Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Dressed for success at last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Dressed for success at last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Melissa Fossum

Hey Phoenix, we've planned your week. This week, you can make your ears happy at Oh My Ears New Music Festival, crowd-watch at Waste Management Phoenix Open, or enjoy a few films at Indie Film Fest. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Checking out new work by the Fortoul Brothers. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out new work by the Fortoul Brothers.
Lynn Trimble
FORM Labs Phoenix
FORM returns to Arcosanti for three days of art, architecture, music, nature, and other creative pursuits in May. Get a sneak peek during FORM Labs Phoenix, being presented by FORM, the Fortoul Brothers, and Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, January 31. Admission is free when you register online. The event is for ages 18 and up. Expect an intriguing mashup of creative offerings, plenty of good vibes, and performances from Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, serpentwithfeet, and Kelsey Lu. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Getting an OME music fix. - COURTESY OF OH MY EARS
Getting an OME music fix.
Courtesy of Oh My Ears
Oh My Ears New Music Festival
The four-day Oh My Ears New Music Festival opens on Thursday, January 31, with a pair of concerts in Roosevelt Row. First up is a 7 p.m. concert featuring five artists who play clarinet, flute, and violin. They’ll be performing at Songbird Coffee and Tea House, 812 North Third Street. Next, head to FilmBar Phoenix, 815 North Second Street, at 10 p.m. for a concert featuring work by California-based guest composer and pianist Sarah Gibson, whose work has been commissioned by the Tanglewood Music Center and L.A. Signal Lab, among others. Tickets are $15 for the full Thursday lineup. The festival continues through Sunday, February 3. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Tequila shots at last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open. - MELISSA FOSSUM
Tequila shots at last year's Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Melissa Fossum
Waste Management Phoenix Open
Even if you’re not a golf aficionado, there is a lot of fun to be had at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, especially if you’re a study in crowd-watching. It’s earned the reputation as “the People’s Open” because spectators do not politely clap. They come dressed in elaborate costumes and roar with applause when the best in the PGA take to the green. Stars this year include Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

The first round tees off at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 31, and continues through Sunday, February 3, at TPC Scottsdale, 17020 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale. One-day general admission tickets are $45 to $60. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Heading into the Heard Museum. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Heading into the Heard Museum.
Lynn Trimble
“Josef Albers in Mexico”
Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “Josef Albers in Mexico” at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, explores artwork created by the German artist during the early 20th century. Albers’ geometric abstractions were heavily influenced by Latin American travels, where he encountered pre-Columbian art, architecture, and culture. The artist visited Mexico more than a dozen times from the 1930s to the 1960s, and his works reveal the influence of archaeological sites including Teotihuacan. Featured works include paintings, photographs, and photo collage. Check them out between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. when the exhibit opens on Friday, February 1. The exhibit is included with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to celebrate Chinese New Year. - COURTESY OF HERBERGER THEATER CENTER
Time to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Courtesy of Herberger Theater Center
First Friday Live
Every First Friday, excluding warmer months from June to September, the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, puts together a mix of creative offerings with a common theme. At First Friday Live, you might experience live music, performance, video projections, visual art, and interactive activities. On Friday, February 1, they’ll be spotlighting Chinese New Year. For 2019, Chinese New Year actually falls on February 5, and will celebrate the Year of the Pig. Head over between 6 and 9 p.m. on First Friday to explore the free event, which happens on the center’s outdoor plaza, where dancer statues by John Henry Waddell punctuate the urban landscape. Visit Lynn Trimble

Revolver Records
In case you hadn’t heard the news, Revolver Records is closing its doors after more than a decade in business. But the Roosevelt Row institution isn’t going out with a whimper. The store, known for throwing great outdoor concerts every First Friday, will be putting on its loudest party yet. It is sure to shake the windows of the condos that have been built up around the little red building that has housed the store for 11 years. Be sure to take advantage of the deep discounts inside, too.

The beat stops on Friday, February 1, at 918 North Second Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Feeling the sticker love. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Feeling the sticker love.
Lynn Trimble
Sticker Drop 2
What’s better than snagging a free sticker? Finding nearly 200 fresh stickers in one spot, for starters. Pop into Sundown Gallery & Studios, 921 East Roosevelt Street, from 7 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, February 1, to check out a free sticker exhibit and swap called Sticker Drop 2. It’s being organized by James B. Hunt, an artist who uses the moniker NXOEED for his own creative ventures, including hiding artworks around town with a “finders keepers” approach. The gallery will be showing works by several artists gifted in sticker design, and presenting live music by Snailmate. Visit the Facebook event page for Sticker Drop 2 at Sundown Gallery. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Check out Rosalie at FilmBar. - COURTESY OF INDIE FILM FEST
Check out Rosalie at FilmBar.
Courtesy of Indie Film Fest
Indie Film Fest
Explore fresh faces in film during the two-day Indie Film Fest that kicks off on Friday, February 1. Friday offerings include screening for 25 films starting at 1 p.m. at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, where you can also enjoy two live-action performances and a pair of filmmaker panels. See those screenings with a $30 ticket, or get a full festival pass for $75. Friday’s lineup also includes a 10 p.m. screening of Rosalie at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, which is $10 for general admission. PAZ Cantina, 330 East Roosevelt Street, is offering Friday Indie Film Fest fare as well. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Ready to party. - COURTESY OF CLUB 90S
Ready to party.
Courtesy of Club 90s
Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen Night and '70s Party
Rami Malek’s Oscar-nominated performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody has once again renewed interest in the operatic rock of Queen. Since you can’t dance to “We Will Rock You” at the movie theater (without getting kicked out, anyway), head over to the Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen Night and’70s Party. In addition to playing tunes from the British rock group, there will be disco and glam rock hits from David Bowie to the Bee Gees. The first 300 people inside will receive pins. Come dressed as the Queen frontman and you could win the Freddie Mercury lookalike contest.

Get on your bikes and ride at 10 p.m. on Friday, February 1, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $10 to $15. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Painted Desert Fur Con
Much has been written about furries over the years, and it typically concerns the subculture’s more lurid, unusual, or shocking aspects (we’ll leave it to you to Google all that on your own). Truth be told, most are just ordinary geeks who are fascinated with anthropomorphic animals. Some create artwork, while others build and wear elaborate fursuit costumes for their characters, complete with fantastical backstories. Some, like Dragonball FighterZ champ SonicFox, even game in their fursuits.

This weekend, local packs of furries will gather at Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 North Scottsdale Road in Paradise Valley, for the Painted Desert Fur Con. The three-day event runs from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, February 1, and will feature more than 80 hours of programming geared toward furry-related fandom, including costuming, art, LARPing, and more. The event runs through Sunday, February 3. Special guests will also be in attendance. Single-day passes are $25 to $45 and weekendlong admission is $55. Hours vary. See for complete details. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Veggies on the brain. - ARIZONA VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL
Veggies on the brain.
Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Up your vegetarian cuisine knowledge and skills at the two-day Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival that launches from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. It’s all happening at the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater, 7380 North Second Street, which means you can check out plenty of public art including Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture (it makes a perfect Valentine’s Day selfie backdrop), while you’re there. Saturday performers include Canadian acoustic duo The Tree Huggers and Phoenix singer/songwriter Danielle Durack, among others. Single days tickets for the festival featuring demonstrations, speakers, yoga classes, and live music are $20. Full festival passes are $30. Visit Lynn Trimble

Petroglyph Discovery Hike
The Petroglyph Discovery Hike is an introduction to the language of the Hohokam tribe. Learn how the members of the indigenous people communicated with each other over 700 years ago using these rock drawings. Let one of the knowledgeable park guides take you around Holbert Trail at South Mountain to view the ancient pictures of snakes, dancers, and stick figures. Binoculars are recommended but not required.

This easy, one-mile hike begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, at 10919 South Central Avenue. This is a free event, but space is limited. For more information, call the Pueblo Grande Museum at 602-495-0901 or visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Running with nature. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Running with nature.
Lynn Trimble
Rio Salado Trail Run
Get a whole new perspective on the city of Phoenix, including hidden parts of its natural and manmade landscapes, during the Rio Salado Trail Run happening from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. The run includes 5K, 10K, and 15K options and begins at 1900 East Riverview Drive, taking runners through portions of the lush desert habitat for myriad animals and plants. It’s a relaxing way to meet fellow nature enthusiasts while honoring those New Year’s fitness goals. Plus, you’ll get to see the underpinnings of a freeway system you’ve driven over countless times, without ever giving thought to the history of the land from which it rises. Registration starts at $45. Visit Lynn Trimble

Crescent Ballroom's Super Bowl Party
You have to watch the game somewhere, right? If a bar serving greasy food isn’t for you, then head downtown to Crescent Ballroom’s Super Bowl Party. You can grab a delicious burrito and check out the big game (or the commercials, if that’s your thing) on the venue’s two televisions and projected on the screen in the lounge.

Seating for this event is limited, so you may want to head over when the doors open at 3 p.m. Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at 308 North Second Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Mask Alive! El Puente Festival
Putting on a disguise can be an artistic and transformative experience. Celebrate the change within yourself and around you at the Mask Alive! El Puente Festival. There will be performances and storytelling by local dancers and mariachi bands, a book swap, kids arts and crafts, and a food truck. This cultural celebration will culminate with a procession across Tempe Town Lake on the pedestrian bridge.

The fun goes from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge COURTESY OF CRITERION
Courtesy of Criterion
Bicycle Thieves
FilmBar is giving film buffs the opportunity to see one of the greatest films of all time on the big screen as part of its Art House Society series. Bicycle Thieves popularized the Italian neorealism movement and influenced everything from Indian cinema to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. The plot is simple: A man’s bicycle is stolen and he and his son search the streets of Rome to find it. It is the encounters the duo has along the way that touch the viewer emotionally. And yes, there are subtitles.

The movie starts at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9.95. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Phoenix Suns
If you happen to be in Las Vegas when the Houston Rockets play the Phoenix Suns, you couldn’t bet on a surer thing. We don’t want to encourage your gambling habit, but our local team is heavily outmatched against the bearded James Harden, making this stop in the Valley an easy addition to the Rockets’ win column on their journey to the playoffs. But if Suns’ Devin Booker can stay healthy, the matchup between the two guards should be fun to watch, so maybe you shouldn’t call your bookie just yet.

The game starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 4, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $24 to $2,500. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Art meets sustainability. - COURTESY OF DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
Art meets sustainability.
Courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden
“New Bloom: Industrial Nature by Michelle Stitzlein”
If you’re passionate about sustainability, art, and the Arizona desert, you’ll want to check out a new exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. “New Bloom: Industrial Nature by Michelle Stitzlein” features works created by the Ohio artist, whose large-scale pieces made with found objects and recycled materials address issues related to sustainability. It’s a compelling example of the power of art to convey ideas and prompt reflection on possible solutions for the big issues facing contemporary society. Be one of the first to see it on Monday, February 4, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The exhibit is free with garden admission, which is $24.95 for adults. Visit Lynn Trimble

Dog Yoga
It’s difficult not to make a pun about canines and yoga positions when describing Dog Yoga, but we are willing to make that stretch (sorry) for an event designed to increase you and your pet’s social standing. Keep the conversation flowing at a session that is great for all skill levels, so things shouldn’t get too rough.

Class begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, at Social Hall, 715 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. This class is $10 for first-time students with the promo code “phoenix50.” Drop-ins are $20. The cost includes your yoga block and mat rental. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Indulge your inner star explorer. - COURTESY OF ASU
Indulge your inner star explorer.
Courtesy of ASU
3-D Astronomy Show
Odds are, you don’t have a fancy telescope set up in the backyard for all those nights you want to get a closer glimpse at the evening sky. But that needn’t stop you from enjoying a little star power, because ASU uses planetarium technology to help people explore the universe at its Marston Exploration Theater located inside the university’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building, 781 East Terrace Mall in Tempe. Head over to the theater on Wednesday, February 6, if you want to take in the 3-D Astronomy Show that runs from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Music meets memories. - STEVE ROSE
Music meets memories.
Steve Rose
A Bowie Celebration
David Bowie fans are still reeling from the 2016 death of the London-born musical icon, best-known to many for contributions to glam and art rock, including experimental electronic offerings that continue to resonate decades after their release. Phoenix-based artist Maggie Keane has even painted a series of mural portraits of Bowie, located on Seventh Street north of McDowell Road. Now, alumni Bowie band members including Mike Garson are performing A Bowie Celebration concert, which comes to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Wednesday, February 6. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show start at $33. Visit Lynn Trimble
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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.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble