Cheap Thrills

BRIGHT LIGHTS. A couple of top Tucson poets will be sharing their words of wisdom this weekend.

The Lamplight Reading Series is hosting Charles Alexander, editor of Chax Press, and Pima Community College's Meg Files, who will read selections in an intimate gathering at Reader's Oasis.

The reading is free and begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at the bookstore, 3900 E. Speedway Blvd. An open mic follows the featured readers. For more information, call Roberta Howard at 908-0927 or e-mail

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. If you like the sound of drums, clear the calendar Friday for a booming good time.

Percussion is king as a collection of local groups put on a free-for-all show of drumming and all things related.

University of Arizona percussion ensembles deal out an eclectic mix of music, including David Noon's unorthodox works for playing cards. The concert also features works by CrossTalk, the UA electronic percussion group, representing a select group of students comprising the only performance group of its kind in the world today. They will be featured along with the UA Drumline, a 35-member ensemble under the direction of David Rodenkirch, and the Rosewood Marimba Band playing tunes off its recent CD, which will be available for purchase at the concert.

The Arizona Percussion Ensemble performs the finest compositions in percussion literature in a wide variety of musical and ethnic styles. The ensemble provides a laboratory for student composition and conducting and often collaborates with dancers and other musicians and artists.

The free event starts at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall, in the UA music building, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. For more information, call 621-2998 or visit

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH ... NOT. The 17th event in the Tucson Songwriter Showcase features eclectic local band Betty Diamond, with the duo Ice-9 as guest performers.

Betty Diamond plays a special set featuring original songs by guitar wizard Mitzi Cowell and vocal powerhouse Rebecca Horton. Horton's songs similarly draw from her personal experience, and herJoplin-meets-Etheridge voice soars, growls, whispers and rivets listeners. Cowell and Horton are joined by drummer Gillian DeLear and Beverly Seckinger on bass.

The event, in a friendly, acoustic, non-smoking environment, starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Hazy Dayz Lounge Cafe, 187 N. Park Ave. For information, call 884-0272.

COMMON FUNK? Fine prints and colorful oils can be found in a new exhibit that bills itself as "common," but sounds a bit more interesting.

Common Threads, an exhibit at DeGrazia's Little Gallery, also features functional and funky clayware and watercolor paintings by Tucson artists Christine Aguilar and Monika Dalkin.

There is an opening reception from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at DeGrazia's, 6300 N. Swan Road. Gallery hours are every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 299-9192.