WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY JULY 7-10
Wyandotte Street Art Fair
ART FOR FOLKS
More than 250 fine artists peddle their wares at this annual event, one of Michigan's oldest juried art fairs. Besides art in a variety of media — from fiber and metal to jewelry and paintings — the four-day fest also features food vendors, crafters, kids' activities and entertainment in the form of local musicians, including Larry Lee & the Back in the Day Band, Gino Fanelli, the Square Pegz, Carolyn Striho, 50 Amp Fuse and the Howling Diablos. The fair takes place on Biddle Ave. between Eureka and Oak streets in downtown Wyandotte; 734-324-4502 or wyandottestreetartfair.org for info.
FRIDAY JULY 9
The Architecture of Trees
BUILDING AN IMAGE
Hungarian-born artist and architect Balthazar Korab has spent more than 50 years capturing both the natural and man-made world — and the uneasy relationship between the two — with his lens, bringing an architect's sensibility to his sparse and evocative black-and-white images. His work has shown in museums the world over, and he's authored or contributed to numerous books and publications. A solo exhibit of Korab's photographs and paintings, The Architecture of Trees, opens with a reception that also features the venerable artist, who currently resides in metro Detroit, adding his John Hancock to the Scarab Club's storied beams in the second-floor lounge. Reception from 6 to 9 p.m., beam-signing at 7:30 p.m. at the Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250; up through Aug. 29.
FRIDAY JULY 9
Dominique Young Unique
SASS & SPITFIRE
Tampa's hip-hop upstart Dominique Young Unique has collected plenty of buzz of late and it's little wonder why: She's a pretty chick with a sassy 'tude who delivers rapid-fire rhymes about her ass (seriously, the song's called "Show My Ass" and it's one serious jam), glocks and pulling triggers over sick danceable beats. What's not to dig? Besides, she's mighty lovely, like a young, winsome Diana Ross with a gap-toothed grin! Her Domination mixtape is available free online. With V. Count Macula and Mobil at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Café, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $8.
FRIDAY JULY 9
Pamela Wise and the Afro Cuban Jazz All Stars
MOTOWN SCHTUPPS HAVANA
As a lifetime Midwesterner, Detroiter Pamela Wise made clear her grand affection for and affinity with Afro-Cuban jazz some years ago with her recordings Songo Festividad and Negre Con Leche (Black With Cream) on the Wenha label she runs with husband Wendell Harrison. And she's still digging into that repertoire with her Afro Cuban Jazz All Stars, bringing that music to the stage this week with a band that includes Harrison on sax and Senegalese transplant Pathe Jassi on bass. It's part of the first annual Restoration for Community Unity Festival of the Shrine of the Black Madonna Church. A free event from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Shrine of the Black Madonna, 7625 Linwood St. (at Hogarth), Detroit; 313-875-9700, ext. 102.
FRIDAY JULY 9
Scott Morgan CD Release Party
SCOTT ROCK CITY
Scott Morgan is definitive Detroit music royalty, first emerging from the area's rising rock 'n' roll/R&B scene in the '60s as the Rationals' front man. It was with that group, and later with Sonic's Rendezvous Band, that Morgan helped to pioneer soulful, garage rock-infused R&B; he and band even scored a minor regional hit with a cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" before Aretha recorded her game-changing take. His self-titled solo disc sees Morgan continuing with his rock 'n' soul tradition with six covers of classics such as the Temptations' "Since I Lost My Baby" and lesser-known gems such as Bobbie Gentry's "Mississippi Delta," as well as five self-penned ditties. He celebrates the killer album with a CD release show at 8 p.m. at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030; $10; with the Howling Diablos and Doop & the Inside Outlaws.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY JULY 9-10
THE PELVIS NEVER FORGETS
While the King is gone forever, his spirit's alive and well, thank you very much — nowhere more so than at Ypsi's annual Elvisfest. Celebrating its 11th year of hip-shaking Elvis tributes, the fest features performances by more than 10 artists representing Elvis — from his hillbilly cat rockabilly days to the white jumpsuit era in all its glory. Artists performing as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and other legends will also be on hand, along with kids' games and a boatload of Elvis merch. Sure, the King may have snacked on one too many fried peanut-butter-banana-Placidyl sandwiches, but his honey-toned voice and unmatched legend lives on. From 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, and noon to midnight Saturday, at Riverside Park, Huron and Cross streets, Ypsilanti; visit mielvisfest.org.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY JULY 9-10
Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller took voyeurism to an elevated level with its depiction of a wheelchair-bound photog who uncovers a murder while spying on his neighbors across the courtyard. Starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, Rear Window is widely considered one of Hitchcock's best — a suspenseful ride, impeccably shot, to be sure. The film has even achieved that all-important cultural milestone — being parodied on The Simpsons. At 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, at the Redford Theatre, 17360 Lahser Rd., Detroit; 313-537-2560; $4.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY JULY 9-10
THE DIN OF DEBAUCHERY
The annual musical freak-out known as Scrummage Fest takes a motley crew of local and national MCs, DJs, punks, indie kids, electro-popsters and experimental, hybrid whatevers, throws 'em in a blender, and regurgitates a wildcard lineup for a two-day sonic eruption. Friday, Prussia, Solid Liquid, Blk_Out, Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Flamingos by the Yard and more take over the Division Gallery (1353 Division St., Detroit) beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Lord Scrummage, Breeze One, Mobil, Deastro, Noman, the Telephone Callers and many more perform at the CAID (5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit).
FRIDAY-SUNDAY JULY 9-11
Detroit APBA Gold Cup
GO, SPEEDBOAT, GO!
The oldest, active trophy in motorsports, the APBA Gold Cup sees hydroplanes racing across the Detroit River, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour in the quest for fame, glory and a neat old trophy. The races are the main — and most exhilarating — attraction, but the event also includes a vintage race boat exhibition, demos by the Navy's West Coast Super Hornet Demo Team and a family fun zone. Qualifying races take place Friday; the real deal goes down Saturday and Sunday. For info on tickets and more, visit gold-cup.com.
SATURDAY JULY 10
Shadow Art Fair
Quirky, inventive, eclectic, beautiful or just plain weird, the Shadow Art Fair has it all. This twice-yearly fair features artists, crafters and makers of all sorts from Detroit, Ypsi, Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan, showcasing the diverse range of locally made indie goods available in our region. Music, kids' activities and a special Shadow Brew will also be featured; other Ypsi venues, including Dreamland Theater and the Savoy, will also feature special activities in conjunction with the fair. The Shadow Art Fair takes place from noon to midnight at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti; 734-480-2739; info at shadowartfair.com.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY JULY 10-11
GARAGE TO THE NEXT LEVEL
The Park Bar bids a temporary adieu to its upstairs concert space with one final blowout before it gets overhauled into a multi-purpose venue and full-on bar. The free goodbye-fest begins Friday with a screening of the film Garage: A Rock Saga, followed by performances by the Wrong Numbers and Park: A Rock Band, performing for the first time since 2003. The farewell continues Saturday with performances by Cowboy Messiah, Shoe, the Alison Lewis Band, Garage and, once again, the prog-rock improvisations of Park: A Rock Band. At 8 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Park Bar, 2040 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2933.
SATURDAY-MONDAY JULY 10-12
Sordid Lives: It's A Drag!
CROSS-DRESSING ON STAGE
Del Shores' black comedy Sordid Lives focuses on the death of Peggy Ingram, the matriarch of one dysfunctional Texas clan. As family members gather for the funeral, tensions mount between feuding siblings, a closeted grandson, a cross-dressing uncle and more low-class, white-trash-y friends, families and neighbors. But in the Who Wants Cake? production, the small-town high drama gets a boost thanks to creative casting — all roles are played by actors of the opposite gender. Twist! Catch all the sleazy, seedy and tawdry action — in drag! At 8 p.m. Saturday and Monday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-5545; whowantscaketheatre.com; $10-$20; runs through Aug. 2.
TUESDAY JULY 13
MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE
As members of the Unicorns, Nick Diamonds and Jamie Thompson created buoyantly goofy pop filled with irresistible hooks and oodles of unselfconscious charm. As Islands, Diamonds and Thompson (along with a cadre of Montreal-based collaborators) continued their penchant for quirkiness on their debut disc, Return to the Sea, experimenting with Afro-beat accents, lush instrumentation and idiosyncratic appearances by guest rappers. The odd but fetching din was disrupted on Islands' second effort — Thompson left the band and Diamonds took a turn toward indulgent drudgery — but the breezy synth-pop returned (along with Thompson) on their third and latest disc, Vapours. With Steel Phantoms and Gregory Pepper at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $10; all ages.
TUESDAY JULY 13
SONGS, RULE, OK?
Most often in our culture it's customary to ignore the most deserving folks while rewarding shams. It's just how it is. If it weren't, you'd have heard of this guy Kenny White.
As any great songwriter knows, the real power is in the little shit, the subtlety and the inferred sadness — and often between self-effacing themes of trust, love, heartbreak, longing and redemption. White is a black belt at that stuff; it flows as if there were nothing else in life for him to do. There probably isn't. He's one of those guys.
On his new album, Comfort in the Static (On Judy Collins' Wildflower Records), late-night narrative plays out over lilting piano, slide guitar, violins, cellos and exceptional songwriting that's rich in atmosphere and original detail, many songs that Mercury Rev, Chuck Prophet, and Lloyd Cole would've sold out to have come up with.
From the Randy Newmanish "What Good Would That Do Me Now," to the absolutely tender and spare confessional "Last Night," Static is absolutely one of the year's greatest album's, even if you're not a fan of storytelling. Kenny Wight's songs are like that.
This Ann Arbor show is one of this producer (Peter Wolf among others) and songwriter's rare headliners, and it's not to be missed. Doors at 7:30 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1451; theark.org. $15.