Wednesday-Saturday • 9-12
International Pop Overthrow
PURE POP FOR NOW PEOPLE
Nicking its name from Chicago trio Material Issue's winning debut album, the International Pop Overthrew fest launched in Los Angeles in '97 before spreading to numerous other cities, from Milwaukee and Chapel Hill to Liverpool, England, home of the original and definitive power-pop band. Promoter David Bash finally brings the fest — which celebrates hook-ripe rock 'n' roll with vocal harmonies — to the Motor City (Hamtown, really) taking over Paycheck's for four nights to pimp mostly Mitten-born power pop and twee. Artists range from Detroit's own Pop Project to A2 folk-pop giants Great Lakes Myth Society to the second (and perhaps final) reunion in a month of former Lili's 21 and '80s East Lansing "stars" Let's Talk about Girls to the 20-something Beatlesque traditionalists the Singles. Go to tinyurl.com/35d4x6 for a full schedule. At Paycheck's Lounge, 2932 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-874-0909.
Wednesday • 9
The press adulates Jhumpa Lahiri and her prose, from the New York Times to Vogue (whichcalled her eyes the "color of a slightly oxidized penny"). For good reason, the literary world has been anticipating the April 4 launch of the Pulitzer prize-winning author's third book, Unaccustomed Earth. In the same vein as her lauded first collection, Interpretor of Maladies, the eight short stories in Earth follow the lives of Bengali immigrants in America. Lahiri will sign books and discuss her stories at 7 p.m. at Border's, 612 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-7652 for info.
Thursday • 10
PURE POP FOR LIT PEOPLE
Before you even ask — yes, Neko Case is performing. Score! This Juno award-winning and gushed-over indie-pop supahgroup can do no wrong, in case you've not noticed. With hooks and harmonies that can actually ache, coupled with hand claps and harmonicas (natch!), this Vancouver-based band has got the song-driven pop thing down to, well, an art. To open is alt-folksy trio Okkervil River at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333. All ages.
Friday, Saturday • 11, 12
H2O Hip Hop Olympx
IT'S GOOD TO BE THA KING
Want to be "king" of Detroit's hip-hop world? The illustrious title of "Da Krown of Da Underground" shall be awarded at the 2008 H2O Hip Hop Olympx, a battle of emcees, DJs, "b-boy" breakers and graffiti artists. The preliminary round begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, to prelude the Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony concert at St. Andrew's Hall. Participants can be of all ages, and must register and compete at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Warehouse, 1211 Trumbull Ave, Detroit. Day two — the finals — will be held at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit. For info, visit Me-ent.9F.com. Registration fee is $20, and the spectator fee is $10 each day or $15 for a two-day pass.
Friday • 11
Samuel R. Delaney
STRAIGHT FROM THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME
From a hippie commune to the heart of a star going nova, from the jazz age to distant times in distant galaxies … Samuel R. Delaney's poetic prose has been opening portals through the time-space-mind continuum since the precocious novels of his early 20s in the early '60s. Followers of sci-fi, fantasy, African-American lit, queer lit, porn, erotica, post-modernism and social criticism all claim him, often for exactly the same books. (Not that allegiance to any particular clan is a prerequisite for being amazed by him.) The Temple University prof and author of Dhalgren, The Einstein Intersection and 40-odd other books delivers the annual Lillian and Donald Bauder Lecture at 8 p.m. in Marygrove's Madame Cadillac Building Alumnae Hall, free and open to the public. More info at 313-927-1448. For info on a $100 dinner-reception call 313-927-1436 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday • 12
Ono Tea Web Site Launch Party
On a warm Saturday night, few things are better than visiting the local brewpub and knocking back countless frothy refreshments. But this Saturday night, the "brew" can mean a freshly brewed cup of, uh, tea. That's right, tea. In celebration of their new Web site launch, the Michigan natives behind Ono Teas will host a night offering samples of their wellness-oriented tea blends. Seems like a good date idea: She quaffs the tea, he sneaks a brew, everybody's happy. Featuring DJ 2040 and Queen Jasmine Tea Beer at 9 p.m. at Black Lotus Brewing Co., 1 E. 14 Mile, Clawson; for info, visit Iloveono.com or call 248-577-1878.
Saturday • 12
Tenor Sax Summit
NO RANDY, NO PAUL, NO SIMON
If your idea of aesthetic competition is rooted in the American Idol era, prepare for something a little different. The 1930s Kansas City-style tenor sax battles being emulated here are more subtle and more substantial that today's reality TV bouts — but no less exciting. It's all about putting up cats at the peak of their craft on the same stage and letting them show their interpretive mettle, song for song, solo for solo. Scott Gwinell, Paul Keller and Sean Dobbins are the rhythm section while saxophonists Chris Collins (Johnny Trudell Orchestra), Andrew Bishop (Paul Keller Orchestra) and Steve Wood (Scott Gwinell Orchestra) duke it out. The repertoire includes battle-tested classics plus a tribute to Detroit tenor legend Donald Walden. Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave.; 313-961-2543; 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Saturday • 12
Detroit Derby Girls
DETROIT PISTOFFS VS. DEVIL'S NIGHT
The rules are simple: two teams of mouth-guarded and knee-padded chicks skate around in circles and completely wail on each other. No, it ain't wrestle porn. Here, the goal is to make it around the skate rink as many times as possible — last team standing (and the members are few) survives. The breathtaking game, which is, of course, wildly popular and often sold out, will be in the Drill Room of the Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-831-8164 for info. Oh, and should the barbarous and strangely homoerotic sport thrill you, tryouts for one of the four teams is on Monday, April 14 at Riverside Arena, 36635 Plymouth Rd., Livonia; visit Detroitderbygirls.com for info.
Sunday • 13
African Children's Choir
FEED THE WORLD
Since 1984, children selected from impoverished villages in Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and South Africa have toured through the United States and the United Kingdom to perform traditional African music and dance. The performance raises awareness, and the proceeds benefit, more than 8,000 children affected by pandemic and famine. At the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; call 313-576-5111 for info.
Tuesday • 15
SLIDE GUITAR — HINDUSTANI-STYLE
Maybe you already know, but more likely it'll be news that a guy named Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the greatest guitarists alive, and he does his thing on special guitars (24- and 14-stringed) and, yes, a ukele, all played slide-style across his lap. American and British guitarists have nodded to Indian music and the sitar from time to time, but none has gone so far to bring the twains together as the followers of the Hindustani slide style that Bhattacharya has made his own, drawing on blues, Hawaiian music and Indian ragas alike. In Bhattacharya's finger-style "one note can be kaleidoscopically fractured in the hall of mirrors," says the admiring American guitar wizard Henry Kaiser. Kerrytown Concert House, 415 North Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999. 8 p.m.; $15 general admission, $10 students.