Calendar for the week

thursday
july 17
"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": The former exhibit, organized by Fort Worth, Texas' Amon Carter Museum, features 117 paintings and photos of the Colorado Plateau region dating from the mid-19th century to the late 20th, including 46 recently rediscovered and never-before-displayed watercolors by Prussia-born adventurer/naturalist Heinrich Balduin Msllhausen. The latter installation, sponsored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and subtitled "Photographs of the Developing West, 1849 to the Present," includes more than 200 works by the likes of William Henry Jackson, Timothy O'Sullivan, Skeet McAuley, A.J. Russell, Robert Adams and Frank Gohlke. "Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier" continue through Sunday, September 28, in the Steele Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central; PAM's Heather Northway hosts free, related gallery talks titled "The Evolution of Documentary Photography" at 12:15 and 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays). Special admission, to the Steele Gallery only, is $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and children age 6 and up, free for younger kids and members; entry is free to all from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays. For details call 257-1880 or 257-1222.

Scott Thompson: Thompson's a once and, perhaps, future member of Canada's Kids in the Hall comedy troupe and the co-star of that ensemble's big-screen debut, last year's Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. He's also made his mark on the tube (the out-of-the-closet actor portrays Garry Shandling's gay assistant on cable's The Larry Sanders Show) and on the Web (he's the "megalomaniac" ruler of a virtual nation he calls "ScottLand"; the address is www.scottland.com); see the story on page 61. Scott's scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, July 18; 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, July 19; and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, Rural and University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets are $12 and $15. For details call 921-9877.

Loot: The promising Ensemble Theatre has cut its teeth on darkly humorous offerings about patently unfunny stuff, like Paula Vogel's AIDS fantasy The Baltimore Waltz and Israel Horovitz's absurdist character study Line. The troupe continues the tradition with this black farce about institutional and societal wickedness, penned by late British playwright Joe Orton (with a nod to Mark Twain) and centered on a ne'er-do-well who stashes stolen funds in his recently deceased mum's casket and parks mum's remains in a nearby armoire. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 17; 8 p.m. Friday, July 18; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 19; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 20; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. The production continues through Sunday, July 27. Tickets are $22.50, $18 for students and seniors, available at the center and Ticketmaster; call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Bloodhound Gang: Jimmy Pop Ali and his rude-white-boy hip-hop crew are funny, fearless and, in their boorish way, even a little poetic. Still touring behind the disc One Fierce Beer Coaster, Philly's B Gang returns on Thursday, July 17, for a concert at the Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Sevendust, and Mollies Revenge share the stage. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12, available at the club and Ticketmaster; call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

"New Play Cabaret": Actors Theatre of Phoenix sponsors this second annual series of staged readings of new works by members of the Arizona-based Writers Circle. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The schedule is as follows: Gus Edwards' Drought Country on Thursday, July 17; Wendy Myers' And the Second Step Squeaks on Friday, July 18; Rebecca Million's Nebraska on Saturday, July 19; and Guillermo Reyes' The HisPanick Zone on Sunday, July 20. Nightly admission is $5. For details call 252-8497.

Boz Scaggs: The urbane-soul man made a comeback, of sorts, with his 1994 album Some Change, which found the musician in a more gritty, less elegant mood than usual. Touring in support of his new disc, Come On Home, Scaggs is scheduled Thursday, July 17, at Union Hall, Sixth Street and Van Buren. (Scaggs' old Texas bandmate, Steve Miller, is also in town this week; see Sunday.) San Diego's Larry Mitchell Band opens for Boz at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $21 to $41, available at the hall and Dillard's; call 253-7100 or 503-5555.

friday
july 18
"H.O.R.D.E. Festival '97" featuring Neil Young and Crazy Horse: "H.O.R.D.E." stands for "Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere"; Neil Young and Crazy Horse stand for smart, passionate rock nonpareil. Metaphorically and, in some ways, literally, the historically laid-back fest has pumped up the volume in its sixth year; the strong supporting cast includes Primus, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Morphine, the Ben Folds Five, Leftover Salmon, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Sky Cries Mary. Showtime is 4 p.m. Friday, July 18, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets are $25.25 and $33.25, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

Ann Peebles: The East St. Louis native was one raw soul sister in the '70s, waxing classic and near-classic sides like "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down," "I Can't Stand the Rain," "(I Feel Like) Breaking Up Somebody's Home" and "99 Pounds" for Memphis' Hi label. Her sound was both timeless and ahead of its time. Ann's most recent disc, the too-polished Fill This World With Love, lacks the sharp sense of sexual innuendo Ann brought to her early sessions; the live but mannered version of "99 Pounds" included on Fill This World gets its ass righteously stomped by the singer's flammable, from-the-gut studio take of '72. But make no mistake: The pint-size Peebles can still rock the mike, and she undoubtedly will on Friday, July 18, with support from her 10-piece band, which includes the original Hi battery of drummer Howard "Bulldog" Grimes and bassist Leroy "Flick" Hodges. Dave Cook and Intensity open at 9 p.m. at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $8. For details call 265-4842.

Arizona Internet and Computer Expo: Techies, Trekkies, Webheads and average schmos lost in cyberspace converge at this inaugural event, slated for 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 18; and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in Exhibit Hall D at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Admission is $7. For details call 491-8373 or 262-7272.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Probably the best thing about the San Francisco band is its name, an impertinent paean to late Rolling Stone Brian Jones and Jim Jones' poison-punch-swilling Guyana bunch. BJM's sound will appeal to those who like the notion of flowery, mop-top-era psychedelia mated with stark, end-of-millennium nihilism. Colfax Abbey, and the Suicide Kings share the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, July 18, at Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. The cover is $7. Call 820-7117.

"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": See Thursday.
Loot: See Thursday.
"New Play Cabaret": See Thursday.
Scott Thompson: See Thursday.

saturday
july 19
Son Volt: No musician since Gram Parsons has received, or deserved, as much credit for inching rock back toward its roots as Son Volt guitarist/vocalist Jay Farrar. That's a mouthful, but one that's warranted based on Farrar's rich vein of alt.-Americana songs, one he mined with Uncle Tupelo prior to founding Son Volt; see the story on page 90. Touring behind their second disc, Straightaways, Farrar and company perform Saturday, July 19, at the Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Varnaline shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Antiques Roadshow Live: The city-hopping PBS series, which bills its mission as a "national search for America's hidden treasures," offers gratis appraisals of vintage valuables by experts from auction houses like Sotheby's, Christie's, and Butterfield & Butterfield. Prepping for its second season, the Roadshow hits the Valley on Saturday, July 19; the event's free and open to all collectible-bearing comers, but only those with rare or unusual items are likely to receive air time when the Phoenix show screens (in January '98 or thereafter). Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. For details call 1-888-762-3749 or 262-7272.

The Monkees: The most talented--hell, the only talented--Monkee, Michael Nesmith, is sitting out this tour whilst purportedly "working on plans for a new Monkees feature film." That leaves Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, a six-piece backing band and some fairly steep ticket prices, considering. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. The tix are $27 and $37, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 267-1600 or 503-5555.

Arizona Internet and Computer Expo: See Friday.
"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": See Thursday.
Loot: See Thursday.
"New Play Cabaret": See Thursday.
Scott Thompson: See Thursday.

sunday
july 20
Steve Miller Band: Guitarist Miller's hanging this summer's tour on a couple of pretty slim hooks: the 20th anniversary of the singles "Jet Airliner" and "Jungle Love" and the 15th anniversary of "Abracadabra." Fellow Texas ax man Eric Johnson opens. Showtime is 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets range from $15.50 to $40.25, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

Arizona Blues Showdown: The Phoenix Blues Society sponsors the seventh annual gathering of state bluesicians, who vie for a trip to Memphis for October's International Blues Talent Competition; the Valley's Sistah Blue placed second overall in last year's International. This year's preliminary rounds are scheduled at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The top three acts from each session return for the finals, slated for 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the same venue. The cover is $5 for the prelims, $6 for the finals. For details call 265-4842 or 252-0599.

"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": See Thursday.
Loot: See Thursday.
"New Play Cabaret": See Thursday.
Scott Thompson: See Thursday.

monday
july 21
Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz: Part two of this documentary about Alfred Lion's groundbreaking Blue Note label, produced by the Bravo! cable channel, screens at 7 p.m. Monday, July 21, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. Admission is free. For details call 957-6660.

tuesday
july 22
Phoenix Mercury: The Women's National Basketball Association franchise is coached and managed by one of the top female b-ball players of all time, Cheryl Miller. The Mercury continues its first season, in the WNBA's inaugural year, with a game against the Houston Comets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. The team's next home game is at 6 p.m. Friday, July 25, versus the Los Angeles Sparks. Tickets range from $8 to $25, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 252-9622, 379-7800 or 503-5555.

"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": See Thursday.

wednesday
july 23
"Trash Disco": Celebrating the '70s and that decade's attendant buzz words--"polyester," "platform shoes," "the Bee Gees," et al.--the "Disco" ball happens Wednesday, July 23; and each Wednesday at Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. Admission is free. For details call 994-4168.

"Canyonland Visions" and "Crossing the Frontier": See Thursday.
Loot: See Thursday.

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