AN EVENING OF DISCRIMINATING DRAG
CROSS-DRESSING FOR EQUALITY
An Evening of Discriminating Drag is the first of a three-event series — Unity — produced by Hamtramck United Against Discrimination, a grassroots organization of concerned citizens working to educate Hamtramck voters on the human rights ordinance appearing on the ballot this November. The ordinance would protect Hamtown's diverse residents from discrimination, including members of the LGBT community — a fact pissing off the knee-jerk reactionary outsiders who are opposing the measure. For those of us who actually appreciate equality, enjoying fine entertainment of the chicks-with-dicks variety is an easy and fun way to show support. At Shadow Bar, 11425 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, 313-365-1446; $10. For more info visit hamtramckunited.org.
SHOWERING IS MURDER?
For most people, becoming a vegetarian is no easy matter. But for others, all it might take is seeing some naked human rights activists showering in the heart of downtown. Go figure. The PETA "beauties" will be attempting to educate passersby on the devastating effects the meat industry has on the environment. Passers-by, meanwhile, will probably just be trying to get a glimpse of their naughty bits. At 2-3 p.m. in downtown Detroit, at the corner of Monroe and Farmer streets.
DETROIT LOVES COMPANY ART OPENING
SOLIDARITY IN MISERY
In case you missed it, you're miserable. There's no use denying it — Forbes Magazine placed Detroit on the top of its list of the most miserable cities in the country. But accepting our sad state doesn't mean that hope is lost. The Debt Collective, an alternative arts organization and self-proclaimed army in the war on pessimism, presents Detroit Loves Company, a show of four Detroit artists offering original perspectives on our beloved and beleaguered city. While it may seem like slim consolation, as an antidote to misery, contemporary art beats sitting at home with Leonard Cohen on, eating ice cream out of the carton. With music by Humanfly at 7 p.m. at the Johanson Charles Gallery, 1345 Division St., Detroit; 313-483-1158.
THE PEOPLE'S ARTS FESTIVAL
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Claiming to be the largest arts festival in the city, the People's Arts Festival is truly an event for the heterogeneous masses. More than 100 artists and craftspeople will display creative wares that range from the recherché to the everyday, and more than 40 bands — from guitar virtuoso Cetan Clawson to the twisted electronic visuals of Los Minstrels Del Diablo — will perform. While the wide array of visual and acoustic arts showcased at the PAF is just a sampling of Detroit's varied and constantly expanding scene, it's still sure to satiate the diverse tastes of the 8,000 creative-class junkies who are expected to attend. At 11 a.m.-midnight at the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay St., Detroit; 313-872-4000; rccadetroit.org.
ST. ALBERTUS FEST
GLORY DAYS WILL PASS YOU BY
Built in 1872, St. Albertus Church was the first Polish Catholic church in Detroit. Though the archdiocese closed St. Albertus in 1990, the Polish American Historic Site Association saved the church from becoming another rotting reminder of past glory by turning it into a cultural history museum. Now in its fourth year, the St. Albertus Fest is held to raise awareness about how the beautiful church was spared a fate that far too many of Detroit's architectural gems have succumbed to. The fest kicks off with a classical performance by guitarist Brett Hoag inside the church, then moves outside for food, beer and an eclectic musical lineup including everything from the Basiks Reggae Band to punk rockers This is This. Drink beer, enjoy music and bask in architectural beauty at 2 p.m. at St. Albertus Church, 4231 St. Aubin, Detroit; $5; info at myspace.com/stalbertusfest.
When a band is called "the Pharmacy," you have to expect some sort of psychedelic freak rock noise — the kind that could only be produced with pharmacological aid. Truth be told, the Pharmacy produces poppy punk rock with diverse instrumentation (a harpsichord? are you kidding?) more suited for youth centers and basement house parties than as the soundtrack for pyscotropic trances. The Seattle trio is on a nonstop tour in support of its latest LP, Choose Yr Own Adventure. With Beekeepers and James and the Rainbros at the Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull, Detroit; 313-832-7952; all ages.
KENRO IZU LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING
Kenro Izu has traveled the world photographing religious sites, examples of which are currently on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the Kenro Izu: Sacred Places exhibition. His next jaunt brings him to the no-less-worldly (but perhaps less sacred than profane) city of Detroit to discuss his works and sign copies of his books. And museum-goers who are just as interested in the artist as they are in the art will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse into the psyche of the man behind the camera (for whatever that's worth). At 2 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org.
Self-described as a "minimalist rock trio," Shellac's sound is characterized by unusual time signatures, heavy rhythms and singer and guitarist Steve Albini's deadpan vocals and caustic lyrics. The trio has always eschewed mainstream commercial success, releasing records sporadically and only touring when on vacation from day jobs and in locales that band members want to visit, regardless of what profits (or lack of) the stop promises. As a result, Shellac's volatile and raucous live show hasn't occurred in the Detroit area for more than six years, so this rare visit is sure to send hardcore fans into orgasmic heights of ecstasy, as well as convert a new batch of Shellac faithful. At the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $10; all ages.
TALKING AND THINKING ABOUT TALKING AND THINKING
So you're sitting in a coffeehouse reading Metro Times and perhaps wondering how it is that with a measly three pounds of gray gook you can understand the sentence you're reading, the chatter around you, the notion that the coffee cup remains on the table while you glance away to read, the infinite universe, your ability to, say, expound on such things, etc., etc. For more than a decade, Steven Pinker has been topping best-seller lists with books that explore such questions from the perspective of a Darwinian psychologist who can illustrate complex matters with examples as down to earth as George Costanza trying to get laid in a Seinfeld episode. Pinker's current book tour supports The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (Penguin), recently reissued in paperback. At 7 p.m. at Shaman Drum Bookshop, 311-315 South State St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-7407.