25-28 THU-SUN • ART Artrain USA — As the nation’s only traveling art museum on a train, Ann Arbor-based Artrain USA has chugged its way around America since 1971, bringing visual art exhibitions and programs directly to communities with limited access to museums or collections. Its new exhibition, Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture, uses the work of 54 artists to broaden perspectives and eliminate stereotypes about Native American art. A four-year nationwide tour of as many as 120 communities will begin with a sneak preview in Ann Arbor on Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, March 28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (N.E.W. Center, 1100 N. Main St.). Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 12 and under, and $25 for a family four-pack. Sneak Preview Reception with guest curator Joanna Bigfeather will be held on Thursday, March 25, from 6-8 p.m., $100 per ticket. Call 734-747-8300 for tickets or more information.
26 FRI • MUSIC Andre Williams — Before Detroit designated the Dirtbombs’ front man, Mick Collins, an unofficial sleaze rock/R&B godhead, there was another resident soul man by the name of Andre Williams who donned that badge. Best known for his extreme talents (he co-wrote and produced such ’60s hits as “Shake a Tailfeather” and the irreverent “Bacon Fat”) and for his, ahem, colorful past. Williams’ mid-’90s resurrection from the clutches of drug addiction and his resurgence into the contemporary music scene is nothing short of a miracle. Having recently hooked up with such modern-day worthies as the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the Sadies, this “black Godfather” is one of the few performers whose slick reputation deservedly precedes him. See Williams in a rare D-town appearance with garage-punksters the Cyril Lords and the Peelers. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit); call 313-833-9700 for ticket information.
27 SAT • COMMUNITY Detroit Project Day 2004 — Offering volunteers a broom for one hand and a plate of barbecue for the other, the Motor City Blight Busters and the University of Michigan will make their way to Detroit’s Clarita Park this weekend. Blight Buster’s president John George says that they have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development and other organizations from U-M to demolish three abandoned homes, clean out and board up three more and plant 25 trees and bushes on the blemished street. They also plan to start a mural in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. “This is a fight for a better quality of life,” George says. “I think, it’s an integral part of a neighborhood to be safe, clean and vibrant for a positive environment to raise our children.” To help out with this event, call Blight Busters at 313-255-4355.
27 SAT • THEATER The Children of Abraham Project — Muslim, Jewish and Christian teens from all over metro Detroit have come together to retell the story of Abraham and his two sons Isaac and Ishmael. Created as a way to “make a powerful dramatic statement about the possibility of peace,” this partnership of interfaith activist Brenda Naomi Rosenberg and playwright Rachel Urist homes in on this particular story of faith and worship as a way to explore the similarities that bring religions together and the conflicts that keep them apart. See The Children of Abraham Project at the Aaron DeRoy Theater (6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield). Call 248-788-2900 for ticket information. Tickets are $20; show time is 8 p.m.
30 TUE • MUSIC Birth — It’s no coincidence that fellow Cleveland eccentric Harvey Pekar — of American Splendor fame — is a big fan of Birth. Pekar says the group is “so good, it’s scary.” The Cleveland-bred, Brooklyn-based electro-acoustic trio is right on the edge of electronic experimentation, free jazz and noise-core. And sometimes it is scary, but the melody always kicks in, hair blows back, eyebrows raise, and jaws drop on cue. Consisting of Jeremy Bleich on bass, Joshua Smith on sax, and Joe Tomino on drums — these guys may simply seem like three jazzheads, but when they push the sax, for instance, through an array of guitar pedals and samplers, things change. Birth is all about dynamics, expansion and impact that ebbs and flows with every mind-boggling drum hit. Birth is a sideshow; an electronic jazz oddity so intense, you’ll forget what “free jazz” ever meant in the first place. This is warped jazz. At Detroit Art Space (101 E. Baltimore, Detroit). Call 313-664-0445 or visit www.birthsound.com for details.