lthough downtown may or may not be ovah (depending on the particular mood of our fair editor Martin Cizmar), but in the meantime, East Phoenix might just be coming alive when it comes to live music.
In addition to the venerated Rhythm Room and its two decade legacy as blues and rock hotspot, Teakwoods Tavern has been holding some great gigs on the weekends during the past six months thanks to former Long Wong's booking queen Sara Cina (including appearances by Kevin Daly's Chicken and Waffles and even a secret show by Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins).
Just down the street is neighborhood bar Chopper John's, which has featured dozens of local rock and punk acts (such as Green Lady Killers and the Rhythm Dragons) and scored a major coup this weekend with an appearance by Tucson's Bob Log III.
The notorious one-man band is guaranteed to pack the joint with fans as he unleashes his dirty rock sound and encourages female audience members to show some skin. If you've never experience a Bob Log show before, here's how Mr. Cizmar describes both the man and his gigs back in 2009:
"Log is a Tucson-based one-man band who plays gritty blues while wearing a motorcycle helmet and skin-tight unitard. Log has a unique, though painfully consistent, sound, created by using his feet to play a drum and cymbal while he sings into a telephone attached to his helmet that distorts his vocals. He's known for his shows, which frequently feature nudity ("boob Scotch" he calls one bit, wherein he invites ladies from the crowd come up and stir his drink with their ta-ta's) and lots of dancing."
Sound groovy. Log's show is just one of nine low-cost/no-cost events worth partaking in this weekend. Hit the jump for all the rest of the action:
Adam and the Lupine Chorale Society at Trunk Space (Friday):
As many an erudite music snob with their radios tuned to 91.5 FM already knows, NPR has been pimping indie rock on its airwaves in 2007. The Washington Post calls 'em "a tastemaking force," while the more cynical New York mag wag Vulture writes it off as a calculated attempt to wrangle younger listeners. Either way, public radio's definitely helped created some darlings over most of the last three years, including Adam Arcuragi. The Philly folkster gained something of a rub from being showcased on NPR's All Songs Considered and its Tiny Desk online performance series. Arcuragi will step through the speaker and into the Trunk Space tomorrow night with his backing band the Lupine Chorale Society for an evening of death gospel, four-part harmonies, and acoustic singer-songwriter antics. Kindred spirits Porches and The Haymarket Squares open. 8 p.m., $8. (1506 Grand Ave., 602-256-6006).
The Last Crotch Rockitt at Forbidden (Friday):
Much like the mega-powered motorcycle its named after, this electro dance night is zooming away into the sunset faster than a blink of an eye. According to organizers, Crotch Rockitt is "going into hibernation" about three months after it debuted. Before said slumber begins, one final blowout is planned for this weekend. Stefan Pruett from electro-rock band Peachcake will guest star alongside Austin Head, A Dynamic Mechanism, DJ Mannequin, and Luke Hansen. 10 p.m., $5. (6820 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, 480-994-5176)
Shelby James at Tempe Marketplace (Friday):
"Tempe-based roots rocker Shelby James has a yen for yesteryear. The MySpace page for his band, Shelby James and the Crying Shames, is larded with grainy family snapshots and stylized faux '50s portraits of the musician done up like Jack Kerouac's nattier kid brother. Over at the band's official Web site, you'll find a striking banner image of a bygone desert landscape, seemingly captured on your great-great-grandfather's daguerreotype kit. Naturally, James' thirst for nostalgia comes through just as powerfully in his music..." (Click here to read more) 7 p.m., free. (2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy.) -- Craig Outhier
Insurrection at Palazzo (Friday):
Tranzylvania will be under siege this weekend, but not by vampires, succubi, or any other undead creature of the night. Spinsters, she-jays, and selectahs throughout the Valley will invade Phoenix's notorious and nefarious Goth party, particularly Palazzo's DJ booth, in order to give longtime Tranz resident noiz.fkr a run for his money. Insurrection's Facebook page declares that it's "Time for the masses to Take over Tranzlyvania," which means freaky folks like Squalor and ///she/// from Sadisco*, Rasputin's Dark Mark, and Club Hell's DJ Virgo will beef up the night's already-maniacal musical menu of EBM, Gothic, industrial, synthpop and powernoise with their own selections. 9:30 p.m., $7. (710 N. Central Ave.)
Dave McGraw and Crow Wing at Compound Grill (Friday):
"Dave McGraw and Crow Wing's rambling, folksy, old-style country sounds like the desert. It's that stripped-down, no-frills approach that Arizonans cling to, even more than the big, glitzy sound that dominates the FM country airwaves. This aesthetic is often likened to the landscape that occupies southern Arizona, filled with jagged mountains, hard-packed bedrock, saguaros, and busted-up pickup trucks along dirt roads. This band, however, finds inspiration in the high desert..." (Click here to read more) 9 p.m., $5. (7000 E. Mayo Blvd., 480-585-5483) -- Sarah Ventre
Bob Log III at Chopper John's (Saturday):
Marco Polo's merry band of rockabilly raconteurs (a.k.a. Curse of the Pink Hearse) and indie/experimental/jazz ensemble Sunorus will warm up the crowd (while Babsomatic will also perform "magical delights" before Bob takes the stage for his set. 9 p.m., $5. (2547 E. Indian School Rd., 602-955-0881)
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Sexy Saturdays at Downtown Sports Grill (Saturday):
Here's a dope dosage of synchronicity for yo ass: The newly re-christened Downtown Sports Grill (which dropped its associated with the likely-to-be-gonezo Amar'e Stoudemire earlier this month) will be the site of the newly re-launched Power 98.3 hip-hop dance night Sexy Saturdays. As before, DJ Phlava will fill your ears with R&B, neo-soul, urban jams, and old school, and an open bar will be available until midnight. Another bonus: This weekend's edition is being dubbed a "Lingerie and Pajama Jam," which means that those wearing sexy sleepwear get in for $5 before 10:30 p.m. (3 S. 2nd St., 480-796-6233)
Outlaw Country Record Release Party at Yucca Tap (Saturday/Sunday):
The roster for local label May Cause Diziness Records reads like a raucous roll call of some of Phoenix's better bands and musicians, including The Love Me Nots and Boats to The Liar's Handshake and Northside Kings. The same could be said for MCD's latest release, the Outlaw Country seven-inch containing unreleased songs from local down-home artists Cliff Greenwood, Chip Hanna, Tony Martinez, and Shelby Cobra. This quartet of crooners is throwing a two-evening party for the platter at Yucca this weekend, the second part of which coincides with the regular Valley Fever night on Sunday. The wax might set you back $5, but admission to both events is free. 9 p.m. (29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-967-4777)
Kung Pao Radio at The Lost Leaf (Sunday):
Tricky T has been part of some pretty potent P-Town dance parties over the past 15 years. From his days ripping it up in the late '90s with Z-Trip at the old Green Room in Tempe to his most recent gig at Pinky Ring Wednesdays, the Trickster most definitely knows how to get things going. So it's a bit of a surprise when the dope DJ immediately states that his new Sunday night shindig Kung Pao Radio will be nothing like those dance events... (Click here to read more) 10 p.m., $5. (914 N. 5th St., 602-258-0014)