There are plenty of good spots along Central Avenue to watch this year's 34th Annual Fiesta Bowl Parade, on Friday, December 31, in person. But we suggest, if you're hoping to avoid a throng of horny, middle-aged sports fans (pardon the redundancy), that you at least find a seat someplace that the parade's grand marshal -- 2004 Olympic gold-medal winner and former UofA softball pitcher Jennie Finch -- won't be pausing at for an extended cheerleader wave. ESPN.com's "Hottest Female Athlete of the Year" for 2003 -- and fiance of D-Backs pitcher Casey Daigle -- will lead the parade through the streets of downtown Phoenix, where more than 400,000 spectators are expected. Snagging a primo spot is free, unless you're a well-to-do Utah or Pittsburgh football booster and choose to shell out the $80 for first-class riser seats. The parade starts at 11 a.m. See www.tostitosfiestabowl.com for more information.
It seems like eons now since Reubens Accomplice released everyone's favorite local indie album of 2004, The Bull, The Balloon, and The Family, back in March. And yet, we're all still waiting for Rolling Stone or Spin to name them the next "it" band. Hopefully, finally, their upcoming tour in support of Jimmy Eat World will get the Phoenix quartet some major league press. In preparation, Reubens plays a tune-up, all-ages show on Saturday, January 1, at the Clubhouse in Tempe, 1320 East Broadway Road -- the last local show the boys will headline for some time at least. Source Victoria, Peachcake, and the Love Blisters open starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $6. Call 480-968-3238 or see www.clubhousegigs.com.
They might be in it for the shock value. But the Colorado Springs extreme metal band The Great Redneck Hope doesn't leave you much time to ponder its motives. The quartet -- which has been compared most often to fellow thrashing, screaming, Armageddon-is-near-and-we're-takin'-you-with-us metal giants Dillinger Escape Plan -- will promote its newest release, Behold the Fuck Thunder, with what should be a quick set on Sunday, January 2, at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. While Fuck Thunder's 11 tracks clock in at a whopping 9 minutes and 17 seconds -- total -- you'll probably spend the bulk of your time reading the band's song titles, which include "Woah, Frankenstein! I Didn't Program You to Make Out With Boys!"; "Let's Fall in Love Over AIM So We Can Fuck When We Meet at Cornerstone"; and "Are You There, God? Please Help Me Stop Masturbating." Animal Hospital, Wax Vultures, and Bodhisattva open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 602-256-6006 or see www.thetrunkspace.com.
We'll have trashed the tree and rolled up the Christmas lights long before the ZooLights burn out. And then we'll weep, wishing the damn electric bill hadn't squeezed out our last ounce of Xmas spirit. So, we could take a trip to the Phoenix Zoo (which has ZooLights up 'til January 9). But we'll make a journey to the Wildlife World Zoo, 16501 West Northern Avenue in Litchfield Park, instead, for its Wild Winter Nights on Monday, January 3. Not only does WWZ boast more than 500,000 lights throughout the park, but, more important -- unlike the Phoenix Zoo -- you can actually get a nighttime glimpse of some animals at WWZ. Take a train ride through the African Savannah exhibit, where the conductor will flash his meddling spotlight on grazing animals, including the springboks and gazelles. The Australian Boat Ride will be open as well to catch kangaroos and wallabies in action. But we're giddiest about WWZ's Skyride, which gives visitors an overhead glimpse of the zoo's 55 acres in all its shimmering glory. Wild Winter Nights opens at 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., and continues through January 9. Admission is $6 per person. Call 623-935-9453 or see www.wildlifeworld.com.
One, two, and that's about as far as we get with the freakin' tango! Luckily, we aren't alone, as evidenced by the popularity of Tango Discovery Arizona's Tuesday Night Practica, which cha-cha-chas across the floor of the Market Street Cafe, 539 East Glendale Avenue in Phoenix, on January 4. The class, "a chance to clear up anything that you learned or that you are working on," teaches "Power Improvisation" (which started about eight years ago in Buenos Aires, Argentina) as an "extension of Tango [Nuevo]." The 7:30 to 9 p.m. class costs $3. See www.khalsaproductions.com/tango for details.