THURSDAY-FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2-3
Eminem & Jay-Z
IDOLS OF RHYME
Local hip-hop hero Eminem and rap's reigning cross-promotional kingpin Jay-Z team up for a pair of stadium concerts in their respective hometowns. New York gets sloppy seconds with a Sept. 13 concert at Yankee Stadium. The duo's debut kicks off the extended Labor Day weekend at Comerica Park. Eminem, who has hardly stepped on a stage since '05, and who has the No. 1 album in the country as of this writing, has described the co-headlining gigs as a "once-in-a-lifetime set of shows." So, if you snatched tix to both concerts, does that make it twice-in-a-lifetime? At 7:30 p.m. both nights at Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; visit olympiaentertainment.com.
THURSDAY-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 2-5
Panic in Hamtramck
EAR BUSTIN' BLOWOUT
It wouldn't be Labor Day in Hamtramck without Panic in Hamtramck, the annual mini-music fest curated by none other than the sultan of sonic strangeness, Timmy Vulgar. The seventh edition of the panic features one doozy of a lineup, including the Sugarcoats, Timmy's Organism, Thee Mummies (thee?) and the Displays on Thursday; the Hentchmen, Daily Void (apocalyptic punk from Chicago), the Potions and the Rads on Friday; Druid Perfume, Wizzard Sleeve (Alabama psych-rockers), Puffy Areolas (scuzzy punk from Toledo) and the Plastic Boyz on Saturday; and Bad Party, Terminal Girls, Turn to Crime and Hi Speed Dubbing on Sunday. Nurse your hangover — and your ears — on Monday. At the Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3
The Oracle of Ypsi
Only 18 visitors per night will be granted a reading by Ypsilanti's mysterious oracle. Are the divinations true or is it all a hoax? Or perhaps they're just the effects of inhaling too much ethylene gas? Even worse, are the humble supplicants being used as mere guinea pigs in an esoteric piece of performance art? How untoward! But if it's "mystick life readings" you seek — who you'll love, when you'll die, the likelihood of murdering your pa and schtupping your ma — there's only one way get them. The oracle speaks every Friday in September at the Dreamland Theater, 26 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; $13; advanced reservations are recommended, visit dreamlandtheatre.com/oracle.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES
A founding member of New York's anti-folk scene, singer-songwriter Paleface has spent two decades enjoying and suffering the vagaries of a musical life — being courted, and then unceremoniously dropped, by major labels; serving as an influence to musicians who go on to greater success (Regina Spektor, Beck, the Avett Brothers); substance abuse and subsequent close calls with death; and, through it all, releasing 15 full-length discs. The latest, last year's The Show is on the Road, features Paleface and his girlfriend, drummer Monica "Mo" Samalot, performing traditional Americana tunes. In his gruff voice, Paleface sings about leaving New York, life on the road and loving his girl with a sincerity and simplicity that's heartfelt and engaging. With the Ashleys at 9 p.m. at the Vernors Room of the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $5.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
CHEER UP, BUTTERCUP!
For nearly a decade, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has been creating straightforward, feel-good power pop. Their self-released 2005 debut, The Broom, sparked fervent Internet chatter of big things to come — hey! They got a tune on The O.C.! And while, like countless other bands, they never quite reached the levels of success that the blogosphere predicted, their brand of breezy pop never really goes out of style. The quartet's recently released third disc, Let It Sway, is a collection of pure pop ditties replete with anthemic guitars, hooky melodies and huge, sing-along choruses. The group performs in support of its disc at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $10; all ages.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3-4
Detroit's Abreact Theatre kicks off its tenth season with True West, Sam Shepard's 20-year-old tale of bloody-knuckled sibling rivalry. Two brothers, Austin and Lee, meet in their mother's kitchen after a five year separation. Austin is the prototypical good boy — Ivy League degree, beautiful family and a successful career as a screenwriter. Lee is the proverbial fuck-up, an unemployed, thieving, boozing nomad. As old resentments flare, tension builds and the brothers approach each other with increasing savagery. At the same time, each begins to view the other's lifestyle enviously, slowly casting off their ostensibly comfortable identities with violent results. At 8 p.m. at the Abreact Performance Space, 1301 W. Lafayette, #113, Detroit; Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 25 with a matinee performance at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19; theabreact.com.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4
Paycheck to Paycheck
WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING
Paycheck to Paycheck features new works by six young Detroit artists — Kevin Beasley, Christina Galasso, Nate Morgan, Petrova Giberson, Vanessa Merrill and Christopher Samuels — that explore the suspended animation of life between paystubs. Many of the pieces — which include collage, photography, video and sculpture — often focus on the tick-tock of time and its interminable march forward. To further reference the rhythms of pay cycles, the exhibit will be split into two groupings that'll display for two weeks each. The first, featuring the art of Beasley, Galasso and Morgan, opens with a reception from 6 to 9 and run through Sept. 18 at the Butcher's Daughter Gallery, 22747 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-808-6536. The second, featuring Giberson, Merrill and Samuels, opens Sept. 25 and displays through Oct. 9.
SATURDAY-MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4-6
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
ROCK OUT! PIG OUT! CAMP OUT!
The annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival managed to squeak by the city's budgeting shears to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. Along with the traditional attractions — the carnival midway, pierogi-eating contests, Monday's Polish Day Parade, the dunk tank and plenty of brewskies, organizers have instated some new activities — and, in some cases, reinstated some old ones. To wit, the festival now boasts an arts and antiques fair, a nightly pub crawl, cooking demos, a pre-parade 5K fun run and, also pre-parade, the return of the Hamtramck Yacht Club canoe races down Joseph Campau. Yowzah! To top it all off, revelers can now spend the night in Hammie by taking part in urban camping at "Camptramck" at Veteran's Park. Security, showers, toilets and transportation to the fest is all part of the package, which costs campers $10 per night or $25 for the weekend (a small price to pay to avoid DUIs or the ignominy of couch-surfing). The revelry also includes two stages featuring nearly nonstop performances, featuring the Polka Floyd, HUSH, Michael Hurtt & his Hound Hearts, a Blank Canvas fashion show and more on Saturday; the Polish Muslims, Howling Diablos (pictured), Kielbasa Kings and the Phantom Shakers Sunday; and Mitch Ryder, Danny D and Venice Beach staple and cosmic space traveler Harry Perry on Monday. The fest takes place along Joseph Campau between Caniff and Carpenter in downtown Hamtramck; visit
hamtownfest.com for info.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 6
Playground Revitalization and Art Installation
DOING GOOD IN THE HOOD
Local artists are joining creative forces to breathe new life into a small playground and park in Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood. Artists Marianne Audrey Burrows, Louis Casinelli, Steven Michael Puwalski, Tim Pe'we, Cody Renehan and Sarah Stawski will repair and rebuild playground equipment, as well as install artworks at the park. At 3 p.m., Americana outfit Petal Shop will serenade the do-gooders with an acoustic set. The event is spearheaded by General Improvement, an organization with the goal of effecting revitalization through artistic expression and community empowerment. Free and open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. at the park, which is located on Avery Street between Putnam and Merrick streets in Detroit.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 7
SHOCK AND AWE
For music geek aficionados, Rangda's pedigree is already established thanks to the credentials of its three members — Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance, Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls and Chris Corsano, percussionist for everyone from Björk to Evan Parker to Thurston Moore. The trio's combined forces produce a largely improvised, psychedelic noise that is in equal parts beautiful and terrifying. Relentless percussion, abrasive squalls of guitar and wailing feedback bludgeon listeners into submission before slow, mournful melodies intervene, offering more considered moments of transcendent sound. Rangda, by the way, is a Balinese demon queen believed to offer both torment and protection to her followers; which makes her name, as many critics have pointed out, an apt moniker for this trio's wonderfully chaotic din. Rangda performs in support of its debut, False Flag, at 8 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit; 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit; $10; presented by the Burton Theatre in association with The Crofoot; visit thecrofoot.com for info.
Annual: All Media Exhibit
IN THE TRADITION
Since 1922, this annual exhibit has featured works in all forms by both established and emerging Michigan artists. This year, more than 200 pieces were submitted for consideration and seventy-four were selected by juror Mark Nielsen, the director of the Slusser Galleries and the Intersections Program at the University of Michigan, and an artist in his own right who displays work under the pseudonyms Uncle Art and Anti-Art. The selected artists, including Mary Hatch, Doris Foss, Marcia Polenberg, Bruce Thayer and Cathy Van Voorhis, represent a cross-section of regional talent that put technical skill to use portraying perceptive concerns about contemporary life. Displays through Sept. 26, at the Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-8004 ext. 101.
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