Supporting gigs for Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. (And if opening for lips, incorporated wasn't sweet enough, the lads got to do it in their own hometown. "It was a very surreal experience," says Thrills guitarist/bassist Pádraic McMahon. "But since everyone's there for the Stones, you're just a byproduct.")
And next, a sophomore album featuring R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. Due in September, Let's Bottle Bohemia boasts a "bolder, brasher and more confident feel," says McMahon. "It sounds bigger" than City, he adds, but it has some sizable sonic shoes to fill.
"We're all aware of this 'second-album syndrome,'" McMahon concedes, "but we're confident with the songs, and we didn't want to wait two or three years to put out an album. We had this natural energy, and we wanted to capitalize on it."
The Thrills continue at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25, at the Venue of Scottsdale, 7117 East Third Avenue. See www.cajunhouse.com for details. -- Jill Koch
Check out the guns on that guy . . . and that guy . . . and that guy . . . at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show inside the Arizona State Fairgrounds ice rink, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Around 800 vendors will peddle guns and ammo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 24, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 25; $9 gets you in for both days. See crossroadsgunshows.com. -- Joe Watson
It's your word against mine on game day
If you're headed to the Phoenix One-Day Scrabble Tournament on Saturday, July 24, at the Grace Inn at Ahwatukee, 10831 South 51st Street, we recommend boning up first. Memorizing the dictionary helps, but practicing your poker face is even better. "You'll sometimes bluff opponents by playing words you know aren't good because they score a lot of points," says Larry Rand, co-director of the Phoenix Scrabble Club. If you get caught, be a good sport and avoid starting a word war (but consider playing "Armageddon" for at least 15 points).
Tile time is 9:30 a.m., and the entry fee is $33. Call 480-730-5031 to register by Friday, July 23. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Adopt-a-Pet fun in Scottsdale
Munch on hot dogs with your dawgs, and dip your dogs in the pool -- all while helping some dogs find a home. So many dogs, so many puns . . . but we'll have to maintain our composure -- this is a charity event, doggonnit! "Dog Days," from noon to 3 p.m. this Sunday, July 25, at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 North Scottsdale Road, combines the appeal of the resort's 100,000-gallon shimmering pool with the Arizona Humane Society's Adopt-a-Pet program. Fork over $2 for the hot dog buffet ($1 for kids), and enjoy the sausage fest. See www.scottsdaleplaza.com for details. --Joe Watson
Who? Wear? What?
Our closets spill over with accessories to crimes -- fashion crimes. Jelly bracelets, leg warmers, Bourbon Street beads. How in the world to get it right? Look to Vogue. As to who in the world gets it right, look to the West Valley Art Museum, where "Dressing It Up: Ethnic Dress Accessories" hangs through September 19. The all-access(ories) peek into the cultural closet showcases headgear, hair ornaments, jewelry and shoes from Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon, Panama, Lebanon, Tibet, Japan, Poland and Spain. WVAM, 17420 North Avenue of the Arts in Surprise, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults, $2 for students, and free for kids 5 and younger. Call 623-972-0635 or see www.wvam.org. -- Jill Koch
Let Freedom ring -- then let us download it
Illegally downloading music is evil, a sin tantamount to murder. So we're told by recording industry suits. For an opposing viewpoint, we pass the mike to Phil Freedom. "I think copyrights are bullshit," says the local activist, who'll help lead a DMCA-destroying discussion on "Anarchistic Decentralized Networking and Share Culture," Sunday, July 25, at Thought Crime, 1019 North Central. The forum, part of the Anarchist Library's series, will offer pointers on how file-sharing can disseminate info not available through corporate media outlets. "Sometimes you won't have access to certain people's perspective unless it's compatible with large-scale capitalism," says Freedom. The Kazaa chronicles continue at 9 p.m. Call 602-254-6397 for details.--Benjamin Leatherman