316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1451; theark.org
The Ark's world-class performers are always pushing the definitions of folk music: whether it's strumming a plaintive folk song that almost makes you weep, or fusing modalities from different cultures to create a sound so hypnotic the audience just has to get up and groove. Now in its 51st year as a crucial part of the area's cultural landscape, the Ark shows no sign of slowing down. This year's Ann Arbor Folk Fest — a fundraising vehicle for the storied venue — featured absolutely killer sets by Richard Thompson and Yo La Tengo. Huzzah!