Pop Goes the Easel

Stuck in a society more concerned with the workings of popular culture than with works of fine art, a trio of local artists has struck a shrewd artistic balance. Offering a modern take on the Pop Art movement that painted the 1950s and '60s with colorful, consumerist images, "Popped Out: Imagery From a New Generation" opens at downtown's monOrchid Gallery on Friday, May 16. The collection of new works by Mark Freedman, Oliver Hibert and Grant Wiggins debuts at a 7 p.m. artists' reception.Touted as "provocative and evocative in both the familiar and strange," the paintings pop with bright, bold images drawn from the pop cultural landscape; subjects range from masseuses featured in James Bond films to a seating chart of Dodger Stadium to puppets from a 1970s TV series.

The artists return to monOrchid, 214 East Roosevelt, for a second reception on June 6; "Popped Out" remains on exhibition through June 22. Call 602-253-0339 for more information.- Jill Koch


Rocket makes a landing

Fri 5/16
If there's a "Remedy" for monotonous radio muck, Jason Mraz's catchy single could well be it. Hyping his debut record, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, the singer-songwriter touches down at Tempe's Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill, on Friday, May 16. Franky Perez and the Highway Saints open the all-ages show. See www.jasonmraz.com for tickets, $12 in advance, $15 day of the show. - Jill Koch


Tribute bands cover some...uh, classics

Thu 5/15
They're wanted... dead or contrived. Arizona's own New Jersey -- "a full-costume tribute to the ultimate rock band, Bon Jovi" -- plays a counterfeit double-bill with Metal Gods, a tribute to Judas Priest, Thursday, May 15, at Scottsdale's Cajun House, 7117 East Third Avenue. Doors open at 8 p.m., with a $10 cover. Call 480-945-5150.- Jill Koch

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Jill Koch
Contact: Jill Koch