Skateboarding, to inform those who've never grinded a rail, ollied over the hood of a small car, or shredded a half-pipe, is an art form. But the skateboard itself? While deck designers including Birdhouse, 5Boro and Zoo York get the most props for their intricate work, these mobile canvases rarely get the cred they deserve. But on Friday, November 26, Wet Paint Gallery, 203 East Seventh Street in Tempe, hosts a Final Friday art show prettier than a Tony Hawk 900. From 7 p.m. to midnight, Wet Paint will feature skateboards -- and works that focus on the skateboarding culture -- with original artwork, as well as lowrider bikes for the one-night event. For artists who'd like to submit their work for the show, all pieces must be framed or hangable, with the exception of sculptures. Admission is free. Call 480-967-2002 or see www.wetpaintaz.com.
Jeez, someone oughta tell Vera Las Vegas (a.k.a. Austin Head) to relax the dress code on her weekly 18-and-over all-night dance party, "Gummy Bare," on Saturday, November 27, at the PhiX, 1113 Grand Avenue. "I want hot, sexy, shocking, extravagant, beautious, glittery, dark, plaid, fishnet, leather, lace, colorlicious, sheer, furry, theme, tight, slutty, sleek, tuxed, beaded . . . Glamour! Costumed clothing or lack of! Show some skin, darling!!!" Got that? We're not sure if Vera wants it all in one head-to-toe concoction of calamitous couture, but you'd better at least try to work it. "Electrifying" dance music will pump through the PhiX, formerly a motorcycle repair shop, as "live artists create before you." The "glamour arrives at midnight," with dancing until 3 a.m. Admission is $3 with a "creative costume," $5 without. Call 602-252-7449.
Take a respite from blasé NFL games, cold turkey sandwiches and holiday shopping by breaking those tedious traditions with another tradition: the Phoenix Symphony's Thanksgiving Tchaikovsky Festival, which comes to a close on Sunday, November 28, at Xavier Prep's Piper Performing Arts Center, 4680 North Seventh Street, with a 3 p.m. performance. The symphony, led by conductor and former music director Theo Alcantara, will perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with young violinist Corey Cerovsek, as well as Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, and March Slav. For tickets, $25 to $35, call 602-495-1999.
If only a "Battle of the Bands" were just that, we'd get to see Band X and Band Y throw down à la Pistons-Pacers. And, of course, that means we'd get in on the action -- you know, broken beer mugs, fists a-flyin', and angry taunts ("My grandma plays a better 'Stairway to Heaven'! And she's got rheumatoid arthritis, you wanna-be poseur punk!"). But lest we give you any ideas -- the folks at Sugar Daddy's, 3102 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, wouldn't be amused -- we offer you a more civilized discourse for the Valley's up-and-coming music acts that, we promise, won't end in fines and suspensions. On Monday, November 29, Sugar Daddy's hosts the finals of its "Battle of the Bands," beginning at 9:30 p.m., with bluesman Paris James opening up at 5 p.m. Cover is $2. Call 480-970-6556.
When you just can't find the words, sometimes it's best to leave it to those who can. At the Paper Heart's "PAINT: Music, Art, Spoken Expression," wordsmiths and poetry slammers have the upper hand on verbal demonstration, with inspiration all about. On Tuesday, November 30, the Paper Heart welcomes "those who take their thoughts, feelings and minds and express them to poetic flows, lyrics and words," and throws them into the proverbial melting pot with visual artists and aural overachievers like Ecchoing Bleu, "a mixture of surf rock meets moderate melodic." The deliberations begin at 8 p.m. at 750 Grand Avenue. Admission is $3 (all ages), bar with ID. Call 602-262-2020 or see www.thepaperheart.com.
What's up with all these Average Schmoes feigning rock stardom with very un-rock 'n' roll names? Sorry, but Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Rufus Wainwright and Jack Johnson -- as rockin' as they may be -- just don't conjure up much in the way of sex, drugs and r'n'r with the monikers mama gave 'em. And that goes for Bob Schneider as well, the Austin-based singer-songwriter and former art-school geek who plays the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School, on Wednesday, December 1. But we can assure Schneider's no typical Bob on the geetar, which he'll shred to mere shrapnel and strings beginning at 7:30 p.m. in support of his latest CD, I'm Good Now. And for an even more distinctive take on Schneider's rock-star life, check out what is arguably the best bio any musician has going on the Web at www.bobschneidermusic.com. For tickets, $14, call Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444.