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THURSDAY | 12.6

CARTHARSIS THROUGH SONG

From Mance Lipscomb to Lightnin’ Hopkins, blues music over the years has given listeners songs that speak to the darkest corners of their souls, with lyrics made from spilled guts and lessons from the school of hard knocks. For country and blues singer-songwriter Charlie Parr, these musicians provided the stepping stones necessary for him to branch out and learn how to play guitar when he was a kid. Though it wasn’t until he reached his 20s and lost his father that he began to channel that grief into his own songs. His musical career spans across decades, with 14 albums to his name. With his newest emotional outpouring, Dog, released last September on Red House Records, he leaves all pretenses behind. “Depression and anxiety have been with me since I was a teenager, so I’m not surprised by them, it’s just that in the last couple of years they’ve been worse than usual and so they started to come out in the songs,” he says. Many of the songs could almost pass as a delightful romp through the life of a carefree folk singer if the listener ignores the heart-wrenching lyrics. Before writing his own music though, Parr would write stories. Eventually, those stories would get whittled down to create the bones of something he could set to chords. In Dog’s “Peaceful Valley,” Parr juxtaposes bright, twangy guitar phrases with lyrics describing a descent into the darkness of his mind that many suffering from a mental illness may be familiar with: “Well I signed a lease on a place out near the bus stop/ but then, you know, I never left there again/ I got three TVs and a bunch of coffee pots/ there just ain’t no reason for me to go outside anymore.” His resonator guitar sings and the notes come in and out of focus as he moves along the frets with a slide, creating a deceivingly upbeat tune. See the legendary performer for yourself when he takes to the stage tonight at Flagstaff Brewing Company, 16 E. Rte. 66. The show starts at 10 p.m. with opening act bon fiction, and tickets are $10. www.charlieparr.com

THURSDAY | 12.6

A SHARED LANGUAGE

If you look up anything about the renowned clarinetist David Rothenberg, you’ll find he’s most recognized for playing music with creatures, everything from nightingales to humpback whales. “What is a nightingale doing when he’s singing? We don’t know what it’s all about, exactly,” says Rothenberg, “but you can join in with it and share in this musical meaning that’s so hard to express in any way but music.” As an improviser, he says, “If you believe you can make music this way, you believe you can sit down with somebody you’ve never met before because music is some kind of shared language.”  This week, along with jazz ensemble Oregon co-founder Glen Moore, Rothenberg is participating in a multi-day residency at Northern Arizona University. Tonight, catch Rothenberg and Moore performing at the Coconino Center for the Arts, 300 N. Fort Valley Road, as part of the Interference Series. $10 general admission, $5 students. 7 p.m. Find the event page on Facebook for more information.

FRIDAY | 12.7

DO WE REALLY HAVE TO REMIND YOU?

For the truly dedicated, a layer of snow won’t deter downtown visitors from their monthly art ritual. This month’s First Friday ArtWalk offers new exhibits, live music and all the snacks and wine you can handle. Maybe switch it up this time around to admire the one-night-only exhibition featuring original paintings by lifelong art advocate Viola Babbitt at the Flagstaff Public Library, 300 W. Aspen Ave. Or swing by a tried and true favorite at the Wil McNabb Fine Jewelry Studio, 18 N. Leroux St., where Daniel Friedman will have still life images on display. And don’t forget to check out the Arizona-inspired work of Heather Kadar at Rooftop Solar, 16 E. Rte. 66, or the macabre work of Emma Gardner at The HeArt Box, 17 N. San Francisco St. There will also be live music at Cornish Pasty Co., the Monte Vista Lounge and more. Visit www.flagartscouncil.org for the full list of events.

SATURDAY | 12.8

SALVE THE DATE

Ah, winter. That perfect time of year when our lips are chapped, our skin is dry and our bodies are cold all the time…just us? With the icy chill and moisture-sapping tendencies of the weather this time of year, dryness and irritation can cause problems for more than just your friendly neighborhood Flagstaff Live! writers. For those who aren’t reptilian beings or robots posing as humans, these issues are real and there are solutions. But what to use? How about an all-natural herbal ointment that will soothe, protect and nourish your skin? Less messy than oils and with less chemicals than traditional store-bought lotion, herbal salves are a simple and effective remedy for wintertime skin and can be used to treat small wounds, rashes and other skin irritations—they also make nifty gifts for the holidays (wink, wink). Don’t know how to make salve? Worry not! This Saturday at the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, 703 E. Sawmill Road, join herbalist Mike Masek from the Forager's Path who will lead the annual Salve-Making Workshop. The workshop shows you how to make unique and useful gifts for friends, family and yourself, focusing on two salve-making processes. One method uses resin from the local Pinon tree, and the other method is used for leaves and flowers in general. All participants will get hands-on experience and take home samples of both salve types. The workshop is $25 per participant, $20 for Willow Bend members. Workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. www.willowbendcenter.org

SATURDAY | 12.8

IMPERIAL MANBABIES

First, Playboy Manbaby is a great band name. Second, we at Flagstaff Live! welcome our new Imperial Overlords. About a month ago, Valley slug punks Playboy Manbaby ran an uncontested campaign for Imperial Overlord, and on Nov. 10, they claimed their inevitable new title while also releasing a new full-length album, Boundless Vanity. We’re neither surprised nor upset by the news because it means more shows, more music and more Hot Pockets. And Playboy Manbaby’s live shows are not to be missed. Known for their onstage antics and high-energy performances, the band thrives off the energy from the room—throwing in a few gimmicks here and there, which frontman Robbie Pfeffer doesn’t necessarily have a problem with. “We like to make the shows as high-energy as we can possibly make them. We try to do that consciously. That’s always been a part of the ethos of the band, and it’s really enjoyable,” said Pfeffer in an interview with KJZZ. And the band leaves it all on stage when they perform, all the manic-depressive, youthfully nihilistic, anxious-young-adult energy they can muster, for a live experience that brings you out of the everyday sameness of…every day. Catch our new Imperial Overlords, Playboy Manbaby, this Saturday at Firecreek Coffee Co., 22 E. Route 66, with local punks Sol Drop, who released their new album, Sticky,earlier this year, and will be performing with their original lineup featuring Brian Dorsey back behind the kit. A Band Called Sports will also perform for a night of punk-rock goofery. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $7. www.playboymanbaby.com

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