SIRENS OF CHROME OPENING RECEPTION
VA VA VROOM
Margery Krevsky's Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models chronicles the history of auto show models, from eye-candy spending-enticers to power-suited "product specialists." (Hey, could they have helped in those bailout excursions to Congress?) As the co-founder of Productions Plus, an agency that selects talent for auto shows, Krevsky herself played a crucial role, helping to turn human hood ornaments into professional compendiums of automobile facts, enticing customers not just with looks, but with knowledge. (What a concept!) The exhibit runs in conjunction with the book, featuring photographs and memorabilia spanning the history of auto show models. Krevsky will be present to sign copies of her work, proceeds from which will benefit the National Automobile Collection. From 6 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library's Skillman Branch, 121 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-833-4047. Exhibit runs through April 30.
CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA: BREAKING NEW GROUND
BLUES RHYTHM JR.
Nearly two years ago, we had choreographer Lisa McCall's show Blues Rhythm on the cover of Metro Times. A mash-note to the Paradise Valley clubs of yore, it harnessed the energy of a sprawling cast of dancers, singers and musicians. Which is what she promises to do with a youthful bent and on a bigger scale in her sixth annual Christmas show, pulling together 100 young people, the Consortium High School Dance Company and (she promises) some of Detroit's finest singers and musicians, plus a "special guest artist." At 7:30 p.m. at Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-831-9350. Tickets $10 and $12.
ROCKABILLY ÜBER ALLES
Back in the 1980s, Detroit's punk venues were invaded by an act called Elvis Hitler. Fans of the combo weren't rabid right-wingers or neo-Nazis. They were punk rock goofs who embraced Elvis Hitler's shit-kicking, no-holds-barred satire, which the band distilled onto its 1988 vinyl release, Disgraceland, a hardcore hoedown if ever there was one. Led by Jim Leedy, whom Chris Handyside once described as "a sweat-drenched fireplug of a frontman with a close-cropped rockabilly coif and wide, wild eyes," the group was known for a brand of punkabilly that didn't take anything seriously. But within a few years, the band's bassist, Warn Defever, was whisked off into fame, oddly enough because of the experimental art pop of his group His Name Is Alive. (Whiplash, anyone?) Despite a "final" bow in the early '90s, the band reunites occasionally to romp down memory lane. Leedy cracks wise, natch, calling it the "Elvis Hitler 2008 World Tour: One show only." At Small's Bar, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117; 18 and older; doors at 8 p.m., show at 10 p.m.
JAVON JACKSON AND LES MCCANN
JAZZ THAT MAKES IT REAL
A grad of the Art Blakey Jazz Finishing School, Javon Jackson has found a niche in old-school soul jazz, a style as focused in moving the hips as on moving the hip. Notably, Jackson has been working with pianist Les McCann and playing the role of the late saxman Eddie Harris in revisiting the McCann-Harris classic Swiss Movement. (Lots of you know the chorus: "Try to make it real, compared to what!?" Which sounds better sung than it looks on the page.) And to remind you of his range, Jackson'll also pay homage to Rollins, Shorter and Tyner with material from his latest disc, Once Upon a Melody. At 7:30 and 10 p.m. both nights, at the Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
We may not be the land of 10,000 lakes, but more of our lakes are great (our 4 to your 1, so suck it, Minnesota!), and there will plenty of goods created in their great honor at the annual Marine Mart flea market. From marine "art" and nautical charts to out-of-print Great Lakes books, the mart is a veritable shipload (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk) of Great Lakes goods and memorabilia — because nothing says "I love you" like a hand-painted lighthouse tree ornament. At the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-881-7511.
RETURN OF THE DIRTY HIPPIES?
It may be trite to say so, but the sound of the Golden Animals can be easily gleaned from their appearance. The duo is pure '60s flashback, complete with scraggly beard, paisley peasant shirts and ponchos. And the look lines up nicely with the bluesy-psychedelic rock of their debut LP, Free Your Mind and Win a Pony, an album that would fit in comfortably with your parents' worn vinyl. Though their aesthetic could be dismissed as just an admirable pastiche, their intense music makes them well worth a listen. (Unless you'd rather stay home with your old Doors discs.) With I, Crime at Corktown Tavern, 1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5103; corktowntavern.com.
The second CPOPor2nity gives unknown, up-and-coming and downright obscure artists a chance to exhibit their cutting-edge work at CPop, Detroit's venerable and influential (?) gallery. The all-media exhibition features more than 60 artists from around the world who have never before shown at the gallery. Entrants will be judged by a panel of 10 local art aficionados-cum-celebrities for the chance to participate in a four-person showcase some time next year. From 6 to 10 p.m. at CPop, 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9901. Exhibit runs through January. (See CPop honcho Tom Thewes in this week's Motor City Cribs at the back of the book.)
TIKI ART SHOW & HOLIDAY PARTY
HAVE YOURSELF A POLYNESIAN XMAS
Holiday gifts for hep cats can be found in abundance at the Tiki Art Show, celebrating its fifth anniversary. The show features original art and tiki crafts, as well as a tiki raffle, exotic (and intoxicating) drinks and lounge music by DJ Villareal. The whole shebang is sponsored by online retailer The Cat's Meow (catsmeowdetroit.com), where tiki paraphernalia in all its questionable glory can be purchased throughout the year. Sounds pretty groovy, daddy-o. From 1 p.m. to midnight at Chin Tiki Livonia, 28205 Plymouth Rd., Livonia; 734-421-1627.
TWO BY TWO
DON'T ROCK THE ARK
In a memorable episode of The Simpsons, the irrepressible Ned Flanders builds an ark and stocks it with two of every animal — but only males. No hanky-panky on his boat! Luckily, Noah wasn't such a prude, and his family-friendly tale of high-sea adventures and repopulating the earth with ship-conceived fauna will be told, in song, by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre. Remember, if the boat's a-rocking, don't come a-knocking. At the Aaron DeRoy Theatre, 6660 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-788-2900. Performances on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 11. Visit jettheatre.org for further details.
ENOUGH WITH THE HALLEULAHS ALREADY
Handel's Messiah, with its vocal-chord stretching Hallelujah Chorus, is performed ad nauseam every Christmas season — and will no doubt continue to be until the four horsemen of the Apocalypse send us on our fiery way. The Fort Street Chorale will be doing its part (for Handel, not the horsemen) with its 30th anniversary gala performances. The chorale, dubbed "The Miracle on Fort Street," is a volunteer ensemble with more than 100 members, best known for its annual Messiah performances. And in case you want to take a little bit of the song home with you, a compilation CD featuring highlights from past concerts is available. Breathe deep and push out from the diaphragm at 7:30 Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Fort Street Presbyterian Church, 631 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-961-4533; fortstreet.org. Tickets $18.
Monkey Day — the name speaks for itself, no? The annual holiday celebrates the mischievous, poop-throwing primates through paintings, tiles, sculptures, pillows and more by local artists. Hey, maybe some gorillas, chimps and bonobos will be thrown in to ape the fun. All purchases will be supplemented with a free banana — because a little potassium never hurt anybody. Noon-6 p.m. at Biddle Gallery, 2840 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-281-4779; biddlegallery.com.
EARTHWORKS URBAN FARM HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
MIND THEIR BEESWAX
Earthworks Urban Farm, an urban garden program started by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, operates three gardens that produce more than 6,000 pounds of produce each year. The program also educates the community on the necessity for sustainable food practices and the importance of buying products that are produced and grown locally. The Holiday Open House is the chance to do just that, with jams, honey, beeswax hand balm and more Earthworks' goods available for purchase. The open house will also include tours of the soup kitchen and the gardens so that visitors can learn more about the organizations and their missions. The produce-intensive event takes place Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 19 at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1264 Meldrum St., Detroit; 313-579-2100, ext. 204.