THE WEEK/CITY PICK
Dec. 8 through Dec.
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Fax 953-1394 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Blank refers to himself
as "The Reluctant Family
Man." The Des Moines native
was also tapped to play a bit
part in William Shatner's prank
on Riverside, SpikeTV's weeklong
series "Invasion Iowa."
This laid-back, quirky comedian
is known for being warm and fuzzy
before switching, without warning,
to sick and twisted as he spews
forth stories from his childhood
and crazy home life. In the past,
he's played at the Funny Bone,
as well as at The Underground
Lounge in New York City. But you
can see this stand-up comedian
tonight at the Vaudeville Mews.
Tickets are $6 in advance through
IowaTix or $8 day of show.
311 and Alien Ant Farm
Val Air Ballroom
One covered a song by The Cure;
the other, a song by Michael Jackson.
But both 311's version of "Love
Song" and Alien Ant Farm's
version of "Smooth Criminal"
took the same risk in covering
songs that, in reality, should
probably never be covered, as
they will never live up to the
originals. These two risk-takers
- 311 with its trademark funky
alternative pop and Alien Ant
Farm and its quirky post-grunge
- have been tapped by 105.1 Channel
Q to play the radio stations "Snowball"
tonight at the Val Air Ballroom.
Tickets are $28.50 in advance
through Ticketmaster and the Val
Air box office and $31.50 at the
Guns 'N' Hoses Charity Hockey
Wells Fargo Arena
Though the "cold November
rain" (cue the strings section)
has passed, head out to the Wells
Fargo Arena this afternoon and
watch policemen and firefighters
duke it out - on the ice - in
the Inaugural Iowa Stars Guns
'N' Hoses Charity Hockey Game.
Tickets are $15, with $4.50 from
every ticket benefiting the Muscular
Dystrophy Association. The rest
covers the cost of the ticket
to watch the Iowa Stars do battle
with Chicago at 7:05 p.m. following
the charity event. For more information,
call Ken Parkins at 556-8489 or
"The Best Christmas Pageant
1 and 4 p.m.
Des Moines Playhouse
Those horrible Herdman kids have
taken over the annual Christmas
pageant. And because those kids
lie and steal and smoke cigars
(even the girls!), the townspeople
are just sure this year's pageant
is set up for disaster. Could
this, in fact, turn out to be
the worst Christmas pageant ever?
Either way, it'll be memorable,
as the holiday favorite "The
Best Christmas Pageant Ever,"
based on the book by Barbara Robinson,
is staged at The Des Moines Playhouse
through Dec. 18. Tickets are $12
for students and $16 for adults
through the Playhouse box office
or by calling 277-6261. And show
up early, as area choirs will
be singing the sounds of the season
in the lobby.
The Good Life
Tim Kasher is perhaps better
known for his Omaha-based band
Cursive. And though that band
has had its share of success alongside
the other stars of the Saddle
Creek record label, Cursive never
allowed Kasher to explore the
more personal, softer approach
he longed to mine. The Good Life
affords him that opportunity,
not merely as a side project,
but as a completely separate band
that also releases CDs and tours
on a regular basis. The Good Life's
material is stark and depressing,
brooding pop music often tapping
the same vein as The Cure or Morrissey,
and often centered on a heartbreaking
divorce that still haunts Kasher's
past and inflects even his newest
material. See Kasher and The Good
Life tonight at the Vaudeville
Mews with openers Euphone and
Eagle Eagull and Me Too Bob Dylan,
Me Too. Tickets are $8 in advance
through IowaTix and $10 day of
"Little Shop of Horrors"
Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
Seymour Krelbourn is an unlikely
hero; horticulturalists are generally
only known for their life-saving
abilities when it comes to objects
with petals and stems and pollen
and such. Nevertheless, mild-mannered
Krelbourn must find a way to save
his co-worker and crush, Audrey,
who has a boyfriend who keeps
Krelbourn from revealing his true
feelings, from a rapidly growing
plant with a bloodthirsty secret.
See this first-ever Broadway production
of "Little Shop of Horrors"
tonight at the Civic Center of
Greater Des Moines, where performances
will be held through Sunday, Dec.
18. Tickets for tonight's performance
range from $17.50-$40, and are
available through the Civic Center
The House of Bricks
Halifax is a band that's not
afraid to admit that, back in
2002, it was a standard, cookie-cutter
pop punk band, which is a lot
more than all of the other standard,
cookie-cutter pop punk bands are
admitting. After a U.S. tour in
support of their predictable release,
"Start Back at Start,"
the band broke up due to differing
viewpoints on the direction of
the band. But two members remained,
hoping to rebuild the band. And
they did. New members brought
new influences and new energy
to Halifax's debut EP, "A
Writer's Reference," seven
songs worth of emo-tinged pop
punk, but with a bit more promise
than the 2002 incarnation provided.
Tickets are $8 through IowaTix
or $10 day of show.
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