Colorful doesn't even begin to describe the eclectic array of inexpensive events on tap for this weekend.
There's a candy-themed dance party at Afterlife that's guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth, a potent mix of pin-up girls and music in downtown Phoenix, and a trio of fabbo fetes devoted to everyone's favorite guilty-pleasure reality show, Jersey Shore.
And that's just tonight. The rest of the weekend is equally as animated, with a celebration of the works of Dr. Seuss, a DJ/artist jam session, and a slew of indie rock musicians.
Wanna know what's happening where? Jump to the next page for all the deets.
Pin-Ups and Ink at Push Gallery (Friday)
If the success of Suicide Girls has taught us anything, it's that people dig looking at pictures of scantily-clad (or even completely nekkid) women covered with tattoos. Hence, Push Gallery's latest exhibition should prove to be a smashing success, as more than 20 different Phoenix artists have provided their renditions of inked-up angels in both painting and photographic form (such as Jules Demetrius' colorful portrait of local thrill-seeker/body-mod goddess Dani Danger). Tonight's Third Friday opening reception also features love music from Coats and Villa, Brandon Blaize, and other special guests. 7 p.m., $2. (1145 East Roosevelt Street)
Jersey Shore Night at Sandbar (Friday)
All three Valley locations of the beach bar chain will host countless "Guidos" and "Guidettes" tonight, providing patrons with their own personal Jersey Shore nicknames, as well as spray-on tans, eyebrow waxing, and tips on blowing out your hair just as big as Jwoww's. Jägerbomb specials and a look-alike contest with $300 in prizes will also take place. 9 p.m., free. (10050 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-998-8845)
Spring Opening Celebration at SmoCA (Friday)
"According to legendary rodent Punxsutawney Phil, we've got another month of winter ahead. Screw that. This is Phoenix, the land of the blazing sun. We're breaking into spring early with pool parties, outdoor festivals, and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's Spring Opening Celebration. The event features gallery talks with the curators of the 'Rewind Remix Replay' and Chuck Close print exhibitions, plus a visit from a nine-year-old boy whose work is featured in the "Healing Expressions" display at the neighboring Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. You can also catch Elektrobahn, a musical project featuring Scott McKenzie and Dayvid LeMmon creating a wall of sound using huge speakers and vintage analog synthesizers, all while chatting up SMoCA's new director Timothy Rodgers . . . ideally before indulging in the cash bar." 7 p.m., free. (7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale, 480-994-2787) -- Wynter Holden
Sweet Factory at Afterlife (Friday)
What's the recipe for a successful club night? Take bright and cheery theme everyone would enjoy (in this case, candy) and mix in substantial amounts of sexy shenanigans (shower shows, go-go girls). Add dollops of DJs -- such as Sissko, Silent J, Hazardous, DannyBoi, and Corruption -- and garnish with "stimulation galore" in the form of video games and energy drinks. The result? Afterlife's latest outrageous extravaganza. Admission is listed at $15, but ladies who arrive in candy-covered costumes can get in for free. 10 p.m. (4282 North Drinkwater Boulevard).
Dirty Disco at TBA Location (Saturday)
What awaits you at this all-night dance party? Per the flyer, expect "one dirty stage" and "one dirty vibe." A septet of spinners will command the mixers and broadcast a variety of sounds. Sam Groove is bringing a boatload of rave breaks, while Maxwell Lee drops electo-house, Jangles brings the hardstyle, and Kepher serves up drum 'n' bass with MC Echoside. The location is secret (natch), so call 602-919-2327 for the lowdown. 9 p.m., $5 before 10 p.m.
Cheese on Bread at Trunk Space (Saturday)
Musically, the kooky New York fivesome is tangy, upbeat, and innocuous -- sort of a more sugary version of The Cardigans, with singer-lyricists Sara FitzSimmons and Dan Fishback chirping happily over a sunny montage of zydeco, country, synth-pop, and Beach Boys-style compositions. Things only get toxic when you listen to the substance of the chirping -- i.e., lyrics dripping with sarcasm, cynicism, and insult-comic misanthropy. On one song, "Where the Fuck Are They?" FitzSimmons and Fishback execute a hilarious dressing-down of post-feminism: "Where have all the cowboys gone? They're off sucking cock and they're making me yawn, yeah." With similar, Dead Milkmen-esque gusto, the duo lampoons vegetarianism ("I Like Cheese"), activism ("Sexy Anarchist Boy"), and romance ("Nevada"), but with such tuneful sincerity that it never feels like you're listening to a joke band. Actually, it's a bit like the high-burlesque chicanery of Lily Allen -- which is to say, both pretty and pretty smart-ass. Perfect for those of us who prefer the occasional flesh-eating spore in our musical Hubba-Bubba." 7 p.m., $6. (1506 Grand Avenue, 602-256-6006) -- Craig Outhier
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T-Pain at Club Rain (Saturday)
Faheem Rasheed Najm (better known by his nom de rap T-Pain) has plenty of reason to feel festive lately. The 24-year-old hip-hop artist released his Nappy Boy All Stars Vol.1 mixtape a few days ago, a new album (revolver) hits stores shelves soon, and he recently lent is auto-tune-enhanced vocals to the "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" track. Tally Pain will be celebrating these accomplishments in style when he guest hosts Sexy Saturdays tomorrow night. Although it's unlikely he'll stage a performance (or even emerge from the VIP area), at least you can say you were in the same building as the dood. DJ Dark Vader and a "special celebrity" turntablist, however, are scheduled to spin. 9 p.m., $5 before 10:30 for those who text 480-797-6233 to get on the guest list. (1420 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-429-7674)
Dr. Seuss Birthday Party at Bookmans (Saturday)
"It's not easy to combine lovable cartoon characters, trisyllabic meter, and serious political messages in a way that both children and adults adore. That's why Theodore "Dr." Seuss Geisel is just as relevant today as he was mid-century. This year, the late children's author, who made anti-consumerism, anti-fascism, and anti-isolationism darned near cuddly, turns 106. So, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is throwing the Dr. Seuss Birthday Party in his memory, complete with refreshments, games, crafts, and Dr. Seuss book readings." 1 p.m., free. (1056 South Country Club Drive, Mesa, 480-835-0505) -- Adriane Goetz
Matt Hires at Rhythm Room (Sunday)
"Listening to the first track from Matt Hires' debut full-length, Take Us to the Start, it's impossible to deny that the Floridian singer-songwriter dabbles in the melodramatic, quavering vocal delivery Conor Oberst popularized. Hires is sorta like Oberst 2.0. He's got the yearning, quasi-depressed lyrics. He's got a face that teenage girls will speedily tack to their bedroom walls, and mussed hair, to boot. However, with the backing of Atlantic Records, an extensive collection of fedoras, and his latest single, "Honey Let Me Sing You a Song" (prominently featured on an episode of ABC's Cougar Town), the Tampa native doesn't carry the tortured artist torch too convincingly. But he doesn't really need to. Take Us to the Start's fashionable radio pop does all but ensure that Hires can continue developing his burgeoning career without digging too emotionally deep. Hires has opened for the likes of Dave Matthews Band and Marc Broussard and now is headlining a tour, with support from the incredibly dreadlocked former American Idol contestant Jason Castro." 8 p.m., $8-$10. (1019 East Indian School Road, 602-265-4842) -- Becky Bartkowski
Civic Space Jam No. 4 at Civic Space Park (Sunday)
Alex Votichenko (a.k.a. Djentrification) and a few of his fellow turntable jocks -- including Hartbreaks, Pickster One, and Jimmy the Mantis Claw -- will kick out an eclectic and eccentric mix of music during the latest edition of this ongoing monthly jam session at the downtown Phoenix gathering place. Live art from Lalo Cota will also be featured. 4 p.m., free. (424 North Central Avenue)