For those feeling sorry for themselves, there's no better antidote than a night of Richard Lewis. And not necessarily for the laughs. A couple hours of watching the clad-in-black, mulleted comedian -- who's revived his career with guest spots on Larry David's HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a book, The Other Great Depression -- and you'll be thanking the good Lord above you've got it so easy. And, yeah, Lewis has a tendency to be pretty damn funny. See Lewis perform at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive, on Friday, May 27, with two shows at 8 and 10 p.m. For tickets, $20, call 480-921-9877 or see www.tempeimprov.com.
When your live CD -- which also happens to be your debut -- sounds as tight as the Muddy Violets' Reclamation, you try to catch lightning in a bottle. And so it is that the Tempe foursome of lead singer Jason Longo, guitarist Brandon Goehner, bassist Roy Valencia and drummer Louis Butler returns to the Last Exit, 1425 West Southern Avenue in Tempe -- where Reclamation was recorded back in December -- for a Memorial Day weekend gig at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 28. After a three-year hiatus, Muddy Violets founders Longo and Butler re-formed the band last fall, and in just their second gig back recorded a nearly flawless album of seven tracks that hark back to the best years of Tempe greats Dead Hot Workshop. Tweeker Chic, and Lady Elaine open the 21-and-over show. Admission is $5. Call 480-557-6656.
Help wanted: someone who knows the ins and outs of underwater recon missions, who -- with the assistance of stealth technology -- could transport us and friends to a 145-foot houseboat parked in the middle of Lake Pleasant's Humbug Cove on Sunday, May 29. Amphibious pursuits, once aboard said vessel -- home to Arizona Marinas' Wet N' Wild Memorial Weekend Bash -- include a literal boatload of beauties from B.L.O.W. magazine and Scottsdale's Skin Cabaret, as well as cocktails, grub, and music by DJs J. Alan, Tranzl8r, Randy and Michael. Since target appeals to VIPs (and, therefore, requires a frickin' invite), infiltration is considered hazardous; in which case, target has set up a beachside par-tay, complete with complimentary grilled eats, plenty of space to groove to the tunes, and spectacular views of the on-board action, which begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until sundown. For details and directions, e-mail email@example.com.
If inspiration serves you well in the Valley, think what the vortex of the galaxy -- a.k.a. Sedona -- might do for your creative senses. Add a curiosity for learning filmmaking, and the Zaki Gordon Institute "Action! The World of Filmmaking" workshop on Monday, May 30, and Tuesday, May 31, could be your calling. The workshop includes discussions with ZGI alumni from the Yavapai College school who are working in the TV and film industry on everything from screenwriting and camera work to lighting, directing, sound and editing. The workshop concludes the fifth annual ZGI Short Film Festival. The two-day workshop costs $20. To register, call 928-649-4265.
Don't look for irony and cynicism from the guys in Mae, a five-piece band from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who play the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, on Tuesday, May 31. After all, they made their debut album, Destination: Beautiful, in a shed behind a warehouse -- and now they're touring in support of their second album, The Everglow, which was released in March, and being hailed as "one of the top 100 bands you need to know." Add the inherent spirituality and inspiration heard in the band's lyrics to its newfound success, and Mae's show might be likened to an old-fashioned revival of sorts. The Academy Is, Jamison Park, and Days Away open the show, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 480-829-0607 or see www.luckyman productions.net.
What do you get when you mix hip-hop and dance-hall reggae with a Latin infusion? A musical style whose days might be numbered. Or what's called "reggaeton," whose big names from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and, of course, Jamaica include Queen Ivy, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Tego Calderon. But before it blows through the musical landscape faster than Snow or Shabba Ranks, the Old Brickhouse Grill, 1 East Jackson Street, dedicates one night a week to reggaeton with Reggaeton Wednesdays, continuing on Wednesday, June 1. "[Reggaeton] seems to be crossing over and becoming pretty popular with the kids," says DJ Tranzo, one of Reggaeton Wednesdays' two house DJs, along with DJ Melo. "But I don't know how long it's gonna last." In the meantime, check out Tranzo and Melo, along with guest DJs Astonish, Rob G, Ekoe, Kool A, Villin, and LA, starting at 8 p.m. All ages are admitted; bar access with ID. See www.theoldbrickhousegrill.com.