Truly we are hip-deep in the middle of the "Dog Days of Summer," when it seems like anyone with enough common sense has gone on vacay to the beach or has just plain made tracks outta this place. Despite the impression that there's nothing doing around these parts, we've dug up 10 bomb-ass events this weekend with bargain basement admission costs. Take a gander.
Sammy Bananas/DJ Fashen at Bar Smith (Friday)
This is it. Absolutely. Tonight's the night. (And this time he means it). Even though DJ Fashen "officially" held farewell to the PHX party a few weeks ago, the bound-for-LA turntablist wants to take one last curtain call at FUSE Fridays before he blows town. (We really shouldn't crack wise at his expense, considering the dood was nice enough to grant us an interview). Fools Gold star Sammy Bananas will headline. 9 p.m., $7. (130 East Washington Street, 602-229-1265).
The Love Me Nots at Yucca Tap
In case you hadn't heard, the Valley's favorite retro/60s/garage rock band has added analog producer extraordinaire Bob Hoag on the drum kit after former skin-beater Vince Ramirez quit. Check out the new line-up at this free show, which also features LA's Beat Killers and Colorado's The Hollyfelds. 9 p.m., free (29 West Southern Avenue, Tempe, 480-967-4777).
Halloween in July at Trunk Space (Friday)
According to the calendar on our wall, All Hallows Eve won't occur for another three months. But that's not gonna stop the goofy hardcore rockers of Fathers Day and a few of their friends celebrating the spooky holiday a wee bit early, now is it? The lineup also features rock and indie treats from BOLT!, Mucilage. and The McDaniels. (No word on whether or not the Great Pumpkin will be in attendance). 8 p.m., $5. (1506 Grand Avenue, 602-256-6006)
X-Mas in July at Rogue Bar (Friday)
Uh, ditto. Only this one is a Jared Alan joint, where the Faux Show fashion plate will be joined on the decks by Trashtalk, Ulterior Motives, Sonique Des Fleurs, and her hubby Shane Sikley. 9 p.m., $3. (423 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-947-3580)
Geeked Up (Friday)
Still got those taped-together horn-rimmed glasses from the era when your ass was grass and the bullies were the more, Throw 'em on and dial up the infoline to get the 411 on this geek/nerd-themed dance party, Who knows? Maybe you'll finally get that respect you deserve. A slew of DJs are scheduled to spin, including Matthew Harris, Silent J vs. Big Redd, Sam Groove, Sean Arnold, KC Vaughn, Substation, and more. 8 p.m.-3:30 a.m., $10 before 10 p.m. (602-586-9709)
Star Swim with Lymbyc Systym at Hotel San Carlos (Saturday)
The other day, we were trying to organize all of the piles of paper crap that were dumped into various grocery sacks when we stumbled upon an old flier, circa 2003, for Lymbyc Systym. Motivation to clean and organize gone. That's because we're still mourning the loss of the Bell brothers, who are living in Austin and Brooklyn, and we got all emo knowing that we couldn't just walk over to Modified Arts to see one of the group's killer sets. But here's some good news: Lymbyc is on tour and swinging through its old stomping ground to perform at the Star Swim shindig at the Wyndham Phoenix Hotel. There, the band will showcase its instrumental-heavy, electro-focused sounds on a bill that includes The Necronauts and the glitchy and dark experimentalist Mr. Meeble. Oh, and here's a double bonus: Lymbyc will also perform at Modified on August 6. We ain't emo no more. - Steve Jansen (202 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602-253-4121)
2 Tone Lizard Kings at Jugheads (Saturday)
It may come as a shock, but Arizona has something of a vibrant ska scene. Granted, it's not as expansive or off-the-chain as our state's hip-hop or rock communities, but we can think of almost a dozen different ska bands that have been unleashing Rude Boy beats around AZ in recent years. A decade ago, there were only a handful of (since defunct) bands like Kongo Shock and Warsaw; these days, local venues regularly host such skankmasters as Abraham Drinkin' and Troy's Bucket. If you wanna get hip to the rocksteady beats, check out this weekend's gig by the 2 Tone Lizard Kings at Jugheads. The band describes itself as a "keg party with horns" and blasts both original tunes and covers of ska classics which should getcha swinging those arms. Warsaw Poland Bros. will also perform. 8 p.m., $3. (5110 East McDowell Road, 602-225-0307)
Fetish Ball at Soul Invictus (Saturday)
Let's be honest: Most of us have had some type of fetish-related experience. Perhaps that's why Phoenix has such a thriving scene; just say the words "fetish ball" and nearly everyone's ears (and other parts) perk up. Having the right soundtrack's almost as important as having the right brand of bullwhip as these things go, and the Fetish Ball features the skeeziest of punk-rockers: Willie Psycho, "rape rock" pioneers The Mentors, and locals The Relics. Promoters say only 100 tickets will be sold. The party is for those 18 and over, so be sure to bring your gothy, refused-to-go-to-prom-because-suburban-high-school-sucks sister. 8 p.m., $10 in advance. (1022 Grand Avenue) -- Adriane Goetz
Sonorous, & A Farewell Review at Ice House Tavern (Saturday)
Need somewhere to chill out this weekend? There arguably no cooler bar than the Ice House Tavern, which face out onto the rink at Arcadia Ice. Lowering the temperature even more will the cool sounds of both jazz/world/fusion band Sonorous, as well as A Farewell Review. 8 p.m., $5. (3855 East Thomas Road, 602-244-1179)
Band of Skulls at Modified Arts (Saturday)
The British indie/alt-rock band is gonna be in town this weekend to entertain us yanks un support of their newest album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. Local SisterBrother open the show. 8 p.m., $10. (407 East Roosevelt Street, 602-462-5516)