Someone better call in Mulder and Scully, because there's gonna be a UFO sighting going down during tonight's First Friday in downtown Phoenix. Or at least, that's what the people at the Firehouse (1015 North First Street) are saying is gonna happen.
According to Firehouse artist-in-residence Michael 23, the unidentified flying object in question will be approximately 10 feet in diameter, made up of a combination of metal conduit and wood that's been covered in fabric. Said "interstellar vehicle" (which was constructed by the carbon-based lifeform Alan Greenblazer) will be landing on the street in front of the Firehouse, and is large enough to allow several "aliens" (i.e. DJs, musicians, and performance artists) to occupy its interior.
It isn't the first time the Firehouse crew has been involved with creating a close encounter of the weird kind. A dozen years ago in 1997, Michael 23 and his fellow artists of the Thought Crime collective "landed" a flying saucer made from inflated garbage bags on Arizona State University's Hayden Lawn. It was all part of a "UFO Awareness Week" that was funded by the school's student government. This time around, however, the artist says there's more of socio-political statement involved.
"I think their message is that we're all 'aliens' and that no one should be considered illegal in this day and age," Michael 23.
Greenblazer will also be on hand with his fellow member of the Phoenix Phreak Bike Militia, who will be riding their funky two wheelers around First Friday. The featured artist at the Firehouse will Randy Jagoda, who's psychedelic paintings will be on display in the gallery.
Read on for a rundown of what else is happening tonight in downtown Phoenix.
EVANS CHURCHILL & ROOSEVELT ROW:
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.
901 North Fifth Street
The downtown coffee house will offer live music from Children of the Sun, Call Your Mom Old Fashioned, and others. 7 p.m.Call 602-237-5446.
Drop In Gallery
917 North Fifth Street
Homless artist contribute their art work to the DIG's monthly First Friday show. Acoustic/americana performers Laura Stevenson, Hunger Artists, and The Other 49 provide the music. 7 p.m. Call 602-257-4454.
419 East Roosevelt Street
Photographer Eliza Gregory presents her emotionally-charged series "Refugee Status at School." (Wynter Holden's preview can be found here). 6 p.m. Call 602-430-1490.
515 East Roosevelt Street
New works by printmaker Kathryn Pinto will hang from the gallery's walls. (Lilia Menconi's preview can be found here). 6 p.m. Call 602-256-0150.
The Free Street Band
Various locations along Roosevelt Row
The roving bagpipe band will be walking throughout the Evans Churchill Neighborhood starting at 7 p.m.
918 North Fifth Street
The hip-hop artists of Dusty South Entertainment are scheduled to perform. 7 p.m. Call 480-577-6455.
The Lost Leaf
914 North Fifth Street
Probably the biggest event during First Friday will be a free show featuring performances by Back Ted N-Ted, Mr. Meeble, and Mondegreen. 6:30 p.m. Call 602-252-4168.
905 N. Fourth Street
DJ Iowatest spins electro, dubstep, and other EDM tracks. 9 p.m. Call 602-254-6424.
610 E. Roosevelt St., Unit 137
The oil-on-panel works of Chris Mars (former drummer for The Replacements) and the paintings/drawings of local artist Rachel Bess will be on display. (Read Steve Jansen's preview here). 6 p.m. Call 602-334-6299
1145 East Roosevelt Street
The Bassmint 1.5 dance event will feature spin sessions by Inertia, Liam Sevier, Omniphonix, Victor Gonzales, D-Frag, Fabricio, and others, as well as video mixing by Frygoblin Films and live artwork from the House of Flying Paint. 7 p.m.
802 North Seventh Street
The Hispanic community center presents its "Noche de Cultura" celebration, which features music, poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, and an appearance by Rage Against the Machine/One Day as a Lion frontman Zack de la Rocha. 8 p.m. $10.
909 North Fifth Street
The paintings of JJ Horner and Sean Griffin (a.k.a. Griffin One) will be on display. The DJs of Universatile Music will be on the ones and twos all night. 7 p.m. Visit www.myspace.com/um.
Deus Ex Machina
1023 Grand Avenue
The creative cats at this Grand gallery better have plenty of energy drinkage stocked up, since they'll be presenting "Night Watch: An All Night Arts Vigil" until dawn, featuring a variety of performance art, music, and poetry. (Peep Wynter Holden's preview) 10 p.m.-7 a.m. Call 602-487-0669.
1030 Grand Avenue
The eatery hosts the music of Thankful Birds, Brian Chapman, and others. 7 p.m. Call 602-254-7843.
Soul Invictus Gallery & Cabaret
1022 Grand Avenue
The colorfully bizarre paintings of Zon and Michael Garfield are featured. 6 p.m.
919 West Fillmore Street
Mark An opening reception for Joy Goldkind's "Adagio" photography exhibition is planned. (Steve Jansen's preview can be found here). 6 p.m. Call 602-716-5667.
1506 Grand Avenue
Stephen Steinbrink will hold his birthday show at the Grand Avenue venue, which also promises performances from Hell-Kite, Fathers Day, Towncraft, and others. 9 p.m. $6. Call 602-256-6006.
ELSEWHERE IN DOWNTOWN:
130 West Washington Street
The turntablists of FUSE Fridays (including Mara, Sonique des Fleurs, Disco Da, Turner & Heit, Chris Forsyth, and Matty) will be blasting plenty of trance and house music all night long. (Click here for my preview). 9 p.m., $5 cover after 10 p.m. Call 602-229-1265.
Breadfruit Authentic Jamaican Grill
108 East Pierce Street
Reggae band DUBble Down performs. 7 p.m. Call 602-267-1266.
Hob Nob's Coffee House
149 West McDowell Road
Ono Grindz and Shane Hunt are scheduled to perform. 7 p.m. Call 602-253-9220.
138 West Camelback Road
Valley hipsters will be clad in the finest for Party Foul's Prom Night, which features guest appearances by Atlanta's Manikan, Ewalk, and The Boom Kids. Kevin the Makeout Bandit, Bigie, Epidemic, BC/AD, and the other Party Foul residents will also be in the mix. 9 p.m. $5 per person, $8 per couple (free before 11 p.m.). Call 602-234-3023.
24 North Second Street
The FABrik First Fridays dance party will make its debut, featuring music from resident DJs CL McSpadden, Mitch Mills, and Nick Synergy. 10 p.m. $5 before 11 p.m., $10 afterwards. Call 602-253-9004.
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue
The Train Tracks presents its first showcase of local bands, including gigs from Dry River Yacht Club, Mike Lander and Meredith Moore, and What Laura Says. While you're in the building, be sure to check out such exhibitions as "In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein" and "Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe." 7 p.m. Call 602-257-1222.
5070 North Central Avenue
Pam Harrison's World Peace Project, which features "ceramic peace totems and other creations, is feature at the art space. (read Wynter Holden's preview). Call 602-264-1414.
4214 North Seventh Avenue
DJ mig50 will be spinning an eclectic mix of music all evening. 7 p.m. Call 602-795-4980.
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The Ruby Room
717 South Central Avenue
The Surfside IV, Mission Creeps, and The El Camino Royales will perform. 9 p.m. Call 602-258-6900.
Stinkweeds Record Exchange
12 West Camelback Road
Baltimore pop duo Wye Oak, Cincinnati's Pomegranates, and locals Turn Back O Man perfor a special First Friday show. 7 p.m., $5. Call 602-248-9461.
705 North First Street
Have a pint a Guinness while enjoying the music of Mike Brown and the Sneakies. 9 p.m. Call 602-296-5043.