Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Fun In General
Cool Summer Nights. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a striking monument to the gorgeous desert we live in. Like other local pros, the museum knows Tucson summers are best done after dark. Spend your Saturday evenings at the park, which has extended hours for Cool Summer Nights. This week, they’re showing off Creatures of the Night. Get a dose of nocturnal animal fun and a bite to eat while you cruise around the park. 5-10 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N Kinney Road. General admission is $20.50 for anyone 13 and older; $18.50 for seniors; $16.50 for active or retired military; $15.50 if you have an Arizona drivers license; $8 for kids 3-12; and free for kids under 3.
Tucson Fire Fighters Ball and Pool Party. Support first responders while your dance the night away at the Tucson Fire Fighters Ball and Pool Party. Join Tucson Fire Department for dinner, dancing and fun at its annual ball and pool party. Money raised will benefit Firefighter Charities. All proceeds from this event will go back into the community and help support the Adopt-a-Family program. Starts Saturday at noon. Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4. JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. Ball is $80, Pool Party is $40.
Old Tucson Open Weekends All Summer Long. Think going to Old Tucson for Halloween is fun? You're going to love that the film funland is open all summer long. Bring your children and let them experience the beginnings of Tucson and what it used to look like back in the olden days, including gunfight reenactments, saloon musicals and plenty of Hollywood magic. Don't forget your cowboy boots and a wallet full of money ready to be spent because you'll want to try their fun desserts and exhibits offered. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. Admission is $18.95 for adults, $10.95 for kids between 4 and 11 and free for 3 and younger.
The Maltese Falcon (Film Noir Series). A private detective (misguidedly) takes on a case involving three eccentric criminals—and one gorgeous liar—on a quest for a priceless statuette. Humphrey Bogart is Sam Spade in John Huston’s directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon. See it yourself, with all the luxury the Fox Theater has to offer. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.
The Searchers. The Temple of Music and Art launches its classic film series this Friday, June 2, with John Ford’s 1956 western masterpiece The Searchers, starring John Wayne, a Confederate Army veteran who goes out to hunt for his niece (Natalie Wood) after she is kidnapped by Comanche Indians. 7 p.m. at the Temple, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets are $10.
Back to the Future Outdoor Screening. The Loft Cinema is always screening classic films, and in the summer you even get to enjoy some of them outside. This Thursday, catch—Great Scott!—Back to the Future. Join in as Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd join forces to go back in time, mess up history, and set it right again. If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
Cinema La Placita. Want to see how presidential scandals used to unfold instead of watching the current one play out in the daily paper? Cinema La Placita presents All the President's Men, the story of how enterprising Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered the Watergate scandal and unseated President Richard Nixon. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Museum of Art plaza, 140 N. Main Ave. Admission is $3 and the popcorn is free.
Movies in the Park: Moana. Get your youngsters out of the house for Moana, the story of a precocious young woman looks to expand her horizons, sing with a god and keep her community afloat. Watch this Disney hit with food trucks on site and activities for kids starting at 6 p.m. Bring blankets and lawn chairs and kick back while the little ones enjoy bounce houses, balloons and arts and crafts before the movie. 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Friday, June 2. Demeester Outdoor Performance Center, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.
CHARM Pageant. Is there a little beauty queen in your life? Remember: Miss America is the No. 1 scholarship agency for women in the United States, and tuition isn’t cheap. Start practicing now the the big leagues: The CHARM pageant is for female youngsters ages 3 and up. Contestants only need a party dress to get a chance to be Tucson's next little Cinderella! Contact Dee at Tucsoncinderella@yahoo.com for more information. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 4. Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road.
Katie Haverly. Whether backed by a violin or acoustic guitar or muted trumpet or piano, Tucson's Katie Haverly has one of those voices that lifts and soothes, creates tension and then releases it. It suggests adoration of golden-age (jazzy) folk-pop like Rickie Lee Jones, Judee Sill, David Crosby and Joni Mitchell—all lovely DNA, certainly—as well as Erykah Badu and Fiona Apple. Yet her songwriting alone could take center stage. The deceptively breezy “Wood,” from her ’15 album Aviary, slips into your heart with cool, beat country shuffles, but in the end it's a story of dreaded male gaze and ugly sexualization. It's brilliant, and works as a personal social takedown inside wide-appeal pop. Many of songs are remarkable because the pathos never sounds forced or fake—sad poetry of deception sidesteps the maudlin; requiems to lost loves steer clear of self-pity. How does she do that? Well, the tune and the voice and the compassion and the ability to translate unfiltered moments into gentle epistles and hurtsongs is nothing that can ever be taught or learned. It just is. And most don't have it. Thursday, June 1, at Tap & Bottle.
Nina Diaz. Not since Katharine Whalen stepped up to the mic 21 years ago to seduce us with her retro-swinger "Blue Angel" have we heard a voice as powerful yet controlled as Nina Diaz’s. After 15 years of fronting indie godheads Girl in a Coma, Nina has struck out on her own and the results are spooky, confessional, playful and sad. Through her captivating vocalizations—be they belted, crooned or whispered—we are privileged to bear witness to the emotional depth of a gifted singer and songwriter who came of age playing rock ’n’ roll, who likely looked to Patti Smith, Pauline Murray and Ari Up early on. Nina's delivery is unflinching and almost intimidating in its feminismo sexuality. In her hips is the ritmo of her San Antonio roots, in her heart the rawness of a newly sober being and in her mouth is PJ Harvey, Amy Winehouse and a little bit of Lola Beltran. Easily the best $8 you'll spend all week. With See, Birds and Arrows, on Saturday, June 3. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m. 21+.
Underground Coverage Tour. Respect the Underground is repping quality hip-hop acts you've never heard of. Take Phoenix-based rapper (with Detroit street cred!) Bag of Tricks Cat, his quick-spitting spindle, “Too nerdy for the streets/Too street for the nerds.” Or Justus, who pulls off an entire verse in dimeter. There's the stick-and-move rat-a-tat of Tommy Will and the hard-working Brixx, whose post-Portishead hooks are as memorable as anything out there. The event is well curated with different MC styles to ensure the listener doesn't get burnt too quickly. And none of these dudes are wanksta. They all sidestep cliché, more Atmosphere than Easy, more Yellow Wolf than Common Sense, at least in his post-Kanye affiliation. Of course, as with any hip-hop show, some will probably suck live. And the sheer number of acts will likely be too much, but this is a chance to support the ever-evolving, smarter side of the scene. For the first time in years we can breathe a sigh of relief; Nas was wrong—hip hop ain’t dead yet. Featuring Bag of Tricks Cat, Justus, Tommy Will, Brixx on Friday June 2. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress, 8 p.m. $15. All ages.
Mr. Kitty. Waves of ascending and descending synths envelope you like a drunken Philly night in a dark alley. Once you’re surrounded by that oddly dreary comfort, a dude’s voice pleads, "I need you to kill me, I need you to destroy me." Ah, but it's metaphoric, there’s nothing direct about this combo, and like most pallid, self-confessed gothic boys, Mr. Kitty sidles up to you slowly, as if approaching a cornered hyena. He charms you with his frisky visions of doomed cat-faced brides, and slips his hand gently inside of yours. The corporeal intent of The Sisters of Mercy is faithfully rendered, even furthered by this Texan’s twists. So come alone, shrouded in the comfort of heavy fabric and sway in sync … The velvet crush and thick clove smoke ain’t cliché here—Mr. Kitty really is (unironically) celebrating life by facing down mortality. With The Rain Within and Iamdrugs on Tuesday, June 6. Club Congress, 311 Congress. 8 p.m. Free. 21+.
Planet Booty. By all rights, Planet Booty should be terrible. Six white folks playing chicken-butt funk, rap and hot-buttered soul, while ironically dressed in Adidas track and shiny poly suits. But what at first glance appears to be an elaborate joke on Euro trash quickly deepens into a hip-shaking sweet frolic as the John Holmes-like frontman, Dylan Germick, lets it loose. The band's YouTube videos, depicting Planet Booty on a yacht, flipping burgers and slapping fetching rows of booty are, for us first-gen MTV viewers, pretty dang clever. But if Luke Skywalker allusions were all these guys offered, it'd be whack—it's the genuine musicality, complete with solid vocal harmonies, that launch them up into Beck’s Midnight Vulture territory. We ain’t claiming they're genius, but if you adore the spectrum of dance music that kicks between Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Darkness and Beck, it’s your show. Freak like you're 15 at high school Homecoming, yo. Early show! Sunday June 4, at 4 p.m. With Dadsdad, and B4Skin. The Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth St. 21+. Free.