This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 17
Some like it hot, but we're bound to lose our cool -- swilling Mylanta martinis in the corner -- at "Spicy: Summer SMoCA Nights" this Thursday, June 17. Club culture and high culture collide in a "high-energy evening of cutting-edge style and entertainment" at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. What does a $10 ticket score? An outdoor performance spotlighting the samba and a runway show spotlighting local fashionistas, plus hors d'oeuvres, DJ tunes, a cash bar, tarot readings and door prizes. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., navel gazers can look upward -- to SMoCA's skyspace -- and outward -- to the museum's current draws: "southwestNET: PHX/LA," "Jin Soo Kim: Twenty Years, 1983-2003," and "Natural Histories: Realism Revisited." Call 480-994-ARTS or see www.scottsdalearts.org.

FRI 18
"All talk, no action" no longer. Words are about to get busy. "A time to play, romp, and rock with words, acoustic and electric beats, and percussives," ORGANIC: Poetry + Music takes the mike this Friday, June 18, at Thought Crime, 1019 North Central. The "live poetry experimental performance jam" promises "no judges, no timekeepers, and definitely no rules! This is not a poetry slam!" Exclamation points, however, are allowed. At 9 p.m., guest artist Kid Beyond (a.k.a. Andrew Chaikin, wordsmith, vocal percussionist and "San Francisco's beatboxer-about-town") shares the talents that spring from his "lips of pure gold" -- live looping, beatboxing and throat singing. The Kid has quite the résumé: "A beatboxer for over 20 years, Andrew can produce full-on rock drum kits, hip-hop beats, funk grooves, turntable scratches, house, techno, drum-n-bass, Latin and African percussion -- all with mind-blowing precision." The all-ages collaboration rolls from 7 to 11 p.m.; a $3 donation is requested. Call 602-840-6839.

SAT 19
Friday, we're in love (with Poison, wooing us with so much dirty talk at Cricket). Saturday, we need The Cure (penicillin oughta do it), so we'll head to Trash, where we can hear the U.K. band's new album 10 big days before it's released to the masses. The new pop music night from the "panic!" people, Trash celebrates its second installment Saturday, June 19, at The Clubhouse, 1320 East Broadway in Tempe, with live sets by Clear Static, an L.A. band recently signed to Atlantic/Def Jam, and Fine China, a local favorite back from a yearlong hiatus. DJ Manchester spins his "usual awesome mix of Brit pop/indie/new wave/'60s mod and soul" -- and the assembled get in on giveaways pimping new releases from PJ Harvey, Echobelly, The Killers, and Chumbawamba. Trash busts out at 8 p.m.; Clear Static plays at 9, Fine China at 10. Cover is $8, and the first 30 people -- 21 and up -- get Cure CD singles. Let's get Trash'd while we can -- after Saturday, the series goes on summer leave and picks up in September. E-mail panicthursdays@hotmail.com for details.

SUN 20
Is your animal crackers? Find out if Smuckers has intimacy issues -- or get the skinny on Snowball's lives one through eight -- from pet psychic Marla Steele, who talks to the animals (and, apparently, they talk back) this Sunday, June 20, at the Desert Ridge PETsMART, 21001 North Tatum. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., make a $20 donation to PETsMART Charities, and Steele will answer three specific questions about issues affecting your pet, the universe, and his place within it. The most common mysteries Steele probes? Curious behaviors, animals' perceptions of humans, and the ways animals alert their owners to pain. Through intuitive communication and reiki, Steele also unveils the histories of rescued animals and converses with pets that have passed on. Call 480-513-4262 or see marlasteele.com.

MON 21
We're not saying there should be a Nobel Prize for slinging drinks, but it is a field in which excellence should be rewarded. After all, who among us hasn't suffered the agony of below-the-bar tending? Flat beer, watery cocktails, piña coladas with forgotten umbrellas. . . . Leave it to the party people of downtown Scottsdale to make things right at the Masters of Bartending Tournament, resuming this Monday, June 14, at Elixir, 7419 East Indian Plaza. The Masters mix it up in three categories: "Most Original Finlandia Cocktail" prizes presentation, originality and taste; "Flair-Tending" judges speed, accuracy, flair and showmanship; and "Best Local Bartender" rewards popularity. Each contestant, during a guest-bartending gig, is judged on the number of drinkers who come in to vote. (Our thirst for democracy has never been greater.) The tournament continues Monday nights through July 5, when a winner will be crowned in each category, and "the spoils" -- five grand in cash and prizes -- shall be distributed "in a true party fashion." Call 480-970-1945 for more info.

TUE 22
The Mercury hit the Lynx this Tuesday, June 22, as WNBA action continues. The local ladies lost a close one to the Minnesota team earlier this month, letting the Lynx battle back from a 14-point deficit. Here's hoping the Mercury's rising star Diana Taurasi leads the squad to sweet, home-court redemption -- and that someone's watching. Game time is 7 p.m. at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. See www.phoenixmercury.com for tickets, $8 to $100.

WED 23
Until the "Restraint of Propriety" Revue tears into town, we'll have to settle for The "Decadence of Pleasure" Tour, shaking up Martini Ranch this Wednesday, June 23. It's equal parts skin (courtesy the Atomic Bombshells Burlesque dancers) and spin (the DJ team of Scooter & Lavelle, plus the one they call Charles Feelgood). And it's not depravity unless it's loud, so "local bad boys" Chrome 9 and "nationally known recording artists" Pepper (who?) are set to crank it up. Rounding out the bill . . . magicians! The Pleasure's all yours from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 7295 East Stetson in downtown Scottsdale. Cover is $5. Call 480-970-0500 for all the dirty details.

 
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