(Sic)monic

Get ready for Halloween fun at the (Sic)monic show in Tempe this Friday.

(Sic)monic
(Sic)monic

 

 

Halloween is coming, and there are lots of great things to do! One of the fun things going on Halloween day is a (Sic)monic concert at The Sets in Tempe. (Sic)monic is a local hard rock band, with a following of creepy kids who will be dressing up and getting down this Halloween. The show starts late, so you’ll have plenty of time to hand out candy or take the kids trick-or-treating beforehand. Come check these guys out with other local favorites and support your local music scene.

There will also be a costume contest, so don’t forget to dress up!

Recent Article
Recent Article

Haunted Houses

The House During the Day
The House During the Day

 

Haunted Houses are one of the best parts of October. The most popular (or at least the most advertised) is Arizona Scream Park at 8823 E. McDowell Road in Scottsdale. As far as haunted houses go, it’s pretty great. The actors are well-paid and genuinely trying to scare you. However, the price is outrageous. Plan to spend $5 to park, then between $16 and $75 on tickets, depending on how much fun you want to have. The VIP ticket includes a monster escort.

 

If you want to get scared for FREE, there is Morbid Manor Charity House in Glendale.

 

Being scared is okay in a movie, but it’s really a lot more fun when something is coming at you and you can run away. That’s exciting! So check out a Haunted House this year and remember how much fun it is to get your blood pumping.

 

AZ Scream Park
AZ Scream Park

Best Pumpkins in Town

Pumpkin Patch in Higley
Pumpkin Patch in Higley

One of the best parts about Halloween is the pumpkins. Even if you don’t like Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Seeds, everyone loves carving jack-o-lanterns. You can get a pumpkin anywhere, of course. They sell them in stores and at roadside stands like the one pictured above in Higley, Arizona.

 

But for the best Pumpkin Patch you will ever see, you have to go to Ray Schnepf’s Farm.

 

Schnepf Farm

24810 Rittenhouse Road

Queen Creek

(480) 987-3333

 

Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they are open for anyone to come and explore the Pumpkin Patch. In addition, they have a celebrity corn maze (last year it was supposed to be of Steve Nash). The place is spooky at night too, so check it out on Halloween for the hay ride out to the “haunted” corn maze.

 

Schnepf Farms is near and dear to most Native Arizonians, who were taken as kids to select the Very Best Pumpkin. It’s still the best Pumpkin Patch in the valley, so if you like carving jack-o-lanterns, you have to make your stop there for the Best Pumpkin Ever.

 

Oh, and this year’s maze was announced today. Read about it and see a sky-high view in the Arizona Republic Article today in the Valley and State Section. You will have to get a copy of the paper though, as they failed to put it on their Web site. It’s of Muhamad Ali.

Fetish Prom

Rob and myself at the Prom
Rob and myself at the Prom

 

 

 

If you’re ready for Halloween and all the creepy stuff Arizona has to offer, you have to check out the Arizona Fetish Prom at The Venue of Scottsdale on October 11th. What is a fetish prom? Well, for starters, it’s retailers of things you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. Sure, you could try to buy a corset online, but then how would you try it on? The Fetish Prom is the answer. Often, there are people selling jewelry all decked out with spiders and snakes, corsets and velvet capes, as well as swords, and whips and chains.

 

Everyone is friendly, and no one pressures you. If you’re just there shopping for a corset and you don’t want to get near the bondage gear, that’s okay. But then again, if you’ve ever been curious, it can’t hurt to look.

 

I went to the last prom because Horns and Halos, who put the proms on, brought a band I love called VNV Nation. I have always wanted to see them, but they never play Phoenix. This trip to the United States they did play Phoenix, but only at the prom. So, I went to the prom and had a great time. The local band that opened, called Hardwire, was great.

 

Every prom has different entertainment. This event features a local band called Mankind is Obsolete, among other attraction such as the shopping.

Lisa Albringer

 

I was reminded the other day of an artist I used to know named Lisa Albringer, and I thought I would share.

Lisa is now teaching beginning oil painting in Portland. Once, she lived in downtown Phoenix and did a portrait of me (which you can see below and which is titled “JD”). While it is named after me, I don’t know how much it actually resembles me. But it’s lovely anyhow.

 

Lisa tours the country doing art shows when she isn’t teaching. I highly recommend picking up a piece by Lisa. She is already doing very well, but I expect her to be quite famous some day. While her paintings are priced in the hundreds now, I have no doubt they will appreciate in value over time.

 

Besides the investment aspect, a painting by Lisa realty brightens up a room. I have one in the corner with my houseplants, and it really goes well there.

 

Lisa'a painting called "JD"
Lisa

Looking for something spooky?

Freaky things to do for Halloween are easy to find in Phoenix. Start out by trying out Transylvania, and enjoy all the pale skinny girls in corsets. The Goth sub-culture is the one sub-culture I have encountered where are the women are single and all the guys are gay or not into Goth girls.

The Plazzo Outside
The Plazzo Outside

With October only a few days away, lots of people have been talking about their Halloween plans. This year, Halloween happens to be on a Friday, which means everyone can go out and do something for the spooky holiday.

 

One of the places I recommend to spend your Halloween is Transylvania. Transylvania is a dance club that opens in The Palazzo building on Central Avenue just south of Roosevelt Rd. every Friday night. Usually, it is just a bunch of Goth kids dancing. That can sound scary, but it the club seems to attract an audience of normal, preppy guys looking to meet their dream vampire, so it can’t be that scary. Maybe they just like to watch these girls dance in corsets (I’m not sure how that’s possible) and vinyl mini-skirts. But for Halloween there will be a costume contest as well. Since the club doesn’t open until 10pm, there will be plenty of time for trick-or-treating before going to the costume contest and dancing the night away at the spookiest place in town.

 

When you arrive, Transylvania appears to be made of marble like an old building in Italy. Of course, it’s all fake, but it looks pretty neat.  At midnight, the black lights turn on in Transylvania. This is when you can see all the paintings on the walls that have been done in black-light reactant paint, and which are slightly erotic. I advise using this to your advantage and having back-light reactant elements in your costume as well. I also advice going there for lunch sometime (yes, it’s a restaurant for lunch) and watching people in suits eat, while having no idea that there are naked vampires having sex painted on the walls around them. Brilliant!

 

With an indoor and outdoor bar, there is plenty of space so you can bring friends and have your own corner. And remember, it’s open every Friday. So if you just can’t wait until Halloween to dress up as a ghoul or ghost, you don’t have to! You won’t stand out at Transylvania, even if you have fangs.

 

 

Note the kids walking up in jeans. It’s like I said, you can go no matter who you are and no matter what you’re wearing. Just remember that if you’re not in black, you’ll really light up when the black lights turn on. Still, it’s a great place to get in the Halloween spirit.

Modified Arts

Here is a band on stage at Modified Arts.
Here is a band on stage at Modified Arts.

 

Modified Arts is a venue and an art gallery on the Southeast corner of 5th Street and Roosevelt Road in downtown Phoenix.

 

Most venues only do things on Friday and Saturday night, but Modified packs in the people every day of the week. They have independent film screenings, local and national bands, and art exhibits, to name a few things. There is so much going on there that you really have to check their calendar to know when to go.

 

Modified Arts is owned by Kimber Lanning, who also owns Stinkweeds music store at the Northwest corner of Central and Camelback Road. Kimber is devoted to local arts and music, and has been active in the arts community for over ten years.

 

In Modified, she has a space that can be transformed into anything. It can be a spot for a dance recital, but it can also host an art show or a metal band. It’s worth dropping by to pick up a calendar. Kimber’s wonderful employees keep lot of monthly events calendars handy. That way, you always know what’s going on when you have a night free.

The Alwun House

The Alwun House
The Alwun House

The Alwun House is at 12th Street and Roosevelt in Downtown Phoenix. The house is a four-corner bungalow design from the early 1900’s. It’s a neat house, but it also serves as an art gallery and a venue. The Alwun House hosts lots of events from fall to spring, although they don’t do much in the summer. Events are mostly out in the gardens, although the gallery is inside. A cash bar in generally set up near a beautiful coy pond and there are generally two stages on the east and west side of the backyard.

If you go to the Alwun House for an event, expect mature content. The Alwun House welcomes people 21 and over for events, and all ages for daytime gallery hours. But just because it’s all ages, doesn’t mean you should bring your kids. The Alwun House is proud of the fact that they use their right to free speech, and they sometimes allow adult-oriented art in.

I would certainly recommend a trip to the house in the spring to see the gardens in bloom. Even if art and music aren’t right up your alley, the gardens are magnificent. It’s amazing such lush plants can grow in the desert.

 

The Paisley

This is the sign you see from Grand Avenue
This is the sign you see from Grand Avenue

 

 

The Paisley Violin

Grand Avenue Galleries 

 The Paisley Violin is an art space at 1030 NW Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix. There are a lot of neat little art spaces downtown, but this one has good cookies. From tasty food to awesome Chai Tea, this space could certainly be called a restaurant. However, it’s much more than that. Some places are a work of art, and The Paisley Violin definitely fits that description. Renovated by the owner Eric and his friends, the counters are brushed steal with wood trim. The ceiling beams are left exposed, with things suspended in them like an old violin. From the floor to the fish tank, everything was done with the help of customers and friends.

“The reason why it is what it is, I have to say, is because of the individuals,” said Courtney Smith, a Mesa resident who provides security for the Paisley Violin on First Fridays.  

There is a feeling of community among downtown Phoenix businesses that is much different from the competitive feel of other cultural hot spots like Mill Avenue. The galleries on The First Friday Art Walk and venue owners downtown are more willing to cross-promote, even if it might mean customers going elsewhere for the night. There are flyers for events at other venues on the counter at The Paisley Violin, and no one minds a bit. This sense of community and friendship seems built into the walls at The Paisley Violin, where local artists and musicians perform, and where local residents hang out.

The stage is small. It’s hardly big enough for a three piece band. But then, there are lots of local artists who perform solo, like Alden Powers, who performs alone with his guitar. There are plenty of large stages near by, so The Paisley fills its own niche with a space for smaller ensembles.

 

 

I definitely recommend a trip to The Paisley Violin. It’s a little crowded on a First Friday, so drop by during the week when you have time to enjoy a sandwich and check out the construction of this unique art space.
 

 

Check out their site

 

 

 
 
 

 

Fate and Fun

Fate's sign on 5th Street
Fate

 

I have been going to the downtown Phoenix campus of ASU for almost two weeks, and I have run into a lot of questions about good places to eat and things to do downtown. So, I want to make a suggestion for food right now, and we’ll work on what to do in a minute.

The very best food downtown, in my humble opinion, is Fate Asian Cuisine at 5th Street and Roosevelt Road, just south of Modified Arts Venue and Gallery. Fate has fantastic appetizers, great entrees, and a magnificent wine and martini list. The restaurant is under construction because they are expanding, but you can get a table any night except First Friday with ease. I recommend “The Healthy Asian” as an entree, with tofu. I am not a vegetarian, but Johnny Chu, owner of Fate, makes killer tofu. Web site here.

Now, you can’t get a table there on First Friday because it’s busy. This leads into something you should do downtown. The downtown Phoenix First Friday Art Walk has been around for years. If you missed it up until now, it’s never too late to get in on the fun. I recommend starting out at 7th Street and Roosevelt, and walking West towards Central Avenue. When you pass Fate at 5th Street, stop in because even though you won’t get a table, you will see great art, DJ’s, and a wonderful outdoor bar where service is speedy and drinks are strong.

As you head down around 3rd Street you should see Carly’s Bistro. If there was ever a place that you had to grab a snack, this is it. The food is tasty and because it is not necessarily a sit-down affair, it will be easier to get food there than at Fate. Their site here.

All along the way there are great galleries like The Eye Lounge that are waiting to welcome you. Look for good deals at the street vendors booths too. I have paid almost nothing for great art there. Some of my favorite pieces come from starving artists setting up a table and selling their beautiful masterpieces for half what they would go for in a gallery.

You can also catch the shuttle from Roosevelt Row over to The Grand Avenue Galleries and see great places like The Paisley Violin. But no matter what, just make sure you get out on First Friday (tomorrow!) and check out all the great places to go, and pick up fliers for events coming up in the next month. This one night everything will be open, and you can case the downtown area and figure out what is where, and when you should go. It’s an easy way to get “in the loop” about downtown.