Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard to Show Collages at Modified Arts in Phoenix

Robert Pollard
See art from Pollard, including Dramatic Center Of Interest, at Modified Arts.

There are few people in popular music today as prolific as Robert Pollard. Pollard is best known as the leader of the influential indie rock band Guided by Voices, lo-fi legends whose albums are densely packed with pocket-sized exercises in hooky rock magic, and he's also released a steady stream of solo recordings and offshoot projects such as the Boston Spaceships, the Circus Devils, Lifeguards, and the Keene Brothers. The fact that Pollard has released 25 solo albums between 1996 and 2013 says a lot; that Guided by Voices has put out three box sets of unreleased material with 100 songs each says even more.

You'd think that Pollard would be creatively spent with that sort of musical output, but you'd be wrong. Pollard also creates the cover artwork for most of his albums, collages that use found elements to create images every bit as striking as his music. The psychedelic drum on the cover of Alien Lanes, the trains snaking out of a gentleman's mouth on Standard Gargoyle Decisions, or the detourned Native American images of Under the Bushes, Under the Stars reveal that Pollard's visual ideas are as canny as his musical instincts.

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Tommy Chong Wants to Get High with Paul McCartney

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Paul Mobley
Cheech & Chong are still on top of the comedy scene after all these years.

The last true carryovers from the counterculture will bring their time-tested comedy and musical routine to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino on Saturday, April 12. Cheech & Chong are as entertaining and relevant as ever -- even though the taboo nature of marijuana has significantly dissipated. Fans can expect the Cheech & Chong they have grown to love, but they also should be ready for some new material from the duo.

There are few entertainers who can say their act has truly appealed to every new generation over a 40-year span, but Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong's fame has remained a staple in pop culture from their original films and albums to projects like Nash Bridges and That '70s Show. Jackalope Ranch recently spoke with Chong about the swirling rumors of a new movie in the works, what is left on his bucket list (spoiler alert: he wants to get high with Paul McCartney), and legalizing his favorite plant.

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Authors Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty to Sign Latest Books at Scottsdale's Poisoned Pen

Courtesy of Minotaur Books and Viking Adult
On Tuesday, Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty will sign their latest books in a joint event in Scottsdale.

Mystery writers Nevada Barr and Keith McCafferty have never met, but they are members of a two-person society of mutual admiration that spans nearly three years and several states. Barr is a celebrated novelist who's written 18 books featuring a national parks ranger named Anna Pigeon. McCafferty is a Field & Stream editor working on his fourth novel, the latest in his critically acclaimed series about fly fisherman turned citizen deputy Sean Stranahan.

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Director Steven Knight on Why Locke Is No Ordinary Thriller

Courtesy of A24.
Steven Knight's takes an unconventional approach to drama and suspense in Locke.
The Phoenix Film Festival kicks off a week long of movies and parties tonight with the screening of Steven Knight's Locke. With Tom Hardy as the lead and only visible actor in the film, which takes place in real time over an hour-and-a-half drive through the U.K., the film has the star power behind it to gain some major buzz. While the trailer pegs the movie as a thriller, Knight explains why audiences checking the film out at the festival shouldn't expect explosions, death threats, or assassinations from his film.

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Chelsea Handler on Uganda Be Kidding Me and Why She Can't Leave Late Night

Melissa Holt
Handler waves on the set of her E! late night show, Chelsea Lately.

Chelsea Handler just released her fourth book Uganda Be Kidding Me -- fifth, if you count the book she edited that was written by her friends about her, called Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me. Lucky for us, she's stopping in Phoenix on her tour to promote the book, which kicked off in New York City on March 4 with an interview with Ronan Farrow.

Handler performs at Comerica Theatre Saturday, March 22, and, in anticipation of her visit, we chatted with Handler over the phone (on her birthday) about what she wants to do going forward and why she felt the time was right to speak out after Bill Carter's controversial New York Times piece on late night comedians, in which Handler -- the only woman in late night -- was mentioned only in parentheses.

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Veronica Mars Movie Features Arizona Actor Duane Daniels

Courtesy image
Duane Daniels photographed with Kristen Bell on the set of the Veronica Mars movie.
"A long time ago, we used to be friends."

So goes The Dandy Warhols' "We Used to Be Friends," the theme song to the canceled teen neo-noir drama Veronica Mars.

For fans of the TV show, Friday, March 14's release of the film continuation of the story is something of a reunion with old friends they haven't seen since 2007.

For Arizona actor Duane Daniels, the film is exactly that.

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Artist Sarah Hurwitz on the Great Canal Monster and Why Sky Harbor Is Her Favorite Place in Phoenix

Sarah Hurwitz
Hurwitz illustrated this year's pocket guide to Phoenix.

Arizona native, artist and new mom Sarah Hurwitz brought her singularly imaginative style to this year's Quick PHX (our annual pocket guide to the city) -- and answered a few questions, too.

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NASCAR Driver Blake Koch Talks ESPN Controversy and Racing Sans Major Sponsors

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy of Tristar Motorsports
Blake Koch is working on moving up from NASCAR's Nationwide Series to the Sprint Cup.

NASCAR driver Blake Koch started his 88th Nationwide Series race and his second Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway this past weekend. Being a young driver without a major sponsor has its ups and downs, and, for Koch, last weekend was mostly the latter. On Saturday, he had to park his car after three laps into the Nationwide event because of vibrations (finishing 39th), and on Sunday, he finished 37th in the Sprint Cup race.

Koch has spent the past five years climbing through the ranks of the sport, starting out as a development driver for the regional K&N West Series before making the jump to the Nationwide Series (NASCAR's equivalent to baseball's AAA minor leagues). In 2011, he finished as the runner up to Timmy Hill for the Nationwide Rookie of the Year award.

Then, in 2012, Koch found himself in the middle of a controversy when ESPN decided not to run an advertisement in which Koch urged NASCAR fans to "rise up and vote" because the ad violated the network's stance against running commercials with religious or political messages.

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WWE's Kofi Kingston on CM Punk, Walking Dead, The WWE Network, and His Royal Rumble Escapes

Courtesy of WWE
WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston spends so much time airborne, the acrobatic WWE Superstar oughta have wings -- or even a pilot's license. Whenever the 28-year-old professional wrestler graces the squared circle on episodes of WWE's Raw or Smackdown programs, his feet seem to spend more time in the air instead of planted firmly on the canvas.

Kingston's repertoire contains a slew of spectacular-looking leaps, dives, and flips, which the 6-foot, 212-pound wrestler unleashes upon his opponents. That includes such signature maneuvers as the "SOS" and "Boom Drop," as well as his finishing move (a conceit of every grappler) known as "Trouble in Paradise."

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Artist James B. Hunt Is Hiding 23 Bird Paintings in Tempe; Go Find Them

This Sunday artist James B. Hunt wants to give you the bird -- 23 of them, to be precise. Hunt, who also goes by NXOEED, plans to perch his bird paintings all around Tempe for anyone to seek and find.

And once you find a painting, it's yours to keep.

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