Tucson Sounds: I hate the 'Gram – a local music love story

Your friendly neighborhood music scribbler is about to come out of writing retirement. But first, she wants to have a word with the local music scene’s manager.

You see, back in the pre-pandemic era, compiling a list of weekly must-see gigs was a cumbersome, but reasonable chore. It wasn’t my favorite part of writing, but as a labor of love it was worth the work.

Mainly, the weekly grind would consist of hopping around to the main web pages and Facebook pages for the most frequently inhabited music venues in town, replying “interested” when a band would post an event on said book-of-face, snapping pictures of flyers around town if something looked like it had missed being posted anywhere, and then meandering briefly over to Instagram, checking out a few stray house show collectives and younger bands who only ever shared anything there.

Flash forward to the present, where not only does almost all local event posting happen on “the ‘Gram” in the form of old-school show flyers, but it often only happens in the form of reels or stories, which don’t exist beyond a 24-hour or so window. And venues seem to have given up posting almost entirely, leaving most promotion up to the bands, whom you kind of have to already know about to ever see posting on Instagram in the first place.

Thus, practically the only way one can find out about upcoming shows anymore is to check Instagram about 20 times a day, know where the venues are (as one can’t hyperlink in a flyer) and pray that the set time, etc. didn’t get cut off or overlooked when the flyer was posted.

“Ok, Boomer,” you’re probably saying, “that’s where things are happening these days, so adapt or die.”

To which yours truly would reply that I am a card-carrying member of Gen X and I remember when we literally only had Xeroxed, wheat-pasted show flyers to learn this stuff. It’s not that I’m not capable of going back to that aesthetic. It’s just that, for a short, blissful, period of recent history, we had a means of making this whole process 12 times easier. And then we abandoned it for reasons that elude me.

And, perhaps more importantly, I am trying with all my might to once again be the weekly answer to the ever-present collective question “does anybody know who’s playing this weekend?

So, this week, I present to you a very brief list of shows that are happening this weekend and beyond. With some luck and perseverance, next week I’ll have a longer list to share. If you know about stuff, you can even help me do it.

Thanks to a few good folks who do keep track (hat tip to Mr. Bob Colby in particular) for helping to keep me in the loop in spite of it all. Stay tuned next week for more music news, album reviews, previews and local listings. And, in other news, get off my lawn.


Your once-and-future-local-music-scribe, JJP

Check your local listings…

Each week this columnist aims to compile a choice selection of live gigs in and around Tucson with the help of good venue and band event announcements and other resources.

If you’ve got a gig coming up and you’d like your event listed in this space (or if your local band has a major announcement or a new release) drop me a line at [email protected].

Friday, Nov 10

  • Like the Bug, Gutter Town, Sarah Meadmaker – 7 pm at Subspace (101 W. 6th St)

Saturday, Nov 11

  • Sad Reptilian, Determined Luddites, Dave Roads and more – 2 pm at Mountain First Porch Fest (Mitchell Park neighborhood, near Mountain and First Ave)
  • Mudhoney – 7 pm Club Congress
  • Big City Sleep , Alex and the Moondaze – 10 pm Che’s Lounge (350 N. 4th Avenue)

Sunday, Nov 12

  • Supercrush, Dogbreth Sonya Blade, Worlds Clyde – 7 pm Arches (University Blvd & Main St )

Coming Soon…

Friday, Nov 17

  • Habitation Speakeasy Presents: The Gem Show w/ Blunt Objects – 6 pm Habitation Realty (641 N. 10th Ave)
  • Hearts and Guitars Benefit at Saint Charles: Weekend Lovers, Rollingdusk, Tonight’s Sunshine, Daddy Banjo – 6:30 pm Club Congress (311 E. Congress St)