Oakland Ceramics Artist
There's much to applaud about affordable art. And while fine art's often a luxury for people with disposable income, mediums such as ceramics are available to all. Presented by the Oakland Ceramic Artists abstracts, busts, sculptures, reliefs, vessels and tiles will all be available (at shockingly affordable prices) at the City Gallery in the Costick Center. Exhibition ends Friday, Feb. 9, at 28600 W. 11 Mile Rd., Farmington. Call the Cultural Arts Division at 248-473-1856 for more info.
An Evening of Poetry
Oakland University professor and poet Edward Haworth Hoeppner kicks off Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea's newest open mic night. This Thursday, Hoeppner will read from his book, Rain Through High Windows. Afterward, aspiring poets are encouraged to take the spotlight. From 7 to 9 p.m. at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, 106 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-586-9602. Ongoing.
Dad is the singer-actor Leon Bibb, who played the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959. Jazz composer-pianist John Lewis was an uncle, and Paul Robeson was a godfather. Despite the connections, Eric Bibb's folk career has been slow to ignite, though he's been recording since the '70s. But maybe, just maybe, the excellent Diamond Days and the new backing of the blues powerhouse Telarc label will spark wider acclaim. He can power-strum his acoustic and rock hard with minimal accompaniment, but the forte of Diamond Days is his way of singing intimately and soulfully, his way of being uplifting without being sappy. At 7:30; part of the Global Thursdays at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave. (at Schaefer Road), Dearborn; 313-624-0207; theaanm.org. $8 members and students, $10 advance, $12 door.
Georgio "the Dove" Valentino
Fans of hometown art-glamsters the Valentinos will recognize Georgio "the dove" Valentino as the debonair keyboardist with the tall pompadour. But what fans might not know is that Georgio's solo efforts are as elegant as his persona suggests. And the voice? Think Edwyn Collins meets Dean-o at a shvitz with Morrissey. Read more about him in this week's X BOX (p. 24). At the Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991. With Pernicious Knifs and Shadiamond LaFreedom (former Holy Fire).
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Through its various incarnations, the Chicago-based Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has the hand percussion of leader Kahil El'Zabar thumping and pumping, holding things together like a heartbeat no matter how far "out there" the other instrumentalists wail. And the newest lineup has some great wailers for him to anchor: guitarist Fareed Haque, saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and rising star Corey Wilkes on trumpet (who's already scorched his share of Detroit-area stages while being championed by Marcus Belgrave). At 8 p.m. at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999.
Meet the Author: Charlie LeDuff
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Charlie LeDuff will be reading from his book Us Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man a Hemingway-meets-Hunter S. Thompson chronicle of one man's trek across the United States. His mission? To uncover the real role of today's American male. Whether it was hanging with gay rodeo stars or picking a fight with the toughest motha in an Oakland, Calif., biker bar, LeDuff wasn't afraid to seek the truth. At 7 p.m. at the Old Shillelagh, 349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007.
Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit, a penetrating look at medical ethics and practices, is a piece of writing that will stick with you for days. Centered around Vivian Bearing a university professor and scholar of metaphysical poetry who has just been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer the play takes audiences on a brutally realistic journey that tackles ideas of life, death, notions of dignity and the great beyond. As Bearing endures months of seemingly unbearable challenges, it's her extreme metaphysical consciousness and intelligence that makes her plight remarkable if not overwhelming. As part of the Breathe Art Theatre Project, which is an artist's exchange program between Windsor and Detroit. Runs Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Capitol Theatre, 121 University Ave. W., Windsor (519-253-7729; and Fridays and Saturdays Feb.16- March 16 at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third St., Detroit; 313-831-1939.
On the Verge OR the Geography of Yearning
Rather like the way the feminist classic Herland, by Charlotte Perkins, ruffled feathers in the literary realm, Hilberry Theatre's latest opening, Eric Overmeyer's On the Verge or Geography of Yearning, is yet another small step for feminists. Centered around three entirely capable time-traveling Victorian women, On the Verge is a fun sojourn that marries snark and wit with a classic message of triumph. Opens Friday, Feb. 9, at 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit. Call 313-577-2972 for dates and times. Runs until April 7.
FUN FOR ALL
Round two for the event that saw downtown Detroit teem with an energy it hadn't seen in decades: It's Winter Blast again, and just because the whole world isn't in town for the Super Bowl doesn't mean the city isn't poised to knock your socks off. Spanning more than 11 city blocks, Winter Blast will put a pulse back into the heart of the city with cuisine, shopping, live music, champion ice skaters, ice sculptures, a 200-foot snow slide and much more. C'mon, let's keep the momentum going. At Campus Martius (Woodward and Michigan avenues). Visit winterblast.com.
The Frustrations, THTX, the Odd Clouds
Here's a night for the thinking rock 'n' roller. It's punk from the Frustrations, Prog from THTX and skronky noise rock courtesy of Odd Clouds. Here's a night for the forward-thinking music-lovers, the kind that buys beers two or three at a time just to watch the set from beginning to end. Please note: This is a late show, doors at 10:30 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Ying Yang Twins
They're like the Sly & Robbie of crunk. And while Kaine and D-Roc known collectively as Ying Yang Twins seem to strike pop-music gold when they collaborate with today's pop stars, what these guys do most successfully is straddle the Atlanta rap-scene hoopla and the tastemaking with style and aplomb. From Britney to L'il John, who doesn't want to work with these dudes? At the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450.
Show Love: Exhibition of Artwork from Regional Artists
Standing true to their commitment to build bridges across the local art community, the 555 Gallery in Woodbridge opens Show Love, an exhibition of works from more than 20 local artists. The purpose of this exhibition is more than to present beautiful pieces of work; its main purpose is to facilitate an artistic and social exchange between regional artists. Get there. 7 p.m. to midnight at the 555 Gallery, 4884 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-894-4202. $5 suggested donation (no one will be turned away for lack of funds.)
Not so long ago, in a land far, far away, an artist named YongSheng Xuan escaped the brunt of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He became an illustrator of children's books, made a name for himself, hopped a couple of planes and eventually landed in Royal Oak. His colorful, cherubic illustrations dance across the pages of books such as Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend, and The Laziest Boy in the World, and such magazines as Spider and Cricket. In celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year, Xuan will be signing his books and prints at Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190.
FUN FOR ALL/ART
Beer and macramé are an odd but likely combination at Sunday Crafternoons, a monthly event presented by Handmade Detroit at the Woodward Avenue Brewery. Self-described as a "loose collective for people who like to make stuff," the organization is responsible for the popular Detroit Urban Craft Fair. Crafty types from around the metro Detroit area will peddle their wares at this mini art fair. On sale will be handmade clothing, silkscreen posters, zines, jewelry, clothing just about anything vintage-y that'll appeal to the indie-holic. Free and open to the public, Crafternoons will take place on the first Sunday of every month from noon to 4 p.m. at 22646 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3696.
Triple threat ThaT1Guy can bank on the fact that he'll be the most interesting act in town this week. He just finished touring with wacky-yet-wailin' guitar guy Buckethead. Replete with something he calls the Magic Pipe a stainless steel instrument with bass strings, magnetic pickups, an Appalachian handsaw, an electric cowboy boot and a smoke-blower the classically trained upright bass player has taken his consummate knowledge of music and used it to create something completely off-the-wall and listenable. But then again, we'd expect nothing less from a dude who cites Dr. Seuss, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and Rube Goldberg as main influences. At the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555.
Call for Entries: CPOPortunity Showcase
LINE UP TO SIGN UP
Artists will receive an unheard-of 90 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their work at CPOP Gallery's upcoming CPOPortunity Showcase. The exhibition will take place in July, but artists can submit their works via e-mail until Monday, Feb. 19. Judges include Niagara, the Reverend Horton Heat, Ewolf, Chris Dean, Tom Thewes Jr., Topher Crewder, Matthew Martin and Jerry "Vile" Peterson. Visit myspace.com/cpopgallery or call 313-833-9901 for more information. Winner will be announced at an awards reception on Saturday, March 31. The CPOP Gallery is located at 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
Monday • 12
Dir En Grey
Not only did Japan's Dir En Grey once name an album 'Withering to Death,' but these Japanese metal psychos have a song called "Agitated Screams of Maggots," fans from their appearances on MTV2 and the Family Values Tour, and a resident musical masochist in vocalist Kyo who's hospitalized regularly for throat ailments brought on by his inhuman and absolutely terrifying roar. Dudes are metal. At St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-8137. With Fair to Midland.
Thursday • 8
The Vandermark 5
When reedman-composer Ken Vandermark brought his re-fit Vandermark 5 lineup to Detroit in early 2006, he told us that they'd seriously considered
throwing in the towel when Jeb Bishop, the band's longtime trombonist, decided to call it quits. It was either that or make a significant departure, which V5 eventually did by swapping a third horn player for a second string man. That man? He's cellist Fred Longberg-Holm, and on 'A Discontinuous Line,' he helps Vandermark and the rest sketch connections between left of center jazz and the genre's action-painting extremes. Thanks for not quitting, fellas. At Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606.