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Blind Lemon Pledge gets the dust off

Blind Lemon Pledge gets the dust off

Locals reunite for Performance Art Roundup

We've been wondering: Does performance art improve with age?

The question will be answered at Club Congress tonight with Performance Art Roundup, an evening that will include some of Tucson's best-known performance artists of the 1980s and '90s.

The event is a celebration of Club Congress' 25th year.

When the club first opened a quarter of a century ago, performance artist Blind Lemon Pledge, aka Daniel Buckley, stood on a lunch counter slippery with beer and did his performance-art thing. This was before Congress had a stage, and so the space was called the Counter Club.

Buckley, a former Tucson Citizen music critic and the curator of tonight's event, had a couple of ways he gathered material for his Blind Lemon Pledge monologues, which he dubbed a "transcendental lounge act."

"I kept a notebook by my bed to jot down those surreal thoughts and dreams in the middle of the night," said Buckley, who will revive the act for tonight.

"After a month or so, I'd have enough material for Blind Lemon Pledge."

The other way he gathered material: long, involved talks with the 2-year-old daughter of a friend.

"She was a joy to hang out with and get her perspective on the world."

That was then; this is now: the 2-year-old has grown into a woman, Cara Sommerville. Sommerville will accompany Buckley as Blind Lemon Pledge on the electric cello.

Buckley was also part of the popular Little Dinks, who included Craig Zingg and Imo Baird. The Dinks, too, will reunite for the event, revisiting their famous "Velvet Elvis" act. That one defies description - just know that Elvis will rise again.

Also slated to bring back the '80s and '90s tonight is Dennis Williams, who ordained himself the "unofficial arts district artist in residence," Buckley said. "Finally, they gave it to him. Dennis used to perform up and down Congress and did some of the most beautiful pieces I ever saw - and some of the craziest I ever saw."

But not all performance artists will be from the past - a new generation has popped up, and those folks will be included in tonight's event.

"Just as HoCo has mixed the old with the new," Buckley said, "we wanted to do that, too."

If you go

Performance Art Roundup

• Emcees: Adrienne Halpert and Daniel Buckley

• When: Tonight

• Where: Club Congress in the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

• Tickets: $10

• Information: 622-8848

• Lineup:

Laura Milkins outside all night performing her "Bed" series

6:15 p.m. - Jen Urso in the lobby

7 p.m. - Joanna Frueh

7:30 - Heather Wodrich

8 - Paul Fisher

8:30 - Denise Uyehara

9 - Jeff Falk and Annie Lopez

9:30 - The Little Dinks

10 - Colleena Candelabra

10:30 - Blind Lemon Pledge

11 - Dennis Williams

• Etcetera: 21 and over

Contact Kathleen Allen at or 573-4128.

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