When Jim Seagrave, along with his wife Karen, bought Fat Cats -- a rough and tumble bar home to hot-rodders, hot chicks and hotheads -- two and a half years ago, he didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the clientele. "There were some pretty thick rednecks when I first picked up the place," says Seagrave. "But that's their problem, not mine." It's doubtful the old patrons will revisit their onetime drinking hole on Saturday, August 7, when Fat Cats, 915 Grand Avenue, hosts the "Dragons and Drag Queens" benefit show for AIDS Walk Arizona. In hopes of raising $1,000 for the November 7 walk, a drag show takes to the runway at 9 p.m., followed by Fat Cats' house band, the Rhythm Dragons, who'll let loose with a smokin' set of rockabilly (or, as Jim Seagrave calls it, "rock-and-bluesbilly") at 11 p.m.
See and hear it all for a $5 donation, with all proceeds going to AIDS Walk Arizona. Call 602-252-0988. - Joe Watson
Salsa and Merengue Orchestra heats up the Sets
One, two, cha, cha -- screw it. We can't dance, but you can, at The Sets, Mill and Southern in Tempe, Friday, August 6. The Pan Americana Salsa & Merengue Orchestra performs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. -- for those whose loins get hot just thinkin' about it. Cover is $5. Call 602-746-0211. - Joe Watson
In homage to the C.O.D., The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, offers art for little more than the cost of postage -- $5. At the "Mail Art Show" -- starting at 6 p.m. Friday, August 6 -- take home artworks mailed in from as far away as Italy, S.W.A.K. Call 602-256-6006. - Joe Watson
The playing's the thing at Herberger
Was it all just a dream? We saw ourselves basking in an Athenian forest, as fairies served us potent spirits on a bed of orchid petals. Flutists floated fanciful songs about as we skipped among the butterflies. Men in tights we feared not, and the wenches were ladies nonetheless. And our cubicles, memo pads and looming deadlines were nowhere to be found. What the Puck? It isn't a dream -- it's reality this Tuesday, August 10, when the Herberger Theater Center hosts its Second Act Happy Hour, "A Midsummer's Night" themed party of music, dance, drinks and art. The Black Opal dance troupe performs as Bucket of Witches provides musical accompaniment, Author's Caf serves desserts, and Cabi coordinates a fashion show. Feast your eyes on the artworks of Cherle Marine while sipping cocktails starting at 5:30 p.m. Cover is $15. Call 602-254-7399, extension 102. - Joe Watson
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The future's now artistically
Phoenix as an architectural archetype? Artist Jason Hill certainly believes itÕs possible. "Right now, I think, is an exciting time in Phoenix," says Hill, a 35-year-old illustrator and graphic designer. "Because there is a dialogue about the future, a sort of optimistic ideal. You've got light rail, you've got the revitalization of downtown. We're taking old buildings and putting them in a new context." And by "new," Hill means old, at least in the imaginative and creative sense of the 1960s, when moon suits and The Jetsons gave Americans an otherworldly allusion to what the future might hold for our skylines and infrastructures.
In his exhibition "Retro-Futurism: The Art and Design of Jason Hill," which opens at MonOrchid Gallery, 214 East Roosevelt, on Friday, August 6, Hill brings a "psychedelic hyper-realism" back to the future. Through paintings of Phoenix architecture and photo collages of structural designs and fashion, Hill puts his Valley vision into a "surreal utopian context." An opening reception begins at 7 p.m. Call 602-253-0039. - Joe Watson