Davin & Dion
They ain't foolin' nobody local rockers Davin Brainard and Dion Fisher make art as pretentious it comes. Their clouds and mermaids and frogs and aliens and ice cream cones and bumblebees are all fluff and silliness, like "pop-corn" art. But lest you take them not-so-seriously, consider that there's something more complex going on. For years, Time Stereo artists and musicians have been about it as far as an intentionally naive scene goes. And these two guys are true culture contrarians, simultaneously showing off and shoving off American iconography superheroes and rock whores alike with a simple stencil and a refined sense of humor. Thank god some folks in this city are willing to take the edge off. Opening reception is Thursday, June 8, at the Majestic Cafe, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Ends July 2.
When she's not clumsily beating the shit out of her freakish and epicene ex-husband, Liza Minnelli can be relied upon to stage one hell of a show. Besides, the woman is good old American royalty. These days, the single and svelte chanteuse is back and better than ever ready to show the world that it takes a whole lot more than an affinity for the hooch, debilitating daddy issues and repeated scandal to bring the daughter of Judy Garland down. At the Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-963-7622.
To raise funds for the Architectural Salvage Warehouse in Detroit, several local artists have generously donated their services. More than a dozen doors (yes, doors) donated by the Salvage Warehouse have been transformed into pieces of art that will be auctioned off during the event preview (6-9 p.m., Friday, June 9). Tickets for the preview are $75. Featured artists include Sandra Cardew, Tim Burke, Jerome Ferretti, Vito Valdez and the Heidelberg Project Kids. This event will take place simultaneously at two locations: 4731 Gallery (4731 W. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-894-4731) and 555 Gallery (4884 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-894-4202).
Bobby "Blue" Bland
He's arguably the greatest blues balladeer, a guy who studied Nat "King" Cole's diction, ripped a hit out of the Billy Eckstine songbook (the good-to-roll "Jelly, Jelly"), and admits to being a fan of Perry Como and Tony Bennett. He also knows plenty about picking up the tempo for contrast if you've only heard "Turn On Your Love Light" by way of the innumerable cover artists (the Grateful Dead, Tom Jones, etc.), go dig up the original 1961 version. Better, go dig the original artist Bobby "Blue" Bland in person and still kicking out his hits into his 70s. Sullivan's Black Forest, 281 Heinlein, Frankenmuth; 989-652-6060; blackforestbrewhaus.net.
For those of you who caravanned all the way out to 23 Mile Road for their inaugural one-night only exhibition, Ed Brown, Nolan Simon and Mike Smith of the newly founded RichRichRich gallery did everything they could to alternately confuse and amuse with a sculptural installation that included piles of ceiling tiles on the floor, hot dog buns in a storage closet and even a T-shirt hanging from a tree. For their second show, the three guys present work by Boston-based artist Kate Levant, whose art installation promises to be just as intriguing. In a cryptic e-mail to Metro Times, she wrote: "will ride from the east- in towards the middle. Detroit. I have some plan. I have some blindness as well. Await that arrival. We'll see." We've seen a bit of her work, but thought it best to keep you in the dark so you'll make the trek. Opening reception 8 p.m.-midnight at 49656 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Twp; 586-484-5957.
Imagine our surprise when we heard they were coming to (of all places) the Hayloft Liquor Stand in Mt. Clemens, but the Tubes the once-progressive glit-theater combo that unabashedly appeared in the movie Xanadu and managed to spark the imaginations of the already slightly skewed come to Detroit for an old (art) school ride. No worries: The fabulously eccentric, dipped-in-amber Fee Waybill will front. At 140 N. Main St., Mt. Clemens; 586-468-1010.
The Bottle Rockets
You gotta give props when a band has the chutzpah to just be a friggin' band. And when it's Bloodshot Record's the Bottle Rockets, you're even more inclined to give the high five. They don't purport to do anything out of the ordinary and they shouldn't. This quartet of commoners does Afghan Whigs-y alt-country as good as it gets. Beer in fist, loved one by your side, this is a show for the working class, and we love that. At the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Bobby Bare Jr. to open.
Marcus Belgrave 70th Birthday
If there's a single musician who serves as the face of jazz in Detroit, it's trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. He's both a consummate artist and a magnetic entertainer who has so intertwined himself with the Detroit scene since arriving in the '60s after a star-making stint with the Ray Charles band that it's hard to imagine a Detroit jazz scene without him. A good number of his peers are set to pay tribute to him, including pianist Claude Black, saxophonists Charlie Gabriel and George Benson, vocalist Ursula Walker and bassist Paul Keller. At 3 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre, 121 University Ave. W., Windsor; 591-253-7729; $26 show; $7 special birthday reception.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]