All-Fiber Art Show
Often, fibers whether natural or synthetic are taken for granted. Sure, people notice the clothes, carpets and macramé plant hangers they form, but they don't really see the full possibilities of the medium. Fiber artists seek to change that: Whether working in two or three dimensions, they allow fiber to tell its own story. The Grosse Pointe Artists Association, in collaboration with Michigan Surface Design, is holding an All-Fiber Art Show throughout the month, with classes and lectures given by local artists and professors. Through Nov. 25 at the Grosse Pointe Art Center, 1005 Maryland St., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-821-1848.
A Woman at War: Marlene Dietrich Remembered
ISSUES & LEARNING
The lesser-known achievements of Hollywood icon Marlene Dietrich are revealed in this biography edited by her grandson J. David Riva. Though well-known for her torrid affairs and legendary theatrics, the book sheds light on her struggles with Nazi Germany and her involvement in American politics. A soiree to celebrate the launch of the biography will take place at the Detroit Film Theatre, featuring a book signing and a silent auction of Dietrich memorabilia, as well as a screening of the 1930 film The Blue Angel, at the Detroit Film Theatre on Thursday. On Friday, Riva will hold a discussion on the book and will show his film, Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Story. The book launch party is Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; tickets are $50-$250; The Blue Angel shows at the Detroit Film Theatre at 8 p.m. at regular ticket prices. Friday's lecture, at 10 a.m., is free to the public, and will be held at Wayne State University's Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium, 417 W. Palmer St., Detroit. For tickets or information call 313-577-4607. Riva is also at the Southfield Public Library, Sunday, Nov. 5, from 4-5:30 p.m. 26300 Evergreen Road; 248-796-4200.
Like comedians Chris Rock and Bryan Regan, funnyman Michael Somerville has a nasal twang in his voice, perfect for his self-deprecating and sarcastic style. Veering away from politics and controversy, Somerville sticks to classic observational humor. Using personal anecdotes as fodder for his jokes, he pokes fun at childhood memories, weird past experiences and failed interactions with the opposite sex. He's been written up in Maxim and Time, and his stand-up album Welcome to Somerville is available at his Web site, michaelsomerville.com. At Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle, 269 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-542-9900.
Art and Appraisal Clinic
Who would have guessed that PBS' Antiques Roadshow would become a cult hit? If you've always wondered whether that painting inherited from Aunt Maybelle is worth more than a buck-fitty, you can find out this weekend. The Scarab Club is offering its second Art and Appraisal Clinic this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Bring an heirloom, be it a baseball card or a hand-stitched handkerchief, and ask a professional appraiser what your history's worth. It will cost you a few bucks ($5 for a verbal evaluation of two items and $10 for a written evaluation of two) but that's a small price to pay for some news about the value of an antique that could possibly change your life, or at least clear up some room in your attic. The Scarab Club is at 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250.
Benefit Luncheon for Multiple Sclerosis with Alecia Harris
ISSUES & LEARNING
Alecia Harris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, and decided to commit her life to speaking out against the disease and educating the public about treatments. She founded Walking With Faith, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness and funds for research. This weekend she hosts a special luncheon, and has enlisted a few local celebrities to jazz things up. Gospel duo Regina and Michael Winans will perform, as will LaShell Griffin, winner of Oprah's Pop Star Challenge. 1 p.m. at Seldom Blues Jazz Restaurant, 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit. Tickets cost $75, and advance registration is required; 734-397-2041; walkingwithfaith.org.
The Starlite Desperation
The Starlite Desperation configures nowadays as a trio, and is once again living in California after a stint in Detroit. "We Don't Do Time" and "My Violin" the two new tracks that lead off Don't Do Time, a collection of faves, demos and B-sides exclusive to this tour represent Starlite at its razor-wire best. The wee-hour-stumblin' psychedelia is still here, as is the bluesy huffing and puffing, but it's the flinty pop hooks that make the songs go. Bonus: The rest of Don't Do Time is only great gristle, with "Mona Lisa Snake" from 2000, "Born to be Dizzy" from Violate a Sundae, and "It Rhymes with Bitch," a stinging 1997 B-side in the proud tradition of American bands ripping off Jesus & Mary Chain. At the Belmont, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966.
Contemplative, lyrical and mellow, Amos Lee's soulful music and liquid voice are arresting. Norah Jones discovered this singer-songwriter, and soon Lee was touring with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Merle Haggard. Coupling that touring experience with his influences Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young this Philadelphia kid has created a new album, Supply and Demand. Its first single, "Shout Out Loud," is smooth and joyous, and recalls Jack Johnson, even. Tickets are $21. 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1818.
Kids Baking Class Challah
FUN FOR ALL
Zingerman's Bakehouse is legendary for scrumptious breads and pastries and now they're cultivating the bakers of tomorrow. Kids ages 10 to 12 can take baking classes with fellow culinary youngsters at the bakery. This Tuesday's class focuses on the traditional Jewish treat challah bread, a rich white bread that's braided before baking and is often eaten on the Sabbath and holidays. Once the kids put their challah in the oven, they tour the bakery and see the professionals at work. Afterward, the challah and the recipe are theirs to take home. 4 p.m. at Zingerman's Bakehouse, 3711 Plaza Dr., Ann Arbor; 734-761-2095. The two-hour class costs $40 and is limited to about a baker's dozen, so hurry. Register online at zingermansbakehouse.com.
Lloyd Cole can now be uttered in the same breath alongside Leonard Cohen or Dylan, and his new album, Antidepressant, could well be the record of the year. No shit. Cole's subtext-rich words are more sing-song prose than they are "lyrics" he creates inescapable characters that crawl from the depths of our own consciousness; they're equal parts empathetic and arrogant, pathetic and workaday courageous. Their sadness or fleeting joy resonates in the head for days. As a tunesmith, Cole ain't no slouch either. His songs are restrained and pop-hummable as a pup, Cole was obviously schooled on Lou Reed, Tom Verlaine and T. Rex as much as he was, say, F. Scott Fitzgerald. His croon is a kind of poor-man's Bryan Ferry and that's a wonderful thing. Oh yeah, Cole was once a UK pop star (you might recall Lloyd Cole and the Commotions) and he'll be performing a rare area show with his former Commotions running bud, Neil Clark. The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587.
Arthur Miller's The Price
For those in the know, "lesser works" are hardly ever just that. They usually give a truer glimpse into the workings of an artist. And when that artist is one of the giants of 20th century American theater, the glimpse is well worth the price of admission. The undeniable impact of Arthur Miller's two major works, The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, pushed many of his other plays into obscurity but, this season, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre has dusted one off. The Price is modestly populated, with just four characters, but is all the more fragile as a result. The play, which first premiered in 1968, tells the story of two brothers: one who abandoned family to achieve success, and the other who abandoned success to stay at home. They reunite to appraise their dead father's belongings, confronting each other with the various choices they've made in life. Through Nov. 12 at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre, 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-788-2900.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]