Ears to the ground: Summer concerts that shouldn’t get under your radar.

Jun 5, 2002 at 12:00 am
June 7 • The Fairfield Four They’re coming this time, really. The last time the Fairfield Four (pictured) was scheduled to bring its moaning, stomping, shouting, a cappella gospel revue to the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward, Detroit; call 313-833-7900), it had to cancel. That just made us want it more. The group has existed in one form or another since the ’30s and is a living, breathing treasure of American music.

June 20 • Yells at Eels A trio made up of new-jazz veteran trumpeter/keyboardist/noisemaker Dennis Gonzalez and his two sons (only 15 and 20 years old), Yells at Eels has the ability to cover every inch of musical ground from smoothed-out, trumpet-driven cool jazz to highly complex, hardcore thrash. The group follows in a rich tradition of musically innovative families (check out Von and Chico Freeman or Ornette and Denardo Coleman) and creates music every bit as beautiful as it is challenging. Yells at Eels will perform at Entropy Studios, 10338 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck.

June 22 • Eleni Mandell She’s the schizophrenic you want to bring home to mom. LA-raised songwriter Eleni Mandell can go through Tin Pan Alley, tropicalia, klezmer, Appalachia folk and Euro pop with a wink, leaving listeners in the dust trying to figure out what just happened. But its not music for stylistic dissection and overanalysis — she’s just a songwriter who is at the whim of her broad influences, perhaps making her the female counterpart to Rufus Wainwright. She will perform with the lush pop outfit the Alphabet at the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; call 313-961-4668 for information.

June 23 • Peter and the Wolf at the Zoo In an inspired, youthful programming decision, the people behind the 2002 Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival will be presenting Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings playing animal-oriented chamber music for families at the Detroit Zoo (8450 W. 10 Mile at Woodward, Royal Oak). Works include Luciano Berio's "Opus Number Zoo" and Sergei Prokofiev's romping introduction to the orchestra, "Peter and the Wolf" (the Rev. Dr. Norman Pritchard, narrator). One of the many great events of the festival, the concerts will be held at 3 and 4:30 p.m. For information on the 2002 Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival call 734-769-2999. And you thought chamber music was for blue hairs.

July 14 • Oops! The Tour The night of noisy-as-hell distorted bliss will go like this — the Flying Luttenbachers, Wolf Eyes, Arab on Radar, Lightening Bolt, the Locust. Its destructo-post-glam Armageddon rock ’n’ roll in its most monstrous, trashy, drug-addicted form; if your not prepared for it, stay clear of the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; call 313-833-9700).

Aug 20 • Unlimited Sunshine Tour Mark your calendar right now. A Flaming Lips show has the power to saturate anyone’s brain with enough serotonin to make it through the winter giddy. With Cake, Modest Mouse, Kinky and De La Soul it’s a whole day of rock ’n’ roll smiles. At the Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater, 10 Walter St., Pontiac; call 248-333-2362 for information.