Behold poetry in commotion every Thursday night at Tempe's Priceless Inn, when The Blunt Club mishmashes a spoken word competition with DJ music, fine art and intoxicating atmosphere. Hosted by Bionic Jive's Emerge McVay, the spoken word slam carries cash prizes, the better to take advantage of the evening's drink specials. As DJ Organic spins hip-hop, jazz, reggae and trip-hop, the Inn crowd (21 and up) digs the eye candy -- paintings by Dumperfoo, Jules, Ekose, Bitz, Lalo, Osteen and other surname-deficient artists.
Prime rhyme time (we know, we know . . . not all poetry rhymes, but we really like the kind that does) runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Inn, located at Price and Baseline, with a $5 cover charge. Wordsmiths wanting a piece of the poetry pie can sign up at the bar or call 480-897-1466 for further information.
An all around good time
While most DJs spend their careers hovering over turntables in dark, crowded nightclubs, hardly any can boast of packing stadiums with tens of thousands of electronica fans. One of the elite few is Paul Oakenfold, celebrity DJ and producer, whose headlining set at Sanctuary on Wednesday, July 9, seems comparatively intimate -- a big bonus for his legions of local devotees. The evening starts at 8 p.m. with special guests Hernan Cattaneo and Jas; Oakenfold spins at 10 p.m. Admission for ages 21 and up is $25 at the door or $20 if tickets are purchased in advance at www.groovetribe.org. For table reservations, call 480-226-0937. Sanctuary is located at 7340 East Shoeman Lane in Scottsdale. - Michele Laudig
Increasing the standard of living with music
It's the festival so nice they held it twice. On Friday, July 4, the LIFE 2 Celebration -- lauding Liberty, Independence and Freedom of Expression -- will find the Valley's coolest musicians, artists and designers chilling at The Icehouse, 429 West Jackson. From 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., the second annual benefit bash fills the arts and entertainment complex with movement (Valley dance troupes), music (local DJs and bands) and mayhem (guests are encouraged to pack squirt guns).
Cold players include poet/pianist Annie Moscow, country rockers Flathead, "'60s punk freaks" the Cryin' Shames, the Bedouin Tribe fusion dancers, and the Furious Styles break dancing crew. Local artists and fashion designers let flow their creative juices, as a beer garden, vodka martini bar, "Liberty Bread Boules" and "Freedom Tarts" make a feast fit for an ice queen.
All ages are welcome, but LIFE ravers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. Admission is $5; proceeds benefit the art programs of the Icehouse and the Begin Again Foundation. Call 602-257-8929 for more information. - Jill Koch