Four Valley photographers--Tim Lanterman, James Leland, Bill Timmerman and John Wagner--were given a nice narrow theme to explore: "America." The resulting exhibition, called "American Photographs," continues through Friday, July 31, in the central gallery of the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central. New Times staff photographer Doug Hoeschler rates these guys very highly. 262-4636.
In a rare standup performance, Saturday Night Live alumnus Rob Schneider, best known as the cheery "Richmeister," performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 9; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, July 10; the same times Saturday, July 11; and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone mall). Tickets range from $12 to $15. 921-9877.
The same year that Arizona became a state--1912--artist and architect Lon Megargee was commissioned to create a series of 15 paintings for the State House. These works, which depict Arizona life, are included in the exhibit "The Works of Lon Megargee: Preservation of a State Treasure." It opens Thursday, July 9, at the Arizona Hall of Fame Museum, located in the Carnegie Library building, 1101 West Washington, and continues through April 1999. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; admission is free. 255-2110.
Texas guitarist Anson Funderburgh and blind, Mississippi Delta-born vocalist/harmonica player Sam Myers have developed a special kinship in their decade-plus together, and the musical kinship seems to deepen with the years. Backed up by the Rockets, they perform on Thursday, July 9, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, touring behind their Black Top CD That's What They Want. Showtime is 9 p.m.; the cover is $8. 265-4842.
Fishy doings in tiny Tuna, Texas, find their way to the Valley stage once again, in yet another mounting of Greater Tuna, the ever-popular wacky comedy by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. Bob Sorensen and Jon Gentry play all of the town's denizens--women, men, children and animals alike--in the production, directed by Jim Lindy. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 10; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at the Viad Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central. Tickets are available at Dillard's for $17.50 and $21.50. 254-2151, 503-5555.
There's a sound strategy behind the work of author Karen Kallet--if you don't want to be bothered with cooking, a good approach is to do it so wretchedly that others will live in fear of ever tasting your cuisine again. Kallet's new book When I Cook, They Run: The Art of Miserable Meal Making is "a how-not-to guide for the new bride, the working mother, bachelor or grandmother and anyone else fed up with cooking." Kallet will be present for a book-signing and--for the courageous--recipe tasting at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale. Admission is free; bring Alka-Seltzer. 391-0048.
Two shows open at 11 East Ashland on Saturday, July 11--one, a photo installation by Alabama-based artist and photographer Deborah Edwards, continues through Saturday, August 22. The other features new acquisitions to the space's permanent collection by such artists as Joe Hendricks, Len Harris, Steven Helffrich, Ron Crawford, Erastes Cinaedi, John Lynch, Paul Devine, Manesta, Sandra Israel, Laura Mumby, Daniel Maier-Cook, Frank Sargent Mell and Frank Pawlowski. 11 East Ashland (off Central, two blocks south of Virginia). Both shows open with a reception from 8 to 11 p.m., featuring live music and cool refreshments. 257-8543.
Tattoo won't be there to greet "de plane," alas, but the Fantasy Island Singles Party by Calculated Couples should still be fun--in addition to the dancing, raffles and "personal ad wall" that are usual to the organization's events, the evening will include hula and limbo contests and "free leis" (huh-huh, huh-huh). Recommended dress, naturally, includes "Hawaiian shirts, shorts, sarongs, flip-flops." The party starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the Holiday Inn Old Town Scottsdale, 7353 East Indian School. Admission is $8, $7 with a donation of canned food for Valley food banks. 230-4172.
Though it started out as an atonal noise band--veteran of the 1995 Lollapalooza tours and two consecutive Reading Festivals in England--The Jesus Lizard has been known, over the years, to incorporate actual melodies, vocals and textures without sacrificing its essence, which is not the way these things generally go. The Divine Saurian crawls up onto the stage Sunday, July 12, at Boston's, 910 North McClintock in Tempe, in support of its Capitol CD Blue. The show starts at 8 p.m.; Firewater, Seven Storey Mountain and--who else?--Hillbilly Devilspeak share the all-ages bill. Tickets are $8, available at Stinkweeds Record Exchange, 1250 East Apache, Suite 109, in Tempe, and at Boston's on the day of the show. 921-7343.
West Coast comedienne turned Minneapolis-based author Lorna Landvik follows up her debut novel Patty Jane's House of Curl with a new work, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, a comic tale of small-town Minnesota. She reads from and signs the book at 7 p.m. Monday, July 13, at the Tempe Square location of Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe. Admission is free. 730-0205.
It's Bastille Day--the anniversary of the day in 1789 when partisans of the National Assembly stormed the notorious prison, constructed in the 1300s to house political enemies of Cardinal Richelieu, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. How to celebrate this triumph of common people over aristocratic tyranny? How about a visit to a swanky bakery? La Madeleine offers a complimentary piece of Liberty Tart, through Tuesday, July 14. Visitors may also enter a drawing for a gift basket of Madeleine goodies such as tomato basil soup, caesar salad dressing and coffee beans. A winner will be drawn at each of the three Madeleine's locations: between 7 and 9:30 a.m. at 3102 East Camelback; between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Fashion Square, Scottsdale Road and Camelback in Scottsdale; and from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Tatum Shea, 10625 North Tatum. "Marie Antoinette" and "Louis XIV" are scheduled to make personal appearances. Shilling for a bakery! Ah, how the mighty have fallen. 966-8271.
Cecil "Skelly" Spence, Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin and Albert "Apple" Craig, the original members of Israel Vibration, first met at the Mona Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica, where they had been placed because all three had polio. Apple has since moved on to a solo career, but Skelly and Wiss are still on the road with their roots reggae and its Rasta message. They perform on Tuesday, July 14, at Jackson Hole, 1 East Jackson. Tickets are $16, $18 the day of the show. Showtime is 8 p.m.; the Roots Radics Band, and The Scofflaws share the all-ages bill. 530-8797.
According to Tower Pulse, "in an era when death metal bands are either watering down their sound or taking it so far over the top that it no longer resembles music, the world needs more bands like Brutal Truth." Yes, whenever I think of what the world needs now, what leaps to mind before "love" or "tolerance" or "peace" is "more quality death metal bands." This answer to our prayers, touring behind its relapse album Sounds of the Animal Kingdom, plays at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, at the Big Fish Pub, 1954 East University in Tempe. Tickets are $7. 966-5010.