It’s possible that singer-songwriter Patty Griffin has inspired more young ladies to pick up the guitar than Dolly, Emmylou and Joni combined. The ethereal performer, whose musical offerings range from the femme folkiness of 1996’s Living with Ghosts to the sullen maturity of her latest album, 1000 Kisses, is an underground treasure. Her on-the-verge-of-tears voice coupled with stylistic guitar work make her one of the most interesting and endearing solo artists today. At the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-668-8480.
Thursday • 28
Make no mistake, the Voodoo Organist is exactly what you’d expect from a feller who goes by such a weird handle. The one-man gothic-punk-blues explosion — who happens to be the alter-ego of L.A. musician Scott Wexton — has been touring the United States for two years, spreading his own gritty blues “gospel” along the way. San Francisco’s SF Weekly describes him as “equally inspired by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hasil Adkins, and space-pop pioneer Jena Jacques Perrey.” Get saved (or creeped out) at the Elbow Room, 6 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti; 734-483-6374.
Friday • 29
ViViD/FaDeD:The Rememory Project
For five years, Detroit’s own Girlee Collective — a local artists’ group dedicated to celebrating the unique talents of female artists — has been bringing interesting female-made works to the masses. This month, the feminist organization brings ViViD/FaDeD:The Rememory Project to the Biddle Gallery. The exhibit is an artful examination of the word “memory.” Highlights include ink, cloth and wax works by designer Sarah Abend, and mixed-media on canvas works by Tara Hackett. Artists’ reception is 7-10 p.m. at 2840 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-281-4779. Ends May 31.
Friday • 29
Jesus Hopped the A Train
A portrait of crime and punishment, faith and morality, playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the A Train will open at 1515 Broadway, presented by the African Renaissance Theater of Detroit. The tale is set in New York’s Rikers Island prison, and tells the story of two inmates who await execution while struggling with issues of religious faith and justice. Ubiquitous Detroit theater guy Oliver Pookrum, of Buku Productions, produces, directs and co-stars. The play runs April 29 to May 30, at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20, with student and group rates available. At 1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-333-1444.
Friday • 29
Contemporary Michigan Sculpture
This week, the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center takes a break from the teaching and focuses on the fruits of a solid art education. This Friday, April 29, the BBAC will celebrate the opening of its latest exhibit, Contemporary Michigan Sculpture. The installation is a homegrown exhibition of modern sculpture and features such local artists as Jeri Hollister, Louis Marinaro, Tom Phardel, Sharon Que and others. Artists’ reception from 6-8 p.m. at 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd., Birmingham; 248-644-0866. Free and open to the public.
Saturday • 30
When the crew from Electric Avenue throws an event, it’s time to turn the power on, baby. The Detroit-based underground dance promoters have an equal-opportunity booking policy: They program local and international drum ’n’ bass, electro, techno and house music of the highest quality, meant to make everybody rock. And hard. Some of the past club nights have featured Buzz Goree, Rob Hood and SCAN 7 (all have ties to Underground Resistance), John Tejada (Palette, Plug Research), T. Linder (Detroit Techno Militia) and DJ T-1000 (aka Alan Oldham). Electric Avenue presents the second of four planned fundraisers for Corktown Tavern, recently re-opened after a fire but still in need of a new sound system and other equipment. The party is called, fittingly, Resurrection. Expect two floors to be going wild from 10 p.m. to who knows? The talent includes Darkcube, MD!, Matt Clarke and Justin Kruse (all upstairs); and Jeremy Grace, The Machinist, Suburban (Live) and J Money, downstairs. Cover is $10. At 1716 Michigan, Detroit; 313-964-5103.
Saturday-Sunday • 30-1
Longtime raw-foodist Sister Zahkah comes to the Black Star Community Bookstore this week to extol the virtues of uncooked grub. The author’s latest book, The Joy of Living Live, examines the nutritional benefits of eating live foods and even offers a few yummy recipes to help hungry health nuts satisfy their cravings. Zahkah will have a presentation and book signing from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, and will host a Raw Foods Preparation Class ($20 advance registration required) from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday May 1. At 19410 Livernois, Detroit; 313-863-BOOK.
Sunday-Monday • 1-2
Baker’s 71st Anniversary with Lonnie Smith
When he took over Baker’s Keyboard Lounge some years back, John Colbert established it as the place where you could always drop in, chow down and listen up. But he’s made the place so successful that sometimes you have to wait in line to get in — or even to buy a ticket in advance, which is recommended this weekend when Hammond B3 maestro Dr. Lonnie Smith helps celebrate Baker’s 71st anniversary. In the words of that great jazzman Adam Smith, supply and demand swings the scene, baby. Smith appears with local hotshots Perry Hughes on guitar and Sean Dobbins on drums. Two shows a night, $10 per show. 20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 48221; 313-345-6300.
DIA Sends Visitors to Holland
FUN FOR ALL/ART
The Detroit Institute of the Arts is currently exhibiting work from 17th century Dutch master painter Gerard ter Borch. So what goes together like springtime and Dutch masters? Tulips. To celebrate the exhibit and the blossoming spring season, the DIA is holding a contest to send one lucky winner to Holland — Holland, Michigan — for the city’s annual Tulip Time Festival, May 7-14. The winner will receive tickets for the final day of the festival, a one-night stay at the Holland Holiday Inn, and dinner for two at a local restaurant — retail value of the package: $350. Entry forms can be submitted at the Woodward entrance of the museum until May 1 — and be sure to check out ter Borch’s works while you’re there. 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7971.