For more than a year, Emerg McVay of local band Bionic Jive has hosted the collective elements of spoken word, hip-hop and graffiti art at the Priceless Inn, 5014 South Price Road in Tempe. The weekly set, presented by DJ Element and Dumplarock, continues to fly high, so to speak, this Thursday, August 26, when McVay again emcees The Blunt Club at PI, with DJ Fingaz and 1200 Hobos headlining the show. While Element and DJ Hyder spin along, graffiti artists Dumperfoo and Mosha One will create live art. Phatties for everyone! Cover charge is $5; the party's open to those 21 and over. Call 480-897-1466 for more information.
The breakup of N17, the former Phoenix industrial metal band with a loyal and lewd following, hit a sour note for guitarist Chris Cannella. ("Chris wanted to write monster riffs, not stale formulaic radio hooks," the band's Web site says, an apparent jab at Cannella's former N17 bandmates.) But with his new band, Autumn's End, Cannella rawks the house loud and proud at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School Road (just west of 24th Street), on Friday, August 27. The haggard-looking quartet (think country icons Alabama, with an attitude), formed by Cannella in late 2002, will celebrate the release of its upcoming self-titled debut album with fellow metalheads the Smoky Mountain Skull Busters and Terror in the Aisles. Show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $8. Call 602-954-0455.
The Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, promises an afternoon of local music -- without the, uh, music -- on Saturday, August 28. Collective Underground, which calls itself "Arizona's definitive source for local and underground music," gathers at the gallery to help local musicians get ahead and their sounds heard. CU is inviting bands and musicians of all genres to participate in the first of what they say will be many events to further the careers of local starving artists. Musicians are encouraged to bring promo kits, CDs and press materials (if they have any). CU organizers and fellow musicians will then share advice on getting played on the radio, printed in the paper and heard by record execs. The inaugural event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Call 602-262-2020 or see www.collectiveunderground.com.
Moka laka hali, come on you wanna lay me. Uh, pass the poi, mahala? Whatever, Hawaiian isn't our first language, but we sure know how to hula, haole. Come watch us spike the Hawaiian punch at the VFW Post 1710's charity luau at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 29. Shake up your Sunday evening with a Hula-Hoop contest, and see who gets crowned the king and queen of the luau. Finger foods, like sweet and sour meatballs and teriyaki chicken, will be provided. And a DJ will surely play some "Tiny Bubbles," "Blue Hawaii" and other stereotypical Hawaiian tunes that escape us at the moment. Bring a can of food -- to benefit local food banks -- to 1629 East Jackson Street and receive a free raffle ticket. Tickets are $10 at the door. Call 602-568-6726 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If William Hung wants in on this action, he'll have to prove he belongs. The "Arizona Gay Idol" competition -- an amateur contest that began three weeks ago at four local gay and lesbian bars -- continues on Monday, August 30, at Ain't Nobody's Bizness, 3031 East Indian School Road, Suite 7. The contest will crown one winner each week at each location -- the others are Cash Inn, the Water Hole and Nasty's -- until the supremely fabulous idol of all idols is coronated. Weekly winners take home $25, and the overall champion, to be determined sometime in October, wins $1,000. Karaoke DJ Nancy Nuñez provides the back-up at Nobody's Biz starting at 10 p.m. (registration begins at 9). Call 602-224-9977.
These days, it's damn difficult to be an Arizona Diamondbacks fan. That is, unless those Diamondbacks are now in L.A. playing for the playoff-bound Dodgers, who continue to terrorize the rest of the division with former D-Backs Steve Finley in center field and castoff starter turned bullpen workhorse Elmer Dessens. The inevitable NL West champs -- barring a complete meltdown or a scenario in which opposing pitchers actually pitch to Barry Bonds, whose Giants are suddenly hot on the Dodgers' heels -- visit Bank One Ballpark, 401 East Jefferson Street, on Tuesday, August 31, for the first of a three-game tilt with the hapless buffoonery that is the Diamondbacks. Tickets are $9 to $80. And guess what? Plenty of good seats are available. Call 602-514-8400 or see arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com to root, root, root for the home team. Or not.
You play like a girl, huh? Well, as the USA men's basketball team has proven this summer in Athens, that's not such a bad thing. Thanks to photographer Jodi Buren, the point is driven home even harder starting Wednesday, September 1, when the "SuperWomen" traveling exhibition comes to America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. A total of 44 panels -- 30 by 40 feet each -- will be displayed in the arena's lobby, paying tribute to such modern female sports pioneers as Janet Guthrie, Chris Evert, and Jackie Joyner-Kersey, as well as today's crop of wonder women, including Tamika Catchings and several of this year's Olympians. "Magically capturing the spirit of 100 female athletes in 100 different sports," the show runs through September 30. Admission is free. See www.womenssportsfoundation.org for details.