Scott Gwinnell orchestra
Detroit's most innovative big band is back with a regular gig at a new club that's putting serious jazz downtown. In addition to Gwinnell's ensemble Wednesdays, the posh-but-homey Cliff Bell's has a Greg "Vibrations" Williams jam Tuesdays, French themes on Thursdays and a changing weekend lineup (Kevin Grenier Quartet this Friday and Saturday). At 2030 Park Ave.; 313-961-2543.
The Black Crowes
The Jungian brother issues are sensational enough, but the Black Crowes' classic rock ways ensure that fans' hearts will forever reserve them a soft spot. We can thank the brothers Robinson for breathing life into rock 'n' roll back in the '90s, but last year's (re)grouping and a recent acoustic tour dubbed Brothers of a Feather, which sold out every night was proof that a little bit of soul in an otherwise limp rock 'n' roll landscape can do some much-needed damage. All you have to do is listen. At DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston. Call 248-645-6666 for tickets. Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Drive-By Truckers to open.
In the days just before the term Y2K become part of the American lexicon, hometown band Grayling was poised to kick the Detroit rock scene's ass. But before this literate bunch could throw the first punch, personal trauma and infighting shattered the band. But, hey, recovery and amends can heal even the deepest wounds, and the inscrutable band is back. Led by golden-eared songsmith Jarrod Wolny, Grayling's style is still gut-wrenching and hard, clinging to grunge's apron strings with pomp and catharsis. At Small's, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck; 313-873-1114. The Holy Fire to headline.
We forgive them for bailing on the Motor City in pursuit of fame and riches, but that's only because they always come back to us. The 313 is a comedy ensemble made up of several Detroit ex-pats, including Larry Joe Campbell (Wedding Crashers and ABC's According to Jim), Andy Cobb (The Family Guy), Joshua and Nyima Funk (MTV's Wild 'N Out), Marc Evan Jackson (VH1's ILL-ustrated and BSTV) and Keegan-Michael Key (FOX's Mad TV). This uproarious collective hits Hamtown and Ann Arbor this weekend for some improv and frolic. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday, July 27, and 11:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Planet Ant Theatre, 2357 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-365-4948. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, July 28, and 8 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at the Improv Inferno, 309 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-214-7080.
Shakespeare in the Park
The folks at Water Works Theatre Company are at it again. For the sixth year in a row, the nonprofit theater company will stage a play by Shakespeare al fresco. This year, they've picked the Bard's mistaken-identity farce The Comedy of Errors. And if that isn't funny enough, they've set the play in 19th century San Francisco, during the height of the Gold Rush, a choice that makes the prospects for laughter all the richer. At 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, at 7 p.m. Sunday. Schedule continues next week until Aug. 6. Evening performances are $20; matinees are $15. In Starr Jaycee Park, 1101 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak. Call 248-399-3727 for tickets.
To those who aren't into classic car culture, the Woodward Dream Cruise is a logistical nightmare-cum-scourge of the burbs. But for the Synergy Fine Art Gallery in Berkley, the chrome love-fest is to be embraced. Enter Auto-Motivation, a multimedia homage to all things automobile there are sculptures built from watch parts by Allison Psarek and quaint portraits by Margie Guyot. There'll be an artist reception at 6 p.m. Friday, July 28, and a special Dream Cruise reception on Friday, Aug. 18, to coincide with the Berkley Car Show. At 4111 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-546-1790.
Dominik Eulberg and Ada
Dominik Eulberg lives in the better of two worlds. By day, he's a bird-watching naturalist with binoculars dangling from his neck; by night, he commands the dance floor in his native Germany and other European hotspots. His 2004 Flora & Fauna LP is filled with propulsive, minimal techno tracks that helped elevate a dry subgenre into something harder, weirder and more elegant. Eulberg calls music his hobby something to do until he gets his dream job as a forest ranger. But after stellar original releases, remix projects and DJ mixes that have him in demand internationally, he might want to stretch his "hobby" a bit farther. He will DJ in his Detroit debut with Ada (real name Michaela Dippel), whose Blondie was also one of the breakthrough new wave techno LPs of 2004, playing a live analog set. At Oslo, 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300. $10. More info at paxahau.com
Sheila Landis Trio
Sheila Landis has an endearing sprite-like voice and an improvisational imagination that sends it soaring. She also has the most eclectic "jazz" repertoire hereabouts, from R&B ("Fever") to country ("You Don't Know Me") to bossa nova to Tin Pan Alley and jazz standards. That's not to mention originals (from love songs to On the Road-style reveries) or her adaptations of poetry, from Robert Frost to such locals as Margo La Gattuta. JazzTimes recently raved about her 20th self-released disc, Driven, and compared her to Simon Rodia, the iconoclastic sculptor of the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. An apt comparison, except Sheila and accompanists Rick Matle and Dennis Sheridan are more fun to watch in action. 7-10:30 p.m., Plymouth Crossing, 340 N. Main St., Plymouth; 734-455-3700. Other gigs are at sheilalandis.com.
Hair Stars and Hot Cars
ART/FUN FOR ALL
For those who haven't heard of the follicular phenomena, it takes the art of the tress tussle into the stratosphere. It eschews the flip, the beehive, and the up-do and goes straight for looming, towering, blinking, spinning, smoking, cartoon-like hair works. At Bert's Warehouse Theater, 2739 Russell St., Detroit. For info call 313-534-8318.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]