Red House Painters: Crazy Pony? There is a correlation between Mark Kozelek's young San Francisco band and northern California icon Neil Young's brand of power folk. Known for spare, moody navel-gazing during their tenure with 4AD, the Painters turned up the volume and put the pedal steel to the metal on their Supreme/Island debut, Songs for a Blue Guitar, which includes a few Youngian flourishes--like offbeat covers of Yes' "Long Distance Runaround" and Paul McCartney and Wings' "Silly Love Songs." Showtime is 10 p.m. Thursday, November 14, at Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109, in Tempe. The cover is $5. For details call 968-9490.
Tour of World Gymnastics Champions: Tucson's Kerri Strug, that helium-voiced midget with the heart of a lion, was originally scheduled to appear at this event, but you'll have to settle for her fellow gold-medal-winning Olympians from Atlanta--Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, Amy Chow, Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps--and others like Kim Zmeskal and John Roethlisberger. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 14, at Arizona State University Activity Center, Sixth Street and Stadium Drive in Tempe. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster; call 784-4444.
Three Tall Women: Arizona Theatre Company continues its 30th-anniversary season with Edward Albee's 1994 Pulitzer Prize winner about a well-to-do, 92-year-old widow who revisits the past, and who is revisited by the spirits of her younger self. Lawrence Sacharow directed the original New York production, and he also helmed this one. A preview's scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, November 15, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The press opening is at the same time Saturday, November 16. The rest of this week's performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, November 17; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 20. A discussion follows Sunday's matinee. The production continues through Saturday, November 30. Tickets range from $19 to $32, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222.
"Moonlight and Frank Lloyd Wright": Susan Lockhart, a member of the Taliesin Architects of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, hosts this tour/presentation, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 15, at Scottsdale's Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Cactus Road; the fee is $20, $15 for students and members of the American Institute of Architects or the Wright Foundation. The event highlights the last leg of the Architecture Week '96 commemoration, scheduled Thursday, November 14, through Saturday, November 16; see the Events listing. For general information, call 252-4200.
Angela Davis: Yes, the Angela Davis. The political activist, now a "history of consciousness" professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, speaks about "Women, Race and Prison" at 3 p.m. Friday, November 15, in Room 250 of the Agriculture Building on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Admission is free. Call 965-4399.
Leo Kottke, and Jerry Douglas: Guitarist/raconteur Kottke is much-beloved, but Douglas is the draw here. Jerry's probably the premier Dobro (i.e., lap steel) player in the world. Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, November 15, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $18 and $22, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
"Heidi Kumao: Hidden Mechanisms" and "Luca Buvoli: Silent Sight": The "mechanisms" in the work of Berkeley, California-born Kumao are largely human, and largely failings--obsession, vanity, sexism, the banality of governmental institutions, the parallel horrors of daily violence and our growing acclimation to it. The artist brings these vices to light--literally--via blunt, repetitive loops projected by zoetropes, 19th-century precursors of movie cameras. New York City's Buvoli specializes in naive, ironic works based on a line of superheroes he dreamed up while reading American comic books as a kid in Italy. "Hidden Mechanisms" opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 15, and continues through Sunday, February 2, 1997, at Arizona State University Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill, on the ASU campus in Tempe; Kumao presents a gallery talk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 19. "Silent Sight" opens with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and continues through Saturday, February 15, 1997, in the Experimental Gallery at ASU Art Museum at Matthews Center, located at the intersection of Cady and Tyler malls on the campus. Viewing is free; see the Art Exhibits listings or call 965-2787.
Los Lobos: East L.A.'s wonderful wolves are on the prowl again in support of their new Warner Bros. disc, Colossal Head; see the story on page 94. Wild Colonials share the stage. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Friday, November 15, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster; call 894-0707 or 784-4444. A free acoustic set by the Colonials precedes at 5:30 at the Zia Record Exchange store at 105 West University in Tempe; call 829-1967.
The Harlem Nutcracker: The season of hope opens on a stellar, unconventional note with the world premiere of this jazzy take on the holiday standby. Donald Byrd choreographed, and members of his ensemble, the Group, dance the ballet's roles. David Berger composed the score, and incorporated Duke Ellington's variation on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite into the piece. Ellington's sister, Ruth, and Coretta Scott King worked behind the scenes for three years to get the production staged. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets range from $19 to $30, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For details call 965-3434 or 678-2222.