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Rock long, rock hard, rock local: Tucson acts to sink your teeth into

By Lauren Hillery
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
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The Deludes

KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Guitarist and vocalist Larry Wawro of the Deludes pounds out his brand of gritty, bouncy rock and roll at Plush.

Whether or not their motive is to deceive, like their name implies, one thing's for sure about the Deludes: Their music will move you to get up and shake your booty.

With an infusion of punk rock beats, simple guitar riffs and some hints of country, the Deludes' sound is simply fun.

After two and a half years, this threesome ("if you don't count Jesus") of Larry Wawro (guitar and vocals), Scott Alexander (bass) and Ryan Nixon (drums) claims, "we sound like other rock bands, but good."

There is true rawness to this band, which emerges both in their humor and in their music.

The Deludes' album, "Jim Waters Presents ... The Deludes" is a prime example of what a self-released debut album should be. The band hopes the music off the album causes audience members to "have tingling sensations in their nether regions. That, or depression."

But perhaps the best part about this band is that it's local and accessible. It often plays shows at Plush and Che's Lounge and its music can be purchased online at

Nick Luca Trio

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The Deludes

Nick Luca Trio

Cathy Rivers

The Okmoniks

When it comes to music creating mood and mood creating music, it's a two-way street for indie pop band the Nick Luca Trio.

With his easygoing attitude, Nick Luca, guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist, creates delightfully relaxed music he describes as "mellow indie pop with a jazzy influence and a slight touch of yee-haw." Their latest album, "Slow Motion," is a bit more danceable, according to Luca.

In their three years together, the trio (Chris Giambelluca, bass; Jim Kober, drums and Luca) has created quite a name for itself here, accompanied by nationwide travel and two albums.

It would be tragic to attribute their success and quality to just one aspect of their music, but Luca's personal and honest lyricism would be a top contender.

"It's almost embarrassing, cutting to the core of an issue," Luca said.

He explains the themes of the last album revolve around the causes and effects of "little town" happenings. More than that, Luca writes about the past, things he should have said and traumatic events from childhood.

However, this great act may soon become a rare sight to see in these parts, as it continues to grow and head out to nationwide tours.

But they will always stick to their "little town" roots.

Cathy Rivers

The music of singer/songwriter Cathy Rivers will take you to a place you want to be. And what better place than Tucson to enjoy the roots of Rivers music?

During her 12 years here, Rivers' music has progressed from its singer/songwriter roots to "a more environmental/atmospheric way of writing and playing," Rivers said.

In creating her music, her goal is to enhance states of feeling.

"The best music is powerful enough to actually change my mood. That's a beautiful thing," Rivers said.

It is this complex idea that truly brings Rivers' music to life.

Unlike those of a number of artists, Rivers' goals are focused on evolving artistically rather than winning awards and touring.

"The evolution of it all is pretty amazing. So if I can keep growing, then I am accomplishing my goals," Rivers said.

But fans and future fans alike can also enjoy Rivers' music at home. Her full-length debut "Bleached" can be found at Hear's Music (2508 N. Campbell Ave).

The Okmoniks

Photo courtesy of the Okmoniks
Midwestern ex-pats the Okmoniks have been rocking Tucson for four years. They say their favorite venues are house parties.

How four fun midwestern musicians decided to plant themselves in Tucson, God only knows. But thanks are due to the Big Guy for making it happen.

For the past four years, Tucson has been blessed with the presence of the explosive punk garage band the Okmoniks, who have deemed themselves the No. 1 party band in the city.

The Okmoniks pride themselves on being self-made and self-recorded. They have successfully created three records: "Take a Spin with the Okmoniks" (2001), "Rustle Up Some Action with the Okmoniks" (2002) and "Okmoniks Compact 33 LP" (2003). However they warn fans to keep away from a bootleg called "Keepin' Up With the Okmoniks."

"It is especially bad, in a bad way. Not in a good way, like our other stuff," said Sammy, guitarist.

Although they hope to one day move out to the East coast to spread their awesomeness, Helene 33, Sammy, Trent and Justin say their favorite places to play here are house parties. Yet they regretfully acknowledge they have been playing too many non-parties as of late.

"If you are having a party, let us play it. You won't regret it too much," said vocalist and keyboardist Helene 33.

The combination of raw punk guitar riffs, blasting organ and siren-like female vocals results in what they call, "primitive party music."

And though they've been around for a relatively short time, the Okmoniks have a message for any musicians out there.

"We encourage everyone to do it yourself! Get a four track, a garage and pound out fun tunes!"

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