Pic Hits for the week

thursday
august 22
Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, and Carlene Carter: This might be called the "Family Tree Tour." Pam's dad is corn-pone crooner Mel Tillis, and Lorrie also has followed in the footsteps of her singin' pop, late Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan. Carlene, the least-known and -commercial member of this trio, sports the most interesting lineage: She's the offspring of June Carter Cash and honky-tonker Carl Smith, and the stepdaughter of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. Carter's also the most impressive artist on the marquee; in contemporary Nashville style, that earns Carlene the anchor position on the bottom of the bill. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $18.50 and $21.50, available at the arena and Dillard's; proceeds benefit the Second Harvest food bank. For details call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

"Traps": The wonderful installation by light heavyweight Al Price, a former Arizona State University instructor, comprises a series of kinetic sculpture that create changing patterns of shadow and movement; see the review on page 65. The exhibit continues through Sunday, September 1, in Lower Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Viewing hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free. For details call 994-2787.

The Samples: The Boulder, Colorado, ensemble is a model of self-marketing, having sold about 500,000 copies of its numerous indie releases for the Boulder-based W.A.R.? label in the '90s. And its popularity is largely warranted; though the quartet occasionally suffers from same-sounding songs and bland, fusion-style arrangements, it's capable of achieving the sublime, as it did on the resplendent "Everytime," from The Last Drag. Now signed to MCA, and touring behind their new release, Outpost, the Samples perform on Thursday, August 22, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. The Why Store shares the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. Call 967-1234 or 784-4444.

Phoenix Firebirds: The Valley's Triple A affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its Pacific Coast League season with games against the Albuquerque Dukes at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, August 22; 7:05 p.m. Friday, August 23; 7:05 p.m. Saturday, August 24; and 6:05 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. The team's final regular-season home series is slated for Friday, August 30, through Monday, September 2, versus the Salt Lake Buzz. Tickets range from $3 to $7. For details call 275-0500.

friday
august 23
Paul Kelly: The former leader of the Australian folk-rock group the Messengers (original name: the Coloured Girls) is akin to the down under Graham Parker. Kelly's a top-drawer narrative songsmith--in fact, the title of his 1989 A&M disc So Much Water So Close to Home was borrowed from the Raymond Carver story--but, like Graham's, Kelly's vocals come closer to croaking than to singing. That's one of the factors that's kept Kelly from making serious inroads on these shores--a real shame. He performs at 9 p.m. Friday, August 23, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe; sets by Stone Bogart, and the Stumbles follow. Admission is free 'til 10, $5 after. For details call 967-1234.

The Lady's Not for Burning: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, kicks off its new season with British "blank verse" playwright Christopher Fry's offbeat, Middle Ages comedy about a disillusioned soldier and a woman bound for the stake on a charge of witchcraft. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, August 23; 8 p.m. Saturday, August 24; and 2 p.m. Sunday, August 25. More shows are planned at 8 p.m. Friday, August 30; and the same time Saturday, August 31. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and children. Call 589-2871.

"A Public Salute to Charles Barkley" featuring the Chi-Lites, and Lakeside: The busy Chuckster and former Phoenix Sun may or may not be able to attend his own bash, but he'll be feted, regardless, on Friday, August 23, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. The all-ages event features entertainment by Chicago's sinfully soulful 'Lites ("Oh Girl," "Have You Seen Her") and R&B outfit Lakeside ("Fantastic Voyage," "All the Way Live"). Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show, available at the scene and Dillard's. Call 267-9373 or 678-2222.

Bill Maher: Maher's the host of cable's Politically Incorrect, which specializes in point/counterpoint pairings of highly unlikely pairs such as Harvey Fierstein and G. Gordon Liddy. The comedian performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, August 23; and the same times Saturday, August 24, at the Improvisation, Rural and University (at Cornerstone mall) in Tempe. Tickets are $20. For details call 921-9877.

Dig: The L.A. group, named after leader Scott Hackwith's dog, commingles a mid-'70s melodic sensibility and that distorted-wall-of-guitar-and-Weltanschauung thing that rules the mid-'90s. A good example is the song "e.l.o.," from the band's new Radioactive release, Defenders of the Universe; the tune boasts a crunchy riff right out of the Jeff Lynne songbook and the decidedly un-Lynne-like refrain "It's a cold world when you're in need/And I'm a needy motherfucker." Oh, yeah; Defenders also includes an appropriately sludgy tribute titled "White Sabbath." Possum Dixon, and Yum Yum share the bill on Friday, August 23, at Nita's Hideaway, 1816 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $7, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 967-9531 or 784-4444.

Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
"Traps": See Thursday.

saturday
august 24
Road Trip: Terry Riley, and California E.A.R. Unit at Arcosanti: Ambient/minimalist musician Riley has composed works for Kronos Quartet ("Cadenza on the Night Plain," "Salome Dances for Peace") and the St. Louis Symphony ("The Jade Palace"). He joins new-music ensemble California E.A.R. Unit onstage at the Colly Soleri Music Center, located at architect Paolo Soleri's futuristic settlement in the high desert. The artists will perform a program of new works by young American composers. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, August 24; dinner precedes at 6:30 in the facility's cafe. Arcosanti is located off I-17 at Cordes Junction, near the town of Mayer, about 70 miles north of Phoenix. Tickets are $12.50, $25 for the meal and the concert; reservations are required for dinner. For details call Arcosanti at 1-520-632-7135 or Cosanti Foundation in Paradise Valley at 254-5309.

Beth Hart Band: Hart, an L.A. High School for the Performing Arts dropout, is in the same general neighborhood--if not even approximately the same league--as Cindy "Finally Rockin'" Bullens. Beth has Bullens' hard-driving energy and a funky, supple voice, but the singer/pianist's pretty young, and the songs on Hart's Lava/Atlantic debut, Immortal, reflect her inexperience. They also show her potential; a notable example is the slower "Summer Is Gone." Beth and crew perform on Saturday, August 24, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Dead Hot Workshop, and Elephant Ride share the bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is free 'til 10 p.m., $5 after. For details call 967-1234.

The Lady's Not for Burning: See Friday.
Bill Maher: See Friday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
"Traps": See Thursday.

sunday
august 25
Brian Setzer Orchestra: The guitarist and former Stray Cat struts at the head of this swinging, 17-piece ensemble, which merges rockabilly and hot jazz. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets are $22.75, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 267-9373 or 678-2222.

"If You Left Here, You'd Be Somewhere Else Now": Waxahachie, Texas' Bill Daniel and San Francisco's Greta Snider are behind this touring package of 16mm shorts that fall within a subgenre the two filmmakers call "reality-based personal cinema." Translation: The pieces are odd and lo-fi, and they were made on the ultracheap. Titles to be screened include Advice to Adventurous Girls, Texaslovakia, Hokey Stoke, Portland and World of Women. Showtime is 8 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at Metropophobobia, 621 North Third Street. Admission is a requested donation of $3. For details call 252-9851.

REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Peter Frampton: Imagine the raving madness this lineup would have engendered in, say, the summer of '77. Showtime is 7 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets range from $17.50 to $35, available at Ticketmaster. Call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

Arizona Blues Showdown: Phoenix Blues Society sponsors the finals of the sixth annual gathering of state bluesicians. The winners of last week's preliminaries--Dave Taylor and the Poor Richard Band, Bad News Blues Band, Dr. Fish Blues Band, the Lynwood Flyers, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters, and Sistah Blue--vie for a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, for October's International Blues Talent Competition. Hours are 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, August 25, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $6. Call 265-4842 or 252-0599.

The Lady's Not for Burning: See Friday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
"Traps": See Thursday.

monday
august 26
Indigo Girls: Peachy Georgians Amy Ray and Emily Saliers harmonize once more at an outdoor show scheduled on Monday, August 26, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Kris McKay shares the bill. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $23.50 in advance, $24.50 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices. Call 644-2560 or 678-2222.

"Traps": See Thursday.

tuesday
august 27
Barenaked Ladies: The all-male Toronto quartet specializes in wacky romps ("Brian Wilson," "Alternative Girlfriend," "If I Had a Million Dollars") and upbeat ditties about downbeat stuff ("The Old Apartment," "This Is Where It Ends"). Touring behind their new Reprise disc, Born on a Pirate Ship, the Ladies perform on Tuesday, August 27, at Red River Opry, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Frente shares the stage. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.65 in advance, $19.20 the day of the show, available at the scene and Dillard's. Call 829-6779 or 678-2222.

81U2 Souvenirs: The Austin group, named after Fellini's film 81U2, plays a new strain of cafe jazz self-described as "stray swing" and fashioned out of things that normally don't go together: leader Olivier Giraud's French musical education and the group's immersion in the indie mindset of the Texas capital. The Souvenirs return to the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, for a follow-up to their April show at the venue. Flathead opens at 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 27. The cover is $6. Call 265-4842.

"Traps": See Thursday.

wednesday
august 28
Boz Scaggs: Boz's recent disc Some Change breathed new life into his career, though, unlike many of his '70s peers, Scaggs never really fell out of favor; he just immersed himself in the ownership duties at his popular Bay Area nightspot, Slim's. Boz plays the big hits and the nonhits, old and new, on Wednesday, August 28, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $40, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 262-7272 or 678-2222.

Michael Lindemann: The author/futurist speaks on "UFOs and the Global Situation" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 28, at the National Guard Armory at 5636 East McDowell, as part of the monthly chapter meeting of Arizona MUFON (Mutual UFO Network). Admission is $10. For details call 840-1379.

"Traps": See Thursday

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