The Rialto Theater
The Rialto has brought a wealth of great blues and roots acts to town recently, and it gets things progressing even further this weekend with the inauguration of a brand new blues festival.
Things kick off tonight with monster blues harp player Gary Primich. Hailing from the rich Austin music scene, Primich's show should meld Texas guitar and Chicago blues with a dose of Southern Flavor that could have audience members dancing throughout the weekend.
The next two nights boast equally impressive lineups as well. Friday night features an all-star blues lineup of Mike Morgan, Billy Boy Arnold, and Little Charlie and the Nightcats, while Saturday shifts gears a little bit with the more soulful vocals of A ngela Strehli, Maria Muldaur and W.C. Clark.
This a great opportunity to keep a developing blues tradition going in downtown Tucson. Tickets are only $15 for all three nights, with individual tickets available the nights of the shows. -N.L.
The Drags are an amazing rock band. Strongly rooted in the heritage of The Kinks and The Sonics, this outfit blasts bare-knuckle rock like few others. While this gang might be typified as a retro-rock band, their ability to completely transcend that monik er places them near the top of the current garage rock scene.
The Drags' recent e.p. on Estrus Records, Dragsploitation...Now!, displays their powerful performance, but does not begin to reveal the fervor presented in their live shows. The strength of this simple trio lies in their ability to throw caution to the wi nd during their live shows, and really teach the audience a lesson. Song after song, the Drags pound out driving rhythms and force the crowd to dance, dance, dance - no moshing to be found here, this is the realm of the shimmy and the pogo! Leaving the st age with guitars and drums covered in sweat - and a little blood - this combo will have shaken your tail feathers like few others.
This might be the best show to come around in quite a while, so DO NOT MISS THIS BAND. -R.B.
Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five are a surprisingly good little band. Distinguishing themselves through the use of a piano, bass and drum combo (no guitar), they do pretty well.
While these guys unfortunately fall into some typical songwriting traps (like referencing pop culture and thus dating themselves), they stand out among most of modern alternative radio € certainly superior to the post-grunge, hard rock crap like Candlebox and Bush.
Also note that the pop hit "Underground" is in no way their best song, and so you might be very pleasantly surprised by their live show - though a piano combo might be a set-up for a yawner. - R.B.
The Supersuckers are an ex-Tucson band who moved to Seattle and made it big (Eddie, their singer, went to Santa Rita High and played in a bunch of other local acts before the Big Black Supersuckers formed).
These guys are very punk, with a little country influence that Tucson has bred in many of its rock bands.
The Supersuckers put on a lively show, and will probably "wow" the crowd, although their goof-oriented stage antics become tiresome almost immediately. Expect loud guitars and lots of '70s rock influence, but be prepared to have a good time despite the pr etension. -R.B.
The Demolition Doll Rods
The Demolition Doll Rods, who have opened up for the likes of Boss Hog and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, will be headlining a supercool show in Phoenix this Saturday. Although the Demolition Doll Rods just played at Club Congress last Thursday, only a fool would miss this upcoming show that not only features the return of the Doll Rods, but also begins with the always fine performances of Tucson's Zero Kings and Albuquerque's the Drags.
For people who are hesitant to make the drive up to the always predictably unpleasant Phoenix, an incentive might be just to see the Doll Rods play in their much talked-about costumes, or lack thereof. Even guitarist Danny Doll Rod, formerly of the Gories , donned a pink tutu (and not much else) on stage in Tucson last week. Sure, a few people complained that the get up actually distracted them from the music, but those people are obviously just a little too uptight.
Even Margaret Doll Rod's curvaceousness behind the guitar and Christine's eerie sedateness behind the drums couldn't divert me from their catchy garage rock and Danny's fantastic solos (all while shaking his booty to the audience in pale pink heels).
Also, before you go up, you should buy their newest single on In the Red Records, Spoiled Kitty/Walkin' the Dog. -F.H.