TIPTON LEA AND THE VICTORIAN ARMY
REALLY, REALLY OLD-SCHOOL
This Ann Arbor duo asks the question: "If rock music existed 100 years ago, what would it sound like?" The answer involves a piano, percussion and lots of electronic fuzz, as well as grainy black-and-white photos of the band next to large Victorian-era phonographs. Novelty act with a peculiar niche or ambitious musical thought-project? Either way, the question remains — would they be Queen Victoria's cup of tea? With Extra! Extra! and Lock Your Door at the Elbow Room, 6 S. Washington St., Ypsilanti; 734-483-6374; ypsielbow.com.
FRIDAY • 25
LISTEN ZINE RELEASE PARTY
Who said zines were dead? Whoever did, they didn't tell the nice people behind Listen, described as "a zine of writings." The new publication is a project of White Print, Inc., which bills itself as "a new avant-garde Detroit press dedicated to unknown and emerging writers, as well as Cass Corridor history." (See whiteprintinc.com for more info.) To celebrate the zine's first volume, the House of Art and Music will present an evening of poetry and music. Expect to hear readings from Jhon Clark, Mirinda Fleenary, James Hart III, James La Croix and Audra Kubat, with a musical performance from Emily Rose. Part of the proceeds will support United Peace Relief Detroit, a local, nonprofit disaster relief group. (See uprdetroit.org for more info.) Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m., at 4203 Lincoln St., Detroit; sliding scale admission; call 313-268-3367 for more info; BYOB.
AMERICAN CULTURAL REBELS
BOOK SIGNING AND MORE
Local authors Roy Kotynek and John Cohassey give a whirlwind tour of 100-plus years of artistic challenges to the status quo in their 200-plus page book American Cultural Rebels (McFarland). Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Alfred Steiglitz, Jean Toomer, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Amiri Baraka and about a zillion other figures cram the pages. What better Detroit-rooted rebels to have on hand for a book reading-discussion-signing than poets, etc. John Sinclair and James Semark (founding members of the Detroit Artist Workshop)? From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190.
WEIRDO EXPERIMENTS IN ELECTRONICA
Drawing inspiration from the quotidian may not seem very cutting-edge, but as electronic duo Matmos demonstrates, recording the sounds of innocuous everyday objects can result in some freaky sounding shit. Examples of things that this intelligent Baltimore twosome has used in its music include the turning pages of a Bible, rat cages, a five-gallon bucket of oatmeal, insects and latex fetish clothing. (Is that what that squeaking noise was?) But for its seventh full-length, Supreme Balloon, Matmos ditched all that and used nothing but synthesizers (electronica nerds can find a detailed description of the entire process on Matmos' brainwashed.com). They'll be performing a four-hour program of music and videos designed specifically for the Marble Lounge at 10 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org.
CHEEKY HORROR ROCK
Epitomizing the genre known as horror rock, the man known as Wednesday 13 sings tongue-in-cheek anthems celebrating all things macabre. Gruesomely infectious songs with titles such as "Morgue Than Words" and "Happily Ever Cadaver" populate his three full-length albums, the latest of which, Skeletons, was released this April. Sure, a love song that offers a glowing description of a corpse may only appeal to a certain psychographic (other than outright necrophiliacs, that is), but with hooks and riffs galore, lines such as "Let me wipe those maggots from your eyes" are embarrassingly easy to sing along with. At I-Rock Nightclub, 16350 Harper Ave., Detroit; 313-881-7625; all ages.
Carlene Carter has changed from the days when she was the feisty 'n' hot young country-rock siren-sensation married to Nick Lowe and claiming the legacy of the legendary Carter family, which practically created the concept of "country music." Well, she can always claim the latter, but the last decade or so saw much hardship in her life, including a much-publicized heroin addiction and numerous tragedies (including the deaths of mother, June Carter; stepfather, Johnny Cash; younger sister, Rosie Nix Adams; and lover Howie Epstein of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers). Fully recovered and healthy, Carter's new album, Stronger, is a reflection on the last several years of struggle as well as finally meeting and falling in love with "the cowboy of her dreams." It's an old cliché, but Ms. Carter has pressed sweet lemonade out of life's lemons on this one. Music and activities at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, concluding with Bacon Brothers at 8 p.m. and Carter at 10:30. Free admission. Info at campusmartiuspark.org.
BEST OF THE FRINGE
Over the course of three years, Ferndale-based X! Records, X! has been presenting a brand of Detroit-based punk noise that should make this city proud. Scott Dunkerley, the X! mainman, has gathered together some of the best from the fringes of Detroit's music culture — as well as a few out-of-town guests from as far away as San Francisco — for this year's third annual celebratory festival, including, among numerous others, Fontana, Frustrations and Necropolis. Complete with a Sunday afternoon barbecue, too! At the New Bohemian Home, 3009 Tillman, Detroit; 313-737-6606.
WHFR RECORD SHOW
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT RADIO!
Huge corporate conglomerations have a stranglehold on most of the radio dial. Sure, that might be stating the obvious, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't care. It's important to support the little guys who, instead of just trying to turn a buck or two (or a million or two) are offering variety and giving a forum to overlooked genres. At the 2008 WHFR Record Show, you can do just that by paying a cheap entry fee for the opportunity to browse thousands of CDs, records and kitschy rock merch. All proceeds benefit this nonprofit, volunteer-run radio station at Henry Ford Community College. 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn; 313-317-6542; whfr.fm.
BARBECUED ARTISTS FEATURING AUDREY PONGRACZ
NURSERY RHYMES AND NIGHTMARES
The artwork of Audrey Pongracz combines idyllic images of childhood with a twisted, gothic sensibility. Given only a quick glance, her oil paintings can seem almost too precious — wide-eyed girls in flowing dresses and cuddly stuffed animals — until you realize that the cute teddy bear's head is mounted on the wall and dripping blood, and that the wide-eyed girl is sitting naked in a toy box. A new display of her work is being inaugurated with a night of barbecued eats, wine and music at 6 p.m. at 323 East, 323 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-246-9544; 323east.com.
THE VIVIANE DIARIES
Gambian-born author Fatoumata Manjang wrote The Viviane Diaries when she was only 14 years old, and the novel, which follows a Detroit-born couple's romance and their daughter's turbulent teenage love life, has earned critical acclaim for addressing aspects of contemporary teenage life from puppy love to greed to hip-hop. Now 17, Manjang is touring the United States to promote her novel and to encourage technology-addled teens to pick up a book for once. She will read from and discuss The Viviane Diaries, copies of which will be available for sale, at noon at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-4791; detroitpubliclibrary.org. Teens from ages 13 to 18 are especially encouraged to attend this free event.
JOHNNY O'NEAL SHOUTS THE BLUES
REEL DEAL & REAL DEAL
Johnny O'Neal clearly copped the role of Art Tatum in the movie Ray for his ability to nail Tatum's keyboard razzle-dazzle. But the reason to see him in his lifetime role of Johnny O'Neal is because he swims a rich river of tradition that includes Fats Waller and other Tatum predecessors and flows past the likes of Oscar Peterson and Gene Harris before reaching the place where he does his own personal freestyle. Need we mention that the Detroiter and former Jazz Messenger is also a soulful singer? At Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
HOLLYWOOD ON STAGE
Actor, playwright, activist, musician and proud Michigander, Jeff Daniels, keeps his creative plate full. His newest play, Panhandle Slim & the Oklahoma Kid, is at the Purple Rose till Aug. 30. But this week he also comes to the Detroit Film Theatre for a special one-night performance with Sigourney Weaver in A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize-nominated Love Letters. About the play, Daniels tells Metro Times, "These two people are reading these letters over the span of their lifetimes. On paper, Love Letters shouldn't work. But it works, and I was kind of stunned by that." At 7 p.m. at The Detroit Film Theatre (inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit) with a reception and dinner with the stars immediately following. For tickets, visit purplerosetheatre.org or call 734-433-ROSE.
SATURDAY · 26
THE HARD LESSONS RECORD RELEASE PARTY
LET'S GET CRAZY!
One of Detroit's favorites for the last five years, the Hard Lessons unleash their latest album, B&G Sides (on Quack! Medua), on an adoring public this week. The trio is extremely up for this event — numerous "special surprise guests" are promised — so get out there and support local music. See this week's cover story for many more details! With American Mars, Four Hour Friends, Paul Green's School of Rock students, Josh Epstein of the Silent Years and others. At the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333.
A vocalist with a mesmerizing voice and incredible range, Jill Scott is at the forefront of neo-soul musicians. A three-time Grammy winner, Scott is also a talented poet (she was discovered doing spoken word) and has recently forayed into acting, starring in 2007's Why Did I Get Married? and portraying Big Mama Thornton in the film Hounddogs, set for a fall release. Her hip-hop-infused soul music is one thing on disc, but her captivating stage presence shouldn't be missed. With Bilal at 7:30 p.m. at Chene Park, 2600 Atwater St., Detroit; 313-393-0292; cheneparkdetroit.com.
PAUL OUTERBRIDGE: COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY FROM MEXICO AND CALIFORNIA, THE 1950S
A pioneer in color photography, Outerbridge found new inspiration when he relocated from New York to southern California (a move precipitated by a scandal surrounding his other photographic forte: erotic nudes), extensively photographing the everyday scenes and inhabitants of California and Mexico's Baja Peninsula. While Outerbridge was hardly groundbreaking for his choice of locale, his prints showcase his consummate understanding of color and form. His final body of work, the prints (sans nudes — it's OK to be disappointed) will be on display through Sept. 7 at UMMA Off/Site, 1301 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8662; umma.umich.edu.
FROM PONTIAC TO BERLIN
Berlin-based gallery owner Eva Bracke is devoted to a daring, defiant young set of artists. For the past few years, she's kept her eye on Detroiters too. In a first-time collaboration, as part of the Museum of New Art's Changing Cities exchange program, Moving Walls showcases work by the emerging talents in Eva Bracke's stable alongside that of a dozen Detroit artists. The art will then ship to Bracke's gallery in November for an exhibit. Moving Walls runs through Aug. 9 at Museum of New Art, 7 N. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-210-7560.
DOUGLAS OF DETROIT
BEEFCAKE & BOOKS
Book Beat owner, artist and collector Cary Loren is always on the lookout for a good story. He makes his living tracking down obscure hardcovers and well-worn paperbacks for our community, but one man, Douglas Duleff — otherwise known as "Douglas of Detroit" — has kept him searching for years. Duleff was a physique photographer during the 1940s and '50s, photographing lifters and athletes for popular magazines. On the side, he shot compelling and beautiful nude figurative work until a raid at his house during the McCarthy Era shamed him into obscurity. In a first-time exhibition of his work, Loren uncovers the story. Douglas of Detroit runs through the end of the summer at Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190.