Club Freedom's been closed for more than a year now, but that doesn't mean there's nowhere in Phoenix for renowned DJs to drop their stacks of wax. On Saturday, August 27, several local organizations, including IONAZ magazine and dance station Energy 92.3, prove the beat goes on with "Splash Bash 4," a poolside gay soiree at the Clarendon Hotel, 401 West Clarendon. In addition to the sounds of locally bred spinster Pistol Pete (best known for his gigs at local queer hot spots like Paco Paco and E-Lounge), the DJ booth will emanate the sexy, progressive house mixes of DJ Kio Kio. Kio Kio has bumped vinyl all over the world, and he loves to do long sets (say, about eight hours). But he'll have to truncate his tune monsoon, since he's sharing the stage with the likes of singer Abigail (pictured), whose medley of dance hits (like "Let the Joy Rise" and "You Set Me Free") is sure to fill the floor with lithe, writhing bodies.
The event also includes performances by Arizona Gay Idol finalists, a tan-line contest, a model-search contest, and numerous giveaways. Revelries begin at noon and last until 10 p.m. Tickets cost $25 at the door, $20 in advance through www.ionaz.com. Call 602-252-7363. -- Niki D'Andrea
Saturday night dance
We don't know about you, but we need more cowbell. Since Grand Funk Railroad's tour is skipping Phoenix, we suggest giving local indie sex-core band the Stiletto Formal a try on Saturday, August 27, at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. The six-piece offers up a hip, danceable sound featuring keyboards, a prominent cello and a cowbell on level with the band Death From Above 1979. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10. See www.thestilettoformal.com. -- Chelsea Ide
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Tango with the flow
The tango is arguably the world's most beautiful (and certainly its most sensual) dance, more akin to a visual language than a mere shuffling of feet. "Last Tango in August," scheduled for Thursday, August 25, salutes the lovely Argentine export with dance lessons and performances by professional dancers. The music -- almost as important as the dancing where tango is concerned -- will be provided by Che Tango, an ensemble led by Italian musician Mario Valdez. The event, co-sponsored by KBAQ-FM 89.5 and KJZZ-FM 91.5, starts at 7 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, 2401 East Camelback. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Call 480-774-8450 or visit www.kbaq.org or www.kjzz.org. -- Clay McNear
Carmen goes contempo
Are you an opera fan? Maybe not, but chances are you've at least heard of the most famous opera of all time, Carmen. You can be allergic to the strains of opera and still find something compelling in Georges Bizet's story of a fiery Spanish Gypsy, especially when it's brought into the modern era as it is in The Car Man, showing Sunday, August 28, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. Tony Award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne updates the classic work, setting it in an auto shop in the Midwest in the 1960s and turning it into a compelling dance/theater hybrid. The second offering in the Phoenix Art Museum's "Carmen" series, it's also a unique opportunity to experience a cultural classic while keeping your non-opera streak intact. Showtime is 2 p.m. Call 602-257-1222 or visit www.phxart.org. -- Craig Wallach