Barry Bonds and the History of Blacks in Baseball
CONTROVERSY & CONTEXT
A Wayne State prof whose area of study is race and the media — sports coverage in particular — goes to bat for beleaguered Barry Bonds. Is the baseball establishment attitude toward Bonds' achievements a function of his attitude toward the media, or is it his race and his age? Is there a connection between the Bonds controversy and the three-decade low for African-Americans in Major League Baseball? Lisa Alexander speaks at 12:30 pm in the Student Center Building, Room 289, located on Gullen Mall in the center of the WSU campus. A Black History Month Presentation of the WSU Department of Africana Studies; 313-577-2321 for more information.
Lyres Suite, an exhibition of more than 30 Detroit artists, plays up this wonderful relationship between stringed instruments and fine art. Stringed instruments have long been visual metaphors for the female form, and this exhibit is an opportune time to rediscover how closely related the two can be. At Butchers Inn, 1489 Winder St., Detroit; 313-566-0966.
There's no doubt why Doubt is being performed during the Lenten season: The Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by John Patrick Shanley speaks of the taboos and trysts at a Catholic school. Doubt centers on the suspicions Sister Aloysius has of inappropriate activity between the school priest and a student. (Gosh!) The provocative drama will run until April 6, at the Performance Network Theatre, 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-0681 for info.
A man who knows how to make sculptures sing, who runs in the company of Brian Eno and Phillip Glass, could only be so brilliant as to avoid the most banal methods of communicating, like emailing and cell phoning. That's probably why you never heard of the wonder who is Gerhard Trimpin, the German- born alchemist/inventor/artist/composer who makes musical machines from objects and gadgets the worse for wear, incorporating both new and old technology. Lucky for the nerds and audiophiles around here, he has been hanging out in Ann Arbor recently, devoting his time and energy at U-M to crafting a new piece of musical machinery that consecrates those imprisoned during World War II. See and hear what he's been working on during a demonstration from 5-7 p.m., at the first floor Slusser Lounge, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor. Call 734-936-2082 for more info.
SOME GUY'S BASEMENT
Most bands playing house parties have things in common such as ringing ears, overworked livers and the fact they'll likely never get gigs beyond a living room or basement. The latter isn't so for psych-indie foursome Apes, who were scheduled to perform at Eastern Market's Scrummage University (which, frankly, is a glorified but utterly sweet loft party) before being rerouted to some dude's house (dubbed "Porphyria" for the weekend) in the burbs. Apes will be performing with Larom Lab and Robot Cowboy at Porphyria, 2700 Pebblestone St., Southfield. Visit myspace.com/scrummageuniversity for more info. Oh — and for the kids with a loose curfew and a birth date after Feb. 21, 1990 — the show's all ages and begins at 9 p.m.
New York Dolls
TRASH & VAUDEVILLE
David Johansen has risen from the dead to rescue his rock 'n' roll front man, wizened, wiser and winking with a wisdom you'd expect from a whorehouse yogi. He's bone-thin, sexy as fuck and his glitter-boot-shaking baritone's intact, weirdly melodic as ever. And this guy's firmly in his 50s! Johnny Thunders is dead, so are Killer Kane and Jerry Nolan — each a backstreet legend in his own right — so, yeah, the Dolls know loss. But don't disregard 'em; they're equal parts nostalgic train ride and show-the-kids-how-it's-done rock 'n' roll soldiers. Look, Aerosmith can't touch 'em now. Neither can Velvet Revolver or Buckcherry. Never mind the Sex Pistols. None of those bands would exist if not for the Dolls. But does that matter? No. This is bigger than simple influence and misinterpretation; remember, the Dolls never sold any records in their early '70s moment. This is all about personal reclamation; it's about trouncing obstacles; it's about the truth. (OK, it might also have something to do with a mortgage payment or two.) And hear this: The Dolls' last Detroit appearance a couple years back was, as Norman Mailer would say, heroic. At 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 410 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700 for info. Tickets are $20 for this all-ages show.
Roy Ayers Recording Live
THE BASIS OF ACID JAZZ
The vibes guy who's launched a jazzillion dance-floor frenzies finally records before a live audience stateside. Roy Ayers got his first mallets from Lionel Hampton, his big break with Herbie Mann, and has held the limelight ever since with his group Ubiquity. He cut the soundtrack for the blaxploitation classic Coffy and soaked up Afro-beat while touring with Fela. Ayers' "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" became a disco-era hit in the '70s, setting the stage for him to become a cornerstone of the acid jazz movement two decades later. Meanwhile, he's been sampled by artists from Q-Tip to Mary J. Blige. See if your distinctive shriek of "You go, Roy!" makes it onto the upcoming disc. Shows at 8 p.m. ($39.50) and 10 p.m. ($32.50) nightly. Arturo's Jazz Theatre & Restaurant, at 25333 W. 12 Mile Rd., just west of Telegraph Rd. (in the Star Theatre Complex) in Southfield; 248-357-6009.
Tom Harrell Quintet
MAKING MELODY ON THE FLY
We got so buoyed listening to trumpeter Tom Harrell's latest disc (Light On, available on the HighNote label) that we rushed the date of his appearance by a week in these very pages. This weekend he really has Detroit on his itinerary along with his band, including Wayne Escoffery on tenor sax. Harrell's a master improvisatory melodist even when the music is at its most heated. And, for the record, the voluble Escoffery is a good reason to see this band now just as Harrell was a good reason to catch Phil Woods back when Harrell was apprenticing with him. At the Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
Speed Dating for Women
HATIN' OR MATIN'
It's a cold, cruel world out there — and it ain't just thermometer digits that are constantly single. Remedy that, ladies, without resorting to awkward barroom pickups or "LOL ROFL" Internet charmers: Affirmations is offering a meet 'n' greet speed dating session just for chicks who like chicks. Admission is $10 for members, and $15 for non-members, so yeah, find Ms. Right (or Ms. Right Now) at 8 p.m. at Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 1-800-398-GAYS for info.
RICH GUY WALTZ
Yizzir — the storied millionaire rapper-porn producer of "gangsta" status still performs. Sure, his last record, 2006's The Blue Carpet Treatment, killed the charts. But Snoop's musical presence is questionable now; dude's an idiot-winded celeb in a mansion with a trainer and a kid. Anybody see his Snoop Dogg's Father Hood reality show, which elevated Snoop to Paris and Nicole-like heights? Must be 18 and up to attend the 8 p.m. show at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-8137 for info.