DETROIT ROCKS THE VOTE
CELEBRITIES VOTE TOO! GOSH.
Since 1990, the nominally nonpartisan (yeah, right) organization Rock the Vote has been working to mobilize the apathetic youth masses of America to vote with a parade of celebrities and pop musicians (because if Christina Aguilera tells you to do something, ya probably should, eh?). This year, the guest speaker is hip-hop legend and political activist Chuck D. who will be expounding on the importance of participating in the democratic practice, while local bands Deastro, the Muggs, Nadir and the Go and more will provide the necessary entertainment. At the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450.
ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE ART OPENING
IF WE COULD TALK TO THE ANIMALS ...
Animal Intelligence joins artists who are interested in animal imagery with field researchers who study the intricacies of animal behavior in an aesthetically pleasing, yet scientific melding of left- and right-brained sensibilities. By combining breathtaking imagery with scientific research, the exhibit attempts to show how animals are much more similar to humans than we'd like to think (cue gasping creationists here). For example, the work of Elizabeth Tibbets has shown that wasps recognize other wasps by individual facial features, rather than through pheromones. The accompanying images that show the complexity and variety in wasps' faces will make you believe that we arbiters of civilization may not be that different from pea-brained insects after all. At 6-9 p.m. at the Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012; thegalleryproject.com; exhibition runs through Oct. 26.
WITH LAGWAGON AND MXPX
Sure, Lagwagon and MxPx are punk-rock vets, but who wants to yak about some established (read: aging) rockers when you can talk about some sexy up-and-comers instead? TAT's brand of unabashed and catchy riff-riot has earned them festival spots in Europe, stints on the Warped Tour and opening slots for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, NOFX and Alice Cooper. The Brit trio is on the cusp of releasing its North American debut, slated to hit shelves Oct. 28, and they promise to continue the legacy of buzzcockin' British punk (aw, ain't that cute?). At 6 p.m. at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-8137; livenation.com; $18 advance, $20 day of show; all ages.
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP
DANCING WITHOUT THE STARS
The famed Mark Morris was once the renegade of the American dance scene, but, like so many things once rebellious, his creative vision is often the standard for modern dance. The Mark Morris Dance Group formed in 1980 and is now considered one of the country's (if not the world's) leading dance companies. Morris' influence is evidenced by how some people outside the dance milieu have actually heard of him. (How many pro dancers can you name? Uh, Dancing With the Stars doesn't count!) Of note is the group's commitment to and love for music — most performances are accompanied by live, rather than canned, music. At 8 p.m. at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-3333; ums.org.
SERVICE STREET FAIR
More of an open-invitation block party than an honest-to-goodness fair, the goal of the Service Street Fair is to introduce the burgeoning artistic community of Service Street in Eastern Market to the rest of the city. Vendors, gallery open houses and barbecue (for meat-eaters and vegetarians) will be presented along with performances by Derrick May, the 1440 Collective, RJ's Rhythm Rockers and more. So bring a cooler, a lawn chair and enjoy the laid-back vibe of yet another (hopefully not short-lived) vibrant community springing up in Detroit. At noon-10 p.m. on Service Street, between Russell and Riopelle streets, Detroit.
SATURDAY • 20
Never heard of Rodriguez — aka Sixto Diaz Rodriguez? That's OK. You're not alone and in a crowd of numerous music aficionados who've yet to discover this soon-to-be-legendary musician-singer-songwriter. The Detroit-born and based dude released two albums in the early '70s, which went absolutely nowhere — probably didn't help that when Rodriguez played a showcase for the business suits in NYC back then, he did the whole performance with his back to the audience. Over the years, however, the records were discovered by rock fans, primarily in South Africa and Australia, where the artist (whose name didn't help him in this country, as most people immediately probably thought rock Español) became "bigger than Elvis" while he was still toiling as a day laborer here in the Motor City. The indie Light In The Attic label recently re-released Rodriguez's debut album, Cold Fact, and it's already created a remarkable buzz internationally. Entertainment Weekly referred to him as "a genius"…and. the album is indeed fantastic and just proves the remarkable power of rock 'n' roll in that something this great can remain buried for years and suddenly be discovered and heralded decades after the fact. Our music editor describes the voice as a little reminiscent of Nick Drake or a bit like Donovan — but the wonderful psychedelic folk music and especially the lyrics may make you think more of a slightly damaged Bob Dylan, circa the mid-'60s. Remarkable, remarkable stuff. Local rockstar Matthew Smith has assembled a top-notch band to back the legend-in-the-making's first hometown gig in years, including Jim Diamond, Dave Shettler and Bobby Emett from the Sights. Should be an amazing night of first-class Detroit music! At the Park Bar, 2040 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2933.
DIY STREET FAIR
STREET CRED PT. 2
The term "do it yourself" arose in the '50s when homeowners began to take improvement into their own hands. Since then, the term has grown to encompass a variety of movements and meanings, but it all comes down to celebrating the enterprising, entrepreneurial spirit — the commitment to local unique talents and to our ability to take matters into our own hands, instead of relying on purchasing power to get shit done. The festival will feature locals — 36 bands, 105 craftspeople and artists, 12 breweries and 6 restaurants — who embody the DIY spirit — a spirit that we should all try a little harder to represent. At 11 a.m., East Troy Street at Woodward Avenue, Ferndale; diystreetfair.com.
PEOPLE'S ARTS FESTIVAL
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY
Claiming to be the largest arts festival in the city, the People's Arts Festival is truly an event for the heterogeneous masses — but not for Mother Nature. Due to the downpour this past weekend, the festival was put on hold for a sunnier day. But delaying for a week won't put a damper (sorry, couldn't resist) on this festival, which will feature more than 100 artists and crafters selling creative wares ranging from the recherché to the everyday, and performances by more than 40 bands, from guitar virtuoso Cetan Clawson to the twisted electronic visuals of Los Minstrels Del Diablo. The wide array of audio and visual treats seems guaranteed to satiate the diverse tastes of the 8,000 creative-class junkies who are expected to attend — and worth the wait. At 11 a.m.-midnight at the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay St., Detroit; 313-872-4000; rccadetroit.org.
ONCE MORE, IN ICELANDIC
Even if you've never heard the name Sigur Ros, you've probably heard their surreal and dreamy stir. The world's favorite Icelandic post-whatever band has had songs prominently featured in a slew of films, TV shows and televised sports events. Despite ornate string arrangements, the guitarist's penchant for playing his ax with a bow (there's a little J. Page in every thin, white six-stringer) and an invented pseudo-language known in English as "Hopelandic," Sigur Ros has carved out a considerable indie-rock niche for itself throughout the world. The band's now touring in support of its fifth studio album, With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly, which features less strings, more guitar and, for the first time, a song in English (gasp!). Sounds a little too, um, mainstream, if you ask us. With Parachutes at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450; livenation.com; all ages.