As the joke goes, they do celebrate Thanksgiving in Great Britain -- only on September 6. Why? Because that's when we Yankee blokes, back in 1620, fled jolly old England. (Ba-dum-cha!) But seriously, folks, desert-dwelling Britons (wanna-bes, that is) will celebrate T-Day with a party of their own on Thursday, November 25, at Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 East Fifth Avenue, where promoter Robden Brethauer and DJ Manchester host "Panic!" beginning at 9 p.m.
The monthly DJ/dance show pays homage to all things U.K. New Wave, circa mid-1980s, including the Smiths, New Order, the Cure, and Depeche Mode. Toss in some old Stones and Beatles, along with new sounds from Interpol, and the Killers (both bands hugely influenced by the aforementioned '80s legends), and "Panic!" does its best to turn Old Town Scottsdale's tanned-and-big-tittied into a sea of pasty white skin and bad teeth.
"It seems that all the great bands come from Manchester and, of course, Liverpool," says 38-year-old American-born Eddie Lebario, a.k.a. DJ Manchester, who'll be spinning at "Panic!" all night long. "We're just trying to keep the music and the scene of the genre alive in Arizona. I loved the music. I came of age in the '80s."
On Thanksgiving night, Brethauer and Lebario will give out tickets to the upcoming Muse show on December 12 at Tempe's Marquee Theatre, as well as "Best Of" CD compilations from the Beatles, Travis, and Placebo.
Drink specials include $1 well drinks before 10 p.m. Cover is $5. Call 480-994-4168. -- Joe Watson
Reinventing the wheel at Civic Plaza
Now that the Orange County Choppers have cruised their way out of town, the 2005-Model Arizona International Auto Show is in the automotive limelight. Beginning Thursday, November 25, through Sunday, November 28, at Phoenix Civic Plaza, 111 North Third Street, the auto show will feature new truck, car and SUV models from Cadillac to Chevrolet. Harley-Davidson displays will cater to the cycle-loving crowd, and lowriders will be on hand for the more urban folk. Milka Duno, the gorgeous, first-ever Latina winner of the racing world, will be signing autographs from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Pontiac booth. For more information, call 602-262-6225. -- Erika Wurst
Snap! Carols! Pops!
If that creepy "Here Come the Bells" song is stalking you this holiday season, head down to America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson, for the Boston Pops "Holiday Pops Tour" on Sunday, November 28. There'll be no scary hymns, just upbeat classics like "Silver Bells," "My Favorite Things" and "Frosty the Snowman." Under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart -- the orchestra's 20th conductor in its 119-year history -- the Boston Pops have played everywhere from the 2002 Super Bowl to Japan. Now they come to the Valley, along with 17-year-old singing sensation Hayley Westenra. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 to $102.50. Call 480-784-4444. -- Niki D'Andrea
Cat in the Matte
The Dr. is in
If you're bored or feeling lame, go see the "Art of Dr. Seuss" exhibition -- it's not more of the same. On display are such classics as Yertle and the Sneetches with enough obscure stuff that you might wet your breeches. There are early advertisements he drew to pay the bills, and some private works he created . . . just for thrills. The "Unorthodox Taxidermy" is a bit bizarre, but the good doctor never takes it too far. For this and more you must not fail to visit American Fine Art Editions at 3908 North Scottsdale (Road, that is). It's open through Wednesday, December 1, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and you don't even have to pay! Before you go, call 480-990-1200 for info. -- C. Murphy Hebert
Sowing the CD
"Redemption Vol. 1" goes for broke
When not dealing with a fickle fan base or some asshole club owner, your favorite local superstars are probably trying to scrape together enough green to make rent. But if they happen to be one of the 13 Valley rock and hip-hop acts performing at "Redemption Vol. 1" on Friday, November 26, at the Brickhouse, 1 East Jackson, the going gets a bit easier. "The bands are selling their own tickets and getting 85 percent of the door," says promoter Mark DiCarlo. "That kind of deal never happens in this town." The two-stage, all-ages CD pre-release party for a multi-band compilation due out in January features performances by Pokafase, Headline, Ghostlife, Minus Blindfold, Sinner Lane, Stuckmode, and Vistalance. Doors open at 6 p.m., and admission is $12. See www.madindustriespresents.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Local luminarias keep it mellow
Do you hear "Feliz Navidad" every time you turn on the radio? Does the neighbor's garish holiday display compel you to keep the blinds drawn? If so, the Desert Botanical Garden's 27th annual "Las Noches de las Luminarias," beginning Friday, November 26, may be the holiday solace you're seeking. At dusk your dutiful hosts light thousands of luminarias by hand. Set in sand inside paper bags, these candles line the garden walkways and softly illuminate the exotic desert flora. Interspersed throughout the grounds are acoustic performers ranging from barbershop quartets to flamenco guitarists to bell choirs. The organic experience continues with wine tasting and dinner prepared by Arcadia Farms "Taste of the Desert." Even the Garden Shop is open for those who eschew the malls for holiday shopping. The festivities run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through December 23, but many dates are already sold out. The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Papago Park at 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Call 480-481-8188 or see www.dbg.org. -- Douglas Towne