Calendar for the week

Yo-Yo Ma: The world-premier cellist joins the Phoenix Symphony--conducted by its now-permanent music director, Hermann Michael--for a performance of Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B minor as part of the symphony's "opening-night celebration" on Saturday, September 20, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. (The orchestra's true season openers, sans Ma, are slated for Thursday, September 18; and Friday, September 19. See the Sounds listing in Thrills.) The concert starts at 8 p.m.; a cocktail party precedes at 6:30, and a bash featuring a Ma appearance follows. Concert-only tickets range from $20 to $45, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's (call 495-1999 or 503-5555). A limited number of "celebration" tix are available for $100 a pop (call 495-1117, extension 335).

"That Damn Show!" featuring the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Offspring, the Artificial Joy Club, the Bloodhound Gang, and Our Lady Peace: A who's who of the alt-crossover scene, the fest, sponsored by KEDJ-FM ("The Edge" 106.3/100.3), also features scheduled performances by Buck-O-Nine, Goldfinger, Soul Coughing, the Voodoo Glow Skulls, and the Phunk Junkeez. Make a point to check out the Joy Club and its one-named singer Sal; the Canadian group plays acid-heartbreak pop brimming with junk-culture nods. Showtime is noon Saturday, September 20, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets are $20, available at Ticketmaster; call 784-4444.

Danilo Perez: Postbop Panamanian Perez was a semifinalist in 1989's Thelonious Monk Competition; today, he's one of the top jazzmen in circulation, an assessment supported by the quality of his '96 homage to Thelonious, PanaMonk. The pianist performs and signs copies of the disc at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 20, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. Admission is free (call 957-6660). Perez is joined by his trio for shows at 7:30 and 9:30 that evening at the intimate, newly renovated Sotto at Che Bella Tuscan Grill and Bakery, also at Biltmore Fashion Park. Tickets for the evening shows cost $15 in advance, $18.50 the day of, available at the venue and Ticketmaster (call 956-5705 or 784-4444).

Basically Balanchine: See Friday.
Coco Fusco and Nao Bustamante: See Friday.
"Inescapable Histories": See Thursday.

sunday
september 21
Rage Against the Machine, and the Foo Fighters: Radical metal band Rage--"radical metal" might seem oxymoronic, but some of the most rad of notions have exited metal heads--is exactly as billed: a balled fist of anger aimed at the skulls of corporate greed meisters. The group's album deal with one of the cogs in the corporate machine, Epic, adds ironic spice. Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters, though on the outs with some critics because their latest, The Colour and the Shape, isn't in the same league as their self-titled debut, remain unmatched in the (admittedly narrow) field of grunge/pop. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 21, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets are $20, available at Ticketmaster. Call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

Basically Balanchine: See Friday.
"Inescapable Histories": See Thursday.

monday
september 22
"Harkins Classic Movie Festival": A precursor to the Valley cinema chain's annual best-deal-in-town "Anniversary Film Festival" (coming up next week), this fund raiser for the United Way features the same flicks--Giant, Lawrence of Arabia, Vertigo, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cabaret--though, in the aforementioned good cause, at significantly higher prices. The "Classic" fest takes over Scottsdale's Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, September 22. Admission to each screening is $15; all proceeds go to the nonprofit. For more information, see Showtimes or call 263-7701 or 423-9900.

"Inescapable Histories": See Thursday.

tuesday
september 23
Pavement: This California-born quintet's the second chess-espousing group to hit the market this week. The first is Wu-Tang Clan (see Saturday), which uses the game to sharpen its collective claws for its real passion: the art of war. Except for their apocryphal fistfight with Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Priestley, the Pavement guys just like to play--metaphor intended. Leader Stephen Malkmus is often compared to R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe--early Stipe--but for an odd reason. Murmur-era Mike was the master of vocal mumblety-peg--his lyrics, though abstract to the extreme, made a mad sort of sense if you could suss out the actual words he was singing; Malkmus' diction is comparatively decent, but the meaning of the Dadaist gibberish he spouts is willfully opaque. And here's another metaphor that almost works: Pavement's new disc, the Mitch Easter-produced Brighten the Corners, might be as close as any act from this generation of alt-rockers comes to the elegiac, deep-garage-pop benchmark established by Murmur--another Easter production. See the story on page 98. The Geraldine Fibbers open the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. Call 967-1234 or 784-4444.

"Inescapable Histories": See Thursday.

wednesday
september 24
Super Deluxe: If the garage pop of Pavement (see Tuesday) references R.E.M., the Fall and the Velvet Underground, Braden Blake's Seattle foursome hero-worships the studio sheen of the Posies and Queen. After Pavement, it's hard to readjust the ears to light mode--the setting required for extended listening to SD's latest disc, via satellite--but the band does what it does pretty well. Lucky Me opens the all-ages show at 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 24, in the Fender Showcase Room at the Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $5, available at Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

"Inescapable Histories": See Thursday.

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