Check out free events in the East Valley this weekend, Twilight things to do in Scottsdale, and follow a 'Thriller' theme in Queen Creek.
MONEY'S GREAT, BUT FREE'S OK IN THE E.V.
by Albert Ching
Mat Weddle, of Scottsdale-based folk rock band Obadiah Parker, received a ton of buzz in 2006 for his slowed-down, acoustic cover of “Hey Ya!” by Outkast. It became one of the most heavily requested songs on local alternative rock radio station The Edge (103.9 FM), and a video reached “viral” status on YouTube — leading to Howard Stern playing part of Weddle’s version and praising it on his show early this year. Weddle has his own songs, too, and will be playing some tonight.
>> Mat Weddle performs 7 p.m. today outside Barnes & Noble at Tempe Marketplace, 1800 E. Rio Salado Parkway. Free. www.myspace.com/matweddlemusic.
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Valley jazz fixture Armand Boatman frequently performs with his trio (the aptly named Armand Boatman Trio), but Saturday’s show at Chandler Center for the Arts will be with a quintet, the Armand Boatman Be Bop Revolution. The concert will focus on modern jazz, with legends like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on the agenda. Original compositions will also be performed.
>> The Armand Boatman Be Bop Revolution performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Free. (480) 782-2680 or chandlercenter.org.
Playing hooky from work? Instead of just wasting the day watching “Cristina’s Court,” how about some culture? For the month of August, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is absolutely free on Fridays (Thursdays are free at the museum year-round). It’s a prime opportunity to check out their current slate of exhibits, including “Branded and on Display,” a touring exhibit commenting on consumerism and marketing, with pieces like “Kiosk (Jewel)” by Donna Nield (pictured), a series of aerial photographs of shopping mall kiosks.
>> The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, at 7374 E. Second St. Free. (480) 994-2787 or www.smoca.org.
TWILIGHT IN THE HOT, HOT CITY
by Craig Outhier
What is it about twilight — defined as the time of day immediately before sunrise and after sunset — that so moves us Arizonans? Well, it makes us look spectacular in photos, for one thing. And it also happens to be the one time during the summer when we can go outside, enjoy a little daylight and not pass out from heatstroke. Make the most of your “blue hour” this weekend with these local twilight-themed excursions.
“TWILIGHT” LAUNCH PARTY
OK, so the festivities technically take place well after twilight. You got us there. But to get a hot-off-the-presses copy of “Breaking Dawn,” the fourth and final book in celebrity scribe Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, you’ll have to break curfew and get down to Changing Hands Bookstore (6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe) for tonight’s midnight release party. Organizers expect a lusty turnout — more, even, than the hundreds of Twilight faithful who donned prom attire for a party last year.
>> The party starts at 9 p.m. today. Information: (480) 730-0205 or changinghands.com.
Spark your child’s eco-curiosity with a flashlight tour at Desert Botanical Garden near Papago Park. The tour’s “eight action-packed discovery stations” include exotic night-blooming flowers, up-close encounters with pond-dwelling toads and a visit with the park’s resident tarantula. The tour (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) runs every Thursday and Saturday night through the end of August. Children (3-12) are $4, students (13-18) are $5 and adults are $10. And don’t forget to bring the electric illumination of your choosing.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT FOUNDATION ART APPRECIATION
View Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Taliesin West, in the pale, not-quite-earthly light of a midsummer gloaming. The two-hour tour includes refreshments and all the classic Taliesin sights, including the campus’ super-chill sunken garden, funnel-like cabaret theater and excitingly angular “gathering room.” Finally, get your architectural freak on with the lighting of Wright’s “fire-breathing dragon.” The tour starts at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every Thursday and Friday evening though the end of October.
>> General admission $43. Reservations: (480) 860-2700 or franklloydwright.org.
I WANT MY 'THRILLER' ON MTV
by Martin Cizmar
On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV started broadcasting, debuting with the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Three years later, the greatest music video of all time — Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — was released. In honor of “Thriller,” we hunted down three ways to honor the video, and the medium.
SEE A THRILLER
The song “Thriller” has the plot from a B movie: Monsters attack an unsuspecting victim around midnight. In the video, Jacko and his date are attacked in the streets after seeing a werewolf flick. If you’re looking for that sort of show, head over at 9 p.m. Saturday to Chandler Cinemas for “Horror, Psychobilly, Zombies and Mayhem!” For $7 you get a screening of two gory flicks, a band and a zombie makeup contest.
>> Chandler Cinemas is at 2140 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. (480) 821-1605 or www.myspace.com/chandlercinemas.
Once you’ve got the “Thriller” look you’ll want to practice your moves — just in case you ever end up as an extra for “13 Going on 30 II,” where you’ll need to know the Thriller dance perfectly. Gilbert’s Wild Hare has a great dance floor and DJ Marvel spinning hits this Saturday.
>> Wild Hare is at 3495 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert (480) 558-4168.
If you really want to get in the “Thriller” spirit you’re going to need a costume — zombie or ’80s. Gilbert’s Party City has about a quarter of their Halloween costumes in already, with more arriving daily. Stop by to pick up some makeup, then head over to Chandler Cinemas if you want to compete in the zombie contest or over to the Wild Hare dance floor if you want to have some REAL fun.
>> Party City is at 5364 S. Power Road, Gilbert (480) 457-8500.