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Whiskey in the Winter, Wild Lights, Bruiser Thanksgiving, and more things to do in metro Detroit this week

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Whiskey in the Winter. - DONTAE ROCKYMORE
  • Dontae Rockymore
  • Whiskey in the Winter.

Select events happening in metro Detroit this week. Submit your events to metrotimes.com/calendar.

Whiskey in the Winter

Friday, 11/17: It's pitch black at 4:45 p.m., the temps are dropping, our families are freaking out about what the vegans will eat at Thanksgiving dinner, and radio stations have already pivoted to playing non-stop Christmas music. That could only mean one thing: it's time for whiskey — all of the whiskey.

Not to, you know, toot our own alcohol-filled horn, but Metro Times is, once again, here to save you from your winter woes with our annual Whiskey in the Winter event, which returns to Detroit Shipping Co. and invites folks to sample a wide selection of whiskeys, scotches, and bourbons, as well as craft beers, wines, and specialty cocktails. This year, though, in addition to the cozy and boozy vibes and live music from Detroit's own Whiskey Charmers, Whiskey in the Winter is treating all guests to the VIP experience, because you deserve it. (No, seriously, like, we need this.) Every ticket holder will get 10 drink tickets (yes, that means 10 drinks) along with a complimentary food token that can be used at one of Detroit Shipping Co.'s food stalls, like Bangkok 96 Street Food, Halal NY Style Street Food, Coop Caribbean Chicken, Momo Cha Nepalese Dumplings, and others. Being a VIP also means swag, of which there will be plenty: a swag bag with a custom whiskey glass and some other goodies. Not included? A designated driver. —Jerilyn Jordan

Doors open at 7 p.m. at Detroit Shipping Co.; 474 Peterboro St., Detroit; mtwhiskeyinthewinter.com. Tickets are $65.

Leni Sinclair + Gary Grimshaw

Saturday, 11/20: When we last spoke with iconic Detroit photographer and activist Leni Sinclair, 81, she told us that, of her 100,000 or so negatives (a number she estimates as being higher but says she lost count), her favorite photo isn't one of rock stars like Iggy Pop, Aretha Franklin, the MC5, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, John Coltrane, or ex-husband and marijuana activist John Sinclair, or the 1967 Detroit rebellion. Sinclair's favorite photo is one of herself, though not a self-portrait — it's one that represents the attitude, tenacity, and badassness that her work has become associated with. "... it's one of my favorite photographs of my life," Sinclair says. "And that's me standing at the Berlin Wall with a hammer, knocking it down all by myself. I gave my camera to a bystander and said, 'Could you take this picture of me?' And that's how it happened," she says.

Sinclair's photos have become synonymous with 1960s Detroit, as has the work of Gary Grimshaw, the late poster artist known for his trailblazing psychedelic work during the Grande Ballroom era. The former Minister of Arts of the White Panther party in 2006 told former Metro Times editor Brett Callwood that he couldn't afford to buy his own work. The pair, who teamed up in 2013 to publish a limited run of their co-published, self-funded, and crowdsourced book, Detroit Rocks: A Pictorial History of Motor City Rock and Roll 1965 to 1975 (which is going for as much as $795 on bookselling sites) are to be honored with a one-night only joint exhibition of their work at Edo Ramen in Royal Oak. Marcie Bolen (the Von Bondies) will DJ from 6-10 p.m. and author Peter Werbe will be signing copies of his latest book Summer on Fire which combines "history and inventive remembrances" from Detroit's history-changing summer of 1967. —Jerilyn Jordan

Event begins at 6 p.m. at Edo Ramen; 4313 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-556-5775; edoramenhouse.com. Event is free.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Saturday, 11/20-Sunday, 1/9: We may be divided on many things, be it political lines, social issues, and whether the world really needs a Tiger King sequel (answer: we don't), but there is one thing we think is pretty universal: lights are friggin' cool. Thanks to Thomas Edison and, well, the Detroit Zoological Society, metro Detroiters can, once again, go feral, er, wild, at the zoo's annual Wild Lights event, where a portion of the zoo's campus is transformed into an illuminated wonderland. Who needs a partridge in a pear tree when you have lions, tigers, bears, and more than 5 million LED holiday lights festooning buildings and more than 280 sculptures? Though Wild Lights is at the zoo, animal exhibits and enclosures will not be open or activated; however, many of the illuminated structures are in the shapes of animals, so that has to count for something. Add some snow, hot cocoa (which will be for sale along with other festive holiday treats), and maybe an edible or two (for the adults, duh) and you might just forget the fact that your Seasonal Affective Disorder is in the driver's seat. Oh, in addition to the lights, the cost of admission also gives visitors access to The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which showcases award-winning photography. —Jerilyn Jordan

Event runs from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on select weeknights and Sundays, and 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Detroit Zoo; 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org. Tickets are $17-$24, plus $8 for parking. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as there will be no ticket sales at the gate.

Danny Brown's Bruiser Thanksgiving

Wednesday, 11/24: In Detroit, we're lucky to have several annual events that are hype AF and have us counting the calendar days until the next time we get to wild out. There's festivals, parties, creepy immersive experiences (we miss you, Theatre Bizarre!), and then there's our eccentric hometown hip-hop hero, all-around goofball (and future stand-up comedy star?), and "one of rap's most unique figures in recent memory," Danny Brown will celebrate his annual Thanksgiving-eve performance in person, after last year's party was livestreamed.

Danny Brown's Bruiser Thanksgiving, which has relocated to the Russell Industrial Center, turns eight this year and, as usual, he's not doing it alone. As with years previous, Brown will share the stage with Bruiser Brigade and a steady rotation of local emcees. The Thanksgiving Eve bash comes after he announced the title of forthcoming fifth record. Per Brown, Quaranta is done and is being mixed by TDE's Derek Ali."We're just waiting on the right timing," he said in an interview. "But it's not called 40, it's called Quaranta. I don't wanna give away too much why, but y'all will figure it out." —Jerilyn Jordan

Doors open at 8 p.m. at the Russell Industrial Center; 1600 Clay St., Detroit; 313-872-0358; russellindustrialcenter.com. Tickets are $25.

The Olivia O'Brien Show

Saturday, 11/20: It's been one hell of a year for Gen Z pop stars named Olivia. For 21-year-old Olivia O'Brien, the R&B-steeped Stevie Nicks-obsessed pop singer with more than 8 million monthly listeners on Spotify who regrets the nose job she got at 16, it's always the Olivia O'Brien Show — and it's getting picked up for a second season. This year, O'Brien, who broke onto the scene in 2016 thanks to her and gnash's track, "i love u, i hate u" (which has more than 6 million views on YouTube, by the way) released the first installment of her sophomore record, Episodes: Season 1. Through rolling beats, the character-driven hook-heavy record explores the pains of early adulthood, like the belief that we're all going to die, insecurity, soured friendships, sociopathic lovers, and the desire to call one's mom when shit gets tough. It's almost enough for us to forgive the fact that she might be dating internet turd Logan Paul. —Jerilyn Jordan

Doors open at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew's Hall; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroi.com. Tickets are $22.

Dave Atell

Thursday, 11/18-Saturday, 11/20: Declared the "greatest club comic" we've got and New York City's hardest-working, off-color quick-hitter, Dave Attell doesn't actually have a grand scheme. Last of his kind, the 56-year-old has led a successful career, hosting TV shows like Insomniac With Dave Attell, Dave's Old Porn, and Comedy Underground, as well as a Netflix series with fellow blue man Jeff Ross called Bumping Mics and, soon, he'll star alongside Amy Schumer, Michael Rapaport, and Michael Cera in the upcoming Hulu series Life & Beth. He's described his aging genitalia as "a tent that no one knows how to fold up" and when he takes the stage during the winter, he has been known to refer to himself as someone who looks like they just came to the club to get warm. But the beauty of Attell is that no one is safe. Not cats (they're a hoarding gateway), nor strippers, fame, Santa, dildos, drunk dads, the Amish, Florida, Spider-Man, Ohio, the cops, music, and, probably, you — if you find yourself in the front row. —Jerilyn Jordan

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, and 6:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. on Saturday at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle; 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; 248-542-9900; comedycastle.com. Tickets are $30-$35+.

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