This week, the theme is old meet new. Two-tone ska legends meet local innovators. Native traditions meet contemporary art forums. Greek myths inspire avant-garde performance. The vagabond lifestyle meets the modern city. Classic Latin principles coalesce in modern dance. Oh, and spinning for a good cause! It’s not all the same, but that’s exactly the point. Once again, downtown delivers in all media.
- Thursday, March 1
- 7:30 p.m. Doors
- The Rhythm Room: 1019 E. Indian School Rd.
- Getting there: Rail, then Bike—Central Ave. and Indian School stop, Ride to 10th Street and Indian School Road
- Price: $15 in advance at statesidepresents.com, $17 at the door
Recommended if you like: The Specials, The Stray Cats, old-school Brits
In 1979 in England, with the nation deep in the throes of recession and Thatcherism, The Specials formed in Coventry, a small manufacturing town in the center of the country. The group revolutionized British music, mixing classic ska songs with the upbeat punk spirit of ’77, and bringing the most important political issues of the day to the forefront of the country’s thought. Over the course of two gold-certified albums, one No. 1 EP, and two No. 1 singles, The Specials took the country by storm, forming the infamous Two Tone Records, and kick-starting the 2-tone ska revolution. Thirty years later, the group’s famed lead guitarist and co-songwriter, Roderick Byers (neé Roddy Radiation) is still at it, now with his third post-Specials band, the Skabilly Rebels. This veteran group plays a unique mix of the 2-tone ska Roddy helped create with The Specials, and the rockabilly music with which he grew up. For the group’s first U.S. tour, Roddy recruited members of ska band The Homewreckers to back him on a mix of his favorite Specials tunes alongside brand-new originals from the Skabilly Rebels. Opening up the Phoenix date of the tour are Phoenix’s own 2-tone ska stars Liam & the Ladies, and DJ Shameless.
- Saturday, March 3
- 6-10 p.m.
- Civic Space Park: 424 N. Central Ave.
- Getting there: Walk—Central Avenue and Taylor Street
- Price: FREE
Recommended if you like: contemporary takes on traditional art, Native culture, community-affirming art
For the past year, Michelle Ponce has been the heart and soul of Civic Space Park, coordinating and promoting its many exciting art, music, and cultural events every week. This weekend, Ponce is launching a new project of her own. Ziindi indigenous art zine and gallery space will commence on Saturday in the underground bunker of Civic Space, next door to the successful Fair Trade Café. The zine and gallery were founded for the purpose of showcasing Native American artists from across Arizona, and promoting their craft in the ever-widening downtown arts community. Featuring both a print and digital component, Ziindi hopes to be the premier voice for indigenous artists in the Southwest. For the debut party, expect live art by J. Smiley, music and beats by Ethan 103 and others, information tables from nonprofits Native Health and Native American Connections, and spoken word performances from a variety of wordsmiths.
- Saturday, March 3
- 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
- Gold’s Gym at CityScape: 1 E. Washington St.
- Getting there: Walk—Central Avenue and Washington Street
- Price: $10/hour
Recommended if you like: fitness, activity for charity, working together
Over the past few years, spinning (stationary cycling) has become something of a phenomenon. Not only is it a great workout, but it is one that can be enjoyed in a group setting, with each person pushing one another to the next level. This Saturday, at three of its Valley locations, Gold’s Gym will be taking the work of spinning to an even wider audience. For just $10 an hour, everyone can spin to their heart’s content, knowing that all proceeds from the day’s events will be going to the American Diabetes Association, which promotes healthy living and researching causes and cures for the condition. Potential participants are encouraged to register in advance, as space is limited. Alongside the dozens of people spinning, visitors can enjoy raffles, music, and refreshments to help keep the energy high all morning long.
- Saturday, March 3
- 7:30 p.m. Doors
- The Trunk Space: 1506 NW Grand Ave.
- Getting there: Bike—15th and Grand avenues
- Price: $5 at the door
Recommended if you like: avant-garde art, mixed-media, collaborative performance
Since 1999, Chris Danowski’s Theater in My Basement has been bringing all-new, multi-media, avant-garde theatrical performances to sometimes-perplexed, sometimes-enamored audiences across Phoenix. Whether playing with narrative, participating with the audience, or creating art in the middle of the play, TIMB has always found comfort in the fringes of art and performance. For its newest project, TIMB is creating a series of shows documenting the nine muses of Greek mythology. Each show will be entirely new, and all will be debuted in 2012. Sound ambitious so far? Not only that, but each show will feature a combination of installation, video art, painting, photography and performance, illustrating the muse of choice for each show. Thus far, it has been revealed that the group will collaborate with veteran Phoenix artists Jen Urso, Sue Chenoweth, Jeff Falk and Rafael Navarro, alongside many others from around the world. For the first performance in the series, TIMB will be showcasing Calliope, symbolic of epic poetry. Through the cryptic event descriptions circulating the Internet, the group promises “PERFORMANCE ART, VIDEO, LIVE ART 5 BUCKS.” With TIMB’s reputation, and the ambition of this project, anything can happen.
- Saturday, March 3
- 1-2 p.m.
- Lawn Gnome Publishing: 905 N. Fifth St.
- Getting there: Walk—Fifth Street between Roosevelt and Garfield streets
- Price: Free discussion; $15 for book
Recommended if you like:life-changing decisions, homelessness and poverty (and how to live it and change it)
With his new bookstore Lawn Gnome, Aaron Johnson is technically the new kid on the block on Roosevelt Row. But with the events, zines and performances he’s churned out in just a few short weeks in business, you wouldn’t be faulted for assuming him to be an old-timer. This Saturday, Lawn Gnome presents a presentation and book signing from Logan Mosier, author of The Hobo Diet. The book follows Mosier’s five week journey being homeless by choice in America’s most notorious city, Las Vegas. After flying to Vegas to begin his journey, Mosier immediately faced health problems and drugs, but also kindness and character among the homeless in the city. The tales that emerged paint an intricate, multi-faceted picture of what it is to be homeless, especially in such a city as Las Vegas, where anything seemingly goes.
- Friday and Sunday, March 2 and 4
- 7 p.m. Show both days
- Warehouse 1005: 1005 N. First St.
- Getting there: Walk—First and Roosevelt streets
- Price: $10 in advance at phxfringe.org or at the door
Recommended if you like: modern dance, fluid expression, original choreography
Fringe is upon us. The annual Phoenix performance festival is the inspired by the fabled Edinburgh Fringe, a now-international phenomenon of off-Broadway, minimalist, self-financed performances put on display for just a few shows, all for a chance at discovery. Now in its fourth year, the festival began as just a handful of shows in downtown, evolving into something of a juggernaut, now featuring 25 artists, five venues and more than 90 performances across two weekends in the heart of the city. Our pick for this weekend is the performance by Dulce Dance Company, one of Phoenix’s best-regarded modern dance troupes. For Fringe, the group will showcase “Craving Art,” their newest all-original production, a compilation of five brand-new plus old group favorites, brought together into one innovative set.
Events compiled by Connor Descheemaker.