hocofest 2012 + recording + halloween news

HOCOFest Day One

We opened up a little ol Tucson music festival that happens on Labor Day Weekend called HOCO Fest – named as such because it’s put on by HOtel COngress. Now if you haven’t been to Tucson, you probably haven’t heard of Hotel Congress, and you’d be forgiven. But if you ever come through town, definitely check it out. It’s an old hotel from the early part of the 20th Century that has retained its lovely Old West charm while also picking up on Tucson’s artsy funky flavor. But it’s more than a hotel – it also houses one of the oldest bars in town (the Tap Room), a gorgeous nightclub (Club Congress) and excellent restaurant (Cup Cafe). And it’s also supposed to be haunted — oooOOOOOooo. One of my favorite parts is the big old neon “Hotel Congress” sign that floats above the building and is the anchoring image of Downtown. It’s also where John Dillinger was captured after evading the law across the country . Cup Cafe even has his mug on the cover of the menu – with his famous quote “Well, I’ll be damned.”

Hotel Congress Sign

We were the band to open up the four day music festival that included Tallest Man On Earth, Stand of Oaks, Sergio Mendoza y la Orkestra and so so many others – on this great big outdoor stage with an amazing backdrop highlighting the colors of the Arizona state flag.

HOCOFest 2012 Main Stage

The sound was amazing (thanks to Dana Fehr) and, due to a cluster of showers that were supposed to hit but managed to just miss us, it was even on the breezy side. AND it was the night of the blue moon. Alas, it wasn’t blue, but it sho was pretty.

Had a blast during our set (even though I started off on the wrong song once and saw Jamie looking over at my smiling and mouthing “It’s the wrong song” and then like a professional, I stopped, giggled and started again on the right song). But aside from that it was a rockin’ and rollickin’ set under that open Arizona sky.

But the fun didn’t stop there. David Garza, an Austin troubador playing two nights of the HOCO Fest, was on after us and asked Jamie and Dave to back him up. They’d never heard the songs before but gamely went along. I only have some footage of the first song – but wish I had more because they all did a great job. David even pulled me up to sing harmony. Which freaked me out as I hesitantly hummed before getting my bearings. But after a while I got into it and was able to pick up the words to the chorus. So fun to spontaneously perform lovely songs I’d never heard before.

Here’s a little bit of that first song:


We’ve booked it so it’s official – The Modeens will be laying down basic tracks for our next full-length album at Wavelab (Calexico, Neko Case) later this month! We’ve got a whole bunch of new tunes, plus an older one that we hadn’t recorded yet and I’m so excited about this batch in particular. Dave’s contributed some excellent tunage and we’re expanding our sonic palette to include some country, punk and soul while still delivering on the rock n roll. Our friend and excellent photographer Rocky Yosek will be documenting the session. So instead of gigging we’ll be spending our spare time the next couple of weeks rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing.

Heads Up For Halloween

Is it too early? I’m sorry, really, I understand. But if you live in Tucson, you should DEFINITELY mark October 27th on your calendar for the Blood Bath party at the Rialto. This MEOWmeow production is gonna be off the bloody wall and we’ll be the spooky live band portion of it. We’re already figuring out some awesome costumes and Halloween-appropriate songs to put you in the ghouly mood! Sure we’ll be doing Zombie Girl, Where Are The Spacemen? and Werewolf Attack, but there’s more, oh so much more in store for this show. Details comin’ atcha later.

Catch yall on the flip side,

Cristina Modeena (yes it is my new nickname, don’t wear it out)

Hotel Congress sign picture by Brian Wallace