It's been said that if you play a country song backward, you get your woman, your job, your house, your truck, and your dog back. For some people, the lost dog is lamented more than the lost lover -- after all, the dog never bitches about when you come home, who you were with, or where your half of the rent money is. On Friday, October 7, Greta's Pet Boutique salutes our free-spirited, four-legged friends with a "Day of the Dead Pet Paintings" exhibit by Chicano artist Patrick Murillo. The artist will be present at the free opening reception, which also features pet-shrine kits for sale as well as a community pet altar. Bring a picture of your late pet and reminisce with other animal lovers from 6 to 9 p.m. Greta's is located at 824 North Central Avenue. Call 602-252-0239 or visit www.PatrickMurillo.com.
Local DJs Pete "SuperMix" Salaz and Senbad are mixmasters on a mission. "Pete and I have been making ourselves responsible for the house-music scene here for the past 14 years," says Senbad. The duo's latest "house party," Lemon Drop, takes place every Saturday at Majerle's 9-Lounge. Senbad says, "This is the only Saturday in Phoenix right now dedicated to house music." On Saturday, October 8, Salaz and Senbad will be joined at the tables by DJ Diz, a Chicago legend known for his deep-house spins. The party starts at 10 p.m., and there's a $10 cover. Majerle's 9-Lounge is located at 24 North Second Street. Call 602-253-0118.
"Over-the-top deadpan" sounds like an oxymoron unless you're talking about native New Yorker Colin Quinn. The Saturday Night Live alumnus has been a pokerfaced joker since his early days on MTV's Remote Control game show, where he proved he could do things like identify Axl Rose's ass from a millisecond of video footage. On Sunday, October 9, the low-key laugh master wraps up a four-day stand at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. If you missed Quinn's sober-faced snickering during The Colin Quinn Show or Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, catch his standup act at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 480-921-9877 or visit www.tempeimprov.com.
Face it, guys: Women make better bluffers. If you think a woman's never called your bluff, ask yourself how many times you've answered the question, "Honey, does this dress make me look fat?" That question's more loaded than a junkie in a shooting gallery. On Monday, October 10, ladies who want to use their bunco talents in a game of cards can head to the Lucky Ladies Poker Club, an evening of poker instruction with a professional coach. For $35, you can learn the lingo and nuances of the game while enjoying specialty drinks like the "Queen of Hearts Martini" and the "Straight Flush Margarita." The dealing goes down in the Rose Room of the Stockyards Restaurant and 1889 Saloon, 5009 East Washington Street. Call 602-273-7379 to make reservations (required).
Who would have thought it was possible to make Chris Isaak's sullen song "Wicked Game" any gloomier? But when Ville Valo -- the singer of Finnish death-rock quintet HIM -- sings the song, wailing "No, Iiii-eee don't wanna fall in love," you almost feel like it's time to eat a handful of Prozac and pull all your personal ads. At least Isaak ended up rolling around with a buxom brunette on a sandy beach in the video. Not that Valo and his handsome bandmates can't nab the ladies -- when the band played in Tempe last year, the show sold out in less than a week -- it's just that good lovin' might molest their muses of darkness. On Tuesday, October 11, HIM plays the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe, and you can bet your decapitated bats that the goth girls will be waiting in the shadows for hours to be among the first to hear songs from HIM's new album, Dark Light, which is scheduled for a November release. Paint it black at 6:30 p.m. Finch, and Skindred open the show. Tickets cost $25. Call 480-829-0607.
The white man has the bogeyman to lord over his children and make them behave, but this mythical figure looks like Ronald McDonald compared to the phantasmagoric threats of the Hopi kachinas. While most kachinas are fetish figures that serve various benevolent purposes, Hopi parents have traditionally used the kachinas Nata-aska and Wiharo (black and white ogres, respectively) as a means of discipline. These figures have giant jaws that clack like something out of the movie Hellraiser, and they carry saws and swallow bad little children whole. We're not sure what the saws are for, but maybe The Kachina Conspiracy can enlighten us. On Wednesday, October 12, Theatre in My Basement presents this "piece of new musical performance/theater [that] will take you to the center of the world and to the edges of the universe at the same time." The Kachina Conspiracy is a collaborative effort between local musician/playwright/visual artist Rich Howard and Heard Museum Hopi kachina carver Deb Drye. Since the show's a "work in progress," admission costs only five bucks. Catch the conspiracies at 8 p.m. at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street. Call 602-462-5516 or visit www.deluvian.com or www.timb.org.