WEDNESDAY • 15
At the ripe age of 26, Jay Reatard has already been around the punk-rock block more than a few times. At 15, Reatard contributed to a number of bands, from full-time gigs to side projects, before going solo with 2006's Blood Visions. Reatard is known for trashy, thrashy and fun din, plus a live show that incites the kind of partying that happens before you come to in the gutter the next day. You may have a fuzzy idea of what happened, but you know for damn sure that it fuckin' rocked. With Cola Freaks and Terrible Twos at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665; majesticdetroit.com; all ages.
THURSDAY • 16
AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS
FUNNY 'CAUSE IT'S TRUE.
David Sedaris turns the nonfiction humdrum of his life into comedic gold — quite literally when you consider that five of his essay collections have been New York Times best-sellers. Seemingly nothing too personal is sacred for Sadaris — his family life, drug use, sexuality and middle-class suburban upbringing have all been fodder for his writings and for his contributions to NPR's This American Life. His latest collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, deals with everything from quitting smoking in Hiroshima to dealing with a boil on his ass. Typically Sedaris, and typically hilarious. At 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587; $30-$55.
FRIDAY • 17
THE NICE DEVICE EP RELEASE PARTY
One of the most blipped-about Detroit indie outfits, the Nice Device offers an infectious combo of heavy guitars and singalong choruses. The result is power pop that manages to avoid coming off as vacuous and flippant thanks to their depth of sound and an undercurrent of moodiness — a feat due in no small part to the vocals of singer and guitarist Alica Gbur. The quartet is finishing off a U.S. tour and celebrating the release of their new EP, Sorry We Killed You, with the Friendly Foes (again!?) and Millions of Brazilians at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030; magicbag.com; $7 gets you in along with a free copy of the EP. Neat!
FRIDAY • 17
STEPHEN KING'S CREEPSHOW
FREAKS, CREEPS AND ROCK
Based on the E.C. horror comics of the '50s, Creepshow is a campy cult horror film featuring five spine-tingling so-badthey're- good vignettes written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero. This spooky outdoor screening will feature four of the stories, accompanied by a live score performed by five Detroit rock acts. How badass! Groups include folk duo Liz and Abbey, Shadiamond Le Freedom and the INterior Project, a collaborative act featuring hip-hop artist Dial 81 and singer-songwriter Jamiel. The film begins at dusk at Peck Park, at the corner of Kirby and Beaubien in Detroit's Midtown. Admission's free, and picnics, Halloween costumes and blankets or chairs are welcome.
FRIDAY • 17
BERNARD FIRESTONE LABOR ARTS & POETRY TRIBUTE
WILL WORK FOR POEMS
The 18th annual reading in honor of labor activist Bernard Firestone will feature a rare appearance by Detroit novelist and poet Marge Piercy. The author of 15 novels and 16 books of poetry, Piercy's work frequently contains themes related to the often-overlooked working poor. Author and playwright Thylias Moss will also read, joined by DJ and local superstar, hip-hop producer Nick Speed for a multimedia presentation that incorporates words, music and film. Rounding out the evening will be Ohio's Stephen Haven, a poet and so-called "working-class" writer. At 7:30 p.m. at Wayne State University's McGregor Conference Center, 495 W. Ferry Mall, Detroit; 313-577-7713 for info.
FRIDAY • 17
DUDE DRIPS OF TRUTH & PATHOS
Todd Snider is known for his boldly irreverent take on everything from suicide to Seattle grunge. A mainstay of the alt-country and Americana scenes, his latest record, Peace Queer, turns his stinging wit toward everyone's favorite topic: politics. In a range of styles — spoken-word, funeral dirges and even a Civil War sea shanty (!) — Snider tells the story of recent American history — a mission accomplished that's not accomplished, kids leaving home to fight an "easy" war, the resulting fallout and why it's all happening (we know, it sounds heavy, but did you catch the part about the sea shanty?) As an added bonus, Peace Queer is available for free download at toddsnider.net until Oct. 31. At 7 and 8:30 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org.
Deerhoof's the kind of band that releases its first single as sheet music, allowing fans to send in "covers" before the "real" version is posted. The Bay Area quartet has always engaged its fan base in a democratic fashion, an attitude evinced by the group's curious and sometimes unexplainable musical trajectory. Whether classified as art rock, indie pop or just noise, the catchy melodies mixed with abrupt, angular sentiments inspire the sort of glee thought lost to most adults. In short, they're a band unafraid to eschew their cool and lose their shit when they feel like it. Touring in support of their latest LP, Offend Maggie with Experimental Dental School and Flying at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; $12.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY • 18-19
MOT FALL SEASON JUMP-STARTS
It's arguably one of the most powerful and compelling stories ever told on the Michigan Opera Theatre stage, the site of its world debut three years ago. Death, betrayal and raw emotion are common elements in operas, but few productions take them to the level reached in the story of Garner, a slave who escaped from a Kentucky farm and sought freedom in Ohio. The work is a collaboration of Grammy Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Margaret Garner opens with a disturbing scene of a slave auction — audiences audibly gasped in 2005 — and ends with Garner killing her children as her captor-owners surround her family. Death, she concluded, was preferable to slavery. At 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; $28-$120; michiganopera.org.
PRIMPING, PIN-UPS, PAINTING AND POTTERY
A woman's toilette is a complicated and mysterious thing (at least for the high-maintenance type). From lipstick to eyelash curlers to bottle upon endless bottle of foams, sprays, lotions and creams, trying to live up to society's ideal version of femininity is an (expensive) exercise in futility. In Primping, Pin-Ups, Painting and Pottery, artists explore what women endure to beautify themselves, along with one version of the end product — a series of works inspired by 1930s pin-ups. Whether a simple narrative of "getting ready" or a statement about the repression of women, the exhibit is an arresting display of what many women put themselves through for the sake of beauty. At the River's Edge Gallery, 3024 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-246-9880. Meet the artist on Friday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. Exhibit runs through Nov. 15.
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