24 WED • MUSIC: AALY Trio w/Ken Vandermark — If you think all Scandinavian jazz sounds like the pensive Euro-jazz of the ECM label, think again and listen to saxophonist Mats Gustafsson with the AALY Trio. If you think Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark has a sound hard enough to hammer nails with … well, you got that one right. If you suspect the anti-ECM Scandinavians and the avant-Chicagoan just might have something in common, hear Vandermark and AALY team up at the Blind Pig (208 S. First St., Ann Arbor, 734-996-8555)
25 THU • MUSIC: The Buzzards, Les Sexareenos, Del Gators — With a downright savage, organ-driven soul freak-out, Les Sexareenos dominates the rock revival of its Montreal home. It’s “Louie, Louie” on uppers, overdriven testoster-soul and unadulterated, ass-inspiring adrenaline. Be sure to request its theme song, “Everybody Sexareeno!” which fuses the ideals of ’50s dance party and the spirit of ’77 punk. With Detroit’s own overdriven rock sensations, the Buzzards, and Canadian countrymen, the Del Gators, the night will offer a full dose of ear-ringing inspiration. The Lager House is at 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Call 313-961-4668.
26 FRI • MUSIC: Austin Lounge Lizards — Sure, with a lot of bands it might be possible to judge the book by the cover, and if the Austin Lounge Lizards look like a bunch of dopey old lefties who are good for a chuckle, you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. But the band members’ jocund “Hee Haw” exteriors don’t tell the whole story. Since its formation in the ’70s the Lizards have developed a knack for penning off-center politically and socially charged songs that are full of nimble-witted twang and spirited, sardonic humor. This evening at the Ark (316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, 734-761-1451) will be as enlightening as it is lighthearted.
26 FRI • FUN FOR ALL: The Really Good and Funny Show — The name says it all. The Detroit Institute of Art’s Family Friday series presents The Really Good and Funny Show, a collection of vignettes which are really good and funny. They’re written by and for children, but are enjoyable for folks of all ages. Blowing by with cartoonish energy, the show requires audience participation, so you’d better stay on your toes. It’s part of the Family Friday series which takes place at the Detroit Institute of the Arts (5200 Woodward, Detroit, 313-833-7900) the fourth Friday of every month.
27 SAT • MUSIC: Jimmy Smith — Virtuoso, revolutionary, idol. There isn’t a player who better represents the transcendent crossroads of jazz, soul, funk and gospel with more class and cool sophistication than the indomitable Jimmy Smith. There is a decent chance that without Smith the Hammond B-3 organ wouldn’t even be a voice in jazz history (it was a relatively new instrument when he took his post behind it at New York City’s Café Bohemia in the early ’50s) and as its greatest champion, Smith has no peers. For a warm-up to his appearance at The Magic Bag (22920 Woodward, Ferndale. Call 248-544-3030) run out and buy any one of his 80+ releases (especially if you come across any of his collaborations with Wes Montgomery which have become true essentials in the canon of soul). His two sets (7 p.m. and 10 p.m.) will be a chance to bear witness to a bona fide living legend.
27 SAT • MUSIC: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — In the promo for his latest album, No More Shall We Part, Nick Cave tells of his travails through little towns out West that provided fodder for the eerily beautiful song, “God is in the House.” “We’ve lit our town so there’s no place for crime to hide/Our little church is painted white/and in the safety of the night/we all go quiet as a mouse/For the word is out/God is in the house.” Cave may want to pass on a visit to our lovely suburbs when he drops in on the D, where he should find a healthy dose of darkness and debauchery to feed his caustic wit and morbid sense of humor. It’ll be something to see at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward, Detroit. Call 313-961-5450 for more information.
27 SAT • SHOPPING: Michigan Modernism Exposition — As one of the largest shows of its kind, the Michigan Modernism Expo brings together 78 of the nation’s most prominent modernism merchants for two days of some of the sleekest and most stylized kitsch and craft of the 20th century. Works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Herman Miller, Heywood-Wakefield, the Stickleys and Salvador Dali as well as fine examples of other artists from the art deco, art nouveau, prairie, surrealistic and neoclassical schools of design will all be on hand at the Southfield Municipal Complex (on Evergreen at Civic Center Drive, Southfield, 248-398-0030). There will be a $60 preview on Friday, April 26 for the true upper crust of deco devotees. The exposition is open Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 for $8.
30 TUE • MUSIC: Pedro the Lion — What exactly happened to David Bazan, the singer-songwriter who took over the indie-pop world in 1998 with his blend of heartsick lyrics, spacious arrangements and inescapable hooks? Well, just after everyone fell in love with him he started to get a little likable, cultivated a wooly chin beard, got all into Jesus (the stinker Christian scream-o label Tooth and Nail released one of his singles) and just never got out of his mopey rut. Bring your Bible, your Prozac and your indie-kid club card to the Magic Stick 4120 Woodward, Detroit. Call 313-833-9700.