This September in the Valley, things are gonna get musical, mystical, and a little spooky. (Halloween season can start any time it wants, and it seems like it has already.) Also on the docket are: a visit from at least one nerd-horror icon, a VHS marketplace, some Bowie covers, and a few DIY events, of course.
Here's your guide to nine nerdy things to do in metro Phoenix this September.
Saboten Con (or cactus convention) is a massive anime convention held in downtown Phoenix over Labor Day weekend. Put on by Monkey Paw Entertainment, Saboten Con is billed as “Arizona's Premier Japanese Pop-Culture Convention,” and takes place at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix from Friday, September 1, to Monday, September 4. Programming includes panels like Cosplay Closet, Advanced Cosplay Makeup Techniques, and Anime Jeopardy!, and there's a J-fashion show and a masquerade. Costs range from $15 for Monday Membership to $350 for an Otaku Pass. For more information, see the Saboten Con website.
VHS Swap followed by Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Join the other tapeheads at the VHS Swap, hosted by FilmBar and presented with support from Zia Records. The second annual swap is a marketplace of tapes, games, and any other thing considered a collectible. There's no charge to sell or poke around. A screening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High follows the swap, and a live taping of the BS Movies podcast (along with a trivia session) follows the movie. Run time is 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 2. To RSVP, see the Facebook event.
Seu Jorge presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute to Bowie
You remember hearing those David Bowie covers in Wes Anderson’s 2004 water-heavy dark comedy The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou? Brazilian singer/songwriter/actor Seu Jorge is visiting the Van Buren on Tuesday, September 5, with Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute to David Bowie. Stateside and Live Nation present the show. We can only hope that attendees wear sky-blue jumpsuits and red beanies. Tickets run from $43 to $56. For more information, see the Van Buren website.
The History Project with the Museum of Walking
An evening of walking through Scottsdale might sound like a typical one. But what if you also logged your discoveries during a self-guided tour of Old Town? That's what happens during the History Project with the Museum of Walking put on by walking-enthusiast Christopher Jagmin and Scottsdale Public Art, as part of the MoW's Artist Curated Walking Series. Meet at the Noriega Livery Stable and take your tour from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 14. For more, visit the event's web page.
Vegetable Container Gardening Class
If an adult goal of yours is to grow your own vegetables, join the Vegetable Container Gardening class at Desert Botanical Garden instructed by Liz Lonetti. This 30-seat, step-by-step program covers potting soil, watering and mulching techniques, the importance of location, seasonal changes, and most other topics concerning growing edibles in containers. The class is $38, or $30 for DBG members, and runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 17. See more at the Desert Botanical Garden website.
“Frankenstein in the 21st Century”
Halloween’s feels, smells, and activities can pretty much start once July ends. The people at Scottsdale Public Art probably agree, since the exhibition “Frankenstein in the 21st Century: The Waking Dream, 200 Years Later” debuts on September 20 in the Gallery @ the Library within the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Check out spooky works from artists like Constance McBride, Luster Kaboom, Jane Kelsey-Mapel, David Dauncey, and more. For more information, see the Scottsdale Civic Center Library website.
Lasers & Liquor: Pink Floyd Night
The Arizona Science Center likes to set its sights on the nerd-minded, 21-and-over crowd every once in a while. With Lasers & Liquor: Pink Floyd Night, the center will present over three hours of activities in the planetarium including trivia, karaoke, lasers shows, and snacks and alcohol. Sit back for screenings of The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, plus more music from Metallica, Nirvana, and some other rad bands. Lasers & Liquor starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 22. Tickets are $9 per screening. For more details, visit the ASC website.
"Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet"
Photojournalist Marissa Roth went on a journey through Tibet in 2007 and 2010, photographing both trips using Kodachrome film. The resulting images comprise the “Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet ” exhibition in the Asian Gallery at Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition starts on Saturday, September 23. Entry is free during voluntary donation times from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, and second Saturday and Sunday. For more information, see the PAM website.
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Sorry to make you wait this long to learn about actor, director, writer, producer, and overall icon Bruce Campbell coming to the Valley – specifically Dobson High School in Mesa. Changing Hands Bookstore and Phoenix Comicon present Campbell and his author talk on If Chins Could Kill sequel Hail to the Chin, and his hosting of the pop-culture game show, Last Fan Standing. Tickets range from $12 to $66, and the event starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27. Find more information at the Changing Hands website.