Monster's Brawl

Turning Japanese in Tempe

SAT 8/27
Quickly, we must flee! Ginormous mutated creatures are preparing to annihilate The Sets, 93 East Southern in Tempe, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 27. These death-bringers will include the demonic simian Hell Monkey and the soup-can-clad martial artist Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle. Surely, we are doomed! Oh, wait, it's only a special showing of Kaiju Big Battel: Shocking Truth, a DVD documenting the insanity of a Boston-based entertainment troupe parodying wrestling, Godzilla flicks, and Japanese kitsch. The video screening is part of a show dubbed "Japanese Punk Weirdness," which also features such cracked acts as NYC's Peelander-Z and local peeps Page the Village Idiot, Twin Towaz, and Etched in Ink. But even as kooky as these mad musicians are, they're nowhere near as nutty as the screwy spectacle of costumed performers playing out a surreal story line wherein factions of gargantuan kaijÿ (Japanese for "mysterious or strange beast") in the vein of Gamera or Ultraman battle in WWE-style matches in an abandoned metropolis (read: cardboard miniature cityscapes). The roster includes such villains as the garbage monster Gomi-man and the time-traveling gastropod Super Dimensional Slug One facing heroes like American Beetle (an enormous bug suffering under the delusion that he's the U.S. president). Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 602-953-2728 or visit www.trashcity.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Rocket Man
Valley artist spaces out

It came from . . . well, Boston.
courtesy of Studio Kaiju
It came from . . . well, Boston.

8/26-1/6
The spaceman cometh to Mesa on Friday, August 26, with the opening of the exhibition "Dreaming Tomorrow: The Art of Robert McCall." The Valley resident has made a (very successful) career of producing out-of-this-world images in a variety of media, from humongous murals to teensy postage stamps. He's probably best known for his poster design for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and for his many contributions to NASA and Lifemagazine. "Dreaming Tomorrow" includes more than 30 works spanning McCall's career. The exhibition continues through January 6, 2006, at the Arizona Museum for Youth, 35 North Robson. Admission is $3.50, free for kids under 1. Call 480-644-2468. -- Clay McNear

 
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