THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16
Lost Detroit Book Release
Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins returns 12 crumbling, historic buildings to the glory of their former years, not through wistful descriptions of their former architectural splendor, but by telling the stories of the people who worked, played and lived in them. Author Dan Austin and photographer Sean Doerr's buildingsofdetroit.com documents the past and present of landmark buildings, raising awareness about the city's architectural heritage and threats to its preservation. Lost Detroit extends these worthy efforts by documenting the lives that buzzed behind the bricks. The duo celebrates the release and signs copies 4-9 p.m. at City Bird, 460 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9146; info at lostdetroit.com.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16
Chicago Underground Duo
Interrupting other projects (including percussionist Chad Taylor's work with Iron and Wine, and cornetist Rob Mazurek's with Mandarin Movie), they're reuniting for a dozen or so dates as the Chicago Underground Duo for more of the exploratory jazz they began in the '90s. They recently released Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey), their fifth as the duo and the 11th in the Chicago Underground series, which scales up all the way to the Chicago Underground Orchestra. Their deepest excursion yet into electronics and studio-as-instrument raises the anticipation of just what'll happen live. At Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
THURSDAY-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16-19
Bye Bye Birdie
ROCK STAR GONE WILD
It's the 1950s and hip-swiveling rock stars are held responsible for corrupting America's youth, fan girls are busting eardrums with ear-splitting shrieks and Middle America is as wholesome as ever. Such is the setting for Bye Bye Birdie, the feel-good musical that's remained a favorite since its debut in 1960. When rock star Conrad Birdie is drafted into the Army, his agent concocts one last publicity stunt — one lucky fanclub member will get to kiss Birdie before he marches off into the sunset. But small town Ohio is a match for the star, and before Birdie can plant one on the girl, madcap antics — and a lot of singing and dancing — ensue. Presented by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lydia Mendelsshon Theatre, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-971-2228; a2ct.org; $12-$22.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 17
REDEFINING THE WAY YOU PARK
During Park(ing) Day, metered spots are temporarily transformed into mini-public parks — ephemeral oases among the concrete grey of the urban jungle. The goal of this transient greening is to draw attention to how and for what purpose space is used in cities, sparking crucial debate (hopefully) about land use and community needs in a fun and irreverent way. Park(ing) Day began in 2005, when San Francisco design studio Rebar transformed a single parking space into a temporary public park. Since then, the occasion has been marked annually in cities across the globe; locally, be on the lookout for short-lived green spaces throughout Ann Arbor, as well as in Detroit in front of the Bureau of Urban Living at 460 W. Canfield St. For info, visit parkingday.org.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 17
SCAT MAN RETURNS
After scaring fans with an ER pit-stop for heart trouble in July, the King of the Scat Cats is back on the road. And how did he get to be king in the first place? Here's writer Sadiq, on the essence of Jarreau in the debut issue of Metro Times way back when: "I have witnessed the man take the audience to church and then take them to bed in two songs! And in case you wondered, he sounds better live than on wax." Ah, yes, sin and salvation! Live! At 8 p.m. at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel; Ticketmaster 800-745-3000; $42-$39.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17-18
Detroit Michigan Writers' Retreat
The Detroit Michigan Writers' Retreat is a two-day celebration of all things literary. The event — which Springfed Arts hopes to make an annual one — includes readings by local and national poets and authors, panel discussions, workshops, a gala reception and more. The retreat begins Friday with a reading concert featuring Thomas Lux, Quincy Troupe, Patricia Smith, Michael Thomas, Meg Kearney, Khaled Mattawa and Melba Joyce Boyd at 7:30 p.m. at the Walter B. Ford II building of the College for Creative Studies (201 E. Kirby St., Detroit). Festivities resume Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Virgil H. Carr Center (311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit) with presentations and workshops, including a discussion on Emily Dickinson presented by InsideOut Literary Arts, and concluding with an open mic session followed by a gala reception. $150 grants you access to the whole shebang; the Friday night reading only is $10, gala reception only is $25. For info and tickets, visit springfed.org.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17-19
DIY Street Fair
LOCAL DOERS UNITE!
The three nights and two days include more than 100 artists and artisans of all types: 14 Michigan breweries, including Shorts Brewing Company, Atwater Block Brewing and Founders; six local restaurants, including the Fly Trap, the Emory and Club Bart; and a kid's zone featuring everything from puppet shows and yoga to kiddie-friendly music and art projects. More than 40 musicians will perform at the outdoor stage and at the Loving Touch pool hall; highlights include Goober & the Peas, Outrageous Cherry, Bad Party and the Satin Peaches on Friday; Electric Six, Millions of Brazilians, Secret Twins, the Beggars and Lettercamp on Saturday; and the Silent Years, the Sights, the Summer Pledge, Old Empire and Doop & the Inside Outlaws on Sunday. Official afterparties nightly at the Emory feature local DJs presented by House Gallery Detroit. Whew! Presented by the Woodward Avenue Brewers, the fare takes place next to the brewery in Ferndale, on East Troy Street, east of Woodward and south of Nine Mile. For info, visit diystreetfair.com.
SATURAY SEPTEMBER 18
SURA Arts Academy
The SURA Arts Academy, a free photography program for youth, celebrates a decade of teaching middle school students how to focus a lens with an exhibit showcasing photos snapped during the past academic year, as well as highlights from the past 10 years. SURA — the Arab word for photography — takes place for 10 weeks each fall and spring, as well as during a week-long summer camp. The program teaches fundamentals of photography, but also encourages respect for diversity and community engagement. Opening reception at noon at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266; displays through Oct. 31.
SATURAY SEPTEMBER 18
We Like Music Festival
DANCE, MOTHERFUCKERS, DANCE!
Overtaking two venues for 12 hours of indoor/outdoor groove-busting madness, the We Like Music Festival features art installations, exhibits and a musical lineup guaranteeing sweat-drenched dance floors. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700), Broken City Lab and VJ Kero present digital art installations that serve as a backdrop to the electro sounds of Eliot Lipp, Kraddy (formerly of the Glitch Mob), Jimmy Edgars and Mux Mool. At the Old Miami (3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830), expect interactive art exhibits and two stages of nonstop performances thanks to Nospectacle, Aether, James T. Cotton, Lord Scrummage, John Arnold, Madis One and more. The fest begins at 2 p.m. at the Old Miami, 9 p.m. at the Magic Stick; $15 advance, $20 day of; welikemusicfestival.com for info.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 19
HARANGUE FOR HOLLYWOOD
In 1951, renegade French film critics founded the Cahiers du Cinéma, a magazine that revolutionized film criticism. In 1994, Michigander Mike White founded Cashiers du Cinemart (ba-dum-tsh!), a zine that openly mocked big-budget mainstream films. But it became more than a slaughterhouse for Hollywood's sacred cows, publishing meticulously researched articles about obscure film figures, including such underappreciated writers as David Goodis, John D. MacDonald and James Ellroy, all-but-forgotten screen songwriter Paul Williams, and unsung auteurs such as Keith Gordon and John Paizs, not to mention bringing attention to virtually unknown films like Black Shampoo. Although the zine moved exclusively online a few years ago, White has compiled some of its best moments into a handsome paperback, Impossibly Funky. He reads, fields questions and, of course, hawks and signs books at 2 p.m. at Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-1190.
Balance: An Artist's Collaborative Game
EQUILIBRIUM THROUGH OPPOSITES
Organized by the Women's Caucus for Art-Michigan, Balance features works created by 38 female artists from across the state working in eclectic pairs. Established artists worked with emerging ones, sculptors worked with painters and Detroiters worked with western Michiganders. Each duo was responsible for three works on the theme of balance; the results range from paintings to installations and explore balance in the context of home life, politics, the environment and religion. Slated for four galleries throughout the state, the exhibit is currently at River's Edge Gallery, 3024 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-246-9880; closes Sept. 26 with a wine and cheese reception.