The (gorgeous) Bronx-born Iranian singer calls her music "psychedelic Sufi trance rock," and indeed it's an interesting hybrid: Drawing influence from artists like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix — whose '60s and '70s psychedelia at times nodded to the Middle East, especially in the case of Zep — and from the musical traditions of the Middle East proper, her hypnotic sound is a musical bridge between continents. Switching her lyrics between Farsi and English, Haale inserts interpretations of Sufi poetry amid observances of day-to-day American livin'. Her first full-length album, No Ceiling, was released this past March, and she will perform at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333. $10.
Wayne-Windsor Canadian Studies Symposium
With the Great Lakes inevitably a battlefront in future conflicts over fresh water supplies, the area's leaders are readying the troops. This week's battle plans include a visit from Peter Annin, a former Newsweek correspondent and environmental journalist. The author of the book The Great Lakes Water Wars will speak at the 18th annual Wayne-Windsor Canadian Studies Symposium at Wayne State University. Also on a panel are Marcia Valiante, professor of law at University of Windsor; George Kuper, president and CEO at the Council of Great Lakes Industries; and Molly Flanagan, program manager of the Great Lakes water resources program at the National Wildlife Federation. The discussion begins at 3 p.m. at McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University, 313-577-2799. Free, but limited seating.
Dave Kujawa Benefit
Detroit punkers get a rare chance tonight to see two local acts that are hard enough to find on a bill, let alone the same one. Until about a week ago, the Whiskey Diaries were seemingly split up (and maybe still are), and Bump N' Uglies shows remain few and far between. But the pair has teamed to share the Magic Stick's stage tonight at a benefit show for the family and friends of Idle Kids co-founder Dave Kujawa. Kujawa, a local visionary whose spirit was an inspiration to many in his community, committed suicide on March 22. Also scheduled to perform are the always-entertaining Amino Acids, as well as Fordirelifesake, The Jollys, Pirate Law and Best Idea Ever. Admission is a $5 donation and doors open at 7 p.m at the Magic Stick, 4020 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700 for info.
Bobby Watson Live and Learn Sextet
FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF BLAKEY
Like Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter and Wynton Marsalis, saxophonist Bobby Watson not only played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but shaped the sound as musical director before going solo to shape the sound of his own groups. For Watson that sound has a decidedly soulful, populist streak whether he's writing originals, cherry-picking tunes by his contemporaries, reshaping standards or recognizing the jazz potential of a contemporary gospel number like "We Fall Down." And the tart edge to his alto makes his tone one of the most recognizable in jazz today. Shows 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.; $9 advance, $14 at the door. Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
A LITTLE BIT OF THIS, A LITTLE BIT OF THAT
The alt-country prog pop in last year's ... enthusiastic ... album Wild Mountain Nation has certainly put the Portland, Ore., sextet on the eclectic, who-gives-a-damn-what-it-sounds-like-so-long-as-it's-awesome map. They took a little bit of everything — from Syd Barrett to the Kinks to Pavement — and pieced it together into what was arguably one of the most innovative albums of last year. After all, Blitzen Trapper embodies the DIY aesthetic of the modern indie rock band — with no label constraints (at the time at least, they're now with, gasp! Sub Pop), it's completely permissible to follow a quirky lo-fi almost-ballad with '70s-inspired glam rock. So for those who tire of the same old band playing the same old tunes, Blitzen Trapper runs the concert rawk gamut at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700 for info.
MAN CALLED E
So the band "Eels" is synonymous with "E," or the "Man Called E," or simply Matthew Oliver Everett — the rest of the members come and go quietly, but Everett is the mastermind behind more than a decade's worth of consistently quality music. The songs are surprisingly whimsical (flutes and toy instruments occasionally serve to enhance standard guitar melodies) — one of the more unique notches on the alternative rock belt. At the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700 for info. $25.
Back in '96, there was nothing sexier than floppy-haired, bespectacled "schoolteacher" Matthew Caws spewing the deadpanned "three important rules for breaking up." The chart-climbing single "Popular" wowed the MTV generation, sure, but as a result the band was initially tossed aside as a one-hit-wonder — just another Weezer-like band that made its way by hanging on the corduroy coattails of all the other nerd-rock groups. In subsequent years, however, Nada Surf has resurrected its status completely, and this year's album, Lucky, has a more mature sound than all their previous work. The sense of melody is softened and expanded, the irony in the lyrics is toned down but not lost. At St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-6358 for info; all ages.
Saturday, Sunday 5, 6
"Dance for Mother Earth" Pow Wow
Immerse yourself in Native American culture for a weekend — during the 36th Annual Ann Arbor Pow Wow, which is sponsored by the University of Michigan's Native American Programming Task Force (NAPTF). The powwow began as a means to unite different nations of Native Americans, and to inform the general public about their culture and heritage. A variety of songs and dances will be performed in full regalia, such as the Victory Song, which "represents the spirit of the pow wow" and "honors veterans as well as our people who have exhibited great strength and perseverance." At the Crisler Arena, 333 E. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor. For info, visit umich.edu/~powwow or call 734-647-6999.
WITH THE WALKMEN AND WHITE RABBITS
What can we say? This is a sweet lineup. Assuming you're already able to look past the handful of infectiously popular singles from Spoon ("The Underdog" strike a nerve, anyone?), you know you're in store for a memorable performance from the upbeat Texan trio. Joined by the ever-wonderful Walkmen, who recently headlined at the Crofoot, and the indie dance rock sextet White Rabbits at the Emerald Theater, 31 N. Walnut St., Mt. Clemens; 586-913-1920 for info; $15.
Juan Carlos Zeballos Moscairo
Abstract expressionist Juan Carlos Zeballos Moscairo (a mouthful, no?) has traveled from Peru to exhibit his boldly colored paintings. What may seem at first as random splashes of paint on an already-bright canvas apparently runs deeper: According to the folks over at the Ariana Gallery, "He is a harvester, a hunter of urban visual information. With his paintings he understands the balance between happiness and of the tensions we all face as human beings. He invites the spectator to live now, together and to elevate the spirit with our senses." The paintings will be displayed until April 18, at the Ariana Gallery, 119 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-546-8810 for info.