Pic Hits for the week

Private Eyes: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

sunday
june 2
Coco Montoya: Coco cut his chops as drummer for Albert Collins' band before assuming his longtime role as guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, but the lefty is destined, someday soon, to be known simply as himself. Touring in support of Ya Think I'd Know Better, Montoya's second disc for the San Francisco-based Blind Pig label, the recent winner of the W.C. Handy Blues Awards' Best New Blues Artist honor performs Sunday, June 2, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9 p.m. The cover is $10. Call 265-4842.

Modern English: The British band epitomizes the term "one-hit wonder," but that hit, "I Melt With You," is a wonder. It's transcended its lame time and context--early '80s, New Wave--to become an alt-rock anthem. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 the day of the show, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Mainly Mozart Festival: See Saturday.
Private Eyes: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

monday
june 3
Road Trip: Arizona Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen in Flagstaff: Arizona Opera's general director, Glynn Ross, and maestro Henry Holt were the forefathers of Seattle's outstanding annual presentation of Der Ring, and the two have been working on this, Arizona's first presentation of the complete, four-opera Wagner cycle, for about five years. Actually, it's two presentations spread over a two-week period. The first cycle is scheduled at 8 p.m. Monday, June 3 (Das Rheingold); 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 (Die WalkYre); 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6 (Siegfried); and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8 (Gotterdammerung). The second cycle is slated for Monday, June 10; Tuesday, June 11; Thursday, June 13; and Saturday, June 15. The scene is Ardrey Auditorium on the Northern Arizona University campus, Knoles and Riordan streets. All shows are sung in German, with English surtitles. Remaining cycle packages range from $200 to $525; tickets to individual performances are available. For details call the opera's Phoenix office at 266-7464 or Dillard's at 678-2222.

Maya Angelou: The activist, actor and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie and On the Pulse of Morning reads from her works at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets are $25, available at Dillard's. For details call 944-3391 or 678-2222.

The Posies: The Seattle act specializes in non-Seattle-style pop brimming with lush melodies and gorgeous harmonies. It's not the best pop band that ever lived, and Posies fiends are still waiting for the act to top "Golden Blunders" and the song's album of origin, 1990's delirious Dear 23, but the group's always worth a listen or three. Velocity Girl, and Fuzzy share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Monday, June 3, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $7, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 967-1234 or 784-4444.

tuesday
june 4
Ani DiFranco: The analogy is imperfect, but the Buffalo-born folk/punk diva is sort of a cross between Alanis Morissette and Sinead O'Connor. Like Alanis, Ani (pronounced "AH-knee") sports a baby-doll soprano incongruously mated to a hacked-off Weltanschauung. DiFranco's similarities to O'Connor, the black rose of Eire, include an unfortunate fashion sense and--better--a pissy, pigheaded nature. The angry young Ani has refused all offers from major labels, maintaining her independence and her ability to sing lyrics like "'Fuck you' and your untouchable face/'Fuck you' for existing in the first place"--from "Untouchable Face," the opening track on Dilate, her eighth disc for her own Righteous Babe label; see the story on page 96. DiFranco performs on Tuesday, June 4, at Nile Theater, 105 West Main in Mesa. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 649-2766 or 784-4444.

Tour of World Figure-Skating Champions: Oksana Baiul, Brian Boitano, Nancy Kerrigan, Elvis Stojko, Michelle Kwan and Viktor Petrenko are scheduled to perform, along with about 25 other top blade runners, in this touring show, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $30 and $45, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Ray Charles: Hopefully, the ageless soul man will dish up a set full of standards--"What'd I Say," "I've Got a Woman," "Hallelujah, I Love Her So"--and leave the soda-pop plugs at home. Big Pete Pearson and the Blues Sevilles share the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets are $28.50 and $37, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 267-9373 or 678-2222.

Arizona Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen: See Monday.
Mainly Mozart Festival: See Saturday.

wednesday
june 5
Les Miserables: As overworked and overplayed as it is (the press kit brags that there have been "27 productions . . . in 14 languages, in 22 countries"), Les Miz still has the power to shame the best Lloyd Webber has to offer. The show's main claim to fame is that it's derived from Victor Hugo's doorstop of a novel about the French Revolution, but the true secrets of its immense success are Claude-Michel Schonberg's stellar, soaring score and Herbert Kretzmer's fine lyrics; the combination peaked on "I Dreamed a Dream," one of the most moving pieces in the musical theatre. The touring production opens with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. More shows are scheduled Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 9. Tickets range from $15 to $51, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For details call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

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