While the jury's still out over whether or not downtown Phoenix's music scene is "ovah," our city's core appears to be alive and well when it comes to culture. Need some proof to back up that statement? Take a look at the number of downtown-centric events we're hyping in this week's edition of 10 Things Under $10.
|The Sugar Thieves are scheduled to perform tonight at Civic Square Park.|
From free concerts to off-the-hook dance nights, there's many an event to participate in this weekend in and around Copper Square.
Libra Party at Stoudemire's Downtown (Friday)
If you're astrological forecast for today indicates "rewards will flow your way," chances are good that you're a Libra. And if that's the case, the promoters behind Flash Fridays are gonna make good on that particular prognostication by offering you a no-cover admission into their party tonight. It gets even better as Libra ladies will also get a free bottle of bubbly as well. Everyone else can also get in free before midnight. DJ Deuce will be on the ones and twos during the evening, so be sure to shake a tailfeather to the R&B and hip-hop tracks he'll be laying down. 9 p.m. (3 S. 2nd St., 602-579-4518).
The Sugar Thieves at Downtown Civic Space Park (Friday)
There are some pretty picturesque locations in downtown Phoenix, chief among them being the Civic Space Park. Between Janet Echelman's unique aerial creation Her Secret is Patience and the glowing columns of light, it's quite the colorful setting. Here's another major plus for the urban park: Every few weeks it's the site of an ongoing outdoor concert series where the best indie bands from the Valley scene conduct an al fresco performance. (Read Lilia Menconi's "Arty Girl" blog for more info on the other artistic activities that will be taking place at the park this evening.) Tonight's act is The Sugar Thieves, the local blues/roots ensemble featuring the über-talented Mikel Lander and Meredith Moore. The duo impressed us to no end when they showed up for an edition of the Sun Sessions and also blew away the competition during our Summer of Sound Americana show back in June. 7 p.m., free. (424 N. Central Ave.)
Dave Naz: Candids Third Friday Reception at Perihelion Arts (Friday)
"Oftentimes, the women of Barely Legal and the like are fully made up, but we like our ladies a little more au naturel. Dave Naz's "Candids" exhibit at Perihelion Arts gives voyeurs a view of the models in between shoots, doing ordinary things such as signing releases and lounging around. The L.A.-based photographer shot the images over a two-year span with a Leica film camera, sans flash, which gives the photos a grainy quality that adds to the bare-bones style of the models themselves. One such subject is porn superstar Sasha Grey, whose depiction shows her arriving to the set fully clothed." 6 p.m., free. (610 E. Roosevelt St., Unit 137, 602-334-6299) -- Nicki Escudero
Wonderland Third Friday Reception at [merz]project (Friday)
As we've told y'all time and time again, we're not above giving up a plug for our own endeavors on this blog. But out of all the parties and events we'll shilled for in the past, this one is probably the coolest (no, honest). As a part of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we asked 50 artists around town to provide their interpretations of the Valley as a Wonderland. The results were extremely impressive, which you can see for yourself during tonight's Third Friday reception in downtown Phoenix. The Phoenix Chorale, the psychedelic rockers of Psych 101, and funky electronica act The Coitus are all scheduled to perform during the evening. Oh yeah, and there will also be plenty of free coffee and iced tea served. 6 p.m. (1437 N. First St, 602-430-3223)
Murderess: The Winnie Ruth Judd Story at Trunk Space (Friday)
Traveling with friends can be murder. Agnes LeRoi and Hedvig Samuelson, two of Winnie Ruth Judd's girlfriends, found that out the hard way. Judd, after offing them in Phoenix, stuffed the two into a steamer trunk and took them on a train ride to Los Angeles. Yikes. On Friday, Trunk Space showcases Scott Coblio's magnum-opus movie Murderess: The Winnie Ruth Judd Story, based on the bizarre 1931 episode and the subsequent sensationalistic murder trial. Writer/director Coblio painstakingly created the feature-length film with marionettes and miniature sets. Using puppets as the major players is effective in conveying the weirdness of the incident, while his interspersing of vintage newspaper clippings and photos lends weight to the film. 10 p.m., $6. (1506 Grand Ave., 602-256-6006). -- Jose Gonzalez
Bob Dylan and His Band at the Arizona State Fair (Friday)
While it's true that tickets to get into the state fair start at $10, here's how to get in for less than that: Bring a Lowe's receipt with you to the front gate before 6 p.m. and receive a "buy one, get one" free deal. Once you've gained access, grab some deep fried scorpion or a funnel cake and head for the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum where you can watch folk-rock legend Bob Dylan for absolutely free. Can't beat that with a hot-dog-on-a-stick if you tried. 7 p.m. (1826 W. McDowell Rd., 602-252-6771)
Faina Lushtak at Katzin Concert Hall (Saturday)
The Soviet-born pianist (who's been lauded by the New York Times and Fanfare Magazine) offers her Musical Treasures program, which consists of works from Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Debussy, Liszt, and other selections, uh, from Russia with love. 7:30 p.m., free. (40 E. Gammage Pkwy., Tempe, 480-965-3371)
Tom Reardon's Birthday Party at Hollywood Alley (Saturday)
Local guitarist (and North Side Kings member) Tom Reardon is nothing if not prolific. The bespectacled axe-man is staring in not one, but three bands during the celebration of his big 4-0 this weekend. Besides his normal duties in Pinky Tuscadero's White Knuckle Ass Fuck and Hillbilly Devilspeak, Reardon will also be performing as a part of The Father Figures. Speaking of overworked musicians, one-man hard rock act Via Vengeance (who sings while simultaneously playing the drums and a guitar) is also on the bill. 9 p.m., $5. (2610 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, 480-820-7117).
Valley Fever at the Yucca Tap Room (Sunday)
Now that Last Exit has gone teets up, Rodney Hu's Yucca Tap Room in Tempe is one of Tempe's few remaining Meccas of music, particularly when it comes to such down-home genres as Americana and y'alternative. To wit: country music historian DJ Dana's bi-weekly outlaw county night has spun on for more than three years now. Every other Sunday night the down-home diva spin up selections from her ample music collection and welcomes local balladeers and guitar-pluckers aplenty, such as country/roots artist Tony Martinez. 8 p.m., free. (29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-967-4777)