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7 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from January 25 through 29.

Strange Brew
There are plenty of films out there that spotlight man’s enduring affection for beer, but none so memorable as the 1983 release Strange Brew. So it seems rather appropriate that downtown Mesa’s first and only microbrewery is showing the film on Monday, January 25, for its weekly movie night. Given the history of Arizona’s third-largest city, it isn’t strange that there is only one brewery downtown as much as it is unfortunate. Yet Mesa’s Desert Eagle Brewing Company, 150 West Main Street, has proven quite the steward of the unique opportunity, offering an eclectic selection of hand-crafted beers on tap, quality food options, and a stacked events calendar. Strange Brew starts around 7:30 p.m. For details on the 21-and-over event, see deserteaglebrewing.com or call 480-656-2662. Rob Kroehler

RockBand Mondays
You might wonder how you ended up with your house and automobile but you’re mostly alright with it. Still, seeing David Byrne of The Talking Heads bounce around in an oversized suit might make you yearn for the rock star life. The Grid’s RockBand Mondays make for the perfect taste of musical stardom to keep your week afloat. You can jam out to any one of the video game’s 900 songs while professional lighting and sound make your dream just a little more real.

RockBand Mondays happen bi-weekly, with the next one falling on Monday, January 25. The Grid, 525 South Gilbert Road in Mesa, hosts the shredding, drumming, and singing starting at 8 p.m. Admission is free for this 21-and-over event. Visit www.facebook.com/thegridbararcade for more information. Jose Gonzalez

Sandra Ramos Lecture
You think you’ve had some complicated relationships? Take a look at the longtime it’s-complicated status between the United States and Cuba. Artist Sandra Ramos lectures on her current exhibition, “Watertight,” which examines the knotty affiliation through eight short video animations that use sharp and witty portrayals, and vivid colors, to explore issues like immigration, international borders, and shattered utopian dreams. The talk about Watertight takes place on dry land at 5:30 p.m. on January 26 at the ASU Art Museum, 10th Street and Mill Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. The exhibition runs through May 28. Call 480-965-2787 or visit asuartmuseum.edu. Amy Young

"The Evolution of Fashion Illustration and the Creative Process"
Perhaps the computers aren’t taking over, but there’s no arguing that they’ve changed everything from how we communicate and calculate to how we craft and create. Fashion illustrator Lorette Tedeschi Cuoco and Lindsey Eynart, creative director at Lelli Kolibri, will share how digitization has impacted their roles in the world of fashion. While hand-drawn sketches used to serve as the ultimate medium for style storytelling, computer-aided drawing has become an integral piece of modern manufacturing. Eynart and Cuoco will discuss their experiences during “The Evolution of Fashion Illustration and the Creative Process” at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. The free, 7 p.m. talk takes place January 27. See www.phxart.org for details. Becky Bartkowski

"Spirit Lines"
“Would you like to come see my etchings?” is an old joke that refers to how an artist might lure someone over for what we now call “Netflix and chill.”

But a visit to see “Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings” offers an opportunity to actually see etchings — more than 20 copper-plate pieces created by the Santa Clara Pueblo artist from 1980 to 1984. Hardin uses a precision style and geometric forms to create a modern take on ancient imagery found on rock art and pottery. Pay attention to detail from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 27 at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue. Admission is $7.50 to $18. The exhibition runs through March 6. Call 602-252-8840 or visit www.heard.org. Amy Young

Betye Saar
For six decades artist Betye Saar has taken collections of everyday items and assembled them into art: Art that speaks volumes about her African-American identity, personal spirituality, and the similarities and deep divides between cultures. Saar discusses her methodology, materials, and the issues that drive her and her work during a conversation with Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s director and chief curator, Sara Cochran.

The public interview acts as an opening statement for Saar’s upcoming exhibition, “Still Tickin’,” a retrospective rooted in mixed media installations. Some are new, but many older and recognizable, divided into three themes covering different areas of her artistic life: Nostalgia and memory, mysticism and ritual, and political and racial. “Still Tickin’” opens to the public on Saturday, January 30.
The conversation begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, at SMoCA, 7374 East Second Street. Free; first-come, first-serve. For details, call 480-874-4666 or visit www.smoca.org. Janessa Hilliard

"Square 16"
We all know that wine is synonymous with art openings, but when the place is called the Liquor Gallery, it adds a twist that could inspire a few extra folks to head out for a night of art viewing.

Yes, there will be booze. More importantly, however, is the art exhibition, itself. “Square 16” is curated by fine artists Matt Dickson and Frank Gonzales and includes 40 artists, primarily from the metro Phoenix area, with a couple of participants from southern California. For this format-driven show, the artists were given a 16-by-16-inch panel to showcase their artistic talents. Dickson tells us that an extra layer of excitement on the evening’s roster is the unveiling of four murals created by local artists. Pop in to the pop-up from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, January 29, at 1605 East Apache Boulevard in Tempe. Admission is free. Visit www.facebook.com/theliquorgallery.com. Amy Young

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