Images from Detroit's Cass Corridor
Surrounded by the worst kind of urban blight, an intimate community of artists flourished in Detroit's Cass Corridor. This documentary by Kathryn Brackett Luchs and Shaun Banget features the perspectives and reminiscences of many of the Cass Corridor artists from the 1960s and 1970s. A 9:30 p.m. screening will be held at Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit.
Detroit Artists Workshop Reunion Reading
It seems like we just got over that that big, days-long bash celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Artists Workshop. But doing our research, we see that it's been three years since we last celebrated that big-bang beginning of all things counter-cultural in the Motor City. So a single evening of rowdy reminiscing seems acceptable under the poetic statute of limitations. Founding workshop members George Tysh, Bill Harris, Ron English, Robin Eichele, James Semark and Ken Mikolowski are to appear, plus New York jazz poet Barry Wallenstein backed by the Magic Poetry Band. Free at 7:30 p.m. at the Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
Anita Baker at the Cars & Stars Benefit
Sultry songstress Anita Baker will perform during Ford Motor Company's Cars & Stars Benefit, raising money for the Music Hall's master classes in music, theater and dance. Baker herself will teach master classes during the 2007-2008 season. This hometown performance, her first in three years, kicks off her national tour. Tickets to the black-tie event are $65-$120. At the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
Friday-Saturday • 8-9
Second annual Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music
“This boy was definitely out to lunch — same place I eat at,” George Clinton once said of big-band leader Sun Ra, who was decades into the music-as-space probe and music-as-myth things before the P-Funk Mothership rolled onto the launch pad. Some 14 years after Ra’s death, his loooong-time saxophonist Marshall Allen leads an edition of Ra’s arkestra stocked with such luminaries as trumpeter Michael Ray, drummer Luqman Ali and saxophonists Danny Thompson, Charles Davis and Noel Scott. That’s just the top of Friday night’s bill for the second annual gathering of free, fringe and freaky jazz and improv at Boho House. Also appearing Friday: the trio of Noah Howard, Hakim Jami and Bobby Kapp; Raw Truth (Michael Carey, Skeeter Shelton, Ali Colding, Greg Cook), Thollem McDonas (solo piano) and the Faruq Z. Bey Quintet (with Anthony Holland, Kenny Green and Ali Colding). Doors at 6:30 p.m. The trio of Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter and Andrew Barker headline Saturday, June 9. Also on that bill: Engines (David Rempis, Nate McBride, Tim Daisy); the quartet of Hakim Jami, Salim Washington, Pam Wise and Sean Dobbins; the trio of Lotte Akers, Gerald Cleaver and Craig Taborn; Triochrome (Charles Waters, Andrew Barker, Nate McBride); Kyle Bruckman’s Wrack; Spectrum 2 (Skeeter Shelton, Ali Colding); Keenan Lawler (solo metal body resonator guitar). Doors 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 per night (general admissions); $40 for both nights (general admission); $35 per night (reserved seating). Food by Slows Bar BQ. Record Mart by People’s Records. Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606.
Detroit Festival of the Arts
FUN FOR ALL
Prancing jellyfish, ukuleles, Cambodian sugar pop and swashbuckling pirates: The Detroit Festival of the Arts features rather bland fare, no? That's right. No. The multiethnic three-day fair features the ordinary (funnel cake and caricatures) and the extraordinary (e.g., jellyfish and yokel string instruments). With international foods, sidewalk chalk masterpieces, children's crafts and an arts and crafts market, this 21-year tradition will surely awe and enthrall all.
How Not to Date a Jerk
ISSUES AND LEARNING
They're found in many guises, from immaculately dressed charmers to booze-swilling louts, but heed this warning: Beware the jerk. This crafty, insidious beast leaves devastation in his wake, spreading plummeting self-esteem, loss of autonomy, mindless rationalization and moderate to heavy bulimia among his victims. Learn how to avoid the allure of the jerk, and identify the positive characteristics of a potential mate, during this interactive workshop. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marriage Resource Center of Wayne County, 23400 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-278-4400. The event is $30; pre-registration is required.
Great Lakes Chamber Festival
Aural sophisticates, rejoice two straight weeks of Kirchner, of Mendelssohn, of Ravel, await you. The Great Lakes Chamber Festival (tagline: "Celebrating Beethoven and Other Cool Artists") kicks off 8 p.m. Saturday at the Seligman Performing Arts Center with performances by violinist Chee-Yun, pianist James Tocco and the Starling Chamber Orchestra, performing selections from Beethoven to Piazzola. The festival will continue almost daily, with concerts at multiple venues, including the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Temple Beth El and the Kerrytown Concert House. For more information, call 248-559-2098 or visit greatlakeschambermusic.com. Seligman Performing Arts Center is on the grounds of Detroit Country Day School, 22305 W. Thirteen Mile Rd., Beverly Hills; 248-646-7717, ext. 1045.
Love Me Nots
Just another dumb band in a dumb white van touring across the dumb country, right? Wrong. The Love Me Nots are two hot chicks, one guitar hero and a skinsman (if you squint, he could be the bastard son of Jimmy Marinos and Clem Burke) who happen to kick up a din that'd do old Question Mark proud. Weird, eh? Even weirder, they're from Phoenix, that far-off land known for Glen Campbell DUIs, expansive golf courses, crystal meth and Republican creeps (Sheriff Joe, anyone?). Though not so weird if you figure that the Love Me Nots don't sound too far off from the Spiders, that glorious '60s Phoenix band Alice Cooper had before he was Alice Cooper. Just add a wheezy Farfisa, do-me go-go boots, fetching Beau Brummels suits, some Tina envy and a chanteuse who, on a good night, can torch the house down. For 313 cred, Jim Diamond produced the band's 2007 self-titled debut. At Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore, Detroit; 313-873-1739; with the Fondas.
Breast Fest 2
Eye-catching (crotch-stimulating?) title aside, Breast Fest 2 ventures to bring grit rock, pop art and philanthropy together. To raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, more than 20 Detroit artists and musicians have donated their artwork for sale. The music-filled evening, during which the art will be displayed, will feature performances from the Displays, Piel Plastica, Dutch Pink and 60-Second Crush. At the Belmont, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966.
The Long Blondes
If you judged this book by its cover, you would think that Kate Jackson would feel more at home at a Breakfast at Tiffany's convention than fronting this five-piece indie rock band. But with the glamour of the New York Dolls and the punkish sophistication of Debbie Harry, the Long Blondes are right where they belong performing new wave-inspired pop in packed bar rooms and music halls. If you are interested in a sound somewhere between the Ramones and their Sheffield, England, predecessors, Pulp, make sure not to miss. Tickets are $10 for this all-ages show. At 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4140 Woodward Ave.; 313-833-9700.
Dir En Grey
The beauty of metal is its absolute universality the lyrics are entirely indistinguishable, and thus transcend all borders. This is the case with the volatile Japanese goth-rockers Dir En Grey. The internationally lauded quintet has screamed and sung together since 1997, eventually switching their outrageous, gender-bending Japanese Visual Kei style into heavy-metal overdrive. They will perform with Fall of Troy and the Deftones at State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 248-645-6666.
Chick Corea and Bela Fleck
Unlikely pairings don't always make for great art think of William Shatner singing Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." But the meeting of eclectic jazz pianist Chick Corea and way-more-than-bluegrass banjoist Bela Fleck clicks from the first notes of their recent duo disc, The Enchantment (Concord). The trick seems to be knowing when to go for unison and when to leave breathing space between different personal approaches, not to mention between the quick, sharp banjo notes and the potentially overpowering piano. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668- 8463.
An Evening with Bill Clinton
ISSUES AND LEARNING
Former President Bill Clinton will deliver a message of community and opportunity as part of African American Family Magazine's Distinguished Speakers Series. This event, titled "Embracing Our Common Humanity," will likely leave folks yearning for the days when Oval Office cigar shenanigans were our country's biggest concern. The Max M. Fisher Music Center is located at 3711 Woodward Ave. For more info, call 313-576-5111. Tickets are $25 to $100.