31 WED • MUSIC The Dirtbombs — It’s almost too easy, but keen ears everywhere will want to check out the Dirtbombs on New Year’s Eve. Just off the plane from their successful European tour, a smattering of new songs from their latest release, Dangerous Magical Noise, in tow — one of D-town’s most-loved rock ’n’ roll outfits is home to celebrate the New Year with their peeps. Isn’t that sweet? If you are in the mood for grimy music that makes you want to shake your ass, get thee to this show. And hey, don’t call it garage rock, ’cuz it ain’t. With the Sights and the Cyril Lords. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Call 313-833-9700 for further information.
31 WED • FUN FOR ALL New Year’s Package at the Gem — Help the Historic Gem and Century Theatres commemorate their centennial anniversary with a New Year’s celebration that includes a hodgepodge of chuckles, food and dancing. Guests can enjoy a dinner feast at the Century Grille, dancing with the Ed Wells Jazz Band and entertainment from either the holiday spoof Forbidden Christmas or the much-loved laugh fest Triple Espresso (guests may choose which show they would like to attend). At the Gem and Century Theatres (333 Madison Ave., Detroit). Call 313-963-9800 for more information. $100 per person.
31 WED • ART Surrealism from the Collection of the Museum of Art — To fully appreciate a piece of art, it is best to understand the history behind it. And when a new movement spawns, it is germane to the understanding of the genre that we know the purpose behind its evolution. That is, of course, unless you are talking about Surrealism. By definition, the Surrealist movement is “the absence of reason” and its purpose is irrational. If it has an intention at all, it is simply to explore the subconscious mind. Artists such as Hans Arp, Giorgio di Chirico, André Masson and Max Ernst defined (or did they?) this sentiment. See their works at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 South State St., Ann Arbor). Call 734-764-0395 for further lowdown. Ends Feb. 29, 2004.
2-3 FRI-SAT • MUSIC 10th Annual Anti-Freeze Blues Festival — What with the recent passing of the beloved Clarence Butler, dwindling attendance at blues shows and the sale of the Music Menu, (one of Detroit’s best places to catch the 12-bar boogie), it seems that the local blues scene is in a bit of peril. What better time, then, for a shot in the arm, courtesy of the Detroit Blues Society’s annual Anti-Freeze Blues Festival? And what better way to start it off than with an out-of-the–ordinary, (though chop-infused) blues/rock duo? They are called the Black Keys and their booze-soaked Midwestern sound just might be just the thing to get things rolling. Also appearing on opening night (Friday, Jan. 2) will be Harmonica Shah, Thornetta Davis and the Motor City R&B Pioneers. And on Saturday, Jan. 3, Anti-Freeze performers will include: Chris Duarte, Johnnie Bassett, Pazman’s Super Session, Chef Chris & His Nairobi Trio and Doug Deming & the Jeweltones. One thing is for sure … there will always be the blues. At the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale). Call 248-544-3030 for additional details. Tickets are $20 each night.
6 FRI • ART 12 + 12 — The month of January brings many delights to the Washington Street Gallery. Kicking off the New Year with a very special invitation exhibit, twelve gallery members have each invited a regional artist of their choosing to display a mix of talents. Art lovers can enjoy scads of new pieces, including assemblage art from Jack Summers of Detroit, photography from Rick Lieder of Berkley, glassworks from Marianetta Porter of Ann Arbor, bronze sculpture from Karla Wyss of Kalamazoo and much more. See these works at the Washington Street Gallery (120 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor). Call 734-761-2287 for gallery hours. Runs through Feb. 1, 2004.