Archaic Cessation at Joe's Grotto (Friday)
Halloween's not for another couple weeks, so get yourself in the mood for ghosts and goblins with an evening of horrific and creepy death metal from this fearsome foursome. Losing God, Fail to Reason, and Anomaly will also perform. 8 p.m., $5. (13825 North 32nd Street, 602-992-1007)
The Janks at MADCAP Theaters (Friday)
Zack and Dylan Zmed might be the offspring of greasy-haired '80s heartthrob Adrian Zmed, but try not to hold that fact against them, as the 20something musicians actually have some performance skills (unlike their Dance Fever-hosting papa). The pair form the core of Cali indie/Americana band The Janks, who'll visit Tempe tonight for a gig with locals Isle of Essence and The Dorsets. 7 p.m., $8.
Way Out West Oktoberfest at Tempe Beach Park (Saturday)
"The beer-for-everyone blowout includes a Bavarian suds garden, a Madden NFL video-game tournament, the Let It Grow 30-foot-long mobile barbershop, and (yes!) live nonstop polka jams. Joel's Polka Band, The Dummkopf's, and the Das Aubachtal Sextett, who hail from Regensburg, Germany, will post up just to the left of the main entrance at Tempe Beach Park." 10 a.m.-midnight, free. - Steve Jansen (54 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 480-350-8625)
Glow Party at Afterlife (Saturday)
Get a good, old-fashioned glow job as this Scottsdale after-hours party palace get lit up during this immense illuminated extravaganza that will feature hundreds of glowing spheres on its dance floor. A red-hot soundtrack will laid down by such DJs as EPHX and Nando. 10 p.m., $5 admission for those on the guest list. (4282 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale).
Ghosts of Phoenix Tour at Hotel San Carlos (Saturday)
The one-hour walking tour of Phoenix's famed San Carlos Hotel -- one of msn.com's "Top Ten Haunted Hotels" -- features stops at "paranormal hot spots," including areas not normally opened to guests or visitors. Tour times vary. $6-$12. (202 North Central Avenue, 602-253-4121) -- Clay McNear
Rainbows Festival at Heritage Square (Saturday)
News flash: Bible-thumping, God-fearing Christians generally don't get along with gays, lesbians, or anyone else of a non-traditional sexual stripe. And since the feeling's mutual, this weekend's Rainbows Festival at Heritage Square should be a memorable experience, to say the least. Why? Because by pure happenstance, a fundamentalist music even (Women of Faith) festival will also be taking place a few blocks away. While this ying-yang situation might result in some interesting interactions between both sides, it probably won't detract much from the vibrant two-day long celebration of LGBT pride and diversity, which kicks off on Saturday, October 3. A full slate of entertainment is promised, including performances by male impersonators Freddy Prinze Charming and Sisterzz Twisted, the finals of Arizona Gay Idol, and troubadour Marc Pedraza. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. (115 North Sixth Street)
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Weed and Aphrodisiac!: The Sexual Secret of Marijuana at MADCAP Theaters (Satuday)
"High times are afoot this weekend as Andrea Beesley-Brown (a.k.a. The Midnite Movie Mamacita) strikes again with this pairing of now-deadpan flicks from the early '70s. The first examines the many attempts of the government to rein in pot use and distribution. The second looks at the purported beneficial effects of dope." 9 p.m., $8. -- Clay McNear (730 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480-634-5192)
The Great Pancake Shakedown at Push PHX Gallery (Sunday)
If you've got the munchies after watching those druggie flicks, this downtown gallery is hosting a fundraising flapjack fiesta with a gutload of griddlecakes for patrons in attendance. Some hot local bands will also be offered in addition to the hotcakes, including performances by The Shallow Type, Bargrass Revival, Joy World Entertainment Company, and Ashley Norton. Normal admission is $10, but organizers will take $1 off for each canned item you bring. 10 a.m. (1145 East Roosevelt Street)
Starfucker at Modified Arts (Sunday)
"Does a Starfucker by any other name sound as sweet? We're about to find out. In a recent interview with their hometown newspaper, the Portland Mercury, the synth-pop foursome officially put the ixnay on the snarky moniker that has served them so ably and profanely since they started playing as a house-show project in 2007. The band will pick a new name from a stack of fan submissions later this month but swear up and down that their proprietary brand of danceable indie bliss-rock (often sprinkled with the spoken-word wisdom of philosopher/human potentialist Alan Watts) won't change a bit. Once a starfucker, always a starfucker." 8:30 p.m., $9. (Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, 602-462-5516) -- Craig Outhier
Arizona Blues Showdown at Rhythm Room (Sunday)
Just like in Highlander, there can be only one winner of this year's ABS, and its gonna be one of the following guitar-slinging, wailin' and moanin' blues bands: The Insinceros, The G.A.S. Band, Lefty Larry and The Blues Avengers, George Bowman, The Common Ground Blues Band, Charlie Dickens and Kentucky North, or The Sugar Thieves (who won the competition in 2008). Who'll go on to 26th International Blues Challenge this January? Head out to the Rhythm Room this weekend to find out. Noon, $7. (1019 East Indian School Road, 602-265-4842)