Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Patrons of Party Hard.
Patrons of Party Hard. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Patrons of Party Hard. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Patrons of Party Hard.
Benjamin Leatherman
Hey Phoenix, are y'all ready to have some fun? This weekend, you can jam out to your favorite tunes at Cumbia Rock Reggae Fest, get educated while enjoying a craft beer at Beer N Bones, or scream at the top of your lungs during Party Hard Wrestling.  For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Look for this portrait of Adora Bell at Eye Lounge on Third Friday. - SAMANTHA LYN AASEN
Look for this portrait of Adora Bell at Eye Lounge on Third Friday.
Samantha Lyn Aasen

‘For Her Time’

Stereotypes about sex workers prompted artist Samantha Lyn Aasen to create a series of photographs focused on their daily lives. Her exhibition titled “For Her Time” seeks to humanize sex workers through intimate portraits that reveal their “bravery and vulnerability” in the face of significant social stigma.

You can see the exhibit from 6 to 10 p.m. on Third Friday, October 18. It’s being shown at Eye Lounge, 419 East Roosevelt Street. Aasen will be on hand to talk about the exhibit, which is part of her larger body of work that also includes photographs of female anatomy embellished with sequins and other decorative materials. “I want to highlight their stories, not speak for them,” she says of the sex workers featured in her new photographic series. Lynn Trimble

Strange Negotiations

Strange Negotiations is the excellent sophomore album from David Bazan, hometown hero and head honcho of the iconic Pedro the Lion. It’s also the name of a recent documentary that focuses on Bazan’s life, overarching artistry, and ongoing spiritual uncertainty. Unless you bumped into Bazan back in the day, the film is a great way to delve into one of the most earnest and thoughtful songwriters of our times.

Now you can enjoy the film during the glory of a Valley autumn with a 7:30 p.m. showing on Friday, October 18, at 600 East Alameda Drive in Tempe. Director Brandon Vedder will also join the festivities via Skype for a post-screening Q&A. Chris Coplan

Cumbia Rock Reggae Fest

Phoenix is a town still figuring itself out culturally, and as such, our musical offerings are a little more diverse than some more “established” hamlets. For proof of that, you need only to check out the first-ever Cumbia Rock Reggae Fest. Hosted by Ser Latino magazine, the fest features Arizona acts Kill Babylon Coalition, Vox Urbana, and Santa Pachita alongside international favorites Bianca Ciocca and La Inedita, plus DJ sets from J-Cut and El Nuevo Sound. There’ll be rock and there’ll be cumbia, but mostly there’ll be a good ol’ time.

The fest goes down at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 18, at the Stratus Event Center, 4344 West Indian School Road.

For tickets and more info, look for the festival on Eventbrite, or register for extra-swanky VIP status by calling 480-204-7481. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Craft beer pairs well with dinosaurs. - ARIZONA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Craft beer pairs well with dinosaurs.
Arizona Museum of Natural History

Beer N Bones

Maybe you never let go of your childhood fascination with dinosaurs. If so, there’s a fun way to blend dinosaur nostalgia with more grown-up pursuits like enjoying craft beer. Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 North MacDonald in Mesa, is holding a Beer N Bones event from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, October 18.

It’s a chance to explore museum offerings and help a good cause. Event proceeds will help with updates to the Southwest Gallery and other museum programs. You need to be at least 21 years old to attend, and tickets start at $20. Expect a night filled with science-themed activities, plus local craft beer and food truck fare. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Tarot cards meet literary classic at Aside Theatre. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Tarot cards meet literary classic at Aside Theatre.
Lynn Trimble

The Canterbury Tarot

Phoenix playwright (and New Times contributor) Ashley Naftule put a new spin on Chaucer’s medieval classic by mixing in a hefty dose of tarot cards for a full-length play called The Canterbury Tarot. It imagines 10 pilgrims, each representing a major arcana from the tarot deck, passing the time together at a tavern during a violent storm.

Eager to include several styles of storytelling, Naftule incorporated comedy, dance, music, puppetry, and theater into the piece, which is being presented by Aside Theatre Company, 3508 North Seventh Street. It’s being paired with Ben Gill’s short play titled Cask and Crypt during the 7:30 p.m. performance on Friday, October 18. Tickets start at $15. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Bookstore meets open mic at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Bookstore meets open mic at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

POC It To Me Open Mic

There’s nothing scarier than a hot mic unless it’s a terrifying tale shared during an event with friends and fellow community members. Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, located at 1738 East McDowell Road, is bringing the scare factor to its latest POC It To Me Open Mic, a free community gathering happening from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 19.

If you’re a person of color with creativity to share, reach out to Palabras by Thursday to let them know what you’d like to perform. They’re looking for comedy, poetry, live art, stories, and more — all fitting this month’s theme: scary. You decide what’s scary, but skip the fake blood and hate speech. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Rey Basura, better known as the Trash King, at last year's Party Hard Wrestling event. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Rey Basura, better known as the Trash King, at last year's Party Hard Wrestling event.
Benjamin Leatherman

Party Hard Wrestling

If you missed the WWE’s big show from late September, there’s still time to catch sweet grappling action. Calling itself the “most party wrestling promotion in all of Chairizona,” Party Hard Wrestling presents a take on wrestling that blends pure artistry with mindless violence (so, like a backdrop driver but done to Mozart?). Regardless, you can expect appearances not only from local talent, including the Bayside Besties and “Trash King” Ray Basura, but also indie icon Colt Cabana.

PHW’s free fourth season kick-off, “Too Art For TV!,” is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, at The Nile, 105 West Main Street in Mesa. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Janis herself. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
Janis herself.
New Times Archive

A Night With Janis Joplin

In 2009, 30 Rock predicted there’d be some kind of movie tribute to the iconic Janis Joplin. In 2013, what we got was A Night With Janis Joplin, a Broadway musical exploration of Joplin’s life, her rise to the upper echelons of rock stardom, and her fade out and lasting legacy as a one-of-a-kind musical dynamo. Sure, 30 Rock had Jenna Maroney as Jackie Jormp-Jomp, but the real-life Mary Bridget Davies did wonders in re-creating Joplin’s manic presence and raw passion.

The show arrives in Phoenix at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets range from $35 to $85, or $130 for the VIP package (which includes a swag bag, photo ops, and a meet-and-greet with Davies). Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Exploring a Pueblo Grande Museum display on Hohokam canals. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Exploring a Pueblo Grande Museum display on Hohokam canals.
Lynn Trimble

Portal to the Past Celebration

Although the rich history of ancestral Sonoran Desert people surrounds the metro Phoenix community, people rarely make time to learn more about the history and impact of indigenous communities. That’s where the Portal to the Past Celebration comes in. It’s a free event happening from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, at Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street.

The event will feature performances by local creatives, including artists, dancers, musicians, poets, and storytellers. It’s designed to “celebrate the rich history and legacy of the Hohokam.” While you’re there, you can explore the museum, which is located on a 1,500-year-old archeological site. Lynn Trimble

Matty Matheson

If you’ve watched Viceland regularly, you’re probably familiar with Matty Matheson’s culinary antics and his amazeballs recipes. For those who aren’t acquainted with the rotund and ribald hipster chef, who’s both over the top and overly tattooed, he’s become an online sensation because of his cooking videos featuring craveable cuisine.

Matheson also has a self-titled cookbook out and just debuted a new YouTube show, Just a Dash, earlier this month. He’s currently hitting cities on the West Coast with his “Happy Vulnerable Tasty Sadness Happy Tour,” where he serves up stories about his life and misadventures, including dealing with drug addiction.

The tour comes to The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street, on Sunday, October 20. The show starts at 2 p.m. General admission is $27, and a meet-and-greet package, which includes an autographed photo and VIP merch, is $99. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Throwback to Phx Zine Fest 2018. - JOSE ROMERO
Throwback to Phx Zine Fest 2018.
Jose Romero

Phx Zine Fest

More than 60 creatives who make or publish an array of micro-publications will converge on Unexpected Art Gallery, 734 West Polk Street, for this year’s Phx Zine Fest on Sunday, October 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for the all-ages event, where you’ll also find indie comics, photography books, political pamphlets, and other literary offerings that reflect a robust range of creative expression.

The event also includes panels, hands-on activities, and food trucks. Look for local and national creatives, from small presses to illustrators. The lineup includes Cardboard House Press, Equality Arizona, Girls Rock! Phoenix, Orange Beanie Press, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, Tiny Joys, Wasted Ink Zine Distro, and more. Lynn Trimble
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Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.
Contact: Chris Coplan
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