THURSDAY • 19
We don't often mention academic credentials and connections for the folks we put under the Night & Day spotlight, but we can't help but point out that Anne Waldman, along with the late Allen Ginsberg, founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. More than a quarter-century on, with Waldman still there, the school carries on with poetry that grows out of (among other roots) the Beats, the Black Mountain poets, and a couple generations of the New York school, which was where Waldman entered the scene in the '60s with her observations and incantations. Since then she has published more than 40 books of poetry, and, in recent years, has collaborated with a number of visual artists, work which Waldman will discuss in the lecture "Third Eye/Mind" at 7:30 p.m. at the Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium of the College for Creative Studies, 201 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-664-7800.
THURSDAY • 19
DONALD RAY POLLACK
Donald Ray Pollack's debut work, Knockemstiff, is a collection of short stories illustrating the hard-knock lives of the residents of Knockemstiff, Ohio (real locale, fictional tales). Spanning more than 30 years, the stories capture the disturbing yet compelling lives that make up this rural town — the ignorant and mean, the small-minded and violent and the trapped and infinitely sad. Before trying his hand at writing, Pollack worked for more than 30 years as an employee in a southern Ohio paper mill — experience that proved valuable as he composed his narratives of this beautifully abysmal Midwestern town. Pollack will read from and sign copies of Knockemstiff at 7 p.m. at Shaman Drum Bookshop, 311-315 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-7407; shamandrum.com.
WOMEN OF THE WORLD POETRY SLAM
The second annual Women of the World Poetry Slam will once again bring the best versifying mamas from all over the country to Detroit to duke it out, verbal-style. Preliminary battles happen Thursday and Friday at Cliff Bell's (2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543), 1515 Broadway Theatre (1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-965-1515) and the Boll Family YMCA (1401 Broadway, Detroit; 313-309-9622). The ultimate smackdown — in which the best female poet in the world (aw, snap!) will be crowned — happens at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fillmore (2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5451). Along with the competition, a variety of workshops and open-mic events are scheduled throughout the three days. Visit wow.poetryslam.com for a schedule of events and tickets.
FRIDAY • 20
OH, NOT ANOTHER BRITISH DIVA
Being 19 and lovelorn can make for some pretty awful pop tripe, but for British songstress Adele it appears to be a winning combo. The soulful crooner began making media blips in the UK in 2007, snagging the Critics' Choice Award before her debut disc, 19, even hit the shelves (God love the British for inventing an award for artists who have yet to make any, you know, actual music). Touted in this country as part of the Brit invasion of tabloid-driven divas, Adele's across-the-pond crossover nearly flopped, until an appearance on Saturday Night Live boosted her popularity, with two Grammy Awards soon to follow. And while comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash et al. are both accurate and unsurprising, her powerhouse vocals and cheeky-but-wholesome personality have critics claiming that's she's the singer who will outlast them all. With the Script at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-8137; all ages.
FRIDAY • 20
MICHIGAN FINE ARTS COMPETITION
MITTEN ARTISTS BATTLE ROYALE
Nearly 90 works — selected from 600 submissions by artists from across the state — are on display as part of the annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition exhibit. The show features multimedia and two- and three-dimensional works, the creators of which are vying for cash prizes that total $2,500. Once hosted by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center has been home to the exhibit for the past 28 years. This year's judge is NYC-based artist Tony DeBlasi, a former MSU professor whose work can be seen at the DIA. DeBlasi will give a free lecture at 2 p.m. on Saturday and the exhibit opening is 6-8 p.m. at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd., Birmingham; 248-644-0866; bbartcenter.org. On display through April 17.
SATURDAY • 21
TONE & NICHE
SIX STRINGS PLUS FOUR
These days in Detroit music, it seems like you can't drunkenly stumble through one smoke-clogged bar without getting smacked in the face by a violin. But Tone & Niche may have been the first to infuse their pop-rock sensibilities with plaintive violin strings, a sound they pair to perfection with bittersweet melodies and vocals dripping with wisdom gained at a cost. The original twosome will perform two sets at Trixie's Coffeehouse (25925 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-776-9002) as part of a recording for a forthcoming live disc, and the full quartet can be caught on March 28, at PJ's Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668).
SATURDAY • 21
A new disco monthly (words that don't appear nearly enough in these pages) courtesy of DJs Mike Trombley and Scott Zachariask, Macho City promises to be a sweaty romp through the unfashionable tunes of yesteryear. Records that have been disparaged, discarded and left to collect cobwebs in garage rafters will be dusted off for the benefit of leather-clad hips and bare, sweaty chests. The inaugural night will feature guest DJ Ron Morelli from New York City. Macho City is set to take place the third Saturday of every month at R&R Saloon, 7730 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Info at myspace.com/paradiseclassics.
SUNDAY • 22
ROCKTRONICA ON, BRO
Ratatat, made up of guitarist Mike Stroud and synthmaster Evan Mast, has released three discs (plus two remix albums) of the combo's melody-driven electronic-rock, which combines hooky guitar riffs with danceable synth beats. While "rocktronica" is a genre-of-the-minute that may be (definitely) stale, Ratatat's expansive approach (the duo's latest disc, LP3, features piano, harpsichord and obvious nods to world music) and danceable approachability promise to retain relevancy after the rest of the electro-rock riff-raff has sparked out. With Despot at 7 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; $17 in advance.
MONDAY • 23
JAMBANG AND THE TEXAS TAYLOR CORRUGATORS
GREG GINN JAMS?
It can be a confounding experience for genre purists when seminal figures of a certain type start doing the musical swing-dance later in their career. And so it goes with Greg Ginn, the former guitarist of seminal hardcore band Black Flag, who uses his many musical projects to explore seemingly out-of-the-box sonic terrain. Confused Black Flag fans have the opportunity to check out two of Ginn's current forays into non-punk territory: Jambang, a jam band (say what?) and the country-Western pastiche Greg Ginn & the Texas Taylor Corrugators. At 10 p.m. at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; free.
TUESDAY • 24
EcoTuesday is a networking group that brings together like-minded greenies to discuss sustainable practices and Michigan's eco future. It began in 2007 in San Francisco, and has since spread to include chapters across the country, including Detroit's nascent group, which started in January. This month's installment will feature keynote speaker Doris Harber-Hollins, an engineer at United Solar Ovonic, who will speak about the benefits of using solar power for distributed generation, a process that generates electricity from multiple small sources. Oh, boy! At 6-9:30 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Billiards, 215 W. Fifth Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-9922; $5 in advance at ecotuesday.com or $10 at the door.
WEDNESDAY • 25
SORROWFULLY SWEET TUNES
Eulogies began as the touring band for solo singer-songwriter Peter Walker before becoming a full-fledged indie-rock group with Walker at the helm. Their 2007 eponymous debut features gorgeous and sparse songs filled with barely restrained regret and sadness — pathos with a garage rock tinge. Their sophomore effort, Here Anonymous, is due out April 7. They'll be performing an acoustic show with Middle Distance Runner at 3 p.m. at Rock-a-Billy's Records (8411 Hall Rd., Utica; 586-731-0188) before their plugged-in gig that night at the Magic Bag (22918 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030), doors at 8 p.m.
THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Sweeney Todd is a lusty tale of obsession and revenge based on an apocryphal story of a 19th century barber who murdered his clients and had them baked into meat pies, which were sold to the unwitting public by his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett. Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1979, reimagines Todd as a tragic character motivated by the deaths of his wife and daughter, and his own unjust imprisonment, all of which was caused by the malevolent Judge Turpin. But the murder, mayhem and meat pies are still part of the story, making for a rollicking moral lesson on the dangers of both unmitigated vengeance and eating meat of mysterious origins. Sweeney Todd plays daily (except Mondays) through April 4, at the Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; info at 313-872-1000 or broadwayindetroit.com.