Hot Tamales Valentine's Day Art Show
Tempt your sappy sweetie with a romantic art show complete with pinks and reds and lots of kisses and get blissfully tipsy at the same time. Who wants to deal with V-Day, after all, without the comfortable buffer of a beer-filled haze? Local artists Gwen Joy and Elise Mesner will be presenting their Valentine's-themed artwork at 7 p.m. at the Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-2700. As part of the This Week in Art series.
FUN FOR ALL
There's no better time to turn on that animal magnetism 'cause doggie daycare Canine to Five is hosting a singles' night for pet lovers around the metro Detroit area. Love or, pheromones, at least will be in the air, so as Fido and Fidoette canoodle, cozy up to that brown-eyed beauty with the tawny coat. From 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Canine to Five, 3443 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3687. Entry is $8; each dog costs $2. This event will continue every third Thursday of the month.
Celebrating the Italian Automotive Industry
FUN FOR ALL
Think svelte, gleaming bodies and smooth, musky leather. If Valentine's shenanigans have got your engines revving, you could extend the bliss to the evening after. The ever-sexy Ferrari and Maserati cars are being showcased by the Michigan chapter of the Dante Alighieri Society, during a discussion on the Italian auto industry. Speakers include Jeff Cauley, president of Cauley Ferrari-Maserati, and David Zoia, executive news editor of Ward's AutoWorld magazine. At 7 p.m. at Cauley Ferrari-Maserati, 7070 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 586-876-5268; admission is $40.
Detroit pianist Kenn Cox is great to listen to in any context, including his once-a-month-or-so appearances at Baker's Keyboard Lounge. But when he pulls together an unusual lineup for a special show, it's all the more reason to listen up. As part of the Black History Month events at the Detroit Institute of Arts, he's bringing together African drumming and bebop. He performs as part of the DIA's general admission offerings at 6:30 and 8 p.m., 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7900.
Get Lifted has hosted successful parties at Esko and Proof in recent weeks, but it''s the subterranean matchbox environment of Gracie's Underground that feels like the real HQ for this upstart crew of social butterflies, since the tiny Ferndale lounge's mandatory intimacy plays well with the hyperactive, Beatport-assisted stream of progressive and tech-house styles that Get Lifted residents like Ben Scott and Christopher Lee lay down. Their dance music is as immediate as a download or a photo shoot formed from camera phone candids, and in a place as little as Gracie's, it hits your whole body at once. Get Lifted's latest features full sets from Scott and Lee as well as Nicole Finateri. At 10 p.m., 2275 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 248-298-0330; admission is free.
Passion Fruit Slam & Jam
There's nothing like bringing together genres for new fusions. Glam and rock, performance and art ... now erotic poetry and the poetry slam? The Pic-Nap Poetry series' third season gets it on Friday (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.) with the Passion Fruit Slam & Jam, which culminates in a money verse: $100 for the best erotic slam performance. The weekly sets begin with an open mic; resident DJs include DJ Andre Royster, Free Thought and Righteous Knowledge. At Java Exchange, in midtown, 440 Burroughs St., Detroit; 313-822-6456; $5 before 9 p.m., $7 after. More info at www.picnap-poetry.com.
The prestige and promo power of the Jazz at Lincoln Center program make the center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra the nation's most visible Latin jazz outfit. The 18-piece orchestra's instrumental prowess and the deft leadership of pianist Arturo O'Farrill make it one of the best. (To drop names, the sax section includes Bobby Porcelli and Mario Rivera, and Arturo is the son of Latin jazz heavy Chico O'Farrill.) Moreover, the orchestra performs Friday as accompanists to the New York-based Ballet Hispanico. The estimable ballet goes it alone Saturday. Performances both nights are followed by free food tastings from area Latin restaurants and salsa dancing to Latin DJs. Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501. Tickets are $19.50-$55.
The mystique around gypsy jazz icon Django Reinhardt is inescapable. So much so that festivals around the world honor the storied guitarist five decades after his death. This week, Djangofest, the local event first organized by Gino Fanelli of the Gypsy Strings, plays the Masonic Temple. Featured bands include Hot Club of Detroit, Stephane Wrembel's Hot Club of New York and the Joe Summers Trio. At 500 Temple, Detroit; 313-832-2232.
Puff Detroit: Puff Paint Retrospective
Puff paints have evolved beyond rainy day craft projects, and have apparently fueled a new Detroit-based art movement that's titled, shockingly, the "Puff Paint Movement." Puff paint "masters" Sarah Blakeman, Davin Brainard and Jamie Easter present a decade's worth of colorful sculpture-paintings. The swirling, swollen pieces draw inspiration from topics ranging from eating disorders to the Iraq war but maintain a lush, abstract, pokeable look. "(Jackson) Pollock may have invented drip painting, but it wasn't puffy drip painting," said Easter, who's been dubbed the "Pollock of Puff." From 7 p.m. to midnight at Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-2700.
Mardi Gras Concert
Get a jump start on the festivities with a special early bird Mardi Gras concert, presented by the Windsor/Detroit Jazz Club. Bill Meyer and the All Stars which include Detroit's "Mr. N'awlins" Charlie Gabriel on clarinet perform Fat Tuesday-themed jazz and show tunes. Dancing and singing are encouraged (flashing for beads probably not so much). You can bring your own or buy one there. From 3 to 6 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, 19801 Farmington Rd., Livonia; 248-478-0172; $15.
Sundays at Avalon Breads
FUN FOR ALL
Bread is sexy. C'mon. And it's not just the tasty carbs that get us is the mood the whole idea behind a warm piece of bread is delightful. Hell, the band Bread was a hokey love ballad-making machine and alt-country rockers Clem Snide's song "Bread" is quite possibly one of the most innocent and heartwarming love songs written in the last 10 years. And now, the sexiest day of the week, Sunday, will be a little bit sexier because Avalon International Breads, in the Cass Corridor, has decided to open its doors. "It's all about ... our love of the city," says Avalon co-owner Ann Perrault of the decision to go to a six-day week. "Our customers usually run into their friends and family at Avalon. On Sundays, they'll actually have time to talk." Sundays from 7 a.m. to -3 p.m. at 422 W. Willis, Detroit; 313-832-0008. The bakery will still be closed Mondays.
Rickie Lee Jones
Back in the 1970s, Rickie Lee Jones was gracing the Top 40 charts. These days she's no longer topping the charts, which is a shame, because she might just be turning out her best music ever. Her latest release, The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard, will certainly find its way onto music journos' year-end best-of lists the world over. Again. She still cascades and envelopees the listener with her silly sweet voice, but this time she's reflective. Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org