Monday, January 17th, 2011

Last June, I wrote about a growing national boycott of Arizona by musicians in response to its passage of SB1070, our immigration-criminal law. The boycott was organized by Sound Strike, a coalition of musicians.

This week, we learned that Arizona activist (and possible Phoenix mayor candidate) Kimber Lanning landed a national convention of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores. One of the headliners will be the band Calexico.

To read Kimber’s letter imploring support for the February event, go here (or scroll to the bottom of this post).

For more on the story from the Republic, go here.

Here’s Kimber’s letter:

My friends,


I have worked to secure the national convention of music industry professionals here in Phoenix from Feb 2-6. We will have about 100 folks in town from around the country and we’re trying to put a good face on Arizona. Six months ago, the organizers were considering boycotting Arizona, but we convinced them to come by outlining several concerts that would be a tribute to our Latino culture and heritage, which they are all very excited to see.

Calexico is my favorite Arizona band of all time ( and that’s saying a lot since I’ve been in this business for 25 years. They do a wonderful job combining indie rock with Mariachi and their live show is simply amazing. We are doing the show at Corona Ranch (, which if you haven’t been is truly a hidden gem here in town – at the base of South Mountain, it’s everything we are proud of here in Arizona. Opening the show will be Sergio Mendoza with Salvador Duran ( and Mariachi Pasion (

I am asking all of my friends to please, please grab your partner, your family and friends, and come help us celebrate Arizona heritage with our guests from around the country. Calexico, as you may know, is very, very close to Gabby Giffords, and this will be their first appearance after the horrors in Tucson. We need to come together as Arizonans to celebrate and to heal.

If you only see one show this year, please let this be the one.

Friday, February 4th, 7 PM, tickets are available here or at Stinkweeds, Hoodlums, or Zia.

Lastly, a percentage of the proceeds will be going to Ear Candy Charity, an organization working to put musical instruments into the hands of children, which we hope will teach them compassion and tolerance. Music is the universal language, after all.

Thanks in advance, for your presence.

Kimber Lanning

P.S. please help me spread the word by inviting others I may not know who appreciate the importance of this occasion.

On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, here are a few stories with Arizona ties.

The first comes to us from the nationally significant Blawg Review. In this (usually) weekly event, a designated law blogger examines the world around him or her and posts a roundup through their own unique lens. And this week’s focus on Martin Luther King Jr. opens by noting Arizona’s recent tragic events.

Thanks to apublicdefender for a great gathering of posts. For more information on Blawg Review, including details on what’s coming up, and how to volunteer yourself for the roundup task, go here.

Closer to home, a news story in the Arizona Republic examines how the MLK Day has taken on greater meaning with the recent tragedy in Tucson.

“A state that once resisted the notion of a King holiday – and last year was the setting for a sharp-tongued debate on immigration – now finds itself in search of solace after the Jan. 8 attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the people around her outside a grocery store near Tucson.”

“The balm of choice is King, a pacifist Southern preacher whose own life was cut short by gun violence.”

Well put.

Finally, six people were honored at last week’s MLK Breakfast sponsored by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission. Those recognized range from a college professor, to a gay-rights activist, to a barber.

Read the complete story here.