4 THU • FUN FOR ALL Lavay Smith at Tastefest — Thankfully, the trend of neo-swing has fizzled out. Fortunately, the (second) death of swing has wiped out trite, overly campy bands such as the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and cleared the way for more innovative groups, such as Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Unlike the ersatz swing bands of the ’90s, Smith and the Skillet Lickers don't have to rely on zoot suits to hold the audience's attention. With a nod to the traditional big band sound combined with dashes of jazz, blues and boogie-woogie, the music is so catchy it's impossible to stand still once the band starts cookin'. There's also the sultry Smith, who looks like she could have just hopped off the side of a World War II bomber. But she isn't merely a piece of pinup girl eye-candy; this dame has a pair of pipes that would impress even Ella herself. A swing band that’s actually captivating to listen to, not just a backdrop to showcase your fancy dance moves? What a novel concept. Smith and the Skillet Lickers will perform at the Comerica TasteFest, the festival of food, art and music in Detroit's New Center, on West Grand Boulevard between Woodward and the Lodge. Call 313-872-0188 for information.
6 SAT • MUSIC Wayne Kramer — The legendary lead guitarist of the MC5 returns to the Motor City to rock Magic Stick to the ground. In its glory days, circa 1968, the MC5 was the baddest rock band this city had ever seen. Using rock ’n’ roll as its weapon of choice the MC5 waged an assault on white honky culture. Endless anti-establishment rhetoric, like, "We are a bunch of arrogant motherfuckers and we don't give a damn for any cop or any phony-ass authority control-addict creeps who want to put us down" earned the original bad boys of Detroit rock a less-than-wholesome reputation then that has turned into worship today. Kramer and his band (which includes ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan) are touring in support of a new CD, Made For The Racket. Kramer, a self-professed changed man, will surely kick out the jams — but whether it will be "motherfuckers" or "brothers and sisters" remains to be seen. Catch Kramer and his friends at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; call 313-833-9700 for more information.
8 MON • MUSIC Butler Twins Jam — "The blues ain’t nuthin’ but a low-down shakin’ chill/if you ain’t never had ’em, I hope you never will." But if you got ’em and you got the chops to match, the Butler Twins jam at the Attic is the place to let others hear about it. Hosted by two of Detroit’s most revered bluesmen, the jam session attracts many of the areas best musicians. Not only does the evening give you the chance perform with many different musicians — it also provides the opportunity to play your music within the blues-drenched walls of the Attic bar. Study up on your bluesology and head to the Attic, 11667 Jos. Campau in Hamtramck to hear or play some serious Detroit blues. Call 313-365-4194 for more information.
9 TUE • COMMUNITY Volunteer Orientation — To help the Macomb County Library with its adult literacy program only requires is a high-school diploma (or a GED) and a desire to help those in need. The orientation will offer background information about the program and provide an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. Tutors will be placed in one-on-one pairings meant to stimulate the greatest amount of learning. The time requirement is just two hours a week, but volunteers are invited to take on as many students as they wish. The Macomb County Library is located at 16480 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township; call 586-286-6660 for more information.
10 WED • FUN FOR ALL Youth Day — More than 20,000 kids aged 8-15 (and their parents) will converge upon the Belle Isle athletic fields for the 20th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day. This daylong free event will feature instructional clinics on baseball, basketball, boxing, and martial arts demonstrations, plus lots of other fun and games. Musical entertainment will be provided by area children and will range from choral groups to rap acts. Lunch will be provided free to participants. This year’s theme is "Kids For Peace, Stop Killing Our Youth," and is meant to draw attention to Detroit’s disturbingly high level of youth homicide. A march to remember victims and to protest future homicides will be a powerful and emotional moment. Kids and volunteers must register by calling 313-852-4078.
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