THURSDAY OCTOBER 22
The Airborne Toxic Event
DANCE TO YOUR INNER DARK
The Airborne Toxic Event's hook-happy and radio-friendly post-punk is often compared to a new wave pastiche of Franz Ferdinand and Interpol. But before you fall asleep, note that the band's brooding lyrics build into proper anthemic choruses, and there's a kind of "noir" inside the band's catchy dance pop. The fuzzy guitars and groovy rhythms are offset by both a violin and voila, as heard on this Los Angeles quintet's self-titled debut, released last year. At 7 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; $15 advance. They'll also be performing a free show at 5:30 p.m. at Goodnight Gracie (224 Sherman St., Royal Oak). Seats are few, so show up early or risk being turned away.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 23
PJ's Lager House Two-Year Anniversary
PABST AND POWER CHORDS
One of Corktown's fave watering holes celebrates two years under the tenure of P.J. Ryder with a night of (in)glorious cover bands comprised of some of Detroit's finest rockers. The lineup includes members of such bands as the Hentchmen, the Decks, the Johnny III Band, Lee Marvin Computer Arm, Silverghost and more, paying tribute to Devo, T-Rex, the Cramps, the Ramones, Thin Lizzy, Modern Lovers and the Velvet Underground. Pay tribute at 9 p.m. at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $5.
FRIDAY-MONDAY OCTOBER 23-26
Evil Dead: The Musical
A BLOODY GOOD TIME
Sam Raimi's campy horror classics get a melodic makeover by the Who Wants Cake? Theatre Company, the local masters of theatrical kitsch. In this blood-drenched spoof, a vacation in the woods turns into a hilariously grotesque night of horror featuring songs such as "Do the Necronomicon" and "All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons." Theatergoers are advised to bring ponchos — buckets of blood will be spilled, and the audience will not be spared! (The much-coveted first-row "splatter zone" seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) How's that for interactive theater? At 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, 3 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 16 at the Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-5545; $10-$25.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24
Bods: Rethinking the Figure
Accurate drawings of the human figure were long considered a necessary skill for any serious artist to master. Contemporary artists, however, approach this classical subject in often surprising and interesting ways. Bods: Rethinking the Figure showcases the work of some of today's most relevant and innovative figure artists, including Vincent Desiderio, Larry Rivers, Robert Mapplethorpe and more, including Detroit artists Clinton Snider and Robert Schefman. Of special note are Evan Penny's silicone sculptures. While the figures are hyper-realistic, Penny plays with perspective by stretching and distorting the bodies beyond what the actual human form is capable of. The opening takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Robert Kidd Gallery, 107 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-642-3909; robertkiddgallery.com; on display through Dec. 19.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24
Detroit Erotica Ball
WHIP OR TREAT
The third annual Detroit Erotica Ball is the perfect party for both those who let their freak flag fly year-round and those who only try on that pleather the one time a year when it's socially acceptable (slutty nurses, slutty ninjas, etc.). Entertainment is provided by belly dancers, the Detroit Flyhouse Performers, performance artist Satori Circus, various and sundry fetish performers including the Cleveland Fetish Community, fire manipulators, burlesque troupes and musical guests such as Michiee, Dixon's Violin and Miss Chantal, and the Dirty Sanchez Band. The party also includes a private area for those who like to take public exposure to a whole new level. Yowzah! From 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. at Bert's Marketplace Theater, 2739 Russell St., Detroit; info at 586-321-2273 or detroiteroticaball.com; tickets are $15 advance or $20 at the door, $5 more if you don't come in fetish, Halloween or dressy attire.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24
Access Arts is a community art project that provides opportunities for artists to display their work out of doors, in public spaces. The organization hosts its second exhibit this weekend featuring local artists such as Angelo Conti, Stephanie Howells, Kyla Crawford and Tony Perez, who scouted locations across Belle Isle to create site-specific works, playing and building upon the natural and man-made environments of the park. The exhibit kicks off Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., and works will be on display for seven days. A map to all the pieces can be found at the Access host site, located on the south side of the island by Lake Tacoma. Learn more at 313-213-2391 and accessartsexhibit.blogspot.com.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24
PUNK'S NOT DEAD!
One thing that's been interesting about most of the punk band reunions — be it the Stooges or the Sex Pistols — is that the groups are generally better and more astute with their riffing than in the glory days. This isn't exactly a new reunion for the Damned, though; the seminal British unit has been back together, touring and recording, since 1993 … which means they're damned proficient at this point. The band is notable — especially in the UK — for a series of "firsts": To recap: The Damned were the first British punk band to release a single ("New Rose"), an album (Damned, Damned, Damned), and to tour the United States, the latter inspiring a ton of latter-day American punk bands, particularly in Los Angeles. Add that Elvis Costello saluted them with a "Neat, Neat, Neat" cover early on and that they supported T. Rex's final UK tour, and you've a legendary punk rock combo. That Nick Lowe produced their early shit should've hinted at some of the non-punk musical genres the group eventually explored over the years, from psychedelia to cabaret. Founding members Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible are still rocking (and looking!) hard, so get yer ironic vampire on and celebrate Halloween a week early! At Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-MELT.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24
WHO WANTS A MUSTACHE RIDE?
Formed as a sketch comedy group in college, Broken Lizard decided to move from the stage to the screen, releasing the college-centered comedy Puddle Cruiser in 1996. But it was their second film that garnered the members' cult-phenom status — the lowbrow, off-color romp, Super Troopers. The quintet has since released Club Dread and Beerfest, but now returns to its humble beginnings with a stage show that's a mixed bag of sketch comedy, improv, short films and standup. They'll also answer audience questions about the making of their films, and preview their latest, The Slammin' Salmon, coming to a theater near you later this year. At 7 p.m. at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980; $29.50 advance, $30 day of show; all ages.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 25
Treats in the Streets
The Detroit Historical Museum's most-believed exhibit, The Streets of Old Detroit, is the setting for this Halloween history party, allowing costumed little ones to absorb some of their city's history along with the high fructose corn syrup. Besides grabbing up sweets from the early 20th century storefronts, kiddies can enjoy Richard Paul's "Ha Ha Halloween Show" and get their hands dirty making crafts. The family-friendly celebration takes place 1 to 4 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7935; kids 12 and under are free if they come in costume, regular admission $6.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 25
Phil Ochs Song Night
PROBABLY INTERESTING TO A LARGE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
Just as Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon jabbed Clinton with a remake of "Love Me, I'm a Liberal," it's only a matter of time before some disgruntled lefty revives it for the Obama administration. (So win that damn public option, OK?) Which is to say that Phil Ochs' uncompromising conscience remains relevant more than 40 years after he took his own life at the still-tender age of 35. A product of the Greenwich Village folk scene that most famously gave us Bob Dylan — who once admired him — Ochs' tunes have been covered by folks from Cher to They Might Be Giants. The bill here includes Zach Stevenson (who's channeled Ochs in a one-man show), plus Josh White Jr., Jen Cass, Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor and Kim and Reggie Harris. At the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587; doors at 7; $15.
MONDAY OCTOBER 26
Saul Williams became a star of the slam circuit with his melding of spoken word and hip hop, but his prowess as an artist extends beyond his literary roots. Besides publishing several books of poetry, he's also starred in the critically acclaimed indie film Slam and released three genre-mashing hip-hop albums. His third and latest disc, the Trent Reznor-produced The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, finds Williams' intense flow backed up by industrial and hardcore beats. Williams brings his Niggy Tardust Experience to town in support of the disc at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $15; all ages.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 27
Loud & Rich
WHAT A TEAM!
Talk about your dynamic duos! Loud & Rich is a new project that includes two of the greatest music makers of the past four decades in the forms of Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III. The two will perform separate sets during this once-in-a-lifetime show before pairing up as a team for a duet performance at the Michigan Theater. Thompson, a founding member of folk-rock legends Fairport Convention, is always included on any list of the world's greatest guitarists. But while his guitar prowess is in a league of its own and indisputable, he's also one of modern folk music's great songwriters — Shoot Out the Lights, recorded with then wife Linda Thompson, is regarded as one of the finest "breakup" albums of all time, while Marshall Crenshaw performed Thompson's great pop ditty, "Valerie," the last time he was in Detroit. Wainwright is also known for his songwriting chops, which merge sardonic humor with poignancy. He's perhaps still best know by the uninitiated for his Top 40 early '70s hit, "Dead Skunk," but that's just one of literally hundreds of masterpieces. This promises to be one helluva performance. At the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8397.