ZigiDeeBooM Hip Hop Fest
GOTS THE GOODS
The nonprofit, big-ideal crew over at Project A.R.T. is up to good. "Detroit's only hip-hop arts organization" is run by students, and they're throwing the third anniversary ZigiDeeBooM Hip Hop Fest. In it, Detroit artists can submit and perform a rap song, as long as it's killer. Said song must adhere to A.R.T.'s theme this year, which is "Safe & Sound: Self-Check Required." The winner gets five C-notes and a top performance slot at the fest, which includes a hip-hop "Hump Day," a swap meet and a workshop-clinic. Moreover, WestCoast KAM and the legendary X-Clan are scheduled to appear. Keast Commons, Wayne State University, 3 to 10 p.m. For more info go to projectart313.org.
the Bad Plus
Our recent article on jazz cats experimenting with pop repertoire could have easily focused on the Bad Plus, an acoustic piano trio that plays with plugged-in attitude. The big push from Columbia records may be over, but they've soldiered on with Prog (Heads Up), which includes covers of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Life on Mars" and "This Guy's in Love with You." The "pop" element isn't just repertoire but often in the way they approach material. Their originals tend to a certain hookiness, and there's a sense that each tune (cover or originals) deserves a unique treatment: a pastoral Bill Evans touch to start things here, hard rockin' for a climax there, kitschy abandon aplenty (shades of Liberace!Vince Guaraldi in Wonderland!). You can hear pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer David King and bassist Reid Anderson play it straight ahead in plenty of other ensembles. Here they're bent in their own unique way. At the Ark, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587.
A Detroit Thing
GRITTY HOMESPUN MUSIC DOC
Filmmaking brothers Anthony and Nick Brancaleone say their Motor City music doc A Detroit Thing is all about the eat-shit grind Detroit musicians go through to earn a modicum of respect. Though we've not seen the flick (no screeners were made available in advance of its world premiere this week), we trust unreservedly that the bros are telling the truth after one glance at its motor oil-stained cast of been-there-done-that bands and artists, including the Howling Diablos, soul queen Thornetta Davis and the roots-rock Twistin' Tarantulas as well as upstart Kid Rock, lamented glam-pop flag-wavers Trash Brats and sexed-up Queen Bee. Its press says it's as much about the experience of music "played real live as it is the trajectory of any one band." It also promises brilliantly shot Detroit nightscapes that double as visual poetics. Nice. Detroit Film Theatre, inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237), at 7:30 p.m.
Detroit's Big Read Kickoff
ALL EYES ON HURSTON
From race to class to sexism, Their Eyes Were Watching God touches on hot-button issues that still bedevil us 70 years after its publication. And then there's the enduring beauty of this tale of longing, love and loss set against a backdrop of backwoods Florida towns, swamps, juke joints and one hellacious hurricane. Eyes is the selection for the Detroit's Big Read, a month-long DPL program kicking off at the main branch Thursday at 6 p.m. with music, food and talk (suggested attire: "juke joint chic"), and the opening of an exhibit of Carl Van Vechten's Harlem Renaissance photos. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the main branch, biographer Valerie Boyd discusses Hurston's life and work; attendees are invited to wear a favorite hat in honor of Hurston and bring a favorite passage to read. Dozens of events later, the Big Read wraps up Oct. 22 at the Charles H. Wright Museum with an appearance by Hurston expert and niece Lucy Anne Hurston. The DPL's main branch is at 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit; 313-833-1000. Full events list at detroitpubliclibrary.org.
Solid Gold Soul
R&B-SOUL FANS UNITE!
This Solid Gold Soul show isn’t just some throwback to a turbulent era filled with civil unrest and life-altering assassinations; nah, that’s reductionist thinking. For one thing, the refined grooves, detailed vocal arrangements and never-say-die sexual swing provided the soundtrack in myriad bedrooms when many of us were conceived. And the songs continue to transcend time and place. Mississippi-born, Chicago-bred soul singer Jerry Butler’s stint in the Impressions gave rise to his own liquid-smooth, gospel-hued songs, which took up residence in the pop and R&B charts. Gene Chandler rose from Butler’s Chicago scene and topped the charts with "Duke of Earl." Philly’s Billy Paul worked with everyone from Miles Davis to Dinah Washington before hitting his stride in the ’70s — his "Me & Mrs. Jones," you’ll recall, was ubiquitous the world over. And lord knows there’d be no Jerry Butler (or Curtis Mayfield!) without Chi-town soul trailblazers the Impressions, also on the bill. Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-3500.
STILL PHOTOS AT THE MOVIES
Photographers Amanda Faye Cain and Gabriel Banuelos will host a show of their latest work in the lobby of the historic Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. This is Cain's second show this year, the last one being hung at AJ's Coffeehouse on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. This show's theme relates to the "visual differences between technology and nature," which sounds vague, but we're sure that, once we see the work, it'll all make sense. Opening 7-9 p.m., at 118 N. Main St.; Royal Oak.
POWER SHAG AND TWANG
For good reason, MT has long supported Bulldog, put 'em on one of our Blowout covers even. Its singer-songwriter Kenny Tudrick is one of those who has it all. With sharp features and slender hips, his is a rock star grace and Tele-swinging refinement that slithers like Gram Parsons and Exile-era Keith Richards, confidence intact. His songs and vocal tone are informed by his life, which he's lived nice and hard thus far. Tudrick's a songwriter for the workaday Joe, offering up miles of pot-holed road through which one can live vicariously. What's more, Tudrick gets points for bailing on Kid Rock's band to (re)launch Bulldog. (He does rent-gig tours drumming in Detroit Cobras.) Bulldog's antediluvian reference points align themselves with the aforementioned Keef and Parsons with bits of Neil Young, early Poco and country rock-era Ian Mathews. With ex-Black Crowes Eddie Harsch (organ, piano), Pete Ballard (pedal steel) and Ben Force (bass), it's lovely, lovely stuff. With Ko and the Knockouts and Freer. Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. 313-833-9700.
The Importance of Being Vile
DIRTY OLD MAN
After eight years of showing tits 'n' penetrated ass with panache, Mr. Jerry "Vile" Peterson of Dirty Show and now-defunct Orbit magazine fame is holding a gloriously self-referential one-man art show, "The Importance of Being Vile." That's right. The exhibition promises to feature his own oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors and photography of a potentially prurient nature, so the show's for big kids only. The entrance fee for the opening reception is $5; from 7 p.m. onward at the Bohemian National Home Gallery, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit.
Saturday, Sunday 22, 23
Funky Ferndale Art Fest
A DUDE CALLED ARTIST
What can we say? Art knows no boundaries? Sensationalism sells? Art is affectation? Art rocks? All of the above, here.
"I have found myself working in all circumstances," says this guy named Artist Singh. "Levitating, burnt alive, buried alive, caged for several days, standing on 30-foot pole for three days, backward cycle riding, atop a bridge, on a tree, hanging upside down, walking a tight rope or jumping from a building in order to add difficulty to symbolize the struggle that needs to exist for culture and science to progress at higher level." The "stunt painter" will hang upside down from a crane throughout the fest, painting four canvases simultaneously to raise money for charity at the Funky Ferndale Art Fest, which also includes three music stages and 100 juried artists. Downtown Ferndale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Teenage film bylaws permit nerdy, kindhearted girls to transform into divas through bleach and the removal of ironic glasses. Conversely, to be redeemed as an intelligent being, they simply buy a box of Clairol's mocha of the moment and lose the periwinkle lenses. Life imitates "art" in the case of reformed pop princess Mandy Moore, who has returned to her roots ... literally. The caramel-cropped Mandy, known for bubblegum megahits like "Candy," HBOs Entourage and such films as Saved! and A Walk to Remember, promises a sedate, "soulful" tour performing tracks from her latest album, Wild Hope. Tickets are $23.50 for the 6:30 p.m. show at St. Andrew's Hall; 431 E. Congress, Detroit; call 313-961-MELT for info.
Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org