Rock the Bells
HIP HOP RISES
If you look at music in evolutionary terms, you see a split in the hip-hop phyla: Songs about the infamous B's (bling, bitches, booty-shakers, blaaah) and songs that are actually worth listening to. This branch'll rap about life and strife, crafted with actual lyricism. In this packed tour with high-profile acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch, the thriving underground hip-hop scene surfaces. Beginning at 3 p.m. at the DTE Energy Music Center, 7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston; call 248-377-0100 for more info.
Wednesday, Thursday 29, 30
IFC Free Film Fest
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Between the drive-in art films shown at MOCAD and the Friday Night Sinema screenings at Theatre Bizarre, there's been a whole lot of the big screen in our great outdoors. Barring Michigan's drench-heavy weather, the Independent Film Channel will host two films: Nutty fantasy and childhood favorite The Princess Bride and Coen Brothers favorite Raising Arizona. Pre-show festivities including a "bouncing ball sing-along" will begin at 6 p.m. at the Martin Road Park in Ferndale.
The Artist Survival Seminar
STARVE NO MORE
Oh, it's a wearing life oil paints are terrible for indigestion, and the suffocating choke of burning canvas kills what little is left of one's cigarette-tarred lungs. The bohemian lifestyle of starving artist has this poignant beauty to it, this is true, but it sure as hell sucks when you're selling blood to pay rent. Learn the practical side of being an artist in a three-hour seminar geared toward fine artists. Tricks of the trade are imparted, so that the galleries will accept your work which is fabulous, no doubt and sell it. At the Marlene Boll Theatre in the YMCA, 1404 Broadway, Detroit; 313-967-0599.
A Love Supreme
To say that John Coltrane influenced jazz or even music is to miss his breadth. He was an icon and an example across the arts and beyond. Poets and poet-musicians, including M.L. Leibler, John Sinclair, Faruk Z. Bey and James Semark gather to mark the 40th anniversary of Coltrane's death and the recent death of Ann Arbor attorney-musician Thomas V. Silvia, known for his pro bono work. Among other endeavors, Silvia was instrumental in the 40th anniversary observances of the Detroit Artists Workshop a couple years back. Free at the Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190; 7-8:30 p.m.
Panic in Hamtramck IV
GET YER YA-YAS OUT
Three liver-impairing days of art-damage, discord, trash, messy singsong and waaaay too much burped-up Miller High Life is a mighty sweet way to spend a holiday weekend, we say. Yeah, it's the Panic in Hamtramck fest, featuring the best in area (and beyond) basement-dwellers, oddballs and king shits, including Tyvek, Terrible Twos, Fake Blood, TV Ghost, Minus Nine, Root Bear and more. "Headlining" the fest is the on-again, off-again Tim Vulgar-led Clone Defects, the only combo in town that can claim without irony that it's indeed Detroit's only rock 'n' roll band. On Sunday, don't miss Ferndale's Fontana, whose "lovely" sub-two-minute ode to quixotic pangs, "Dumb Luv," is the song of the week(end) around these cubes. Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991 or myspace.com/paintedlady for lineup info.
Compulsive crafters can blow their wallets one bauble at a time: This three-day exhibition will present beads of all varieties from humble ceramic and wooden ones to semi-precious and precious stones. "Celebrity bead expert" Simpson Connor will demonstrate beading technique for beginning to advanced hobbyists. Tickets are $7, and children 16 and under are free with a paid adult. From noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. At Rock Financial Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi; call 301-294-1640 for more info.
"INDIE POP" THAT'S ACTUALLY GOOD
Format singer Nate Ruess ain't sittin' around waiting for the goddamned radio to play his combo's latest smart-pop hookfest Dog Problems. Why should he? Instead, the band, which owns its own master tapes, does tech-savvy alt shit like launching its own branded mobile plan. So, rock 'n' roll is dead and over, you say? Yeah, well ... the kids sure ain't buyin' the records like they used to, even good Format ones. But the devil's racket lives on, and here's why you should eye the Format: 1) They've the good sense to stick Redd Kross godhead Steve McDonald in the producer's chair for Dog. 2) This Phoenix (?!) quintet delivers the goods live; girls love 'em. 3) The band has been compared to (quite accurately, we must say) the Zombies, the Raspberries, Pilot, Dwight Twilley, Wings and the Shins! No shit. At 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-MELT. With Limbeck and Piebald.
Country Bob and the Bloodfarmers
Remember when a bill of local punk bands would fill venues like the Falcon Lounge and Graystone Hall? Of course you don't. But if you want to know what it sounded like, stop in and hear a night of local punk, headlined by the demented din of perennial redneck rockers Country Bob and the Bloodfarmers. The group, led by a lanky lyricist named simply "Tex," has been performing its brand of hellbilly for more than 20 years now, cannibalizing and stitching together slasher and country culture like a musical Ed Gein, with such offensive ditties as "Bowl Full of Noses" and "Honky-Tonk Cunt." Hear the band that offended your parents' parents, doing its first Detroit show in almost six months. With guests Mayonnaise Graveyard and the Slain Husseins, at the 2500 Club, 2500 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-496-1232.
Holiday Meals on Wheels
During this Labor Day weekend of hot doggin' and beer swilling, there's a large portion of Americans that can't participate in the revelry. Volunteers are needed by Holiday Meals on Wheels to pack and individually deliver fresh, nutritious meals to 3,500 homebound senior citizens in the metro Detroit area. Don't be an arse. To help, contact Valley Services, 1980 Bagley, Detroit; call 313-446-4444, ext. 5857.
Strange Beautiful Music
No BACHIN' DOWN
A few years ago, after the DIA hosted the first Detroit performance of Terry Riley's trippy '60s masterpiece "In C," we suggested it become an annual event. And we muttered cynically, despairingly as we typed, "Hell, we'll never hear it again." How wrong we were! Riley's touchstone of minimalism is scheduled as the capstone of Strange Beautiful Music, an unprecedented 12-hour marathon of electronica and left-of-the-DSO classical music, the first big bash of the group New Music Detroit. Works by such major names as John Cage, Philip Glass and Steve Reich are slated alongside premiers by up-and-comers Alexandra DuBois and Nico Muhly. What more could you ask for besides a $10 admission to the whole shebang? From 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at CAID, 5141 Rosa Parks, Detroit; 313-899-CAID. Info at newmusicdetroit.com.
Exploding Star Sextet
POST-FEST AVANT JAZZ
The New York Times hailed Rob Mazurek's first Exploding Star Orchestra disc as "phantasmagorical" and suggestive of "an expanded edition of the instrumental rock group Tortoise, with which it shares several members." At six pieces rather than 14 we'd expect the fundamental aesthetic to remain the same. And with the jazz fest wrapping up at Monday, no doubt, there'll be plenty of fans hungry for one more gig on the wild side. Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606.
Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to email@example.com