Nerd Culture

6 Free Things to Do This Week

It's always a good time at Shady Park.
It's always a good time at Shady Park. Benjamin Leatherman
Attention cheapos. This week you can spend your humpday at Soul Shanty Shakedown, watch the prose fight at the Haiku Deathmatch, or celebrate your love of garlic at Garlic Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Songwriters Showcase
Local singer-songwriter Shannon Crane lives to entertain — and for the past 30-plus years, she’s done just that. The multi-talented musician and vocalist has performed for most of her life, gracing stages both across the country and around the Valley. These days, she fronts local ensemble Shan Jam Crane and the Wild Banchees and hosts the biweekly Songwriters Showcase every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Pho Cao, 7436 East McDowell Road in Scottsdale.

This week’s edition of the showcase is a special one for Crane, who will celebrate her 60th birthday during the event, which takes place on Wednesday, September 26. In addition to a headlining set by Crane and company, the night will feature sets by such locals as folk rock group Buzz Babins and As Is Band, inspirational singer Katy Litwiller, and goth rock act Melodie Za and Eternal. Performances start at 7 p.m. and there’s no cover. Call 480-947-2608. Benjamin Leatherman

Soul Shanty Shakedown
Hump day just got a little more irie, courtesy of the cats behind the weekly Soul Shanty Shakedown at Shady Park in Tempe. Every Wednesday night, local MC Mycwyse and DJ Supavaiza offer a laidback night of music and dancing on the back patio of venue, which is located at 26 West University Drive in Tempe.

Vinyl selections of the reggae, dancehall, downtempo, and dub variety waft through the night air during the event, including old-school tunes by such legends as Leroy Gibbons, Max Romeo, Scientist, and Peter Tosh while local vendors like Level Up Dispensaries offer their wares, and local painters do live art sessions. Meanwhile, specialty cocktails like Fun Bobby’s Tropical AF, and deals like $3 well drinks and dollar-off drafts are offered, all of which should help you get in the groove.

The shakedown starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26. Admission is free. Call 480-474-4222 or see the Shady Park Facebook page. Benjamin Leatherman

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Don't let that calm poet demeanor fool you.
Airi Katsuta
Haiku Deathmatch
There’s more to poetry than floating clouds and chirping sparrows. Check it out during a Haiku Deathmatch that runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, at The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street. It’s part of the Phoenix Poetry Slam, a regular series presented by Lawn Gnome Publishing. In case you need a refresher, haiku is a form of Japanese poetry comprising 17 syllables in three phrases. Poets get five syllables for the first and last phrases, and seven syllables for the middle one. You can participate as a poet or audience member. All ages are welcome, but so is adult content. It’s free, but get tickets online. Visit the Lawn Gnome Publishing website. Lynn Trimble

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Matty B. bringing color to Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh in 2016.
Benjamin Leatherman
Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh
The seventh anniversary of a Valley arts and music mashup called Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh is upon us. Part art show, part concert, it’s a chance to show the local love for hometown creatives, including co-presenter James B. Hunt, who uses the moniker NXOEED and often hides his creations around town for impromptu art hunts.

Expect art, live music, a dance party, and sticker drop with 50 participating artists — including Champ Styles, Chelsi Rossi, JB Snyder, Michael 23, Tara Sharpe, and Volar. The free event takes place at Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 28. Visit the NXOEED Facebook page. Lynn Trimble

Garlic Festival
Alliophiles of the Valley, get ready to indulge your love of all things garlic. For two straight days, the pungent plant will be in abundance at the Queen Creek Olive Mill, 25062 South Meridian Road, Queen Creek, during the annual Garlic Festival. The weekend-long celebration, which takes place on Saturday, September 29, and Sunday, September 30, will offer the chance to eat, stink, and be merry as food trucks and vendors from across the Valley serve creations and concoctions loaded with garlic. You can even try such garlic-infused sweet treats as gelato, brownies, and muffins. Queen Creek Olive Mill owner Perry Rea will conduct cooking demonstrations, a special garlic-centric menu will also be offered all day, and a beer and wine garden will provide liquid refreshment. Thankfully, breath mints will be provided. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Call 480-888-9290 or visit the Queen Creek Olive Mill website. Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Suns Open Practice
Are you a believer in the Phoenix Suns yet? Okay, well it’s early. Their first game is still a few weeks away. They’ve got so many new players you’ll need a program to identify them. Their superstar guard, Devin Booker, had surgery on his shooting hand. But now is the time to be hopeful that they will be much better than last season’s last-place team. So if you want a sneak peak at the rising Suns, they are hosting an open practice at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at noon on Saturday, September 29. You’ll get a look at all the new Suns, including No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton, hot dogs will only cost $2, there will be a host of activities for kids and adults and admission is free if you RSVP online at the Phoenix Suns website. Doors open at 11 a.m. for the practice and 10:30 a.m. for the Fan Festival. Stuart Warner
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Stuart Warner was the editor of New Times from 2017 to 2019. He has been a journalist since the stoned ages of 1969, playing a major role on teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes. He is also the author of the biography JOCK: A Coach's Story.