A TRUE PIANO ORIGINAL
Bay Area pianist Thollem McDonas has found Detroit a sympathetic stop in his heavy touring, performing something like 20 gigs here in three years by his count, finding a small circle of simpatico collaborators and big-eared fans. Kicking off a four-gig residency at CAID last week, he left listeners gasping and grasping for reference points: Percussive! Lyrical! Debussy! Cecil Taylor! Don Pullen! Conlon Nancarrow's manic piano rolls! All sorta apt, none quite right — he must be an original. There are two CAID gigs to go: Wednesday he shares solo piano sets with Kenn Thomas and Kenneth Green; Thursday he's in duets with saxophonist Skeeter Shelton. Friday he's at Kerrytown with trumpeter Mark Kirschenmann and bassist Joel Peterson. Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), 5141 Rosa Parks, just north of Warren, Detroit; 313-899-2243. Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999. All three shows at 8 p.m.
BLOOD BATH CITY
This week is your last chance to check out the exhibit Blood Bath City. Now in its second year, this Halloween-themed art show features works in all media by more than 30 artists. Highlights include "Mother," a 21-foot-long wall sculpture (an Oedipal complex gone horribly awry, perhaps?), a mousetrap-lined face mask and a video and installation piece by hip-hop and performance artist Beverly Fre$h entitled "Girls, Ganja and Guano." We shudder to imagine the possibilities — but isn't that the point? At the Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens; 586-469-8666; theartcenter.org.
WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY, SATURDAY 29-30, 1
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD THE MUSICAL
MURDER! MAYHEM! ... MUSIC?
Who doesn't know the story? Rural America, zombies, murder, guns, chainsaws ... classic American horror. But this award-winning production presents Night of the Living Dead with a twist — music! Now in its sixth year, this Detroit Halloween tradition produced by the Abreact has been revived and rejuvenated to provide even more thrills, chills and blood-curdling laughs. They're coming to get you at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 8 p.m. and midnight Saturday at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $20; 313-247-5270 or theabreact.com for tickets.
DAMNED: A MACABRE FINE ART EXHIBITION
No nubile virgins helplessly proffering their pale, bare necks to Dracula here; instead, Damned features art that is depraved, disturbing and maybe even a wee bit gag-inducing. Seventy-five national and international artists exhibit more than 150 works at a devilishly dark and twisted party that promises to put the (non-pyro) fun back in Devil's Night. Visual spectacles are provided by the Devil Dolls, Satori Circus and Miss Pussykatt, and creepily haunting tunes are supplied by Life Toward Light and the solo strings of Dixon. Costumes are not necessary, but red, devil wear is greatly encouraged. The hellfire, brimstone and good times can be enjoyed for the appropriately malevolent price of $6.66 at 9 p.m. at Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee, Detroit; 313-873-2955; info at thatdamnedshow.com.
THURSDAY & SUNDAY 30 & 2
RAVISH MOMIN'S TRIO TARANA
ODDLY WORLDLY MUSIC
At its most conventional, Ravish Moonin's Trio Tarana is still a little odd. Sure the group can build a tune around a walking bass line, but how often have you heard that figure executed on an oud? Drummer-leader Ravish Momin is all about spreading the rhythms — often Asian- or African-influenced — between himself, oudist Brandon Zerzic and violinist Bardfeld. Beyond that, we'll mention that Momin spent years with out-there saxophonist Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre to clue you that the groove here is just a starting point. We'll mention that Bardfeld was part of Bruce Springsteeen's Seeger Sessions band to clue you that this is the populist wing of the avant-world music scene. At 7:30 as part of the Global Thursday series at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave. (at Schaefer Road), Dearborn; 313-624-0207; arabamericanmuseum.org. Also 8 p.m. Sunday at Canterbury House, 721 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-2240.
FUNK NIGHT REVIVAL
BABY, IT'S BAAACK!
It's been a long, funkless summer, but one of Detroit's best dance nights is ready to shake and shimmy once more. The infamous May raid on the CAID (it even rhymes!), led to a severe dance drought. But all charges have been dropped and a special Halloween Funk Night Revival celebrates the return of the boogie. And to show that there are no hard feelings toward Detroit's finest, anyone who dresses up as a cop gets a door prize, and the raid video will be screened in its entirety (which seems a little masochistic, but hey, maybe it's all part of the healing process). And, per Detroit code, the event is open to members only, so join online today or risk one un-funky Halloween. At midnight-5 a.m. at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd, Detroit; 313-899-2243; $5 or free for victims of the May raid. All tickets must be reserved online at thecaid.org.
BUCKET KICKIN' VANS
Thirty pairs of Vans designed by Detroit artists will be on display at this costume party and art exhibit that melds skateboard skids with the solemn traditions of the Day of the Dead (what the ...?). Eschewing the traditional Day of the Dead motifs (no marzipan skulls?), the artists' designs pay tribute to the death of someone or something of importance, and each pair is accompanied by an additional work that will provide further clarification of the idea behind the kicks. And, you know, it is Halloween so the obligatory dancing, goodies and costume contest will also take place. From 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at Cave Gallery on the third floor of Building Four in the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay St., Detroit; cavedetroit.com. Exhibit on view through Nov. 2.
BELIEVIN': A HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
YES, ANOTHER HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY!
Like many other things, it only comes once a year, kids. So we want you to have lots of ghoulish and spooktacular (gag us!) entertainment options. So here's one more dance party to start or end your night with. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit will be transformed into a "bloody bat haven" for a night of costumes, goodies, dancing, blah, blah, blah. But seriously, a Thriller dance-off? How can you resist? With tunes provided by People's Records' DJs at 8:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.or; $10 without costume, $5 with.
PRAISE HIM WITH INDIE ROCK
Perhaps we'll sustain a lightning bolt to the MT offices for treating the deeply spiritual Danielson with any sort of irreverence. But then again, Danielson's quirky indie-rock take on gospel is nothing if not irreverent — band members wear matching uniforms when performing for God's— oops, gosh sake! The brainchild of one Daniel Smith, Danielson has gone through many incarnations — from the Danielson Family, which featured all four of his siblings and performed at his thesis exhibition, to the solo work of Brother Danielson, to the collaborative efforts of Danielson. Whatever the name, one thing has never changed: a screechy falsetto singing complex-yet-quirky odes to the big guy upstairs. Hallelujah or whatever. With Crypacize at 8 p.m. at the Pike Room of the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; $10.