Trace Adkins works with five different producers on his 11th album, suggesting the country music veteran and reality TV star is searching for an infusion of fresh energy.
The best-tasting veggie burger I’ve ever met is falafel. A product of the Middle East, falafel are deep-fried fritters made from ground chickpeas or fava beans that are tucked into pita pockets and drizzled with tahini. They are delicious, hearty, inexpensive and relatively healthy.
If you weren’t convinced of his talent by James Blake’s debut album, his sophomore release, “Overgrown,” will do the trick.
The latest release from Philadelphia guitarist- songwriter Kurt Vile is a 69-minute double LP of lengthy, languid meditations on the everyday and beyond. The songs unwind slowly, their charms leaving imprints on the way back around.
The adage “truth is stranger than fiction” is proven in “The Lost Wife,” by Alyson Richman. She has succeeded in blending both for an unforgettable reading experience.
The Heady Hoop Tribe, an eclectic group of four women who aim to inspire others through the creative power of modern hoop dance, bring a sense of community to Phoenix.
Just about all the actors in “The Big Wedding” are severely typecast. Diane Keaton is a high-strung, divorced mother like in “Something’s Gotta Give,” Robert De Niro is the father of somebody getting married like in “Meet the Fockers,” Amanda Seyfried is a blushing bride like in “Mamma Mia,” Robin Williams is an eccentric minister like in “License to Wed,” Topher Grace is a deadpan, quick-witted nice guy like in “That ‘70s Show,” and Katherine Heigl is a needy single woman like in every movie she does. Even though the actors are in their comfort zones, not a single person feels natural in “The Big Wedding.” That’s probably because the film doesn’t understand its own characters or their motivations. Nobody behind the camera has any idea what they’re doing, resulting in one of the most awkward romantic comedies of recent memory.
The Cannes Film Festival in France will be getting a taste of the Valley next month.
Arizona State University’s Project Humanities is presenting “An Evening with Riva Yares” April 24 as part of the Project Humanities spring kick-off series, “Heroes, Superheroes, and Superhumans.”
While summer temperatures can be a scorcher, there’s one activity that helps Arizonans beat the heat: lounging in the pool. And what better way to cool off than relax in someone else’s pool — especially at one of our state’s sparkling AAA Four or Five Diamond properties?
"Oblivion” is another movie that seems better suited for a video game than a motion picture. Watching the characters engage in endless shoot outs and explore vast, abandoned terrains, all you want to do is get your hands on a controller. Since a movie is unequipped with game play, though, you’re forced to sit back and merely observe the story. Then again, most modern video games have more three-dimensional characters and smarter plots than “Oblivion.” This science fiction mystery from director Joseph Kosinski isn’t completely without some good ideas, elevating it above “Transformers” schlock. It’s just unfortunate those ideas never meld into anything that intriguing.
When former Scottsdale resident Mark Macias used the New York City subway’s 42nd Street Shuttle this past winter, he was transported not only between Grand Central Station and Times Square but back to his hometown.
"42” is far from the first movie to explore racial tensions in sports. We’ve seen this subject depicted in other good films like “Remember the Titans” and “Glory Road.” There are plenty of recognizable figures on display here, such as the underdog nobody believed in, the one man willing to take a chance on that underdog, and the ignorant antagonists that wish to see that underdog fail. Familiarity aside, though, “42” executes just about everything wonderfully. This is a good-hearted picture, carried by sincere performances and passionate direction. Not only is it an inspiring story about overcoming prejudice, but an all around rousing baseball movie too.
While Arizona is home to several upscale dining establishments that meet the most discriminating palates, the state is also home to several fun and kitschy places to nosh at as well. Whether diners are on a road trip or just seeking out the unusual, below are some suggestions for AAA One and Two Diamond restaurants known for their quirkiness as much as their food.
Nationally known jazz bassist David Friesen performs along with his Circle 3 trio and guest guitarist Larry Koonse.
Enjoy a family day at Pioneer Park, where the City of Mesa provides a bevy of free entertainment including laser tag, bounce houses and carnival rides. There will also be live music, food and beverage vendors, displays from the police and fire departments — including a fly-in from the Mesa Air Unit — and a raffle with various restaurant and shopping prizes.
More than 25 barbecue vendors gather at Salt River Fields for this annual event, which will feature the inaugural Redneck Games. This cornpone competition includes a hub cap hurling challenge, a watermelon seed spitting contest and dead lawn mower races. Live music also plays throughout the day.
After 16 years of producing craft brews, Four Peaks Brewery is celebrating with a beer festival. Food trucks, live music from indie bands Black Carl and Mergence, and more than 25 types of beer will be on hand for the party at the recently opened Wilson Street tasting room in Tempe.
Eddie Castillo said that the South American culture has the empanada, the British have the pasty, and he and his business partner Mike Caliendo are giving Arizona the hand pie.
Don Williams performs from a repertoire of fan favorites including “You’re My Best Friend,” “Tulsa Time” and “I Believe in You.”
You wouldn’t think $3.50 cupcakes would catch on in a recession, but Sprinkles Cupcakes did just that. Opened in 2008 at Scottsdale and Camelback roads, the sweet shop is celebrating its fifth anniversary by giving away something fans of its cupcakes can’t even get in Arizona: Sprinkles brand ice cream.
He has given standout performances in the likes of “The Big Lebowski,” “Crazy Heart” and “True Grit,” but Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges’ enormous talent doesn’t stop there. His illustrious resume runs the gamut from musician to author to humanitarian, which begs the question: Is there anything he can’t do?
Why does Bon Jovi crank out an unending string of relentlessly upbeat, unavoidably catchy songs in the style that made the Jersey boys famous 30 years ago and kept them there 'till now?
Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” hasn’t just motivated viewers to indulge in the sweet treat. The TV show has inspired Mesa culinary instructor Amee Hoge to host a similar cupcake challenge of her own but with a twist — it’s just for kids.
While Thursday's opening day at Country Thunder was the shortest day concert-wise, there was no disappointment in the four acts that took the stage – especially not when it came to headliner Brantley Gilbert.
Weekends are made for moving a little slower, taking time to enjoy oneself and reconnect with whatever’s been put on the back burner during a hectic work week.
Chances are, if we had a truly designer handbag in our closet, we probably wouldn’t part with it too easily. But if you’ve got one you’re over, My Sister’s Closet consignment shop is giving 20 reasons to give it up.
Jackie Robinson was the ideal class act to break the barrier and become the first black player in Major League Baseball.
Plot-twisting puzzlers are a bubble market in the movies these days, with an arms race of "Inception"-like reality reversals that flip like a coin until dizzy audiences lose all interest in how it lands.
Robert Redford does his most compelling work in some time as both actor and director in "The Company You Keep," a tense yet admirably restrained thriller about a fugitive forced out of hiding after 30 years to prove his innocence. Adapted with clarity and intelligence by Lem Dobbs from Neil Gordon's novel, and lent distinguishing heft by its roster of screen veterans, this gripping drama provides an absorbing reflection on the courage and cost of dissent.
One arrived before Rudy Valee and the other a year before The Beatles, but together they made beautiful music in nurturing a piece of Ahwatukee that spanned the decades between the roaring ‘20s and this year’s cold winter rains.
The same local dance company that takes audiences deep into vampire territory each autumn with its acclaimed "A Vampire Tale" is going into uncharted waters.
In “Wrong,” a movie playing through April 12 at Harkins Valley Art theater, Alexis Dziena plays a love struck pizza-shop employee who leaves her husband for Jack Plotnick’s sad-sack protagonist, whose canine's disappearance sets off a bizarre and unpredictable chain of events.
A poster advertising an upcoming event at Stand Up Scottsdale reads “Drink Specials ... We’re gonna need 'em” — and they just might.
Anyone who saw “Scream 4” likely remembers the scene where Hayden Panettiere lists off every horror remake to come out in the past decade, from “Halloween” to “Friday the 13th.” So many of these remakes failed due to a lack of passion on the filmmaker’s behalf. Making a good movie was only their second priority, right after cashing in on an exhausted franchise’s good name. The new “Evil Dead” movie is the rare exception. It’s obvious that director/screenwriter Fede Alvarez has great admiration for Sam Raimi’s beloved cult classic. Along with co-writers Diablo Cody and Rodo Sayagues, Alvarez produces the best contemporary “Evil Dead” movie possible.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Andy Roach has been selected to be part of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, courtesy of the world-famous Chandler facility, Advanced Auto Service and Tires Centers and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
The 300-plus-member Phoenix Children’s Chorus will be heard nationally with the broadcast of their appearance on National Public Radio’s “From the Top.” One of the most popular weekly music series on public radio, the show reaches more than 700,000 listeners on 250 stations across the country.
Between the two of them, filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel have explored sheepherding in Montana, auto shops and junkyards in Queens and most recently, the fishing industry in the North Atlantic. Their experimental documentary “Leviathan” is both visceral and gritty, in no way spoon-feeding its audience information, but rather, completely immersing them in the gruesome, often dangerous environment aboard a commercial fishing liner.
Whenever Esi Impraim’s mother made jollof — a rich, tomato-laced dish of meats, rice and sometimes seafood — the time it took to bubble away on the stove was always excruciating.
Does your outfit blend into the woodwork?
A walk through the Rose Garden at Mesa Community College (MCC) with its curator includes stops at roses named Chihuly, Julia Childs and Day Breaker. This decades-old garden continues to grow and bloom each year through the work of hundreds of volunteers — and they’re ready to share their expertise.
Pressure cookers never really did much for me. They seemed fussy — and scary! All those stories about explosions...
Although it’s not much, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” really deserves credit where credit’s due. Its 2009 predecessor was one of the dumbest action movies of the past 10 years. In this sequel, director Jon M. Chu of those “Step Up” movies makes an attempt to incorporate some humor, creative action sequences, and impressive visuals. That doesn’t mean “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is a good movie, but at least it’s an improvement. The film could have gone down the route of the “Transformers” series, which only got worse with every entry.
Editor’s note: Follows is a one-on-one interview with Joshua Sasse, of the movie “The Big and I,” and Leah Gibson, from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Both are playing key roles in “Rogue,” DIRECTV’s first original series.
A Mesa restaurant is hoping to offer connoisseurs of Mexican food and drink a not so party-hardy way to ring in Cinco de Mayo.
Kent Chase really wanted to golf as a kid.
Calling all sushi lovers and competitive eaters: A Sushi Showdown sushi-eating contest will take place 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at RA Sushi restaurants in Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, North Scottsdale and Old Town Scottsdale.
Lane Change is practicing a new song for its set list, Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.” The manager is coaching the vocalists on the harmonies: “This note needs to be higher.” “This part is too early.” “Let’s start from this part.” Then they start at the recognizable chorus.
Start marking your calendars with all the shows you plan to see this season. Arizona Theatre Company has announced its 2013-2014 lineup.
© Copyright 2011, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Phoenix, AZ