Wednesday June 22
Chick Corea and Touchstone
Renowned jazz pianist Chick Coreas 40-year career is impressive enough, but when he blasts into Ann Arbor this weekend, there are even more reasons to pay attention. With flutist-saxophonist Jorge Pardo and a couple other recruits from flamenco wizard Paco de Lucias band in tow, Coreas new quintet will revisit compositions from his 1982 Spanish-themed album, Touchstone. Who knows where else Coreas eclectic genius will take this group? 8 p.m. at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538.
Thursday June 23
Were avid supporters of independent filmmaking at Night & Day, but when a movie is locally produced, were all the more hopeful. Thats why wed like to draw your attention to local moviemaker Josh Corbins indie picture Trespass. The film tells the story of a tightly knit group of friends who set out on a summer camping trip in the backwoods of northern Michigan. When the group comes across an abandoned cabin and a mysterious man of the woods, the suspense ensues. Premieres at 7:45 p.m. at the Main Art Theatre, 118 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-263-2111. Tickets are $5.
This quartet blew doors at this years SXSW, and made it to No. 9 on Blenders Top 20 Songs You Must Download list. With high cheekbones and hard riffs, they work up enough sexual tension to put the flutter under the skirts of pubescent girls. They have the songs to bend the ears of anyone clinging tightly to old Thin Lizzy records and Urge Overkill CDs, and their harmonies are smoother than the Killers. Theyre young, loud and not-so-snotty, and they call the Bronx home. Theyre Diamond Nights, and they have the model-shtupping image and sing-along sound of the future. Dont believe us? Then go out and get the bands debut, the Once We Were Diamonds EP. And dont hold Bowies Diamond Dogs and Nick Gilders City Nights against them, please. That would be gauche. Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313 961-4668.
If you want to read Nick Schillaces masters thesis, John Fahey and American Primitivism: The Process of American Identity in the 20th Century, you can download all 249 pages from his Web site (nickschillace.com; click musicologist on the bio page). If youd rather hear his own finger-picking take on the matter and the master, listen to his new CD or hear him at the release gig. Steeped in the earlier blues and folk of players like Bukka White, the late Fahey created his own style, extending their work. Schillace, also known for his guitar work in indoor park and Big Lake Trawler, ably picks up Faheys torch in Box Canyon (American Sketch Records). Schillace shares the bill with Scavenger Quartet, who have their own new disc, the eccentrically endearing We Who Live on Land, to tout. 9 p.m. at Xhedos Café, 240 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; call 248-399-3946. $5, all ages.
Lets be honest, the typical summer festival is a bustling orgy of sweaty people in cargo shorts and sandals. But downtown Pontiacs JAMbalaya festival featuring blocks and blocks of mouthwatering barbecue, Cajun and seafood from 17 local eateries, as well as three days of seriously smokin musical acts smacks of a bona fide Nawlins to-do with spicy vittles and street beat fun. A Night & Day fave old-school Detroit soul rockers Black Merda will make a rare appearance at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. Other notable acts include the Average White Band, Koko Taylor and Zydecrunch. Downtown Pontiac; call 248-334-4600 or visit pontiacfestivals.com for schedule details.
Saturday June 25
Live as Fuck
The lull after last months Fuse-In Festival unofficially lifts Sunday. Rising Detroit promotions crew AOD (Arsenal of Democracy) is bringing the Advent and its dark-wave techno action to town. Originally from the Portuguese island of Madeira (off the northeast coast of Africa), Cisco Ferreira launched the Advent as a duo in London in the early 1990s. Now a family man based in Lisbon, Ferreiras one-man electro army still cranks its music live, hard and evil, turning dancing bodies into spastic elastic. Also on the bill is SCAN 7, a masked Detroit group thats been inflicting sonic pain and pleasure since the 1980s. The show is aptly titled Live as Fuck, and includes Detroit tech-house legend Mike Huckaby with WLA Garcia and Josh Surma. At the Fi-Nite Gallery, Fifth Floor of the Cary Bldg., 229 Gratiot Ave., Detroit. For details call AOD at 313-258-0091. Limited capacity. Advance tickets for $20 at Detroit Threads, 10022 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-872-1777.
Lizz Wrights musical training includes gospel, choral and a little bit of opera. Her repertoire includes material from artists as diverse as Fats Waller and Neil Young. The comparisons in her press clippings range from Anita Baker to Billie Holiday, not to mention the obvious Cassandra Wilson, who paved the way for an eclectic, inclusive approach to the jazz repertoire. And thats not to talk about her knock-em-dead interpretations. Her first two CDs (Salt and Dreaming Wide Awake, both on Verve) leave you wondering what shell be like when she really hits her stride and anxious to listen in while she finds it. With Teddy Thompson at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587.
Dysfunctional family values take over the Power Center when everyones favorite cartoon clan, the Simpsons, meets Shakespeares most misguided protagonist, Macbeth. Starring the multi-talented Rick Miller, this dead-nuts multimedia spectacular will feature impressions of more than 50 voices from The Simpsons in a version of Macbeth that were told remains 85 percent true to the Bards original script. Leaves audiences exhausted with laughter, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says. 8 p.m. at 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor. 734-764-2538.
South African poet Willie Kgositsile once wrote, When the moment hatches in times womb there will be no art talk. The only poem you will hear will be the spear point pivoted in the punctured marrow of the villain ... therefore we are the last poets of the world. Thats where the NYC-based Last Poets copped their name back in the 1960s. Still at it, the proto-rappers join hip-hop and soul act the Black Bottom Collective and the Detroit Poetry All-Stars to raise money for the Afrocentric Black Star Community Bookstore, which has experienced serious financial challenges over the past few months. Keep the arts alive at Wayne State Universitys Community Art Auditorium, Cass Avenue at Kirby Street, Detroit. Call the Black Star Community Bookstore at 313-863-2663 for tickets.