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WHAT'S IN A GIFT

Friday, Nov. 21, noon to 7 p.m.
Arizona State Museum
East of Main Gate at University Boulevard and Park Avenue
626-8381

There's an old Southern gift-giving tradition called Lagniappe (pronounced lann-yap). It's akin to the throwing of coins and beads to the crowds at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

The staff at the museum's store, Native Goods, has decided to give a small gift to the first 200 visitors to its holiday arts and crafts fair. "It'll be something of lasting value," says Martin Kim, the museum's store manager.

He's not giving any more hints about the gifts.

All on a Winter's Night brings together Native arts and artists, featuring handcrafted items for you to begin tackling your own holiday gift list--or just to support the artists' ingenuity. Select from Navajo textiles from the last 50 years, Pendleton blankets, Mexican folk pottery, Hopi and Navajo jewelry and Zuni fetishes. It's the real deal, not like the mass-produced Kachinas made in China that you might find at the mall.

Expect to sample traditional seasonal foods and listen to Native music and storytelling. At 12:30 and 6:30 p.m., Gerard Tsonakwa spins tales. At 2:30 p.m., Lawrence Acadiz demonstrates doll carving, followed at 3:30 p.m. with basket-weaving demonstrations by Terrol Dew Johnson. Jonah Thompson performs flute songs at 4:30 p.m.


CONSPIRACY-A-GO-GO

Friday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
Reader's Oasis
3400 E. Speedway Blvd.
319-7887

Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 40 years ago this week? (Apparently, I chose Nov. 23 to toilet-train myself, dragging my mother away from the fuzzy pictures on the television to come look at something much more interesting upstairs in the bathroom.)

A heavily debated paranoia-fest still fuels the armchair conspiracy theorists as to who shot JFK. Pick a theory, any theory. Was it the CIA? The Mafia? Castro? Extraterrestrials?

The official Warren Commission report concluded early that Lee Harvey Oswald, a lonely communist, was the only one who pulled the trigger. His own swift assassination prevented any dialogue on the matter. But a new investigative report claiming to solve the mystery is set to air on ABC News on Nov. 20. We won't hold our breath.

The debate rages on. Hear what a couple of authors think about the conspiracy, now that it's hit middle age. Tom Miller's Assassination Please Almanac was hailed by Rolling Stone 25 years ago upon its release as "the nerviest sourcebook in years." In it, he takes a blackly humorous look at the famed blowout. Mark Zepezauer, prolific political writer and cartoonist (founder of Comic News) blasts open the secret vaults of the CIA's assassination files in The CIA's Greatest Hits. The dynamic duo leads you through the deceit and lies.

Share your own theories, watch a screening of the infamous Zapruder assassination film, peruse the conspiracy-themed books that have sprouted in the last four decades, and even hold in your very hands Jack Ruby's can opener, among other tasteless assassination paraphernalia on display.

It's all free.


SOCCER, MILITARY-STYLE

Saturday, Nov. 22, 1 to 5 p.m.
Golf Links Sports Complex
2400 S. Craycroft Road
(800) 543-7223, ext. 232
www.GoalArmy.com

Grab your cleats and get drafted to play soccer with the U.S. Army and Major League Soccer forward Bobby Rhine of the Dallas Burn.

Goal Army: Play With the Pros is a high-energy day of tips, drills, fast-paced scrimmages, giveaways and sweepstakes. The Army's recruiting college and high school players of all abilities and backgrounds to dribble, pass, trap and shoot--the ball, that is.

Break-out sessions with the Army test your stamina. Maybe you'll even get a chance to join in the final game scrimmage. Other highlights include rock-climbing walls, the latest Army H2 to inspect and Army video games to play. (Does anyone hear war drums, or is it just me?) Finally, take your chance and enter to win a trip to Los Angeles for a game next year.

Admission is free. Players can sign up online or at the door. All registrants get a pair of dog tags as a souvenir.


SHOWER OF GOLD

Saturday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
DCA/Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery
210 N. Fourth Ave.
792-4503

Temperatures have turned crisp. There's a smell of apple cider in the air. Fireplaces are in full swing. Flames are sizzling elsewhere, too.

Flam Chen, Tucson's homegrown pyrotechnic, nouveau circus theater, offers their incendiary art in a one-time, site-specific performance--this time inside a gallery.

Witness the seductive sampling of visual fantasy, intellectual wit and technical prowess of the decade-old troupe with torches. Flam Chen performs with various props and a myriad of themes. They use giant puppets to evoke the bacchanal of Fellini's Satyricon. There are trapeze-born characters from the Commedia del Arte soaring over the audience spinning Balinese fire chains. Ten-foot-tall sculptures inspired by the bug life of Microcosmos erupt into flame at any moment.

It's a cabaret of fire artists. The first 60 people who show up get seats. Tickets are available at Antigone Books for $15 or at the door 45 minutes before the show.


MODERN ART

Saturday, Nov. 22, 9 p.m.
Boondocks Lounge
3306 N. First Ave.
321-0928

His voice is as rugged and deep as the West Texas landscape he thrives in. Tom Russell spins tales of sports heroes and folk icons on his newest disc, Modern Art.

Born in Los Angeles in 1950, Russell now calls El Paso home. He's recorded 17 albums of original material, including such classics as "Navajo Rug," "Gallo del Cielo," "Walking on the Moon" and "St. Olav's Gate." His songs have been recorded by icons like Johnny Cash, k.d. lang, Dave Alvin and a handful of others. He's sung with musical greats Iris DeMent and Nanci Griffith--who shows up on three duets on his new album. Of his 1999 release, The Man From God Knows Where, it's been said that it's as close to a Homeric treatment of American history as we're ever likely to see. "When somebody is looking for the equivalent of the Harry Smith anthology in the middle of the next century, (this CD) is what they'll discover," remarks John Swenson in Rolling Stone.

Modern Art is Russell's 2003 collection of contemporary roots classics, penned by himself as well as Dave Alvin, Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris and Charles Bukowski. Tap a toe or two when Russell performs two sets along with his long-time guitarist Andrew Hardin.

Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call Border Beat for yours.


SIP, MINGLE AND DANCE

Sunday, Nov. 23, 6 p.m.
Heart-Five
61 E. Congress St.
622-5018 or 250-4664

NEW ARTiculations presents its sixth wine-tasting benefit and sneaks in some new performances while you sip and mingle with company members.

The dance company's youth ensemble shows off its newest work choreographed by hip-hop artist Anton Smith, who directs the urban dance company, The Human Project. Other works include a site-specific improvisational piece scored by NEW ARTiculations co-director Tammy Rosen and a trapeze duet choreographed by Nathan Dryden and Kim Kieffer. Co-director Leigh Ann Rangel has also choreographed two dances to Silverwood Duo's music this summer and performs one of them tonight. The duo, made up of flutist Renee Bond and guitarist Paige Jackson, provide the musical background while you sample wine and hors d'oeuvres. Joseph Sotomayer, Heart-Five's resident chef, cooks up tasty treats. A silent auction features items donated by local artisans, ballroom dancing teachers, feng shui consultants and massage therapists.

Funds raised help support mentoring and training to teen dancers and community performances in nursing homes and schools. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students.

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