Whacksing Poetic

First, a word about Googlewhacking for the uninitiated. Googlewhack! is an online game, the goal of which is to enter two or more unrelated words ("Googlefactors") on Google's Web site in an effort to turn up a single URL hit. It's not as easy as it sounds, especially because the words can't be enclosed in quotation marks. (Try it, you'll see.) British comedian Dave Gorman started 'whacking on and off, as it were, as a distraction from working on a book he was obligated to complete. Out of that bout with virtual writer's block came Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, a much-decorated one-man show that's kind of like a Spalding Gray bit with more action and spontaneous wit. Gorman's growing addiction to the game led him around the world -- three times -- on a quest to hook up with 10 fellow Googlewhackers, who turned out to be what Gorman describes as "the funniest characters on the planet."

Gorman shows-and-tells all beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, at Theater 4301 @ Galleria Corporate Center, 4301 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Googlewhack! continues through October 16; showtimes vary. Tickets cost $36. Call 480-994-2787 or visit www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. -- Clay McNear

Polka Faces
Squeeze and thank you from Haunted Cologne

FRI 9/30
While the accordion isn't the sexiest musical instrument around (just ask "Weird" Al Yankovic how much poontang he gets), Andrew Jemskie and Tristan Jones of Haunted Cologne have made the bellowed aerophone cool with their "polka punk." Armed with a squeezebox, guitar and drum set, the duo has peppered Valley venues with goofy numbers about German history and child drownings for the past year. They celebrate their first birthday at 7 p.m. Friday, September 30, at Four White Walls, 1023 Grand Avenue. In addition to a "musical play" by "The NASCAR Dads," local bands Bonegun, Treasure Mammal, Coitus, and Fathers Day will perform. Cover is $5. Call 602-705-4936. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Jokes on You
No, really, they are

THU 9/29
Clowns are usually self-deprecating klutzes, the kinds of comedians who make you laugh at them, not yourself. Well, "perverted clown" Blueford J. Petticoat thinks that shtick stinks. On Thursday, September 29, the most hazardous harlequin since Homey the Clown hits The Sets, 93 East Southern in Tempe, for a night of nasty slapstick. And the audience might be fair game, as local acts Kass McPherson, Billy Bowers, Page the Village Idiot, Mario Herrera, Walter Venerable, and Franko join Petticoat for the 21-and-over show, which starts at 8 p.m. and promises "guilty pleasures for the chemically imbalanced and closet pervert alike." Tickets cost $8. Call 602-953-2728. -- Niki D'Andrea

Sub slamwich

THU 9/29
You may seldom find yourself crossing the street to avoid a pack of thuggish poets, but slam poetry, having risen to the competitive status of freestyle-rap face-offs -- à la 8 Mile -- can still be daunting. Local poet Mr. Frip offers a kinder/gentler alternative to spoken-word throwdowns with his biweekly "State of Our Union" open mic at Sub-Culture Café, 227 East Baseline in Tempe. "People cuss and yell here," Frip says, "but I just like to provide an encouraging atmosphere." The next session is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, September 29. Admission is free. Call 480-481-7827 or visit www.stuffedsubs.com. -- Evan Wyloge

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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.
Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear
Evan Wyloge