Hot Five

Phonoroyale carries the torch song into the modern world

The Sand Rubies, a popular mainstay on the Tucson music scene dating to their previous incarnation as the Sidewinders, are finishing their first album of new material in four years. Their August 23 show at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe will feature the original Sidewinders lineup, including Mark Perrodin on bass.

Power cut: The first week of August wasn't kind to the Electric Ballroom, which had its liquor license placed on inactive status August 1 by state liquor director Howard Adams. The action followed the administrative filing of a sexual-abuse complaint against former manager David Seven. Earlier this year, a female employee accused Seven of touching her breast.

Current manager Jim Torgeson was limited to serving water at the club from August 1-3, before closing the club for a week. Both the August 8 Madder Rose show and the John Lydon show two nights later were canceled, in Lydon's case because he contracted the flu.

Torgeson has spent much of the last week waiting by the phone, hoping to hear that the license is restored. "I've done everything I can do to expedite the process," he says. "People have no idea the damage that this does. This isn't like telling people they can't have a cookie. It's fundamental to your reputation."

Who's in town: In Year One of the media-fed electronica revolution, there have been several attempts to launch big technopaloozas to cash in. The first shot, Chaotica, collapsed because its intended big acts all signed on for Lollapalooza. Later this month, the Big Top tour--featuring acts like Aphex Twin, 808 State, and Moby--begins in Detroit.

Big Top won't be coming to Phoenix, but the intriguing, 14-city Electric Highway Tour invades Compton Terrace in Chandler on Saturday, August 16. During a teleconference last week, tour organizer Dan Nathanson emphasized that he's worked with local rave promoters in every city to create the right vibe and to find appropriately unconventional sites. Nathanson and the acts on the show--including Crystal Method, Arkarna and Uberzone--agreed that techno has not changed to reach the masses, but, rather, the masses have opened their ears to it.

"I'm surprised it's taken this long," Nathanson said. Part of the Electric Highway ethos is to include performances by local DJs at every stop, and the Chandler show will feature locals R.C. Lair, Gary Menichiello, and the Bombshelter DJs. If you can get past the idea of a rave presented by B.F. Goodrich (Spin magazine is the other sponsor), it should make for a good time.

--Gilbert Garcia

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