In the ’zona 

No, it’s not a disaster of biblical proportions. It’s a New Year’s miracle.

The
BCS-bound Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Insight Bowl-relegated
University of Oklahoma Sooners play just four days apart in Arizona
suburbs, and on a holiday weekend, no less!

With
the sting of Bedlam behind us (I tip my cap in congratulations to you
Pokes), might I suggest we join forces to paint Phoenix reddish — some
odd mix of Sooner crimson and Cowboy orange?

If you’re game for a good time, then nab this handy list of goings-on in the Phoenix area between bowl games.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party
Saturday
Mill Avenue District, Tempe
fiestabowl.org
$20

Who said your team has to be in the game to join the festivities?

One
Andrew Jackson buys you access to one of the biggest party town’s
biggest parties of the year. This 28th installment is amped up by the
addition of a BMX bike demonstration and electronic dance music stage.

Hometown boys the Gin Blossoms also will help ring in 2012 with a show starting at 10:30 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” 
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday
U.S. Airways Center
201 E. Jefferson, Phoenix
usairwayscenter.com

$62.25-$265.25

Ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show?

Guarantee
that it doesn’t compare to one inspired by the late King of Pop’s
double-album’s worth of No. 1 hits and a truckload of improbable dance
moves. This crazy show stops in Tulsa in February, but never will make
its way to the 405. Now’s your chance.

Kevin Nealon
7:30 and
9:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9 Saturday

Tempe Improv Comedy Club
930 E. University, Tempe
tempeimprov.com

$20

Like to laugh? Comedy vet Kevin Nealon
(also known as Franz, one half of “Saturday Night Live”’s Arnold
Schwarzenegger-inspired duo Hans and Franz) brings his years of
experience to Tempe Improv on Friday and Saturday, for two sets each.
Once The Subliminal Man, his topical humor changes as events are
current.

Meat Puppets
8 p.m. Saturday
Clubhouse Music Venue
1320 E. Broadway, Tempe
clubhousemusicvenue.com
$25

It would appear that
Tostitos’ official block party headliners Gin Blossoms have some
competition for the best New Year’s Eve local show.

Hillbilly
punks Meat Puppets came up in the ’80s through SST Records’ stable of
noisy, DIY acts, becoming known for their wild shows and a certain lack
of fear for pissing off their audience. Thirteen albums and two reunions
in, they’ve scaled it back a little.

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