If you enjoyed a time when independent, eccentric genre-specific vinyl shops ruled the local record trade, then the Vinyl Roadshow could take you back there. Cruise down to the 17th Street Market in the warehouse district and browse through thousands of old black platters inside Guitars and World Music store.
"A variety of different vendors have rented out tables to set up shop, like radio station KXCI 91.3, Twist and Shout Records, some private buyers and sellers, and a guy traveling in from Mexico," says Bonnie Brooks, 17th Street market media director.
"Appraiser Bruce Smith of Cassidy Collectibles will be on spot to assist you as to how much each vinyl is worth. Just because something is old does not make it valuable; someone has to want it," says Brooks. If you are lucky to have any vintage blues, such as something by Robert Johnson, it will go for top dollar.
Carl Hanni, producer of the event and host of the Scratchy Record Show at the Red Room on Tuesdays, will be spinning some records as you browse.
"I'm going to play some soul, blues, R&B, a little surf music and definitely jazz," says Hanni. Hanni and Stefan George, who will be playing guitar and singing, will switch off throughout the day.
"One guy is bringing hundreds of disco funk records! There are going to be some really good deals, because these vinyls are priced to move. People come down to sell them," says Hanni.
Cast members of the Emmy Award-winning TV series "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" will be in the flesh on Saturday for a night of comedy and musical improvisation.
Ryan Stiles (The Drew Carey Show, Two and a Half Men), Greg Proops (Bob the Builder), Chip Esten (The Office, New Adventures of Old Christine), Jeff B. Davis and director Bob Derkach are getting together for an entertaining mix of Whose Line? games you know, new games you haven't seen yet and interaction with the audience.
"The main difference between this and the (television) show is that we don't stop; it's continuous," Stiles said. "It's a big stage, and we like to do stuff that's a little more active, but any hard-core Whose Line? fans will be happy with it."
Whose Line was originally a British radio show; Drew Carey and Stiles tweaked the format a bit and brought it to America's viewers, turning it into an inexpensive hit on ABC. Because the show was such a success, the group began touring. Stiles used to do similar gigs with up to nine people, but he said shows like Saturday's, featuring only four, allow the comedians to perform for the entire 90-minute event.
"It's great; it's like a big reunion," Stiles said. "It's more fun (with fewer people). We travel around in this huge rock 'n' roll bus and play poker in the back. ... We all have wives and kids, so we get to pretend like we're working and it's really hard."
Stiles said the show is kid-friendly, good for people age 8 to 88.
Tickets are reserved seating ranging from $38.50 to $43.50, available online at rialtotheatre.com and the Rialto Theatre box office.--D.P.
In 1953, Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher, two avid birdwatchers, took a 30,000-mile journey through North America. In the end, Peterson had documented seeing 572 species of birds, and the "Big Year" was born--a bird lover's pastime that has turned into a casual tradition for some, and a fierce competition for others. The goal is to see as many species of birds as possible in one year. More locations equal more birds, so traditionally birdwatchers travel in cars.
Canadian Malkolm Boothroyd chose to trek his "Big Year" a little less conventionally. The 15-year-old and his parents began their year-long, 10,000-mile adventure from their home in Whitehorse, Yukon, on bikes, combining Boothroyd's love of birds and his father Ken Madsen's devotion to conservationism.
"They (Boothroyd's parents) wanted to do this trip and support their son's hobby," said Matt Brooks, an environmental education specialist at Tucson Audubon Society. "They decided to use it as awareness for conservation."
Boothroyd's fossil-fuel-free journey began in June, winding south down the Alaska Highway and through the west coast of California. After their stop in Tucson, Boothroyd and crew will continue east across the southern United States to Florida, traveling the entire way in true conservationist style.
"Most of the time it's sleeping in ditches or in campgrounds," Brooks said.
Boothroyd, known as the "Birder Boy" in the birding community, will take a break from his pedal-pumping passage to speak on Saturday night. The free presentation will feature stories and photographs of the family's trip so far, and images and videos from their experience in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. All donations, 100 percent of which go toward conservation, can be made at birdyear.com.--D.P.
Halloween is around the corner, so what better time is there to howl at the moon with a man who knows everything about it? Not the howling part, but William K. Hartmann is well known for his research focusing on the origin and evolution of planetary bodies. Not only does he lecture on topics like the moon, but he also paints and writes books about them.
"Our theory, mine and a colleague of mine--Dr. Donald R. David--is when Earth was forming 4.5 billion years ago, it was hit by another planetary body about as big as Mars. When they collided, a lot of rock matter from Earth's outer layer blew off and the moon formed from that material," says Hartmann.
"I've put the whole talk together from my paintings. People are interested in art as a way of communicating science ideas, because often scientists can give dull talks. But if people can visualize the idea instead of it being delivered all theoretically, it makes it more interesting," says Hartmann.
"The concept of Lecture Under the Stars, a public outreach program, is for the public to get a chance to see the talent we have here in town, and to get scientists and the public intermingling and involved on different levels," says Lecture Under the Stars founder and Pima Community College astronomy professor David Iadevaia.
A telescope will be available to peer through at the beginning and end of the night's free event. "It will be an interactive experience with the sky. You will hear about the moon and see a live image of it," says Iadavaia.--J.W.