It's the Halloween costume ball of the year. The regular Friday Bohemian Dance Jam careens into two oncoming performances by Tammie Award-winning bands.
First up are The Mollys--the singing and twanging team with Nancy McCallion belting out her Tex-Mex incarnations. They're followed at 11 p.m. by the ever-morphing Wayback Machine featuring Bruce, Amo and Hurricane Carla on saxes; Will Clipman on drums; and Beverly Seckinger on bass, along with other ghoulish guests.
It's a dance party atop the sprung marley floor--if you must wear shoes, you can dance on the ample cement and carpet areas. It's an all-ages show, so bring the kids. And it's smoke-free. Prizes for the best costume will be awarded, so plan accordingly.
Tickets at the door cost $7 for adults and $2 for kids.
Here's the dare: make a three-minute thriller in about a month.
"Not an easy task; believe me. I've tried it," says Jana Segal, co-president of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers chapter in Tucson.
AIVF's challenge to demented independents to craft a short flick in time to screen on the spookiest night of the year came from the Phoenix Film Project. "We stole the three-minute limit from them, but the Halloween idea was ours," Segal clarifies.
Even though, technically, the screening begins in the wee hours of Saturday morning, it's still Halloween night.
Segal's been with AIVF for seven of its approximately 10 years. The group, consisting of filmmakers of all stripes--directors, producers, editors, composers, screenwriters, techs and actors--meets the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at Access Tucson. They also have mixers around town where they screen people's short films and then network about the business.
"We're about making a filmmaking community here in Tucson. Plus we want to send a message to Hollywood that there are professionals here," adds Segal.
Twenty-five short, gore-themed films have been submitted so far for the contest, and Segal says she's hoping to screen all entries, even if they go slightly over the time limit. The movie-making mavens are vying for top prizes--a phone consultation with director Jim Pasternak or lunch with a Tinseltown producer.
Segal's sure there will be lots of spoofs on the really ghoulish Hollywood classics like The Mummy Returns or The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
"But if they scare us, that's really the point," she says.
Scream and howl for your favorites. Come dressed to frighten. Admission price for screaming or just watching is $5.
In some cultures, especially Mexican and other Southwest Hispanic communities, they skip right over Halloween and focus on the Day of the Dead for the major celebration. In actuality, that commemoration is a variation on a Celtic holiday called samhain (pronounced SOW-in) that marked the transition between summer and winter, between the old year and the new, when those who passed could visit the living.
Aside from the grand All Souls' Procession marching down Fourth Avenue this weekend, there are other festive attempts at communicating with the dearly departed sprinkled around town.
Artists at Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery (222 E. Sixth St., 881-5335) offer creative commemorations of the dead. Guest artists include Michael Contreras, Selena Littler, Glory Tachinee-Campoy and Ann Simmons-Myers. Altars include one in memory of artist and friend Charles Littler and another in tribute to Tucson's compadre artist Louie Bernal. Community guests include Robin McArdle, Pancho Medina, Cecilia Noriega and Walter Silvas. Along with member artists, they pay personal tribute with altars, ofrendas, paintings and sculpture.
On Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m., there's lighting of candles, blessings, music by Mariachi Herencia, and children's art activities. On Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., join in the celebration with food, music and more stuff for the kids. The show runs through Nov. 29 with gallery hours from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
While the souls of ancestors are roaming around on Sunday, as it is believed they do every year on Nov. 2, Mexican families prepare for a feast with the dead. At the Sosa-Carillo-Frémont House Museum (151 S. Granada Ave., 622-0956), a new exhibit opens, featuring a traditional altar in the age-old Mexican tradition. Come see what's placed on the altar--from food and drink to flowers and candles. Discover why graves are cleaned and decorations placed on them. Hear stories about community visits to cemeteries carrying flowers, candles, incense and photographs of loved ones.
The Day of the Dead exhibit continues through Nov. 21. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and admission is free on the first Saturday of the month. Park for free in the Convention Center Lot C.
That sometimes mournful strain that explodes with ecstatic glee somewhere in the middle of the tune is what we love about Klezmer music. Its prevalence is ubiquitous these days. Purveyed by such musical adventurers as John Zorn and Stephen Bernstein, the profile of this traditional music performed by Diaspora peoples throughout Europe has risen to new heights.
The Klezmopolitans have been preaching the gypsy gospel since their founding in 1984 as the Borderlands Klezmer Band.
Klezmer in the desert? Indeed. These guys take traditional Jewish music and incorporate classical, Eastern European and gypsy strains along with the occasional jazz standard.
The local players, revolving out of other Tucson bands, include founding member Jay Vosk on clarinet, soprano sax and flute; Matt Mitchell on seven-string guitar; Jeff Holsen on double-bass and cimbalom; Michael Fan on violin; and Brahim Fribgane on doumbek and oud.
The Klezmopolitans perform in the expanded Zeitgeist Emerging Voices series showcasing the improv talents of artists who blast the boundaries of jazz traditions.
Tickets cost a mere $7 at the door.
"The sounds of Steve Orlen's poems bang and glide," praises Stephen Dobyns, author of Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry.
"Most fine poetry strikes the mind and heart. This is true of Orlen as well, but his poems also strike the ear. They feel good in the mouth."
Orlen is a faculty member of UA's Creative Writing department and he joins the Poetry Center's fall reading series to display his ear- and word play from his latest book of poetry, This Particular Eternity, as well as from his five other books. He's the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He's been a visiting faculty member at various venues including the Warren Wilson College and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
It's been said that Orlen builds his work from memory, from old photographs or mental snapshots of the past. Mark Hillringhouse says in The Literary Review that "(Orlen) knows where to break a line and also how to break your heart."
The reading is free as is the reception that follows.