WEDNESDAY • 8
IVORY TICKLIN' TECHNO
A rising star of the classical scene, pianist and composer Francesco Tristano is a Juilliard grad who's played Western standards in auditoriums the world over. The twist? He's also released albums of piano-electro hybrids and piano reworkings of techno classics such as Derrick May's "Not For Strings." He'll perform along with Carl Craig (his first hometown show in more than a year), with whom he's collaborated on remixes and on Craig's infamous techno-meets-fullorchestra mash-up, Versus. With Monty Duke at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543; free.
THURSDAY • 9
HUG A TREE, SAVE THE WORLD
Best-selling author and scholar Bill McKibben wrote about the environment long before going green became en vogue, publishing countless articles everywhere from The New York Times to Rolling Stone and writing a dozen books on the topic (his first, The End of Nature, was one of the earliest about climate change that addressed a widespread audience and is still considered a must-read for nature enthusiasts and activists). In his talk "The Most Important Number in the World: Saving the Planet and Maybe Even the Auto Industry," McKibben will address how focusing on local production can help the world move from economic meltdown to green sustainability. At 7:30 p.m. at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call 313-343-2074, ext. 220.
THURSDAY • 9
Long the province of Bavarian beer halls and dweeb shtick comedians, the accordion has been granted new life by Minnesota singer-songwriter Margaret Stutt, who uses the instrument with subtlety and foot-stompin' grace. As Pezzettino, Stutt is set to release her sophomore album Lions, a full-throttle accordion attack backed by a complete band, plus trombone. She'll sing her sweetly sincere tales at 9 p.m. at the Factory, 334 S. Main, Rochester; all ages. Info at thefactoryrochester.com. With Morseville Bridge, Jameson Blade, Darling Imperial and Operation Moccasin.
FRIDAY • 10
TIGERS OPENING DAY
THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE
Whether it's for true love of the game or just for love of the beer, there's no better excuse to play hooky than opening day. And after an inauspicious end to last year's season, hope is in the air once again as the Tigers — who start their season with a four-game series in Toronto — head back to the D to take on the Texas Rangers in front of an enthusiastically inebriated (and, if weather reports hold true, damp) hometown crowd. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. at Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-4000. No tickets to the game? Watch from the comfort of a barstool at any downtown bar and soak up the revelry minus the rain.
SATURDAY • 11
FATED FOR CROSSOVER SUCCESS?
Her elders never managed to conquer the United States, but it could be that the charismatic Portuguese sensation Mariza can make the term fado as recognizable as, say, flamenco or tango or raga. Fado is a national art music of Portugal, with all the high drama of flamenco or tango, but without the rhythmic snap and crackle. Instead, fado flows slowly and decisively; the word translates to "fate," and the sound has been compared — very loosely — to the blues. On her most recent disc, Terra, Mariza lends her stunning contralto to a repertoire and interpretations that go beyond the traditional to include contributions of Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes and Brazil's Ivan Lins, even the English-language standard "Smile" (a heartbreaking rendition at that). At 8 p.m. at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501. Tickets $30-$50.
SATURDAY • 11
FEATURING RAD WOMYN
READ: KICKASS BROADS
No, it doesn't take balls to unapologetically embrace your skills, as the chicks, er, womyn, in this lineup prove. There's Romanteek, of Olympia, Wash., an electro-pop five-piece radiating the bedazzle of disco — they just want you to dance, baby — but with hip-hop 'tude. Then there's the allgirl punk fury of Portland's Purple Rhinestone Eagle, as well as multimedia artist and teacher Diana Nucera on her electric cello performing with DJ Illy. And the bill is made complete with the Detroit Flyhouse Performers, those sexily clad ladies who twist and contort from silk trappings in the sky. Oh my! Doors at 8 p.m. at the Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull St., Detroit; $10; all ages.
TUESDAY • 14
THE COLOR PURPLE
SURVIVING HARDSHIP, WITH A SONG
A musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a poor African-American girl whose young life is filled with use and abuse before she eventually finds independence and contentment in middle-age maturity. The second national tour of this award-winning, Oprah Winfrey-approved musical has been receiving rave reviews from critics as a toe-tapping tribute to strength in the face of heartbreaking adversity. The Color Purple plays a mere eight shows through Sunday, April 19, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611; $29.50-$75.
TUESDAY • 14
STARDEATH AND WHITE DWARFS
FLAMING LIPS REDUX
The fact Stardeath and White Dwarfs lead singer Dennis Coyne calls Wayne Coyne, the screwball genius behind the Flaming Lips, "uncle" may make it easy to dismiss any attention the band gets as mere nepotism. And yes, the quartet's psychedelic bent and quirky falsetto owe a lot to Uncle Wayne, but Stardeath's own penchant for oddball creativity shouldn't be ignored. Their debut LP, The Birth, won't street until June, but you can catch their trippy live show of smoke, lights and spandex at the Crofoot's Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; $8; doors at 8 p.m. With Alan Scheurman.
A RETROSPECTIVE OF BAD IDEAS
Underground zine Stupor is a delectable romp through all that is trashy and crass, rude and lewd. Created by writers Bill Rhode and Steve Hughes, Stupor has gone through a number of transformations in its 15-year history and is now carried on sporadically out of Hughes' current home in Hamtramck. The stories are based on overheard bar conversations that are then skewed to fit Hughes' delightfully wicked purposes, and accompanied by eye-popping covers created by artists using vintage ads, illustrations and good ol' copy machines. On display are original layouts, new issues and artwork from a number of artists who have contributed their talents to the covers. On display through May 2 at Design 99, 3309 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-576-6941. And don't miss the Friends of Stupor reading on Saturday, April 25, a low-brow literary night out enhanced by a beer fountain.