20 FRI • MUSIC Pub Life — If you are looking for an evening of toe-tapping good times and smiles, then stay the hell away. This is Pub Life and they have no intentions of making you happy. It is punk rock for punks, songs for the anti-anthemics and a fistful of dirt in the face for your trouble. You’ve seen their stickers plastered on the walls of every bar, restaurant and music venue in the city — yep, it’s those guys. A little rough for the wear and clearly sporting cocky smirks and specks of gray in their receding, once-was-liberty spikes, they will scream songs like "I Hate the Beatles" — and they will mean it. Ahhh, just like the old days. With special guests Feast or Famine, the Ratfinks, Random Axe of Terror and Blackout. At Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit). Call 313-831-4577 for more information.
20 FRI • LINK: Motor City Breakdown — Anyone in need of yet another dose of the city’s crème de la musique can find their way to the conclusion of this year’s LINK — the four-part reintroduction of CAID (Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit). Graced by The Fondas (Sympathy for the Record Industry) Dabrye (Ghostly International) Pas/Cal (Le Grand Magistry) and Denise James (Rainbow Quartz), this portion of LINK called the Motor City Breakdown, will offer up some of the most truly sophisticated sounds to come out of Detroit this year. Reminding us of the grace that can come from thoughtful tunes, this event is sure to satisfy any music purist. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward, Detroit). Call 313-833-9700 for more information.
20-21 FRI-SAT • MUSIC Spencer Barefield Quartet — Toronto bassist Dave Young knows guitarists, having performed and recorded with fellow Canadian Ed Bickert, Kenny Burrell and the late Joe Pass to name a few. In recent years, he’s built a special rapport with Detroit string-slinger Spencer Barefield. The two of them jump-start their collaborations this weekend with Young as a special guest in Barefield’s group, which also includes in-demand drummer Djallo Djakate Keita and saxophonist Dave McMurray, whose résumé includes work with the Rolling Stones, Was (Not Was), Albert King and Detroit’s erstwhile sci-fi jazz band, Griot Galaxy. At the Harlequin Café in Detroit’s Indian Village, 8047 Agnes. Call 313-331-0922. (The same quartet line reconvenes at the Harlequin New Year’s Eve.)
22 SUN • Annual CowJob Brewers Christmas Party— Embarking on their 7th year of "basement-style" beer making, the boys of CowJob Brewers have a reputation for generosity. Throwing annual parties that laud handfuls of noise and zoning infractions courtesy of the Royal Oak Police Department, CowJob has moved their party/rock show headquarters to Detroit. Creator Eric Hermann, Scott Addison and Shawn Donelley (not pictured, as he is lovingly watching over from the great brewery in the sky) have garnered a standing that has far surpassed that of beer makers. Lifelong friends and connoisseurs of all-things rock and libation, the CowJob Brewers offer another installment of yummy beer (past favorites include the Dan’s Bitter and Memori-Ale) and rock ’n’ roll for your listening pleasure. Peter Torque, Scotty Karate, Doctor Peepers and Santana Claws will perform. At the Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit). Call 313-961-4668 for further lowdown. This year’s beer comes courtesy of Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn of the Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. Call 586-979-8361 for all brewing inquiries.