The folks at Dr. Sketchy's Detroit, the monthly get-together where pad-in-lap sketchers drop in, drink up and draw sassy models from life in saucy poses, is celebrating its one-year anniversary. The anti-art school showcases Detroit's burlesque performers, belly dancers and charismatic cross-dressers with a three-hour session. Expect fun twists on life drawing, a sultry soundtrack and maybe even some cake. (Full disclosure: Our design director, Sean Bieri, is in charge of this thing.) Cover is $5, but, please, tip the models, you cheap bastidges. From 7 to 10 p.m. at the Belmont, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966.
Throughout his almost 20 year career, this portly troubadour's musical orientation has evolved from country to Latin jazz, and almost everything in between. Despite these changes, Raul Malo has always been dedicated to continuing the tradition of vocal artistry passed on by his heroes, singers like Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley. His latest release, After Hours, is a portrait of this dedication. Malo, the former frontman for the country-rock band the Mavericks, takes a small step toward his roots and covers some country standards in a way only he can. With towering vocals and passionate sophistication, he breathes new life into stagnant classics. Raul Malo's hip-swinging style and goosebump-raising voice will be on display this week in Ann Arbor. The show starts at 8 p.m. on both nights at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. For more info call 734-761-1818.
ROCK YOU UP
Ahh, ladies' night. Yes, that's right, the women are plentiful and in free before 11 p.m. The Emerald Theatre offers a swell atmosphere for erectile-ready dudes aged 21-35 to strap on polished hair helmets and drench themselves in Cool Water to swoon the ladies with $2 wells till 11 p.m. and $2 Molson Lights all night long. With this perfect concoction you can almost smell the sex in the air. Hosted by 95.5's Big Boy and DJ Rubix Cube, bros and hos, dicks and chicks can dance the night away to fast-paced booty and Darude's "Sandstorm." Oh, yeah, this Friday is "Dirty Vegas" night, at Ladies' Night. Doors at 9:30 p.m. At 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens; 586-913-1920
Dr. Lonnie Smith
SONG OF TRANSITION
What was supposed to be a three-day move for Ann Arbor's Firefly Club has stretched into two weeks-plus of glitches and headaches "eight levels of hell," says proprietor Susan Chastain. But she assures us all the issues with city inspectors (though not the liquor license) will be resolved in time for Friday's 5:30 p.m. happy hour and performances at 9 and 11 p.m. by Dr. Lonnie Smith, one of today's titans of the Hammond B3 organ. Chastain says rumors that the club is on the verge of closing are overstated, although there's a definite cash crunch. Besides grooving with Dr. Smith (or Cedar Walton next weekend), she suggests that supporters might help the club's transition by considering the benefits of joining the Firefly's Producers Club, details at fireflyclub.com. The new club is in a building that once housed the Ark at 637 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-9090.
The Marta Complex
There are flashes of true beauty in the Marta Complex's brand of airy pop and four-on-the-floor dirges. Sure, they've mastered their Radiohead lessons well, but unlike countless crap indie bands in Michigan (and the world over) who've gone on bended knee at the altar of OK Computor the Detroit-based Marta Complex has affixed a piquant little songwriterly twist to the goings-on. And they come off more like earnest young men in search of something be it lost innocence, some dead girl, whatever. As we all know, good pop music searches. So good for the Marta Complex, whose winning debut full-length CD is out this month. Its release show is at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-762-5778.
Saline Pro Rodeo
LET'S GET IT ON!
With events like the "bareback" and "calf roping," one might think this is the Sex Olympics, but really it's only two of six events in this three-day rodeo. Dust off that ol' 10-gallon and bring the kiddies down to the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds for a howling, dirt-grinding frolic. Pro meatheads will get rowdy in other events, including the saddle bronc, steer wrastlin', bull ridin' and barrel racin'. And be sure to procure a designated driver, because the Bud will flow till the cows come home. Cowboy boots, chaps and Western drawls encouraged. Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-327-2031.
Hello, Muddah! Hello, Fadduh!
Before there was Weird Al, there was Weird Allan: Allan Sherman, that is. This past parodist composed the quaint ditty, "Hello, Muddah! Hello, Fadduh!" that now-classic complaint from a castaway kid at camp to his folks at home. And Sherman fans have a new reason to smile: The Jewish Ensemble Theatre is kicking off its theatrical season with the return of Hello Muddah! Hello Fadduh! The Allan Sherman Musical. The play has a panoply of parodies from the Jewish-American spoofster, including corruptions of "Hava Nagila," "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey?" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Starring Joe Lehman, Kelly Rossi and Leah Smith, the show, written by Sherman fans in the 1990s, traces the narrative of Sherman's life, while employing his brand of old-fashioned, below-the-belt, crude, rude, Borscht Belt comedy. At Jewish Ensemble Theatre, 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-788-2900; $29-$39; runs until Sept. 16.
Grant Writing 101
IT'S HOW YOU ASK
In a society filled with worthy charities and credible nonprofits, funding is unfortunately scarce. However, there are ways to get big business to reluctantly open up those checkbooks. The Learning Institute of Family Education (LIFE) is sponsoring a class for people interested in grant writing and the proposal process. This serves as a beginner's guide to writing grants and will help you to start with an idea, plan ahead, and seek appropriate funding sources to meet your needs. LIFE is, itself, a nonprofit dedicated to developing quality programs to enable African-American men and women to build unity within the community. The class takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Henry Ford Medical Center, 7800 W. Outer Dr., Detroit; 313-342-0006.
DOOMSDAY IN AA
Daniel Dumile, aka MF Doom, got his start performing with his brother and another emcee in KMD on 3rd Bass's classic "The Gas Face" in '91. Dropped by Elektra after recording a couple albums, Dumile returned several years later and his career's been picking up steam since. Recent critically acclaimed collaborations with DJ Danger Mouse (as DANGERDOOM) and Madlib (as Madvillian) were followed (among other things) by tracks on Ghostface's last two albums (Fishscale, More Fish), and they're working together on a third, Swift & Changeable, reportedly featuring a J Dilla track. Dumile's noteworthy for his twisting, slithering rhymes, playing on the metaphor of his cartoonish supervillain. With Strong Arm Steady, 9:30 p.m., 18 and older, at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555.
Wednesday-Monday 22-Sept. 3
Michigan State Fair
CARNIVAL OF SOULS
OK, where else can you find all this in one location: A fallen American Idol contestant, a beer brewing competition, an '80s soft-rock band, carnies and barkers who have plenty on that creepy dude from Funhouse, a child actor turned rapper, a living rock 'n' roll legend and, just maybe, a 6-foot-tall sculpture of Garth Brooks fashioned (rather symbolically) from cheddar cheese?
No, you've not died and gone to heaven, kids. It's the Michigan State Fair, the country's first and oldest cavalcade of cultural bombast and sweetness.
After holding back hurl on gravity-defying carnival rides, you can recover your equilibrium by observing the most eclectic gathering of Michiganders ever assembled. Or you can watch the birthing of a calf.
Aside from the usual, and unusual, highlights of animal competitions where, say, your pet pig can enter to win the coveted blue ribbon, the fair boasts ear-twisting musical shows each night.
The 13-day festival opens with the pop-country plunk of American Idol's Bucky Covington (he finished eighth in the '06 season) on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Fab Floridian Nickleback-adorers Shinedown appear Friday, Aug. 24. Get all nostalgic for your middle-school dances on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with Australia's soft-rock powerhouse Air Supply. And on Thursday, Aug. 30, sing along with former child actor turned rapper-producer Marques Houston. (Who can forget Houston's appearances on the '90s sitcom Sister Sister?).
Michigan native and glam rock-defining Alice Cooper and his cast of sideshow riff-merchants will close out this year's fair on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. It's the third consecutive year that the Coop has graced the festival stage.
Among many other odd competitions, there's the home beer brewing competition. It'll feature hundreds of Michigan-made beers, ciders and meads. The awards ceremony for the home brew contest is Saturday, Sept. 1. Note that admission to all concerts is free with general admission to the grounds (at Michigan State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center, 1120 W. State Fair Ave., Detroit). For complete information and tickets log onto michigan.gov/mistatefair or call 313-369-8200.Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org