Though the Grammy-winning quintet is a trio now (Bizzy Bone's long gone; Flesh-N-Bone's still in the clink), don't guess for a second they're any less thuggish or any less harmonic. Nah, Wish Bone, Krayzie and Layzie uphold the group's sullied honor with its trademark speed-lipped raps, singsong harmonies and knee-capping choruses. Want proof? The group's just-released new album, Strength & Loyalty, chief. The platter skitters with wit, rhyme and name-that-tune samples (Fleetwood Mac, natch!), plus so many guest-star name-drops (Twista, Yolanda Adams, Mariah Carey, etc.) you'll need a whiskbroom to sweep 'em all off your Ipod dock. Sure, they've been touring the country, and why the hell not? They're just creepin' on a come up, er, comeback, y'all. 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-MELT.
Buy Black Weekend
ISSUES AND LEARNING
To support and expand the endeavors of black businesses the world over, the International Detroit Black Expo, Inc. has organized "Buy Black Weekend." On the roster of events is the Entrepreneurship 100 Series, which features panels such as "Black Buying Power: Solutions for the Circulation of the Black Dollar" and "Our Region's New Beginning: Entrepreneurial Solutions to the End of Affirmative Action in Michigan." An anticipated 50,000 attendees are expected at the free affair, where more than 300 vendors will be showcasing their wares. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Cobo Hall, One Washington Blvd., Detroit; visit buyblackweekend.com or call 313-877-8111. Admission to the expo is free; the Entrepreneurship 100 Series is $10 per day, or $30 for a weekend pass.
Poetry @the Zeitgeist Fundraiser
The phrase "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" has been attributed to Miles Davis, Laurie Anderson and Elvis Costello. Metro Times hasn't taken the time to figure out who the hell said it, but whoever did was wise. Attempting to articulate vibrant soul power with flat, gray words is near-impossible. But one local wordsmith knows, at least, how to take you backstage. Come with Bill Harris to a Coleman Hawkins show in 1956:
...the almost/casual/way/Hawk turned from America,/as he'd turn while soloing/to signal his pianist; or/while humming along with some/string quartet on the turntable, or/turn to turn up or down the flame/under a pot of beans. Ex-/patriate/as easy as/running a scale;/shucked America/like charred husks from ears/of roasted Kansas corn...
Singer Audra Kubat headlines for the head-tripping tour "Jazz Band and Poets Mix it Up" with Harris and fellow wizards Kim Hunter, James E. Hart III and Mariela Griffor at 8 p.m. at Zeitgeist Gallery, 2661 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-965-9192.
Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
Sometimes Detroiters have no idea how good they have it. They just don't. Forget all that blather about how musically gifted and rich this city is and look at it like this: Europeans would wait in rainy lines for hours to shell hard-earned cash to see and hear Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels' rock 'n' roll-R&B raves, much less on a bill that includes the barrel-voiced Thornetta Davis as well as Kenny Olson's Flask. Here, you can head downtown on a free shuttle even and get this show for nothing. That's right, this shit is free. The night's even capped with the film and short feature roundup called "Cinema D: Detroit Film Festival." The Mitch Ryder concert jump-starts Fourth Fridays, a monthly evening series that celebrates downtown Detroit. Campus Martius (800 Woodward Ave., Detroit) will host the shows each month, May through September. First band goes on at 11:30 a.m. Ryder hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Go to campusmartiuspark.org for more info.
Civil War Remembrance Weekend
ISSUES AND LEARNING
Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor Union soldiers that fell during the Civil War. The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village is commemorating the origins of the national holiday with events that include battle re-enactments, visiting historian lecturers and a special ceremony to recognize veterans and current armed service members. You can research your Civil War ancestors, learn about 19th-century fashions and funerals, and see antiquated artillery fired, all from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and Monday at Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-271-1620.
Chelsea Food Faire
FUN FOR ALL
Ever wondered about the ubiquitous coney dog? That is, what is it about the rubbery casing, the soggy onions, and the mystery meat chili that Michiganders love so dearly? You can learn about this, and about pierogies, and paczki, and other local gut-enhancing faves at the Chelsea Food Faire, which will launch the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Key Ingredients: America by Food and the Michigan State University exhibit, Michigan Foodways. The former explains the storied background of America's diverse regional cooking styles, and the latter examines Michigan's own food traditions. The fair also has children's arts and crafts, a baby animal park and a "Taste of Michigan" tent. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McKune Memorial Library, Chelsea; 734-475-8732.
Journeys Backyard BBQ
FUN FOR ALL
You'd think a Sears parking lot is pretty ho-hum: Minivans, refrigerator boxes, maybe the occasional family of eight. Well, take that, and add pro motocross bikers and skateboarders doing wheelies and 360s on a 60,000-square-foot "alternative sports playground." Sponsored by the Journeys shoe retailer, the Backyard BBQ is an all-ages swag-fest which features a manicure stand in the "Ladies Lounge," a "temporary tattoo station" and Sharpie-laden design booth to "Punk your Chucks." Local groups Monkey Jacket, Soapbox Paradox, Andreyka will compete in a Battle of the Bands throughout the day, and major-label guys Love Arcade will perform. The gravity-defying event is at the Briarwood Mall, 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor; for more info, call 734-222-0814. Admission is free.
With today's fresh-scrubbed power popsters, it's easy to forget that hardcore was once the music that made yuppies shit blood. And few bands played it harder than Detroit's Negative Approach. Fronted by scowling screamer John Brannon, a sweaty, brooding, menacing growler who sounded tough enough to gargle antifreeze, the group attracted frantic, slam-dancing crowds that'd hoist the husky fella into the air during choruses. And yet the group's freckle-faced drummer "O.P." Moore still looked too young to sell Grit Magazine. Though their Reagan-era anthems for disaffected youth were all written at a third-grade level, NA passed into legend after falling in with Meatmen frontman Tesco Vee, recording a Touch and Go 7-inch, and scoring a few seminal hardcore punk tours, including a legendary L.A. Goldenvoice gig, before imploding after releasing the group's only LP, 1983's Tied Down. See them together again at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-MELT.
Since they're calling this a tribute to "the city that care forgot," you can guess what Marcus Belgrave and friends think about the rebuilding of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. But you can count on Belgrave, who salutes Louis Armstrong in vocals and trumpet musings, and Big Easy-born saxophonist Charlie Gabriel to always remember. Belgrave's group, which also includes vocalist Joan Bow, bassist Marion Hayden and pianist Bill Meyer, will play NOLA standards and lesser-known tunes alike. 2 and 4 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7900. The second performance is followed by a parade from Rivera Court to the Edith Ford Woodward Plaza.
Meghana Keshavan is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]