THURSDAY • 2
DANCE YOUR CARES AWAY
The tales of alienation and disaffection sung by Los Campesinos! are set to a cacophony that sounds nothing if not joyous, a contradiction that encompasses the overarching theme of the Welsh septet's music — the world may be fucked, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have any fun. So while the songs of their recent sophomore album, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, describe drunken phone calls, the floors of public bathrooms and dysfunctional love, the rapid-fire vocals and new wavish beats make it one helluva of dance party. At 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665; $12; all ages.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY • 2-3
WITH SAUL WILLIAMS, WSU BIG BAND
The buzz for this year's Detroit International Jazz Fest has begun with announcement of such headliners as Chick Corea, Sheila Jordan, Christian McBride, Wayne Shorter and artist-in-residence John Clayton. Laying the groundwork for the festival, the bassist and co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra performs twice this week. On Thursday, Clayton performs duets with the poet Saul Williams, the slam-scene star whose spellbinding delivery bespeaks his feel for the street and his study of Shakespeare. At the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; call 313-494-5823 to reserve a free seat. On Friday, Clayton joins forces with the Wayne State University Big Band, conducted by Chris Collins, to perform his own compositions plus arrangements of artists from Hoagy Carmichael to Thelonious Monk. In the Music Box at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111. Tickets $20 at the DSO box office, $23.50 by phone or at detroitsymphony.org.
FRIDAY • 3
BLUES FESTIVAL @ BERT'S
DOWN HOME SOUNDS
They're some of the finest performers of Detroit blues, including some with a special affection for the soulful side of things. Cash McCall, T.J Hooker-Taylor (one of the musical progeny of the late Johnny Taylor), Priscilla Price, Mike Lee, Alberta Adams and Johnnie Bassett (who has a new disc coming out soon) all share the stage for what's being billed as "the biggest blues fest of the year." We'll leave the quantification of this versus the other major bashes to others, but suffice to say, indeed it's big. At Bert's Warehouse Theater, 2739 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030; $20. (There's more music at the Warehouse on Sunday, April 6, with host John Mason, Contours, Ladeez "Supremes" and the Legacy.)
FRIDAY-SATURDAY • 3-4
A WHOLE NEW TEA PARTY
When Alice falls through the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll's classic tale Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, she discovers a nonsensical world filled with talking animals and body-altering drugs. In this retelling, the fantastical land is enhanced (er, maybe) with music and burlesque. Alice in tasseled pasties? That's something worth seeing. Doors at 9 p.m. at the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay Ave., Detroit; 313-872-4000. Additional performances on Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11; $10 opening night, $15 all other nights.
FRIDAY-MONDAY • 3-6
THE SNEAKER PROJECT
A BUTT-KICKIN' DISPLAY
The significance of sneakers in our society as both utilitarian objects and totems of style and status can't be argued. The Sneaker Project explores both facets of this ubiquitous footwear with an exhibit that includes, among other things, all 23 Air Jordans, a pair of original Chucks, a collection of rare sneakers (such things exist, who knew?) and artsy kicks designed by College for Creative Studies students. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday at 6 p.m. and continues through Monday at 5 p.m. at the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway, Detroit; 313-223-2751.
SATURDAY • 4
RICK VIAN: NEW PAINTINGS
Rick Vian has been painting and teaching in metro Detroit since the early 1970s. In that time, he has produced two sets of oil paintings — one features resplendent landscapes, the other alluring abstractions. His most recent work combines these two different styles to produce bold and striking paintings that explore the underlying patterns — which Vian refers to as "grids" — that affect our perceptions of the world. From 5 to 8 p.m. at the Robert Kidd Gallery, 107 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-642-3909; on display through May 7.
SATURDAY • 4
DEASTRO RECORD RELEASE SHOW
DREAMY, BEAUTIFUL AND FREE
Deastro, aka Randolph Chabot, described by MT as a "singer-synthesizer wunderkind," will celebrate the release of his vinyl 7-inch Spritle with a free show (music to our broke ears) that includes a Detroit-band-of-the-minute lineup — the Terrible Twos, F'ke Blood and Lightning Love. Spritle is the first release on the new 53DT label, created by the bloggers of eatthiscity.com, and features 25 different covers drawn by Deastro himself. At 8 p.m. at the Crofoot's Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; all ages. Afterparty with guest DJs and surprises (!) follows in the Vernor's Lounge.
SATURDAY • 4
SPRING FLING ... A CRAFT THING
DIY IN THE AIR
Thankfully, indie crafting has not (yet) outgrown its cool, and the first alterna-craft fair of the spring is upon us. The Fling (which is not associated with Handmade Detroit, in case you were wondering, and no, they're not going to battle to the death with knitting needles for DIY supremacy) features 15-plus local crafters including City Bird, Chain Chain Chained and Comfortably Lovely hawking the handmade goodies we all love. Music will be provided by indie stalwarts and their laptops — DJs Daniel Johnston, Ryan Allen of the Friendly Foes and JRC of (once again) music blog eatthiscity.com. From noon to 7 p.m. at the Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3644.
SUNDAY • 5
TOUR DETROIT'S TOP 4 DESTINATIONS
4-WHEEL ROAD TRIP
Wheelhouse Detroit's first bike tour since reopening in March will highlight four of Detroit's most attractive and tourist-friendly destinations — the riverfront, Eastern Market, Indian Village and Belle Isle. If guided tours are a little too reminiscent of school field trips, the shop's also offering a four-wheels-for-the-price-of-two deal — rent two bikes for the price of one throughout the weekend and explore the city at your leisure. The two-hour tour pedals away at 1 p.m. at Wheelhouse Detroit, 1340 E. Atwater St., Detroit; 313-656-BIKE; wheelhousedetroit.com; $25, $35 with bike rental.
SUNDAY • 5
MOTOR CITY ROCK REVUE
IT AIN'T MOTOWN, BUT ...
Two stages and eight luminous local bands will show Final Four out-of-towners why Detroit is still rock city. Featured are the Muggs, the Pop Project, the Hentchmen, the Friendly Foes, the Silent Years, Deastro (him again?), Spitting Nickels and the Displays. Doors at 7:30 p.m. at the Magic Stick, (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665). Admission is $12, but a mere $8 more will get you into both the Rock Revue and the 4 p.m. show at PJ's Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668) featuring Great Lakes Myth Society, These United States, Lightning Love and Big Mess. Tickets include a beer at both venues, transportation between the shows and more than 10 hours of mind-blowing music.
FRIDAY • 3
TEAM PRACTICES & ALL-STAR GAME
FINAL FOUR LITE
Final Four weekend starts Friday, when team practices, which are free and open to the public (oh, goody!), take place. If you’re that much of a b-ball fanatic (or just too broke to go to a game), check out the practices or the subsequent All-Star game when two teams of top college players duke it out on the Final Four court. Practices begin at 2 p.m., the game at 4 p.m., both at Ford Field, 2000 Brush St., Detroit; 313-965-7824.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY • 3-5
NCAA BIG DANCE
CELEB GAWK AND RAWK
Think the Final Four is just about basketball? Pshaw! The NCAA is also providing free entertainment all weekend in the form of concerts by charttopping, (questionably) high-caliber musical acts. The star-studded lineup includes the Pussycat Dolls, N.E.R.D., Gavin DeGraw, Gym Class Heroes, Staind and, the weekend’s grand finale, Fergie. Comely cheerleaders and ridiculous mascots will also be out in full force, as well as 40 local bands on two stages and — drum roll, please — Ryan Seacrest! Yes! All concerts take place along the Detroit Riverfront, just east of the Renaissance Center.
FRIDAY-MONDAY • 3-6
Test out your mad skills (um, yeah) at Hoop City, a basketball bonanza featuring clinics, skill challenges, drills and contests. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get player autographs, learn more about the NCAA than anyone should ever want to know, get their picture taken with the championship trophy and watch various games and demonstrations. At Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-877-8777; $8.
SATURDAY • 4
THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR 5K RUN/WALK
RUN FOR FUNDS
This five-mile run along the Detroit Riverfront will raise money for the Final Four Legacy Program. The first of its kind, the program will provide funding and support to the United Way’s Early Learning Communities, a pilot initiative that seeks to promote literacy in young children through the establishment of literacy centers in four Detroit neighborhoods. Registration begins at 7 a.m. outside Cobo Center at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit; registration is $25. And if running is too much effort, you can always just open your checkbook — visit liveunitedsem.org to donate.
SUNDAY • 5
FINAL FOUR DRIBBLE
ATTACK OF THE B-BALLS
Thousands of kids and basketballs will overtake the streets of downtown Detroit during the Final Four Dribble. Those 18 years old and younger are invited to dribble their way from Ford Field to Cobo Center, where participants will be given free admission to Hoop City. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Witherell and Adams (online registration is also available) and the ball-bouncing commences at 2 p.m. Call 313-262-2900 for details.
For further information on all NCAA Final Four events scheduled throughout the weekend visit ncaamarchmadness2009.com.