A YEMENI COMMUNITY OPENING RECEPTION
REMEMBERING THE FORGOTTEN ONES
Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin is best known for his photos of people that he referred to as "the forgotten ones" — Appalachian coal miners, steel workers, laborers and, in the 30 photographs of this exhibit, a group of Yemeni immigrants in Lackawanna, New York. Rogovin's photographs, which date from the 1970s, document a close-knit community that thrived in its adopted home before plant closings devastated the town's economy. Rogovin captures how the Yemeni population mixed ancient tradition with '70s American culture — an often-poignant reflection on the struggle to find repose between the Old World and the New World. At 6 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266; arabamericanmuseum.org. Exhibit runs through July 5.
THE ANTICHRIST ROCKS YOU!
Chicagoan Bobby Conn is a one-man rock 'n' roll tour de force. A consummate showman, Conn combines a bombastic persona with an equally grandiose sound that runs the gamut from disco to soul to quirky indie pop to just about every damned rock subgenre you can goof on. On each of his five albums, his verbosity centered on a single theme — from wealth and success to the country's fascination with celebrity — and while the concept(s) may sound heavy, Conn's penchant for bizarre genre-blending, along with his razor-y wit and screaming sensuality also make it gosh darn fun. The prancing, ranting self-proclaimed antichrist will perform for his rock 'n' roll minions at 8 p.m. at MOCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org; $8; all ages. With Zoos of Berlin.
RAP AND A DISH TO PASS
Banish images of long-haired hippies sitting in a bong-ready circle passing plates of uncooked vegetables. It's not that kind of raw. Sure, you can still bring a veggie platter, but while you're chomping on carrots you can check out a killer lineup of Detroit hip hop, including Midcoast Most, Dante, USM and Galaxy, as well as Milwaukee's aptly monikered Kinghellbastard. Regulating the eats will be DJs Sleepy Biggs, Ken P. and Crate Digga. And seriously, bring some food to share (uh, who says you can go wrong with deviled eggs?). At the Berkley Front, 3087 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-547-3331; $5.
A VERY CED N TERI CHRISTMAS
SKIDS ON STAGE
Planet Ant's webshow Ced n Teri, starring the likely duo of an unemployed pizza guy and a lethargic rocker chick, has amassed more than 15,000 YouTube views — apparently enough of a viewership to warrant a stage production. While the webisodes (don't you love wacky neologisms?) clock in at less than five minutes, the play will provide viewers with two hours of the Hamtramck couch potatoes' exploits in indifference, complete with appearances by friends both old and new, performances by a bevy of local bands and never-ending surprises from their cat, n. Who knew that apathy could provide so many laughs? At 8 p.m. at the Planet Ant Theatre, 2357 Caniff, Hamtramck, 313-365-4948. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 27 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 21.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
An adaptation of two works by David Sedaris, The SantaLand Diaries is an antidote to the Christmas spirit — a chance to relieve holiday stress by smirking at holiday-induced inanity. The first tale is The SantaLand Diaries, an autobiographical account of Sedaris' time working as a mall elf dealing with moody Santas, bizarre elves and irate customers. The second tale, Season's Greetings, satirizes the saccharine sentiments often sent out with Christmas cards. In it, the epistle penned by the ostensibly cheerful Mrs. Joceyln Dunbar reveals one shocking family secret after another, including the unexpected arrival of her husband's illegitimate Vietnamese daughter. And this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year? Yikes! Fridays-Mondays through Dec. 22 at the Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-5545; whowantscaketheatre.com.
For those who revel in holiday merrymaking, it really doesn't get merrier than Noel Night, now in its 35th year. The event takes place throughout Detroit's Cultural Center and features special performances, carriage rides and kiddy activity centers, while more than 30 institutions, including the DIA, the Science Center and the Detroit Historical Museum, will offer free admission. The night culminates with the long-standing Woodward Avenue sing-along, both a sight to behold and the feel-good event of the year. From 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Detroit's Cultural Center institutions, with free shuttle service offered between venues. Call 313-577-5088 or see detroitmidtown.com for info.
UGLY BUT PROUD
PIONEERS OF THRASH
Back in the 1980s, thrash-metal bands were few and far between in the Detroit area. Enter the self-described "urban hillbillies" of Ugly But Proud. The speedy metal trio, made up of Proud Marc, Ugly Mike and Hideous George, played wherever they could. That often meant opening up for punk bands, since the walls between punk and metal were crumbling by the mid-'80s. Surprisingly, punks embraced Ugly But Proud's brand of thrash, especially their weird penchant for harboring a character known only as "King Zeus," the band's human mascot, who'd sit in a chair on stage, unmoved by their speed-metal antics. As the punk and metal worlds collided, the UBP boys in turn teased Detroit's emerging goth scene with an anthem that dubbed them "Death Clowns." They'll be sure to play that (perhaps the only song that opens with a speed-metal version of "Entrance of the Gladiators" — a song heard more often on a calliope) and other songs at their reunion, their first local show in almost 15 years. Get those manes bangin' again, at the Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland, 734-513-5030; $6 ages 21 and older, $10 ages 18-20; doors at 8 p.m. With special guests Voice of Anger, Cavity Creeps and Grommett.
Ben Vida, avant-garde instrumentalist and improviser, bounced between musical collaborations before embarking on this long-term solo project in 2005. Bird Show features sometimes beautiful, sometimes abrasive but always trippy noise produced by a breathtaking array of instruments (as well as occasional animal sounds). Sure, there's the standard guitar, but there's also the exotic and unpronounceable qrareb, dumbek and mbira, just to name a few. Bird Show's self-titled, third LP features tracks such as "Two Organs and Dumbek" and "Mbira, Harp and Voice," indicating the significance that multi-instrumentalism plays in Vida's sonic explorations. With Sun Circle at 8 p.m. at the UFO Factory, 1345 Division St., Ste. 101, Detroit; ufofactory.com.
THE POTTERS MARKET
A CERAMIC INCLINATION
The largest sale of its kind (which kind is that exactly?), the annual potters' market features more than 135 potters showcasing almost 40,000 pieces — a veritable ceramics bonanza! Now in its 33rd year, the market originated as a way for students of the ceramics program at OCC's Royal Oak campus to show and sell their pieces. Advanced students still take part in the market, along with local and out-of-state potters selling everything from simple mugs to ornate birdbaths with prices ranging from $5 to $400. The event kicks off with a preview sale on Thursday, when, for only $10, hardcore pottery enthusiasts can get an early crack on the goods. The regular sale — free to the public — takes place 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, at the UFCW Union Hall, 876 Horace Brown Dr., Madison Heights; info at 248-246-2686 or thepottersmarket.com.
WINTER WALKING PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS
SNAPPING A WINTER WONDERLAND
If the cold doesn't turn you off from the ethereal beauty of snow, then the Winter Walking Photography Class offered by the city of Farmington Hills is a great place to snap some shots of frozen streams, snowy fields, barren tree boughs and other wintertime landscape clichés. Participants should dress warm and secretly wish for a snow storm to hit before the weekend. Photographer Jacob Nothstine will lead two one-time sessions at 9-10 a.m. at Heritage Park, Farmington Rd. between 10 and 11 Mile roads, Farmington Hills; $10 city residents, $15 non-residents. Call 248-473-1800 to pre-register.
SHOW ME YOUR YOUTUBE VIDEO
Montreal comedian Jon Lajoie is one more Internet sensation who, thanks to YouTube, has earned fame and, if not fortune exactly, at least millions of views. A thespian by training, Lajoie's videos feature comedic songs such as "Everyday Normal Guy" in which he raps about taking the bus and working at the phone company for $12 an hour and the notorious "Show Me Your Genitals," which has the endlessly quotable line, "Women are good for three things: cooking, cleaning and vaginas." Is it any wonder he found success on the Net? At 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665; majesticdetroit.com.