MINIMALISM NEVER SOUNDED SO SEXY
Hoarse vocals and hammering percussion, with a backdrop of gorgeous people going at it? Hot. The Kills' gritty, "let me grind on your face" sound was well-placed last month — their song, "Sour Cherry," was featured in now-infamous eyebrow- and pulse-raising "OMFG" ads for the teen drama Gossip Girl. All ephemera of fame aside, crit darlings VV and Hotel (née Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince) have crossed the Atlantic from Brit-land to tour following the 2008 release of their third album, Midnight Boom. With Telepathe at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Tickets $12, doors at 8 p.m. All ages.
Often, opening bands don't elicit coveted Night & Day coverage, but MIA really doesn't need anymore press blowjobs, does she? Holy Fuck, on the other hand, does. They purposefully avoid taking the easy route — always improvising, their lo-fi electronica is produced using vintage splicing equipment. What a treat. Doors at 7 p.m. at the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450. Holy Fuck will also spin a special set at the MIA after party, beginning at 11 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Don't lose your ticket stub on the way back from the Fillmore, and you'll get into the Stick supercheap.
THE 52 HOUR CHANCE
AS PART OF ART DETROIT NOW
The last time they did something like this, MT was elsewhere. And everywhere else MT was, everyone was missing. The few who were where MT was would explain their friend's absence as, "So-and-so's at the Russell. He's painting as part of that thing." So this time MT going to make it to 52-straight hours of "collaborative creation" with room enough for music, mural, collage, assemblage, sculpture and T-shirt screen printing. Got it? The deal: You bring your materials and enjoy music and poetry by Angelo Conti, Tom Budday, Mother Whale, Food for Owls, the Beards, Eric Waters, Urine Sample, As Centaurs, Black Seal, Weston Parker, Arrow/Spear/Sword, Jason Tobin, the Questions, Polar Opposite, the Nerve, Joe Whizner, the JIG and others, at The Overpass in Russell Industrial Center, Detroit; call 734-812-8609 for more info. Begins at 8 p.m.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY • 9-11
A MOSAIC OF SONGS
For the past 15 years, Mosaic Youth Theatre Company has been changing the lives of Detroit teens, who not only learn acting, but also self-confidence, drive, discipline and professionalism, thanks to Mosaic CEO, founder and director, Rick Sperling, himself an award-winning actor. Sing Jubilee!, their latest show, is the inspiring story of a group of African-American singers who toured the United States and parts of Europe in 1871 to raise money for their small university in Nashville, Tenn. The Fisk Singers ended up being hugely influential and went down in history for introducing "slave songs" to the world. "We serve all the young people of Detroit," Sperling says, about the decision to put on this musical with the kids. "But the majority of our young people are African-American, so we are drawn to stories that express that experience." Sing Jubilee! runs May 9-11 and 16-18, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 4 p.m. on Sundays, at the Detroit Film Theatre, inside the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900). School Matinees will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 8 and 15. For more information, call 313-872-6910 or visit mosaicdetroit.org.
LOOK, MA, TWO HANDS
Stanley Jordan has three Grammy nominations in the jazz category, but he'd have a shelf of actual awards if there were a category for, say, Best Technique That Makes You Holler, Damn! Jordan plays guitar with both fingers of both hands hammering strings up on the fret board, which means that he often sounds like a guitar duet. (Yes, other guitarists use that approach, but usually just for a solo flourish here and there.) His second trick is tapping notes on the fretboard with one hand while playing the piano with the other. Go for the gimmickry — and stay for the art. Two shows nightly, varying times; $19.50-$29.50. Arturo's Jazz Theatre & Restaurant, at 25333 W. 12 Mile Rd., just west of Telegraph Rd. (in the Star Theatre Complex); 248-357-6009.
JIMMY SCOTT AND THE JAZZ EXPRESSIONS
Now in his 80s, Jimmy Scott is riding his longest stretch of success — more than 15 years, in fact — in a career that's suffered more setbacks, sadness and screw jobs than should beset anyone, least of all a genius. Many consider him the original soul singer for the raw emotional honesty that's captivated admirers since the 1940s — from Ray Charles (recorded him for his label) to David Lynch (cast him in the Twin Peaks finale). "Jimmy used to tear my heart out every night," Quincy Jones said of their days together in the Lionel Hampton band. Jimmy'll leave a mark on yours too. 8 p.m. at Ark, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587; $35.
AS PART OF ART DETROIT NOW
In the Eastern Market loft of artist and educator Jocelyn Rainey, a show of new work focuses on Detroit's genuine honest-to-god painters: Shirley Woodson, Peter Williams, Gilda Snowden and Senghor Reid. "Peter Williams, see, he was born in Detroit," Rainey says. "But this is Peter Williams from New York." Williams' archetypal hallucinatory iconography shows up in these new encaustic paintings, but Rainey describes them as "vibrant, more vibrant. They just jump off at you." Rainey gives the four Detroit talents — who are known for their larger-than-life personalities — real room to breathe. In her cool, intimate space, each artist has an entire wall. "I'm just showing how deep our community is," she says. Pure Paint opens from 6-9 p.m. at JRainey Gallery, 1440 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-433-5022.
DEMONS WITH RODGER STELLA AND OTHERS
They turned around and around again like looping tapes, walking the rocks as if traversing their own art. Artist Alivia Zivich says the new imagery presented by visual music group Demons (Nate Young, Zivich and Steve Kenney) incorporates footage from their trip to see Robert Smithson's elemental earthwork in Utah, while they were on tour last November. Known for collaging slow-burning sounds from vintage synths, junkyard organs and finagled radios with an assault of found and handmade imagery on screen, the prolific artists/anthropologists in Demons always have some new, strange spell to cast on the audience. Saturday presents a special collaboration with Birmingham, Ala., musician Rodger Stella on his Moog Theremin before Demons leaves again for tour. Sick Llama (Heath Moerland of Fag Tapes fame) and Helicoptere Sanglante (Parisian Hendrik Hegray) also perform, as well as locals Tyvek (angular no-wave rock), Apetechnology (robotic sculpture and animatronics by artist Chip Flynn), and DJs Brad Hales and Smokedawg. Dorrs open at 9 p.m., at Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606.
YEP, ANOTHER MUSIC FEST
Get used to it, and revel in every moment — as the summer season's begun, every other millisecond a new music festival will be announced. Celebrating two decades of recording with the Loft Recording Studio, a heck-ton of bands will perform on three stages up in Pontiac. To name a few, the lineup will include Sponge, Taproot, Speedball, Solid Frog, the Bob Guiney Band, Crud, Garden Of Souls, 60 Second Crush, Konniption Fit, Calling Marvin, Novada, Universal Temple Of Divine Power, Motor Dolls, Spiral Crush, Widetrack and Jason Wagoneer. Whew. At the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333. Tickets $15; the show begins at 7 p.m.
Detroit locals I, Crime — Jennie Knaggs, Anderson Walworth, Charlie McCutcheon and Mike Ventimiglia — not only have great names (seriously, Knaggs? Ventimiglia? Sweet) but a stellar live presence. Their sound's kinda punk-pop (but good) and with a romantic twist, if you could imagine that. But why imagine? Go see. With Giant Tigers and Dead Letters at Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore, Detroit; 313-873-1739.
SATURDAY • 10
"Communicating and understanding what is happening on a global level is one of my greatest inspirations," says artist Kt Andresky, organizer of Press/Play, who often collaborates through mail art and interactive art. "I have been using new technology within my art for the past three years to document simultaneous current events and synchronized happenings." Andresky reached out to 24 artists representing 24 cities around the world (Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, LA, Portland, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rome and others), inviting them to prepare a live five-minute broadcast through the Internet telephone program Skype documenting their respective scenes. These transmissions will allow us to grasp, at least for a moment, that we are each an integral part of a creative whole. There's no better proof of unity than the event kick-off at 5:15 pm. Through a real-time web stream, artist Aadika Singh performs live in New York, projecting her art and herself onto Kt Andresky's body in Detroit. Press/Play is at 6 p.m., at 555 Gallery's Red Room Lounge, 4884 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-894-4202.
SATURDAY • 10
REHEARSAL FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF MU
RECONSTRUCTING AVANT GARDE
In conjunction with the opening of the much-anticipated Considering Detroit and Considering Architecture: Sustainable Designs from Detroit, Monster Island (currently musicians Cary Loren, Matt Smith, Mary Alice, Aliccia Berg and Jamie Easter) presents a shadow play, with a light show and live accompaniment. Mu, Loren explains, comes from the writings of Madame Blavatsky who places it in the Pacific some 50,000 or more years ago: "She says that civilization grew out of root races and beings took the form of humans, then the island sunk and the groups inhabited nearby islands. We're telling the history of shadow theater from prehistory to the island of Mu to the beginning of cinema — how it traveled through different cultures like Indonesia, India and China, and was revived in 1890s in Paris when the word 'avant-garde' was first used in a text written about shadow theater." Rehearsal for the destruction of Mu shows at 9 p.m., at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622.
SHAKE YER CULO
Ok, we couldn't resist using this blurb as a platform for the hot promo shot of metrosexual-looking Latin guys frolicking in frothy ocean backwash. They're really having a blast, no? You know you wish that were you, yes? That said, the Miami-based, Cuban-born members of the timba band are immensely talented (Grammy-nominated, even) in their art. They'll perform along with the DSO in a special commission by Venezuelan composer Ricardo Lorenz in collaboration with Tiempo Libre's Jorge Gomez. The idea is to blend the past and present of Cuban music with the Euro-orchestral tradition in a sort of Latin throwdown with strings. At 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5100.