Let your soul glow on Thursday, June 10, as The Chi-Lites, The Stylistics, Cuba Gooding Sr. and Harold Melvin's Blue Notes take the Dodge Theatre stage, 400 West Washington, for the Super '70s Soul Jam. The big 'fros, polyester jump suits, and steamed funk of the blaxploitation era will be conspicuously absent. But host Jimmie "JJ" Walker (still riding his Good Times fame and "Dynomite!" catch phrase 30 years later) should beckon enough back-in-the-day memories for those who yearn for such things. Get your freak on, starting at 7:30 p.m. Call 480-784-4444 for tickets, $38 to $53.
Despite his nation of fans who dig the guy's political ideologies and take-no-prisoners style of standup comedy (not to mention his taste in women), Bill Maher's show at Celebrity Theatre has yet to sell out. So the folks who should see and hear the host of HBO's Real Time still can on Friday, June 11. While his cable show is on hiatus until July 30, Maher's got plenty to chastise between now and the party conventions later this summer. For a preview, check out his blog at www.safesearching.com/billmaher/blog/. A pearl of wisdom from the man who got the boot from Disney-owned ABC for making a -- gasp -- politically incorrect statement on his former show Politically Incorrect: "Look, I'm firmly against taxing fast food. Your fat ass is your fault." With Maher, the truth hurts -- your stomach and cheekbones, that is. For tickets to the 8 p.m. show, $25 to $35, call 602-267-1600 or visit www.celebritytheatre.com.
Do it . . . fa' Johnny, man. Greasers rule! And those pansy Soc's aren't allowed this Saturday, June 12, when Los Desperados -- a group of custom hot rod maniacs, founded by four Greasers named Diego, Turtle, The Wolf and Ker -- host a Rockabilly Roundup at Fat Cat's blues club, 915 Grand Avenue. A free car show -- excluding "trailers, queenies or rice rockets" -- begins at 5 p.m., with lead sleds, bikes and rat rods (pre-1966) out in force. Then the action moves indoors for the rockabilly, psycho-billy and doo-wop sounds of Mario Moreno and the Ramblers, the Rhythm Dragons, Riverb From the Grave, and the Maricopa County Prison Band, all for $5 at the door, plus $1 PBR specials all night. Stay golden, baby. Call 602-252-0988 or see desperados.hop.to for more information.
Pound for pound, the 1972 film Fat City has long been regarded as director John Huston's finest cinematic achievement. So don't blow up at the Phoenix Art Museum on Sunday, June 13, thinking that PAM is cracking -- à la the aforementioned Mr. Maher -- on the expanding girth of Phoenicians' collective waistline. Rather, Huston's critically acclaimed and commercially inept tale (adapted from Leonard Gardner's novel) -- showing at 2 p.m. as part of PAM's Sunday Movie Series -- revolves around the short-sided hopes of two farm laborers/wanna-be boxers in Southern California. Tully, played by Stacy Keach, is an alcoholic, over-the-hill schmo still fighting for respect in the ring, while his pathetic protg Ernie (Jeff Bridges) is determined to succeed where Tully has failed. And the film isn't thin on subplots, either. The screening is free. PAM is located at 1625 North Central. Call 602-257-1880 for details.
For one night, at least, they all get some home cookin' and a chance to sleep in their own beds. But don't expect the boys from The Format, The Necronauts, and Reubens Accomplice to get too comfy on Monday, June 14, when they play a "home, sweet home" gig at the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill in Tempe. The tours, the PR, the new albums and constant hype (hell, even Esquire magazine gave a shout-out to The Format, The Necronauts, and even the whole damn Valley recently) have got all three bands working hard to keep the 'Nix at the top of the hot list. Tickets to the all-ages show are $14.75. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the show starts at 7. Call 480-829-0707 or see www.nipp.com for details.
Horns aplenty, and dancing, too?! Dust off the hoop skirts and zoot suits for Big Band Tuesday Night, June 15 and every week thereafter at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The 16-piece Valley Big Band -- one of Phoenix's first -- led by Barry Black, gets the swingin' set sizzling from 7 to 9 p.m., with tunes paying tribute to big-band leaders of yore, including Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington, as well as the modern era of SoCal Swing. While the brass blares and the bass bumps, swingers reign on the dance floor, chains jinglin' and feet shufflin'. Even if you ain't got that swing, stick around for the barbecue and the rockabilly show that follows. Admission is just $2. Call 602-265-4842 or see www.rhythmroom.com.
About 1,200 open seats remain for the D-Backs' tilt with the Bronx Bombers on Wednesday, June 16, as of press time. Coincidentally, that's the same number of reasons (at least) to hate those damn New York Yankees. And you don't even have to be a Red Sox fan to count the ways. Whether you've got a beef with that whole Curse of the Bambino nonsense, Derek Jeter's shit-eating smirk, A-Rod's ridiculous contract, or just the entire Evil Empire George Steinbrenner has wrought, the hapless D-Backs (who, by the way, ended the Spankees' run of consecutive World Series championships more than 940 days ago) need all the help they can muster. Shout down the Yankees' knuckle-dragging fans beginning at 6:35 p.m. at Bank One Ballpark, 401 East Jefferson. And, oh yeah, YANKEES SUCK! Tickets are $26 and under, with $1 tickets going on sale the day of the game. Call 602-514-8400 or see www.azdiamondbacks.com.