THURSDAY OCTOBER 1
Connecting Communities explores the topic of immigration through stories told by immigrants from Detroit, Hamtramck and Dearborn. Using the photos and personal objects of local residents, the exhibit puts a human face on this often-contentious topic. The opening also coincides with the return of the Arab American National Museum's Global Thursdays music series, featuring a performance by Iraqi-American oud virtuoso Rahim AlHaj. Appropriately, much of AlHaj's music addresses themes of exile and new beginnings in an adopted homeland. The free opening begins at 5:30 p.m.; AlHaj's performance begins at 6:30 and is $10, $9 for members. At the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266; arabamericanmuseum.org.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 2
West of Center
PAINTING OUTSIDE THE LINES
The Northville Art House kicks off what's intended to be an annual all-media show, West of Center, featuring 40 artists, from across the state and the country, whose works offer fresh takes for our tough times. Pieces — including everything from portraits to photography to sculpture — were selected by juror MaryAnn Wilkinson, an independent art scholar and former curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Artists include Darcel Deneau, Thomas Frank, Victor Pytko, Matthew Woodward, Ann Connors, Carrie Burnett and Patrick Young. The opening takes place from 6 to 9 p.m., and the works are on display through Oct. 24, at the Northville Art House, 215 W. Cady St., Northville; 248-344-0497.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY OCTOBER 2-3
Art Detroit Now
MASSIVE ART ATTACK
Last May's inaugural Art Detroit Now weekend featured gallery openings, art workshops, receptions, exhibitions and events all over southeast Michigan. This year, Detroit's area-wide celebration of contemporary art is looking to grow in every way imaginable, with more than 50 arts organizations involved. It all starts this Friday with a cultural corridor art crawl. Hitting 14 arts institutions — including Cass Cafe, Detroit Artists Market, the DIA, Re:View Contemporary, Work: Detroit and Scarab Club — Midtown will be abuzz with performances, exhibits and specialized programming. Keep an eye out for performance artist Satori Circus, who, with Radio Flyer in tow, will be giving a traveling performance which includes 20-minute stops at seven of the venues (it kicks off 6 p.m. at the Scarab Club). Saturday, the festivities include open studios at the Pioneer Building, the opening of Animal Logic: The Work of Richard Barnes at Cranbrook, and the Russell Industrial Center's open house, which goes down from 1 p.m. till midnight. There's really too much going on to cram into this graph, so check out artdetroitnow.com for more.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY OCTOBER 2-3
Carolina Chocolate Drops
RECLAIMING THE PLUCK
In the annals of American music, the old-timey string sound of fiddles and banjoes is most often associated with white musicians of Appalachia. But the string band sound also flourished in the African-American communities of the North Carolina foothills, a tradition the Carolina Chocolate Drops are reviving. Sharing vocal duties and trading instruments — banjoes and fiddles, of course, but jugs, kazoos and bones also appear — the trio performs a repertoire of early 20th century tunes revitalized for the modern era. The Drops formed in 2005 after meeting at the Black Banjo Gathering, and honed their skills under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, who's considered the last black fiddler of North Carolina's string band heyday. Carrying on the tradition, they perform at 8 p.m. at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1451; $15.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY OCTOBER 2-4
Detroit-Windsor theater company Breathe Art Theatre opens its cross-border season with a production of the award-winning play, The Lonely Planet. Jody is the proprietor of a map shop, and he rarely leaves the confines of his store; Carl is his friend and regular customer. The play details Carl's attempts to force Jody to participate in the outside world, which includes recognizing the problems that Jody's isolation has allowed him to ignore. Along with Jody and Carl, the audience is forced to reconsider notions of friendship, community and our obligation to both. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third St., Detroit; tickets are $20, $15 students and seniors, available at 248 982-4121 or breatharttheatre.com.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3
Detroit: Breeding Ground
SCULPTING A SCENE
An exhibit of sculpture by local artists, Detroit: Breeding Ground, posits the idea that the artistic freedom that Detroit allows — thanks to the abundant resources of abandoned buildings, wide-open spaces and on-the-cheap living — corresponds neatly with the intrinsic nature of sculpture. Issues raised by the exhibit regarding the place of sculpture within the artistic and social landscape of Detroit will be addressed in an accompanying publication and a panel discussion on Nov. 1. The exhibit includes artists such as the Detroit Projection Project, Andrew Thompson, Abigail Newbold, Nathan Morgan and co-curators Chris Samuels and Kevin Beasley. Opens with a reception at 7 p.m. at the Museum of New Art, 7 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-210-7560; detroitmona.com; on display through Nov. 21.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3
SHRED IT, BABY!
Screaming Females was born in New Brunswick, N.J., in a music scene where the gritty self-reliant flourish in cramped basements before growing up and fading away. But this scrappy punk trio is on the rise, if their stint opening for the Dead Weather this July can be taken as proof. Consisting of two dudes and one helluva shouting and shredding chick (she's bringing back the guitar solo in a major way), the Screaming Females have played about 300 self-booked shows since their 2005 inception, self-releasing a couple of discs along the way. Their first label release, Power Move, hit streets this year and showcases a restrained version of the band's aggressive and frantic live attack, which you can see at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Café, 4120 Woodward Ave., 313-833-9700; $6; all ages; with special guests Cheap Girls.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3
i3 Detroit Grand Opening Party
According to its website, i3 is a "collaborative environment for people to explore the balance between technology, art and culture." Members range from machinists to artists to electrical engineers, and the collective offers classes in an equally diverse set of topics, such as woodworking, auto repair and amateur radio. Now, i3 is celebrating the opening of its new workspace — which includes a classroom and a common workspace stocked with some heavy-duty tools — by holding an open house where you can view ongoing projects, check out the workspace, meet members and maybe be enticed to add your own skills to this communal creative enterprise. The open house takes place from noon to 5 p.m. and an 18-and-over party begins at 7 p.m. at i3 Detroit, 322 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; info at i3detroit.com.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 4
Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, known simply as Mirah, creates captivating lo-fi indie whose honeyed sound belies the intensity of her emotionally raw lyrics. Armed with a voice that's been described by trusted sources as the sexiest in the Pacific Northwest, she's been at the core of that region's bustling scene since her 2000 debut album, You Think It's Like This but It's Really Like This. She's collaborated with artists such as the Black Cat Orchestra, released critically acclaimed solo albums and scored the political documentary Young, Jewish, and Left. Mirah's stop in Detroit is in support of her latest effort, (a)spera, which finds the maturing songwriter exploring varied instrumentation and lush harmonies, delivering a suite of beautiful and memorable tracks that confirm her status as one of the indie scene's most accomplished and compelling musicians. With Norfolk & Western at 7 p.m. at the Rowland Café inside the Guardian Building, 500 Griswold St., Detroit; $12; tickets and info a thecrofoot.com.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 6
BORN TO, UM, RUN
They may record for one of America's premier modern punk-rock labels, and they may be from, again, New Brunswick, N.J., (America's next hotspot, kids), but Gaslight Anthem suggests an earlier era — incorporating some of the very best elements of '70s rock 'n' roll, from blue-collar to pop-punk, into their sound. Elements of the Clash are surely recognizable, but chief songwriter-singer Brian Fallon reserves his biggest homage for New Jersey's patron saint, Bruce Springsteen. The dude even pays tribute by taking direct lines from some of the Boss' most famous '80s songs and then incorporating them into his own compositions (i.e., "No surrender, my Bobbie Jean"). Good, if hat-tippingly derivative, stuff. Springsteen returned the favor by joining the band onstage at Britain's Glastonbury Festival this past summer. The '59 Sound was one of last year's best discs — but the dudes may introduce new material from a follow-up disc, due in 2010. At Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8137.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 6
Where the Wild Things Are
TERRIBLE ROARS HIT THE BIG SCREEN
826michigan presents this preview screening of Where the Wild Things Are, the film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book. First published in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are tells the story of the mischievous little boy Max, who, upon being sent to his room without dinner, angrily escapes into a jungle fantasy world where he encounters monster like creatures who make him their king. The preview also features a Q&A session with Dave Eggers, author and founder of 826 National who co-wrote the screenplay with director Spike Jonze. Proceeds from the screening will benefit 826michigan in its mission to improve the writing skills of students ages 6 to 18. At 6:45 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8397. Tickets are $20, $15 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased at 826michigan.org. VIP tickets, which include the screening and a post-film reception with Eggers, are $125.