As little as a year ago, both city of Phoenix officials and representatives from Roosevelt Row CDC swore it would be almost impossible to shut down one of downtown Phoenix's vital thoroughfares during rush hour. Apparently, First Friday has gotten so big that such a closure is now possible.
And there's gonna be plenty of activities taking place along the local art scene's most famous strip. Not only will all the usual block party madness be taking place, the Red Bull Manny Mania skate fest is scheduled to happen and our boy Psycho Steve will present an EP release show for local indie rockers Kinch.
The rest of tonight's lineup of art, music, and other insanity follows the jump.
Afida's Hair Culture
116 East Roosevelt Street
DJ Tony Culture will be spinning reggae, dancehall, and old-school music starting at 8 p.m. Call 602-258-4992.
1204 East Roosevelt Street
The art scene institution dedicates a brand new sign with a "champagne benefactors reception" and Vaudeville entertainment from "Of the Earth." The current showcase of local African-American artists (such as Archie Coles, Diann Dillon, Jackie Tobias, Kiubia Owens, and Steven Mark) will also have a closing reception. 6 p.m., free. Call 602-253-7887.
901 North Fifth Street
DJ Matty P. will spin and local punk bands will perform. 6 p.m. Call 602-237-5446.
419 East Roosevelt Street
The mixed media instalations of Jessica Dolence and the tribal-like sculptures of Cheryle Marine will be on display. 5 p.m.. Call 602-430-1490.
515 East Roosevelt Street
The brightly-colored printwork of Kathryn Maxwell is featured. 5 p.m. Call 602-256-0150.
Sixth & Garfield Streets
Michelle Blades is scheduled to perform at this art space. 7 p.m.
821 North Third Street
A variety of local bands -- including The Tremulants -- will perform outside in the courtyard. 7 p.m. Call 602-475-8519.
The Lost Leaf
914 North 5th Street
Painter Kim Leutwyler will be the featured artist at the Fifth Street bar, while Sonorous will provide the music during First Friday. 5 p.m. Call 602-258-0014.
407 East Roosevelt Street
The lensman duo of Bill Timmerman and John Wagner present their annual "Photographs III" exhibition. Improv jazz group The Big Bang Theory will also perform. 6 p.m. Later in the evening, the When in AZ Compilation Release show takes place, with the line-up of musicians including Matthew Reveles, Stellaluna, and Flyaway Tigers. 9 p.m., free. Call 602-462-5516.
905 North Fourth Street
The spot formerly known as Fate featured DJ Proper Villain on the ones and twos. 8 p.m. Call 602-254-6424.
610 East Roosevelt Street
Dark and dour images and emotions make up the fine art mixed media work of Derek Hess and the digital paintings of Mimi S, both of which will be hanging on the walls of the RoRow gallery of Amy L. Young and Douglas Grant. 6 p.m. Call 602-334-6299.
501 East Roosevelt Street
Building off the Red Bull skater show being held outside its establishment, the Molten Brothers will hold the "DECK III" skateboard showcase with work from more than 50 artists, including such names as Mike Maas, Rachel Bess, Anthony Ausgang, Russ Pope, The Mac, Colin Chillag, and others. 6 p.m. Call 602-363-2552.
918 North Second Street
A trio of rock bands will be playing outside of the store, including Thursday Night, Dude Jams, Said Gun, and others, 7 p.m. Call 602-795-4980.
909 North Fifth Street
The DJs of Universatile Music will be on the wheels of steel on the porch while new art hangs in the gallery. 6 p.m.
Deus Ex Machina
1023 Grand Avenue
This four-member collective will present some of its newest efforts, including works by Jeff Falk, Richard Bledsoe, and Steve Gompf. 6 p.m. Call 602-487-0669.
Kooky Krafts Shop
1500 Grand Avenue
Beatrice Moore and Tony Zahn devut their newest endeavor, a boutique that offers "queer, quirky, fun, and fabulous one-of-a-kind handmade items by local artists and crafters." 'Nuff said. Call 602-252-3774.
1030 Grand Avenue
Hi-Lo Trio will perform and the various galleries and boutiques of Paisley Town will be open for business. 6 p.m. Call 602-254-7843.
1506 Grand Avenue
"WIN, the Trunk Space 'Family' Art Show" group exhibition will take place featuring new works from the friends of the Grand Avenue gallery. 6 p.m. Call 602-256-6006.
ELSEWHERE IN DOWNTOWN/CENPHO:
1221 North Central Avenue
Patrons can peruse Barbara Kemp Cowlin's "Nooks and Crannies" series of paintings. 6 p.m. Call 602-256-3521.
After Hours Gallery
116 West McDowell Road
The sensual and powerful photography of John Covington's "Boundless" exhibition will be shown.6 p.m. Call 602-710-2398.
130 East Washington Street
DJs Villin, Skandalis, and D-Frag will be the special guests at Fuse Fridays. 9 p.m., $5 before midnight. Call 602-229-1265.
108 East Pierce Street
The paintings of Shakur will hang from the walls of the Jamaican eatery and reggae band Purple Kush will drop some irie tunes outside. 7 p.m. Call 602-267-1266.
Hob Nob's Coffee House
149 West McDowell Road
Enjoy music local performers while sampling some of Hob Nob's selection of coffee, teas, and other high-octane beverages. 7 p.m. Call 602-253-9220.
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138 West Camelback Road
The DJs of Party Foul! (including Kevin the Makeout Bandit, Bigie, and BC/AD) will stage their weekly dancefest. 9 p.m. No cover before 11 p.m., $6 afterwards. Call 602-234-3023.
The Ruby Room Lounge
717 South Central Avenue
It's pop-rock a go-go when the musicians of Eurovox, Breakup Society, and The Linoleums perform at the SoDo bar (that's "SOuth of DOwntown" to y'all). 9 p.m. Call 602-258-0069.
18 West Monroe Street
After peeping paintings and pics all evening, stop by this downtown pub for a pint of Guinness and an earful of Irish music from The Waters. 9 p.m. Call 602-253-6081.
705 North First Street
The Nick Heward Trio are scheduled to perform. 8 p.m. Call 602-296-5043.