Night and Day 

Wendell Harrison's Detroit Swings
We wrote about Wendell Harrison a bit ago in the context of Detroiters whose stars shine more brightly abroad than here. Indeed, the group Tribe, an outgrowth of the magazine and label that Harrison instigated nearly 40 years ago, played major festivals in New York and Paris a couple years back, but not in Detroit. Harrison, meanwhile, plays music far removed from the funkified jazz of Tribe, favoring melodies of an earlier era: "Round Midnight." "Route 66," "Lover Come Back to Me" and the like. His sax has a gruff authority; his clarinet work is serpentine and spellbinding. And though his voice is a shadow of his erstwhile singing employers Leon Thomas and Eddie Jefferson, he apparently learned some things about nuance and reaching an audience with watcha got. Dirty Dog Jazz Café, 97 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-5299;

American Carnage Tour
Two raging thrash-metal behemoths co-headline a tour for the first time since '91, performing their classic 1990 albums — as per the trend with bands who can still earn a living touring — from start to finish; Seasons of the Abyss for Slayer and Rust in Peace for Megadeth. Not only that, but brain-fry legend Testament opens! Fu-uck me. At 7 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Dr., Detroit; 800-745-3000 for tickets. And hardcore fans won't want to miss Megadeth's Dave Mustaine signing copies of his new autobiography, Mustaine, at noon at Borders Novi, 43075 Crescent Blvd., Novi; 248-347-0780.

Future Cruisin'
The Future Cruisin' Advanced Technology Car Showcase and Competition celebrates the ingenuity of Motor City amateurs. Gearheads who've modified, designed or fabricated their rides can enter them in any of 13 categories including green vehicle, murals and artistry, body and paint, and overall best in show. Cars will be inspected Thursday through Saturday with the awards presentation taking place at noon on Sunday. Along with the competition, Future Cruisin' offers a weekend of automotive fun, including pit crew challenges, pinewood derby races for both kids and adults, adult tricycle obstacle course races, a hands-on Model-T assembly exhibit, mouse trap cars and more, as well as music from Electric Fire Babies and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on Friday and Theo Katzman & Love Massive on Saturday. Events take place rain or shine at the Detroit Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit; 313-577-8400; most activities are free with admission; visit for ticket, registration and schedule info.

Fucking Awesome Fest
The second Fucking Awesome Fest lives up to its name with four days of sublime noise from bands both near and far. The lineup includes out-of-towners such as garage-rockers the Ponys, shredding punk trio Screaming Females (above), mind-blowing mash-up masters Hood Internet and skinny white boy electro-rapper Juiceboxxx. Primo local bands can be seen dominating the three stages each night, from the High Strung, the Displays, Child Bite and Outrageous Cherry on Friday to the Sights, the Hounds Below, Terrible Twos and the Friendly Foes (playing their final show, WTF!) on Saturday to the Detroit Cobras, Macrame Tiger, Gardens and Snakewing on Sunday. And that's just a taste of the sonic goodies in store! The whole shebang gets started with the launch party on Thursday, featuring the Silent Years, Prussia, the Frustrations, Silverghost, Lettercamp and more. Doors at 8 p.m. each night at the Majestic complex, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $15 per night, $25 for weekend pass; all ages.

That DAM Box Show Closing Bids Reception
Nearly 300 artists participated in the Detroit Artists Market's second Box Show, creating unusual works of art out of old 16mm film reel shipping boxes. The boxes, which were donated by Wayne State University Library Systems, were transformed into artworks in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture and photography. The box show originated at Detroit's Willis Gallery, which hosted the show from 1993 until 1996 when the gallery closed. The tradition continued ten years later with the first That DAM Box Show. The second incarnation of the show has been on display and the pieces up for auction since Aug. 10; meet the artists and get in your final bids at the closing reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Artists Market, 4719 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8540.

African World Festival
The 28th Annual African World Festival celebrates and showcases African and African-American culture, with music and dance performances, more than 200 artists and craftsmen displaying their wares, and interactive fun for the whole family. Dance troupes, drum ensembles and a step competition are on the agenda, as well as music from long-lived reggae outfit Third World, soul songstress Bettye LaVette and R&B rising star (and Detroit native) K'Jon. Also expect plenty of kids' activities, healthcare info, food, vendors and more. The fest begins at noon each day at Hart Plaza at Jefferson and Woodward in Detroit. Visit for details.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
This annual festival celebrates the history of Ypsi with historic tours, historical re-enactors and interactive activities for the whole family. Along with stepping into the past, visitors can expect plenty of contemporary good times, including a beer and gaming tent, rubber ducky race and raffle, a bed race down Pearl Street, 5 and 10K races throughout the city and music from local bands including Horse Cave Trio, the Martindales, Noteworthy and more. Vintage baseball games, arts & crafts vendors, a butterfly house exhibit and a parade are also on the agenda. Events take place throughout Ypsilanti, including Riverside Park, Frog Island and Depot Town. Visit for details.

Lighten Up and Dance
Local artist extraordinaire Gwen Joy presents this evening of music, fashion and art under the city street lights. Maurice Greenia Jr. kicks things off with a puppet show, followed by sublime pop sounds of Mirror Twin and the eccentric rhymes of MC T. The night will be rounded out with a two hour DJ-dance-fashion extravaganza featuring models rocking threads by Angela McBride, Cats and Bags, and Bloomin' Deals Vintage, to sounds provided by the Macho City DJs. The three designers, as well as artists Jenni Swanson, Elise Mesner and Gwen Joy, will have goodies up for sale. From 8 p.m. to midnight at New Center Park, West Grand Boulevard at Second Avenue, Detroit;; free.

The Schlapentickle Family Burlesque and Revue
The Schlapentickle Family presents an evening of tantalizing burlesque and cabaret-style entertainment, including razor-sharp comedy, ragtime music and absurd sideshow entertainment. The revue includes a cadre of well-traveled East Coast performers including Sabrina Chap, aka Mama Schlapentickle, a classical pianist turned bawdy ragtime siren; Miss Pussykat, aka Doorstep-Basket Baby, a dancer, vaudevillian, sideshow performer, fetishist and burlesque dancer who was featured on America's Got Talent (oh, boy!); Paco Fish, aka the Rowdy Offspring, a cabaret comic and dancer; and Marla Meringue, aka the Darling Daughter, a burlesque diva, artist and costumer. Detroit's own Lily LaRue is also on the bill. The show heats up at 10 p.m. at Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore, Detroit; 313-873-1739; $5.

Breathe Art Theatre Season Kickoff
Border crossing theater company Breathe Art Theatre gears up for a new season with a kickoff party and fundraiser. The midweek soiree will feature wine, hors d'oeuvres and the world premiere of Peter Pandemonium, a unique, eye-popping take on the Peter Pan tale. Breathe Art will also announce its 2010/11 schedule and offer season tickets for sale. While the event is free, donations to help support pay-what-you-can Sundays and the development of new works are encouraged. At 7 p.m. at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third St., Detroit; info at

Do You Remember the Shape of the Trees
Ann Arbor's Michelle Hegyi is a painter and colorist whose works mix traditional and modern media. The pieces in Do You Remember the Shape of the Trees combine digital paintings with real paint strokes, using translucent layers of handmade Japanese Unryu paper for a collage-type affect. The abstract works contain tentative lines, geometrical shapes, swathes of dancing color and, in each piece, one or two delicate-looking leaves that appear to be gently floating in the breeze, elements that, according to Hegyi, reference "the disappearance of memory." Her artworks display through Sept. 5 at WSG Gallery, 306 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-2287.

More by Megan O'Neil

  • Canvassing The Hood

    Fine art photography and adventures in glassblowing
    • Jun 13, 2012
  • Poisoned Apples

    Marking 75 years of Snow White — and what's Good for You?
    • Jun 6, 2012
  • Patti Smith: Camera Solo

    photographs taken by the legendary musician, poet and artist.
    • May 30, 2012
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