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Freak Fests, Filthy Thursdays, Strange Family Circus, White Mice, and More

Stephen Strange will go to the great beyond and back this weekend.
Stephen Strange will go to the great beyond and back this weekend.

The ribald and renowned local performance artist is apparently going to "die" sometime tomorrow night, probably in some profound and profane fashion that will likely involve one of his wacky stunts gone horribly awry.

This isn't the first time the 34-year-old mustachioed madman has gotten a taste of the hereafter, as we can think of a half-dozen other times he's died (including electrocution and failed attempts at bullet catching) only to return to life.

As such, Strange will go teats up followed by his resurrection as a part of the annual Phoenix Fringe Festival, which takes place this weekend.

Freakiness and frenetic behavior abounds in many other forms around the Valley starting tonight and continuing through Sunday. For instance, AZ Cacophony will present its yearly Fluor-Ascent, Atomic Comics will host a gathering of anime fanatics, and some costumed rockers visit the Tribe for a house show. If you're more into hot tracks, be sure to check out Afterlife's new dance night Filthy Thursday later this evening.

Hit the link below to learn what else is in store for the weekend.

Filthy Thursdays at Afterlife (Thursday):
You'll probably need to a long, hot shower after spending the evening at Afterlife, as the beats will be down and dirty as Aron Mezo's after-hours danceteria launches a brand new Thump Day throwdown filled with the bass-heavy sounds of dubstep and breakbeats. Nine different DJs will be on the decks all night, including Mind Detergent, Danny Boi, Mark Elliot, Corruption, Zayer, and others. 9 p.m.; $5 for girls, $7 for guys until 10 p.m., $7-$10 afterwards. (4282 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, 480-264-8300)

The Whisperlights at Long Wong's (Thursday):
It's been two months since Long Wong's Tempe location opened to the public and the bar/restaurant has finally started booking a steady stream of decent local acts. For instance, indie sextet The Whisperlights will be featured tonight along with Black Carl, The Fiction and Roxy Jones. Best thing about the show? It's completely free. 8 p.m. (1639 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, 480-967-0252)

KUPD's Big Red Easter Keg Hunt at Tempe Marketplace (Friday):
Nu-metal superstars Drowning Pool headline KUPD's Easter weekend event, which involves listeners of the FM hard rock station searching the Valley for specially marked kegs. Those lucky enough to find said object and bring it to the Tempe Marketplace for the party have a chance at winning a number of prizes, including $5,000 in cash (click here for full details). Meanwhile, Orange County's Burn Halo and local boys Digital Summer will also perform. 7 p.m., free (2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe)

The Freeze at Rogue West (Friday):
Here's a bit of irony for yo' ass: The first time we ever heard Massachusetts' legendary hardcore band The Freeze was almost exactly 10 years ago when a friend of ours started playing the memorable 1982 comp This Is Boston, Not LA. A decade after the not-so-dulcet sounds of such Freeze songs as "Broken Bones" and "Time Bomb" blasted our ears into oblivion, we're finally gonna get to see the band live when it visits the West Valley punk bar. Dephinger and The Cosmeticators will also perform. 8 p.m., $4. (3593 West Northern Avenue)

Animefest at Atomic Comics (Saturday):

"'We don't just run the event -- for us, it's personal,' says Aaron Forrester, assistant store manager at the Atomic Comics Chandler Superstore, panel member for costume creation at Phoenix Comicon, and outfitter of his own Iron Man armor. 'And this year, we're using the empty store next to us for video game tournaments.' The 12-hour manga-rama will see cosplayers and casuals alike creating their own characters, playing Name That (Anime) Tune, dancing with the Café Moe maids, and watching Naruto on the big screen." 10 a.m., free. (3155 West Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 480-940-6061) -- Laura Hahnefeld

 

Some of the participants in last year's Fluor-Ascent.
Some of the participants in last year's Fluor-Ascent.
Photo by Sean Shelton

Fluor-Ascent at Piestewa Peak (Saturday):
Normally, we wouldn't recommend getting lit and going mountain climbing, unless you're participating in this event organized AZ Cacophony. Members of the freaky-deaky gonzo group will cover themselves with colored lights and glowing objects as they scale the Phoenix landmark in what's sure to be a fun time. Or, as the AZC site describes it: "The concept is to climb and conquer Piestewa Peak at night all lit up." The 1.2 mile hike starts at the base of the peak's Summit Trail and after-party will more than likely take place following the event. Check out the site for more info and directions. 7 p.m., free. (2701 E. Squaw Peak Drive)

Owl & Penny CD release at Fractal (Saturday):
"Record labels that liken themselves to one big family go back to the Motown days. On the local tip, River Jones Music (RJM) is kind of like early Death Row and mid-period Roc-A-Fella, meaning that if there's one of RJM's artists on a show bill, you're sure to see at least one other one, if not a whole gaggle of them -- as is the case with Owl & Penny's CD-release show on Saturday. Owl & Penny linchpin, Ryan Osterman, worked with producer River Jones, Susan Fowler, Matthew Gilbert of local twangy pop-rock outfit POEM, and brother Thomas Osterman -- who filled out vocal and instrumentation duties - to create the five-song Fever Dreams. Each track is a carefully woven folk-tinged tapestry that yields the spotlight to Osterman's earnest voice. The Color Group-presented album-release shindig will include performances by labelmates You, Me & Apollo, Courtney Marie Andrews, and New Mexico's The Pioneers of Prime Time TV as well as Cale Jones, Saddles and Western Medicine." 6 p.m., $8. (1301 Grand Avenue) -- Jose Gonzalez

PHX Saturdays at PHX Nightclub (Saturday):
Although the Arizona Cardinals lost their star quarterback and the upcoming NFL season probably won't be as stellar as the Red Birds' historic run over the past two years, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is still riding high. The cornerback is still a big part of the team's defense and he's bringing home some back thanks to the $15.1 million contract he signed with the Cards. DRC's turning 24 years old this week and will celebrate in style as the Doobie Boyz are throwing him a big-time bash at PHX Nightclub featuring DJs Robby Rob and Illmatic spinning plenty of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul. 9 p.m.; free for ladies and $5 for guys before 10:30 p.m. Click here to get on the guest list. (122 East Washington Street, 602-373-0600)

Super Stereo at Black Forest Mill (Saturday):
"In a sea of locally produced hipster DJ dance nights, Cheap Thrills is looking to stand out this Saturday by bringing live band Super Stereo to the stage. The group's electronic-tinged pop is highly danceable -- there's no way to not shake your booty to a song called "Cybersex." And while the group makes sure the music is grooving, they also strive for a dynamic visual set. Part live music show, part art performance, Super Stereo dons costumes, switches up instruments, and projects an intricate light show. They'll join resident DJ Jared Alan (who puts on quite the performance on his own) behind the decks." 9 p.m., $5. (4900 East Indian School Road) -- Nicki Escudero

The White Mice at the Tribe (Sunday):
"This is what modern absurdity truly looks and sounds like. The White Mice - three guys that go by Snail Hatin', Hail Cheesus, and Cheddar Dung - dress in human-sized mice outfits and play the most insane brand of free-noise that clashes with grindcore, spars against walls of feedback, and builds to a hell-like sludge filled with rancid corpses and your despair. In other words, it's the best thing ever. As you can imagine, crowds that see this craziness aren't the sitting-on-the-hands type, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes so your feet don't get jacked from the dancing and stomping. Also, bring earplugs. Lots of them. The show, taking place at The Tribe, includes fuck-your-eardrums locals Pigeon Religion, Melted Cassettes, and Hell-Kite's doom-metal ensemble." 9 p.m., $6. (2238 North 24th Place) -- Steve Jansen


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