She said shed had it with the music business back in the 90s, but angel-voiced Irish tough girl Sinéad OConnor is back. And how. In a recent interview on National Public Radios All Things Considered, OConnor said, I wanted to come out of the mainstream rock and pop thing, as I really found it quite spiritually bereft, to be mild about it. It didnt occur to me that there could be any other arena in which I could sing, so it took me some time to understand that in order to kill off the pop star, you didnt have to kill off yourself entirely. Her latest album, Throw Down Your Arms, was recorded with legendary reggae masters Sly and Robbie. The result is a haunting roots album thats as beautiful as it is unconventional. St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-6358. OConnor will be accompanied by Sly and Robbie.
The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow
Authors Donnie Williams and Wayne Greenhaw come to Dearborn to discuss their book, The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow (Lawrence Hill Books). The book examines the untold stories of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955. As we just lost Rosa Parks one of the most significant figures in the storied protest the timing is all the more apropos. The co-authors will be keynote speakers at the Henry Ford Museums official 50th anniversary celebration of Ms. Parks legendary refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. 1 p.m. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6125.
Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera
ART/ISSUES & LEARNING
Over the years, writer, art historian and curator Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera grandson of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera has curated several exhibitions of his famous grandfathers works, as well as other contemporary Mexican artists. He is currently working on a book about Riveras murals. As part of the College for Creative Studies weekly lecture series, Coronel Rivera will discuss the work and influences of Rivera, Frida Kahlo and their contemporaries. 7:30 p.m. The Wendell W. Andersen Jr. Auditorium, 201 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-664-7800.
The Nutcrackers Nuts
Broadway Onstage Live Theatres seasonal offering, The Nutcrackers Nuts, has become an East Side tradition of sorts. The gagged-up holiday production was written by local playwright Dennis Wickline and is as hilarious today as it was the night it opened. And theres an added bonus: Molly Dodge, a favorite of Broadway Onstage audiences for years, returns as Minnie, the delusional and corpulent ballerina who dreams of starring in her retirement communitys bizarre production of the Nutcracker Suite. Opens 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2. 21517 Kelly Rd., Eastpointe; 586-771-6333. Runs Friday-Sunday until Dec. 18; call for times.
Wish You Were Here
The Primary Space Gallery in Hamtramck has invited 20 artists to create pint-sized art postcard-sized, actually. The Wish You Were Here exhibit will spotlight a variety of 4-by-6-inch works from such artists as Liz Adams, Lesley Reppeteaux, Brian Behnke, Aaron Kraten and others. Got gifts to give? Consider fine art as an alternative to the usual. Opening reception 6-10 p.m. 2750 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-870-9470. Runs until Jan. 28.
Michael Eric Dyson
What guides all of my thought and action is the belief that human beings who think creatively and act boldly can shape history and relieve suffering for the good of the neighborhood and the planet, Michael Eric Dyson says in the preface to last years The Michael Eric Dyson Reader. But what makes him so dynamic is the breadth of topics to which his credo leads. In his books, hes taken on Bill Cosby for his characterization of poor blacks, explored the complex souls of Marvin Gaye and Tupac Shakur, written an extended paean to black womanhood, and shared much about his own life growing up in Detroit. Hes back home to address the first Peace & Justice Awards Banquet sponsored by Central United Methodist Church. Honorees include Grace Lee Boggs, the Rev. Charles Adams, Maryann Mahaffey and Jack Lessenberry. Tickets are $100. The Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle, Detroit. Call Inez Tolbert, 313-965-5422, ext. 32.
The Animated Adventures of Knox
We watched the DVD and thought, Whuh? some kid running around; random, abstract digressions; great avant-garde jazz wailing on the sound track. But the big-screen live band and opening remarks from filmmaker-musician Tom Abbs hold it all together. The bandleader who plays instruments from bass to didgeridoo has a killer lineup on the road with him, including saxophonist Oscar Noriega and former Detroiter Alex Harding on baritone sax. Canterbury House, 721 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-0606.
Fats Waller Tribute
The Fats Waller centennial came and went in 2004 with hardly any of the wild, gleeful joint-jumping there should have been. But theres still a chance to play catch-up before 2005 is gone. Detroits Waller expert Alvin Waddles presides at the piano for this tribute, with Marion Hayden on bass, Alex Trajano on drums and Charlie Gabriel on sax. Word is that this Jazz Forum gig is part of their preparation for taking the show on the road. Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church, 17150 Maumee Ave., Grosse Pointe; series info at 313-961-1714.
Seduction and Desire
It took two years for artist Patricia Izzo to put together her latest photography exhibit, Seduction and Desire. The installation includes 50 images that are Izzos interpretations of earthly seductions and human beings desire for them. Izzo says of her craft, As in painting, photography captures the unseen nuance of the human condition, both the darkness and the light found in our collective souls. Its the essence of who we are, not the blueprint. The Rivers Edge Gallery, 3024 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-246-9880. Ends Jan. 20.Send comments to [email protected]