This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 23
Just how many stockings can you stuff into a bikini -- which happens to be clinging to one heavenly body at the time? We're not sure if that's what the organizers of the Xtreme Xmas Bash have in mind on Thursday, December 23, at the Big Fish Pub, 1954 East University in Tempe. But that's what we're hoping for from the bash's "Stocking Stuffer Bikini Contest." So that takes care of our dirty little thoughts. Our more artistic side is looking forward to "underground hip-hop" performances by Eklektraphonik, Atlas, Glad, Nok, Blitzkrieg, Identity Crisis, and more. Local DJs on the bill include Statik and Dizzy Don, as well as New York's DJ Rexxx and DJ Toshi. The show is open to all ages; 21-and-over with ID to drink. The first 50 through the door receive a free compilation CD. Call 480-966-5010.

FRI 24
Back in 1993, director Tim Burton proved goths were down with the Christmas spirit, too, thanks to his film The Nightmare Before Christmas. So what if the movie scared the hell outta little ones wishing mommy and daddy would have just rented Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? We're sure Burton's heart was in the right place. . . . We'll find out on Friday, December 24, whether Burton's fellow goths -- at least the ones here in the Valley -- are wishing us happy holidays or haunted nightmares of sugarplums exploding in our guts when local goth social club The Requiem hosts its own "Nightmare Before Christmas" at Club Incognito, 2424 East Thomas, beginning at 9 p.m. DJ Ramone spins "dark '80s," industrial, and, of course, goth music all night. Drink specials include $2 well, wine and draft from 10 to 11 p.m., along with $2 "pucker shots" all night. No cover from 9 to 10 p.m.; $6 thereafter. For more information, see www.azgoth.com.

SAT 25
So the folks from The Requiem at least leave open the possibility of some Christmas cheer at their holiday hoe-down. But you'll get nothing of the sort from the organizers of "Sadisco in Wonderland," one bitchin' party that'll burn in the fiery flames of hell on Saturday, December 25, at Jugheads, 5110 East McDowell. The hedonists promise a "sex and acid smothered version of 'Alice in Wonderland' just in time for Holiday X." And that ain't the least of it. The "anti-Christmas bru-ha-ha" includes music by DJs Squalor, She, Aversion, and special guest Lore, coming up "all the way" from Tucson. The night's festivities also include "Alice in Stripperland," featuring Sadisco's "in-house stripper," Angie, with an "eat-me, drink-me, trip-me tea party." Somethin' tells us we might wanna stay away from the tea. God-fearing, Christmas-lovin' religious folk are certainly welcome (we think), but we can't guarantee your surviving the Rapture after this one. Admission is $5; free if you arrive before 8 p.m. or after 2 a.m. The party is, of course, open to those 21 and over only. Call 480-710-0973 or see www.sadistic-disco.com for more information.

SUN 26
We know, the day-after-Christmas sales are just too damn good to pass on. But we've got a sneakin' suspicion that those clever retailers might have ulterior motives. Protest, if you must. And open your eyes to a much more dangerous kind of exploitation on Sunday, December 26, when the Art One Gallery, at 4120 North Marshall Way in Old Town Scottsdale, continues its ongoing exhibition "Forgotten Girls." The show is a body of visual artwork "dedicated to raising public awareness of the human rights abuses associated with trafficking young girls and women for the purpose of sexual exploitation." Admission is free. Call the gallery at 480-946-5076 for daily hours of operation.

MON 27
A holiday season spent in the Valley isn't just balmy weather and foursomes at Greyhawk. So says the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central, which hosts its Holidays at the Heard events on Monday, December 27 (continuing through December 30). The museum's festivities include demonstrations by Native American artists -- for instance, Navajo Two Grey Hills textile weavers on Monday -- working with "a variety of art forms such as beadwork, print making, wood carving and clay art." Intertribal dancers, such as the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Basket Dancers, will perform half-hour shows throughout the week. And, of course, there's the requisite fry bread and Indian tacos for curious friends and family. Performances are included in the cost of admission: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for kids 4 to 12, free for children under 4. Call 602-252-8848 or see www.heard.org.

TUE 28
We'd scat this little ditty, if we could. But then we'd be mocking Calloway and Crothers, and that ain't cool. So we'll just ditch our mo' better blues on Tuesday, December 28, and make a beeline for the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe, where the Black Theatre Troupe presents Ain't Misbehavin' starting at 8 p.m. The classic Thomas "Fats" Waller musical taps back 75 years ago to the "Golden Age of the Cotton Club, honky tonk dives along Lenox Avenue, rent parties, stride piano players and that jumpin' new beat called Swing." The show, directed and choreographed by Charles Bullock, runs through January 9. For tickets, $25 to $31, call 602-252-8497 or see www.herbergertheater.org.

WED 29
History can be fun, especially when you rework references from days gone by. For instance, you could draw a name from the 19th century and place it in a modern context for humorous effect, like combining the seventh president of the United States with an Arabic word for "holy war," and voilà! You've got the name of your acoustic rock band, the Andrew Jackson Jihad, a local trio that sings about serial killers, cigarettes, child abuse, and a vengeful Jesus, which brings its funny name to the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, on Wednesday, December 29. Not to be outdone, the boys in the Continental Light Brigade -- who open for the Jihad -- also draw their name from the 1800s. Then again, one might choose to draw a name from more recent history and mix in a little clever word play -- like the boys in the Betty Ford Critic, who're also on the bill that night. For more information, call 602-256-6006 or see www.thetrunkspace.com.

 
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