THURSDAY • 12
FILM AND DISCUSSION: FINALLY GOT THE NEWS
Any history touching on Detroit's late '60s political firmament includes the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, which mobilized inside the auto plants against the Big 3 and the UAW alike, and likewise challenged the status quo outside the plants. Finally Got the News, from 1970, is a rarely seen (these days) document of that time. An open discussion follows, featuring the league's General Gordon Baker among others, and moderated by Lolita Hernandez, author of Autopsy of an Engine, about her experiences in the plants. At 7 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622.
THURSDAY • 12
It may be Alice Russell's first visit to Detroit, but the British singer's bone-rattling voice and soulful sound will be at home in Motown. The latest in a steady stream of British retro-soul chanteuses, such as Amy Winehouse and Duffy, to whom she's frequently compared, Russell has the whole Aretha Franklin, church-choir-trained vocal thing down (it's true, she did sing in her church choir). The blond-headed Brit is hitting the road in support of last month's Pot of Gold, her fourth album, which features slow burners and funked-up hip-swivelers, as well as an unadorned cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." (Fans of genre-switching covers will dig her soul-deep smooch of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army.") She's sure to bring the house down at 9:30 p.m. at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543; cliffbells.com.
THURSDAY-SATURDAY • 12-14
FROM BEHIND THE BOTTLE
The former host of Comedy Central's Insomniac with Dave Attell was offending and agitating audiences with his stand-up routine long before his late-night, sloshed excursions aired on TV. Attell holds nothing sacred, using his profane and bizarre sense of humor to crack wise on everything from abortion to the Ku Klux Klan. The offensive hilarity commences at 8 p.m. Thursday and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle, 269 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-542-9900; comedycastle.com. Tickets are $20 Thursday, $30 Friday and Saturday.
FRIDAY • 13
INSIDE DETROIT CORKTOWN BAR TOUR
IRISH BAR CRAWL PART 1
Inside Detroit's Know Before You Go series offers tours which preview an area before a big event. The Corktown Bar Tour lets participants practice the old drunken shuffle down Michigan Avenue before Sunday's St. Patrick's Day parade. Banter with barstaff and give your liver a good workout through a variety of drink specials at PJ's Lager House, Corktown Tavern, Hoots on the Avenue and Casey's Pub. The tour kicks off at 8 p.m. at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., info at 313-268-6562 or insidedetroit.org; $15 advance, $20 day of tour.
FRIDAY • 13
BLUE NOTE ANNIVERSARY TOUR
PLAYING HORACE, HERBIE AND WAYNE
The Blue Note label, in its 70 years, has recorded the primeval New Orleans jazz of Sidney Bechet, the nervously modern piano-note shrapnel of Cecil Taylor and Norah Jones plaintively wondering why she didn't come. But if there's no singular Blue Note sound, the label has a center of gravity in a certain style of '60s modernism, the kind of music that Miles' sidemen like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter made without their fearful leader, or the music of Joe Henderson and Horace Silver. Edgy — yes. Over the cliff — no. Not free jazz, but sometimes very, very loose. And since no commercially viable anniversary is allowed to go unmarketed these days — if for no other reason — some of the hippest names carrying on that fuzzy aesthetic are on the road paying homage to the label's past as the Blue Note 7. To be specific: saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Steve Wilson, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash have joined forces in plumbing the label's songbook. At 8 p.m. at Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY • 13-14
THE HARDY BOYS AND THE MYSTERY OF WHERE BABIES COME FROM
Who Wants Cake? Theatre's late-night series addresses the question that every parent lives in fear of: Where do babies come from? In this Christopher Durang comedy, the intrepid youth sleuths the Hardy Boys are on the case, investigating just exactly how Nancy Drew got knocked up. Two other short Durang plays, Wanda's Visit and Stye of the Eye, will run along with The Hardy Boys Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. through March 28 at the Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-5545; whowantscaketheatre.com; $10.
SATURDAY • 14
Pictures is a series of oil paintings and works on paper by Harmut Austen, a German artist who has lived and worked in Detroit since 1998. Austen's paintings are inspired by images he has collected — from photographs he's taken to pictures from the Internet — concrete realities that he turns into abstractions, utilizing shapes and colors to tell their stories. His works have shown internationally in both group and solo exhibitions, and he's a member of the long-distance art collective Telegraph. The opening reception for Pictures takes place 5-8 p.m. at paulkotulaprojects, 23255 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3020. On display through April 18.
SATURDAY • 14
25TH ANNIVERSARY ROCK 'N' BOWL PARTY
Allegedly the oldest operating bowling alley in the United States, the Garden Bowl inside the Majestic complex was transformed into the rock 'n' bowl experience in 1984, when neon and black lights probably seemed badass. Twenty-five years later, the lanes are a venerable institution and still the hippest place around to battle the 7-10 split. The silver anniversary celebration includes performances by Magic Shop, the Readies and the Displays in the Garden Bowl, and Troy Gregory, Marco Polio & the New Vaccines and Circus Boy playing in the Stick, as well as drink specials and T-shirts for the first 100 people. The free party kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665; majesticdetroit.com.
SATURDAY • 14
I, CRIME 7-INCH RELEASE PARTY
Detroit quartet I, Crime continues to win audiences with their boy-girl harmonies, subtle lyricism and hair-raising rock riffage. The group's powered by the voice and songwriting of Jennie Knaggs and her partner in crime (cringeworthy pun intended to annoy) Anderson Walworth. They're celebrating the release of the 7-inch Dove Skin Gloves, but a fulllength disc is due out soon. With the Sisters Lucas, the Bitter Tears and Red Swan at Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830.
SUNDAY • 15
MUSIC WITH A LIT BENT
Critics love to compare artists with other artists — but that's (nearly) an impossible feat with Stan Ridgway. Although he first landed on an underground pedestal in the '80s, leading Los Angeles sensations Wall of Voodoo (their "Mexican Radio" is still remembered fondly … early MTV watchers will never forget the video which featured Stan's head emerging from a steaming pot of baked beans), his subsequent solo career and albums have found him dunking his noggin into numerous genres — including successful film soundtracks — while intelligently exploring various socio-political elements through his daring lyrics, creating the types of characters that'd be found in novels. He's even been called a rock 'n' roll version of Raymonds Carver and Chandler. In fact, with the release of his The Big Heat (he's a big fan of all forms of noir) album, Greil Marcus called his work "probably the most compelling portrait of American social life to appear on a rock 'n' roll record since Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska." For his local performance, which he's titled "Desert of Dreams: A Sandstorm of Songs," Ridgway — who'll be performing with his trio — plans to deliver an overview of his career, dating back to Wall of Voodoo material and straight through to his latest critically lauded solo release, Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads & Fugitive Songs. At the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030.
SUNDAY • 15
ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE
IRISH BAR CRAWL PART 2
The annual stroll down Michigan Avenue celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and the party shows no sign of slowing. The parade will kick off at 2 p.m., but the usual carousing will be happening along the avenue and in its restaurants and bars all day. Check out the Kreelers at Corktown Tavern (1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5103), Bill Grogan's Goat at PJ's Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668), Larry Larson and the Codgers at the Gaelic American League (2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-8700) or just get happily sloshed on whiskey and green beer at any one of Corktown's fine drinking establishments.
BRUCE GIFFIN & THE RUINS OF CHIPPEWA LAKE PARK, MEDINA, OHIO
DEATH OF A CARNIVAL
Bruce Giffin is a self-taught freelance photographer whose work has frequently appeared in the pages of MT. For the past few years, he has photographed Chippewa Lake Park, an abandoned amusement park in Medina, Ohio, that closed in 1978 after 100 years in operation. Giffin's photographs capture the eerie melancholy of the ruins of Ferris wheels, roller coasters and ticket booths as they deteriorate and succumb to the ravages of nature. The photos, along with a small selection of Giffin's freelance and journalism work, will be on display through March 31, at Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190; the bookbeat.com.