Hello, Goodbye

Goodbye Blue Monday might sound like a nod to '80s New Wave pioneers New Order. But GBM, a San Diego quartet whose name actually references Kurt Vonnegut's seminal Breakfast of Champions, has no desire to imitate either the Manchester Invasion (despite citing The Cure as a major influence) or the retro-cum-indie sounds of contemporaries like Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. After all, the band's got a hell of a burden living up to its billing as San Diego's new guard all on its own. On Saturday, February 26, Goodbye Blue Monday says hello to Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. After an agonizingly arduous experience recording and releasing its debut album, Next Time We Stop Breathing, in 2003 -- which was apparently so strenuous, GBM lost its original guitarist and bassist in the process -- the band releases its second full-length album, Help Is On the Way, in May. Call 480-820-7117 for admission price and time, or see www.hollywoodalley.com. -- Joe Watson

Idol Hans

Blues event may make Olson wish he were twins

SUN 2/27
That Hans Olson sure knows how to tailor a blues festival to our short attention spans. The local legend plays an hour set at Blues Blast 2005 on Sunday, February 27, and he'll also perform 10-minute sets throughout the day during breaks between the other acts, which include Arizona's own Jim Glass Band, and Sistah Blue. Michael Burks, and Little Charlie and the Nightcats are also on the bill, along with Living Blues magazine's female artist of the year, Bettye Lavette. The Blast starts at 11 a.m. at Mesa Amphitheatre, 2635 North Center in Mesa. Tickets cost $17 to $20. Call 602-252-0599. -- Niki D'Andrea

Blind Ambition

Gospel and more at Chandler Center

SAT 2/26
The Blind Boys of Alabama got one outta two right: They are blind, but they aren't exactly boys anymore. Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter and George Scott, now in their 70s, were founding members of the gospel group in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. More than 60 years later, they're still jammin' for Jesus, but they've included some younguns -- Joey Williams, Ricky McKinnie, Bobby Butler and Tracy Pierce -- to round out the ensemble. The Grammy Award-winning group has kept its sound alive and kicking by mixing traditional gospel music with periodic forays into hip-hop, pop, blues and an occasional Stones cover song. The good ol' boys will belt it out at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue, at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 26. For tickets, $28 to $44, call 480-782-2680 or see www.ticketmaster.com. -- C. Murphy Hebert

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
C. Murphy Hebert
Joe Watson