Pic Hits for the week

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Don McLean: McLean's been trying to escape the long shadow of "American Pie," one of the most significant songs of the last generation, since it was released 25 years ago. But that's McLean--a wide-ranging, totally dedicated songwriter who's as humble as he is gifted. Don plays a rare Valley show at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 19, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $18 and $22, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Arizona "Star Warz" Minicon: The inaugural AzSWCon celebrates George Lucas' long-time-ago, far-far-away Star Wars galaxy. Highlights include a scheduled appearance by author, collector and LucasFilm, Ltd., employee Steve Sansweet (Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible); screenings of Star Wars parodies, including the classic Hardware Wars; a costume contest; and, of course, tons of dealers, exhibits and related merch. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 19, at the Safari Resort, 4611 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $2.50 and $5 in advance, $3 and $6 the day of the event. Call 978-5339.

Saguaro Jazz Festival: The highlight of this inaugural event is a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie by trumpeter and Dizzy protege Jon Faddis and postbop pianist Mulgrew Miller. Also on the marquee: Ignacio Berroa, John Lee, Brandon Fields Quintet, Jim Manley and Horns in the House, Extreme Decibel Big Band II, Tom Ervin and Friends, and the Arizona State University Jazz Ensemble. Showtime is 1 p.m. Saturday, October 19, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Tickets are $18 and $25 in advance, $20 and $30 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; kids 12 and under are admitted free. Call 644-2560 or 678-2222.

"Arizona Round-Up": See Thursday.
Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Tap Dogs: See Thursday.

october 20
The Heads featuring Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison and Johnette Napolitano: Former Talking Heads Frantz, Weymouth and Harrison are joined by onetime Concrete Blonde leader Napolitano in this relatively laid-back but still mighty arty collective. If the mid-'80s was your scene, this gig's for you. Star 69 shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 20, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. For details call 967-1234.

TanaReid featuring Akira Tana and Rufus Reid: The nonpareil battery of drummer Tana and bassist Reid, both formerly of Art Farmer's group, powers this New York jazz quintet. Tom Golden Trio featuring Margo Reed shares the stage. Showtime is 3 p.m. Sunday, October 20, at Phoenix Center for the Performing Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the show, available at Dillard's. Call 678-2222.

"Arizona Round-Up": See Thursday.
Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.
Cowboy Artists of America Exhibit: See Saturday.
Tap Dogs: See Thursday.

october 21
The Gin Blossoms: Rumors of the impending demise of Tempe's most infamous band have been circulating, but don't fret; the smart money has the Blossoms showing up for their annual fund raiser for Arizona AIDS Project's Camp Hakuna Matata. Showtime is 7 p.m. Monday, October 21, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, in conjunction with Arizona State Fair (see Thursday). The concert is free with regular fair admission; limited reserved seating is available for a fee (see the "In General" section of the At the Fair listing). For details call 268-3247 or 252-6771.

AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence: The Valley drama community is feted at this sixth annual ceremony, hosted by the mellifluous/ubiquitous Pat McMahon. It starts at 8 p.m. Monday, October 21, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets are $12, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Public pre- and postshow bashes are planned at Coyote Springs Brewing Company, 122 East Washington. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222.

"Arizona Round-Up": See Thursday.
Arizona State Fair: See Thursday.

october 22
Sue Coe: The postmodern artist speaks about the new retrospective of her prints, "Heel of the Boot," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 22, at Arizona State University Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill, on the ASU campus in Tempe. The installation, which continues through Sunday, December 29, at the Nelson, showcases Coe's admirable social conscience and her deep well of empathy for "those most vulnerable to abuses of power . . . women, children and animals." Admission and viewing are free; for hours and other information, see the Art Exhibits listing or call 965-2787.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear