July 30

The Missing Parts play their way

The Missing Parts will be playing again at the Arizona Senior Academy Tuesday in an 11:30 a.m. concert. The Tucson-based acoustic, instrumental trio formed in 2009.

Listeners have classified the band's music as everything from "chamber-core" to "alt-punk" and "string metal."

While The Missing Parts can be difficult to categorize, their sound is instantly recognizable. Their tunes borrow from and pay tribute to many folk traditions while serving as a field guide for the sonic traveler. The Missing Parts have been compared with the Kronos Quartet, Ennio Morricone, Béla Bartók and Gogol Bordello, among others.

The band comprises Oliver Blaylock on violin, Brian Hullfish on cello and Paul Wright on acoustic guitar.

In the fall of 2007, the members happened to meet at Shot in the Dark Café in Tucson. They improvised together in the alley next door and liked the result. With Wright's intensely percussive style of rhythm guitar, Hullfish's cello and Blaylock's classically-trained violin, the group creates vivid soundscapes, capable of conveying odd emotions and ideas.

The trio has collaborated with singer-songwriter Cathy Rivers and the pyrotechnic-acrobatic performance troupe Flam Chen and has shared bills with acts as wide-ranging as March Fourth Marching Band, The White Buffalo, the Bay Area-based trio Judgment Day, as well as Swedish the hip-hop-swing group Movits.

The Missing Parts have toured throughout the Rocky Mountains and along the West Coast since 2009.

The band will have copies of its two CDs, "Folk Music From an Undiscovered Country" and "Sueños," for sale at the concert at $10 for one or $15 for both.

Janet Kerans

Aug. 1

Nothing simple about Western water rights

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting."

Mark Twain may or may not have spoken these words, but here in the West they ring true. What's to fight over? We get water from rivers and groundwater. We open the tap and water flows. The cost of water is for piping it to us, not the value of the water itself. Pretty simple, yes?


Our water use is controlled by current law and policy, such as the "appropriation" doctrine common in the West and Arizona law requiring 100 years of assured supply. But history and legal traditions - such as Spanish property law and conquistador practices centuries ago, Mexican property law, British common law and Western water traditions and law - also are at play.

Michael Brescia, associate professor of history at the University of Arizona and associate curator for ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum (and recently appointed associate director of the museum), will explain these complexities in a 3:30 p.m. talk next Thursday at the Arizona Senior Academy.

In his talk, "Whiskey is for Drinking, Water is for Fighting - The Living Legacies of Spanish Water Rights in the American Southwest," Brescia will discuss why these historical legacies still live and are important.

Brescia recently spent a year as a Fulbright scholar doing research for a project, "Water Rights and Competing Legal Traditions in North America: Historical Perspectives." He is using the Fulbright research for a book project that will identify and evaluate property rights under the Spanish and Mexican civil laws of property during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Ted Hullar

About Academy Village

• Events are held in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center, 13715 E. Langtry Lane.

• Nonresidents who want to ensure priority seating can make reservations by emailing info@arizonasenioracademy.org or calling 647-0980.

• To learn more about the academy, go to www.asa-tucson.org online.

• Visitors can buy lunch at the Academy Cafe across the courtyard from the Arizona Senior Academy Building. The cafe is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Prices range from $4.50 to $9.50. For more information call the cafe at 647-0903.