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Red Fang

Fri., Dec. 9, 7 p.m.

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. $20-$22

El Club (map)
4114 W. Vernor Hwy.
Midtown Red Fang

Hasan Minhaj

Fri., Dec. 9, 7:30 & 10:30 p.m.

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. $30-$55

City Theatre (map)
2301 Woodward Ave.
Downtown Detroit Hasan Minhaj

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Pops Concert

Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

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.” $10-$52

Hill Auditorium (map)
825 N. University
Greater Ann Arbor Area
phone (734) 764-2538

Gimme Danger

Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.
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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. $8

Magic Bag (map)
22920 Woodward Ave.
Downtown Ferndale
phone 248-544-1991;
info@themagicbag.com
Gimme Danger

Karim Nagi

Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

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. $15

Arab American National Museum (map)
13624 Michigan Ave.
East Downtown Dearborn
phone (313) 582-2266; (313) 582-1086 (FAX)

The Supersuckers

Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

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. $15-$18

Small's Bar (map)
10339 Conant
Hamtramck

No DAPL Benefit starring Ethan Daniel Davidson

Fri., Dec. 9, 9 p.m.
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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. $7

Merry Market

Sat., Dec. 10, 9 a.m. and Sun., Dec. 11, 9 a.m.

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. Free

Corktown-A-Glow

Sat., Dec. 10, 12 p.m.
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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. Free

Corktown (map)
Michigan and Turnbull
Corktown

Santa Pub Crawl

Sat., Dec. 10, 1 p.m.

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 by not required. They’re also collecting toys for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb counties. $20-$25

Downtown Royal Oak (map)
Main & S. Troy
Greater Royal Oak Area
phone () (FAX); ()

Black Merda

Sat., Dec. 10, 6 p.m.

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.” $10

PJ's Lager House (map)
1254 Michigan Ave.
Corktown
phone (313) 961-4668
Black Merda

Detroit Historical Society Ball

Sat., Dec. 10, 6 p.m.

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. $450

Joe Louis Arena (map)
19 Steve Yzerman Dr.
Downtown Detroit
phone (313) 396-7000; (313) (FAX)
Detroit Historical Society Ball

Too Hot to Handel

Sat., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.

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. $20

Michigan Opera Theatre (map)
1526 Broadway
Greater Detroit Area
phone (313) 237-7464
Too Hot to Handel

Straight No Chaser

Sat., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.

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)!” $29.50-$59.50

Fox Theatre (map)
2211 Woodward Ave.
Downtown Detroit
phone (313) 471-6611

A Very Electric Christmas

Sun., Dec. 11, 6 p.m.
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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. $10-$20

The Music Hall (map)
350 Madison Avenue
Greater Detroit Area
phone (313) 887-8503; (313) - (FAX)
info@musichall.org
A Very Electric Christmas
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