DJs Dave Shettler and Josh Dunn: Electro Party
So says DJ Dave Shettler: "There's a void that needs to be filled, and seeing as I've spent a good amount of time trying to get my hands on every electro record that ever came out ..." it's about bloody time for electro night dance party. Shettler who is best known for his tub-thumping skills (ex-Sights, now in SSM) hopes to make the event more of an art installation than another tired dance party. Expect light shows, wall projections and oodles of obscure-even-to-the-record-wonks electro. He'll be joined in the booth by Peoples Records team guy, Josh Dunn. At the Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606. Also at Boho a bit earlier this week, the Italian Qbico label records a double live album of Faruq Z. Bey and the Northwoods Improvisers, Muruga Booker's Global Village Ceremonial Band (with New York clarinetist Perry Robinson and P-Funker Belita Woods) and Odu Afrobeat Orchestra. Thursday, Nov. 16. Doors at 8 p.m. Sliding scale with $10 minimum.
Campus Martius Holiday Tree Lighting
Bring a little politically correct holiday kitsch into your life by watching the lighting of Detroit's Holiday Tree at Campus Martius Park. The Salvation Army will launch its Red Kettle fundraising campaign; the ice skating rink will open for the season; there'll be special activities for children and hot beverages aplenty basically, all the wholesome shenanigans your heart could desire. The park, open to the public since 2004, has been lauded for its beauty and is considered an important part of the revitalization of Detroit. The lighting will take place between 5:30 p.m. and midnight. For more information, contact the Detroit 300 Conservancy at 313-962-0101 or visit campusmartiuspark.org.
Eric Burdon & the Animals
Lest the floppy jowls fool ya, Eric Burdon is still the weirdly sex-positive rock star he always was. Shit, it's only has-beens the likes of this barrel-lunged Newcastle boy who ever make white locks, aged skin and shredded vocal cords completely cool and desirable. You know the deal, you still think his War-theme "Spill the Wine" is the jam. At the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-286-2141.
The Flint area's left-of-the-dial heroes the Rants have a new CD called Spirit! (out Nov. 28) that has been a long time coming. In fact, burned boots of the disc have made the Detroit rounds for months. The band's deceptively innocent aural love letters to the Beatles and Beach Boys are remarkable because of a minimalist, unfucked-with soundstage (mainly bass, guitar and drums) created with emotional restraint and seemingly fey wrists. That ain't easy to do; particularly when you consider that it's cloaked in heart and ever-so-subtle sarcasm. The group is now basically this guy Ian Saylor, who's often backed by a revolving cast of local rock 'n' roll stars and pop geeks. These record-release shows will feature hyped-up Sights man Eddie "Steve Marriott who?" Baranek and Pop Project/Singles dude Dave Lawson. The nights promise much singsong frolic. At the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555, and Saturday, Nov. 18, at Small's, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck; 313-873-1117.
Marx in Soho
Howard Zinn is more than a lefty historian, writer and professor, he's the author of several plays about American radical politics. Zinn recently spoke at Cobo Hall after being honored by the Cranbrook Peace Foundation, and that group is now bringing his play about Karl Marx, Marx in Soho, to the stage in Ferndale. Zinn uses the play to breathe life into Marx, allowing him to visit our living present to clear his name of all the sins that have been committed by repressive dictatorships in his name. It's a dialectical criticism of communism from an anarchist perspective, but it won't be dry or preachy. Instead, Zinn shows us Marx the thinker, the philosopher, the family man with a sense of humor and a mug of beer, not just a stern ideologue. This one-man show stars Robert Weick, who travels the country playing the revived Marx, asking audiences "Don't you wonder: Why is it necessary to declare me dead again and again?" At 7 p.m. both nights, Ferndale United Methodist Church, 22331 Woodward, Ferndale; $15 at the door, $10 in advance. Call 248-545-4467 or 313-207-3904 for tickets and information.
Saints Preserve Us
The lives of saints involve the supernatural and often the gruesome. Joan of Arc who had visions of God was burned at the stake for heresy. And St. Sebastian, patron saint of the pincushion (er, kidding), suffered a hail of arrows for his faith. Such drama gives artists inspiration aplenty, hence the opening of the Saints Preserve Us exhibit at the Cpop Gallery. Some of the most popular Cpop artists of the last 10 years Mark Dancey, Renata Palubinskas, Topher Crowder and others will reinterpret the myriad saintly characters in paint, stencil and blown glass. We're most excited to see how Tom Thewes' opinion piece Louisville Sluggers and 7-irons displace St. Sebastian's arrows reveals the violent role of sports in society. Opening reception is 7 p.m. at the Cpop Gallery, 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9901. Exhibit runs through December.
Dead People, Dying Pigs
Artist Emily Gustafson says art is more about seeing than making. And now that the hometowner has returned from a stint in NYC and some life-altering world travels she's found her inspiration. Taking pointers from folks like David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, Laurie Anderson and the Fluxus art movement, Gustafson has put together her latest bizarre-but-beautiful sculpture and painting installation, Dead People, Dying Pigs. Opening reception is 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, at Xhedos, 249 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-399-3946. Featuring musical performances from Chris Plum and Troy Gregory & the Stepsisters.
The "living dead girl" fantasy really does come to life in this fucked-up whore-and-gore fest. Catering to the "Lolita" sect of Goth subculture, men and women (and all in between) dress up as post-mortem, sexpot dolls in this necrophiliac wet dream. Why? Because, says event coordinator, Brandie Doll, "Who would not like to be cute, shocking, shockingly cute or cutely shocking?" DJ Andy Laplegua of the Norwegian industrial group CombiChrist will spin the militaristic beats of aggrotech (aka "Hellektro"). The night's highlights will include a fashion show, a girl-on-girl pillow fight in a pit of blood, xBox horror gaming, a "flesh pull" and "Goriest Boy Toy" and "Sexiest Dead Doll" contests. Anything goes so long as nips stay covered and genitals remain sheathed. 9 p.m. at Mephisto's, 2764 Florian St., Hamtramck; 313-875-3627.
Walt Whitman Read-In
Walt Whitman's 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is the same book Clinton gave to the chubby intern. And his wife. But it was such an appropriate gift: When Leaves of Grass was first published, it was immediately admonished for its revolutionary sexual candor and delight in the material senses. To celebrate the chestnut's anniversary, the Oakland University English department is inviting the public to a marathon read-in. Participants will read aloud in 10-minute intervals, and then pass the book along. Listeners may come and go at will. No previous knowledge of the material is necessary and naked communes are, presumably, unwelcome. 2 p.m. Fireside Lounge on the campus of Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester; 248-370-2266
Panic! At the Disco
A few years ago, Generation Now's fascination niche was filled by Good Charlotte, a group of pug-faced dudes who sported a calculated version of punk's already calculated fashion sense to match their mall strut-ready pop-punk. It's different today. Mohawks and studded Hercules wristbands are no longer standout material. Enter Panic! at the Disco. The wildly popular quartet surpasses even the most maudlin excesses of emo, co-opting that mush into an overall entertainment package that involves clown suits, enormous top hats, hyperkinetic lyrics and strains of hey! pop-punk. It looks and sounds like an ADD support group broke out inside of Cirque du Soleil's prop closet. Props to Panic!, though they've figured out a way to matter for longer than a few seconds, at least for another few minutes. Palace of Auburn Hills, 4 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-645-6666.
Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Irving Berlin didn't write songs so much as discover them. Like those monoliths in Kubrick's 2001, they're massive things and seem eternal. Even some of his fans have a hard time believing he made up some of his tunes. "White Christmas" is such a monster Bing's version is the world's best-selling record; it reached the pole position on the Billboard charts three separate times and appeared in a string of films, culminating in a picture with the same name. Now that movie, with its score written by Berlin, is a stage show coming to Detroit. Lavish might be one way to describe the production. Over-the-top would be another. Suffice it to say, there should be enough snow. Opens on Friday, Nov. 17, and runs until Saturday, Dec. 30, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 248-433-1515.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]