Thursday • 23
Counterculture vultures fell in love with the mystical sitar sound of Ravi Shankar back when the Fab Four popularized the instrument in such songs as “Within In Without You” and “Rain.” And recently, the world music icon’s daughter, Norah Jones, made huge waves on the pop charts. But what many may not know is that the influence of this 84-year-old composer, teacher and writer has reverberated throughout the musical world and has been incorporated in many genres from classical to rock ’n’ roll. See the world-renowned Shankar in a rare performance at Hill Auditorium (825 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor); call 734-764-2538 for more information.
Thursday-Friday • 23-24
A self-described, “painter with lyrics,” Andy Friedman’s one-man show consists of slide projections and an onstage monologue that the artist describes as “an introspective ramble.” The 29-year-old author/performance artist explains, “The pictures bring you one way and the stories and poems another, weaving together like words and music in a song.” Experience the show that has hushed crowds at rowdy New York City taverns and wowed music, art and literary audiences. At the College for Creative Studies, located at 201 E. Kirby, Detroit (313-664-7400) on Thursday, Sept. 23, and at the Elbow Room, located at 6 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti (734-483-6374) on Friday, Sept. 24.
Thursday-Sunday • 23-26
Friends and Lovers
Love is seldom as simple as we think it’s going to be, and Eric Jerome Dickey’s Friends and Lovers is the consummate example of that. Based on the best-selling novel, this play follows the escapades of two sets of best friends and the troubles that follow once the lines of decency are crossed. Uncensored, hysterical and incredibly entertaining, this misadventure has all the trimmings of a truly juicy tale: betrayal, seduction, heartbreak and revenge. Friends and Lovers makes a three-day stop in Detroit at the Fox Theatre (2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit); call 313-983-6611 for tickets.
Friday • 24
Drugs, worn-out women, mental hospitals, jail time — you name it, Sonny Vincent’s done it. But what makes this road-weary NYC punk more than a derivative old-school cliché is his ability to churn out an alchemist’s catalog of real-deal rock ’n’ roll. Former frontman of dissonant bands the Testors and Sonny Vincent and the Extreme, this legend has played with everyone from Wayne Kramer to Johnny Thunders. Check him out at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit) with Dead Moon and the Coronados. Call 313-833-9700 for more information.
Friday-Saturday • 24-25
The Detroit guitarist made his name in part by playing with such out-there cats as Roscoe Mitchell and Oliver Lake, but his current direction has a lot to do with the tones and grooves you might associate with Grant Green or Kenny Burrell. He’s justifiably proud these days as he trots out his quartet’s new CD, Soul Steppin’ Through the Fabulous Ruins. Among other laudable qualities, it shows off his novel improvising and his knack for rephrasing and reinterpreting jazz classics and lesser-known gems (by Thelonious Monk and others). And like David Murray, he can be equally inventive in reviving his own compositions of years past. Friday and Saturday at the Harlequin “Jazz” Café, 8047 Agnes St., Detroit. Call 313-331-0922.
Friday-Saturday • 24-25
Spirits Rejoice Weekend
For those who bemoaned that the recent Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival was heavy on old guard and missing the avant-garde, here’s music to restore the cosmic balance. Friday has the bleeding-edge supergroup Fire into Music (Jemeel Moondoc, William Parker, Hamid Drake and Steve Swell — who’ve played with folks from Cecil Taylor to Peter Brotzmann) sharing the bill with local legend Faruq Z. Bey and his Conspiracy Winds Trio. Mark Helias — bassist for the likes of Don Cherry and Ray Anderson — headlines Saturday with his group Open Loose (with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey). Mike Khoury, Piotr Michalowski and Len Bukowski (collectively known as Close Embrace of the Earth) warm up the crowd for Open Loose. Concerts are at 8:30 both nights at the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn. Call 313-845-9676.
Saturday • 25
2nd Annual Broken Clock Festival
What separates experimental musicians like Roger Hayes and Frank Pahl from their contemporaries is a remarkable ability to make their music relevant. While guitarist Hayes uses effects and delays to paint an aural picture, Frank Pahl — a master of the homemade instrument — reminds listeners that limiting the term “music” to that which is easy and comfortable is both unnecessary and unwise. See and hear these truly unique musos at the 2nd Annual Broken Clock Festival at the Zeitgeist Gallery (2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit); call 313-965-9192 for more info.
Saturday-Sunday • 25-26
2nd Annual Life Affirming Rock ‘n’ roll Garage Sale
The savvy garage saler already knows where to find the best deals on furniture, knick-knacks and the occasional used microwave; but even the most dedicated resale rooter might not know that the 2nd Annual Life Affirming Garage Sale — a garage sale hosted by local rock ’n’ roll musicians — is the place to find things that are truly cool. You’ll find records, instruments, equipment, movies, books and vintage clothing — all for pennies on the dollar. And who knows? You just might run into one of your favorite local rockers! Vendors include members of the Paybacks, the Sirens, Back in Spades, Nice Device and more. At 418 E. Cambourne (east of Wooward, north of 9 Mile Road) in Ferndale.
Sunday • 26
Ann Arbor Organic Tastefest
When you make a trip to your local grocery store to buy produce, you might be bringing home a lot more than just veggies — pesticides and other harmful chemicals might be making their way to your dinner table. Organic farmers have warned against this invisible danger for years now, and this weekend they will be offering a healthy alternative to mass-grown goods. Vendors from across the country will make their way to Ann Arbor for an organic taste fest — a celebration of organic food, products and farmers. In downtown Ann Arbor at the Farmers Market; call 734-769-9841 for more information. There will be live music from the Ambitious Brothers (bluegrass) at 10:30 a.m. and blues piano from Al Hill at noon.