Big. This week is big, no matter how you slice it. Cyclists from across the Valley will rally at Kitchen Sink Studios for the first Pedal Craft. Scenesters rejoice at the return of the FIRESTAGE variety show. Vinyl nerds wait with baited breath for the arrival of the annual Record Store Day, celebrated most grandly at Stinkweeds, the veteran shop also hosting its 25th anniversary this weekend. Local boundary-pushers gather to hail 100 years of composer John Cage’s musical rule-breaking. Punk-turned-folk practitioners flood the Crescent for a night of sing-alongs and camaraderie. And one of indie’s most-lauded daughters arrives in style at downtown’s most historic locale. Take a deep breath, and plunge in.
- Friday, April 20
- 6:00-10:00 p.m.
- Event begins at Kitchen Sink Studios: 828 N. Third St.
- Getting there: Walk—Third and Garfield streets
- Price: Free with art prints available for $20 each
Recommended if you like: alternative transportation, community revitalization, pop-up projects!
Inspired by a similar melding of bikes, art and advocacy in Minneapolis, Pedal Craft arrives in Phoenix this Friday for its first-ever event. Spearheaded by local artists, activists and community members Dorina Bustamente, Nicole Underwood and Jonce Walker, the event aims to bring bicycle culture to the forefront in downtown Phoenix. The event will take place in two phases, with a stationary art show at local design firm Kitchen Sink Studios leading into a bike-driven pub and restaurant crawl to five participating venues across the Phoenix core. At Kitchen Sink, limited edition art prints will be for sale from 25 of Phoenix’s top graphic designers, with proceeds being split between the artist and The Ro2 Lot, a temporary pop-up park currently in the works at Roosevelt and Second streets. The pub crawl then features exclusive deals and drink specials for all Pedal Craft participants, hitting such hotspots as the Crescent Ballroom, Rose & Crown, Arrogant Butcher, Lost Leaf and The Roosevelt.
- Friday, April 20
- 8:00 p.m. Show
- Lawn Gnome Publishing: 905 N. Fifth St.
- Getting there: Walk—Fifth Street between Roosevelt and Garfield streets
- Price: FREE
Recommended if you like: madcap performance, variety shows, edgy activity
Things in Roosevelt Row have been in a funk for the past few months with the forced dismantling of the ever-hot Firehouse stage on First Street. But with each passing day, things move back toward normalcy, as this week marks the return of the notorious FIRESTAGE performance night to its new location in the backyard of former Firehouse resident and current Lawn Gnome Publishing owner Aaron Johnson. The event is hosted by poet and performance artist Ernesto Moncada, who morphs into his devious alter-ego “Ernasty” each month. Winner of the 2009 New Times Best of Phoenix award for “Best Place to be Seen on Third Friday,” FIRESTAGE blends edgy poetry with outrageous performance, boisterous music and simply put: the unexpected. The event is undoubtedly not for the faint of heart. But for Downtown’s many arts diehards, this monthly variety show is something never to be missed.
- Saturday, April 21
- 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Stinkweeds: 12 W. Camelback Rd.
- Getting there: Rail—Central Ave. and Camelback Rd. stop
- Price: Free with hundreds of EXCLUSIVE releases for sale
Recommended if you like: vinyl nerds, old-school shops, local music
Five years in, the now-international Record Store Day is bigger than ever. And for the legendary Stinkweeds in Phoenix, there is even more reason to celebrate with this weekend marking 25 years of business in the Valley. More than 300 exclusive, limited-edition releases will flood the shelves of record stores across the country in celebration of the lingering power of brick-and-mortar music retail. Special for the annual event, Stinkweeds will open its doors at 9 a.m. for the teeming masses, offering exclusive goodie bags for the first 100 people inside the door. And though many of the day’s most-coveted items will be gone by the end of the morning, the store is keeping things lively all day with a FREE barbecue and live music from local stars including Tobie Milford, The Love Me Nots, Colorstore and Mergence.
- Saturday, April 21
- 8:00 p.m. Show; 9:00 p.m. Tango
- Modified Arts: 407 E. Roosevelt St.
- Getting there: Walk—Fourth and Roosevelt streets
- Price: $7 at the door
Recommended if you like: avant-garde arts, experimental music, TANGO!
The locals behind Seven Ate Nine are bringing music and performance back inside the hallowed walls of Modified Arts, the patron saint space of the Roosevelt Row arts district. On the third Saturday of each month, the group curates an exclusive evening of avant-garde performance of all disciplines. This month, they celebrate the legacy of late experimental music pioneer John Cage, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday. For the first hour of the night, Modified will feature performances by The D&SPAIR (dance & sonic performance art improvisation research) Club, contemporary percussionists Suzie Berndt and Jeremy Muller, and the Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State. Then, starting at 9, the space will transition into a dance studio, presenting Seven Ate Nine’s trademark Argentine Tango After Party, with a brief lesson followed by open dance.
- Thursday, April 19
- 7:30 p.m. Doors, 8:30 p.m. Show
- Crescent Ballroom: 308 N. Second Ave.
- Getting there: Walk—Second Avenue and Van Buren Street
- Price: $16 in advance at crescentphx.com or at the door
Recommended if you like: jam sessions, roots-folk, punk & Americana
For a brief moment, DevilPass will break character: I could not be more excited about the Revival Tour. Chuck Ragan and Tom Gabel (both among the performers) are two of the best songwriters in the game today, and they deserve all the success in the world. Back to business. Now in its fifth edition, the Revival Tour returns for a coast-to-coast U.S. tour for the first time in two-and-a-half years, led by country/punk troubadour Chuck Ragan and his band of merry men. Begun in 2008 in the aftermath of his band Hot Water Music’s (short-lived) disbandment, Chuck Ragan picked up an acoustic guitar and began looking for a new community. Through the Revival Tour, he hoped to hearken back to the glory days of folk, with lengthy live sets marked by frequent collaboration and extended jam-sessions, providing the audience with a truly unique experience each night of the tour. Over the years, Ragan has recruited such luminaries as UK folk-punk Frank Turner, Tim Barry of Avail, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Jim Ward of At the Drive-In and Sparta and Dan Andriano of Slapstick and Alkaline Trio, many of which were punk legends seeking a quiet ride into the sunset of their careers. For the latest edition, Ragan is bringing along Tom Gabel of Against Me! and two upcoming roots artists Nathaniel Rateliff and Cory Branan, all backed by fiddle-player Jon Gaunt and upright bassist Joe Ginsburg. A roots revival, it is.
- Sunday, April 22
- 7:00 p.m. Doors, 7:30 p.m. Show
- Orpheum Theater: 203 W. Adams St.
- Getting there: Walk—Second and Adams Streets
- Price: $30-$45 in advance at statesidepresents.com
Recommended if you like: “1234,” Broken Social Scene, iPods
Following the breakout success of her 2007 smash-hit “1234,” things were quiet for Leslie Feist. After being featured in an iPod commercial and across alternative radio, the Broken Social Scene collective member catapulted into mainstream success, leading to the song reaching the Billboard Hot 100, a gold record and four Grammy nominations. But rather than capitalizing with another quick hit, Feist took a step back, collaborating on a number of other musical projects, writing for other musicians and taking small acting roles. Then finally in 2011, after years of work and speculation, the Canadian songstress returned with Metals, her highest-charting album yet, riding high on a wide swath of critical acclaim. Though the album lacked a shiny-pop single in the form of “1234,” Feist made sure to stake her claim as a unique voice, rather than just another pop star. For the Phoenix stop of her tour, Feist will be joined by Canadian folk musicians Timber Timbre inside the ornate, historic Orpheum Theater.
Events compiled by Connor Descheemaker