Tracy + the Plastics is not a real band. Or is it? The beauty is that it's so hard to tell. The brain child of "lesbian feminist video artist" Wynne Greenwood, Tracy + the Plastics is a three-piece solo act. Yep, you read that right. Here's the setup: Greenwood portrays herself -- live, on lead vocals -- while her "bandmates," drummer Cola and keyboardist Nikki, are virtual video versions of Greenwood prerecorded and projected onto a screen behind her.
The result falls somewhere between performance and art, a distinction borne out by the venues "they've" played, from darkened living rooms to dank basements to rank punk clubs to the 2004 Whitney Biennial at NYC's Whitney Museum of Modern Art.
"When I started, I wanted to play queer disco clubs and art galleries," Greenwood told Venuszine.com in a recent interview. "But still, I felt like a renegade art person. The great thing about punk culture is that you don't have to know the terms. You just kind of make it up. I was just, like, making up a band because I didn't have one and I wanted one."
Tracy + the Plastics perform Monday, October 31, at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Back Ted N-Ted, Reindeer Tiger Team, and Amp Sound Ensemble are also on the bill. Showtime is 7 p.m. The cover is $5. Call 602-256-6006 or visit www.thetrunkspace.com. Greenwood will also give a free pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. Monday in Room 184 of the Lattie Coor Building on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. --Clay McNear
Nebellen rocks the house
Graffiti art at the Herberger? There's a twist. Actually, it's Nebellen Dance Company's "Mixer With a Twist," which incorporates a number of timely tricks and treats, such as mod movement set against graf scenery, spoken word, a DJ waxing tracks, and an interactive costume contest that allows the winner to preen onstage with the dancers. Nebellen's program includes the glow-in-the-dark delight Sh Glow and the crowd-pleasing Janitors. "Twist" the night away at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $15 to $30. Call 602-252-8497. -- Clay McNear
Get Jiggy With It
Irish festival on deck
"When push comes to shove, we're all Celts," says Mary Moriarty of the Irish Cultural Center, sponsor of the Arizona Irish Festival. Celt or not, you can cavort with St. Patrick himself, as well as Irish wolfhounds, artists, dancers, craftspeople, and guys in kilts playing bagpipes, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 29, at Hance Park, 67 West Culver. Admission is $10 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12, free for the wee bairns. Call 602-392-7850 or visit www.azirishfestival.org. -- Julie Peterson
TIMB's art of darkness
Nudity. Violence. Death. Theatre in My Basement's third annual Teatro Caliente! Festival at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt, tackles these issues through music, dance, poetry and performance art. The material focuses on multicultural themes ranging from Isel Rodriguez and Sara Sanabia's comic depiction of pregnancy -- illustrated by plugging their belly buttons into electrical outlets -- to a photographic journey of grief and loss in The Eulogy Project. Gabriela Vargas-Cetina breaks down cultural and gender boundaries by performing Cuban trovas -- troubadour songs -- traditionally played by men. Teatro Caliente! is technically open to all ages, but, as TIMB's Web site notes, "this isn't Elmo on Ice." The festival opens Friday, October 28, and continues through Sunday, October 30. Doors open at 7 each night, and admission is $8. Call 602-870-8918. -- Wynter Holden