It's September ... "back-to-school" time for you scholars out there and time for your second edition of "The Veracity View." The last edition featured yours truly travelling across the United States in search of good music. "V2," as SkidMark and I like to call it, demonstrates a less-travelled Dani Veracity who is back to work and once again submersed in the depths of the Tucson, Arizona local music scene.

I now write concert reviews and take stageshots for, which means that I go to a lot more concerts than before. This was a busy month for me because, by Tucson standards, this last month was a biggie for the local music scene.

Shortly after writing the first edition of "The Veracity View", I covered a concert featuring The Plus Ones (from San Francisco), Tucson locals Bombs for the Bored and a Tucson newcomer named Serpe. Serpe started the show with a Little Wings-esque one-man-and-a-guitar-with-quirky-meaningful-lyrics type thing. Back in the day when I was infatuated with the whole Pacific Northwest scene (ahhh, Seattle), I was really into punk rock folk poets and even did some solo shows myself. For that reason, I totally empathized with what Serpe was doing but nevertheless became a little bored. Incidentally, Bombs for the Bored was up next, minus any genuine bombs. Vocalist and guitarist Noah Gabbard has been a friend of mine since my early days in Blue Remedy, back when his band The Tawdry opened up for us at Bookman's East. Even back then, Noah was one of the best guitarists I'd ever heard and he was, like, 16. Now, at 20, he's an even better guitarist with songwriting skills to match. In fact, he's won the Best Songwriter award in Tucson's own TAMMIE Awards. By the way, his songwriting skills really are top-notch: He knows when to rock out on guitar and when to just let the bass and drums carry the songs through a la Cobain’s songwriting at its best. On that note, bass player Justin Irwin lays down bass lines that drive the songs without muddying the mix, similar to (okay, another Nirvana comparison) the bass style that made Krist Novoselic famous. I was equally impressed by E. Shumeister’s drumming, especially since it reminded me of my favorite drummer, former-Smashing Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin -- lots of snare. Gabbard’s vocals top off the Bombs’ great sound with their raw and emotional quality and well-though lyrics. Don’t you just love the whole “tortured artist” thing? After their set, the band sold their CDs for $1, or in Gabbard’s words, “a lifetime of bad karma.” The last thing I need is bad karma, so I coughed up the dollar. The Plus Ones were up next and, as the only touring band, were the stars of the show. For you indie rock aficionados out there, the Bay Area band is like a supergroup: I mean, you've got Joel Reader from Mr. T Experience on bass and vocals, Luis Illades from Pansy Division on drums, the Roman god-like John Speranza on guitar and pop punker guitarist and vocalist Scott Hay. The Plus Ones had a great variety of merchandise for sale -- including, as Reader told the crowd, pieces of them like "jars of urine." I’m sure, okay I hope, he was joking. I’ll settle with just listening to their power-pop music, which reminded me of the early emo sounds of Sunny Day Real Estate (like Diary) -- you know, before Jeremy Enigk became "born again."

Joel Reader in deep thought about some throbbing bass lines.

Noah Gabbard looking very much the tortured artist.

Okay, you've probably surmised this all along, but your own Dani Veracity is a cartoon character … well sort of. I did a voiceover for a cartoon that will appear on Comedy Central, which is a very big television channel here in the U.S. Is it available anywhere in Europe? Anyway, I only had two lines, but I'm going to be in a cartoon, which makes me very happy. The whole thing is still under wraps so I can't say too much about it, but I will as soon as I can.
Tucson's own Club Congress turned 20 this month. It's been around for a long time, so a lot of good bands (like X from L.A.) performed there before my time. Okay, a lot of good bands still perform there, too. Anyway, there was a big three-day long concert series and I covered one day of it for The highlight of my night was a cool afterhours party that I was able to go to, thanks to Tucson Scene editor James. The 80s glam band Gentlemen After Dark was there and I had a really nice conversation with American expatriate Stuart about the differences between life in the U.S. and life in the U.K. He's happily lived in England for the past 17 years. Like Gentlemen After Dark, most of the bands that played at Club Congress' bash were reunited local favorites. Highlights include The Napkins (whose frontman is strikingly photogenic) and Chick Cashman (Tucson's equivalent to a bluesy New York Dolls). Check out my pics from the show.

My own band is doing really well. Our songs are sounding like a cross between Joy Division, X and The Smashing Pumpkins. We still don't have a name yet. Email me ideas please.

The next Veracity View should be really good, as I'm going to a Nine Inch Nails concert on the 17th. I'll try to sneak in a camera if James can't get me a press pass. Speaking of New Orleans (Trent Reznor's old haunt), I'm also helping put together a benefit concert and CD for the tragedy that happened in the lower Gulf States. As you've probably heard, Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana the hardest and New Orleans is now under water. Some of the refugees are now staying at the Tucson Convention Center, where Nine Inch Nails will be playing (the concert won't be affected). I'll keep you updated.

I took a lot of pics of this one.

So, there's the second edition of the Veracity View for you. If you have any comments/suggestions, please email me at: [email protected].

Top 10 Songs to Add to Your iPod Before the Next Veracity View:

1. "Slow Hands" by Interpol -- Gotta love any lyrics that have the words "heart," "soul" and "wasteland" in the same line. Kind of like a nihilistic version of that amateur pianist favorite "Heart and Soul."
2. "Miss Yugatu" by The Jons (Tucson, AZ USA) -- "Mrs. Robinson" for Generation Y.
3. "Mr. Clean" by The Jam -- Okay, this is an old one that you may need to upload from your vinyl or cassette. The song always reminds me of Mr. Dursely from the Harry Potter series, as I guess it should.
4. "In His Room (Without a Sound)" by Nirvana -- This is one is a Nirvana rarity that you can find on Outcesticide 2 and a few other places. The whole song reeks of desperation … I love it.
5. "Bruise Violet" by Babes in Toyland -- Whatever happened to this now-forgotten 90s band from Minneapolis? "Bruise Violet" was lead singer Kat Bjelland's "f**k you" message to ex-best friend Courtney Love. A sample line includes "You f**king bitch! I hope your insides rot!" Why be civil when you're pissed?
6. "So Much Better Now" by Bombs for the Bored (Tucson, AZ USA) -- A nicer way to say the sentiment expressed in #5.
7. "Out of Sight" by Transceiver (Tucson, AZ USA) -- Not a song, an experience.
8. "Whatsername" by Green Day -- Is it just me, or is this somewhat sad song sort of funny?
9. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day -- Between New Orleans going under water and Sept. 11, September seems to be a jinxed month for the U.S.
10. "Take You on a Cruise" by Interpol -- This was once a happy song; now it's sad. Don't ask. Listen for yourself and test your emotions.