If nothing else, a Cancer of the Piss concert oozes showmanship -- even if, according to the local punk band itself, it offers little in the way of bona fide talent. The band's farewell show -- "until our next one, that is" -- on Friday, July 2, at Jugheads, 5110 East McDowell, is sure to make someone crap their pants, although COTP made us promise not to divulge whether that was a literal statement. Given the band's history, though -- which includes a performance that had one band member slicing open his forehead with a razor blade, sopping up the blood with tampons stuffed in his bra, and then tossing the used feminine hygiene products out into the audience -- we can offer one piece of advice: You might want to bring a raincoat. Admission to the show, which starts at 9 p.m. with opening acts Curse of the Pink Hearse, Rebel Angels, and Deadbillies, is $5. Call 602-225-0307.
Longing for an original piece to replace that velvet matador over the bed -- but think you just can't afford it? If you've got $40, now you can, maybe even with the likes of Beth Ames Schwartz or Mark Klett, two local but nationally celebrated artists, participating in a new show. We're certain to fill wall space at eye lounge, 419 East Roosevelt, on Saturday, July 3, when the work shown as part of Art for Art's Sake: An Invitational Benefit Exhibition & Sale goes on sale at 1 p.m. The show, which benefits Arizonans for Cultural Development, a nonprofit arts advocacy group, features donated work from more than 80 artists, at a set price of $40 each. Sales begin on a first come, first served basis until 5 p.m., and then through July 31 during gallery hours. Call 602-430-1490 for details.
Finally, somebody got Fourth of July right! It ain't just hot dogs, fireworks and another loss by the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's a day to celebrate life -- Liberty, Independence and Freedom of Expression, to be specific. Indulge in the L.I.F.E. festival of music, art, dance, fashion, beer, and hot chicks on roller skates at the Icehouse, 429 West Jackson, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The indoor and outdoor entertainment includes Fatigo, Sweet Bleeders, Soul Traxx, and DJ Ru-ski, while "Noise," a sound art exhibit and a mural-size floor painting by Jason Rudolph Peña, will be on display. The Bedouin Tribe/Domba dance troupe shakes and shimmies, and the Arizona Roller Derby Girls provide "naughty hijinx." Live it up! Admission is $5, beer not included. Call 602-257-8929.
Dare, if you must, to enter their domain. Where Data is a deity, but Spock is the God. Where the faithful ponder alien probes, and speak in apocalyptic absolutes: eliminate, destroy, and, "Submit to me, you puny android!" Or maybe we're just generalizing, in which case we're heading over to the Science Fiction/Fantasy Panel Discussion on Monday, July 5, at Barnes & Noble, 21001 North Tatum, to get an education in geek speak. Walter Hunt will sign his book The Dark Path; Tee Morris signs The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy; and Michael Mennenga signs Dragon's Fire and Wizard's Flame. The free event is all in the name of science fiction starting at 7 p.m. Call 480-538-8520.
We'd hate to see this local wildflower wilt in the unforgiving sun. Humanely, ASU beckons renowned local folk singer-songwriter Jennifer Spector in from the heat, along with her guitar and a poignant story of heartbreak as she performs from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, at the ASU Memorial Union on the main campus in Tempe. The show, part of ASU's summer concert series, is sure to include songs from Spector's most recent CD, Ahead of the Game. For more information, see www.jenniferspector.com.
So, ska's been around for decades. But until recently, the most contemporary -- and commercial -- of the reggae-punk genre seemed to be fashioned exclusively in the OC (that's Orange County, for those not down with the lingo prescribed by prime-time television). That might be changing, as ska finally seems to be making a move eastward, specifically to the Valley. "There's definitely a growing scene here," says Scott Sanders, owner of the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, where The Uncanny Summer Ska Extravaganza skanks it up on Wednesday, July 7. "The kids keep coming out more and more to see local ska bands. It's nice to see because it's great to get the horns out onstage, and everybody has a great time." On the Extravaganza bill, we get locals Spaz Kitty, The Caustiks, Aces High, and Class Act, joined by Tucson's Troy's Bucket, and headliners Liquid Cheese from Albuquerque. Admission to the show, with doors opening at 6 p.m., is $7. Call 602-262-2020, or see www.thepaperheart.com.