When Clement Clarke Moore first penned The Night Before Christmas in 1823 (and thus, gave birth to many of the conceptions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick), the Victorian-era scribe probably could never have thought it would've resulted in this:
More than 100 freaky folks dressed as Kris Kringle will descend upon the bars and clubs of Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday evening during the annual outrageous event known as Santarchy. Organized by the Arizona Cacophony Society, this bizarre bar crawl promises an evening of merry mischief making by countless faux Father Christmases at such drinkeries as Dos Gringos and Upper Deck Sports Grill.
But if getting soused whilst dressed as St. Nicholas isn't your particular bag, there are plenty of other low-cost/no-cost holiday hootenannies to participate in this weekend. Read on for the full rundown.
While this year's version of the outrageous event doesn't officially begin until the evening, participants will be riding a bus around downtown Scottsdale while dressed as the great jolly one starting at 1 p.m. The official mustering follows at 5 p.m. at the parking garage located behind Dos Gringos along Third Avenue. An after-party will also be held starting at 10 p.m. (just in case you aren't completely wasted by then). Visit AZ Cacophony's site for full details.
Joe Strummer Memorial at George & Dragon (Saturday)
Stalwart local punk icon Keith Jackson, vocalist/guitarist for PHX's Glass Heroes, is arguably the biggest Joe Strummer fan in the entire Valley. So much so that he puts on an annual tribute show (which benefits the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music) in honor of the late frontman for The Clash at downtown Phoenix's George & Dragon pub. In addition to Glass Heroes, this year's version offers performances by Symbol Six, Plainfield Butchers, Labor Party, Automatic Erasers, and others. 8 p.m., $5. (4240 N. Central Ave., 602-241-0018)
Crystal Antlers at Trunk Space (Saturday)
Tastemakers are split over these Long Beach, California-based psych-rockers and their debut long-play, Tentacles. Some reviewers and bloggers insist that the album picks up precisely where the band's self-released, untitled EP (2008) left off -- namely, in a state of feverish musical ass-kicking. Others suggest that the speedier Tentacles backtracks a smidge -- that it's the work of a talented noise-prog-punk sextet that hasn't quite learned to synthesize and studio-ize the expansive magic of its live shows. However, on one particular issue, all parties concur: In the wake of Crystal Castles, the Crystal Method, Crystal Gayle, et al., Crystal Antlers is a crap handle for a band. "Oh, shit . . . I might have to listen to a band with 'crystal' in its name," one unnamed poster lamented after reading a favorable online review of Tentacles. "Gonna be hard to come to terms with that." Hmm, maybe. Remember, some of us had to suffer the "Jesus" band-name craze of the early '90s, which meant finding a way to give The Jesus Lizard a fair shake during the heyday of Jesus Jones. Now that was like walking on water. 7 p.m., $8. (1506 Grand Avenue, 602-256-6006) -- Craig Outhier
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Phoenix Greyhound Park Closing Evening (Saturday)
The Valley's long-running dog track is ultimately doomed to taste the sweet kiss of the wrecking ball a few weeks from now, which will undoubtedly sadden a few local gamblers. But before that dark day comes to pass, PGP will offer a massive goodbye gala featuring one last day of racing, as well as DJs dropping the beats, prizes and giveaways (including some commemorative tokens), and a chance to grab some green in one of those air-powered money machines. Be sure to also visit the weekly flea market in the parking lot in order to stock up on all the socks, secondhand power tools, and cheap plastic toys you can carry. 6 p.m., free (3801 E. Washington St., 602-273-7181)
Hell City Roller Girls Helping the Homeless at Rogue Bar (Saturday)
P-Town's newest roller derby league is helping out the less fortunate folks with a combination clothing drive/punk rock show. In addition to a slew of bands scheduled to perform (including Die Ignorant, The Whorchatas, and Man About a Dog), the event will also feature prize raffles, spanking booth, and drink specials. 9 p.m., $6. (423 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-3580).
Stress Free Saturdays at Jilly's (Saturday)
Here's a surprising factoid for yo' ass: One of the Valley's biggest and most well-attended DJ/dance nights doesn't happen in Scottsdale or even in a club, period. It's at Jilly's in Chandler, where hundreds of 18-and-over urbanites pack into to East Valley eatery to move and groove to hip-hop and R&B tracks laid down by DJ Shadow. The weekly even has a rather economically-minded cover charge, where those who sign up on the guest list (click here for more info) can get in for only $5 before 10:30 p.m. Beat that, Old Town! 9 p.m. (825 N. 54th St., Chandler, 480-577-7965)
Phoenix Chorale's at All Saints Church (Sunday)
You don't get many opportunities to see Grammy-winning acts perform for absolutely nothing these days (well, unless John Mayer or Coldplay lose their minds and decide to start holding free concerts, that is). But for those who happen to be under the age of 25, the Phoenix Chorale will let you into their annual Christmastime "Home for the Holidays" showcase, provided you can show up 10 minutes prior to showtime and there's seats available. It's totally worth making the effort to do so, since the vocal ensemble will be presenting a program of beauteous music by Arvo Pärt, Cecilia McDowall, and its composer-in-residence Ola Gjeilo. 3 p.m. (15649 N. 7th Street, 602-866-9191)