"The Moog," as it's known among musical types, is the indispensable electronic synthesizer that has pioneered both mainstream and independent music movements over the past 40 years. It also happens to be one of the most criminally mispronounced names in the history of popular culture (correct pronunciation rhymes with "vogue"). On Friday, March 18, Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt, and No Festival Required will screen Moog: A Documentary Film by Hans Fjellestad, even if moviegoers blather about like a herd of cattle. The film is an intimate look at Robert Moog's collaborations with various musicians over the years, while exploring his personal thoughts regarding creativity, design and spirituality.
In 1963, Moog invented the first playable and configurable music synthesizer that produced artificially generated sounds. When the second-generation portable MiniMoog was unveiled to keyboard players in 1970, music was permanently altered as electronic effects were exposed to the masses. The signature sounds created by musicians Stevie Wonder, Tortoise, Stereolab, Air, Wilco, The Rentals, and countless others wouldn't have been possible without Robert Moog.
Moog's contributions to contemporary music are "immeasurable," says Eli Kuner, member of Valley rock band Asleep in the Sea. "Since we don't have a bass in the band, we use the Moog Rogue model for our low-end frequencies. The instrument produces a real gritty and raw sound that has more character than a regular bass guitar, so we use the Moog on nearly every song."
Giveaways, prizes and a Q&A session with the film's producer, Phoenix-based Ryan Page, will follow each screening. Showtimes are 7, 9 and 11 p.m. Admission is $6. See www.nofestivalrequired.com or call 602-462-5516. -- Steve Jansen
Purim Some More
Happy Esther to all
So Madonna took a couple of trips to Israel and now wants to be called "Esther." Hmm, it's unlikely anyone will ever associate the author of Sex with the protagonist of the biblical Book of Esther, who instituted the holiday of Purim to celebrate the defeat of Haman and his decree to kill all Persian Jews. The Annual Community Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 20, at the East Valley Jewish Community Center, 1521 South Indian Bend in Tempe, celebrates with inflatable rides, face painting, music, jugglers, and hordes of hamantaschen, a triangular-shaped pastry designed to resemble the wicked Haman's hat. Call 480-897-0588. -- Niki D'Andrea
Plant yourself at Desert Botanical Garden
If spiked collars are your favorite fashion accessories, you should feel at home strolling amidst the barbed vegetation at the Desert Botanical Garden's annual Spring Plant Sale. Whether you're after the health benefits of an aloe vera, the ambiance of the Cabernet-like aroma of a Texas mountain laurel blossom, or a thorn-covered cactus that matches your latest party outfit, there's a plant for you at this most diverse offering of desert vegetation. The sale takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 19, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 20. Admission is free to the sale area at 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Call 480-941-1225 or see www.dbg.org. -- Douglas Towne
You've tried the rest; now taste the West
Contrary to popular misconception, Los Angeles and New York do not have the American monopoly on kick-ass chefs. For proof, look to the West of Western Culinary Festival, taking place Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, at the Arizona Center, at Third Street and Van Buren. More than 50 chefs will be cookin', including Robert McGrath of Roaring Fork; Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Café and Christopher Gross of Christopher's Fermier Brasserie. There will also be cooking demonstrations and "The Wine Table," where guests can sample vino from more than 30 wineries. Festival hours are noon to 5 p.m. both days, and passes cost $22 to $60. Call 602-262-5652. -- Niki D'Andrea
Check out yesterday's digs
There's more to some Phoenix homes than chicken wire and adobe stucco. This may be the age of cookie-cutter housing developments, but you can still see the architectural splendor of the 1920s and '30s in Valley neighborhoods like the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District, where styles like Spanish Colonial, American Colonial, and Cape Cod Revival sit side-by-side in a dozen preserved and renovated homes. Visitors to the area can tour the homes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20, as the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Preservation Society presents its biennial, self-guided home tour. Many of the homes retain parts of the original interiors, such as dazzling, art-deco tiled bathrooms and wood floors. The tour includes a street fair with live music, vintage cars, and bake sales. Park at Phoenix College, on the northeast corner of 15th Avenue and Thomas. Tickets cost $15. Call 602-885-8002. -- Niki D'Andrea
Ticket to Rides
Welcome to the wheel world
If a classic car were ever to feel, say, lonely or unappreciated, it would do well to hit the highway and hightail it to the Valley of the Sun. If Arizona doesn't lead the nation in classic car shows, it would be a surprise, and this weekend one of the biggest of all comes downtown to bask in the glow of a population hooked on all things automotive. Start your engines and head down to the 36th annual Carquest World of Wheels, Friday, March 18, through Sunday, March 20, at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, 225 East Adams. An incredible display of antique and restored cars and hot rods headlines a weekend that also features an All-American Motorcycle Show, a charity auction, and appearances by the "King of Kustomizers," George Barris, World of Wheels feature models, and stars from the WWE. Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $5 for kids 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. Call 602-262-6225 or visit www.autorama.com. -- Craig Wallach