Downtown strikes own note for 4th

Club Congress has Bikini Island party; Rundgren is at the Rialto on Saturday
2013-07-04T00:00:00Z Downtown strikes own note for 4thKate Newton For The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When the weather isn't optimal for Fourth of July picnics, parades and barbecues, one response is to take the celebration indoors and onstage.

"This whole week we have some pretty good stuff going on," says Matt Bacquet, a booking assistant at Club Congress, where this holiday weekend's festivities include a free plaza show with Tucson's the Electric Blankets and a local hip-hop showcase on Friday and Bikini Island party Saturday. "We're trying to do that for the people that do stick around."

Fear not, music fans, because three additional acts - a rapper, some local up-and-comers and a seasoned rock vet - are also playing post-Independence Day shows that'll keep the celebration going well into the weekend.

THE MAN, THE LEGEND, THE MUSICIAN

Todd Rundgren takes the stage at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, sampling from an unprecedented volume of work rivaled only by greats like the Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan. The 65-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist has been on the road for the better part of 50 years and is now touring on the heels of his 24th studio album, "State," a solo effort that Rundgren also wrote and produced. Longtime fans can expect deep cuts beyond his consummate hits "Hello, It's Me" and "I Saw the Light," along with the unconventional stage presence that earned Rundgren the title of the "Ultimate Rock Cult Hero."

IF YOU GO

The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. (Map inset) This all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $32 general admission. For more information visit rialtotheatre.com

A NIGHT WITH THE DUDE

Houston rapper Devin the Dude may have recorded with Snoop Dogg, André 3000, Dr. Dre and Tech N9ne in the past, but his seven solo albums prove he has a longevity in the industry that can't come from riding the coattails of big-name artists. A unique flow coupled with a wicked sense of humor deviates the Dude from the mainstream, and the rapper was spitting rhymes about his "Doobie Ashtray" years before Wiz Khalifa hit the scene. After announcing that his next album, "One for the Ride," will be released in September of this year, Devin the Dude might be one of the rap game's most low-key MVPs.

IF YOU GO

Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.; This all-ages show starts at 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $20. For more information visit hotelcongress.com/music

LOCAL FLAVOR FOR THE FOURTH

Tucson's alternative rock outfit Ellison Station will join the Brandon Jim Band, a Sierra Vista-based trio, at this intimate show, a given at Plush when local bands roll through. Described by singer and guitarist Brandon Jim on the band's Facebook page as an "original, alternative sound," BJB last released "Avenue of Giants," a promising acoustic EP in February, with hopes that the momentum will culminate in a full-length release. Main act Ellison Station previewed the show on their Facebook stage last month, posting, "Enjoying the buzz around our Plush show. Still a month out, and already word is spreading..." It may just be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the band formally known as Red Star Rebellion definitely knows how to please a crowd.

IF YOU GO

Plush, 340 E. Sixth St.; This 21-and-over show starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets $5 at the door. For more information visit plushtucson.com.

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