Alex Garcia is not a revolutionary. The founder of the Phoenix fashion school Instituto de Modelos Merge has no intention of shifting the balance of sociopolitical power or causing any sort of world domination movement. He simply wants to give an artistic voice to the culture that surrounds him. So on Wednesday, July 27, he'll present the Merge Fashion Show at Karamba Night Club, 1724 East McDowell. "Our community is mostly Hispanic," Garcia says. "So I wanted to help create fashion that is by the Hispanics, for the Hispanics." Garcia teaches the basics of fashion design and encourages his students to find a unique voice. He says, "We try to infuse that Latin sugar into our designs," which Garcia describes as "eclectic, chic and club-ready." But what's most evident about the institute's designs is that they're made for dancing. The dresses flow and show off the curves of those who wear them. To celebrate the first graduates of the institute, Garcia, La Rae, Maurilio Ramirez, and Jorge Johnson will showcase their designs at Karamba from 8 to 11:30 p.m. All proceeds from the show go toward a scholarship fund for future students. Admission costs $10. Call 602-254-0241 or visit www.labelhorde.com. -- Evan Wyloge
Your best won't do at Hard Rock Cafe
It'll take a lot more than rock 'n' roll gimmicks to get Dee Snider (pictured) on their side when a half-dozen local bands battle in the Sauza Tequila "Live All Summer" competition on Wednesday, July 27, at the Hard Rock Cafe, 3 South Second Street. Snider, the former front man of 1980s hair-metal band Twisted Sister, along with 101.5 The Zone's DJ Fathead and a third judge to be determined, will choose one band to open for alt-popsters OK Go on August 10 in San Francisco. Sauza girls will be on hand to deliver tastings and shots. Admission is free. Call 602-261-7625. -- Joe Watson
All in a day's words
San Francisco writer/poet/actor/musician Beth Lisick (pictured) throws the kitchen sink at the lit geeks who'll attend the Tuesday, July 26, installment of "Writers Block" at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, by showing a short film, reading some of her works, and then dishing out advice for creative writing types. The 8 p.m. show/workshop also includes the usual P.A.I.N.T. festivities with DJ Seduce. Call 602-262-2020 or see www.thepaperheart.com. -- Joe Watson
Laugh it off at "Film Nuit"
The film sounds like an instructional sex video gone awry, but Laurelann Porter's How Not to Make Love to a Woman jump-starts the Paper Heart's "Film Nuit" series with an indie debut that's part performance art, part documentary. Porter, a playwright and ASU graduate, strips the shame from domestic abuse by focusing on women as survivors, not victims, and leaves ample room for laughter. Porter believes it's the best medicine to promote healing, and if you have a problem with that, you'll just have to take it up with her and the crew at the post-screening discussion panel. Film Nuit à la Paper Heart begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at 750 Grand Avenue. Admission costs $3. Call 602-262-2020. -- Wynter Holden