WEDNESDAY • 16
POETRY @ THE ZEITGEIST
This dependably engaging monthly poetry series at this venerable Detroit art-performance space delivers something different this time around: lectures instead of verse. Scheduled are Edward Griffor, the author of Handbook of Computability Theory (Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics); James Hart II, both an arts administrator and someone who's thought long and hard about society and aesthetics; and Kathryne V. Lindberg, of the WSU English and Africana Studies departments, "author and editor of numerous work on American poetry and critical theory, modern poetics and black textuality." Maybe we can revive the Chautauqua movement? Free at the Zeitgeist, 2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-965-9192.
IT TAKES TWO, BABY
Indie pop duo (uh, can we think of a more ubiquitous term?) Meric Long and Logan Kroeber boast acoustic fingerpickin' and frenetic percussion, with an impressive debut full-length album (2008's Visiter) and an even more impressive live show. Inviting comparisons to experimental neo-primitivists like Animal Collective, the Dodos certainly mix it up: Fans of shoegaze, for instance, will find an interesting spin — Kroeber enhances his drumming by strapping tambourines to his feet. Doors at 8 p.m. at the Pike Room of the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333 for info. All ages.
HERBIE HANCOCK'S IN HIS CORNER
Last summer when we were chatting up Herbie Hancock for an MT article, we raved about his bandmember Lionel Loueke's way of playing guitar riffs reminiscent of a traditional African harp. Hancock didn't want us to get too carried away with that in particular, since Loueke can do just about anything on the guitar. Always good to know you're on the same page as Herbie, even if your interpretations are a little bit different. Born in Benin, Loueke developed his craft in Paris and then at Boston's Berklee School of Music before his brisk march to the forefront of jazz, including a spot on Hancock's Grammy Award-winning River: The Joni Letters and, after a couple promising small-label releases under his own name, his big-time debut on Blue Note with Karibu. At 8 and 10 p.m. at the Firefly, 637 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-9090; $15.
SKA PUNKS MEET RINGLING BROS.
As of late, the online version of this Night and Day spread includes YouTube videos, so you can see things words and static pictures can't easily convey. For instance, the French band Babylon Circus, hails from the remote French tribal areas, where Parisian cabaret, ska, reggae, punk, swing, jazz, radical politics and the big top indistinctly border one another. They're virtually unknown in this country, but the vids suggest their manic swagger and musical prowess could find them a niche here — maybe even a cult of followers in clown noses. In English and unsubtitled French. Concluding the Global Thursday concert season at 7:30 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave. (at Schaefer Road), Dearborn; 313-624-0207; arabamericanmuseum.org; $12 door; $10 advance; $8 members.
IRON & WINE
MEN WITH BEARDS
For those who relegate Iron & Wine to eye-gazing embraces or bottle-in-hand "me" time — reconsider. Solo, Sam Beam electrifies with his crackly-voiced croons, but when joined by a full band, his amped-up guitar-pluckin' recalls a more full-blooded, classic strain of rock. This is particularly evident after the 2007 album, The Shepherd's Dog, which features a slew of new backing musicians and instrumentation ranging from organ to bass harmonica. With Califone at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980. Tickets $22.50 in advance, $25 at the door; doors at 7 p.m. All ages.
RHYTHM AND WORDS
HOMEGIRLS AND HANDGRENADES
The poetry in Sonia Sanchez's titles alone speaks volumes: I'm Black When I'm Singing, I'm Blue When I Ain't, for instance, or Homegirls and Handgrenades or Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums. One of the voices who defined the new black poetry of the '60s, she's an elder stateswoman in this century. She shares the bill with the kind of voices she helped pave the way for: Quraysh Ali Lansana, Jessica Care Moore, Khary Kimani Turner and Sparrow. 7-10 p.m., $10, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave. (at Brush), Detroit, 313-494-5800.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY 18, 19
STARS OF BALLET AND BROADWAY
SUITS AND SOFT SHOES
Consider this a sampling platter of New York stage aesthetic — some of ballet and Broadway's best will trek to the Midwest, performing works popularized by companies like the Martha Graham Dance Co., Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Joffrey Ballet. Excerpts from Tony-winning musicals are among the lineup, along with live music from the Movin' Out Band and R&B singer Kenny Bobien. Many of the "stars" will be joined by metro Detroit dancers, so with the slight risk of over-promising, this event will be quite the extravaganza. At the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8500. Tickets $30-$50.
RECORD STORE DAY
SHOW YOUR LOVE
All hail music that you can hold in your sweaty little hand, listen to, smell, collect, read and file on a shelf. All hail the overeducated and underachieving record store employees. All hail the sense of community, local employment and the spirit of independent music retail. All hail indeed, because April 19 is Record Store Day, celebrated nationwide. It's a day when music lovers can go out en masse and purchase hard copies of music on vinyl, CD, or even 8-track, or just browse. Do it to celebrate the tradition of the record store.
Some retailers are planning Record Store Day celebrations, including Record Time (27360 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-775-1550). Bubbly owner Mike Hines says there'll be giveaways, big sales, a radio jock or two, and "other fun stuff" including local bands (Grayling and Monkey Jacket) starting at 6 p.m.
Over at Rock-A-Billy's (8411 Hall Rd., Utica; 586-731-0188), Century Media bands' Winds of Plague, As Blood Runs Black and Stick to Your Guns are all scheduled to appear among other such festivities.
If you've been chained to a blue screen or the big box chains, here are some local indie record store recommendations: On the west side there's Detroit's Buy Rite Music and Damon's, Stormy Records and Dearborn Music in Dearborn and Garden City's Rock of Ages; to the north there's Street Corner Music in Beverly Hills and Clawson's Flipside Records; there's the Record Graveyard in Hamtramck, Ferndale's Record Collector and Royal Oak's Solo Records. On the east side you'll find Melodies and Memories, Record Time, Car City Records and Blast in the Past. Can't forget Encore Recordings in Ann Arbor.
Look, Shelby Lynne got it right when she said "You can't roll a joint on an iPod."
So give up some love for the recorded song and hit your local indie retailer — it's your duty, not only as a fan of music, but as a fan of your town.
THE TANGENTIAL FESTIVAL
FOLK FOR BROKE
Always ambitious, the BoHouse is hosting a six-day folk fest, with a lineup that's, oh, redolent with talent. Of note: Saturday, Nick Schillace is holding a CD release show with Eric Carbonara and Mike Tamburo, and Tuesday, American Mars is playing with the soon-to-be-giant Birdgang. Also on the lineup: Frank Pahl, the Tipton Saxophone Quartet and Orpheum Bell, and Jewels and Binoculars covering Bob Dylan. For a full list of events, go to myspace.com/bohemiannationalhome or, of course, hit up Metro Times' listings online. At the Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman, Detroit; 313-737-6606. Full story on Page 20.
(GOTTA SAY IT) MMMMMM-BOP!
The trio has morphed from pretty girls to pretty boys — and with blessed puberty, a maturation of sound. 'Cause really, they ain't so bad. Hanson's still all pop, but it's a more dignified, carefully crafted version of the beast — as evidenced by recent albums like Underneath (2004) and The Walk (2007). Anyway, screaming girlfans who've matured into screaming womanfans, it's Hanson. Go see. With Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers and Kate Voegele at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980; $32 in advance, $35. And need we say it? The show's all-ages.
REDFORD THEATRE 80TH GALA
LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN
The venerable Redford celebrates its roots by staging a recreation of its founding era. On the screen will be Buster Keaton's silent classic The Electric House, a send-up of the early days of electricity. Organist — and we're talking a classic theater pipe organ — John Lauter provides the accompaniment. The 11-piece Hotel Savarine Society Orchestra shares the bill, and the Pleasant Moments Vintage Dancers trot out the Charleston and other period rug-cutting moves. At 8 p.m.; tickets $20-$25; at 17360 Lahser Rd., Detroit; 313-537-2560.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY 18, 19, 20
Peter Shaffer's Tony-winning play completes the spectrum of deviance, expressed through sexuality, religiosity and eye-stabbing lunacy. The drama centers on a psychiatrist and his 17-year-old patient, a stable boy who has been hospitalized for brutalizing the horses he works with. Particularly chilling in the venue's intimate atmosphere, Equus will run through April 26, at the Zeitgeist, 2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-247-5270. For info, visit theabreact.com. Not all-ages.
DETROIT DRUG WARS ALLEY CATS RACE
4:20, DUDE ...
Unlike the furious race-to-the-finish attitude of a normal Alley Cats race, this special event takes a more ... laid-back ... chill ... eeeeeeasy, man ... stance on the scavenger hunt. Pairing in teams of two, bikers are instructed to find various checkpoints throughout downtown Detroit, until they finish the race. But if you don't finish the race, well, who could ever blame you? It's 4/20, man. The event begins at Hart Plaza in Detroit at ... yes, you've guessed it ... 4:20 p.m.