This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, April 1
Ensuring their spots in hawg heaven, local bikers gear up for the greater good this Thursday, April 1, when the eighth annual MDA Charity Ride and Silent Auctionhits the highway. The "official ride of Arizona Bike Week" benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association -- and in a big way: Last year, some 400 riders raised 14 grand. Jerry's Kids are set to lead the pack, departing at 1 p.m. from Arrowhead Harley-Davidson, 16130 North Arrowhead Fountain Center Drive (south of Bell) in Peoria. Escorted by Sheriff Joe's posse, riders cool their engines at Rawhide in north Scottsdale, where Arizona Bike Week's Cyclefest will be in full swing. Signup starts at 10 a.m. at the Peoria dealership, and bikers can get in on silent auction action -- trips, autographed sports memorabilia, concert tickets and "Harley stuff" -- until 12:45 p.m. Registration, $20 per person, includes brunch and a commemorative pin. (Nothing says "badass biker" like brunch and commemorative pins!) Don't have a bike? Rent one -- Arrowhead HD has the hookup. For the lowdown, call 602-923-4360 or see www.arrowheadharley.com.

Friday, April 2
Groupies run a high risk for tooth decay this weekend, when the sweet sounds of Cake and Sugar Ray rise from the 2004 Circle K Tempe Music Festival. With 40-some bands sounding off on four stages, "Arizona's largest music festival" rocks Tempe Beach Park, at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill, from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, April 2, and noon to midnight Saturday, April 3. Four beer gardens ensure that the Drunken Immortals won't be alone in intoxication; other Valley bands lending local flavor include The Sciannas, Crushed, Tunesmith, and Evolocity. The Ataris, Pennywise, and Unwritten Law rank among the notable national acts, while big-name skaters rock (onstage with their bands) and roll (in the Fender Extreme Zone skate park). Even the arrhythmic and anonymous can party like rock stars, downing a couple of cold ones -- with a couple of hot ones -- in the "Coors Twins" VIP area. Kid rockers can band together at the Phoenix Family Museum's "Shake, Rattle & Roam" hands-on music exhibition, and make their own instruments (before smashing them to bits) in the SRP Lil' Rockers Interactive Zone. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show, and $10 for kids 6 to 12. See www.ticketmaster.com or call 480-784-4444 to order. Check out www.tempemusicfestival.com for a schedule.

Saturday, April 3
Ladies: Experience better living through male order at "Bid for Bachelors"this Saturday, April 3. Benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the bachelor auction promises to pimp 30 bachelors -- ages 21 to 50-plus -- to the most charitable hearts at Jilly's American Grill, 7301 East Butherus in Scottsdale. Drink specials ensure fast and furious bidding on prearranged outings with businessmen, dentists, teachers, golfers and -- the hottest tickets of all -- firefighters. Inanimate auction items include hot air balloon rides, dinners and tickets to sporting events. At 7 p.m., potential bidders can "meet and greet" the merchandise; the beefcake hits the block at 9 p.m., with the auctioneer stating the details of each date, including day, time and logistics. So money can't buy us love -- it can rent the affections of a well-dressed man. Bidding for each bachelor starts at $40, and admission is free. See www.happyhourdating.com for all the dirty details.

April 4
He spins us right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby . . . wait -- right decade, wrong makeup-mad musical act. Nevertheless, watch out, here he comes: Boy George takes a turn on the tables Sunday, April 4, at Tempe's Freedom Nightclub, 919 East Apache. Capitalizing on a chameleon-like career change, the Culture Club front boy-turned-DJ spins "a fresh mix of ambiant house, thumping beats and old school faves" in one of his (alert the mayor!) seven top towns. "My favorite cities have been Calgary, Tempe, Denver, L.A., Minneapolis, Detroit and Dallas," Mr. George has said. Also in the mix: U of A grad and Billboard DJ Rod Carrillo, who gets this house party started at 10 p.m. See www.freedomnightclub.com for tickets, $20.

April 5
Meet the big man on canvas -- and aluminum -- Monday, April 5, when Arizona artist David T. Kessler shares his passion with the public at April's FirstMonday Art Salon.Often opting to paint on aluminum rather than more traditional surfaces, Kessler takes the podium at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central, as part of the free monthly program bridging the gap between artists and their admirers. Not a typical art lecture, FirstMonday presentations aim "to present an expanded view of the artist and their work" and invite audience participation. A coffee-and-cookie reception commences at 6:30 p.m.; the Salon follows at 7 in the library's Pulliam Auditorium. Call 602-262-4636 for more information.

April 6
Boasting new Sexson appeal -- and the majors' Biggest Unit -- the Arizona Diamondbacksswing into their seventh season this Tuesday, April 6, with a home opener against the Colorado Rockies. All eyes will be on hot new acquisitions Richie Sexson and Robbie Alomar (can the new kids deliver?) and old faithful Randy Johnson (can the 40-year-old get a leg up on his bum knee?). Game time is 3:05 p.m. at Bank One Ballpark, 401 East Jefferson. See arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com for tickets, $7 to $90.

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