More distaff soul: Austin, Texas, blues sidewoman/songwriter Sarah Brown has played with Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, James Cotton, Dr. John, Memphis Slim and Earl King. Her knack for augmenting the talents of those around her has won her the right to step out in front of the center mike. Brown and her band take the stage at 9 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $3. 265-4842.
Somewhere between Mi Familia and The Road Warrior falls The Mexterminator Project, a performance/installation "techno-diorama" at MARS Artspace. Performers Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Roberto Sifuentes become "ethno-cyborgs" who "cede their will" to the audience. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24; and the same time Saturday, April 25. 126 South Central in the Luhrs building. Admission is $5. 253-3541.
A cozier, countrier version of the Arizona State Fair, the 23rd annual Maricopa County Fair kicks off from noon to midnight Friday, April 24, and continues through Sunday, May 3, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Highlights include carnival rides and games on the midway; Swifty Swine Racing and Swimming Pigs; a Wild Science exhibit; and motorized events including a demolition derby; and the usual array of agriculture and livestock competitions and exhibits. Admission is $5, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, under 6 are free. For a daily schedule, call 252-0717.
A fashion show, cultural exhibits, entertainment, dance and martial arts demonstrations and more are featured at the second annual Arizona Asian-American Festival--highlights include a Taiko Drum performance and a "Children's Wonderland" with calligraphy, origami and other demonstrations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 24; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25; and the same hours Sunday, April 26, at Patriots Square, Central and Washington. Admission is free. 971-8933.
Young paleo-heads will have a hard time resisting the title of singer/songwriter Lynn Lynton's new Fresh Thyme CD: There's a Dinosaur in the Backyard. Lynton plays a free concert from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Heritage Square, located at Heritage and Science Park, Seventh Street and Washington. Included in the show, which is interpreted in American Sign Language, is a performance by kids from the extended education program of Movement Source Dance Company, as well as audience participation, face painting, an inflatable "dino-jump," magic, crafts, clowns, balloon sculpting and a raffle. Proceeds from the sale of Lynton's CDs and tapes will go to the nonprofit Free Arts for Abused Children.
Though it's billed as an all-ages show, Reverend Horton Heat is probably advisable for a slightly older crowd than Lynton's. The honorific is ironic: The irreverent rocker from Dallas, Texas, is the opposite of a holy man, but Horton will restore your faith in rockabilly. Hallelujah. Voodoo Glowskulls and Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys share the bill on Saturday, April 25, at Hayden Square Amphitheatre, Fourth Street and Mill in Tempe. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.50 in advance, $17 the day of the show, available at Dillard's and, the evening of the show only, at the scene. 503-5555.
Migraine-sufferer Susan Olsen, a.k.a. Cindy Brady of The Brady Bunch, presents a patient education program for those with the affliction at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 25. She's only one of the oddball assortment of celebs on hand at the Arizona's Family Women's Expo--others include keynote speakers Mary Hart, B. Smith and Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter. The sixth annual event also features health and beauty tips, cooking demos, etc. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 25; and the same on Sunday, April 26, in exhibit halls A through D at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Admission is $7; seniors and Safeway Club Card holders get $1 off; kids under 5 are free; proceeds benefit Arizona's Family Charities. 207-3825; 1-800-373-4503 (migraine info).
The little freshwater lobster with the big taste is celebrated at Crawfest '98. The 12th annual fund raiser features entertainment, a silent auction and tons of food. It's set for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at Club Rio, 430 North Scottsdale Road in Tempe. Tickets, available at Ticketmaster, are $25 in advance, $30 at the door; proceeds benefit Phoenix Day child-development center. 784-4444.
Could an unrecognized allergy or environmental sensitivity be at the root of your kid's ADD or other learning disability? Dr. Doris Rapp, author of several books about children and environmental health concerns, explains how it's possible in this lecture at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, 7601 East Indian Bend in Scottsdale. Tickets are $25; $45 for two people. 970-8543.