BIG-TIME BLUESMAN. Taj Mahal says this "boy's got thunder in his hands."
Get rocked tonight as bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart takes the stage for one performance.
Hart's bold and successful attempt to expand artistic expression makes his show a must-see for blues fans. He uses a mandolin along with six- and 12-string guitars and lap steel guitars to cut straight to the soul of his passion.
Hart, who burst onto the music scene in 1997 when he won the W.C. Handy Award for best new artist, plays at 8 tonight at Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Tickets cost $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets are available at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Brew and Vine, City Grill, Enchanted Earthworks and Boondocks. Charge by phone at 297-9133.
HITCHCOCK THRILLER. The daughter of a Nazi war criminal agrees to infiltrate a Nazi organization in South America in the latest outdoor film at La Placita Village.
Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, is about Alicia Huberman, whose father was convicted of treason against the United States. Huberman agrees to spy on Nazis in post-World War II Rio de Janeiro and almost pays for the decision with her life.
The thriller starts at 7:30 tonight at 110 S. Church Ave. The weekly screenings are free but a $3 donation to help restore the historic Fox Theatre is encouraged. Several La Placita Village restaurants will be open for dinner on Thursday evening. For more information, call 325-2202.
SAY HELLO TO PHIL. Musicians of all ages and abilities get to show off their talents thanks to the outlet provided by the Foothills Phil.
The "intergenerational" community orchestra, created by Catalina Foothills Community Schools, is conducted by László Veres, who also conducts the Arizona Symphonic Winds and the Tucson Pops.
If you're into making music, consider joining the Foothills Phil as the orchestra launches its fall 2001 season. A registration fee of $35 gets you in. No auditions are required. For more information, call 577-5304.
A DARLING BIRDMAN. His bio says he was "hatched" February 16, 1951, in Darling, Miss.
But you don't need his bio to figure out pretty quick that Super Chikan's an unusual act. Pick up his latest CD, Shoot That Thing, and you'll see from the down-home scene that you're in for the real deal.
Super Chikan's style of Delta blues is definitely worth a listen. Live, this guy's got to be a trip. He's in Tucson tonight, so you're in luck. More on that, but here's a bit more about Super Chikan.
His nickname comes from the interesting fact that he was able to teach his guitar to "cackle" like a chicken. But James Louis Johnson's been kicking around quite a bit since he bought his first guitar at 13.
Super Chikan's been a tractor driver, dirt scraper and land leveler. But it was his job as a truck driver that finally inspired Johnson to really work on his music. While out on the road, he would write songs in his head, then record them when he got home on a cassette using a homemade overdubbing system.
Check out Super Chikan's act at 9 tonight at Nimbus Brewing and Tap Room, 3850 E. 44th St. (Go south on the Palo Verde Overpass, take your first left onto 44th Street and follow the signs.) For more information, call 745-9175.
SOAPY STUFF. Ever been to Bentley's Cafe? It's like a live soap opera.
In fact, it really is a live soap opera every Saturday through October as the Bentley Thespian Laborers Union creates scenes based on real history from the cafe's past. The characters are real people, or amalgams of real people.
The action of Soap Opera Live! takes place all over the restaurant ... just like in real life.
The shows start at 9 p.m. every Saturday at 1730 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, call 795-0338 or 690-8876.
DIFFERENT SPOKES. Start September with a fresh outlook.
A Bike 'n' Hike today, organized by Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, is six miles of great outdoor exercise.
You'll ride the Arizona Trail from Gardner Canyon to the wilderness boundary, where you'll stash your bike and hike the remaining 2.5 miles to the incredibly scenic Bear Springs. Be sure to bring appropriate shoes for the hike.
For more information about today's ride, call Mark Flint at 299-9151 or 400-2050.
Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists stages a variety of free rides around the area. All you need is a bike and a helmet (required).
Other upcoming rides include a 10- to 12-mile jaunt on September 8. That ride begins at 6:30 a.m. at Avra Valley Airport (Avra Valley Road, off I-10). Bring plenty of water. The contact is Mark Hildabrand, 721-4771. On September 9, an advanced ride of 15 to 23 miles begins at 6 a.m. at La Salsa in the Safeway center at Oracle and Ina roads. For more information, call Jerry Quesnel at 742-7729 or 909-7386.
All of the rides are free and open to the public.
ELECTRIC LIGHT. Recent Hollywood films celebrated "storm chasers" who skirt close to the edge of extreme weather to study dangerous phenomenon. Arizona has a few such daredevils, including lightning photographer Susan J. Strom. Desert denizens welcome our annual monsoon season, but few embrace the arrival of dramatic, daily cumulonimbus clouds with such fervor. While the avid storm chaser makes annual trips to Tornado Alley, she prefers the beautiful lightning of Arizona monsoons.
Enlarged prints of Strom's lightning photography will be exhibited through September in the visitors center gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a state park cooperatively managed with the University of Arizona.
High Voltage photography remains on exhibit at Boyce Thompson Arboretum through September, with a coffee reception opening on September 1 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-12. Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a spectacular park with two miles of hiking trails, plants of the world's deserts and picnic facilities, is located at milepost 223 on Highway 60, about three miles west of the town of Superior or 90 miles north of Tucson via Highway 79. The Arboretum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For other information call 520-689-2811 or visit http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu.
DO YOU LIKE IT HOT? If you like to dance, or just enjoy watching others do their thing on the dance floor, don't miss the blowout start to the Tucson Jazz Society's fall concert season.
Some Like It Hot is a salsa-Latin-jazz dance competition featuring Tucson's Raphael Moreno y Descarga. The third annual competition is the centerpiece of a sizzling event designed to please, excite and challenge salsa-dancing aficionados.
A panel of local music, media and dance celebrities will rate up to 20 couples performing various dance styles, including mambo, merengue and cumbia, on a wooden dance floor. The dancers will compete for prizes including cash awards, CDs, free dinners and tickets for future Tucson Jazz Society events.
After the competition, a salsa dancing free-for-all commences, lit only by the moon and the stars. Daniel's will provide food and beverages, so plan on a late dinner and don't worry about dancing with a parched throat--there will be plenty to cool your thirst.
Raphael Moreno y Descarga, which performs regularly at El Parador Restaurant, features many of Tucson's finest Latin jazz and salsa musicians. The group and its members have appeared with many Latin jazz legends including Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, John Santos, Pete Escovedo and Rebeca Maule.
The dance party at St. Philip's Plaza, on the corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road, is an annual Labor Day weekend event. The music cooks from 8 to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $12, $7 for TJS members, and are available at the door. For further information or to obtain a copy of the dance competition entry form, go to www.tucsonjazz.org or call 903-1265.
GET IN THE GULCH. Looking for a day of family fun in a turn-of-the-century Western town?
Then ride on down to Bisbee for Brewery Gulch Daze. The festivities today will be in Bisbee's notorious Brewery Gulch, once home to some 20 saloons and all sorts of revelry. Now a quiet historic street with many of its 1890s buildings preserved, it gives the visitor a glimpse into its colorful past.
Events will be happening all day beginning at 11 a.m. The lineup includes a skateboard contest, pet parade, waterball tournament, chili cook-off, and the "wild 'n' woolly" bed race.
In the afternoon, the Miz Ole Biz beauty contest features stunning beauties in a silly parody of the Miss America Pageant.
Live music, a kiddie carnival, vendor booths, cake walks and a raffle for dozens of prizes round out a great day of fun. All proceeds from the event are donated to charity, and this year's proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Bisbee.
For more information, call the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce at 520-432-5421 or 866-2BISBEE.
DESERT'S BEST FRIEND. John C. Van Dyke loved the character of the desert so much he wrote a book about it.
Van Dyke, who died in 1932, sang the praises of the Southwest's unique beauty. His work was so complete, so moving, it is as highly regarded today as it was when he wrote it some 100 years ago. In fact, it is a landmark contribution to the literature of America's arid lands.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Desert: Further Studies in Natural Appearances, the University of Arizona library special collections and Friends of the Library are hosting an exhibition of Van Dyke's work.
John C. Van Dyke: Poetic Voice of the Desert, which opens today, features a display curated by special-collections librarian Bonnie Travers.
The library also plans to publish a monograph called John C. Van Dyke: An Essay and a Bibliography, by UA English professor Peter Wild, who is considered an authority on the author. A reception-signing for the book and a presentation by Wild will start at 6:30 p.m. September 11.
A video screening of The Lady of the Dugout, a 1918 silent movie filmed near the Van Dyke ranch and the town of Daggett in the Mohave Desert, follows the reception.
The exhibition opens today in the special collections gallery at Cherry Avenue and University Boulevard. The exhibition and reception are free. Tickets for the video screening cost $3. For tickets, call Yolanda Becerra at 621-6431. For more information, call Becerra, or call Travers at 621-4295 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. arizona.edu or email@example.com.
TWO DECADES OF BEAUTY. Etherton Gallery for the past 20 years has been busy showing off the works of some of Tucson's best-known artists.
To mark the anniversary of its 1982 opening, Etherton plans ... what else? An exhibition, of course, and this one is not to be missed.
The show features a 20-year history of creation by more than 50 artists. The exhibition sticks to Etherton's approach of mixing traditional black-and-white contemporary imagery with vintage classical and digital technologies. The shots of photographers Danny Lyon, Paul Caponigro and Harry Callahan are among the many on display.
Twenty Years of Fine Art and Photography opens today and runs through November 24 at 135 S. Sixth Ave. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with extended hours of
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. A reception is planned for 7 to 10 p.m. September 8. For more information, call 624-7370.
SEASON'S OPENING LINES. An outstanding first novelist is first up for the UA Poetry Center's fall reading series.
If past accolades are any indication, Jonathan Penner's most recent novel, Natural Order, should be a winner. His Going Blind received several awards as an outstanding first novel; The Intelligent Traveler's Guide to Chiribosco won the Galileo Press Short Novel Prize; and Private Parties, a story collection, received the Drue Heinz Literature Prize.
The UA English professor's fiction has appeared in Harper's, TriQuarterly, Antaeus and many other magazines, and is included in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction. He has recently completed a manuscript of stories and a novella titled The Groom's Honeymoon.
The Poetry Center at the University of Arizona was founded in 1960 by poet and editor Ruth Stephan to maintain and cherish the spirit of poetry. Its nationally acclaimed library of poetry contains more than 40,000 items including books, periodicals, audio and video recordings, artist-designed limited-edition books, photographs and broadsides. The Center has recently begun a campaign to raise $4 million to build a new landmark facility.
Tonight's reading starts at 8 p.m. in the UA Modern Languages auditorium. All readings--the series runs through December--are free. The University of Arizona Poetry Center is located at 1216 N. Cherry Ave. For more information, call 626-3765 or 626-1185, or visit www.coh.arizona.edu/poetry.