Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

Get ready for the NXOEED retrospective.
Get ready for the NXOEED retrospective. James B. Hunt

The weekend is about to begin, and if you don't make some plans now, you risk not having maximum fun. Over the next couple of days, you can go to an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party, see what you can find at the Silver Key Sellers market, listen to some music, and more.

Twisted Tea Party

They’ll all be a little mad at the Whining Pig, 5030 East Ray Road in Ahwatukee, during this off-kilter and Carrollian-inspired costume party on Friday, September 10. Drink specials will be available, but none of the adult beverages offered will shrink you (we think). Swag for the best costume will be awarded and an Alice in Wonderland trivia session will start at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman
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There's a new show opening at Alwun House this weekend.
Jennifer Goldberg

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It’s a sentiment some adults share with bullied children, hoping to convince them that vicious words hold no power. Quite the opposite is true, of course, as evidenced by a series of portraits photographed by Holly Shoemaker, whose models have chosen the powerful words written all over their faces: gay, vindictive, annoying, useless, fearful, scarred, and more. She’ll be sharing more than three dozen works at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt, during an event called Sticks and Stone, which happens from 8 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, September 10. The evening also includes live burlesque and sideshow entertainment for the over-21 set, as well as refreshments. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event. If you feel inspired by buy some art while you’re there, know that 25 percent of art sales will help an organization focused on mental health and wellness for at-risk youth, a fact that might inspire a wholly different set of words: acceptance, community, generosity, and peace. Lynn Trimble

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Checking out the Tempe History Museum.
Lynn Trimble

Natalie Gallatin Quartet

Maybe you’re used to thinking of local bars or big arenas as your best music options around town, but it turns out that concerts are happening in some delightfully unexpected places from museums to front porches. The Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue, Tempe, has a series called Performances at the Museum, which typically runs from September through May. On Friday, September 10, you can hear the Natalie Gallatin Quartet perform at 7 p.m., when they’ll be highlighting the great American songbook. Every musician is a graduate student at ASU, and they’ll be staying on after the concert for a Q & A with audience members who want to know more about their sound. There’s limited seating due to COVID-19 protocols, and all patrons will be expected to social distance and wear masks for the event. If you’ve been wanting to broaden your horizons in terms of musical styles, or you’re eager to support the local music scene amid the challenges presented by public health conditions, this is a great way to do it without spending a dime. The event is free. Lynn Trimble

Suzi Q

When singer and bassist Suzi Quatro burst onto the British music scene during the ‘70s era, hard rock was still a man’s game. The Detroit-born musician made it big in the United Kingdom and Australia, but didn’t quite capture a broad swath of the American audience. Some recall her appearances on the TV sitcom Happy Days, where she played the perky Leather Tuscadero. But for most, her calling card is a 1978 song called Stumblin’ In. Take a deeper dive into her life and times with the film Suzi Q, which shows the musician returning to Detroit as she reflects on challenges and triumphs experienced along the way. The film features insights and perspectives from Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, KT Tunstall, and others who had significant impacts on the era. It’s being screened at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, at 6 and 8:15 p.m. on Friday, September 10. Tickets are $11, plus fees. All that gel you use to bring the big hair on Saturday night is on you. Lynn Trimble

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The Silver Key Lounge's main room.

Silver Key Sellers Market

Could you really use a set of tungsten dice or some gently used tabletop titles to add to your growing game den? The Silver Key Lounge, 1837 West Guadalupe Road in Mesa, will stage the latest edition of its sellers market from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 11. Dozens of vendors and local collections will have tables at the event. Beer and wine specials will be available and there might be play sessions happening. It’s free to attend and $5 for a table. Load-in time is 8 a.m. Benjamin Leatherman

Zine Release Party

If you want to know what’s happening in Roosevelt Row, take a good look at telephone poles covered with flyers, posters, and invitations. Odds are, you’ve seen work by artist James B. Hunt, who uses the moniker NXOEED, because his drawings have graced plenty of these unofficial exhibition spaces. Now you can see 100 of this prolific artist’s works in a free art show and zine release party that kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 11. It’s coming to a creative space called Azokoza, 440 West Fifth Street, Tempe. In a city filled with polished artworks displayed in sparkling spaces, it’s refreshing to see a show like the NXOEED Poster Morgue Retrospective, which reflects the everyday travels of a longtime staple of the underground art scene in Phoenix, whose work often references those he meets along the way. Lynn Trimble

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The Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner.
Lorie Shaull/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr Creative Commons

Phoenix Mercury vs. Connecticut Sun

When the Phoenix Mercury host the Connecticut Sun on Saturday, September 11, at Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, it could be a preview of this year’s WNBA Finals. The Sun currently top the league’s standings, their spot in the playoffs has been a forgone conclusion for weeks, and ESPN is picking them as favorites to win it all. Meanwhile, the Mercury have made up a lot of ground in the second half of the season and are riding a nine-game winning streak and team leaders Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner are both playing in top form. In other words, expect a hard-fought battle when the Sun and Mercury meet this weekend. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $24. Benjamin Leatherman

Fabulous '40s

Open a history book about the 1940s in Arizona, and you’ll find a mixed bag of milestones. It was the era of Japanese internment camps, the launch of Motorola’s first Phoenix site, the founding year for The Phoenix Symphony, and the start of Falcon Field in Mesa. It’s a fascinating place to visit, if you want to take a trip back in time to explore World War II-era artifacts and history. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, you can join the official 80th anniversary celebration for Falcon Field, happening at Falcon Field Park and the Historic World War II Hangar, 4636 East Fighter Aces Drive, Mesa. The free Fabulous ‘40s Fair will include tours, aircraft displays, carnival rides and games, live performances, aviation-inspired activities, food trucks, and an aviation-themed photo booth. A brief official ceremony will take place at noon. Lynn Trimble

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Get ready for another flea market at Yucca Tap Room.
Lauren Cusimano

Punk Rock Flea Swap

Itching to do a little shopping without hitting the mall scene? Head over the Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe, between noon and 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, where you’ll find a flea swap featuring an eclectic mix of good stuff. Think art, collectibles, records, skateboards, zines, clothing, jewelry, and more. More than two dozen sellers will be there, including Desperation Skate, Eternal Noir, Pig City, and Wasted Ink Zine Distro. The swap is free, but you need to be at least 21 to attend. While you’re there, check out all the murals painted by local artists in the Danelle Plaza that’s home to Yucca Tap Room — and Laura Spalding Best’s landscape painted decommissioned traffic signs. Lynn Trimble
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