20 WED • ART Masterworks in Chinese Painting — This comprehensive overview of Chinese painting spanning from the 12th to 20th centuries graces the University of Michigan for a mere seven more weeks. Darkened by time, but transcendently evocative, these silk paintings and hanging scrolls reward special attention as they reveal delicate brushstrokes and marvelous reflections of their artists’ imaginations. Landscapes from the Ming and Ch’ing periods, and later portraitures document evolution, both political and human, and its symbiotic relationship to nature; check it out at the U-M Museum of Art (525 S. State St.) Ann Arbor. Call 734-764-0395 for museum hours.
21 THU • ART The Bones of Clouds — The world is alive with the feel of … chance — chance operations as promoted by grandmaster-composer John Cage; and chance gambits and strategies used by painters, performance artists, writers, jazz improvisers, et al. Creative juices, spiced with indeterminacy and intuition, are surging in today’s art scene; and a project curated by Metro Times art writer Glen Mannisto at Center Galleries — "The Bones of Clouds: Some Recent Experiences of Chance" — confronts these issues head-on. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 21, with a lecture by New York poet-art critic Marjorie Welish (7:30 p.m. in the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium, Walter B. Ford Bldg., College for Creative Studies), and kicking off a month-long exhibition on Friday, Nov. 22 with a roll of the dice (6-8 p.m.), "The Bones of Clouds" explores "the multiple implications of chance." In addition to exhibiting many out-of-towners, this show (running through Dec. 21,) features work by area artists Robert Andersen [film still from Untitled (Bed Piece) pictured], Susan Goethel Campbell, Jane Lackey and Ronald Warunek. A Saturday, Nov. 23 symposium, "Artists, Writers and Scholars on Chance" (1-5 p.m. in the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium), takes the discussion into multiple corners of the unexpected. Center Galleries is at 301 Frederick Douglass (between John R and Brush), Detroit. All events are free. Call 313-664-7800 for more information.
23 FRI • MUSIC The Gloria Record — Former members of the emo band Mineral, the Gloria Record has taken long, progressive steps towards songwriting exquisiteness. Frontman Chris Simpson’s vocals ring effortlessly, and his sometimes-falsetto voice calms waking beasts. Their new record, Start Here, produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes and Lullaby for the Working Class), harnesses a pleasing marriage of vocals to instrumentation; and touting a set of pipes that will make young girls cry, Simpson melts hearts. Songs such as "Cinema Air" and "I Was Born in Omaha" have all the markings of truly beautiful musical poetry, and the path they have embarked upon looks like a long one. The Gloria Record will be here for your listening pleasure on Saturday Nov. 23 at the Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit). Call 313-961-4668 for further lowdown.
24 SUN • MUSIC Benefit for Trent Mitchell — The fusionoid explorers in Jazzhead regroup and gather some of their sharpest contemporaries. The reason is to raise money for medical bills and rehab for the group’s bassist, Trent Mitchell, who suffered a stroke in August. Friends are lending their sharpest riffs and licks: edgy-hard bebop from the Philharmonic Quartet; power funk from Soul Clique; populist modernism from Straight Ahead; and salsa, merengue and Afro-Cuban stylings from Orquestra La Inspiracion. This event is the perfect way to say "thanks.". Admission is $5 from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Music Menu Café, 511 Monroe, Detroit. Call 313-964-6368.
27 WED • MUSIC Night Before Thanksgiving Bash with the Paybacks, Easy Action and the Sights — The stellar of the stellar, this evening would be hard pressed to match musically. Headlined by that "ugly little rock band" the Paybacks, who have sadly but amicably split with original lead guitarist Marco Delicato, this evening is the best way to (ill) prepare yourself for the following days’ familial dealings. Regarding the break up, the band told us, "Put quite simply, Marco isn’t interested in touring, but the rest of the Paybacks are." He will be missed by both the band and fans alike. (Note: taking temporary replacement will be the Fags frontman, John Speck.) With openers such as the beloved Easy Action (John Brannon of Negative Approach) and the much-anticipated homecoming of the Sights, who will have just completed the first leg of their U.S. tour, this, my dears, is a rock show. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward), Detroit. Call 313-833-9700 for further information.