Living up (or down, depending on one's perspective) to stereotypes is okay -- once in a while. But between the Phoenix Art Museum's current Cowboy Artists exhibition and Scottsdale's Western Artwalk, we're about ready to kick a large boot up every cowpoke's ass this side of the Salt River. To capture a genuine dose of the renegade spirit the desert plains are famous for, mosey on over to the Icehouse, 439 West Jackson, on Friday, November 5, for the "Best of the West" (Non-Cowboy) Art Show, beginning at 7 p.m. with an artists' reception. "It's certainly a takeoff on all the cowboy art showing across the Valley these days," says co-sponsor David Cook of Ashland Arts. At least 25 artists from 12 states -- as far away as New Hampshire (get a rope!) -- including locals Chris Winkler, Devon Meyer, Paul Williams, and Tucson's Bill Harris Jr., will have their contemporary art "of all media" on display. The show continues through November 30. Call 602-257-8929 or 602-257-8543.
If someone had told us knitting would one day be cool with the young'uns, we'd have said that's just one yarn we'll never believe. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) When we read that Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts and Madonna are avid knitters, we were in stitches! But, sure enough, Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe, hosts Teen Knitting Club co-author Jennifer Wenger (owner of L.A.'s "hip knitting boutique" Jennifer Knits) on Saturday, November 6, for a book signing and afternoon workshop. Wenger will lead a "knit-in," during which she'll share projects with teen knitters and teach beginners to knit their first row. The "knit-in," which begins at 2 p.m., is free. Call 480-730-1142 or see www.changinghands.com.
Some might call it smut. The Fortoul Brothers -- Isaac and Gabriel -- call it art. Call it whatever you want on Sunday, November 7, at the Jungle Cabaret, 426 North Central; just be sure to tip your waitresses. The Fortouls, the creative entrepreneurs they are, present the Jungle Art Lounge "Connoisseur," beginning at 7 p.m., in which they'll use the cavernous titty bar to show artwork and films, while DJs spin ambient beats, sans the harlots and strippers who normally have their run of the place. The Fortouls' friends will be serving cocktails, donning Fortoul-brand tee shirts, until the Jungle's real draw becomes bored with the artistic eye candy and has to work for a living. (Attendees won't have to worry about tipping until then.) The entertainment will be provided by the Complainiacs, and Quad Laser, with DJs Ian Frost and Uriah. Cover charge is $5 for men, $4 for women. Call 602-252-0792 for details.
We love the concept of the Holy Grail: Drink from it and ye shall be merry for eternity. We've found out, though, that there seems to be just one of these supernatural steins for all of us to drink from. Bummer. Then our local priest slammed the door in our face when we asked him to bless our Boston Red Sox beer mug. (Sure, the Sox won it all anyway, but can you blame us for being greedy and wanting immortality, too?) So we've decided to get up to speed on this Grail business when Liz Warren performs the final show of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute's "Myth Informed" series with The Story of the Grail at 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 8, in the SMCC Studio Theatre of the Performing Arts Center, 7050 South 24th Street. The free performance is followed by a group discussion of the story and its major themes. Call 602-243-8022.
We love the Motown sound. But whatever happened to the Motown moves? Local dance troupe FootKlan might not shimmy á la the Four Tops, or moonwalk like Michael, but we expect at least a shout-out to Doctor Detroit on Tuesday, November 9, at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Adams, for the "Downtown Motown Tribute" from 5:30 to 8 p.m. FootKlan will be performing to a variety of old-school '70s and '80s classic hits along with a live band during the evening. The troupe will open the event and perform a second set at 7:30 during the show. Tickets are $15 per person ($10 for Friends of the Herberger). Call 602-254-7399, extension 102, or see www.herbergertheater.org.
Stale jokes suck. Almost as much as a first-time bad joke. On Wednesday, November 10, Ron and Ryan from Modest Proposal magazine, along with the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, promise us we'll hear neither during the "Not the Same Old BS" standup comedy show at 8 p.m. The show is a "night of standup where the comics are required to use new material." While we appreciate the sentiment, here's one additional piece of advice for those amateur comics: we could use a return to comedy that requires less thinking after the last few months of regurgitated political humor. Admission is $5. Call 602-256-6006 or see www.thetrunkspace.com.