Too Hot to Handel@ Michigan Opera Theatre.
@ The Loving Touch
It can generally be assumed that anything happening at the Loving Touch is going to be a magnet for purple-haired hipsters and guys with manbuns. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing, just stating some truths. Anyway, this Taxon Clade show is no exception, but we’re stoked to get down to the dancey soul pop of this Midtown-based trio. The group is led by Daniel Ericksen, who says his music is influenced by My Morning Jacket, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Motown.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-820-5596 thelovingtouchferndale.com; tickets are $5.
No DAPL Benefit starring Ethan Daniel Davidson
@ UFO Factory
Americans have this great way of glossing over the systematic mistreatment of American Indians that’s been going on for, you know, like 400 years. But, thanks to a corrupt government that’s overrun with corporate greed and special interests, we’ve been hearing a little bit more about this consistently marginalized minority group. The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock has caused warranted outrage among tribe members and people everywhere who have a shred of human decency. Even though there has been a temporary halt to the pipeline expansion, the UFO Factory will still hold a concert and art show to send cash to the Sioux. Kathy Leisen from Soft Location will open the show with lyrically challenging singer-songwriter piano-based jams that will haunt your brain in the best way. Warren Defever from His Name Is Alive will play a rare solo set, which means you have no idea whether he’ll zone out entirely or play song-based stuff. It’s all headlined by singer-songwriter Ethan Daniel Davidson, whose recently recorded album of deft and experimental Americana is nothing short of splendid.
Event starts at 9 p.m.; 2110 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; ufofactory.com; Minimum donation of $7 required.
@ El Club
Red Fang is definitely among the greatest American metal bands to come out of the musical hellscape that was the early 2000s. Their third studio album, Whales and Leeches, reached No. 66 on the Billboard top 200 in 2013, and their fourth album, Only Ghosts debuted at No. 143, and is still climbing up on the charts. The concert is sure to be rad, and metal fans can’t miss the chance to hear some of the finest songs off the new album, like “Flies” and “The Deep,” as well as their biggest hit, “No Hope,” which launched the group into success.
Doors at 7 p.m.; 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; elclubdetroit.com; tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door.
@ Small’s Bar
Supersuckers, another swell band to come out of Seattle’s legendary Sub Pop record label, rock as hard today as they did on their first studio album, 1992’s The Smoke of Hell. Starting out as garage rock, and transitioning into alternative country, Eddie Spaghetti and the gang have never disappointed audiences, despite as absurd amount of lineup changes in their 29-year lifespan. They’ve toured with Thin Lizzy, Bad Religion, the Butthole Surfers, and more, plus they’ve backed Willie Nelson, and have recorded with Eddie Vedder and Steven Earle. The Supersuckers have managed to stick out past the Sub Pop glory days and for that, we owe them the price of admission to this intimate evening of indie rock.
The show starts at 8 p.m.; 10339 Conant, Hamtramck; smallsbardetroit.com; tickets are $15, $18 at the door; all ages.
@ The Magic Bag
The Stooges are one of many Detroit bands to leave a lasting mark of intensity and ambition on the music world. Whether you dig Fun House or Raw Power, there’s no doubt the Stooges have touched your rock-loving heart. Jim Jarmusch tells the Ann Arbor natives’ story in Gimme Danger, and the rock documentary has been met with overwhelming acclaim. This special screening at the Magic Bag could be your last chance to see it in a theater setting.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 22920 Woodward Ave., Detroit; themagicbag.com; Tickets are $8 in advance.
@ Arab American Museum
Egyptian-born and American-raised Karim Nagi has made it his work to introduce people to Arab culture with Karim Nagi: An Alternative Tour Through the Arab World. Nagi, a musician, folk dancer, lecturer, and composer, has given lectures at a slew of Ivy League universities. He has released four albums, and has collaborated with Alicia Keys and the Urban Griot Project. His material is a fusion of hip-hop and traditional Arab music that often broaches tougher subjects, like xenophobia and stereotyping, with wit and great beats to boot.
The show starts at 8 p.m.; 13624 Michigan Ave., Detroit; arabamericanmuseum.org; tickets are $15.
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Pops Concert
@ Hill Auditorium
Christmastime is about so much more than gift giving — it’s also about those warm, fuzzy feelings you get when surrounded by evergreen branches, bright red cranberries, and twinkling multicolored lights. And what would Christmas be without the sounds of the season? The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will once again present a festive smorgasbord of orchestral, classical, and pops music with the help of the all-men’s chorus, Measure for Measure plus Huron, Pioneer, and Saline High School choruses. The whole thing will conclude with a harmonized chorus of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
Starts at 8 p.m.; 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor; tickets are $10-$52.
@ City Theatre
Hasan Minhaj has made a living off being both funny and brown. His show, Homecoming King, delves into a story he calls the “New Brown America,” which is based on events from his life. He deftly balances topics like interracial love, racism, and his Muslim family’s quest for the American Dream with dry wit and exasperated humor. His show is so popular that it warranted a second show at City Theatre.
Shows start at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3465; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $30 and $55.
Straight No Chaser
@ The Fox Theatre
Scoot over, Pentatonix. Straight No Chaser, one of the most popular professional a cappella groups to ever exist (with good reason) just released their third Christmas album in October. The group has collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, and more. They’ve covered Barry Manilow and Adele, and they’re versatility has been a crowd pleaser since the group’s inception in 1996. The latest album, I’ll Have Another...Christmas Album, features classics like “Joy to the World” and “Up on the Housetop” as well as less conventional tracks like “Merry Christmas (The Drinking Song)!”
The show starts at 8 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets are $29.50-$59.50.
@ Detroit Mercantile
Skip Target and forget about the mall — buy everyone on your list something special and locally made this holiday season at the Merry Market in Eastern Market. The enormous market is jam-packed with Michigan vendors selling everything from children’s toys to coffee to spectacles made from pressed wood. You’ll find funky neckties, avant-garde jewelry, Michigan-themed home decor, vintage items, clothing, and all sorts of one-of-a-kind items that please even the pickiest of people. Plus, Eastern Market will be open for a special holiday shopping event on Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Doors open at 9 a.m.; 3434 Russell St., Detroit; 313-831-9000; detroitmercantile.com/merrymarket; admission is free, well-behaved dogs welcome.
Detroit Historical Ball @ Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit Historical Society Ball
@ Joe Louis Arena
This one’s for fancy people — tickets are $450 after all — and this evening requires that gentlemen don a tuxedo and women wear their most luxurious gowns. The night is in honor of the Detroit Historical Society, and those pricey tickets will ensure the organization continues to be funded throughout the year. Patrons get a self-guided tour of the arena’s locker rooms, plus cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a seated dinner, live entertainment, and access to a live and silent auction. If you can’t swing the tickets, afterglow admission is $75 per person or $100 per couple.
Starts at 6 p.m.; 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Detroit; 313-833-7935; detroithistorical.org; benefactor tickets are $750, patron tickets are $450, afterglow tickets are $75.
Black Merda@ PJ’s Lager House.
Too Hot to Handel
@ Michigan Opera Theatre
Maybe you’re only familiar with the “Hallelujah Chorus” or maybe you’ve sung George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” in its entirety. Either way, you’re likely at least acquainted with this iconic oratorio. “Too Hot to Handel,” while slightly younger than “Messiah,” is also considered a classic in metro Detroit. The 14-year-old tradition melds Handel’s Christmas suite with jazz, blues, swing, and gospel influences to create a pulsating, soul stirring, and wholly modern version of the holiday classic. More than 80 musicians, including the Rackham Choir, will participate in this inspirational performance.
Starts at 7:30 p.m.; 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; ticket office 313-961-3500; michiganopera.org; tickets start at $20.
@ Corktown, Detroit
The Nemo’s bus will shuttle folks to and from Eldorado General Store, Metropolis, Detroit Artifactry, the Farmer’s Hand, Mama Coo’s, and other Corktown stores, but that’s only the start of the fun promised to patrons of Corktown-A-Glow. There will also be a chance to meet Santa, roast marshmallows on an open fire, watch the Corktown Christmas tree lighting, carol through the neighborhood streets, and more. The daylong event is free and area bars and restaurants will be offering food and drink specials throughout the day.
Runs from noon to 11 p.m.; call Eldorado General Store for more info at 313-784-9220; for navigation purposes, use Eldorado’s address: 1700 Michigan Ave., Detroit; the event is free.
No DAPL Benefit starring Ethan Daniel Davidson@ UFO Factory.
@ PJ’s Lager House
Black Merda: yet another one of Detroit’s ahead-of-their-time bands, long overlooked, only to be re-examined by fresh fans in a new century. A generation ago, they emerged from an odorous haze of marijuana smoke to become some of the baddest, most “psyched-out” musical trailblazers known to the music world today. In the last 15 years, much has been written about Black Merda. Suffice it to say that, in the early to mid-1960s, the musicians were part of a group called the Impact Band and Singers, players who’d perform covers at parties. The adolescent musicians were pulled out of their R&B trajectory after band member VC L Veasy spent some time in the military and discovered Jimi Hendrix while stationed in the Pacific Northwest. The band quickly renamed itself the Soul Agents and adopted a psychedelic style, and even released the first known cover of “Purple Haze” in 1968. And, unlike the rest of Detroit’s late 1960s acts, the Soul Agents didn’t wear ties and blazers. As Veasy puts it, “We was all dressed psyched-out” with Afros and denim, at a time when even Parliament was still wearing matching suits and slicked-down hair. “We didn’t care what people thought about it,” Veasy says. “People thought the way we dressed was cool, you know. We were so tight, we influenced George Clinton.”
Doors open at 6 p.m.; 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; pjslagerhouse.com; tickets are $10.
Santa Pub Crawl
@ Downtown Royal Oak
Have you been dying to spend the holidays getting wasted with frat boys and the girls who love them? Well now is your chance. Participating bars include Ale Mary’s, Blackfinn, Fifth Avenue, Gusoline Alley, 526 Main, Tom’s Oyster Bar, Rock on Third, and more, plus there will be Christmas karaoke at Pronto. Costumes (Santa, Santa’s helper, elves, Christmas movie characters, ugly Christmas sweaters, etc.) are encouraged but not required. They’re also collecting toys for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb counties.
Runs from 1-6 p.m.; downtown Royal Oak; santaconroyaloak.com; tickets are $20, $25 cash only day of event.
Home Alone with the DSO @ the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
A Very Electric Christmas
@ Music Hall
Lightwire Theater is the invention of two guys who love theater and technology, so they merged the two into an innovative experience that’s as unique as it is entertaining. The last time they were in town, they performed a show about a dinosaur named Darwin, but this time they’re telling the Christmas story through a bird named Max that’s been separated from his family. Little Max meets a caroling worm, dancing poinsettias, and other characters that help guide him back home.
Starts at 6 p.m.; 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8500; musichall.org; tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for kids 12 and younger.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
@ The Fox Theatre
Sometimes you just want to take your Tchaikovsky with a little less ballet and a touch more break dancing. In New York choreographer Jennifer Weber’s new imagining of the classic The Nutcracker, audiences are introduced to Drosselmeyer, whose spells transport Maria-Clara and her nutcracker to a New Year’s Eve at a Brooklyn nightclub in the ’80s — on the night her parents met. Instead of the humdrum Sugar Plum fairy stuff that you’re used to, you’ll get a contemporary romance set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting work, and the hip-hop interludes of an electric violinist and DJ Boo. It’s definitely unlike any “ballet” you’ve seen before, and it’s sure to be pretty gnarly.
The show starts at 7 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets $25-$75.
The Moth Detroit GrandSLAM: Curveballs
@ Gem Theatre
The people behind the Moth have many different experiences, but they’ve been brought together by a simple commonality — they believe storytelling unites us through a shared human experience. The Moth invites people from all races, classes, genders, religions, and nationalities to share stories from their lives in hopes of forging connections and breaching the perceived divisions among us. This edition of the Moth invites people to tell stories of when life threw a curveball their way.
Doors open at 7 p.m., stories start at 8 p.m.; 333 Madison St., Detroit; 313-963-9800; themoth.org; tickets are sold out online, but will be available for purchase at the door.
Home Alone with the DSO
@ Detroit Symphony Orchestra
In 1990 Kevin McCallister woke up on the third floor of his family’s suburban Chicago home and found himself home alone — that is until a pair of bandits broke in and memorable hijinks ensued. The American classic is the highest grossing live-action comedy in the country, and spawned three sequels and launched the career of one Macaulay Culkin (and arguably Rory and Kieran Culkin’s too). Nearly three decades later, the movie is still beloved, thanks to ’90s nostalgia. The film will be shown in high definition on a giant screen, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform John Williams’ original score live.
Starts at 7:30 p.m.; 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111; dso.org; tickets start $70.