WEDNESDAY • 27
YEAH YEAH YEAHS
SYNTHS? SAY WHAT?
Scrappy New York City "art-rock" trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs may have caused some head-scratching with their third album, It's Blitz, when they (somewhat) ditched growling guitars for screeching synths — that is, if they hadn't pulled it off so darn well. While the overall effect may be less forceful than their previous two records, it shows that unkempt rock 'n' rollers can explore new (old) terrain without abandoning their down-and-dirty roots. With Grand Ole Party at 7 p.m. Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac; 248-333-2362; clutchcargos.com; $27; all ages.
THURSDAY • 28
Known for his deadpan delivery of cerebral one-liners and witty wordplay, Demetri Martin has built up his comedian bona fides with a slew of respectable gigs — writing for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, appearing regularly with his own segment on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now starring in his own one-man show on Comedy Central, Important Things with Demetri Martin. The literal-minded comic has taught himself to write with his left hand, play the glockenspiel and guitar, and sew, all in the pursuit of the mighty guffaw. His next self-taught venture is acting — he plays the lead in Taking Woodstock, due out in August, and just landed a gig alongside Brad Pitt in Moneyball. Huh? Did you say next big thing? At 7 p.m. at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980; $35 advance; all ages.
THURSDAY-SATURDAY • 28-30
A celebration of the ADD art form, Detroit Shorts features films that clock in at a whopping 10 minutes or less. And though attention spans can be short, making mere minutes of film interesting, captivating, funny or relevant is the real challenge for the filmmakers working in this brief form. Selections have come from around the globe and range in genre, but specific programs which feature films made in Michigan, horror films and animated shorts are scheduled. Special events, including an opening night performance by Satori Circus and a variety of panels, are scheduled throughout the duration. Screenings take place at 1515 Broadway Theatre (1515 Broadway, Detroit) and the Boll Family YMCA (1401 Broadway, Detroit); schedule and further info at 313-438-2427 and detroitfilm.org.
FRIDAY • 29
COMMODITY OR CONSTANT?
Twenty-some artists weigh in on race in the era of the first black president in the aptly titled exhibit, Race. Specifically, the display asks and answers questions about the commodification of race — its brand power, its subsequent disposability, and its future in this new world order. Such artists as Taurus Burns, Mitch Cope, Lara Stein Pardo, Scott Hocking and Phaedra Robinson ask, answer and pose yet more questions in multimedia works. Opening at 6 p.m. at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012; on display through July 5.
FRIDAY • 29
MOCAD ART OPENING
WITH EXTREME ANIMALS
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit celebrates the opening of three new exhibits: Art Spiegelman: Portrait of an Artist as a Young %@&*!, features films, drawings and mementos that shed light on the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist's influences and personal history, as well as excerpts from his groundbreaking graphic novel Breakdowns; Linkage: Artists Select Artists, which explores the chain of influence among nine artists; and Jesper Just: With Mixed Emotions, focuses on three works by the Danish film artist. The night will be capped with a performance by bicoastal, faux urban dance duo Extreme Animals, complemented with videos by art collective Paper Rad. With Will Sessions. Reception at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m., at MoCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org.
FRIDAY • 29
UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED
BUT WILL THEY STILL GO TO ELEVEN?
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer unleashed a cultural phenomenon — which, in its time, was as prophetic as it was parody — when they starred as the worst (and best) metal band that never existed in This is Spinal Tap. Since then, the comics have worked together on a number of Guest films, including A Mighty Wind, which featured their second musical incarnation, the Folksmen. For the first time, the trio is touring as themselves, without props or costumes, and performing acoustic renditions of songs from their films. At 8 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY • 29-31
LOVE & A CHOPPER
Stagecrafters, Royal Oak's community theater, presents the bombastic pop-opera Miss Saigon, the Vietnam-era retelling of Puccini's Madame Butterfly. The story of a love affair between an American GI and a Vietnamese bargirl who are separated at the fall of Saigon, Miss Saigon is considered one of the most popular musicals of all time. Its famed epic production, including the evacuation of the American Embassy by helicopter, will be re-created, complete with a faux helicopter, 80 percent to scale. Suck it, Broadway! At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday, with additional performances Thursdays through Sundays until June 21, at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak; 248-541-6430.
SATURDAY • 30
SUPER HAPPY FUNTIME BURLESQUE
MAGIC, LAUGHS & NIPPLE TASSELS!
Super Happy Funtime Burlesque offers a vaudeville-style variety show with burlesque dancers, comedy skits featuring characters such as Chompers the Angry Clown and Zombie President Ford, game shows and musical accompaniment by the 12-piece End of Time Orchestra. Billing themselves as Michigan's largest burlesque troupe, Super Happy Funtime performs for the first time in metro Detroit with an outlandish and fabulous show featuring more than 20 performers (including a musician and a stilt walker) along with a full technical crew. At 8 p.m. at the Ritz, 24300 Hoover Rd., Warren; 586-756-6140; $10.
SATURDAY • 30
DETROIT DERBY GIRL CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT
ROLLER RACE FOR THE PRIZE
The May 9 match saw the Pistoffs overtaking the Devil's Night Dames 116 to 71 to capture third place, but this is the bout that determines who will reign bloody-knuckle supreme as the champion of the 2009 Detroit Derby Girl season. The Pistolwhippers will skate off against the D-Funk Allstars in the final rock-'em, sock-'em thrill ride of the regular season. Cheer on Detroit's toughest chicks one last time at 6 p.m. at the Masonic Temple (500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-832-7100) followed by an afterparty at Small's (10339 Conant Ave., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117); info at detroitderbygirls.com.
SATURDAY • 30
A FETISH FANTASY, ASIAN STYLE
Noir Leather's infamous fetish party Hellbound is heading down the Silk Road for its final incarnation until this fall. Shanghai Dreams features all the sinful delights of the mystical and mythical (not to mention stereotypical) Orient, including a Beijing fetish performance, a human boardwalk, a lounge of lust, Houdini-style escapes and performances by Mistress Mlicious and the Motor City Rah-Rahs. As always, fetish attire is strongly recommended, which includes leather kimonos, natch! At 9 p.m. at Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739; $10 advance, $15 door, $25 without fetishwear.
SATURDAY • 30
GEORGE BENSON AWARD CEREMONY
NO, HE DOESN'T SING 'THIS MASQUERADE'
They'll fill in the details as they give him a round of applause, but suffice to say that George Benson — aka, George Saxophone Benson, not to be confused with the singer-guitarist — has the credentials as a performer-educator befitting the Southeast Michigan Jazz Association's Ron Brooks Award. He has brought insight to Wayne State University (and other students) from a career that included leading the last house band at the famed Flame Show Bar, playing '20s-style jazz in the New McKinney's Cotton Pickers, playing behind Motown acts, and leading his own bopsteeped outfits. The $10 cover charge includes food and music. At 2 p.m. at Baker's Keyboard Lounge, 20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-345-6300. Contact SEMJA at 734-668-7470.
SATURDAY • 30
HAMTRAMCK INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR
DIVERSITY FOR SALE
The Hamtramck International Bazaar kicks off this weekend, featuring a variety of vendors selling the kind of multi-culti eclecticism that only Hamtramck can offer. The event, on the last Saturday of the month through September, also features farmers selling produce, live music, baked goods and free recycling for Hammy residents. The Hamtramck Downtown Development Authority hosts its sidewalk sale the same day, so go ahead and shop till you see pierogies. It happens 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Caniff city parking lot, one block east of Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; visit downtownhamtramck.com for info.
SUNDAY • 31
TASTE OF ANN ARBOR
Enjoy bite-sized portions of scrumptious cuisine from Ann Arbor's celebrated downtown restaurants, including Arbor Brewing Company, Blue Nile, Blue Tractor, Gratzi, Conor O'Neill's, Real Seafood, La Dolce Vita and more. Kiddie entertainment will be provided by Colors the Clown and bands including Tumbao Salsa and the Dave Sharp Quartet perform on two stages. Tastes are only 50 cents, so eat up! From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Main Street and Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor; info at mainstreetannarbor.org.
SUNDAY • 31
Electroclash pop duo Fischerspooner marries lowbrow spectacle with highbrow farce in its outrageous live shows, which include dance troupes, neon costumes and campy theatrics. The New York-based group's third album, Entertainment, waffles between sweaty dance-floor hits and esoteric electro. But Fischerspooner has always been less about sound and more about sight. To wit, its latest touring production sports influences running the Kabuki-to-avantgarde theater gamut. Check out the mad display at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $17 advance, $20 day of show; all ages; doors at 7 p.m.
It's been 160 million years since dinos dominated the planet, but you can still get a sampling of Jurassic life at the Detroit Zoo's Dinosauria. The exhibit features 19 animatronic dinosaurs posed along a three-acre prehistoric-style path, as well as a simulated dig site, hands-on displays of actual fossils, and an educational motion-simulator ride, the DinoSimulator. Through Labor Day at the Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org.