One year ago, many fans of the TT Roadhouse such as myself probably had a major Malox moment going.
Rumors were circulating that Brad Henrich, the longtime proprietor of the notorious Scottsdale dive was selling the joint to new ownership. With all the bar and club closures that have taken place in the Valley over the past few years, such news might've signaled the end of one of the cooler bars in all of Phoenix.
Turns out such worry was all for naught, as new owner Rick Skoog has kept things pretty much as they have been. Skoog's celebrating the first anniversary of his purchase with a big-time blowout this weekend.
What else is happening this weekend? Check out the list of chic and cheap events that we've assembled.
Tom VandenAvond, & Hashknife Outfit (Friday):
Tom VandenAvond embodies everything that makes alt-country awesome. He's got a surly, drank-too-much-last-night-and-now-I-gotta-perform attitude, a killer take-no-shit slogan ("You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas"), and even an authentic trucker cap (no Hot Topic poseury here). One can hear wisps of such late greats as Jimmie Rodgers or even Huddie Ledbetter in VandenAvond's songs, which alternate between good ol' country and low-key folksy ballads about murdering cops in churches and other lurid subjects. (read more) 9 p.m., free. (2808 E. Indian School Rd., 602-840-0991)
Frequis at Club Red (Friday):
"Fans of early Incubus might want to check out local prog-grungers Frequis. The group just finished recording a new album with Jim Wirt, who produced Incubus' first three discs. The album, recorded in LA, will drop sometime in February, but the band plans on entering their song "Sleeping Theories" into a radio contest sponsored by 98 KUPD this November, so you might hear their music on the airwaves before the album release..." (read more) 6:30 p.m., $5-$8. (2155 E. University Dr., Tempe, 480-258-2733) -- Nicki Escudero
WTFunk Friday at Stray Cat (Friday):
Last weekend was pretty huge for the hustlers of AWAL Productions. They not only staged their popular hip-hop weekly WTFunk Friday at the Stray Cat, but also brought L.A. rapper 2Mex to town. This weekend is equally pimp, as they're hosting LAKAI the Useless, Foreknown, Hanzerelli, Munoz, Sauce One, and Rocky Tyraid at tonight's edition of WTFunk. As always, live painting will be provided by Tempe Starving Artist and Arizona Urban Arts. 9 p.m. free. (2433 E. University Dr., Tempe, 480-967-1040)
Black Cactus Records Showcase at Hard Rock Cafe (Friday):
"Black Cactus Records is a collaborative, collective effort that includes musicians, sound guys, songwriters, and DJs who espouse a common work ethic. They wanted to form a cooperative record label because, they say, the rest of the music community doesn't take its job seriously enough. A little self-righteous? Maybe. But in a super-genuine way..." (read more) 7 p.m., $8. (201 E. Washington St., 602-261-7625) - Sarah Ventre
Outlaw at Rocky Point Cantina (Friday):
Do you know how to dress like an "indie renegade"? Neither do we. Those who can figure it out, however, will receive a free drink at this new DJ/local music monthly making its debut tonight at Rocky Point (formerly known as Dos Gringos Trailer Park) in Tempe. Its promoters aren't naming which bands will be performing at the event, which will take place on the third Friday of every month, hoping to surprise those in attendance. They ain't as cagey with revealing the DJ lineup, which includes Bigie, Kris the First, and others. 8 p.m., $5. (1001 E. Eighth St., Tempe)
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Anniversary Party at TT Roadhouse (Saturday):
Giveaways and "mad drink specials" are promised, and local Americana/roots act Flathead will perform. 9 p.m., free. (2915 N. 68th St., Scottsdale, 480-990-9033)
Warner Drive at Joe's Grotto (Saturday):
"Jonny Law almost lost his band. He knew the other guys in Warner Drive since they were kids, but as new family responsibilities popped up, his fellow musicians chose to part ways because of the touring schedule. Compromises have been made, however. Law has since reformed the group, and the new Warner Drive is set to release a new album in January and currently putting finishing touches on album artwork. They also have a national tour scheduled for November, and you can catch a sneak peek of what is to come when they play Joe's Grotto in Phoenix this Saturday..." (read more) 8 p.m., $9. (3825 N. 32nd St., 602-992-1007) -- Nicki Escudero
Canyon Animals at Long Wong's (Saturday):
"Considering the fact that Canyon Animals don't have a record out yet, the band sure is hustling. While the local hip-hop trio is working on material for their first disc, they're showing up on the radar of PHX hip-hop heads by staying busy with shows and crafting quirky videos for their often-humorous tracks. They have a packed weekend, as they perform Saturday at an all-ages show with DJ Stowner, The Adepts and Point 9 at Long Wong's in Tempe..." (read more) 9 p.m., free. (1639 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, 480-967-0167) -- Nicki Escudero