PAXAHAU 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
10 YEARS AND ROLLING
It's been 10 years since electronic music "moguls" Paxahau stepped onto the scene promoting and uncovering some of D-Town's best beats. In a mere decade, Paxahau has become a premier electronic music promoter, producer of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, record label and booking agency, with a killer website — complete with archived DJ sets! The booty-shaking, glow-stick-waving celebration includes local Paxahau DJs and jet-setting guests, including Richie Hawtin, Rich Korach, Zip and Magda. The party kicks off Thursday at Exodus (525 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-92-7093), continues Saturday at Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7200) and concludes with two shows Sunday at 1 p.m. at Z's Villa (42 Piquette St., Detroit; 313-874-2680) and at 10 p.m. at Northern Lights Lounge (660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739); info at paxahau.com.
Windy Weber is one-half of Windy & Carl — married couple, Stormy Records owners and experimental space rockers. But the dreamy, ambient sounds the duo creates are not to be heard at this extremely rare live appearance by Weber, who released a solo album this year. I Hate People, as the name suggests, features ominous, anxious and dissonant tones on two tracks — the 24-minute "Sirens" and the 32-minute "Destroyed." It's like this: If Windy & Carl is a feather pillow and down comforter, then Weber solo is a straw mattress with polyester sheets ... but, you know, in a good way. With psychedelic freak-outs Qualia, Al Scheurman and Crash Engine at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668.
DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX
CARS GO VROOM
After starting its engines last year (breaking a five-year hiatus) the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix continues to gain speed (not to mention volume). The 2008 installment includes an additional racing series — the SPEED World Challenge GT — burning rubber on the track, more bands taking the stage and a series of green initiatives aimed to make the event about as eco-friendly as three days of driving gas-guzzling fast cars can get. The budget-conscious can check out Friday's Free Prix Day to watch warm-ups and practice, while Saturday and Sunday will feature races, autograph sessions, and live entertainment from Sugar Ray, Everclear and more. At Belle Isle, Detroit; tickets and info at 866-464-7749 or detroitgp.com.
HAMTRAMCK LABOR DAY FESTIVAL
JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT
Cabbage rolls, kielbasa and pierogies the size of your head have been a Labor Day tradition in Hamtown for the past 28 years. OK, it's not just about food (although eating your way down Joseph Campau is definitely encouraged), the streets of downtown close for carnival rides, art vendors, a Sunday parade and two stages of local music. Highlights include the Four Hour Friends, American Mars, the ever-popular Polish Muslims, Polka Floyd and Speedball, not to mention the superlative lineups being showcased in the 'Tram's numerous bars. And last, but certainly not least, the annual pierogi-eating contest is back with a gastronomic vengeance. Na zdrowie, dudes. At Joseph Campau between Caniff and Carpenter, Hamtramck; 313-204-8474 or hamtramckfestival.org for info.
ARTS, BEATS & EATS
Sure, there are more art vendors than you could shake a bloated belly at it, and yes, there are plenty of eats — from Indian to coneys and everything in between — but the real highlight of this annual fest is definitely the beats. More than 150 genre-spanning local acts take to six stages with a seventh stage dominated by national acts. Big-name draws include Rusted Root, Blues Traveler, Boney James, Chaka Khan and Puddle of Mudd. Local heavyweights include the Hard Lessons (of course), Dirty Americans, the Muggs, the Orbitsuns, Love Meets Lust, Willie Nash and the Detroit Techno Militia. In downtown Pontiac; info at artsbeatseats.com.
JAZZ FEST AFTER SESSIONS
In case the festival merely whets your appetite for all things jazz, Bohemian National Home is hosting four nights of experimental and collaborative afterparties. Friday features poet and free jazz sax-man Faruq Z. Bey in a remarkable collaboration with noise artist Viki (her last show here before kissing Detroit goodbye). On Saturday, ex-Griot Galaxy saxaphonist Tony Holland, who had one of the hottest sets at last year's fest, takes the stage. Kenny Millions' Punkjazznoise — a one-man mash-up of guitar, distortion, sax and clarinet — will be joined on Saturday and Sunday with a surprise lineup of Detroit all-stars. And Monday will close the weekend off with the members of the European avant-jazz Instant Composers Pool: Han Bennik, Wolter Wierbos and Toby Delius, with as many of their friends as they can drag along. At 10 p.m. at the Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606; $10 suggested donation.
BUCCANEER BEER FEST AT THE RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF COORS?
The Ren Fest is about experiencing the Middle Ages without some of the more unpleasant (some might say, historically accurate) features — it's all jousting and turkey legs minus the rats, fleas and bubonic plague. This weekend it's all about pirates and beer (a combo made in heaven, no?) with eye patches, booty and grog galore, but without the tyrannous captains, scurvy or shipwrecks (sorry, hangovers are still here to stay). Festivities include the first ever Buccaneer BBQ competition, a beer tasting and general drunken frivolity along with the usual Renaissance Festival merrymaking. Can we get an "arrrr" to that? At the Renaissance Festival Grounds, 12600 Dixie Hwy., Holly; 800-601-4848; michrenfest.com.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LYRICS, DUDE
David Berman continues his exploration of lo-fi alt-country with Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, the Silver Jews sixth full-length and first album in three years. The Joos are known for droll and thoughtful lyrics expressing the wry worldview of the reclusive Berman, and his latest effort doesn't disappoint. "Romance is the douche of the bourgeoisie" and "You got Tennessee tendencies and chemical dependencies" are but two lines of many. And rumor has it that the seldom-touring Berman may dismantle the band, so take the opportunity and croon along with him while you can. With Cortney Tidwell at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; crowfoot.com; $12.
Dude, isn't it fucking sweet that Hatebreed is kicking off their Live Dominance DVD release tour in Detroit? And who wouldn't be completely stoked that the members are going to autograph DVDs for every fan that purchases one at the show? Not to mention that the majority of the live footage on the DVD was shot in Detroit. Killer! If you watch it in slo-mo, maybe you'll see your fist jacking the air! How badass is that? With Emmure, Soilent Green, War of Ages and Catalepsy at 6 p.m. at I-Rock, 16350 Harper Ave., Detroit; 313-881-7625; $17; all ages.
MICHIGAN STATE FAIR
Ah, the State Fair. It's a little bit of the country plopped down smack dab along the middle of Eight Mile Road. It's the only place where you can dig on Alice Cooper and then witness a pig's birth. It's the place to go for prize-winning vegetable displays and elephant ears, stilt-walkers and bull-riders, Christmas tree decorating and hog calling. It's the best way for city folk to experience carnival rides and country life, and to gain appreciation for negligible interaction with animal shit. At the Michigan State Fairgrounds, 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, Detroit; 313-369-8250; michigan.gov/mistatefair.