News Column

El Paso Summer Entertainment Calendar Promises a Hot Time

Page 6 of 1

One thing we know about summer in El Paso: It's gonna get hot. Real hot.

Another thing we know: Several traditions -- new and old -- will heat up around here.

Music Under the Stars, the diverse free concert series at the Chamizal National Memorial, turns 30 this year.

El Paso Playhouse, the little community theater that could, turns 50. Heck, that's as old as the Rolling Stones!

Who, by the way, won't be playing here on their "50 & Counting" tour. Sigh.

But one of my favorite events, the Plaza Classic Film Festival, will be back for the sixth year.

Alice Cooper, who played here routinely in his '70s and '80s heyday, is coming to town with one of his shock rock acolytes, Marilyn Manson.

So are Juanes (unplugged), Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen (also unplugged) and Aussie teen hearthrob Cody Simpson (decidedly not unplugged). There's also a rumor that Pitbull's coming back.

There's plenty more ahead for this, our last summer before Triple-A baseball comes to town.

We've rounded up as much of it as we can find, from the 28th annual KLAQ Balloonfest and third Neon Desert Music Festival that launch the summer over Memorial Day weekend to Fiesta de las Flores and electronic music's Sun City Music Festival over Labor Day weekend that wind it down.

Here's our summer arts and entertainment preview, with events (subject to change) in chronological order, and suitable for skimming.

May

-- Tera Melos --

The genre-bending rockers have drawn comparisons to everyone from the Flaming Lips to the Beach Boys (during Brian Wilson's early flakeouts). Touring in support of new album "X'ed Out," they play the Lowbrow Palace, 111 Robinson, at 9 p.m. Monday. TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) and Revati open. $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($3 more for those 18 to 20 years old). lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Hands -- The L.A. quartet, touring hypnotic debut album "Synesthesia," headline the Lowbrow at 9 p.m. Tuesday. $8 advance, $10 door ($3 more for 18-20). lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Stoney LaRue -- The great thing about the State Line's free concert series is that it's one of the few local outlets for Texas and Red Dirt country acts. Case in point: Texas-born, Oklahoma-based LaRue, who performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on the patio of the beloved Sunland Park restaurant. Take canned food to donate to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Chicago tribute band Windy City opens this free series at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- "The Addams Family" -- The two-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical comedy features Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the morbid Addams clan singing, dancing and wisecracking at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Plaza Theatre (story, Page 3F). $35, $60; $31.50, $54 for military, seniors and educators. 231-1100, elpasolive.com.

-- "And Then There Were None" -- The El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, closes its 49th season with an audience favorite, an Agatha Christie whodunit. Rachel Mullins directs the comedy drama in which party guests die one by one. It runs Friday through June 15. $10; $8 for seniors; $7 for students and military. 532-1317, elpasoplayhouse.com.

-- KLAQ Balloonfest -- The 28th annual edition, May 25-27, has a Q Party Animals theme with animal-shaped hot air balloons and wild animals on stage. More than 30 balloons take off by dawn's early light each day. The official observation area is the YMCA's W.C. Snow Sports and Family Recreation Center, 6400 Mason Farms (near Westside Drive) in Sunland Park. Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld in Anthony, Texas, hosts daily concerts. Local bands start at noon, with headliners the Mark Tremonti Project (featuring the Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist) at 6 p.m. May 25, an acoustic set from Godsmack singer Sully Erna at 6 p.m. May 26 and recent Grammy winners Halestorm at 6 p.m. May 27. $19.99 in advance, $29.99 at the gate. 544-9550, klaq.com.

-- Neon Desert Music Festival -- Version 3.0 of the electronic, indie and Latin rock marathon starts a few hours later this year -- 3 p.m. -- in the same five-block area of Downtown it's used before. More than 30 acts will play May 25 on five stages, including Bosnian Rainbows (El Paso guitar wizard Omar Rodriguez Lopez's new band), Mexico's Molotov, French DJ Martin Solveig, Interpol frontman Paul Banks, electronica's Dragonette, and Mexican Latin Grammy winner Carla Morrison. $55, $150. neondesertmusicfestival.com.

-- Eddie Griffin -- The comedy of the "Undercover Brother" and "Malcolm and Eddie" star has been described as "profane philosophy" by one reviewer. He breaks from a residency in Las Vegas to return to the Abraham Chavez Theatre at 8 p.m. May 25. $25, $35, $45, $55, $65. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.

-- !!! -- The rock sextet, pronounced "chkchkchk," is best known for its adrenalized live show. With fifth album "Thr!!!er," produced by Spoon's Jim Eno, they set out to tighten things up in the studio. They perform at 9 p.m. May 26 at the Lowbrow. $13 advance, $15 door ($3 more for 18 to 20). lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen -- The two Texas singer-songwriter greats go back to their college days at Texas A&M, so the banter and superlative songs should flow easily when they perform at 7:30 p.m. May 28 at the Abraham Chavez Theatre. It's one of eight acoustic shows they're doing in Texas and New Mexico. $27.50, $35, $45, $65. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.

-- The Lusitania -- The Duncan brothers' band has a new record, "For Better Hallway Vision," and a slew of summer shows in the area and beyond, beginning with this freebie at 8 p.m. May 29 at the State Line. The show is part of the restaurant's outdoor concert series; take canned food to donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. countyline.com/statelinemusic.html, 581-3371.

-- Bernie Mora and Tangent -- The veteran El Paso guitarist has called on some top local talent, including the Olivas brothers, and L.A. studio imports, such as Tower of Power trumpeter Lee Thornburg, to play on "Dandelion," his new album of instrumental rock, funk and jazz. He celebrates the new release with them live at 8 p.m. May 29 at the Lotus Nightclub, 201 N. Stanton. $25 admission price includes a copy of the CD. 503-2335, lotusep.com, wantickets.com.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- The smooth, jazz-inflected R&B of Sha'Vonne and the Vibe are featured in the free series at 6:15 p.m. May 30 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Brownout -- Once a side project of Austin Latin funk fusionists Grupo Fantasma, this horn-driven, percussion-fueled Latin psych-funk outfit it touring in support of its third album, "Oozy." It plays the Lowbrow at 9 p.m. May 30. $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($3 more for ages 18 to 20). lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Local cumbia band La Explosion Lagunera should get booties shaking at the next installment of the free local music series, now in its 11th year, at 6 p.m. May 31 at Arts Festival Plaza, between the El Paso Museum of Art and Plaza Theatre. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

June

-- Juanes -- The El Paso County Coliseum seating area will be cut in half for the superstar Colombian rocker's intimate, acoustic "Loud and Unplugged" tour stop at 8 p.m. June 1. It's part of a 28-city North American tour that follows the success of his recent "MTV Unplugged" album, a "Dancing With the Stars" appearance, and a new memoir, "Chasing the Sun." $37, $57, $77. 533-9899, ticketmaster.com.

-- "From the Top" -- Host Christopher O'Riley and the rest of NPR's "From the Top" crew return to the Plaza Theatre for a live taping at this year's El Paso Summer Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. June 1. The show, which also taped here in 2009, will feature some of the top young classical music talent in the country, including 16-year-old Coronado High School violinist Wesley Yu. The program, which airs on KTEP-FM (88.5), will be broadcast the week of June 17. $15, $25, $35; $10, $20 and $28 for military. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, epsmf.org, ticketmaster.com.

-- Dancing With the City -- The fourth annual edition of this butt-shaking Downtown party includes free dance lessons and a dance concert. The spicy Sobredosis del Sabor kicks off the series June 1, with a merengue lesson at 7 p.m. and music at 8 p.m. in the Arts Festival Plaza. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Milk Music -- The fuzzed-out Seattle-area rockers team up with Phoenix's Destruction Unit at 9 p.m. June 1 at the Lowbrow. $8 advance, $10 door. lowbrowpalace.com.

-- "Bienal Ciudad Juarez / El Paso Biennial 2013: Tijuana to Brownsville: Contemporary Art Along the Border" -- Eight El Pasoans, including Margarita Cabrera, Gaspar Enriquez and WERC, are among the nearly 50 artists from both sides of the border who'll exhibit two pieces -- one in El Paso, one in Juarez -- in the third incarnation of this truly international show. Exhibits will run concurrently from June 2 to Aug. 18 at the El Paso Museum of Art and Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez. 532-1707, elpasoartmuseum.org.

-- "Impressions East-South-West: Mabel May Woodward" -- The El Paso Museum of Art selected 20 of the Rhode Island native's landscapes from its permanent collection for this exhibit of images from New England and the Southwest. It runs June 2-July 21. 532-1707, elpasoartmuseum.org.

-- Red Lamb -- The power trio, led by former Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz, headlines the first of two Concert 4 Autism benefits at 5 p.m. June 2 at Kickstandz, 11335 Montwood. It's a fundraiser for the Autism Society of El Paso. $10 at the door. facebook.com/kickstandz, 231-6968.

-- Melodies at the Park -- The El Paso Parks and Recreation Department's free summer concert series features local bands at various city parks. No headliners have been announced, but the series opens at 7:30 p.m. June 2 at Eastwood Park, better known as Album Park, 3100 Parkwood. 544-0753, home.elpasotexas.gov/parks.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Disco-funk revivalists Fungi Mungle, platform shoes, afro wigs and all, play that funky music for free on the outdoor patio at 8 p.m. June 5. Take canned goods to donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. countyline.com/statelinemusic.html, 581-3371.

-- El Ten Eleven -- The Los Angeles power duo -- guitarist-bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty -- is touring behind new album "Transitions" and plays the Lowbrow at 9 p.m. June 5. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- El Paso oldies band Main Street plays a freebie at 6:15 p.m. June 6 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Girl in a Coma -- Morrissey never made it to town, but the San Antonio trio, and local fave, named for one of his songs returns to Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso St., at 8 p.m. June 6. Pinata Protest and Irontom open. $12. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- One of my favorite memories is of watching Fungi Mungle freaking out Chic-style before an outdoor screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the second Plaza Classic Film Festival. The band returns to the scene of the rhyme crime, Arts Festival Plaza, for this freebie at 6 p.m. June 7. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Billy the Kid Festival -- San Elizario has turned a small event, the famous outlaw's jailbreak of a buddy, into an annual festival complete with performances of Maria del Pilar Munoz's play about it, "Midnight Rendezvous: Billy the Kid and the Mystery of 1876." The festival returns June 7-9. billythekidfestival.com.

-- Alice Cooper/Marilyn Manson -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shock rocker, golf aficionado, born-again Christian and radio host teams up with one of his spawn for the month-long "Masters of Madness" tour. The nightmare comes to the Don Haskins Center at 7 p.m. June 8. $55 (there were $35 tickets, but they're sold out). utepspecialevents.com, ticketmaster.com, 747-5234.

-- Dancing in the City -- Funk music, and dance, come to the fore with the second installment of the free Downtown music series, featuring Buffalo's organ-fueled Alan Evans Trio (itself featuring Soulive drummer Evans). A dance lesson is at 7 p.m., and the band goes on at 8 on June 8 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Cody Simpson -- The 16-year-old Australian heartthrob brings his sun-kissed pop to the Plaza Theatre at 7 p.m. June 9, part of his 36-city "Paradise" tour. Fellow teen idols in the making, Ryan Beatty and Before You Exit, open. $37; $97 and $147 VIP. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- The 30th annual version of the free music festival, put on by the city Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, returns to the Chamizal National Memorial, 800 S. San Marcial, at 7:30 p.m. June 9. El Paso's Frontera Bugalu, who've put their own stamp on cumbia and other traditional Mexican music, kick things off. It's free. You can't bring your own cerveza, but it will be sold at the park. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov.cham.

-- "Goatwalking" -- Baa! Christine Foerster, the UTEP art faculty member and performance artist, made the news recently for filming people walking goats around town. Some of those images will be part of her new exhibit, opening June 11 at the El Paso Museum of Art. It'll be up through Aug. 4. elpasoartmuseum.org, 532-1707.

-- The Thermals -- Talk about heat. The raw power trio finished its sixth album, "Desperate Ground," in New Jersey hours before Hurricane Sandy hit. Prepare to be blown away when they headline the Lowbrow at 9 p.m. June 11. El Paso's Nalgadas open. $10 advance, $12 door. lowbrowpalace.com.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Austin quintet Del Castillo always tear it up when they play the outdoor music series at the State Line. They also mix it up, with rock, flamenco, Mexican and other styles thrown into the blender. Maybe they'll preview some music from the new album they've been cutting when they return at 8 p.m. June 12. Free; take canned goods to donate. countyline.com/statelinemusic.html, 581-3371.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Expect to hear some country, some rock and some strong originals when locals Dusty Low perform at 6:15 p.m. June 13 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. It's free. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" -- The El Paso Community College Performers Studio kicks off its fifth summer repertory season with a revival of the "Peanuts" parody -- imagine Charlie Brown and the gang as angsty teenagers -- written by Burt V. Royal. Performances will be June 13-16 and Aug. 1-4 at the EPCC Transmountain Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North. $15; $10 for non-EPCC students; $7 for seniors and EPCC students. 831-5056.

-- "Viva! El Paso" -- A new chapter in the history of the musical about El Paso history begins at 8:30 p.m. June 14 at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. The El Paso Community Foundation, El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau and the UTEP theater and dance department have joined forces to keep alive the musical about 400 years of local history. Jaime Barba returns to direct its 36th season. It will be staged 21 times on Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 10. $14, $20 (tickets aren't on sale yet). 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- El Paso bachata band La Guira plays a free show at 6 p.m. June 14 in the Arts Festival Plaza. alfrescofridays.com, 534-0665.

-- Power Jam 2013 -- Big Sean, Jonn Hart, Driicky Graham, V.I.C., Huey and Hurricane Cris headline this year's rap-heavy bill at 3 p.m. June 15 at Cohen Stadium. This year's Power 102 (KPRR-FM, 102.1) festival moves to a new home after a long run at Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld. $25. kprr.com, ticketbully.com, 351-5400.

-- Dancing in the City -- Get out your salsa dancing shoes. Popular El Chuco Latin jazz and variety band Azucar provide the free music June 15 at the Arts Festival Plaza. Lessons are at 7 p.m., music at 8. elpasotexas.gov/mcad, 541-4481.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Utah indie rockers Desert Noises headline the free series at 7:30 p.m. June 16 on the grounds of the Chamizal National Memorial. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad/; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Melodies at the Park -- The city parks department stages a free concert at 7:30 p.m. June 16 at Westside Community Park, 7400 High Ridge. Headliner is still to be announced. 544-0753, home.elpasotexas.gov/parks.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Austin rockers Shurman, fronted by riveting singer Aaron Beavers, plays a free concert on the patio at 8 p.m. June 19. Take canned food to donate. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- British folk rock's Dunwells, fronted by brothers Joseph and David Dunwell, kick off an American tour with an appearance at this free concert series at 6:15 p.m. June 20 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- "Next to Normal" -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kiss, about a mother with bipolar disorder and the effect it has on her family, gets its local debut. The EPCC Performers Studio performs the musical June 20-23 and July 25-28 at the EPCC Transmountain Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North. $15; $10 for non-EPCC students; $7 for seniors and EPCC students. 831-5056.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Bobby Fuller Four contemporary Rod Crosby and his longtime band, the Intruders, rock out '60s style at 6 p.m. June 21 at the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Let Freedom Sing Concert Series -- The lawn outside Fort Bliss' Freedom Crossing mall is the setting for this free series, which brings Colorado rockers 3Oh!3 to the post at 7 p.m. June 22, just days before the release of their new album, "Omens." The concert is open to the public, with entry at the Robert E. Lee and Cassidy gates (driver's license and U.S. license plate required). freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com.

-- Dancing in the City -- The Texas Gypsies, a swing band from Allen, play the free music-and-dance series at 8 p.m. June 22 in the Arts Festival Plaza. Free dance lesson at 7 p.m. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Sunland Park cumbia band La Magiztral Sonora play the free series at 7:30 p.m. June 23 at the Chamizal National Memorial. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Tito Larriva and Tarantula -- The former El Pasoan and one-time Cruzandos member returns with his smokin' band to play the second Concert 4 Autism event, a benefit for the Autism Society of El Paso, at 5 p.m. June 23 at Kickstandz, 11335 Montwood. Cover is $10 at the door. 231-6968, facebook.com/kickstandz.

-- Melodies at the Park -- There's no headliner yet, but the city parks department's free concert series comes to Shawver Park, 8100 Independence, at 7:30 p.m. June 23. 544-0753, home.elpasotexas.gov/parks.

-- Baths -- Will Wiesenfeld is a Los Angeles electronic musician whose stage name, Baths, suggests a kind of musical cleansing. Prepare to be purified when he performs at 9 p.m. June 24 at the Lowbrow. $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($3 more for ages 18 to 20). lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Vans Warped Tour -- It wouldn't be summer without the annual Las Cruces stop of the "punk rock summer camp." On June 26, it returns for NMSU's Intramural Field for the 11th straight year. Doors open at 11 a.m. and music starts at noon and won't stop until 9 p.m. The music this year will run the gamut from the usual -- punk, post-punk, post-hardcore, metal, screamo and indie pop -- to the unusual (for Warped), including electronic dance music and Americana. Hawthorne Heights, Anarbor, Black Veil Brides, blessthefall, MC Lars, Chiodos, Crizzly, Never Shout Never, Motion City Soundtrack, the Wonder Years, While She Sleeps and the Aquabats (including one of the "Yo Gabba Gabba!" creators) are among the more than 90 acts performing this year. $35. 575-646-1420, panam.nmsu.edu, ticketmaster.com.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Country singer Curtis Grimes, who finished third on the first season of NBC's "The Voice," headlines the free, outdoor concert series at 8 p.m. June 26. Take canned food to donate. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- Twin Shadow -- The band's '80s-era, Prince-style funk and rock has found an audience in El Paso. Bet fans can tell a few stories. That's good, since George Lewis Jr. and company are bringing their "True Story" tour (he's posting stories from each tour stop) to Tricky Falls at 7:30 p.m. June 26. Elliphant opens. $12. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- El Paso's rootsy rockers The Lusitania headline the free series at 6:15 p.m. June 27 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater, a great place to hear them. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" -- The seventh U.S. president an emo rocker? He is in this rock musical by Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers. It gets its local premiere when the EPCC Performers Studio stages it June 27-30 and July 18-21 at the EPCC Transmountain Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North. It's part of the troupe's summer rep series. $15; $10 for non-EPCC students; $7 for seniors and EPCC students. 831-5056.

-- Mark Chesnutt -- It's been a while since the traditional country singer has been a radio staple. He was a frequent presence on the charts in the 1990s, thanks to a string of No. 1 hits such as "Brother Jukebox," "I Just Wanted You to Know" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." The 49-year-old Beaumont native is still making music, though. He performs at 10 p.m. June 28 at Whiskey Dicks, 1580 George Dieter. $20. 921-9900, whiskeydickselpaso.com, ticketbully.com.

-- El Paso Downtown Street Festival -- Gavin Rossdale and his revived band Bush headline on June 28 (Adelita's Way opens) and Third Eye Blind top the bill June 29 (Lit and Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown open). The 11th annual pre-Fourth of July bash includes a car show, food and beer vendors, and fireworks around 10 p.m. each night. Music starts at 6 p.m. on the main stage, with two other stages devoted to a variety of local acts. $20 in advance, $30 at the gate; $35 for a weekend pass (advance sales only); $5 for kids 12 and younger (gate only). 544-9550, klaq.com, visitelpaso.com.

-- Portugal. The Man -- The unpredictable rockers head to Tricky Falls at 9 p.m. June 29, just a few weeks after the release of their new, Danger Mouse-produced album "Evil Friends." Guards open the show. $18 advance, $20 day of show. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, a funk-soul octet from Brooklyn, and singer Arleigh Kincheloe should put a little spirit into the free outdoor series at 7:30 p.m. June 30 at the Chamizal National Memorial. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

July

-- State Line Concert Series -- Leave it to El Paso's own nuevo cumbia band Frontera Bugalu to get the July 4th party started with a show at 8 p.m. July 3 at the State Line. Free, but take canned food to donate to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" -- The classic Stephen Sondheim musical comedy will be part of the EPCC Performers Studio's summer rep season. Performances are July 3-7 and 11-14 at the EPCC Transmountain Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North. $15; $10 for non-EPCC students; $7 for seniors and EPCC students. 831-5056.

-- Under the Sun Tour -- Smash Mouth joins Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms and Vertical Horizon for the second annual edition of this fun-in-the-sun '90s oldies soiree. The tour kickoff is actually indoors -- a free show at 6 p.m. July 4 at the Socorro Entertainment Center, 11200 Santos Sanchez in Socorro. 860-7777, speakingrockentertainment.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- This special Independence Day edition features patriotic music, courtesy of Ron Hufstader and the El Paso Wind Symphony, at 7:30 p.m. July 4 at the Chamizal National Memorial. Free. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Pop Goes the Fort -- New conductor Bohuslav Rattay, a Czech Republic native, makes his debut with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra in its third annual concert of patriotic music and fireworks at 7:30 p.m. July 4 at Fort Bliss' Biggs Park. Free. 532-3776, epso.org.

-- "In the Heights" -- UTEP Dinner Theatre tackles the four-time Tony Award-winning musical, which chronicles three days in the life of a working-class Latino neighborhood, on July 5-28 on the under-construction UTEP campus. Tickets go on sale June 4. 747-6060, academics.utep.edu/udt.

-- "All My Sons" -- El Paso Playhouse kicks off its 50th season -- pretty impressive for a community theater operating on a shoestring -- with the Arthur Miller drama directed by Aaron Hernandez. It's July 5-27 at the theater, 2501 Montana. elpasoplayhouse.com, 532-1317.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- The free series features local Latin jazz-funk band Aztec Zodiac at 6 p.m. July 5 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Dancing in the City -- El Paso rockabilly cats Sorry About Your Sister perform at 8 p.m. July 6, with a free rockabilly dance lesson at 7, in the Arts Festival Plaza. elpasotexas.gov/mcad, 541-4481.

-- Arabesque 2013 -- The mother-daughter belly dance duo of Snake Charmer and the Belly Dancer perform and host at their annual hip-shaking showcase July 6 at the Scottish Rite Temple Theater, 301 W. Missouri. Sharon Kihara and Amaya also perform. $15. 691-1938, snakecharmerandthebellydancer.com.

-- Melodies at the Park -- The headliner's still to be determined, but the park isn't. The concert's at 7:30 p.m. July 7 at Veterans Park, 5301 Salem. home.elpasotexas.gov/parks, 544-0753.

-- Black Flag -- Greg Ginn does double duty, opening with his newer band, Good for You (featuring skateboarder Mike Vallely), and closing with a reconstituted version of the '70s punk icons Black Flag at 8 p.m. July 10 at Tricky Falls. $20. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Oklahoma Red Dirt country vets Jason Boland the Stragglers bring their "Dark & Dirty Mile" tour to the State Line's free concert series at 8 p.m. July 10. Take canned food to donate to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Take a trip back to the '80s with Prime, who'll headline a free concert at 6:15 p.m. July 11 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Sunland Park cumbia band La Magiztral Sonora plays the free series at 6 p.m. July 12 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Dancing in the City -- Learn to country dance, then check out New York country band Yarn on July 13 in the Arts Festival Plaza. A free dance lesson will be at 7 p.m., followed by music at 8. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Peter Murphy -- The former Bauhaus frontman is doing only Bauhaus songs on his "Mr. Moonlight" tour, in honor of the pioneering goth rockers' 35th anniversary. It comes to Tricky Falls at 9 p.m. July 14. Ours opens. $22. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Vintage jazz is the specialty of Morry Sochat and the Special 20's, who return to the free series at 7:30 p.m. July 14 at the Chamizal National Memorial. Park. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- State Line Concert Series -- Border country-rock band Dusty Low doesn't get together often -- its members are scattered around the region -- but it will play the free outdoor series at 8 p.m. July 17. Take canned food to donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. 581-3371, countyline.com/statelinemusic.html.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Expect a little jazz, a little R&B when piano man Billy Townes plays at 6:15 p.m. July 18 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. Free. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Texas Tattoo Showdown Festival -- The fourth annual edition of the touring tat and music festival returns July 19-21 to the El Paso County Coliseum. Top inkers will be on hand all three days, while bands such as Three Days Grace and Exodus play July 19, GlassJaw and El Paso's The Royalty on July 20, and New Found Glory and Less Than Jake on July 21. $25 per day; $40 for a weekend pass. ticketmaster.com, texastattooshowdownfestival.com, 533-9899.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Toll Booth Willie, an El Paso band that blends ska, punk and '80s hits, plays at 6 p.m. July 19 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Joe Ely -- After playing an intimate acoustic show at Tricky Falls in April, the Lubbock legend returns to the area with his full band at 8 p.m. July 19 at the Spencer Theater in Alto, N.M., near Ruidoso. $66, $69. 888-818-7872, spencertheater.com.

-- Dancing in the City -- Los Angeles band Samba Society provides the grooves and instructors will give the free samba lessons starting at 7 p.m. July 20 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Lubbock Americana singer-songwriter Jenni Dale Lord plays the free festival at 7:30 p.m. July 21 at the Chamizal National Memorial. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Authority Zero, Ballyhoo! -- Both bands mix punk and reggae. Both have new albums coming out. And both will perform, along with Versus the World, when their two-month "Summer Sickness" stops at Tricky Falls at 8 p.m. July 24. $17. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- Theatre Mitu -- The experimental New York theater troupe presents "Juarez: A Documentary Mythology," a visual art installation, July 25 through Sept. 14 at UTEP's Rubin Center for the Visual Arts. It's described as a "documentary theater piece" and is based on two years of interviews and research in violence-plagued Juarez and in El Paso, often touted as one of the safest cities in the United States. 747-6151, rubincenter.utep.edu.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- El Paso country-rockers the Trailer Band headline at 6:15 p.m. July 25 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. Free. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Those Frontera Bugalu guys get around. First Music Under the Stars, then the State Line, now this free series in the Arts Festival Plaza. They go on at 6 p.m. July 26. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Josh Abbott Band -- The rockin' Lubbock country band seems to get a little more popular each time it plays here. The group returns to Whiskey Dicks at 10 p.m. July 27. $20. whiskeydickselpaso.com, ticketbully.com, 921-9900.

-- Arrival from Sweden -- The ABBA tribute group, which includes some of the quartet's former backup musicians, brings songs like "Waterloo," "Dancing Queen" and "S.O.S" alive, backed by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. They'll perform at 8 p.m. July 27 at the Plaza Theatre. (They also play the Spencer Theater in Alto, N.M., without orchestra, on July 25). $30, $45, $60, $75. 532-3776, epso.org; 231-1100, elpasolive.com.

-- Dancing in the City -- The free series ends with Albuquerque salsa band Ivon Ulibarri & Cafe Mocha on July 27. A free salsa dance lesson is at 7 p.m.; music is at 8. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad.

-- Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist -- We don't know who the winner of the prestigious competition is yet. The final round of the 14th competition isn't until June 8. But whoever wins it, he or she will perform at 8 p.m. July 27 at the Spencer Theater in Alto, near Ruidoso. $59, $25 for 18 and under. 888-818-7872, spencertheater.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- If you can't get enough of Fungi Mungle's period costumes and funky disco nostalgia, check 'em out at 7:30 p.m. July 28 at the Chamizal National Memorial. It's free. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Melodies at the Park -- Blackie Chesher Park at 1100 Zaragoza will host the final installment of the free concert series featuring local acts. No headliner has been announced yet, but the show will be at 7:30 p.m. July 28. 544-0753, home.elpasotexas.gov/parks.

-- "Moving Pictures: Production Art from the Academy Archive" -- The behind-the-scenes talent that enables directors to turn their visions into reality will be the focus of this exhibit organized by the Plaza Classic Film Festival's artistic director, Charles Horak. It will run July 28 through Sept. 8 at the El Paso Art Museum. 533-4020, plazaclassic.org.

-- Decrepit Birth -- Just in case you feel bad about your life, listen to this California death metal band. You'll feel better. Devour the Unborn and Disengorged open their show at 8:30 p.m. July 30 at Tricky Falls. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

August

-- Plaza Classic Film Festival -- How do you top last year's appearance by Al Pacino? You don't try. The sixth annual celebration of movies, stars and filmmakers will be Aug. 1-11 at various locations Downtown, notably the Plaza Theatre. More than 40,000 showed up last year, a record, and they'll probably get close to that with more than 80 movies and other events this year. Special guests haven't been announced yet, but "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Meet Me in St. Louis," a restored version of the silent classic "Thief of Bagdad" (with live organ accompaniment) and the annual outdoor showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" among the confirmed movie titles so far. Individual tickets go on sale in July; VIP passes are $200. 533-4020, plazaclassic.org.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Florida pop-rock singer-songwriter Matt Hires and L.A. indie rockers Family of the Year share the bill for this free concert series at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 1 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Border reggae rockers Radio La Chusma should fill the Arts Festival Plaza when they play a free show there at 6 p.m. Aug. 2. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Bad Rabbits -- This black rock band from Boston has made a name for itself with its frenetic live shows and a debut album, "American Love," that's getting good press. It plays Tricky Falls at 7 p.m. Aug. 2. $8. 351-9938, trickyfalls.com, holdmyticket.com.

-- "All in the Timing" -- Robert Slack directs this production of this series of comedic sketches by Dave Ives that explore life's big questions. Performances are Aug. 2-4 at the El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana. 532-1317, elpasoplayhouse.com.

-- Music Under the Stars -- Bluesy Mississippi jam rockers Rosco Bandana headline the free series at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Chamizal. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Melodies at the Park -- The city's free concert series, with headliner to be determined, showcases Grandview Park, 3200 Jefferson, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4. home.elpasotexas.gov/parks, 544-0753.

-- William Tyler -- In something of a departure for the indie-rock leaning Lowbrow Palace, solo guitarist and sometimes Lambchop member Tyler brings his finger-picking stylings (and songs from his new "Impossible Truth" album), to the tiny Cincy area club at 9 p.m. Aug. 5. $8 in advance, $10 at the door. lowbrowpalace.com.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Local classic rock band Brown Betty is featured in the free concert series at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 8 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- The series continues with Chicago tribute band Windy City at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- Chubby Checker -- The rock 'n' roll legend, 72, may not do "The Twist" the way he used to, but he's still rocking, including an 8 p.m. Aug. 10 show at the Spencer Theater near Ruidoso. $76, $79. spencertheater.com, 888-818-7872.

-- Music Under the Stars -- The 30th season of the popular free series closes with the traditional Noche Ranchera and local mariachi greats Los Arrieros at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Chamizal National Memorial. 541-4481, elpasotexas.gov/mcad; 532-7273, nps.gov/cham.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- El Paso's hip-hop and funk band Ribo Flavin play one of the last installments of the free outdoor concert series at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 15 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Classic rockers Captain Radio play the free series at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- "The Odd Couple" -- El Paso Playhouse veteran Darci Georges directs a female version of the Neil Simon comedy about unlikely roommates. Performances will be Aug. 16-Sept. 7 at El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana. 532-1317, elpasoplayhouse.com.

-- Melodies at the Park -- Armijo Park, 710 E. Seventh, hosts the free series at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18. Headliner TBA. home.elpasotexas.gov/parks, 544-0753.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Team Havana kicks out the salsa jams at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 22 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. Free. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Neal McCoy -- The veteran country singer had his share of radio hits in the 1990s, notably "No Doubt About It" and "Wink," but he's always been known more for his high-energy live shows than for his hits. He plays the Spencer Theater near Ruidoso on two nights, at 8 p.m. Aug. 22-23. $66, $69. spencertheater.com, 888-818-7872.

-- Alfresco! Fridays -- Expect one big salsa party when Team Havana plays the free series at 6 p.m. Aug. 23 in the Arts Festival Plaza. 534-0665, alfrescofridays.com.

-- The Music of Led Zeppelin -- The Zep soundalikes perform "Kashmir," "Stairway to Heaven" and other classics with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Plaza Theatre. $30, $45, $60, $75. 532-3776, epso.org; 231-1100, elpasolive.com.

-- Melodies at the Park -- The final installment of the free concert series is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at Salvador Rivas Park, 12480 Pebble Hills. Headliner to be announced. 544-0753, home.elpasotexas.gov/parks.

-- Cool Canyon Nights -- Fungi Mungle closes out the free mountain-side concert series in what should be an SRO blowout at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 29 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.

-- Fiesta de las Flores -- No headliners have been announced yet for the 62nd annual celebration of Mexican music, food and culture, but the huge Labor Day weekend event should draw more than 20,000. It's Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the El Paso County Coliseum. 533-3730, fiestadelasflores.org.

-- Sun City Music Festival -- David Guetta headlined the city's biggest electronic music event last year. By press time, no headliners had been announced for this year's third annual glow-stick beat bash, which returns Aug. 31-Sept. 1 to Ascarate Park, 6900 Delta, for the second year. Only $100 weekend passes and $140 VIP passes are still available. suncitymusicfestival.com.

Doug Pullen may be reached at dpullen@elpasotimes.com; 546-6397. Read Pullen My Blog at elpasotimes.com/blogs. Follow him on Twitter @dougpullen and on Facebook at facebook.com/dougpulleneptimes.

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