BLIND BASH: Say you're in London, nursing your gin in a smoky little bar, sharing a delightfully pithy observation with your traveling mate when suddenly--how could this be!--Mick and the boys storm the stage only a few feet away. Or Eric Clapton or Pearl Jam.

And you'd only expected some pasty mophead doing Cyndi Lauper covers.

Cheap Thrills Sound like too much a fantasy to ever be true? Probably is.

Then again, somebody has to win when the Frog and Firkin bar and restaurant hosts Tucson's version of the Blind Date phenomenon on Saturday, August 22.

Of course there's a corporate angle to this madness: The contest is sponsored by Miller Brewing Co. Still, it could land you and a friend on a trip to London and an invitation-only gig where the band remains a mystery until the house lights go on.

Hop on over to the Frog this Saturday, and throw your hat in the raffle ring to win two tickets to jolly ole England. By the way, the University-area restaurant will have its own pleasant garden-type serenade going down, with Mexican beer specials and music by alternative rockers Canvas on the patio.

The action runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Frog and Firkin, 874 E. University Blvd. Cover is $3. For details, call 623-7507.

HUMMER'S HABITAT: Visit the habitat of those minuscule wonders called hummingbirds--and see one of the winged critters up close and personal--when the folks of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory capture, band and gather information on hummers of the San Pedro River.

This lush area is a riparian Eden, and protecting its high-flying wildlife is among SABO's top goals. You can help by showing up for these special events, and sending a healthy donation their way.

Banding sessions run from 4 to 6 p.m. every Saturday in August, and every Monday in September, at the San Pedro House visitors center, located seven miles east of Sierra Vista on Highway 90. Drive time is approximately one hour. For directions and other information, call (520) 432-1388.

COCHISE GUMSHOE: Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady is back in Rattlesnake Crossing, the latest mystery by prolific author J.A. Jance. The writer will sign copies of the book from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 23, in Clues Unlimited, 16 Broadway Village, at the corner of Broadway and Country Club Road.

This is Jance's sixth title featuring Brady. Now the straight-talkin' law-woman has her work cut out for her when a local gun dealer dies violently, and she must prevent violence from spreading when suspicion falls upon an embittered man at war with the world.

Raised in Bisbee, Jance is also author of the American Mystery Award-winning J.P. Beaumont series. For information, call 326-8533.

ROYAL COURT AT CASA: A tribute to the King and Queen of rock and roll, Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin, takes center court from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 23, at Durango's, 1302 W. Roger Road.

This live music celebration will also feature dancing, door prizes and other activities for the whole family, with proceeds earmarked for the myriad services offered by Casa de los Niños. Tickets are available in advance for $7 at Durango's and Guitars Etc.; they'll cost $10 at the door. For more information, call 888-1331. TW

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