So much for all that ginkgo biloba, meditation and PBS. Our gray matter is about to take a hit. This Saturday, January 17, The Paper Heart presents "HAZ MAT 2004: Hazardous Material for Your Mind" -- and the head games are so huge that the Heart has to take them on the road. Starting at 8 p.m., the "happy little variety show from hell" infests Alice Cooper'stown, 101 East Jackson, with "surreal videos, off-the-wall comedy, strange performance art, in-your-face spoken word and live music." On the destructive docket: comedy from Modest Proposal, spoken word/poetry by Bill Campana, performance art from Jeff Falk, ambient music and sound by Aron Bron, video works by Steve Gompf, and good old rock 'n' roll from Quarter Inch Crown. Supplementing the sensory assault, the "Dungeon" displays artworks by local talents Stephanie Carrico, Chris Caufield, Jeff Falk, Denise Fleisch, Jimi Girdner, Annie Lopez, JA Jurewicz, Natscha Payton, Tara Norris and Jen Sanders.
Indie film makes its debut at Modified
Smut's cookin' at Modified Arts, where David Wendell's feature-length film makes its Valley debut this Tuesday, January 20. Smut recounts the adventures of Martin, whose motorcycle breaks down in front of Max's Adult Emporium -- and where Martin takes a job as sales clerk. He quickly learns what's smut, thanks to a stripper, an old man, a tattoo artist and incensed citizens bent on closing the shop. Smut rolls at 6 and 8 p.m.; doors open 15 minutes before showtime. Admission is $6. Though it features "no overt sex or nudity," Smut is recommended for mature audiences only. See www.modified.org for more information. - Jill Koch
New Year's Revolution
"Lava Lounge" heats up the Valley
Beginning Saturday, January 17, Tempe's Fire House Restaurant will bring a new sound experience to local lovers of funk and acid jazz. The event has been dubbed "Lava Lounge" by its organizers, Charlie Levy and his Stateside-GrooveTribe. Every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., audiences will be treated to live performances by local ensembles such as Calumet -- a versatile funk quintet and the resident band -- plus vintage sounds spun by DJ Jas, who describes the event as "eclectic music for eccentric people." All this amid the cozy vinyl booths and warm woodwork of one of Tempe's most historic restaurant-bar combos. The Fire House is located at 1639 East Apache, just west of McClintock. Cover charge for the event is $5. See www.groovetribe.org for more information. - Justin Guleserian