THURSDAY-SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23-25
Harvest Moon Celebration
THE SEASONS ARE A-CHANGING
Farmington's sixth annual autumnal festival welcomes the changing of the seasons with harvest-themed fun. The fest kicks off Thursday with a beer and wine tasting featuring craft beers from the Great Lakes region and more than 30 wines. Friday, the Harvest Moon Dance gives revelers the chance to boogie round the bonfire while enjoying seasonal eats from local restaurants and tunes provided by Bob Monteleone and the Killer Flamingos. Saturday, it's all-ages fun during Harvest Day, with a farmer's market, pig roast, fresh roasted corn, craft beer, root beer and live music all day. The festivities take place in Riley Park on Grand River Avenue in downtown Farmington; downtownfarmington.org for info; $5 advance, $8 doors.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 24
This California trio is the brainchild of Bethany Cosentino, who was groomed for tween-pop fame before detouring into indie rock it-girl status. The trio — frontwoman Cosentino, co-songwriter Bobby Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler, formerly of the Vivian Girls — was buoyed to low-level stardom last year on the strength of a string of sun-kissed, surf-pop ditties. Last summer's debut disc kept the hype alive; the critically acclaimed Crazy for You is replete with girl group harmonies, '60s pop hooks awash in reverb, and Cosentino's spot-on vocals expressing adolescent longing simply, but sincerely (including lines such as "I wish he was my boyfriend" and "I wish my cat could talk"). Best Coast performs in support of the album with Male Bonding at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $12 advance; all ages.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 24
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jessica Fichot marries the French chanson tradition with gypsy jazz, Chinese and Latin folk music, and American standards to create an energetic and gorgeous global cabaret, with her lilting soprano taking turns in French, English, Chinese and Spanish over tunes both celebratory and sad. The California-based chanteuse comes by the international flavor honestly — she was born in this country to a French father and Chinese mother, and she was raised in Paris, where she performed in coffeehouses and concert halls before returning to the United States. Her worldly tunes, delivered with a wholesome sweetness, can be heard on her debut disc, Le Chemin, or live at 7 and 8:30 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; free with admission.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24-26
Play It Again, Sam
THE COMEDIC PATHOS OF LOVE
Woody Allen's 1969 Broadway play, which was adapted for the big screen in 1972, tells the story of Allan Felix, a recently divorced film buff who idolizes Humphrey Bogart. Encouraged by his married friends, Linda and Dick, the neurotic Felix jumps back on the dating horse, with the ghost of Bogie periodically chiming in with misguided, if well-intentioned, advice. In an ending that pays sweet homage to Casablanca (complete with trench coats, fog and dim lighting), Felix falls for Linda, and must choose between his friendship with Dick and the woman he loves. Presented by the Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company at 1515 Broadway Theatre, 1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-408-7269; magentagiraffe.org; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday; performances continue through Oct. 17.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25
In About Time, two distinctly separate displays provide commentary on the broad theme of time and the hope and loss that come with it. The exhibit includes photos by photojournalist (and sometime MT contributor) Rebecca Cook, featuring works spanning the last 25 years, providing an overview of some of her oft-covered subjects, including community, the environment and labor. The other half of the exhibit is "All Day," a video work by Justin Gibson, an artist and poet sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and Tirtza Even, a film artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their work uses 3-D animation and a nonprofessional cast to explore issues of crime and time spent behind bars. About Time opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at 2739 Edwin Gallery, 2739 Edwin St., Fl. 2, Hamtramck; displays Saturdays through Oct. 30. with a public screening of "All Day" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25
Another attempt to stretch out the outdoor fun before winter sets in, Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood is hosting its first Oktoberfest block party. The free fest features bands, DJs, a beer trailer, barbecued eats, games and prizes. The lineup includes the Kickstand Band, the Summer Pledge, Noman, Replicas, Deastro, Frank Raines, Drew Pompa, Erno the Inferno and more, as well as performances by jessica Care moore and Charles Wright. Enjoy the fall weather while it still lingers, from noon to midnight at Merrick and Trumbull streets in Detroit
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25
Sonny & the Sunsets
VINTAGE WEST COAST
Bay Area songwriter, author, filmmaker and visual artist Sonny Smith is the mastermind behind Sonny & the Sunsets, a band of San Francisco all-stars including Kelley Stoltz and members of the Dry Spells, Thee Oh Sees and Skygreen Leopards. The group's hazy garage pop has a relaxed, almost careless feel as it travels between three-chord-powered pop, psychedelic murkiness, doo-wop and even one country rock jam. Smith's casual vocals, wry sense of humor and off-kilter lyrics tie the din together, creating a sound that is at once retro and timeless. Performing in support of their debut, Tomorrow is Alright, at 9 p.m. at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $7; with Kelley Stoltz performing a solo set and Kelly Jean Caldwell.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25
Strange Beautiful Music IV
Detroit's contemporary music collective, New Music Detroit, presents the fourth installment of its annual musical marathon Strange Beautiful Music. The fest features the latest in experimental and avant-garde music by established and emerging composers, as well as genre-defying electronics-based pieces. This year's program includes new compositions performed by New Music Detroit and special performances of works by Frank Pahl's Scavenger Quartet, Apetechnology, Virgil Moorefield and Terry Dame's Electric Junkyard Gamelan. From 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; $8; all ages.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 26
Remembering Ron Allen
A GODFATHER OF OPEN MICS
Wardell Montgomery, a co-founder of the seminal Horizons in Poetry series with the late Ron Allen, hosts a celebratory tribute to his fallen aesthetic comrade at the Cass Cafe, from 1 to 4 p.m. Allen, who passed away last month in California at age 62, was until the last few years a unique presence in the Detroit theater and poetry worlds, a mover-shaker, an organizer-creator. Open mic performers will be allotted five minutes per reading or presentation. Prospective poets should contact Aurora Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) and musicians can contact Clinton Anderson (email@example.com). Harris and Anderson are organizing the event along with Montgomery, Carl Allen and the Cass Cafe (where Ron was once a chef as well as a poetic stage presence). A light snack will be served, attendees are welcome to bring pot-luck dishes, and the bar will be open. The Cass Cafe is located at 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400; casscafe.com.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 27
Comprised of Sanae Yamada and Wooden Shjips' Erik "Ripley" Johnson, San Francisco's Moon Duo play Kraut-leaning psyche rock — a fuzzy, propulsive and dark din. Johnson's barely audible vocals are cloaked in buzzing guitars, Yamada's dissonant keyboards and the relentless motorik beat of the drum machine. The duo's released one EP, Killing Time, and an LP, Escape, featuring four six minute-plus tracks of a aggressive, sexy and hypnotic bliss. Moon Duo performs at 9 p.m. at Jumbo's Bar, 3736 Third St., Detroit; 313-831-8949; $5; with Isles of ESP and Protomartyr.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 28
Canadian singer-songwriter and autoharp virtuoso Basia Bulat made waves in 2007 with her debut disc, Oh, My Darling, which was shortlisted for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize (she lost out to Caribou). The rich instrumentation of the folk tunes only served to strengthen the lyrical expressiveness of Bulat's rich alto, capable of evoking both worldly complexity and innocent wonder in a single breath. In this year's follow-up, Heart of My Own, strings, horns, piano and percussion again combine to create the intimate folk and Americana that serves as the backdrop to Bulat's wonderful voice. With the Acorn and Citizen Smile at 8 p.m. at the Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $10.
Politics of Fear
In the multimedia exhibition Politics of Fear, 35 artists explore the politicization of fear in both current and historical contexts. Why and how is fear used to gain power and exert control? How do the internal forces of the individual and the external forces of mass media and societal pressure collaborate to keep people afraid? What is the outcome for fearmongering politicians and ideologues of all variety? Artists who respond to these questions and others include Heather Accurso, Rocco DePietro, Rose DeSloover, Eric Mesko, Mario Moore, Marilyn Zimmerman and more. Displays through Oct. 17, at the Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012.