This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 12
The Invincible Czars -- an Austin quartet with a thing for mixing buzzing guitars with accordions and horns -- buzz into town Thursday, August 12, for a show at the Emerald Lounge, 1514 North Seventh Avenue. The Czars play a mean set of "indie-riffic-mathrockery to Eastern-European folk idioms," with a counterintuitive style reminiscent of fellow Emerald faves, Denver's DeVotchKa, although the Czars prefer we not pigeonhole them with silly, ill-advised comparisons. And, of course, we'll oblige. After all, they're freakin' Czars! And they're invincible. Bow down to the Czars at 9 p.m. The show is free. Call 602-256-9705 or see www.theemeraldlounge.com.

FRI 13
In recent years, KC and the Sunshine Band has enjoyed a revival -- like it or not -- touring the country with the band's old lineup of songs and some new back-up singers. If that's the way -- uh-huh, uh-huh -- you like it, dust off those platforms, get the polyester pressed, and splash on some Old Spice for "DiscoMania," Friday, August 13, at the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington, as KC and Co. headline a night paying homage to the Dirty, Filthy, Greasy '70s. The show also includes The Trammps ("Disco Inferno"), Evelyn "Champagne" King ("Shame"), and the Weather Girls' Martha Wash. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 to $78. Call 480-784-4444 or see www.ticketmaster.com.

SAT 14
Mold yourself a Saturday afternoon of culture as the Phoenix Art Museum hosts Oscar Soteno Elias, a sculptor from Metepec, Estado de Mexico, for a two-day residency beginning August 14. As part of the museum's "Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art" exhibition -- the largest of its kind north of the border -- Elias will teach kids 5 and older from noon to 3 p.m. about his work and how to work in clay. On Sunday, August 15, Elias demonstrates his sculpting from noon to 5 p.m. The event, both days, is free with museum admission, $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $3 for kids 6 to 17. The museum is located at 1625 North Central. Call 602-257-1880 or see www.phxart.org.

MON 16
A question for the ages: Can you teach a man to be funny? Take it from Tony Vicich -- absolutely not. "You can't teach anyone to be funny. Everybody's either already a little bit funny, or a whole lot funny," says Vicich, who, on Monday, August 16, offers a free introductory class at his Tempe Comedy College, at the Tempe Best Western, 670 North Scottsdale Road. "What I do is give [students] the skills that would allow them to perform onstage." And Vicich assures his would-be pupils that he's got the skills and experience to help make them the life of any party, the class clown or the court jester. "Every actor you see these days has been to some type of acting school. Baseball players go through the science of learning how to hit a ball," says Vicich, who was a touring comic for 14 years, and produced The Nashville Network's TNN's Comedy Roundup: Stand-up Comedy With a Country Point of View. Now, we'd offer up a few one-liners ourselves, but we're afraid Vicich might not take too kindly to us providing our own tutorial. Free your own inner comic beginning at 7 p.m. Call 1-888-800-JOKE (5653) or see www.comedyschools.com.

TUE 17
What better cure for the August doldrums than a good surf mystery? Yes, such a thing does exist. If you don't believe us, head out to the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, on Tuesday, August 17, for an appearance and reading by Kem Nunn, whose mystery novels include The Dogs of Winter, Tapping the Source, and his latest "surf noir" creation, Tijuana Straits. In recent years, Nunn has carved out his own niche, using surfing as the milieu of his books, and drawing a cult following of surfers everywhere -- including surfing icon Iron Mike Doyle, a devoted Nunn fan. The reading begins at 7 p.m. Call 480-947-2974 or see www.poisonedpen.com.

WED 18
On Wednesday, August 18, the Glendale Public Library continues its "Glendale Coffeehouse" crowd-pleaser in the auditorium of the library -- 5959 West Brown -- with a night of music that promises to perk your ears. At 7 p.m., the library hosts Coffeehouse favorites Paul Reynolds and Rick McKeon, as well as Celtic, country and contemporary musician Greg LaCosse, while the audience treats itself to complimentary java, courtesy of Areopagus Coffee. The Coffeehouse -- free to the public -- is regularly scheduled for every first and third Wednesday of the month. For details or to schedule a playing time, call 623-930-3573.

 
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