"Grab your best underwear! No Pants AZ is coming!"
This is the message emblazoned across the homepage of local urban prankster group Improv AZ by its organizer Jeff Moriarty announcing the impending arrival of the 2010 edition of the annual No Pants AZ Light Rail Ride this weekend.
Just like last year, participants will be dropping trou after climbing aboard the Valley's METRO Light Rail system on Sunday, January 10, as a part of a massively madcap prank, likely resulting in the shock (or delight) of other passengers.
This undies-only event isn't just limited to the PHX, as mischief-makers will be following suit in cities around the world, from Amsterdam to Atlanta. And the best thing about the skintastic shenanigans? Not only are no pants involved, but also no cost as well, as participation is practically free (except for the cost of a ride pass...and maybe your dignity). Complete details are available after the jump.
Not into showing off your gams to local commuters? No problem, as there's nine other inexpensive activities one can partake in this weekend, including a celebration of the dual birthdays of both Elvis and Ziggy Stardust, a free show by "so-bad-he's-good" comedian Neil Hamburger, and more.
Read on for the full rundown.
1977 DJs at Hollywood Alley (Friday)
The eighth of January is a rather significant date in the history of rock 'n' roll. Why? Because both Elvis Presley and David Bowie, two of the genre's most influential icons, were born on this red letter date, albeit a dozen years apart. The similarities between the two superstars don't end there (and we're not just referring to their penchant for sparkling jumpsuits). Not only did both toil for the same record label (RCA), but the King of Rock 'n' Roll was a hero and huge inspiration for Ziggy Stardust. Oh yeah, and there's also the fact that the pair will be feted by P-Town's Notah and Mykel Sane (a.k.a. the 1977 DJs) during a special blowout as they spin nothing but Elvis and Bowie tunes all night long. The films of both rock 'n' rollers will also screen on the bar's TVs, and impersonators can cash in on various drink specials.
Drew Andrews at Trunk Space (Friday)
If anyone's reaped the windfall from Modified Arts much-discussed "change of direction," it's the Trunk Space. To wit: Tonight's performance by guitar-strumming San Diego troubadour Drew Andrews (who's also a member of both The Album Leaf and Via Satellite) is kinda major-name indie artist that the Roosevelt Row art space specialized in showcasing. Ditto for the rest of the line-up, which includes Berkeley psychadelic/folk rock band Odawas and their fellow Bay Area resident (and experimental pop musician) Dominique Leone. Guess Kimber Lanning's loss is JRC and Stephanie Carrico's gain. Locals Snow Songs and Owl & Penny are also scheduled to appear. 7:30 p.m., $8. (1506 Grand Avenue, 602-256-6006).
Soulflite at Club Mardi Gras (Friday)
After a few months of funkdafied action at the Tempe's Sail Inn, Modern Groove Assembly is moving its weekly shindig of undergroud hip-hop, soul, and deep house to both a new night and a new location, namely Friday evenings at Scottsdale's Club Mardi Gras. The inaugural edition at the new digs promises a visit from both the Bronx's Speek Greene and Pennsylvania's Sulay, as well as other "journeys to the cutting edge of global soul." 8 p.m., $5 after 10:30 p.m. (8040 East McDowell Road, Scottsdale, 480-970-5707)
Black Belt Jones 2 at MADCAP Theaters (Friday)
"After spending the past decade watching movies starring ring-toting hobbits and tween wizards, maybe it's time to exit the fantasy freeway and revisit an era when afros hid guns and ass-whuppings were set to funk music. In other words, maybe it's time for a double dose of blaxploitation, à la Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection and The Final Comedown. "Your Chinese legs aren't bad." "Why thank you. How does the feet taste?" Dialogue nuggets like these are abound in Black Belt Jones 2, starring Jim Kelly (referred to only as "that black guy") as a CIA agent serving up martial-arts mayhem, tracksuit-style. Count on gratuitous nudity, extreme close-ups, and bad dubbing in this so-bad-it's-good gem. On a more dramatic note, The Final Comedown stars Lando Calrissian, a.k.a. Billy Dee Williams, as an angry young dude sticking it to the man after a series of racial injustices." 8 p.m., $8. (730 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480-634-5192) -- Laura Hahnefeld
The Liars Handshake at Rogue Bar (Saturday)
In case you've been living under a rock for the past few months, the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale ain't what it used to be. The girlypants-wearing kids and their chic dance nights have moved on to much-hipper pastures, with the void being filled by the tattooed-and-pierced crowd that the place was originally known for before the hepcat crowd displaced them years ago. For proof, look not further than the fact that punk scenester/bartender/promoter Tyler King has taken up resident at the Rogue, and has been booking a number of his fave bands as of late, including Saturday's showcase featuring The Liars Handshake. In addition to the renowned roots-punk group, the night also offer gigs by SoCal's Intro5pect and P-Towners DSC, Lets Go To Fucking Hawaii, and We The People. 8 p.m., $6. (423 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-947-3580)
Altered States at ASU Art Museum (Saturday)
Let's play a quick game of word association: zombies, the archangel Gabriel, monkeys, and the London Financial Times stock listings. Go! If you're totally flummoxed, you're clearly not familiar with Chinese-British artist Gordon Cheung. This creative cat doesn't just mix media - imagine art that combines traditional Japanese ink brushwork with collage, photographic transfers, and acrylic and spray paint - he combines entire art movements, juxtaposing renaissance-style portraits of Adam and Eve alongside post-apocalyptic urban landscapes, all atop the distinctive pink canvas of London's Financial Times." 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. (51 East 10th Street, Tempe, 480-965-2787) -- Malia Politzer
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Neil Hamburger at Yucca Tap Room (Saturday)
"In an old beat-up tuxedo and slimy-looking comb over, Hamburger comes across as the last dying gasp of a Catskills-era comic, delivering jokes with the subtlety of an AMC Gremlin. The self-proclaimed 'America's Funnyman' and his purposely-awful shtick have gained a following amongst those who are in on the joke. Celebrities (especially the recently deceased) and celebutantes will be sure to catch most of the comic's skillfully sloppy wrath. Earthmen and Strangers perform as well." 8 p.m., free. (29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe, 480-967-4777) -- Jose Gonzalez.
No Pants AZ Light Rail Ride 2 (Sunday)
Here's the skinny on how to get your kit off along with a few dozen other local pranksters. Starting points will be at relatively opposite ends of the Valley's light rail system in both Tempe (the Price/Apache station) and Phoenix (at Montebello and 19th Avenue), with those involved boarding exactly at 2 p.m. and proceeding to remove their pantalones shortly thereafter. The ride will last until each train reaches downtown Phoenix, where pantless participants will journey to the "mostly unofficial" gathering point at the Arizona Center Starbucks. Hit up Improv AZ's page for more info. 2 p.m., free (although you're obligated to purchase a $1.75 fare card for the ride).
Arizona Cardinals Viewing Party at In The Zone (Sunday)
Can Kurt Warner and the Redbirds repeat their Cinderella-like surprise Super Bowl run from last year? Or will it be a disappointing first-round exit? (Lord, we hope not). Regardless of the outcome of this weekend's Wild Card showdown against the Green Bay Packers, it's probably be more fun to watch the contest with a bunch of rowdy Cardinals fans instead of all by your lonesome. This NoPho sports bar is planning plenty of food and drink specials during the game, as well as more than 45 different HDTVs showing all the action. 2:30 p.m., free. (9620 North Metro Parkway West, 602-443-4400)
Arizona Blues Hall of Fame Ceremony at Rhythm Room (Sunday)
It's fitting that the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame is, in actuality, the Rhythm Room itself. A single plaque hangs on a wall beside the bar at the CenPho establishment (which has unquestionably served as the PHX's quintessential place to experience the genre since it's debut in 1992) covered with names of the numerous legends who've personified the art form in our state over the past few decades. The list of the lauded includes such personas as Francine Reed, Steve Willis, Dave Trippy, and Bob Corritore (natch). This weekend, a few more folks will be added, such as Long John Hunter, Scotty Spenner, and Big Nick and the Gila Monsters. The ceremony will also feature performances and appearances by the Bad News Blues Band, The DelRayz, Margo Reed, George Bowman, Mario Moreno, Chuck Hall, Johnny Rapp, Jimmy Pines, and others. (Note: The admission price is exactly $10, but we thought an exception should be made for such an important event). 5 p.m. (1019 East Indian School Road, 602-265-4842).