Adaupto "Tato" Caraveo is one of the coolest mofos we know. Not only is the 35-year-old one of the most charming cats we've ever met, he also gets to tend bar at the Lost Leaf (one of hippest drinkeries in the whole Valley) and can pluck the upright bass with serious aplomb for jazz/experimental/world band Sonorous.
Plus he's pretty fly with a paintbrush and canvas to boot, and has created some of the most stunning fantastic realism works that we've ever seen.
Caraveo's pieces are slices of surreal beauty, where he takes ordinary figures and portrays them in softly distorted fashion. We were majorly bummed out when the Brickhouse closed down last year, and not just because downtown Phoenix was losing a crucial live music venue. It's because we wouldn't be able to see one of his more famous murals, which occupied an entire wall adjacent to the Brickhouse's large stage.
Tato's also probably gotten tired of us repeatedly asking if he'd make duplications of the wicked flaming skeleton mural that used to be part of the bygone Emerald Lounge and currently hangs above the bar at the Lost Leaf.
It won't be the only of Caraveo's masterpieces on display at the beer and wine joint, as more than a dozen of his works will line the walls of the Leaf while local indie band The Hooves will perform starting at 9:30 p.m.
What else is going on tonight? Read on for the full rundown.
Afida's Hair Culture
116 East Roosevelt Street
DJ Tony Culture will be spinning reggae, dancehall, and old-school music starting at 8 p.m. Call 602-258-4992.
1204 East Roosevelt Street
The surreal and scary "Monsters Menagerie" group exhibit enters its 10th year with plenty of beastly and bizarre works from local artists. 6 p.m., free. Meanwhile, the Midnite Move Mamacita presents a screening of the schlocktastic Blood Bath of the Bat Beast. 8 p.m., $6-$8.
901 North Fifth Street
Local bands I-Reality, Shining Soul, and Hope will be rocking out on the stage, while Darrell D. and Djentrification hit the turntables. 7 p.m. Call 602-237-5446.
419 East Roosevelt Street
The works of painter Jay Hardin will be featured in both the East Gallery and the Project Room, while Peter Bug presents "World Exclusive," his series of prints featuring hyperbolic text ripped from tabloid magazines. 5 p.m.. Call 602-430-1490.
515 East Roosevelt Street
Printmaking couple Big John & Irene Lingenfelter present their "Panache" showcase.
5 p.m. Call 602-256-0150.
821 North Third Street
Former Friends of Young Americans, Race You There, Smokus Pocus, and others are scheduled to do their thing at the apartment complex. 7 p.m. Call 602-475-8519.
The Lost Leaf
914 North 5th Street
Tato Caraveo's painting will be on display and indie band The Hooves will perform. 5 p.m. Call 602-258-0014.
407 East Roosevelt Street
The stark and stunning photographs of James Leland will be featured as improv jazz group The Big Bang Theory will perform. 6 p.m. Call 602-462-5516.
905 North Fourth Street
The spot formerly known as Fate features DJ Proper Villain on the turntables. 8 p.m. Call 602-254-6424.
610 East Roosevelt Street
Amy L. Young and Douglas Grant's long-running downtown gallery celebrates its seventh anniversary with the provocative photos from L.A.'s Dave Naz. 6 p.m. Call 602-334-6299.
501 East Roosevelt Street
The fairer sex will get their due as Pravus is hosting the "Ladies First" showcase with contemporary works across several different mediums from 26 female artists from around the world, including Molly Crabapple, Angelique Houtkamp, MiaSnow, Megz Majewski, Bonni Reid, Fiona Smyth, and many more. 6 p.m. Call 602-363-2552.
918 North Second Street
The music store promises music from Destoroyah, Hexaclops, and other bands. 7 p.m. Call 602-795-4980.
909 North Fifth Street
The DJs of Universatile Music will be on the wheels of steel on the porch while new art hangs in the gallery. 6 p.m.
Deus Ex Machina
1023 Grand Avenue
This four-member collective will present some of its newest efforts, including works by Jeff Falk, Richard Bledsoe, and Steve Gompf. 6 p.m. Call 602-487-0669.
Kooky Krafts Shop
1500 Grand Avenue
Beatrice Moore and Tony Zahn's quirky boutique will be open for business. Call 602-252-3774.
1030 Grand Avenue
Derrick and Gina Suarez have booked the rockers of Graceful Degredation and a few local jazz musicians for First Friday. As always, the various galleries and boutiques of Paisley Town will also be open for business. 6 p.m. Call 602-254-7843.
Sweets & Beats
1504 Grand Avenue
This combination candy shop and record store owned by Emily Spetrino-Murtaugh and her husband Liam celebrates its first First Friday. 5 p.m.
1506 Grand Avenue
The indie rockers of One AM Radio, Former Ghosts, and KNESSET are scheduled to perform. 8 p.m. Call 602-256-6006.
ELSEWHERE IN DOWNTOWN/CENPHO:
1221 North Central Avenue
Patrons can peruse Barbara Kemp Cowlin's "Nooks and Crannies" series of paintings. 6 p.m. Call 602-256-3521.
After Hours Gallery
116 West McDowell Road
The colorful robot-themed artwork of Brian Kappel will be on display. 6 p.m. Call 602-710-2398.
130 East Washington Street
Electro, funk, and hip-hop music will be spun up by the DJs of Fuse Fridays. 9 p.m., $5 before midnight. Call 602-229-1265.
108 East Pierce Street
The oil and acrylic paintings of Bob Martin will please your eyes as the irie sound of reggae band Rasta Farmers delight your ears. 7 p.m. Call 602-267-1266.
Hob Nob's Coffee House
149 West McDowell Road
Enjoy music local performers while sampling some of Hob Nob's selection of coffee, teas, and other high-octane beverages. 7 p.m. Call 602-253-9220.
138 West Camelback Road
The DJs of Party Foul! (including Kevin the Makeout Bandit, Bigie, and BC/AD) will stage their weekly dancefest. 9 p.m. No cover before 11 p.m., $6 afterwards. Call 602-234-3023.
521 West Van Buren Street
Randy Slack's vintage gallery will offer the annual "Chaos Theory" showcase. (Click here for Nicki Escudero's preview) Call 602-321-2887.
1437 North First Street
Get a close look at the numerous pieces featured in our annual Best of Phoenix issue during the opening reception for "Wonderland: Art from New Times Best of Phoenix 2009." (Click here for Wynter Holden's preview) 6 p.m. Call 602-430-3223.
The Ruby Room Lounge
717 South Central Avenue
Tugboat, Honey P., Judith's Apple and the Red Delicious, and Jedd's a Millionaire will take to the Ruby Room's stage. 9 p.m. Call 602-258-0069.
18 West Monroe Street
After peeping paintings and pics all evening, stop by this downtown pub for a pint of Guinness and an earful of the Nick Heward Trio. 9 p.m. Call 602-253-6081.