Nerd Culture

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

Mega Ran (left) and Bag of Tricks Cat (right).
Mega Ran (left) and Bag of Tricks Cat (right). Luis Perez
Ready for the weekend? We are. Go see Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat perform their new album, say "Om" at Museum Yoga, or join the Bettys at Clueless Night Phoenix. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat
Sequel albums in hip-hop can be a tricky thing. For every successful continuation, like Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2 or Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II, there’s crap like Onyx’s Bacdafucup Part II that never should have seen the light of day.

Local hip-hop artists Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat hope their newest collaboration, the recently released Emerald Knights 2, falls into the first category. And they’ve got every reason to believe so, considering the critical and commercial success of the album’s predecessor, 2015’s Emerald Knights.

Decide for yourself when Ran and Cat perform tracks off the album at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street, on Friday, June 22. Doors open at 8 p.m. and The Grind, Yosh, Justus and Roqy TyRaiD will open. Tickets are $10. See the Mega Ran website. Benjamin Leatherman

The Power of Punctuation
Need surefire ways to kill your chance of taking a budding romance from texting to sexting? Bad grammar and lousy spelling are a couple that might get you ghosted before you can ask what an Oxford comma is. In Natalie Margolin’s play, The Power of Punctuation, three friends spend late summer nights, fueled by booze, hovered around a white board, analyzing the hell out of the romance-oriented texts they’ve received.

After developing a rigorous rating system, the trio collectively dissect each message. From tone and sentiment to speed of response, the texts are put through the wringer. See who makes the cut at 7:30 p.m. on June 22 at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue. Tickets are $20. The show runs through July 1. Visit the Space55 website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Feeling the laser karaoke love. - ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
Feeling the laser karaoke love.
Arizona Science Center
Laser & Liquor
Britain’s Alan Parsons Project gave us their Eye in the Sky earworm back in the ’80s. Maybe you missed that whole scene, or you’re eager to relive it. Either way, the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, can set you up. They’re presenting laser light shows in their planetarium, complete with preshow karaoke, during Laser & Liquor starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 22. Fright Light, complete with a monster-theme medley, starts at 8 p.m. And Metallica, featuring several of that band’s hits, rolls at 9:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 per laser show, but bring money for cocktails and snacks, too. Visit the Arizona Science Center website. Lynn Trimble

A Beat at the Table
Ever wondered how flavor entwines with sound? If you have, you better get to A Beat at the Table, a dinner going down at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa.

The meal will feature five courses “paired with a soundtrack for the soul.” The way things work is that you get wireless headphones provided by your hosts, and these pump in tunes throughout your meal. You keep your headphones on the whole time. Yes, this means you can’t hear or talk to other diners (unless you know sign language). Tirzah Love, local private chef and caterer, will be hosting.

If you go, dress to impress. Tickets are $65 for individuals, $120 for couples, plus handling fees. Cocktails will be available at additional cost at the 21-and over event. Visit the Tirzah Love website or Eventbrite. Chris Malloy

click to enlarge From the last '90s night. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
From the last '90s night.
Benjamin Leatherman
Clueless Night Phoenix
Stay at home on a Saturday night and not go to Clueless Night Phoenix? Ugh, as if!

Bettys, Baldwins, Cake Boys, and Loadies are all welcome to party at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, to celebrate the classic film. DJ Jeffery will be spinning the Clueless soundtrack and late ’90s anthems. There will be a themed photobooth and free pins for the first 300 babes.

And you are totally buggin’ if you don’t think that you can dress up in your favorite ’90s outfits. Bonus points if you pick out your outfit using an outfit-picking program. Tickets are $13 at Ticketfly. Lindsay Roberts

Museum Yoga
Strolling to ogle art is a pretty chill activity. You can soak up the artsy surroundings while getting into an even deeper stage of relaxation at Museum Yoga. Hosted by the Rooted Community Yoga Project, this morning session takes place at a location on the Heard Museum’s campus and is open to all skill levels. After, you can take a look at all the things you didn’t see while in the lotus position. Breathe deep from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the Heard, 2301 North Central Avenue.

The class is $10 and includes museum admission. Registration is required. Call 602-252-8840 or visit the Heard Museum website. Amy Young

Phoenix Amplified Jazz Experience

His name was Prince, and like his own song said, he was funky. Though the Minneapolis sensation has passed away, his style and spirit are alive and ever-inspiring other musicians. Danny Kusz is one of ’em. The saxophonist’s jazz blend incorporates Prince’s funk grooves and other sounds from that region to create sharp and velvety jazz tunes. Neo-soul vocalist Tracy Cruz is also on the roster of the Phoenix Amplified Jazz Experience double bill, using her powerful voice to show why she took home the award for “Best Neo Soul Female” at last year’s Bay Area Black Music Awards.

The soulful sounds abound, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $35. Call 480-350-2822 or visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Amy Young

Bill Schenck brings the cowboy vibe. - MOUNTAIN SHADOWS
Bill Schenck brings the cowboy vibe.
Mountain Shadows
Spirit of the West
Maybe Western art isn’t your thing, because you figure it’s all about spurs and lassos. Put those thoughts to pasture, then make your way to Mountain Shadows, 5445 East Lincoln Drive in Scottsdale. That’s where a lovely breezeway off the resort’s main lobby features an art gallery curated by Reyes Contemporary. Show up anytime on Sunday, June 24, to explore new takes on traditional Americana created by artists Fritz Scholder, Bill Schenck, Jim Rapp, and Richard Laugharn.

Gallery admission is free, and it’s a relaxing way to see artistic interpretations of the West you might have missed in your everyday travels. Visit the Mountain Shadows website. Lynn Trimble

City of Women
Forced to roller skate? It could happen. It is certainly part of the plot in Federico Fellini’s 1980 Italian comedy-drama, City of Women. Marcello Mastroianni plays main character Snàporaz, who follows a woman off a train after it stops abruptly. He loses the woman but winds up at a surrealistic feminist convention. There, he’s made to strap on some skates before getting surrounded by a group of women on wheels who demonstrate their opinions of men using a dummy. That’s just the start of the wacky trip. There’s parties, sleds, telekinesis, and hot air balloons. Most importantly, Snàporaz encounters several female characters who make him confront his attitude toward women.

The absurdity unravels at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. The movie is included in the general admission of $9 to $18; free for kids 5 and younger. Call 602-666-7104 or visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Amy Young

Find your type. - CAMERON PEACOCK
Find your type.
Cameron Peacock
National Typewriter Day
It’s been 150 years since the U.S. Patent Office approved Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soulé’s design for the typewriter. Since then, the once-ubiquitous office staple has transitioned from being an invaluable tool used by authors, musicians, and poets to bring their thoughts to life, to a relic more often seen gathering dust at your local Goodwill store. But for those who enjoy the nostalgic clack and bing of a carriage return, Changing Hands Phoenix is celebrating National Typewriter Day with a party. There will be demonstrations, discussions, and drink specials at their First Draft Bar.

Bring your white-out from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. For more information, visit Changing Hands website. Jason Keil
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young