This Week's Day-by–Day Picks

Thursday, June 19
Rather than fight or flee the heat, the folks at SIX are handling it in a Zenlike way, starting up a weekly party to make the best of it. SummerSoul, "a celebration of summer lifestyle," is all about kickin' it to the laid-back sounds of reggae, funk and soul infused with hip-hop, every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Enhancing that vaguely Jamaican vibe are $2 Red Stripe beer, sangria and rum punch. SIX, 7316 East Stetson in Scottsdale. Visit www.6az.com or call 480-663-6620 for information.

Friday, June 20
Downtown grooves on the third Friday of every month when the Paper Heart Gallery holds an artist reception with live jazz improv from OFF/AXIS. Scope out the art, dig the band, and treat yourself to a strong espresso at the in-house coffee bar (since there's no cover charge for the show). The evening starts at 8 p.m. at the Paper Heart, 222 North Fifth Avenue. To find out more, visit www.thepaperheart.com or call 602-262-2020.

Saturday, June 21
Valley music lovers will probably be a little heartbroken after Saturday, June 21, when The Hypno-Twists perform their last local show. No, these psychedelic garage rockers aren't breaking up -- they're just moving to Boston. But before they head out, they're giving their devoted Phoenix fan base something to remember them by: a new vinyl release, Glyn Road, recorded at Toe-Rag Studio on their recent trip to London. The Cryin' Shames open the show at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free at Emerald Lounge, 1415 North Seventh Avenue. For more information, visit www.theemeraldlounge.com or call 602-256-9705.

We always knew it was the coolest library we've ever frequented, but last month an article in the New York Times Magazine's special architecture issue let the rest of the nation know that the Burton Barr Central Library is a design masterpiece. Created by architect Will Bruder and his firm, bruderDWLarchitects, the structure makes creative use of something Arizona has in abundance: sunlight. At solar noon on the summer solstice (Saturday, June 21), columns topped by blue skylights, visible from the top floor reading room, become mysteriously illuminated. Listen to Bruder discuss this yearly phenomenon at noon at the library, 1221 North Central. Rich Bailey and Rebecca Strange perform Irish, Scottish and Celtic songs to make a celebration out of the natural light show. Admission is free. Call 602-534-0603 to find out more.

Sunday, June 22
People who really appreciate comedy have nothing but raves for Brian Regan, whose insightful style of wit has made him a regular on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and Late Show With David Letterman. Not surprisingly, he often opens for Jerry Seinfeld, too. But while his star continues to rise, he still gives the people what they want, in person. Catch him at the Tempe Improv at 8 nightly from Thursday, June 19, through Sunday, June 22, with additional shows at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17 to $20, and can be purchased from the box office, 480-921-9877. The Improv is located at 930 East University in Tempe.

Monday, June 23
Experience the satisfying, simple pleasures of African Drumming on Monday, June 23, when Frank Thompson of the AZ Rhythm Connection hosts a session geared to beginners and intermediate drummers at Bodyworks Studio, 1801 South Jen Tilly Lane, Suite B-8, in Tempe. Held every Monday at 7:30 p.m., the class focuses on West African Djembe, a hand drum carved from a solid piece of wood. Drop-in participation is $12, and extra drums are available. To receive a free brochure, call the studio at 480-894-2090. For more information, visit www.bodyworks-studio.com.

Tuesday, June 24
Some people might be born with the right moves, but most of us need a little guidance, especially when it comes to the complicated, constantly evolving world of Hip Hop Dance. If you want to dance to impress when you hit your favorite nightclubs, get your groove on at weekly classes, held Tuesdays at Stardust Dance Club, 3929 East Main in Mesa. Instruction is also offered at locations in Scottsdale and Chandler on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with additional sessions soon to be added in Tempe and Gilbert. The cost is only $5 per class. Visit www.voiceinstitute.com or call 480-951-1239 for further details.

We're not asking you to quit your shameless addiction to the Food Network, but doesn't it sound fun to watch a cooking demonstration that doesn't merely tempt you and leave you with a growling stomach? At Wine, Dine & Learn on Tuesday, June 24, Chef Christopher Gross demonstrates French cooking techniques throughout a specially prepared three-course dinner of goat cheese ravioli, duck with five spices and a nougat glacé dessert. That means your hunger pangs won't be in vain. Each course is paired with wines chosen by sommelier Paola Gross, who discusses each selection. The dinner/class starts at 6:30 p.m. at Christopher's Fermier Brasserie and Paola's Wine Bar, 2584 East Camelback, located in the Biltmore Fashion Park. "Tuition" is $60 plus tax and gratuity. Call 602-522-2344 for reservations.

Wednesday, June 25
Aside from martini purists (who would be horrified at the thought of their classic drink being tainted in any way), few sweet-toothed barflies would refuse a Godiva white chocolate martini. While we may never quite get used to pricey cocktails, 15 bucks sounds like a steal when you factor in the professional manicure by Madam X at Famous Sam's new Martini Manicure nights. The glamour gets under way at 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Wednesdays, at Famous Sam's Restaurant & Sports Bar, 7134 East Thomas in Scottsdale. To find out more, call 480-994-4488.

 
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