JAM WITH LARRY
THE BOP BACK KID
Five years after being sidelined by health woes, and in time for his 65th birthday, Larry Smith is headed back to the stage. Actually, he's been taking the stage to jam with greater frequency of late, blowing up his trademark Parkeresque storms on alto, so this is more a formal heralding of his return than a debut. Among his big fans and supporters has been James Carter, who recognized his status, for one thing, by featuring him on his 1996 disc Conversing with the Elders. Wednesday night it's Jam With Larry Night at Bert's — where he'll be backed by the SBH Trio, the regular jam-session house band, and, you can expect, a who's who of fellow celebrants. Meanwhile, Smith has also settled into a regular Saturday night gig of his own at the club. Bert's Marketplace, 2727 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030.
MADONNA DANCE TRIBUTE
AIN'T NOTHIN' LIKE THE REAL THING?
Remember when Madonna was cool — before the contrived English accent and the Kabbala studies? Remember "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl," the wedding dress and bangles? And who could forget the cone-bra? Is all that vague, gauzy, indistinct? Don't worry, the Luna dancers will help you remember — like it's the very first time. At Luna, 1815 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-589-3344.
Lee "Scratch" Perry was instrumental in the development and spread of reggae and dub, both producing legendary artists and recording a huge catalog of work (his 54th album, Repentance, was released this week). The Upsetter traces Perry's life from his Jamaican boyhood to the height of his career, inventing the remix, pioneering genres (and where would, for example, the Clash be without him?) and mentoring Bob Marley — not to mention burning down his own studio. Lurid curiosity piqued? Good. At 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater (603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8397) with an afterparty featuring the Dub Club at the Blind Pig (208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-5555).
The Handsome Furs craft sparse yet evocative songs using only vocals, guitars and a drum machine. The duo from Montreal, which consists of wife-and-husband team Alexei Perry and Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade fame), has one LP to date, Plague Park, a plaintive and bleak exploration of urban alienation and rural loneliness. It's a bittersweet and melodic search for a landscape that consists of both and neither. Somehow, we don't think the suburbs are what they had in mind. With the Cinnamon Band at the Pike Room of the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $10; all ages.
MAN OF A THOUSAND VOICES
What do Ren, Stimpy, Futurama's Fry and Nickelodeon's Doug all have in common? Yes, they're all animated (mwaah-mwaah-mwaaaah), but the less obvious answer is that they — plus, a plethora of other animated characters — are all voiced by Billy West, stand-up comic, former Howard Stern employee and reformed addict. Oh, the vagaries of life behind the spotlight. Catch his one-man, 100-voices show Thursday at 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, 314 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-9080.
After a one-year hiatus, the local-music-spectacular-for-a-good-cause, otherwise known as Summer Smash, returns. And what a triumphant return it is, with a lineup that features many of Detroit's hip and blip-buzzed bands, including the Friendly Foes, the Dead Bodies, Four Hour Friends and the underrated Silverghost. All the event's proceeds will benefit a newly created grant for Detroit musicians and performing artists who can apply to receive funds to cover the costs of creativity, from recording to new equipment. It's like rocking out to help the rockers that help us rock out. Talk about yer synergy. At the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit; 313-899-2243; details at caid.org/summersmash.
GLITZ FOR A CAUSE
Swanky fundraisers have a lot to recommend them — there are the delectable hors d'oeuvres, top-shelf liquors and the guest-list of movers and shakers decked out in the snazziest of duds. And when the funds raised benefit the estimable Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History — well, there's really no reason not to go — if you've got the cheddar, that is. At the Colony Club, 2310 Park Ave., Detroit; call 866-444-2621 for details; $150.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE D
INGENUITY IN THE HOOD
It's All About the D is a brand-new festival celebrating the wonderful and wacky creativity that Detroiters have brought to their city and to the whole damned world. (And we all need a reminder of the positives in these trying times, no?) Highlights include a fashion show featuring found object designs, a special "Hair in the Hood" Hair Wars, renowned poet and native Detroiter Jessica Care Moore and an art show featuring mini-galleries confined to 25 containers. And to sweeten the deal for Oakland County suburbanites, Cranbrook will provide shuttles to the event, departing from Bloomfield Hills throughout the day. From noon to 8 p.m. at the Heidelberg Project, 3600 block of Heidelberg and Elba streets between Mt. Elliott and Ellery, heidelberg.org for info including shuttle times and location.
NINE INCH NAILS
MUSIC'S MODERN MONOLITH?
These days, more attention is being paid to how Trent Reznor releases his albums than to the music contained therein. Nine Inch Nails' two most recent albums — the haunting instrumental opus Ghosts I-IV and the more traditionally industrial The Slip — were released as digital downloads with zilch in the way of fanfare — and The Slip was offered up completely free of charge. To compound it all, both albums are licensed under Creative Commons, meaning you can remix them to your little heart's content — as long as it's for creativity's sake, not for profit. Some critics are applauding the new online business model as revolutionary, while others see it as an ominous portent for the future of the music industry. And, oh, yeah, the music's pretty good too. At the Palace of Auburn Hills, 3 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-377-0100; palacenet.com.
GREEN ELECTRONIC NOSTALGIA: RIDE MY CADILLAC
KISS-OFF TO CADDIES
Detroiters Terrance Parker and Jimmy Edgar headline this carbon footprint-free night of local and international DJs and electronic musicians. Both a send-off and commemoration of gas-guzzling Caddies, the event will feature interactive, automotive-inspired artwork and female models painted by GT designer and artist Camilo Pardo. Proceeds will benefit Motor Heart Beats, an organization connecting electronic musicians to interested kids in Detroit schools. At Confidential, 211 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-1260; $10.
EASTERN MARKET RUMMAGE SALE
WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' PRODUCE
Shop for something other than fruits and veggies this Sunday, when Eastern Market will be taken over by more than 10 vendors, including artist Gwen Joy and rad retro shop Mantra, selling vintage clothing and furniture, collectibles, T-shirts and other one-of-a-kind finds. Street musicians will populate the corners, and Butcher's Inn will be open to provide eats and hangover-busting Bloody Marys. From noon to 5 p.m. at Eastern Market, on Winder St. between Market and Riopelle streets, Detroit.
REV RUN & JUSTINE SIMMONS BOOK SIGNING
PARENT THIS WAY
Anyone who's seen Run's House, the MTV reality show chronicling the family life of hip-hop pioneer Joseph Simmons (aka the Rev. Run) is familiar with the saccharine life-advice Simmons doles out at the end of every episode. Recently, he's taken that penchant for instruction and, with his wife, Justine, authored a guidebook for breeders, Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America's Parents. Sure, having seven (!) children may give you some parenting cred, but will anyone want to listen to multi-millionaire Run's wisdom when he's not dishing it out from the bathtub? At 7 p.m. at Borders, 5601 Mercury Dr., Dearborn; 313-271-4441.
THE CHAIR SHOW
DON'T POP A SQUAT
The Chair Show is an annual tradition at Cranbrook, started by legendary mavens of mid-century furniture design Charles and Ray Eames. Students and recent alumni of the Academy of Art create pieces to park your carcass in, from the innovative to the outrageous. The creative (and perhaps uncomfortable) seating will be on display through Sept. 6, at the Anton Art Center (125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens; 586-469-8666). If inspiration strikes, you can liven up your own boring, functional chair at a chair-painting workshop this Sunday. Visit theartcenter.org for details.