Friday, January 2
Computers are ubiquitous, and more writing than ever is published online. But real, tangible books continue to endure -- and endear. At Arizona State University, a group of creative bibliophiles called A Buncha Book Artists (ABBA) celebrates the book by pushing the boundaries of its definition, creating intricate one-of-a-kind or limited-edition works. Through both traditional and cutting-edge processes, ABBA members take on the roles of writer, illustrator, printmaker, and sometimes even sculptor to make these personal pieces of art. See what they've been up to at Burton Barr Central Library, where "The Liberated Page," an exhibition of their work, is on view in the @Central Gallery. Creations by artists in the University of Utah's Book Arts Program are included in the show as well. An opening reception is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, January 2, and the show continues through January 29 at 1221 North Central. For information about the group, visit www.asu.edu/clubs/abba.
Saturday, January 3
The subjects of oil paintings by Tempe artist B. Royalty -- dogs, clowns, and people resembling surreal cartoons -- inhabit a cheerful world of cherry red, sunflower yellow and sky blue. But look closely at their minuscule eyes to see something beyond the candy coating: mystery, and maybe even a little melancholy. "Help Wanted," Royalty's solo exhibition at Victoria Boyce Galleries, opens Saturday, January 3, with a reception from noon to 4 p.m., where the Andrew Jones Trio performs live jazz. The exhibition continues through the end of the month at 7130 East Main in Scottsdale. Call 480-941-2494, visit www.vboycegalleries.com, or see www.broyalty.com to find out more.
Before the Bash on Ash gets a new name (Club Bash) and a dramatic makeover from concert venue to upscale dance club, music fans can toast the place that nurtured plenty of local bands and brought countless touring acts to town at the "Goodbye Bash!" Showcase on Saturday, January 3. Starting at 5 p.m., the all-ages concert boasts an eclectic lineup reflecting the incredible range of music at the Bash over the past six and a half years, from heavy metal to hippie to happy pop punk. Scheduled bands include One Foot in the Grave, Fourbanger, Army of Robots, Horticulture, Girl Repellent, and Lakeshore Drive -- all groups that have a history at the popular downtown Tempe club. Admission is only $8, and tickets are available from the Bash or McDuffy's Sports Bar. Patrons 21 and older get a penny drink with the cost of admission, and the first 150 get free tee shirts, too. The Bash is located at 230 West Fifth Street in Tempe. Call 480-966-8200 or visit www.bashonash.com for details.
Sunday, December 4
Since December was all about Hollywood's biggest releases, January offers some kind of solace from the major movie studios, especially with the help of No Festival Required Part 14. Held on the first Sunday of every month, the series specializes in the small-time charms of local and national directors' short films and videos. On Sunday, January 4, the screening includes pieces from New Media Concepts students at the ASU School of Art, Valley filmmakers Tom Williamson and Brian Pulido, Sean Christensen from San Francisco State, Elizabeth Rowin from Los Angeles, and New Yorker Malcolm Lightner. Admission is $5. Doors open 15 minutes prior to showings at 6 and 8 p.m. at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. For more information, visit www.candidlandscapes.com/nofes.
Monday, January 4
From her high-achieving youth to eight turbulent years as an outspoken First Lady, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton became an unforgettable political icon long before she debuted on the Senate floor in 2000. In her best-selling memoir Living History, she uses down-to-earth humor to describe not only the triumphs of her tenure at the White House, but also her personal take on the Clinton administration's toughest times. On Monday, January 5, readers get a rare opportunity to meet the senator when she conducts a book signing at Changing Hands Bookstore from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Each visitor may have no more than two books signed, and the books must be purchased from Changing Hands (a signing ticket comes with each book). The bookstore is located at 6428 South McClintock in Tempe. Call 480-730-0205 to find out more.
Tuesday, January 6
He's known for Broadway's most tried-and-true, but even Andrew Lloyd Webber seeks out the thrill of the new. His musical production Starlight Express, which had the second longest run of any musical in London's history, has an updated score with tunes inspired by contemporary genres, cutting-edge lighting and 3-D film effects, and costumes by Tony Award-winning designer John Napier. The story line is a dazzling dream sequence, where a little boy's model trains -- depicted by performers on roller skates -- take on bold personalities. Gammage Auditorium, located at the intersection of Mill and Apache in Tempe, hosts the show's run from Tuesday, January 6, through January 11. Tickets, $22.25 to $62.50, can be purchased through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444.