The yearly Art Detour extravaganza begins is just a few hours (and Arty Girl's got all the details on the biggest and best shows), but it ain't the only action happening around town.
To wit: This weekend is gonna be a big one for the brawling beauties of the Valley's various roller derby leagues. The one-two punch of bad-ass chicks starts on Friday at the Big Fish Pub in Tempe, where the Tent City Terrors of Arizona Roller Derby will hold a rock 'n' roll benefit show. It's followed on Saturday by the Derby Dames' unveiling of its new banked track over in Glendale.
There's seven other events in store that you'll definitely want to partake in, and you can get the lowdown after the break.
Art Detour in Downtown Phoenix (Friday-Sunday)
There will be no shortage of creative expression going on this weekend in downtown Phoenix's central core, as the annual three-day "self-guided" tour of galleries, venues and other art spaces kicks off tonight, promising all manner of paintings, poetry, performance art, music, and other hijinks. Although the hours for each spot vary, most will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Check out our extensive listings for more info.
Tent City Terrors Benefit Concert at Big Fish Pub (Friday)
Some serious scrilla is needed by the hellacious ladies of this AZRD squad in order to pay for the travel expenses of their upcoming season. They're planning on beating up other babes in three different states during the next two months, but lack the cash to get there. The answer? A night of punk and party rock at the Big Fish featuring bands as Gomi, The Pubes, Party McFly, Eighth Day, and others. 8 p.m., $5. (1954 E. University Dr., Tempe)
Poetry Out Loud Contest at Burton Barr Library (Friday)
Poetry, if done well, can be heart-wrenching, beautiful, and the catalyst for tears from the most guarded individuals. If done poorly, however, like an open-mic night at the coffee house, poetry can be one of the most excruciating experiences evar. We shudder with embarrassment just thinking about it. The latter scenario won't be a concern at the Poetry Out Loud Contest where talented state semifinalists will compete to move on to the national competition. Guest judge Alberto Álvaro Ríos will also be there to treat us with a reading of his own. 7 p.m., free. (1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-262-4636) -- Lilia Menconi
Dave Dresden at Cream Stereo Lounge (Friday)
Butts will be bumping and beats will be thumping as the Bay Area house/trance superstar is the special guest at Cream. He's collaborated with such cats as Josh Gabriel and Mephisto Odyssey's Mikael Johnston on such club hits as "Tracking Treasure Down" and "As The Rush Comes," and will spin alongside local DJs Michael James and Turner & Heit during his Old Town Scottsdale gig. 9 p.m., $8. (4252 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 602-549-7000)
Arizona Derby Dames Preview at Jobing.com Arena (Saturday)
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a group of athletes that play for the love of it more than the Arizona Derby Dames. In fact, the skaters' commitment to roller derby is so great that they've spent their free time building one of the world's only banked tracks (the old-school sloped oval tracks you see in movies). The Dames will christen their brand-new track during a season-opening preview before the Phoenix Coyotes-Anaheim Ducks matchup outside of Jobing.com Arena." (Click here to read more) 4 p.m., free. (9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, 623-772-3200) -- Ed Kummerer
Landmine Marathon Album Release at Chasers (Saturday)
"The band's forthcoming third album (and first since signing to Prosthetic Records), Sovereign Descent, is another uncompromising throwback to grindcore's heyday of the early '90s, rife with pummeling blastbeats, bone-crunching riffs, and singer Grace Perry's throat-shredding growls. The album is slated for a March 16 release, but Valley fans can snag a copy this weekend at the band's release show." (Click here to read more) 7 p.m., $7. (8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, 480-945-4915) -- Mike R. Meyer
Move Somethin' at Bar Smith (Saturday)
Bi-level beat shack Bar Smith is already a major party destination every Saturday night, courtesy of Senbad, Pete Salaz, and the other cats of Solstice. The dope dance music action will be multiplied by two tomorrow night, however, when Pickster One brings his mobile monthly Move Somethin' to the joint. He'll join up with his Blunt Club bud Element and DJ Daddy Rich on the ground level for an evening of hip-hop and classics. An exhibition entitled "Protect Ya Neck" by several Native American art exhibition will also take place. 9 p.m., free before 10:30 p.m. (130 E. Washington St., 602-229-1265)
m7 Street Fair at Melrose District (Saturday)
"We busted out laughing when we first heard that the highlight of the ninth annual m7 Street Fair is the hunt for the elusive red ass. Get your mind out of the gutter, folks. We're talking about a crimson donkey from Holy Piñata, which will be hidden somewhere in the Seventh Avenue Melrose District, where the fair will take place. As far as the rest of the event, you might be surprised -- especially if you haven't been to one in a few years. 'The first fair was a couple of six-foot tables and a few dozen classic cars,' says event coordinator Meghan Olesen. Talk about a growth spurt. Since then, m7 has blossomed into a shindig that attracts upwards of 15,000 people. In addition to the Great Piñata Chase, look for live music, a massive classic car display, cupcakes, other sweet treats, rides for kids, and more than 150 vendors (including SeeSaw Designs, Stupid Cupid, and "CraftyChica" Kathy Cano-Murillo)." 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. (Seventh Ave. between Indian School and Camelback) -- Wynter Holden
Day Life at American Junkie (Sunday)
It's gonna be sunny and 70 degrees this weekend, which are the perfect weather for sitting on the patio at your favorite bar and getting in some serious day drinking time. The partymeisters at American Junkie are attempting to lure you to their patio with a variety of drink specials ($3 beers, $5 Bloody Marys and vodka Red Bulls), live music by the nerd rockers of the Spazmatics, and few games, prizes and giveaways. 11 a.m., free.
(4663 N. 75th St., Scottsdale, 480-990-3002.)