This weekend has potential plans aplenty, Phoenix. Here are our top picks for what to do in and around the city.
Video Blender @ Phoenix Art Museum "Will It Blend?" is the ongoing series of online videos by personal kitchen appliance manufacturer Blendtec in which CEO Tom Dickson gleefully wields their marquee products to chew up basically anything from an iPhone to a Justin Bieber doll.
Phoenix Art Museum gets in on the act with its own Video Blender on Friday, July 5.
Instead of pulverizing household products or promotional items, the night will be filled with award-winning short films, clips of vintage educational film strips, music videos, B-movie trailers, animation, and other experimental creative efforts. Will it blend? You can't really go wrong with a YouTube K-hole approach and a visual stew that will include the work of such oddball filmmakers as Michel Gondry, Jim Jarmusch, and Spike Jonze.
Video Blender cuts up from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1625 North Central Avenue. The preshow of '80s-era music videos and film snippets starts at 6:30pm. Admission is $7. Find more information at www.phxart.org/event or call 602-257-1222. -- Jose Gonzalez
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies @ Chase Field For a team that looks like a prohibitive favorite to win its division, the Arizona Diamondbacks sure have looked weak when battling their division rivals. Despite being at or near the top of the NL West table all year, the snakes have a losing divisional record. Only one team in the last seven seasons (the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals) has managed to win its division with a losing divisional record, so the D-Backs will almost certainly have to play better against their own division if they want to capture the NL West.
The Diamondbacks' upcoming home-stand represents a golden opportunity to turn their divisional fortunes around--six of the ten games will be against NL West foes. The home stand starts on Friday, July 5, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, with a 6:40 p.m. matchup against a Colorado Rockies team that is in striking distance of first. Tickets start at $5 via www.azdbacks.com or 602-462-6500. -- Ed Kummerer
Earthquake @ Stand Up Live Nathaniel Martin Stroman received the nickname Earthquake because of the violent, shaking laughter his audiences experience. Okay, this may not be true in terms of how he got the name, but the results are the same -- Stroman's quick wit and explosive comedy about everyday life and his time in the military (he once dropped a live nuclear missile) make people laugh and laugh hard. It was during that 11-year military stint that Stroman began attending open mic nights near his base. But unlike many would-be comics, he was able to make the professional jump, first to the southern comedy circuit before taking his act national, scoring HBO and BET specials. Fittingly, this Earthquake resides in Southern California, making Phoenix an easy destination.
Get shaking during Earthquake's two performances at 7 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $22. Call 480-719-6100 or visit www.standuplive.com. -- Glenn BurnSilver
UFC 162 Viewing Party @ Talking Stick Resort Anderson "Spider" Silva is the most dominant champion in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. The 38-year-old Brazilian middleweight has defended his championship a record 10 straight times -- part of a record 16-fight winning streak -- and none of the calls has been particularly close. It's always tough to separate reality from hype in UFC, but the buzz surrounding Silva's upcoming title defense at UFC 162 is that Silva has finally met his match. Silva's opponent, undefeated Chris Weidman, is such a popular upset pick that a Weidman victory would barely register as an upset. If the fight lives up to the hype, it will be one of the best bouts of recent vintage.
You can watch the fight live on the big screen at the Talking Stick Resort Showroom, 9800 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale, Saturday July 6,. The cover charge is $10; doors open at 5 p.m. Visit www.talkingstickresort.com or call 480-850-7777. -- Ed Kummerer
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"Heat II" @ Practical Art July in Phoenix creates a sort of common denominator. It's a bonding agent for those who have lived here for at least a year. It also bonds our backs to car seats, our bodies to water and air conditioning, and our underwear to its butt cracks. Even most outdoor enthusiasts find local hills dead with the sound of silence due to this unrelenting culprit: the heat.
However, there is also a sense of resilience that comes with this season. If we can face the swelter of the Valley together and get through it with varied coping mechanisms, then maybe it's not so, so bad. These interpretations are explored visually through Practical Art's exhibition "Heat II," a jury-selected show featuring 11 artists who celebrate the summertime sweats. The multimedia exhibition includes works of photography, oil on canvas, wood assemblage, and print.
Warm up to the show, on view through July 31, at 5070 North Central Avenue. Hours on Sunday, July 7, are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 602-264-1414 or visit www.practical-art.com for more info. -- Craig Smith