Michigan '50S Festival
FUN FOR ALL
Rocky and the Rollers: Either they're a family friendly, doo-woppin' '50s tribute band, or they're the masters of irony, the uncontestable conquerors of anti-cool. Yeah, no such luck. They're the former, and performing at the 20th annual Michigan '50s Festival with such trailblazers as the Teen Angels, Steve King and the Dittilies and Herman's Hermits. It's gonna be precious, though: The four days of '50s include a classic car show, a Vegas tent and an ice cream social along with poodle skirts, saddle shoes and nostalgia with a cherry on top. Whip on your Buddy Holly frames before heading down to Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk in Novi; call 248-349-1950 or visit michigan50sfestival.org for more information.
Movin' the D Forward
ISSUES AND LEARNING
Representatives of Detroit's post-riot generation have learned their own lessons from the city's recent history and will share them in lectures and a panel discussion at this Wayne State University event. "Girl in the D" blogger Jaime Pfeffer, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services spokeswoman Hannan Deep, president and CEO of New Detroit-The Coalition Shirley Stancato, and others will offer their suggestions for reaching a more just and tolerant future. Breakfast at 8:30 a.m., talk 9-11 a.m., at the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium in Wayne State University's Law School, 471 W. Palmer St., Detroit; 313-577-2150.
The reasoned judgment of Wikipedia's hive of editors is that the South Park character Priest Maxi is named after Maxi Priest, which would be one more sign of the reggae singer's pop cred along with his chart toppers, that is. The smooth-grooving vocalist who reggaefied Cat Stevens' "Wild World," and did a duet with Roberta Flack headlines a day of entertainment at Campus Martius in the heart of downtown. Wendell Harrison leads a youthful jazz orchestra at 11:30 a.m., followed by the winner of the Detroit News battle of the bands at 1:30, Lola Morales at 5:30, Priest at 7:30, Black Bottom Collective at 9:30 and locally produced short films and features on the outside screen from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. More info at 4thfridaysdetroit.com
Though approaching passé in its 13th year, the Warped Tour still draws the alternakids who are freshly Finding Emo. The lineup is, as always, jam-packed with a variety of punk-poppy, power chord merchants, the more well-known including Hawthorne Heights, Meg and Dia, Tiger Army and Coheed and Cambria. Wear skulls and checkers and watch pro-skaters do cool stuff from 11 a.m. onward at Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; call 313-471-BALL or visit Warpedtour.com for more information.
It's a week of hard choices (or tight scheduling) for jazz fans from avant (Erik Friedlander doing solo cello at Kerrytown Concert House on Saturday and the Rejuvination Trio, featuring bassist-cellist Tom Abbs at Bohemian National Home on Sunday) to neo-traditional (Ken Peplowski at the Firefly and Dave Bennett at Cliff Bell's, both on Friday). You can argue for putting James Carter in both camps, but you can't exactly place his saxophonics in either. After years concentrating on the organ trio format, he's here with a quintet, holding over drummer Leonard King, moving keysman Gerard Gibbs to piano and adding bassist Ralphe Armstrong and trumpeter Dwight Adams. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7900.
Friday • 27
Phil Roth of Bay City pop-garage trio the Esperantos gives his freak flag plenty of room to fly in drums-bass duo the Fascists. The first impression of this debut LP: It’s nervous, skittering post-punk England circa ’79 until Roth lets loose his array of vocal whoops, cackles and woo-hoos. By then it’s apparent that the Fascists are firmly rooted in early-millennial Americana. Now, go watch them kick-up up a ruckus on the east side. At the Cadieux Café, 4300 Cadieux St., Detroit; 313-882-8560.
The nude, you'll recall, has been used to great effect in classical and modern art. Try the Venus de Milo, the Rubenesque ladies that lounged, the Pamela Anderson Lee ... Perhaps in a post-Dirty Show vein, this Eastern Market Gallery displays a host of sexy and provocative, but inarguably artistic, photographs of the human form. 9 p.m. at S3V3RANC3 Gallery, 2714 Riopelle St., Detroit; visit myspace.com/S3V3RANC3 for more information.
Zeitgeist 10th Anniversary Freak Out
Ten years ago, the Zeitgeist Gallery opened its doors with a heartening performance of Sartre's No Exit. Despite that play's dramatic thesis, that "Hell is other people," the folks at Zeitgeist have managed to keep drawing audiences for a decade, and are celebrating this with an evening of art, music and borderline psychedelia. Some of the performers included are the ever-amusing Frank Pahl, the Don't Look Now Jug Band and the way-out-there Space Band: When someone's babbling in tongues while donning Triceratops garb, you know you're in for a good time. At Zeitgeist Gallery, 2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit; call 313-965-9192 or visit zeitgeistdetroit.org for more info.
Saturday • 28
Singer-songwriter Cary Brothers (yes, a dude, not a band of bros) is actor Zach Braff’s college bud. Hence the inclusion of his tune “Blue Eyes” on the Grammy-winning soundtrack for film Garden State. But even though he was one of many breakout artists on a soundtrack that also included songs by the Shins, Frou Frou and Iron & Wine, Brothers opted to not sign with a label afterward. In fact, he hadn’t even come out with an LP until this May’s Who You Are (Procrastination), released almost three years after the movie’s premiere. In that time, he’s built up a fan base that dwarfs the one Garden State gave him, developed entirely via hard touring, some Internet savvy and a commitment to making people fall in love with his music … one person at a time, if necessary. He's in town, and we recommend him. At the Shelter, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-6358, with Priscilla Ahn & Jarrod Champion and Sleeps Till Dusk.
B.B. King, Al Green, Etta James
Considering that all three of these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have been active since the 1950s or 1960s, they've got a combined century-plus of material to rely on. Which means that some fans will have to go home without having heard their favorite tune. So you James fans brace yourself for the idea that you may get "At Last" but not "Baby What You Want Me to Do." And you Lucille-loving King junkies, you may not hear "The Thrill is Gone" and "I Like to Live the Love." It may be "Let's Stay Together" without "Let's Get Married." We'd like to pretend they'll reprise their entire catalogs, but let's be real. DTE Energy Music Theatre, 7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston; 248-377-0100.
Dean Carson: Wallworks and Film Stills
In Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, three characters tell their version of the truth about what went down one humid afternoon in a forest that left a man dead and his wife raped and widowed. Kurosawa's film teaches a beautiful lesson about cinema and life: Don’t always believe what you see. Through September at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Dean Carson blurs also distinctions between realistic and impressionistic art with a series of charcoal-sketched stills from Rashomon, proving that one man’s interpretation can be another’s insipration.Dean Carson: Wallworks and Film Stills runs through Sept. 2 at the Art Gallery of Windsor, 401 Riverside Drive West, Windsor; 519-977-0013.