FIRST ANNUAL MOTOR CITY TAP FEST
TAP THIS WAY
It's true — Detroit lacks a thriving tap dancing community. This uniquely American art form is often overlooked and disregarded by even the most indiscriminate art patrons, but now, thanks to the First Annual Motor City Tap Fest, a community will be born and you don't have to be Jimmy Slyde to participate. This four-day event will feature tap lessons for both novices and pros, an improvisational tap jam (yeah!), a panel discussion, and faculty and student concerts. The fest features and honors the legendary Dr. Prince Spencer of the Four Step Brothers, the first African-American act to perform at Radio City Music Hall. At the Detroit Marriott, 100 Renaissance Center, Detroit; motorcitytapfest.com or 917-687-4811 for info.
MOUTIN REUNION QUARTET
BACK FROM PAREE
Another sign of Detroit's jazz heft is that we supplied two of the last saxophonists that Miles Davis gave berths to in his final years. What did Miles hear in these guys? You can dig their records, of course, but better to hear them live. Kenny Garrett comes to town later in the summer for the Detroit International Jazz Festival. Rick Margitza, based for years in Paris, is coming back home this week as part of his regular gig with the acclaimed French combo led by the brothers Moutin. Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave.; 313-961-2543.
CATCH A RISING STAR
If you've never heard of Mayra Andrade, let us be the first tell you she's going to be big. Bigger than her fellow Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora. We'd like to think she'll be Mariah Carey-big, but we'll settle for Feist-size big, since she's singing in Portuguese with simple, acoustic productions. Her voice is like a pot of honey infused with a puff of smoke, sweet but also something more. Based in Paris, a Cape Verdean who's also lived in Cuba, Senegal, Angola, Germany, Portugal and France, she seems to have soaked up music from all of her stops, effortlessly negotiating the melodies and rhythms on her amazing new disc Navega (Sterns Music). Did we mention she's already a sensation in Europe? And that she's only 23? She's going to be big. At the Ark, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587.
SATIE, BEATLES AND MORE
Among her major career projects, Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi commissioned four discs worth of Beatles arrangements from avantish classical luminaries from John Cage to Pauline Oliveros. Her program Friday has her dipping into The Hyper Beatles Series — the first disc was hailed with the best classical disc of 1990 by The New York Times — for the Beatles as filtered through Oliveros, Akira Nishimura and Frederic Rzewski. She'll also play Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and Erik Satie (she's recorded all of his piano works and is credited with sparking a Satie-boom in Japan in the late '70s, another career project of note). Performances at 7 and 8:30 as part of the evening's offerings at the Detroit Institute of Art, 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 313-833-7900.
GREASERS & GEEZERS UNITE!
Kustom kulture of the much-romanticized '50s greaser variety is resurging (again?) of late, and it'll be in full-blown, rockabilly and leather-donning glory this Saturday at the Second Annual Hamtramck Hustle. The HH showcases pre-1968 hot rods and kustoms, and pre-1975 bikes. Count on seeing lots of fast cars (and equally fast women). DJ Skeeter will provide entertainment and the ever-fetching Detroit Derby Girls will be in attendance. At 2 p.m. at Veteran's Park, on Joseph Campau south of Holbrook Avenue, Hamtramck; info at myspace.com/hamtramckhustle; afterparty featuring the Casket Bastards, Country Bob and more at the glorious Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991.
THE PINK SPIDERS
This Nashville trio has been riding power-pop melodies and smart-ass charm straight into the belly of the mainstream beast. Singles from Teenage Graffiti, the group's 2006 major label debut, appeared on MTV's heavily eyeballed, faux-reality show The Hills and got heavy play at clothing chain Hollister, winning over privileged teens at shopping malls the country over. The Pink Spiders even performed on an episode of Hell's Kitchen in May of this year — because nothing says "we've arrived" like rubbing elbows with Gordon Ramsay and a bunch of reality TV "stars." The Pink Spiders are on tour to stir up anticipation for their next album Sweat it Out, due in September. With Drive By, Shram and Lies Unknown at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Tickets $10, doors at 8 p.m. All ages.
PERSONS OF INTEREST
URBAN VISUALS BY ART-VANDALS
Combine post-pop urban art sensibility with the proverbial canvas (or wall, as the case may be) and the result is Persons of Interest, an exhibit from the minds of Bask and Tes One. The agitprop artists mix media and master a mash-up of their styles as they showcase new solo and collaborative pieces — brace your eyes for works employing graffiti, stencils, readymade or found objects, paint and computer graphics. The duo is returning to Detroit for the first time in four years after earning national attention with exhibits in Dallas, Monterey, Seattle and Atlanta. Persons of Interest smears its stamp on another part of the country at 7 p.m. at CPOP Gallery, 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9901; cpop.com.
The latest issue of Signal to Noise name-checks Bill Laswell's Massacre, the Ruins and Glen Branca in describing this Philly-based quintet that's enthralled with complex shifts between skronkish textures and screaming tangents. We'd throw in John Zorn's Naked City as reference point, but we'd note that where Naked City (yes, we miss that band) collaged genres from C&W to lounge jazz to 78 shades of instrumental rock (and we use that term loosely here), these guys find the 78 shades are plenty. Signal Noise describes their eponymous debut on High Two as "brutally intricate music, aggressive and perfectionist." We'd say that's spot on. At 8 p.m. with Bee Keepers and Terra Zoa at the Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull, Detroit; 313-832-7952.
KEVIN MAHOGANY AT JAZZIN' ON JEFFERSON
FROM KANSAS CITY TO THE D
Kevin Mahogany has the vocal heft, the growl and the gravitas, to pull off playing the legendary Big Joe Turner role in Robert Altman's Kansas City back in 1996. And he's only gotten deeper with age. The real-life Kansas City native is the anchor for a full day of music on two stages for the Jazzin' on Jefferson fest of the Jefferson East Business Association. He takes the Alter Road Stage just after 9. Also on the bill, the Scott Gwinell Jazz Orchestra, Raysee Biggs, Detroit Tenors, Jesse Palter, Priscilla Price, Deblon Jackson and two sets by the YPL (Your Place Lounge) All-Stars (the 3:30 set features members of the Hot Club of Detroit). Plus children's play area, food galore and a new, juried artists market. Starts at noon on Jefferson between Chalmers and Alter. Info at 313-331-7939 or jazzinonjefferson.com.
STARS AND STRIPES FESTIVAL
ANOTHER SUMMER FEST!
OK, so maybe it is overkill to talk about yet another summer fest, but it ain't our fault that metro Detroit offers up more free outdoor fairs than probably any other city in the goddamned country. This time, the fun's happening on the east side, with downtown Mount Clemens overrun by cotton candy-crazed carnival-goers in search of nausea-inducing rides or pop nostalgia. The fest boasts four stages of music, the ubiquitous family-friendly activities, fireworks and an art village. Performers include staple of '90s radio Everclear and hometown boy Uncle Kracker, as well as Johnny Lang, Sponge and Mitch Ryder. And we can only assume that patriotic bluster will be in full swing. So it's a good thing the Clem has plenty of bars. In downtown Mount Clemens, between Gratiot Avenue and Market Street; 586-913-1919; full details at starsandstripesfest.com.
DESPERATE LOSERS: PWNED!
Fans of experimental local theater who've been waiting with bated breath for the sequel to Desperate Losers: NSFW can exhale. Desperate Losers: PWNED! picks up where Mike McGettigan's 2007 dark comedy left off, following the continuing misadventures of five Corktown roommates in the dark and not-so-distant future of Detroit in 2013. The characters must face futuristic social problems, crime and unemployment, before their climactic confrontation with the despot in charge — the corrupt mayor of Detroit. Of course, any similarities to the Detroit of today or any actual persons currently running the city are purely coincidental. Through July 12 at the Zeitgeist Performance Space, 2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-247-5270; zeitgeistdetroit.org; $10.