Tuna Guitar

THU 2/17
Something fishy this way comes, when the Tuna Helpers flop onto the stage at the Emerald Lounge, 1514 North Seventh Avenue on Thursday, February 17. The female trio call themselves a "pop-goth, performance art, puppet-wielding band," and intersperse their own songs with performances by homemade puppets, some of which have two heads, legs that kick, or blinking eyes. The band also has someone onstage who translates their lyrics into American Sign Language. Given Helper Adrienne Sneed's propensity for singing opera, the show promises to be a multilingual, bipolar experience. "There are some serious songs and some silly songs," Sneed says. "But we do not take ourselves seriously, or things will go wrong. My guitar will break or something." Get seriously hooked when the Tuna Helpers share the bill with Jake and Paperboy Jack. Admission is free, and the music starts at 10 p.m. Call 602-256-9705. -- Niki D'Andrea

Situation Normal

Stray Cat revives groundbreaking work

Stray Cat Theatre's production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart is a living history of sorts. The 1985 chronicle of the genesis of the AIDS epidemic opens on Friday, February 18, at Stray Cat Theatre, 1121 North First Street, and follows the story of writer and activist Ned Weeks, who is waging a lonely war against apathy toward the disease. Director Ron May says, "The issues, the ravages of this horrific disease, sadly, are not over." Think of the play as shock treatment for the complacent or an antidote to Valentine's Day sappiness. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 480-820-8022. -- Patricia Beck

Devil May Care

Chanteuse company at Rhythm Room

THU 2/17
Beware, all you punkers, hepcats and male members of the Cocktail Nation: The sensual siren song of the Devil Doll -- a.k.a. Colleen Duffy -- will beckon when the vintage vixen visits the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, on Thursday, February 17. A punky princess and self-described Queen of Pain, Duffy takes a (Bettie) page from the vampy retro style with jet-black hair, dangerous curves, and come-hither stare. Her satanically satiny voice also entices as it croons along to brassy big band, tortured torch songs, jazzy jump beats, or even raucous rockabilly. But don't do her wrong, boys, since this sultry sex kitten has claws, and like the heroines of noir-film lore, she'll steal your heart and drive you to drink, purring oh-so-seductively, "I want to kiss you, then punch you in the face." The femme fatalities start at 9 p.m. and admission is $10. Call 602-265-4842. -- Benjamin Leatherman

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Patricia Beck
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.