If the time-space continuum could be meddled with, and one band had to be selected to be this generation's Beatles, Gomez wouldn't be it. No band would, fer chrissakes. But that doesn't mean that these clever if not adorable Brits don't hold an important rank in the world of contemporary rock music. Theirs are songs of beauty, reliably spot-on, catchy and inventive; but these limeys are never too full of themselves to be inaccessible. Celebrate the release of Gomez's newest album, How We Operate, at Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron, Pontiac; 248-333-2362.
Booksigning: Syd Mead
ART/ISSUES & LEARNING
After a brief stint in Detroit living in an Indian Village carriage house and working as a designer for Ford Motor Company artist Syd Mead made it big in 1970 when he started Syd Mead Inc., a design consulting firm specializing in his own brand of neo-futurist fantasy. He became well-known as the visionary image-maker behind such sci-fi flicks as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 2010, Short Circuit, Blade Runner and Timecop. Mead gives a lecture and book signing for Sentury, his gorgeous compilation of illustrations and designs from the past 10 years. Whether it's anime or film, Mead's art has a hard-lined and vibrant style, and his cartoon characters have a farcically oversized edge to them, which makes him the perfect inspiration for the new crop coming out of CCS, and a great way to spend an evening for the rest of us. 7 p.m. at Wendell B. Anderson Auditorium, Walter B. Ford II Building, 201 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-664-7460.
Sam Roberts Band
So few Americans have warmed up to them, but the Canadian rockers of the Sam Roberts Band have elevated the singer-songwriter world out of its recent doldrums. Roberts has a Ryan Adams-caliber CV (minus the God complex and various other psychological hitches), but it's his infusion of psychedelia and thundering walls of pop noise that make this Graham Parsons look-alike more than just another alt-country sad sack. The band's latest album, Chemical City (Dig), is out officially on May 16, but will likely be available at the show. With La Rocca at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Kevin Lepine: Comedy Hypnotherapy.
They say that hypnotists can't make you do anything that you don't actually want to do they're simply lifting the numerous layers of subconscious repression that keep you from braying like a donkey or emulating Mick Jagger's chicken-butt strut (a fifth of Jack can do the same, but that's beside the point). So why not uncover your secret wants and desires (or better yet, those of your friends) with a session with comedic hypnotist Kevin Lepine? Lepine, who was living in the Big Easy until it became the Big Muddy, is a Detroit native and a certified hypnotherapist. After all, there's nothing quite like torturing your friends with embarrassing memories for years to come. 8 p.m. at the 1515 Broadway theater, 1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-965-1515; $20 or $14 with student ID.
Metal 'Til Death Fest
With names like Mindrought, South Gate, Writhing, Cursed Eternity and Sins of Hate on its 10-band bill, the Metal 'Til Death Fest isn't for the faint of heart. Detroit's Writhing, for example, has a song called "Beneath the Smoldering Heap," a muscular thrill landing somewhere between vintage thrash and death metal's guttural churn, while Internalize, from Plainwell, looks to the Deftones and Slipknot as stylistic touchstones. But barring power metal cats Fireborn, of Buffalo, N.Y., the bands at Metal 'Til Death also share membership in Michigan's metal underground, a scene with as much DIY spirit (and as many MySpace friends) as the Warped tour hopefuls or downtown scenesters. What's more striking is their commitment free of big-budget metal's sacrifices to the bottom line, they attack their music with a visceral intensity that's felt before it's heard. Music starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030. Virus from Dope serves as special guest host.
Despite that he's often only remembered as the crazy-haired "She Blinded Me with Science" guy, Thomas Dolby is a revolutionary in the world of music recording and synths. And in addition to his current tour, the so-called one-hit wonder of the '80s was recently catapulted back into the news when supreme "celebrity" jizzface Kevin Federline (Britney Spears' baby-daddy) sampled Dolby's signature song without permission. Dig the "science!" at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.
Monty Alexander Trio
In his early career, back in the 1960s, he was this brilliant young piano player in the Oscar Peterson mold who just happened to be from Jamaica. In later years, he's become the brilliant, elder-statesman piano player in the Oscar Peterson mold who simultaneously channels "I Got Rhythm" and riddims from back home, not just reggae, but ska and the little-heard mento as well. His most recent release is titled Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley (Tel Arc), so you can make some educated guesses about the set list. 8 and 10 p.m at the Firefly, 207 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-9090. $20, $15 for students with ID.
Speed Dating on the People Mover
FUN FOR ALL
The whole speed-dating craze was dumb from the beginning. Let's face it: looking for true love via shallow first impressions and a cursory introduction is about as useful as Botox on a lifelong smoker's face it's all just an ugly poisonous mess. But the folks over at People Mover headquarters have decided to take the faddy trend to a new level and inject a little levity into the mix: For National Transportation Week (May 14-20), the People Mover will host its own version of the match-making game. Here's how it'll work: 50 participants will traverse five stations, enjoying three-minute "dates" with other singles at each stop. And you said the People Mover was good-for-nothing. Meet at the Times Square Station before 6:30 p.m. to register; $40; ages 24-49.
Aspiring artists must love the Primary Space Gallery in Hamtramck, because it's one of the few local galleries that consistently gives newbies a shot. This week, the quaint gallery hosts Manbox!, a collection of works from four incredibly talented (and yet-to-be-discovered) local artists: Dave Chung, Serge Gay, Nathan Marcy and Chris Reno. 2750 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-870-9470. Ends May 27.
Call for Entries: Detroit Urban Craft Fair
No cornhusk dolls here, by god. The Detroit Urban Craft Fair (scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Majestic Theatre in Detroit), is looking for creative folks who have the spirit of urban DIY. The organizers' goal is to feature underground artists who have something truly kick-ass to show and sell. A few of the already-selected items include rock star nightlights, recycled T-shirt tote bags and vegan lip gloss. Vendor applications can be found at detroiturbancraftfair.com and should be sent to: Detroit Urban Craft Fair, Vendor Application, P.O. Box 49005, Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069 no later than May 22.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]