Al Young, Melba Joyce Boyd, Geoffrey Jacques
Poet Al Young references the centuries-ago East with a love of music so naturally that you can imagine Li Po dropping wisdom with the Blakey band. The poet-novelist-essayist-memoirist returns home from California (where, by the way, he's the state's poet laureate) to share stage time with poets Melba Joyce Boyd, who's head of Wayne State University's Africana Studies Department, and Geoffrey Jacques, a former Detroiter whose major collection, Just for a Thrill, was published last year by Wayne State University Press. All three will make their words swing in collaboration with the Kenn Cox Trio, featuring bassist Marion Hayden. Wayne State University General Lectures Auditorium (at Warren and Anthony Wayne Drive), Detroit. Free. For info, call 313-577-2321.
Whole Wheat Bread
"Dirty South Punk Rock" is the tagline for this three-man Jacksonville, Fla., punk/crunk hybrid. Its poppy 2005 debut, Minority Rules, drew influence from Green Day and Metallica to Bone Crusher and Lil' Jon. Yow. Known for overstepping cultural constraints with its humorous take on stereotype, Whole Wheat Bread is frenetic, frequently shirtless, and featured as part of the Murder State Mayhem Tour with Against All Authority, the Summer Obsession and Rory. 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665.
Fashion Fest II
Supermodels are to rock stars what studded sequins are to acid-washed denim. It looks good, at least temporarily. In that time-tested vein (OK, it's a stretch), models will strut the catwalk as Junecast, asecondtoolate, Frank White and Kissy Face Fashion Faux~Pas rock it. The fashion show will feature latest styles from Detroit designer Angie McBride and others. DJs will spin dance music between sets. Doors at 7:30 p.m., and the show begins promptly at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick; 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665. $10 cover.
FUN FOR ALL
Auto heads have been counting down days to Detroit's 54th annual Autorama, an exhibition put on annually by the Michigan Hot Rod Association. Think Richard Pryor's Greased Lightning and you might imagine a fraction of the engineering and artistry that goes into these cars. Contenders for the "Ridler Award" given to the most creatively souped-up ride (with names like "Devilfish" and "Venturian" and "Top Banana") have feverishly worked year-round to show off their rods. It's cute. At Cobo Center, One Washington Blvd., Detroit; 248-373-2700. Children, $5; adults, $16.
Detroit City Blues Festival
No backyard barbeque pentatonic scale-wanking bluesmen here: this week's Detroit City Blues Festival is the real deal. Take a gander: Shirley Brown, Marvin Sease, Theodis Ealey, Latimore, Mel Waiters, Bobby Blue Bland and "Chicken Heads" man Bobby Rush not only perform the blues, they've lived it. See, blues is experience. 4 and 8:30 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-3500. Tickets are $47.50-$55.
Michigan Lesbian and Gay Comedy Fest
Featured on the evening's roster of queer comedians (all of whom are Californians) is actress Carlease Burke, who in addition to doing stand-up has been seen in big studio releases like The Terminal and In Her Shoes. Sabrina Matthews, who has a half-hour Comedy Central special and is known for anecdotal accounts of the absurd, will also perform. Other performers include Nico ("I'm Asian and I'm gay") Santos, and the downright droll Karen Ripley. The event is hosted by the Triangle Foundation, a Michigan advocacy group for the GLBT community. 6 and 9:30 p.m. at Ford Community and Performing Arts Center; 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-943-2350. Tickets are $30.
Road reports from Justin Timberlake's traveling extravaganza: The can't-miss kid kills on 20-minute versions of "What Goes Around"; he brings Timbaland out to bust moves on an MPC; and a full band inflates the jams from FutureSex/LoveSounds and Justified to sizes that match or exceed the arena rock-sized star himself. Seems the "bad idea" gene's gone from Timberlake's DNA. He's incapable of failure, and that's another reason to hate (love) him. For his "FutureSex" encore, he'll nurse a puppy back to health and treat your mother to dinner. Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Dr., Detroit; 313-983-6606; $53-$151. Barrel-lunged badass, Pink, to open.
All roads lead to MySpace, or so it seems from this latest CPop incarnation. The gallery launched an online open call for artists of any media and experience level to submit their work, and more than a hundred responded. In all, 70 artists from around the globe will present their sculptures, paintings and photographs and will receive an unheard-of 90 percent artist's cut from the sale of their work. A jury of artists, musicians and local scenesters will select four participants to present a larger body of work in the July CPOPportunity Showcase; a fifth will be chosen by exhibit attendees. Opening reception is 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10. (Side note: Winners from the judging will be announced on Saturday, March 31.) At 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9901.
St. Patrick's Parade
FUN FOR ALL/HOLIDAY
Sabbath or not, the 49th annual St. Patrick's Parade jigs its way down Michigan Avenue this Sunday. Themed "From Famine to Fortune, the Celtic Tiger" a commemoration of the recent Irish economic boom this year's parade will feature (of course) green-clad street entertainers, Gaelic societies, floats and marching bands in early tribute to St. Paddy himself. While you're there, make sure to shout out the Jameson-soaked aphorism of your choosing; this is the one day you'll not get the eye roll. The parade begins at 2 p.m. in the historically Irish Corktown district in Detroit; for more information, contact the United Irish Societies at 313-963-5745.
The whimsical innocence of the Harry Potter franchise may have taken a nosedive when close-ups of 17-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe's "Firebolt" (read: cock) circulated the Web. You can, however, help your poor, traumatized children recapture the magic during Fairy Tales, an Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra production. The program includes music from the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone plus Tchaikovsky's "The Sleeping Beauty" and Prokofiev's "Cinderella." At 4 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-668-8480. Children, $5, adults, $12.
Craft for a Cause
You can play philanthropist while painting pottery at this fundraiser for Alternatives for Girls, a southwest Detroit-based nonprofit that provides safe shelter, guidance and support for high-risk young women. "Craft for a Cause" projects include mosaic-building and jewelry-making, and start at $15. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Creative Arts Studio; 114 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-544-2234.
Kenny Millions Tech Jazz
He left Detroit decades ago as Keshavan Maslak, a saxophonist steeped in the city's Slavic community and turned on by Motown and jazz. After college, he traveled and recorded widely (50-plus discs), decamping for spells to dig the New York loft jazz scene in the '70s and the European jazz scene of the '80s before settling in southern Florida. That's where he now serves up food and music as a restaurant-club owner. Along the way, he renamed himself Kenny Millions, worked with artists from Sam Rivers to Laurie Anderson, and he comes back to Detroit (at last) for what he calls "a one-man show of jazz, DJ mixes and freedom." At the Buzz Bar, 546 E. Larned Ave., Detroit; 313-962-1800. Please note: Millions will also perform on Tuesday, March 13, at Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606.
Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org