This Week's Day-by-day Picks
"Chunks of Fried Funk" might sound like a bad school cafeteria lunch, but techno-haters and hip-hop junkies love the mystery meat packed into this sonic casserole of electrobreaks, hip-hop, "nu skool," funk and "ghetto stylez." The weekly DJ night at Ichiban Sushi Bar, 1435 East University Drive in Tempe, offers galactic grooves from Resident DJs D-Mok Phonik and Ladykilla, as well as some "open sessions," so onlookers can spin their own schizophonic styles. Just heed Phonik and Ladykilla's strict "no techno" rule. Get wax tracks with your sushi every Thursday night, from 9 to 11 p.m., while Ichiban serves up $2 wells and domestics and $3 imports. No cover. Call 480-968-3234.
So you picked up on a little Spanish living here in the Valley, and you're ready to corte una manta (cut a rug) with some caliente chicas and hombres. Let your two left feet lead you to Dance Time Studio, for the "Caliente Salsa/Latin Dance Party," where you can learn how to salsa every Friday, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Following the lesson, enjoy open dance until 11:30 p.m., where you may witness the cha-cha, the rumba, the samba, the mambo, the merengue, the bachata, the cumbia, the bolero, the tango, and good ol' "Latin club dance." Shell out $15 for the lesson and the open dance, $5 if you just wanna cut footloose. Dance Time Studio is located at 10339 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Call 602-486-2082.
Designer Emilio Pucci, nicknamed "the King of Casual Couture" and the "Prince of Prints," dressed some of the world's most glamorous women: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor, to name a few. Even after his death in 1992 and the absorption of the House of Pucci into the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey conglomerate, Pucci's dramatic designs and rich colors endure, earning the adoration of stars like Jennifer Lopez, Nicky Hilton and Isabella Rosellini. His designs hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Now, they'll hang in Phoenix, too, when Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, unveils an exhibit of Pucci's psychedelic prints in the Fashion Design Gallery on Saturday, July 2. The exhibit explores the career of the two-time Neiman-Marcus Fashion Award winner, and features a series of Pucci outfits worn by Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright, including a cape with a print inspired by African masks. The exhibit runs through November 6. Admission costs $3 to $9. Call 602-257-1222.
Many of the people who scoff most ardently at the legacy of Mötley Crüe were probably the same people running around in ripped-up jeans and raccoon eyeliner in 1985, going through gallons of Aqua Net hairspray while trying to get the perfect "claw." Some people, like the blokes in Valley cover band Metalhead, have found that wigs make for better heavy-metal hair, and that it's okay to cling to the clichs if you're in on the joke. The band members -- singer Lucky, bassist Steele Wulffe, guitarist G-String and drummer Tommi Legg -- play at Martini Ranch every Sunday night, with a set list that covers bands like Warrant, Poison, Kiss, and Cinderella. The show celebrates the kitsch of hair bands, right down to the microphone-humping and spandex splits. Now, they just need some umlauts. Hold up those lighters from 9 p.m. 'til closing time at Martini Ranch, 7295 East Stetson Drive in Scottsdale. Admission is free. Call 480-970-0500.
So last year's "hunker down at home" Fourth of July celebration went over like a lead balloon after the kids stuck a sparkler in the cat's butt and set off smoke bombs in front of the beer cooler. This year, let them bounce off the walls of an inflatable village and leave the pyrotechnics to the pros at the July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival. While the young'uns play in the village, you can check out the Pure Fitness Summer Nights Stage, featuring entertainment by local bands like Quantum, Second Shift, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns, and Azz Izz, with musical sets spliced with a flyover by Luke Air Force Base. A variety of vendors, including Pizza Hut and On the Border, will satiate your palate, should hunger strike during the festivities, which last from 4 to 11 p.m. The SRP 54th Annual Fireworks Spectacular launches from the Mill Avenue Bridge at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $5 in advance at Safeway stores, and $8 apiece (or two for $15) at the gate. Tempe Town Lake is located at 80 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Call 866-443-8849 or visit www.tempe4th.com.
Phoenix boasts its share of pro wrestling connections. Our desert metropolis also serves as home base to Impact Zone Wrestling, which brings theatrical brutality to The Sets, 93 East Southern Avenue in Tempe, on Tuesday, July 4th. The IZW serves as a "farm circuit" for the WWE empire, and IZW wrestlers often perform at local WWE events, like they did last month, when IZW characters "Triple XXX" Lawrence Tyler, the Navajo Warrior, and Hawaiian Lion hit the ropes for a taping of WWE Raw at America West Arena. They'll join characters like Samir Hussein and Father Punishment for the event at The Sets, which includes appearances by the stable's sexy female scrappers, like Luscious, Kharma, Adrenalyn, and uh, "Outkast" David Taylor, the current Women's Champion. Wrestling fans will see some familiar faces in the IZW stable, too, including Train (formerly Prince Albert in the WWE) and former WWE Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man. Bell time for the all-ages show is 7:30 p.m., and admission costs $7. Call 480-829-1822 or see www.impactzonewrestling.com.
Their parents came from South America, they sing in both English and Spanish, and they call themselves "chiquitas picantes" -- but don't come at the girls of L.A. punk band Go Betty Go with that whole "Latin rock" angle. The foursome plays spirited garage punk, which is so not Santana. "I don't think of myself as a Latin rock person," singer Nicolette Vilar writes on the band's Web site. "I sing in Spanish because we speak the language." Go Betty Go brings its Glendale, California, garage rawk en español to Tempe on Wednesday, July 7, with a stop at Big Fish Pub, 1954 East University Drive. The American Eyes, The Dietrichs, and XLP open the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Admission costs $8. Call 480-966-5010 or visit www.luckymanonline.com.
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What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.