Friday, August 31, 2007

Ian Moore - Live@5 Friday Aug. 31st

Tune in to The Homestretch today for a Live@5 interview and performance from Ian Moore.
Ian is passing through town on the heels of his brand new release, To Be Loved on Justice Records, to play the Hotel Congress Music Festival. He'll be performing Friday night at the Class of '87 show along with the Supersuckers, Pollo Elastico, Sun Trash and Creosote. Check out KXCI's other blogs for more information on the HoCo festival. Ian Moore is a singer songwriter known for both the depth and range of his voice as well as the sonic depth and range of the music he creates. To find out more, hear him live this afternoon on the radio at 91.3 FM or down at Club Congress tonight.

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Friday's One Cup is GRRRRReat!

Friday's One Cup of Java Challenge: Today’s One Cup of Java Challenge is about tigers, an endangered species. Our Friday question is short and to the point, asking specifically: Which country has the most tigers?

Answer: The U.S. The population of wild tigers in the entire world is estimated between 5,000 and 7,000; the number of tigers in captivity is estimated at 20,000, with more than 12,000 being kept as private pets in the U.S. alone.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bitter:Sweet and Pollo Elastico on The Homestretch

Tune to The Homestretch for live performances from Bitter:Sweet (live a little before 5) and Pollo Elastico (live a little after 5) this Thursday, August 30th.

Trip hoppers, Bitter:Sweet are a female fronted duo in the vein of Zero 7 and Portishead. Shana Halligan's sensual vocals fused with Kiran Shahani's (of Supreme Beings of Leisure) mod-rock/electronica production make lush, melodic lounge-y songs. Bitter:Sweet are a Los Angeles music duo, whose lives seemed to have over-lapped but never crossed until the perfect moment in time, came together to make their intoxicating and playful debut artist album, The Mating Game, and its recent released remix set, The Remix Game, on Quango Music. KXCI DJ Corbin Dooley opens this electronic show at 7PM, this Thursday night at Club Congress.

Tucson funk rock legends, Pollo Elastico, are back for the class of '87 reunion this Friday at the Hotel Congress Music Festival. They reunited for a performance two years ago at the inaugural Hotel Congress festival and blew everybody away, now they have to come back every year for their much anticipated performance. Also part of the class of '87 bill are the Supersuckers, Ian Moore, Sun Trash and Creosote. You can find more information at Club Congress and catch them live on the radio this afternoon at 91.3 KXCI, your Community Radio.

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Au Revoir Alberto

Thursday's One Cup of Java Challenge: With the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the news, our One Cup question today takes a historic look at the presidential cabinet. You may be reassured to know that no one who has ever served as Attorney General has ever become president of the United States. Neither, for that matter, has any former Secretary of Defense. Your One Cup of Java Challenge question this morning: in American history, what cabinet position has yielded the most future U.S. presidents, with six men holding that cabinet job eventually taking the White House?

Answer: Secretary of State. Those six are Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, and James Buchanan.

Bonus Blog Trivia: Elliott Richardson holds the record for the most different cabinet positions held. He was Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare from 1970 to 1973; Secretary of Defense from January to May of 1973; Attorney General from May 24, 1973 to October, 1973, and Secretary of Commerce from 1976 to 1977.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

TAMHA - Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance

TAMHA, the Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance is a new and important organization dedicated to providing an effective, low cost, local health care system for artists and musicians in our area. The Tucson Artists and Musicians Health Alliance is a benefactor of Hotel Congress's Music Festival this Labor Day weekend. At the festival there will a table to sign up for more information on this new initiative. You can even get a discount to Sunday's festival admission price by signing up. Similar alliances have been developed in Austin, Texas and Los Angeles. Now is an opportunity for Tucson's art scene to become involved in a much needed initiative to provide health care in our community. More information about TAMHA will become available here on KXCI's blog as it develops.

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KXCI Public Service Messages

BORN LEARNERS: Children are curious. They want to learn, so follow their lead. What does your child like about riding in the car? Singing to the radio? Counting trucks? Watching traffic lights change color? Talk with your child about what’s going on around the car, and it becomes a learning moment. When you talk with your child, you build vocabulary. Learning starts before school. For more tips, visit

CTF CONCERT: The Children's Tumor Foundation benefit concert, featuring Naim Amor and Tom Walbank and the Ambassadors, is Saturday, September 15th at Old Town Artisans, 201 North Court Avenue. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books and Zia Records locations. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Learn more at

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Roy And Ray - One Cup of Java Challenge

Wednesday's One Cup of Java Challenge: On this date in history, 1964, Roy Orbison released what would become the biggest hit song of his career. That song was about a woman. On this date in history, 1970, The Kinks released what would become the biggest hit song of their career. That songs was about a man. Your One Cup of Java Challenge question this morning: to name both of those hits, memorable tunes from Roy Orbison and The Kinks.

Answer: (Oh) Pretty Woman and Lola

Bonus Blog Trivia: Orbison said he wrote this song in "about 20 minutes," adding "really great songs don't take long to write... it's the mediocre ones that take a long time." Though not mentioned in the song, Orbison's long-time songwriting partner Bill Dees says they always pictured the woman walking down the street to be in a yellow skirt and wearing red shoes. Try to listen to the song now and NOT picture that!

Bonus Blog Trivia #2: Lola makes a return appearance in The Kinks' song "Destroyer" from the '81 album Give the People What They Want: "Met a girl called lola / and I took her back to my place / Feelin' guilty, feelin' scared, hidden cameras everywhere / Stop! Hold on. Stay in control."

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Can Brown Do For Our One Cup Question?

Tuesday's One Cup of Java Challenge: Today is the 100th anniversary of UPS. The company was founded on this date in 1907 by then 19-year-old Jim Casey of Seattle with a $100 borrowed from a friend. Our One Cup of Java Challenge question this morning deals with a recent event in UPS history. In 2004, the company announced that they had developed new software to help their drivers avoid something that wastes gas, wastes time, and puts them at increased risk for accidents. Our One Cup question this morning: what does the software help UPS drivers to avoid whenever possible? If you think you have the right answer, call now, 622-5924.

Answer: The software helps UPS drivers avoid turning left whenever possible.

Bonus Blog Trivia: In 1907 the majority of UPS's shipments involved delivering opium, which to be fair, was legal at the time.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Vague Space: August 21, 2007

Good day to you. Vague Space will try to present to you a weekly guide for what is out there at your local record store and mostly likely what is on the air here at KXCI. If you have any questions about these releases, let me know and I will send you additional information.

This week alone saw over 30 new releases that held good prospect. It is weeks like this that make me feel like a bank robber. Returning from the record store, I have filled my bag after having made my escape like Jesse James, Bonnie & Clyde, or born in my home state and captured in my adopted one, John Dillinger. I can lay out all of my purchases and revel in my music listening gluttony. However, it feels like I owe some greater debt to these artists than just the 10 or 20 dollars I put down for their release – born Vague Space. Now, maybe I can convince you to revel in this music as well.

Long live the hard copy medium. It is on the decline, but there is nothing like popping that 12 inch or CD onto the player for the first time. Some highlights this week…

Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight (WB)

This release is another progression away from the little band from Los Angeles that moved to Omaha to “check out the boomin’ music scene”. After Rilo Kiley returned to their Los Angeles roots following a brief romance with Saddle Creek Records in Nebraska, the majors came running and gave the band a healthy contract and support to keep recording. Jenny Lewis is indie’s darling – and a child star gone right. She has a powerful voice that is somewhat matter of fact and makes this album not only distinctly Rilo Kiley, but tends to direct the band’s influence toward Jenny’s strengths, which can also be found on last year’s Rabbit Fur Coat recorded for Conor Oberst’s Team Love. The album is a strong major label release, but gone are the chances and the folk/country shimmer in some of what they did during the Saddle Creek years (wonderfully erratic, but risky). Blake, Jenny, Pierre and Jason seem happy and in fine form. While I wish I could still hear the iciness of the Execution of All Things (their Saddle Creek release), now it seems like it wouldn’t fit the band.

RIYL: Jenny Lewis solo, Hem, and Death Cab for Cutie.

Earlimart – Mentor Tormentor (Majordomo – A Shout Factory subsidiary)

Aaron Espinoza is a great songwriter, but the comparisons to Elliott Smith still exist and for good reason. Mentor Tormentor is an accomplished release, but I keep waiting to hear Dreamworks period Smith on vocal duties here (can’t ignore the multitracked vocals by Espinoza). The comparison seems almost as visible on Mentor as 2004’s Treble and Tremble that musically linked the two friends shortly after Smith’s death. Late last year, Espinoza commented on the then untitled album, “it was sonically all over the place.” And he’s right, it goes from rockers to ballads to musical partner Ariana Murray penned orchestrations that require multiple aural reviews. This will probably help boost the love for this record at a later date (think of the growers by The National -- Alligator or Boxer). Espinoza has the curse – he is a great songwriter, who keeps getting better with each release, but the progress is hard for most people to pick up unless they are ardent fans. This is the kind of record you wish you heard more of and want the music industry to embrace whole-heartedly. It will do well, but the keeper of the flame (indie media) will be the ones to champion this album with the hope that everyone else can catch on.

RIYL: Elliott Smith, Dolorean, M Ward

Talib Kweli – Eardrum (Blacksmith via WB)

What if I told you there was a new release out that featured Malib, Kanye West, Hi-Tek and Pete Rock on production? How about if we added guest appearances by KRS-One, Jean Grae, and Roy Ayers?

These names would probably indicate an iron clad new hip hop release.

Now, what if we added Justin Timberlake, Norah Jones and Musiq Soulchild to that list? Interested? Confused? Both?

Well, I have to tell you that I have been anticipating a number of new hip hop releases in the last month and at least two of them have let me down. I mean, I actually enjoyed listening to them, but these artists are in a continually conflicted battle – with themselves. Talib Kweli has again released an album that is risky because it is exceptionally predictable. This problem comes down to a creative conflict. Kweli still wants to be the backpacker he once was as part of Blackstar, but has continued to ally himself with big names and big producers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the line-up of producers, but how many can you have on one album before the message is muddied? Because of this line-up, the album is essentially a collection of singles. This seems to be a growing trend in the industry -- artists (especially hip hop artists) who have had long storied careers that struggle to figure out how to navigate the music industry. The decision being whether these artists should continue to struggle with artistic integrity, attempt to find “crossover” success, or bow out gracefully.

Additionally, Kayne West, a super talented producer, has reached a saturation point. Here is someone who is releasing albums himself, producing for everyone, and appearing on many of those albums as a lyricist. Kanye, it is OK – take a break. Please.

I wanted to be able to tell you that Kweli was attempting to keep his ear to the grindstone and deliver an album worthy or your attention. He has, but be aware it is not the underground vibe you might be looking for. If Talib just wanted to make people dance, then maybe he has succeeded in a big way.

RIYL: Common, Rhymefest, Kanye West

Caribou – Andorra (Merge)

OK, first off, former punker and wrestler Handsome Dick Manitoba is a creep. Dan Snaith, once know as Manitoba (sued by Handsome Dick), has released his second album as Caribou and is enjoying a continued evolution from bedroom producer to fully realized band (however, in production he still works alone). Andorra was completed shortly after Mr. Snaith finished his PhD in mathematics at the University of London and now seems happy to focus on recording. The result is the ultra-successful Andorra.

I am really overwhelmed by this release. It is super dense. It required about 4 listens before I could even think about writing something about it to you. It is steeped more in rhythmic sensibilities than the electronics Caribou first relied on in his Start Breaking My Heart days. This evolution has done something terrifically interesting to Caribou’s music. It has filtered rock sensibilities from the 60s and 70 through a bedroom producer’s lens. Much like the psychedelic artists from that period, Caribou has filled the midrange with so much sound it seems to leave you with a real sense of impact. I listened the first time through and felt like I was missing something. I listened to it again and felt a greater loss because of the pure density of the music. As Snaith becomes more comfortable in the experimentation that has brought him to Andorra, he will continue to find more confidence in the fact that is musical prowess seems limitless.

As with most Merge releases these days, the vinyl comes with a special code for a digital download. Listen…even if you don’t have a record player buy the vinyl and download the digital. For your troubles, you get the fantastic cover art and a full album of music that really should be listened to in the warm analog realm. Thank you, Dan, for putting this out. It is a great record and I had a great time listening to it.

RIYL: Four Tet, RJD2, Brian Eno

I wish I had more time this week, but the next couple weeks seem to be slower, so I will catch up on the rest as soon as I can. Since this is a new idea, I am a bit behind in the schedule. Normally this will appear on Monday or Tuesday as the releases become available to you the listener. Thanks for reading and keep buying music!


The best of the rest … (P.S. I could not find the Good Life and Hot Hot Heat singles or Jeremy Enigk’s The Missing Link, so I cannot confirm their release)


Animal Collective – Peacebone (Domino) single

Architecture In Helsinki – Places Like This (Polyvinyl)

Miles Davis – Evolution of the Groove (Columbia Legacy)

Jay Dee – Jay Deelicious: The Delicious Vinyl Years (Delicious Vinyl)

David Dondero – Simple Love (Team Love)

Jeremy Enigk – The Missing Link (RED Ink)

Galactic – From the Corner to the Block (Anti)

The Good Life – Heartbroke (Saddle Creek) single

Hot Hot Heat – Let Me In (SIR) single

Imperial Teen – The Hair the TV the Baby The Band (Merge)

Kinski – Down Below the Chaos (Sub Pop)

M.I.A. – Kala (Interscope)

The Mendoza Line – 30 Year Low (Glurp)

Minus The Bear – Planet of Ice (Suicide Squeeze)

Travis Morrison Hellfighters – All Y’all (Barsuk)

The New Pornographers – Challengers (Matador)

Over The Rhine – The Trumpet Child (Great Speckled Dog Records)

Peter Brotzmann Octet – The Complete Machine Gun Sessi (Atavistic)

Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Victor)

Son Seals – A Journey through the Blues: The Son Seals Story (Sagebrush)

Cornel West – Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations (Hidden Beach)

Reissues: (All of these reissues are unbelievably amazing!!!)

Louis Armstrong – Live at the 1958 Monterrey Jazz Festival (Concord)

Miles Davis – Live at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival (Concord)

Dizzy Gillespie – Live at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival (Concord)

Thelonious Monk – Live At the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival (Concord)

Sarah Vaughan – Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival (Concord)

Sun Ra – The Night of the Purple Moon (Atavistic)

Vee-Jay: The Definite Collection (Shout! Factory) Box Set

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Monday's One Cup Of Java Challenge

Monday's One Cup of Java Challenge: It was on this date in music history, 1990, that legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin at the age of 35. As with the earlier Buddy Holly plane crash, last minute wheeling and dealing got Vaughan a seat on that flight that he otherwise wasn’t meant to have. In addition to Vaughan, that crash killed three crew members of another guitarist that Stevie Ray had played with that night. Your One Cup question this morning – on the 17th anniversary of the crash – which other famous musician lost three crew members in the accident?

Answer: Eric Clapton

Bonus Blog Trivia: Stevie Ray Vaughan's last musical performance was at that Wisconsin show, where he jammed on stage with Clapton, his brother Jimmy Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray.

Bonus Blog Trivia #2: Clapton's last recollection of speaking with Stevie Ray before the accident was a conversation they had about co-headlining a planned tribute to Jimi Hendrix in London.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

KXCI Presents: Peter Case at Club Congress Saturday Aug. 25th

Longtime KXCI favorite, Peter Case, comes to Tucson for a KXCI presents show at Club Congress. Known for his work with the Plimsouls as well as his long solo career, Peter Case is touring behind his latest release Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John on Yep Roc Records. Al Perry and Ari Shine open the show at 7PM.

Below is an article on Peter from this weeks Tucson Weekly.

Completely Solo

Peter Case comes to Club Congress on the heels of a fantastic new album


Peter Case
with Al Perry and Ari Shine
7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25
Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
$8 advance; $10 door

In 1986, Peter Case basically walked away from his moderately successful Los Angeles power-pop band The Plimsouls, and released a rootsy, largely acoustic solo album. It threw people for a loop: People just didn't do that in those days; the punk and folk scenes did not mix. Not to mention that Americana singer-songwriters weren't exactly burning up the charts. "That record kind of stuck out a little bit at that time, didn't it?" Case says today.

In fact, Case had long been a fan of traditional acoustic music. He grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., in a house filled with music lovers and performers. "I come from a musical family," he says. "There were a lot of people playing music in my family. There were some older people in my family who were really into like Fats Domino, Berry and all that kind of stuff, so I got into that as a little kid. There was somebody in my family that played stride piano, so I grew up listening to that--'50s singles and 78s.

"In the early '60s, my sister came back from college all into Bob Dylan and stuff like that. I was into the Beatles and the Stones like every other kid, but then I got really into Dylan. And once that happened, I started following down the trail of different things that were influencing that music, and I started really getting into old blues singers. ... At that time, I was 14 or 15, and then I left home at 15. I moved with a bunch of hippies into a house; we had like six people renting the house. We had a band called Pig Nation, and we played around."

Though he had dropped out of high school (he later got his GED), Case was a voracious reader and developed a case of wanderlust. "So I moved out, did that whole thing, and then I used to travel around a lot," he recounts. In early 1973, at age 18, he landed in San Francisco, where he busked for about four years. "I fell in with a bunch of people playing blues and rock 'n' roll, and learned how to play, you know? A lot of people were like, 'How could a punk rocker play blues like that? It sounds as if you've been playing a long time.' Well, I have," he says with a laugh. "For one, I wasn't really a punk rocker; and two, I was playing that stuff starting way, way back.

"It's funny," he says, "I went out there because I was really into all that Summer of Love music ... and it was like seven years too late."

He eventually migrated south to Los Angeles, where he arrived at just the right time to get in on the ground floor of the punk movement. Along with Jack Lee and the future frontman of The Beat, Paul Collins--both of whom also wrote songs--Case formed The Nerves, a prototype of L.A. power-pop, in 1975. Though they released only one self-titled four-song EP, in 1976, the following year, they toured with the Ramones, and in 1978, watched as Blondie scored a hit with a cover of their song "Hanging on the Telephone." ("I didn't write that song, so I didn't get rich like the other guy did," Case remarks.)

Though he and Collins played together in some other bands after The Nerves broke up, by 1978, Case was working labor jobs to pay the bills even as he was still writing songs. "Then I got a gig playing with these guys in a country-and-Western bar," he says, "and that was the Plimsouls. It was one of those five-sets-a-night, five-nights-a-week gigs. ... We started rocking louder and louder, and that was the start of that band."

The Plimsouls released an EP and two albums, but it was a single that gave the group its greatest success. Originally released by Bomp! in 1981, "A Million Miles Away" became a became a hit in 1983, when it was included on the soundtrack to the movie Valley Girl. (It also appeared on The Plimsouls' second album, Everywhere at Once, in '83.)

Even though the future looked bright for The Plimsouls, Case simply wasn't feeling it anymore. He explains: "I'd come from some different kinds of musical paths, and I felt like I sort of abandoned a big chunk of what I was down with. And I was trying to get the band into it, and they didn't want to go. ... We gave the Plimsouls a five-year shot, and it was a pretty good five-year run. But at that point, these songs (on his first solo record) were coming to me, and I couldn't really just turn my back on it. ... If I was getting a bunch of Plimsouls songs, we would have done more Plimsouls, I guess. For some reason, that kind of writing is a lot harder for me; what I do now comes naturally."

For the last 20 years, Case has been pursuing that solo path, releasing album after underrated album full of literate, country- and blues-informed, mostly acoustic folk songs. He's a fantastic storyteller who just happens to have a refined sense of melody and an earthy, comforting singing voice. And he still plays the occasional gig with The Plimsouls.

"To me, it's all part of the same picture. It never really mattered to me what the amplification system was. A lot of my favorite music--the most rockin' stuff--is guys playing solo, like Robert Johnson and Bukka White. They really rock, a lot more than most bands. So that's where my interests are lying at the moment."

One need look no further than Case's new album for proof. Titled in honor of Sleepy John Estes, Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, released earlier this month on his new label, Yep Roc, is--a few guest appearances aside--a true solo album. It's stunning in its intimacy and ranks with Case's best work.

"This new record is the kind of record I always wanted to make," says Case, "just completely solo. I mean, Richard Thompson and a couple of other people are on it, but the record is really just solo performances. ... What we're trying to do is an intense form of music, with one guy doing it."

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jose Saavedra Iguina CD Release @ Plush on Friday

Jose Saavedra Iguina and La Desgracia Ensemble will celebrate the new album release "Ver Cada Ver" at Plush on Friday, August 24th, 2007. Redlands will open at 9:30pm, then at 10:30pm Jose Saavedra and La Desgracia Ensemble, and at 11:30pm Seven to Blue.

“He sings with the passion and heart of a poet as he addresses war, politics and human nature.”
Rugelio Yubeta Olivas, Tucson Citizen, August 23, 2007

“The album marks the final chapter in a trilogy of recordings, three compilations of poetry written over the last decade in Tucson, Puerto Rico, Minnesota and during his two years in the Peace Corps in Guatemala.”
Gerald M. Gay, Arizona Daily Star, August 23, 2007

The Puerto Rico-born Saavedra, whose friends call him Pepo, is a treasure, performing his original compositions in the delicate, refreshing style nuevo canción known throughout much of Latin America, fusing it with elements of British and American folk and his own imagistic songwriting. The result is a collection of songs that verge on being fired in the forge of, if not magical realism, a kind of humanistic mysticism.
Gene Armstrong, Tucson Weekly, August 23, 2007

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Grada perform Live@5 this Thursday Aug. 23rd

Tune in to The Homestretch this Thursday for a Live@5 performance from celtic group Grada.

Grada is a quintet of talented musicians from Ireland, New Zealand, and England. Alan Doherty (flutes, whistles, vocals) is widely recognized as a lead soloist on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. His freewheeling, “soaring flute playing” is a major part of Grada’s sound. Nicola Joyce (vocals, bodhran, fiddle, whistles) comes from a long family line of musicians. She grew up in Galway in the west of Ireland and learned to play instruments and sing from a young age. Her influences are numerous, but include Dolores Keane, Karen Casey (Cherish the Ladies), Tom Waits, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell. Colin Farrell (fiddle, whistle) was born in Manchester, a city that has probably the strongest and most vibrant Irish Traditional music scene outside of Ireland. Before joining Grada, Colin had already made a name for himself, performing and recording with an array of great musicians in Europe and the USA, including the well-known group, Flook. Gerry Paul (guitar, bouzouki) has spent half his life in New Zealand and is considered part of the “engine room” behind Grada along with Andrew Laking (double bass, vocals, guitar). Born in New Zealand, Andrew comes from a varied musical background, including jazz, Latin, gypsy, and folk styles. He has been in big demand as a session musician, having recorded for producers such as Bill Whelan (Riverdance).

In Concert! and TKMA will be presenting Grada in concert Saturday, August 25th at 8:00 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway.

All reserved seating $20, $18 seniors and TKMA members. Door prices $23; $21 seniors or TKMA members. Get tickets online here. For further information call 981-1475.

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Do Not Enter Friday'sOne Cup Question

Friday's One Cup of Java Challenge: 390 years ago yesterday, London became the first European city to get one on these. Having been to London, I can tell you they now have a lot of them, but then, so does Tucson. Depending on who you believe, Tucson also needs more of them – or less of them. Right now Tucson has a few temporary ones that are literally driving me crazy. Your One Cup of Java Challenge this morning: what was London the first European city to get on this date in 1617, deemed necessary because nearby public lectures were so popular?

Answer: A one-way street.

Bonus Blog Trivia: Slightly modified from its 1617 layout, that street (Albemarle) is now home to about a dozen art galleries. Historically, Lord Byron's letters were burnt after his death at 50 Albermarle Street (early 1800's). In 1864, Thomas Huxley formed the X Club, which met at the St. Georges Hotel on Albemarle. The X Club members were early proponents of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution.

Bonus Blog Trivia #2: London was merely the first European city with a one-way street; credit for the very first one-way street is generally given to Lima, Peru.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

KXCI Public Service Messages

LIGHT THE NIGHT: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in Tucson is Saturday, September 15th at the Reid Park band shell. This year’s theme is “Taking Steps Toward Cures.” To find out more about the Light The Night walk and how you can be involved, visit

TKMA/THE BEATLES: The Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association presents a Beatles Tribute concert, September 7th at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 East 22nd. The concert features than a dozen local musicians covering The Beatles. The event is a fundraiser for the 2008 Tucson Folk Festival. A dinner social begins at 6pm, followed by the concert at 8. For more information, visit

SUSTAINABLE: Do you know someone working with others for more sustainable food in our community? It could be anyone – a neighbor with an organic garden for kids, a local farmer, a parent or student who lobbied for school lunches made with local ingredients. As part of a national contest, Food Conspiracy Co-Op is honoring people who promote sustainable food. Details and nomination forms are at and at the co-op, 412 North 4th Avenue. Nominations are due September 14th.

V-DAY VOLUNTEERS: Help end violence against women and children. V-Day Tucson needs your help. Volunteers are needed for publicity, finding sponsors, casting and production for a theatrical benefit at the Fox Tucson Theatre in February. To learn more, contact Lori at 409-4347 or visit

WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: The 19th annual YWCA Women’s Leadership Conference is October 5th. The day-long event features keynote speakers as well as a variety of workshops on topics like leadership, financial independence and organization. The deadline to register is September 21st. You can download conference brochures and register at For information call 884-7810, extension 105.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nortec Collective presented by KXCI Friday Aug. 24th

Fussible & Bostich, of Tijuana’s electronica leaders NORTEC COLLECTIVE, who recently scored two Grammy nominations for their latest album ‘Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3’, will appear at Club Congress on Friday August 24, 2007. Local producer & DJ Sonario, alon with KXCI's Corbin Dooley will open the show, which starts at 9pm.

NORTEC COLLECTIVE's music is a sound staple on KXCI's Electro Friday Night's, Your Morning Brew, Onda Suave and the Music Mix.
Widely considered as one of Latin America’s most important electronic acts, NORTEC COLLECTIVE received glowing praise for ‘Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3’ from such prestigious outlets as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, & the Chicago Tribune, and saw the album hit #1 on top digital retailers iTunes and eMusic.

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This Is Your Brain On Music - Book Review

Daniel Levitin is not afraid to tackle the big questions: How are our musical preferences established? How can hearing an old song bring back such strong memories (not all of them pleasant)? What makes musicians different from "normal" people? Why does it take 10,000 hours of practice to master a musical instrument? Why is it so difficult to categorize some music (and musicians)? Why will some of the most annoying advertising jingles get stuck in your brain, playing over and over again? Will Mozart’s music make my child smarter? Will listening to Wagner turn me into an anti-Semite?

All this (and more!) awaits the reader of Daniel Levitin’s This is Your Brain on Music. Subtitled The Science of a Human Obsession, this is an engagingly written introduction to the neuroscience of music, "the science of music from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience," as Levitin puts it. The author describes how music "affects our brains, our minds, our thoughts, and our spirit." Unavoidably, understanding the neural basis for music appreciation eventually gets into mapping the brain and the proximity of the amygdala to the hippocampus or the relationship of the primitive cerebellum with the more recently evolved frontal lobes.

But Levitin’s narrative ranges from biology and human anatomy to chemistry, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science with a bit of cultural and evolutionary history tossed in for good measure. In the process, the reader is given a definitive answer to George Berkeley’s zen koan about whether a falling tree makes a noise if there is no one present to hear it. All this is accomplished with an array of references to Ani DiFranco, Buddy Holly, Pink Floyd, Django Reinhardt, Charles Mingus, Joni Mitchell, and Queen (!), among hundreds of others.

Levitin clearly has the bona fides to write this book: he is a musician (he played sax for Mel Torme and had his own punk band, the Mortals); he was a producer (Blue Oyster Cult, Chris Isaak) and anthologist (Steely Dan, Santana, Stevie Wonder); and he is a tenured academician (with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, Levitin is currently a cognitive psychologist with McGill University in Montreal).

The geek factor is pretty high, and occasionally the book becomes a slow-going read. But, to his credit, Levitin neither oversimplifies his subject nor talks down to his readers, which makes reading this book worth the occasional effort it requires. Humanities majors needn’t worry, because the beautiful mystery of music remains intact despite Levitin’s well-grounded, rational, scientific approach to his subject matter.

Levitin offers up some convincing conjecture about how music originated and why it’s important, rebuffing the scientific fold that considers it "an evolutionary parasite" because it "plays no role in the survival of the species." Even Levitin’s erudition, however, won’t resolve some debates. (Beatles or Stones? East Coast or West Coast? SRV or EC?) And, of course, even the best minds of modern science can’t answer some questions. (How on Earth did Milli Vanilli and the Spice Girls manage to sell so many albums?)

--by Shelby Meyer (KXCI Member and Volunteer)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Music On The Mezzanine Celebrates Three Years!

This Friday August 17th from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. marks the third anniversary for Music On The Mezzanine hosted by Digital Dave. Dave will be playing some of the best Mid to Down Tempo, Ambient, Trip Hop and Chilled Grooves aired during the past year. There will be items to give away and a lot of great music. Tune in this Friday for the special three year anniversary show of Music On The Mezzanine.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

KXCI Music Book Reviews - Stay Tuned!

Weird old Frank Zappa once famously observed that "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" (or something like that). More recently, Emmylou Harris made a similar point when she said that "Talking about music is like doing card tricks on the radio" (or something like that).

The common insight of these two observations—that the joy of music is largely ineffable—has not slowed the production of new books and magazines devoted to music. Despite the concerns of Mr. Zappa and Ms. Harris, the past two decades have seen a mounting tsunami of books and magazines about music written for music lovers. Biography and criticism mix freely with how-to-do-it and cultural analysis. Well-known musicians and obscure cult favorites alike are now being dissected between book covers.

The eminently quotable Frank Zappa was understandably irritated by some of the verbiage that was being cranked out in the guise of music criticism, especially when it was being applied to his own music. It was his opinion that "Rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read."

Arguably, things have improved a lot since the early days of music journalism. The genre has grown and matured (haven’t we all?), and shows no signs of playing itself out in the foreseeable future. What is the targeted market for all these books? You, the KXCI listeners—the kind of people who take their music seriously. KXCI listeners are not only musically sophisticated, they are discerning readers who want to know more about the music and musicians they enjoy.

To help sort out the gems from the dross found on the music bookshelves, KXCI will feature occasional reviews of the more significant titles that you may not want to miss. If you have read a book that is worth sharing with other KXCI listeners, let us know about it. In the meantime it is important that we always remember (again, in the words of Frank Zappa): "Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best."

Stay tuned for music book reviews to be posted here regularly!

-- Shelby Meyer (KXCI Member and Volunteer)

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The One AM Radio - Live@5 on The Homestretch

Tune in this Thursday August 9th when The One AM Radio stop by for a live performance around 5pm .

Touring in support of their latest release, This Too Will Pass, on Dangerbird Records.
The One AM Radio is the musical project of Hrishikesh Hirway, a composer and songwriter from Los Angeles. The One AM Radio's sound is often characterized by Hrishikesh's lush, soothing vocals over dream-like instrumental arrangements. Similar to Sufjan Stevens or Iron and Wine in songwriting and delivery but sonically inhabiting more electronic elements.

The One AM Radio will be performing tonight with Lymbyc Systym and The Race at The Living Room (5th St. just east of 4th Ave.)

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91.3FM KXCI, Bringing you Long Tail Music

Working in the long tail section of the curve

According to, the #1 Hit this week is Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston, followed in order by artists Fergie, Plain White T’s, Timbaland, Rihanna, Kanye West, T Pain, Hurricane Chris, Fabulous, and Shop Boyz. I did a KXCI playlist search and found that of all the artists on this list, only Kanye West is getting significant air-time on KXCI. Why is that? The answer is that we are spinning music from the long tail of the curve.

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business is Selling Less of More, would most likely place the top- 10 artists listed above in the short, high section of the curve depicted in red. This week, these artists are getting lots of air-time on the nation’s radio stations and increased CD and online album sales. Almost all rely on incredibly expensive high-end studios and mass marketing using commercial television, internet, and radio. The vast majority of the artists and bands that we play on KXCI are working in the long tail of the curve.

“The Long Tail” artists and bands such as Lucinda Williams, Luca, and Mavis Staples are crafting original, high quality music, while remaining relatively independent. They rely on a network of experienced and highly-skilled recording studios such as Tucson’s Wavelab Studio run by Craig Schumacher and independent labels such as Lost Highway, Funzalo, and Anti-. Moving further down the tail, some excellent albums are recorded using low-end equipment in living rooms, garages, and bedrooms.

For more discussion of “long tail” music you can get copy of Tape Op magazine and read Larry Crane’s editorial or check out the archives of Wired online magazine.

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Ready! (intentionally blank)! Go!

Thursday's One Cup of Java Challenge: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word with the most different definitions has 464 different meanings. Not bad for a three-letter word, which has applications in hairdressing, filmmaking, hunting, tennis, surgery, sailing, mathematics, and yes, even radio broadcasting – where it can have one meaning on our end and another meaning on your end. Your One Cup of Java Challenge this morning – to name this versatile three letter word.

Answer: Set. The runner-up for most definitions is "run."

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ruby's Roadhouse Round-Up Contest

Voting is now underway in KXCI's "Ruby's Roadhouse Round-Up: You Pick 'Em, We Play 'Em" contest at, sponsored by Nimbus Brewing Company.

Ruby has listed the 787 albums she's played from in the past 12 months. You can vote for your favorite or favorites - no limit - by clicking the Ruby's Roadhouse Round-Up link at

You can also enter to win a prize package of CDs featuring albums Ruby loves to share with her listeners.

On September 1st Ruby will count down the listener favorites in a 5-hour special from noon to 5pm.

By the way - 787 different albums in a single year! You don't get that at a commercial radio station, and that was just on one show! This is another clear example of how commercial radio can't hold a candle to a great station like KXCI.

Vote today!

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Wednesday's One Cup Of Java Challenge

Wednesday's One Cup of Java Challenge: Forty years ago today, The Doors were on the top of the U.S. charts with the song “Light My Fire.” It would end up being one of only two trips to the top of the singles chart for the band. Your One Cup of Java challenge this morning – name The Doors only other #1 song, which topped the charts 39 years ago today, in 1968.

Answer: Hello, I Love You

Bonus Blog Trivia: The only other Doors song to land in the Top Ten was 1969's Touch Me, which peaked at #3.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jason Isbell: Live At 5 on The Home Stretch

Join us Tuesday afternoon on The Home Stretch for a "Live at 5" performance with Jason Isbell, former frontman for Drive-By Truckers.

Jason is touring in support of his new solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. He'll be in concert Tuesday night at Club Congress, 8:00 doors for a 9pm, 21+ show.

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Come And Knock On Our Door / One Cup of Java Challenge

Tuesday's One Cup of Java Challenge: We had so many calls on our M*A*S*H question yesterday that I’ve decided to tackle another 70s sitcom for today’s One Cup question. Three’s Company aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 and featured the adventures of roommates Jack, Chrissy and Janet. Your One Cup question this morning: what were Jack, Chrissy and Janet’s last names?

Answer: Jack Tripper, Chrissy Snow, and Janet Wood

Bonus Blog Trivia: The Three's Company theme song was sung by Ray Charles. No, not THAT Ray Charles, but the man who worked for a number of years with Perry Como and wrote the grade school choir staple "Fifty Nifty United States." He now bills himself as "the other Ray Charles" in honor of the more famous musician with that name, with whom we worked on several occassions. "The other Ray Charles" has been musical director for the Kennedy Center honors for the last 25 years. "The other Ray Charles" also wrote the ditty "We got letters, we got letters, we got stacks and stacks of letters" for Perry Como's television show; it is now used by David Letterman for his Viewer Mail segment.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Lee Hazelwood, 1929-2007

Prolific songwriter Lee Hazelwood has passed away at the age of 78 of renal cancer.

Here's a link to the best obituary we've been able to find:,,2142293,00.html

Gone - but as long as there is a KXCI, never forgotten.

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You Can Always Go - Downtown

Petula Clark was right - you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares, and go downtown.

KXCI has long been a part of Tucson's downtown scene, which is why we're happy to offer this piece of advice - don't let the construction zones and detours stand in your way. Think of it as... an obstacle course. Challenging, but fun!

For the latest information on construction, detours, alternate routes, and events downtown, visit

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Monday's One Cup Of Java Challenge

Monday's One Cup of Java Challenge: This morning's question comes from the movie and subsequent television series M*A*S*H. Actor Gary Burghoff was the only series regular to reprise his role from the Altman film. He played Radar O'Reilly. Your question this morning: what was Radar's first name?

Answer: Walter.

Bonus Blog Trivia:

1. Hawkeye's home town of Crabapple Cove, Maine is the only fictional home town of all of the M*A*S*H characters.

2. Rene Auberjonois (currently on Boston Legal) turned down the chance to reprise his film role of Father Mulcahy.

3. The series was filmed in the same location as the 1968 film Planet of the Apes.

4. Klinger's attempt to be thrown out of the army by wearing women's clothing was inspired by comedian Lenny Bruce, who similarly attempted to win his way home from active service by dressing up as a WAVE (female officer).

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

People Who Count People

Thursday's One Cup of Java Challenge: The first US census was held on this date in 1790. It found just under 4 million white people living in the country at that time. It also listed the five most populous cities in the U.S. in 1790. Four of those five most populous cities from 1790 are still among the 25 most populous cities according to the last U.S. census in 2000. The fifth city still exists, but is not currently one of the 200 most populous cities in the U.S. Your One Cup of Java Challenge this morning – name the U.S. city that was a big deal in 1790 but is now only the 229th largest city in our country.

Answer: Charleston, South Carolina

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Kidd Squidd Special

For this Saturday's Mystery Jukebox show, Kidd Squidd has prepared a 3-hour HISTORY OF DOO-WOP special. Starting with the Jive Combos of the 30's & 40's like Cats 'n' the Fiddle and The Delta Rhythm Boys, into the 50's with R'n'B Vocal Groups like The Ravens & The Drifters, Kidd is out to prove one point: that the human larynx is the greatest musical instrument of all time.

That's the "HISTORY OF DOO-WOP" this Saturday, 2-5pm, on Kidd Squidd's Mystery Jukebox.

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A Long Strange Trip

Wednesday's One Cup of Java Challenge: The former banjo player for the band Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions was born on this date in 1942 in San Francisco. That band would eventually teak their lineup and change their name to The Warlocks. Eventually they changed their name from The Warlocks to something else. That former banjo player stayed with the newly named band until his death in 1995, a long, strange trip. Your One Cup question this morning – to name this former Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions member, who would have been 65 today.

Answer: Jerry Garcia. The Warlocks of course became The Grateful Dead.

Happy Birthday, Jerry, whereever you are!

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