Wednesday & Friday 20 & 22
The Seeg, man. A four-night stand at the Palace would be a triumph for any pop star. But for Michigan’s own Bob Seger, it’s both a homecoming and a big thank you — not only did his fans hang with him during his 11-year recording hibernation, but they’ve made Face the Promise a genuine hit, and not some old-man nostalgia trip. Still, a little nostalgia never hurts, particularly around Christmas — reports from the road have a fit, trim Seger and his Silver Bullet Band running through a muscular mix of Promise material and all those WCSX faves. It’s sure to leave you with the echoes from the amplifiers ringin’ in your head. At the Palace of Auburn Hills, 4 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills. Call Ticketmaster at 248-645-6666. Additional performances on Thursday, Dec. 28, and Saturday, Dec. 30
James Carter with Hot Club of Detroit
With the release of their self-titled debut disc on Mack Avenue this year, Hot Club of Detroit are the city’s latest musical export and a major-league entry into the national gypsy jazz scene. James Carter is ... well ... the James Carter. Among the many tangents of Carter’s musical career, there’s his 2000 tribute to Django Reinhardt, Chasin’ the Gypsy, which shows how he a) digs that terrain and b) loves to scorch it. Carter’s appearance with the Hot Club should make for one of the hottest club gigs of the year. At Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
FUN FOR ALL/HOLIDAY
When it comes to that rascally progeny of yours, the most serious household mystery usually centers around anomalous stains on the carpet and missing Chips Ahoys. This week, let the kids explore their inner Sam Spade with Cop Kids, an interactive dinner (well, lunch, actually) theater where the kids help solve a crime to bring Santa to town. A lunch of soup, garlic bread, pasta, salad, chicken, lemonade and brownies begins at 11:30 a.m. at Genitti’s Hole in the Wall, 108 E. Main St., Northville; 248-349-0522.
Mittenfest’s handle is inspired by our state’s famous shape. But the daylong event with music from over a dozen acts nestled in the thriving Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti folk and indie pop scene also counts Christmastime among its inspirations, and winter, which brings the kind of chill that mittens were made for. Taking place all day Dec. 23 at Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, the fest features a crosscut of artists from the area, most of whom work from a folk and indie pop template. It’s a scene that’s proven incredibly fertile over the last few years, spawning notable such groups as Great Lakes Myth Society and Saturday Looks Good to Me, as well as a clutch of talented singer-songwriters and bands where experimentation often rests comfortably alongside gentle melody. Starts at 2 p.m. at 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti; 734-480-2739.
Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens
In Texas Bix Bender’s hilarious compendium of cowboy-isms, Don’t Squat With Yer Spurs On, he wrote “There was never a horse that couldn’t be rode; there was never a man that couldn’t be throwed.” But while most Americans are comfortable with their tidy Hollywood-version yarns about white buckaroos, there’s rarely, if ever, any homage paid to the thousands of African-Americans who worked in the trade. And, not surprisingly, what gets even less attention are the contributions African-American women made to the lifestyle. This week, learn about six historically important African-American women who not only survived the hardships of life on the range, but changed the very course of Western expansion. Try finding this in your grade school textbooks! See Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens at the City Theatre (formerly Second City), 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611. Additional performances are Saturday, Dec. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 31
A Season’s Griot
In celebration of Kwanzaa, the African-American/Pan-African cultural holiday, WDET airs A Season’s Griot, an hourlong radio show devoted to stories and original songs in celebration of modern day commemoration. This program is for everyone but should speak specifically to what Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga says is the “best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.” Airs at 11 a.m. on 101.9 FM WDET.
Some guy passed out on the bathroom floor, somebody’s mom lounging naked in her back yard and your fat uncle nearly suffocating the kid squeezed in beside him on the couch: Gypsy Schindler’s paintings capture ordinary people posed, restless and weary, in awkwardly intimate familial situations. You may not understand exactly what’s going on, but the details don’t matter — the dysfunction is easily recognizable and oddly comforting. Schindler’s painting appears in The Laboratory, along with art by other Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University students, at Gallery Project, Ann Arbor’s latest and greatest addition to the art scene. Through Dec. 30 at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012.Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]