Former Scottsdale City Councilwoman Betty Drake has swapped politics for paintbrushes, though she hasn’t strayed far from the governmental sphere. She recently completed a commission for another well-known Scottsdale resident: a portrait of Jamie Drinkwater, daughter of the late Mayor Herb Drinkwater. “When I was heavily into the council, I didn’t have time to do any art,” says Drake, 67, a councilwoman from 2004 to 2009. “I am really enjoying getting back into the creative flow, post-politics.”
SMoCA Lounge coordinator Tania Katan calls the venue’s monthly fourth Friday event “a little bit This American Life and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.” We call it a counterculture Hee Haw. Done in wall-to-wall red with wood-pallet benches and limpid lighting effects, the Lounge has been the wild stepchild of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art since its debut last fall. On fourth Fridays, it also serves as ground zero for the Valley’s coolest variety show. The August bill of fare includes Comedy Central writer/performer Shaz Bennett, Scout Durwood from The Howard Stern Show, KJZZ commentator Robrt Pela and local musical guest The Pübes. See? Just like Hee Haw. Except with avant garde punk bands and a cash bar. August 24. Tickets cost $10. For more information, visit smocalounge.com.
Fans of Hot Tuna may wrangle grandchildren and hit the driving range in the here-and-now, but in the 1960s, it was all about hippies and free love, baby. Times have changed for Hot Tuna, too, but not their passion for guitar-based folkery. As members of Jefferson Airplane in the ’60s, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady sandwiched Hot Tuna performances between Airplane gigs and spun-off on their own in the ’70s. Over the years, the duo tweaked their sound to include blues, bluegrass and spacey folk jams, but lost none of their brio.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Glendale artist David Zadroga really puts some punch into his performance art. His latest interactive technique involves wrapping canvases around giant punching bags – a notion that came to life while “processing” a problem with his sister, who happens to be a psychologist. Later, during a workout with a punching bag at the gym, the idea hit him full force.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Like ancient leaves preserved in amber, lynette Andreasen’s jewelry captures a moment and holds it in time. “What I do with my work is take memories and time and freeze them,” says Andreasen, an artist-in-residence at the Mesa Arts Center. “I collect things that I find at thrift shops – things at the bottom of a pile that got tossed aside, and I try to restore them to their former glory.”
Pour yourself a martini, don your most dapper duds and plan a retro-chic night on the town with Broadway Pops International’s “The Rat Pack!” – an homage to the legendary Sands Hotel performances of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Conductor Joseph Young leads veteran Broadway performers Sal Viviano as Sinatra, Nat Chandler as Martin and Eric Jordan Young as Davis Jr. in an evening of music that will transport you to the decadent, smoky glamour of Old Blue Eyes and company’s 1960s lounge acts, sans the cancer sticks.