Willie Nelson. Call him the original musical road warrior or the silver-throated pirate of the highways, his tour bus cutting through the night as he moves from city to city, gig to gig. And while Nelson roams the highways and byways, various labels have been busy reissuing a huge catalogue of Nelson's material throughout the year, all of it coinciding, unfortunately, with the recent deaths of his iconic peers Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Each remastered, reconfigured disc is a treasure; there are no wrong turns to take in the world of Willie.
Outlaw that he is, Nelson's live shows are not entirely civilized, mostly because he spends as much time entertaining himself as he does his faithful audiences.
"I can't say I prefer staying at home playing with friends because all my friends are right there, on the stage, at every show," says Nelson. "The audience changes, but my friends stay the same. It doesn't really matter where we are. We have fun."
And so will you. Nelson performs Saturday, November 29, at the Dodge Theatre; call 480-784-4444 for tickets. - Henry Cabot Beck
A political party in Scottsdale
Capitalizing on government gaffes, the Capitol Steps return this weekend to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Back in the Valley by popular demand, the troupe -- which bills itself as "the only group in America that attempts to be funnier than the Congress" -- is composed of current and former Congressional staffers who scrutinize the personalities and proceedings on Capitol Hill, then set political satire to song.
Showtimes are 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, November 29, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 30. Call 480-994-2787 or see www.scottsdalearts.org for tickets, $36. - Jill Koch
Museum in Motion
ASU's dance department gets down
Inspired by art? Visiting the ASU Art Museum on Tuesday evening, December 2, will be a particularly moving experience, as students from ASU's dance department present Night Moves. Graduate choreographers crafted the collection of works in response to the video installations of "Gary Hill: Language Willing," on exhibition at the museum through January 25. A founder of the art form, Hill manipulates video imagery, via computer, to form "time-based sculptures" that explore sound, the human body and the act of speaking.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at the Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. After a prelude performance in the lobby, performances move to four other locations throughout the museum. The choreographers will be available for questions, and refreshments will be provided. Admission is free; see asuartmuseum.asu.edu/exhibitions/events.html for more information. - Jill Koch
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Comedienne explains the ins and outs of sex
Tere Joyce may not have been the last comic standing on NBC's reality show of the same name -- in fact, she was eliminated in the second round of the Jay Mohr-hosted version of Big Brother-on-nitrous oxide. But she still gets to appear on VH1's Big in 2003 reality TV show awards, airing on November 30. "I'm walking the red carpet," she says proudly, though she admits there's little chance of winning the coveted (?!?) number-one reality show star award.
Joyce put in 10 years on the standup circuit before her "big" break on Last Comic Standing, yet her appearances at the Comedy Spot in Scottsdale at 8 p.m. Friday, November 28, and 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, November 29, will be the first Phoenix dates for the wild-haired, slightly neurotic comedienne. "I've been in therapy before," she says of her source material. "I did this really weird therapy where you had to get naked; that kind of spurred me on to make jokes about it." She admits her show is a bit naughty, covering subjects like sex with ex-cons and the aforementioned dysfunctional psychiatry. Tickets are $12, with a two-item minimum purchase. Call 480-945-4422 or visit www.thecomedyspot.net for tickets or more information. - Brendan Joel Kelley