Tucson Local Media: Music Landscape - Past, Present, Local

Music Landscape - Past, Present, Local

Saturday 11/22/2014
Review: Pallbearer "Foundations of Burden"

Pallbearer’s latest offering “Foundations of Burden’ is heavy. Not “heavy” as in loud, fast and with gurgling vocals straight from a demon’s mouth. No it is, as good doom metal should be, slow and thick and with layers and layers of guitar. It gives sound to a slab of granite.

That being said, it is also catchy, and accessible, well at least to a point. This will never get played on rock radio, but would make a nice gateway band for someone who wants to transition from energy drink festival metal bands to something more thoughtful.

The Arkansas band first made waves with a well regarded demo and then planted their flag on the metal scene with 2012’s “Sorrow and Extinction.” “Burden” takes what they established and runs with it. Well, not run so much as trudge forward with it, this is a doom metal album after all.

Pallbearer don’t reinvent the wheel in terms of doom. It is still a slowed down soundtrack to sadness, but it also retains melody and a certain catchiness. The guitars still rumble and slowly create that melancholy atmosphere, but what will lure people in are Brett Campbell’s clean vocals. The obvious comparison is Ozzy, but that is the easy out. Sure it is clear that he has heard the Prince of Darkness (can we call a stumbling, 60-something reality star that any more?) but that comparison is limiting. The vocals give off just a hint of hope, while never really conflicting with the drone of the guitars.

The songs are long, as is the norm in doom metal, but don’t drag. These songs, and many in this genre, need time to unfold and plod along. This isn’t happy music, this is not a record you pop on at a kegger, unless that kegger is also wake. This is slow, dreary music that lends itself to a grey day and some self-reflection.

The good news is it is not all just one note and Billy Anderson’s production gives it dynamics. This is a layered, complex listen, perfect for the headphones and a quiet space on that rainy day. There are dynamics here, something often forgotten in the genre. Occasionally the gloom lets up, just for a moment, and there is the sound of hope, or at least not complete bleakness. Too often the doom genre tries to beat one senseless with the heaviness and the despair, but “Foundations of Burden” avoids that, well, burden. There are chances where the music, and the listener, gets a chance to breathe. There are moments of light penetrating the darkness.

Pallbearer are not reinventing themselves or the doom genre, but they are carving out their niche and maybe opening the scene to those who might not otherwise give it a listen. 

Posted in Music on Saturday, November 22, 2014 12:15 am. | Tags: Pallbearer Band Comments (0)

Tuesday 09/16/2014
Review: Casualties of Cool

Devin Townsend earned the moniker as the “Mad Scientist of Metal” but more and more he should just be considered a musical mad scientist. 

The prolific artist, who has dabbled in heavy metal, industrial, punk, world music and even Euro pop, takes a stab at a few new genres, Americana and country.

Anyone familiar with Townsend, and most in this country are not, know that he is not going to write a straight forward record. After all, this is a guy who wrote a series of albums for various elements, 

wrote a concept album about a coffee crazed alien bent on Earth’s destruction and retired his popular heavy metal outfit Strapping Young Lad because he was no longer angry enough to need it as an outlet.

His newest record is the first to be recorded as Casualties of Cool and teams Townsend with vocalist Ché Aimee Dorval and the two create a haunting, ethereal record that has its roots in Americana and country, but strays from them rather quickly.

The record, which was funded by fans, is the soundtrack for a lonely night on the plains where a lone cowboy is haunted by the ghosts of his past. It is quiet, pretty in most places, but not sparse. This is not a few voices and acoustic instruments, though they appear, this is a layered, ambient soundscape.

In fact Townsend said the record “sounds like haunted Johnny Cash songs. Late night music, completely isolated sounding.”

The record may or may not be a concept album, but the cover shows an old radio and you could almost hear many of the songs emanating out of an old wooden radio in some haunted speakeasy.

“Daddy” begins the album with a country shuffle that would not be out of place on a Johnny Cash record, with Dorval singing in her soothing, sultry yet calming voice. “Mountain Top” continues the feel, another shuffle, this time with Townsend’s layered, ethereal vocals. The man can scream with the best of them, but you’ll hear none of that here. Dorval takes over the vocal duties on the second verse, and they harmonize for much of the song.

“Flight” loses much of the country feel, but conveys a sense of sadness and loss, while “The Code” is a love song between two conspirators, with Dorval’s vocals distorted and distant.

“Moon” is atmospheric and sparse, almost Pink Floydian in places, until the saxophone comes out of nowhere to help transition seamlessly to “Pier”, another very sparse song. The two almost serve as a brief intermission.

“Ether” and “Forgive Me” return things to a more country, albeit still a dreamy feel. “Broken” and “Bones” form another two-song suite of sorts. Dorval is really showcased here, especially in “Bones” which has a sort of melancholy, yet poppy folk feel. “Deathscope” returns the country-esque feel, with Townsend almost getting twangy in places, at least until the saxophone returns, this time making a hideous noise and signifying that things were going to get weird(er).

The Bridge is big, epic and dreamy and it serves as a fittingconclusion to the record, although it blends into “Pure”, a mellower, outro of sorts that lets the listener drift away.

Townsend is never static as an artist, almost compulsive in his need to compose, record and experiment. Casualties of Cool is another in a long line of successful experiments by this mad scientist.

Posted in Music on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:22 pm. Updated: 3:27 pm. | Tags: Devin Townsend , Casualties Of Cool , Strapping Young Lad , Che Aimee Dorval Comments (0)

Music Landscape - Florida Georgia Line in Tucson

The duo that has hit the Top 10 charts in country music more then once and is continuing to draw in fans as they recently won Best New Artist at the Academy Country Music Awards and rose to the top of the Billboard country album chart. There song "Cruise" has been the hit of their album Here's to the Good Times. 

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley have been together for more than two decades and continue to draw in fans with their country music. The two will make their way to the desert on July 28 to perform in front of their Tucson fans. Learn more about Florida Georgia Line at http://www.floridageorgialine.com/

Where: 5655 Valencia, Tucson

Venue: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre

When: July 28, 2013 at 19:00

Florida Georgia Line Tour Dates |

Posted in Music on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 9:20 am. Updated: 10:16 am. | Tags: Florida Georgia Line , Cruise , Here's To The Good Times , Country Music , Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre Comments (0)

Thursday 05/09/2013
Music Landscape: Gabriel Ayala Quintet play JazzMenco at Ventana

The sizzling Summer Series kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with Native American Music Award winner Gabriel Ayala. Gabriel played at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball, for Pope Benedict at the Vatican, and has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum for the American Indian, and the ASU Kerr Cultural Center. His performance will include well known standards such as “Take Five,” “Spain” and “Caravan.” An accomplished guitarist with impeccable technique, Gabriel has melded his love of jazz to his classical and Flamenco training to create an exciting new twist to both genres which he calls JazzMenco.

Memorial Day Weekend: Gabriel Ayala Quintet plays JazzMenco

Sunday, May 26 at 7:00 PM
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort & Spa, Grand Ballroom
7000 N Resort Dr. Tucson, AZ

Posted in Music on Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:20 am. Comments (0)

Monday 03/25/2013
2013 Country Thunder ready to roll in Arizona: More on-site entertainment than ever before

With only a few weeks to go, Country Thunder is ready to roll into Arizona and kick up some serious dust.The premier country music festival, to be held in Florence, AZ, April 11-14, will feature performances by some of today’s hottest country acts, including Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Lee Brice, Kip Moore and more.

Country Thunder offers more on-site entertainment this year than ever before! Electronic Thunder, presented by Crown Royal and featuring DJ Du Cassell, and Moonshine Willy’s, home of the official Country Thunder after party, are back and offering late-night entertainment to festival-goers. New to Country Thunder, the College Times Stage will feature local artists, including Dry River Yacht Club and Gospel Claws. Country Thunder is excited to announce the addition of High Valley to the star-filled line-up. High Valley takes the spot previously held by Edens Edge at 2:30pm on Sunday, April 14.

If you’d like to purchase your tickets in-person, visit any of our partnering bars in Phoenix or Tucson, and be entered to win an autographed guitar. Tickets are now available at partnering bars in Phoenix and Tucson, 4–day passes can be purchased at Cactus Moon (www.cactusmoonmesa.com/) and Denim + Diamonds (http://denimanddiamondsmesaaz.com/). In Tucson, 4–day passes are available at Chuy's (http://www.facebook.com/inachuys) and RJ's Replays (www.rjsreplays.com/).

Additional amenities such as second-vehicle parking ($40) and private Port-A-Pottys ($120) are available for purchase until April 5. Camping renewals for 2014 are available starting April 5. Country Thunder merchandise can be purchased along with tickets by calling (866) 802-6418 or by visitingwww.countrythunder.com.

Country Thunder Line-Up:


4:00-5:00pm Chris Janson

5:30-6:30pm Sweetwater Rain

7:00-8:30pm Kip Moore

9:00-10:30pm Brantley Gilbert


1:00-2:00pm TBA

2:30-3:30pm Greg Bates

4:00-5:00pm Jana Kramer

5:30-6:30pm Love & Theft

7:00-8:30pm Tracy Lawrence

9:00-10:30pm Eric Church


1:00-2:00pm TBA

2:30-3:30pm Morgan Frazier

4:00-5:00pm Parmalee

5:30-6:30pm Diamond Rio

7:00-8:30pm Lee Brice

9:00-10:30pm Toby Keith


1:00-2:00pm TBA

2:30-3:30pm High Valley

4:00-5:00pm Aaron Lewis

5:30-6:30pm Jerrod Niemann

7:00-8:30pm Justin Moore

9:00-10:30pm Lady Antebellum

# # #

For media inquiries, please contact:

Webster & Associates Public Relations & Marketing

Caitlin DeForest / 615-777-6995 x240 / caitlin@websterpr.com

Posted in Blogs, Music, Things to do on Monday, March 25, 2013 8:31 am. Updated: 2:32 pm. | Tags: Country Thunder, Florence, Country Music , Countrythunder2013 Comments (0)

Thursday 01/24/2013
Music Landscape: Flute, viola and harp music from Tucson Symphony Orchestra to engage kids, Feb. 2

Join Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance for a new musical adventure by TSO violinist and composer Michael Fan.


Just for Kids with the TSO Flute-Viola-Harp Trio will delight youngsters on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. with "Pip and the Pirate" at Oro Valley Town Hall Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada, in conjunction with the Saturday Farmer's Market.  


Just for Kids explores interactive ways to connect kids to the arts through music. With free admission to the concert, the program teaches children about music through engagement and hands-on experiences with instruments.  


The popular series delivers fun and informal chamber ensemble concerts lasting 45 to 50 minutes. The performances use participation with the kids to introduce classical music and orchestral instruments in an entertaining and kid-friendly environment to families including those with very young children.      


The Town of Oro Valley and Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance restored this beloved event, after discontinuing for several years due to lost financial support.

Thanks to the generous underwriting of Bill Adler, the public can enjoy this interactive, musical performance for free.  


Pip and the Pirate                      

It was graduation day at the Pirate Academy. "Ye be a true Pirate today, Matey! Here be yer certificate. Here be yer parrot." "That's not a parrot" said the new graduate. "She be too small. I wants a big squawker, not a pip squeaker." "Nay! That be the last one we got. Take 'er or leave 'er." "Please take me," said the tiny bird. "I'll make you proud of me."


Just for Kids - "Pip and the Pirate"                        

When: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m.

Where: Oro Valley Town Hall Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada

Cost: Free

Online: http://saaca.org/Just_for_Kids_.html

Phone: (520) 797-3959 

Posted in Music, Things to do on Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:49 am. | Tags: Tucson Symphony Orchestra , Southern Arizona Arts And Cultural Alliance Comments (0)

Thursday 11/29/2012
Music Landscape: Artur Penha Soares Y2012 Concert Series

Artur Penha Soares will be performing November 30, through December 2, 2012 (Friday. 7-PM; Saturday, Sunday. 4-6PM) at the Christ Community Church Worship Center.


Meet: Artur Penha Soares (Composer, Pianist, Conductor, and more; of Brasilia. Brazil)


Nick Coventry, Violin

Alex Cardon, Violin

Rebecca Lennon. Viola

Michael (.;. Ronstad r. Cello

Lauren Jones, Cello

Daniel Mkndosa. Bass

Christ Community Church Worship Center (Seating for 1200 people: on W. side of Pantano. just S of Uhl) 7801 IE. Kenyon Dr.. lesson. AZ 85710; rd. 520-296-8501 


Three Thoroughly Romantic Programs:

Piano Trio (No. 2, D929, Op. 100, [E1'10], e.1828).; Piano, Violin, & Cello Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828) Violin, Alex; Viola, Nick (Mvts. I & II); Viola, Becky (Mvts. III & IV); Cello, Michael.

(INTERMISSION, Sunday only)

Piano Quartet (No. 3, Op 129, [Em], c.182011822)*; Piano, Violin, Viola, & Cello .... Ferdinand Ries (1704- 1838) Violin, Nick; Viola, Becky; Piano, Artier; Cello, Michael. [We do not know when or if this has ever been performed. The score has been reconstructed tbr these performances.]

Trio [FM]; Violin, Viola, Cello Artur Penha Soares (1984 - ) Violin, Alex; Viola, Becky; Cello, Lauren. (Premiered 10 May 2009 in (Iradea, Romania.'

Sextet [GM & Em]; 2 Violins, Viola, 2 Cellos, & Bass Artur Penha Soares Violin I, Nick; Violin II, Alex; Viola, Becky; Cello I. Michael; Cello 2, Lauren; Double Bass, Daniel. 'Premiering Friday evening.)


*The Ries Piano Quartet in E minor will not be played Friday evening, and the Schubert Trio in e Major will not be played Saturday evening; but both are on the Sunday program. Please come early for easier parking and good seating. We thank you for your contributions, which will be used 1) first to recover direct costs and then, if possible, 2)10 help support the careers of these fine musicians.

Program details subject to change.

Please visit http://www.ronstadt.com/arturprogram.html to download latest revisions of this program.

Posted in Things to do, Music on Thursday, November 29, 2012 2:23 pm. Comments (0)

Wednesday 11/28/2012
Music Landscape: Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Remaining Season

On Saturday December 22, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra will

perform a special program not on the regular schedule. SASO will perform

the selections to be performed on their second tour to China departing on

December 26. This program will be performed at the Desert View Performing Arts Auditorium in Saddlebrooke at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available at the door and at the SaddleBrooke II ticket desk.


Looking to SASO's continuing season of three concerts, each featuring

outstanding soloists . All programs are performed on Saturday nights at 7:30

in SaddleBrooke at the Desert View Performing Arts Auditorium and on Sundays in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 3:00 PM.


Six soloists will be featured in the first program of 2013 on February 23 in SaddleBrooke and February 24 in Oro Valley. Composer Richard White is like a composer in residence as he also plays viola in SASO. The opening selection will be White's  If Life Were As It Seems from his opera Rappaccini's Daughter and features soprano Christi Amonson and a female quartet.

Miss Amonson will also join the orchestra in a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G major. Hong-Mei Xiao will perform Paul Hindemith's

Concerto for Viola, Der Schwanendreher.


Variety will mark the fourth pair of concerts. Wagner's Tannhauser Overture

opens the program followed by Tatoo Notes James Strauss by Roger Davis and Howard Hanson's Serenade both featuring flute soloist James Strauss.

Tucson composer Bruce Stoller's Open Spaces Suite and God Created Great Whales by Hovhaness, and a performance of a solo piece by the Youth Concerto Competition completes the concert on April 6 at SaddleBrooke and April 7 in Oro Valley.


The season's final pair of concerts will be May 18 in SaddleBrooke and

May 19 in Oro Valley. As with all this seasons programs, another Tucson

composer is featured with Landscapes by Pete Fine. Following this will be

the delightful Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor by Saint-Saens and the big and romantic Symphony No. 2 in E minor of Rachmaninoff. For orchestra and

ticket information, go to www.sasomusic.org

Posted in Things to do, Music on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:31 pm. Comments (0)

Monday 11/26/2012
Music Landscape: SAWC presents a retro Christmas concert Dec. 14 & 16

With the holidays just around the corner, people get a bit nostalgic for the songs of decades past – from I’ll Be Home for Christmas to I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Jingle Bell Rock.

So listen up – the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus will present a Retro Christmas Concert on Friday Dec. 14 and again on Sunday, Dec. 16. Selections include the songs above – plus Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Cool Yule and other popular holiday numbers from the 1940s and 1950s.

Those mid-20th-century decades saw the ravages of World War II and the Communist takeover in China as well as a lighter side of life. This is the time when ballpoint pens, microwaves and bikinis were new, when Dr. Spock and Dr. Seuss became household names, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and NASA was established. Think poodle skirts, the first color television, Elvis on Ed Sullivan, Charles Shultz’ new comic strip Peanuts, hula hoops, LEGOs, Disneyland and the first ascent of Mount Everest.

Older folks recall these times firsthand, while to the young it’s all so non-electronic and quaint. Yet the songs of the era continue to have universal appeal, said Terrie Ashbaugh, music director of the 90-voice women’s chorus founded in 1981.

The program will be presented Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Dr. and on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1220 W. Magee Rd. (just east of La Canada).

Tickets can be purchased for $18 in advance from chorus members, by calling 404-3148 or online at southernarizonawomenschorus.org. Tickets purchased at the door are $20. Children age 10 and under are admitted free. Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more, including 8 tickets for $120.

SAWC is known for its eclectic and versatile repertoire that spans from classical music to Broadway, folk, jazz, spiritual, seasonal and other popular songs. SAWC presents two ticketed concerts each year, plus numerous sing-out performances at festivals, events, schools and senior communities throughout Southern Arizona. The chorus has entertained the metro area for three decades.

Ashbaugh is Director of Music at Ascension Lutheran Church and School. For 10 years she served as director of the University of Arizona Faculty/Staff Choir.  She also composes and arranges music.

Ashbaugh is co-founder of the Women in Song Festival for Women’s Choruses, whose inaugural festival was in April of 2010 in Seattle with choirs from Arizona, Washington, Alaska and Canada attending. The festival will be offered again in April of 2013 here in Tucson.

SAWC performs an ever-expanding repertoire written specifically for women's or treble voices. For more information, visit www.southernarizonawomenschorus.org or call 404-3148.

Posted in Things to do, Music on Monday, November 26, 2012 10:44 am. Updated: 10:51 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 11/13/2012
Music Landscape: Country Thunder 2013 lineup released

The annual Country Thunder music festival in Florence announced the music line up today. The festival is April 11-April 14, 2013.

Purchase your tickets and camping here:



Thursday April 11

4:00-5:00 PM -- Chris Janson

5:30-6:30 PM -- Sweetwater Rain

7:00-8:30 PM -- Kip Moore

7:00-8:30 PM -- Brantley Gilbert

Friday April 12

1:00-2:00 PM -- tba

2:30-3:30 PM -- tba

4:00-5:00 PM -- Jana Kramer

5:30-6:30 PM -- Love and Theft

7:00-8:30 PM -- Tracy Lawrence

9:00-10:30 PM -- Eric Church

Saturday April 13

1:00-2:00 PM -- tba

2:30-3:30 PM -- Morgan Frazier

4:00-5:00 PM -- Parmalee

5:30-6:30 PM -- Diamond Rio

7:00-8:30 PM -- Lee Brice

9:00-10:30 PM -- Toby Keith

Sunday April 14

1:00-2:00 PM -- tba

2:30-3:30 PM -- Edens Edge

4:00-5:00 PM -- tba

5:30-6:30 PM -- Jerrod Niemann

7:00-8:30 PM -- Justin Moore

9:00-10:30 PM -- Lady Antebellum

Posted in Music, Things to do on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:26 pm. Updated: 4:42 pm. Comments (0)

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

Saturday 11/22/2014

Review: Pallbearer "Foundations of Burden"

Tuesday 09/16/2014

Review: Casualties of Cool Music Landscape - Florida Georgia Line in Tucson

Thursday 05/09/2013

Music Landscape: Gabriel Ayala Quintet play JazzMenco at Ventana

Monday 03/25/2013

2013 Country Thunder ready to roll in Arizona: More on-site entertainment than ever before

Thursday 01/24/2013

Music Landscape: Flute, viola and harp music from Tucson Symphony Orchestra to engage kids, Feb. 2

Thursday 11/29/2012

Music Landscape: Artur Penha Soares Y2012 Concert Series

Wednesday 11/28/2012

Music Landscape: Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Remaining Season

Monday 11/26/2012

Music Landscape: SAWC presents a retro Christmas concert Dec. 14 & 16

Tuesday 11/13/2012

Music Landscape: Country Thunder 2013 lineup released

Friday 11/09/2012

Strait Country returns to the Monsoon Nightclub for a free show

Wednesday 11/07/2012

La Encantada Fine Art Festival this weekend

Tuesday 11/06/2012

Music Landscape - Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman at Skyline Country Club on Friday

Tuesday 10/23/2012

Music Landscape - UA Opera Theater

Monday 10/22/2012

Music Landscape: Tucson Symphony String Quartet featured in November Just for Kids Music Landscape - Afrojack brings his ‘Jacked’ tour to Kino Sports Complex on Friday, Oct. 26

Tuesday 10/02/2012

Grammy Winner Steve Winwood coming to Tucson

Tuesday 09/18/2012

Music Landscape - Steve Holy is Coming to “Thursday Thunder” in the Monsoon Nightclub

Tuesday 09/04/2012

Music Landscape: Get up close with popular country band Little Texas

Friday 08/24/2012

Papa Roach forced to withdraw from Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival

Thursday 08/02/2012

The Split Livers to play at Club Congress

Thursday 07/26/2012

Music Landscape - Split Livers coming to Club Congress

Thursday 07/19/2012

Music Landscape - Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR set for September in Phoenix

Wednesday 07/18/2012

Music Landscape - Kansas Leftoverture Side 2

Monday 07/02/2012

Music Landscape - Chaos Ascending, Hemoptysis, and more

Monday 06/18/2012

Scorpions, Tesla draw large crowds in Phoenix, and Casino Del Sol in Tucson

Tuesday 06/05/2012

Music Landscape - Kansas Leftoverture Music Review

Friday 05/11/2012

Music Landscape - Dark Side of the Moon Part 2

Thursday 04/26/2012

Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon (Part 1)

Thursday 04/19/2012

Music Landscape - MTV (Then and Now)

Catalina Bighorn Sheep Releases

Arizona Game and Fish released 30 Bighorn Sheep in a 2-Day period into the Catalina Mountains ...

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