Urban Garden Tour
ISSUES AND LEARNING
Like weeds that somehow spring through asphalt, nature-minded folks have turned vacant, rubble-strewn Detroit lots into lush farmland. The 10th annual Urban Garden Tour will provide a view of the fresh, organic food system in Detroit. It includes stops in Woodbridge gardens and barnyards, Earth Works greenhouses and honeybee hives, and the Romanowski Farm Park's Native American medicine wheel garden. Registration will start at 5:30 p.m., and tours on foot or on bicycle will leave at 6 p.m. sharp. Tickets range from $1 to $20, and tours begin at the Catherine Ferguson Academy, 2750 Selden St., Detroit; call 313-237-8736 or visit detroitagriculture.org for more info.
What can be said about Patti Smith in 100 or so words? That she defined a moment in history that put female power in rock 'n' roll, put literacy in the pop charts when disco still ruled, only to retire to a quiet Detroit life to raise children and return as a grand matriarch and then a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee? Sure, but that gross generalization cannot begin to explain the depth of her influence both in and out of song. Her latest album, this year's Twelve, a half-brilliant, half so-so covers album, features an odd but lovely reading of Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," which, in her hands, becomes a well-timed anti-Bush jibe. The album features a few local "stars," her own killer band, son Jackson and daughter Jessie. What's more, her last Detroit-area show a few years back was full of power, grace and beauty. If you're any fan of rock 'n' roll, this show shouldn't be missed. 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-668-8480.
Opens Friday Aug. 3-12
Now That I Can Dance Motown 1962
Think of it as a chance to feel today what the Motown Revues must have been like during the 1960s. In Now That I Can Dance Motown 1962, the Mosaic Youth Theatre re-creates the music and the era of the then-young Detroit stars. The musical first staged in 2005 is based on oral histories of Motown veterans; the likes of the Marvelettes, the Vandellas and the Contours have critiqued the show's singing and choreography, while Motown arranger Paul Riser helped hone the music. An all-star cast of Mosaic's current members and alumni unerringly channels Motown artists from Little Stevie Wonder to the older Stevie Wonder to the Marvelettes, the Supremes, Smokey and the Miracles and more. They get little details right hands cock to ears for the "What you say?" refrain in "My Guy" and, moreover, capture the big-hearted optimism of Berry Gordy's one-time "Sound of Young America." At 8 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10 and 11, and at 4 p.m. Aug. 5 and 12, at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; call 313-833-4005 for tickets ($18 adults, $12 students and seniors; half-price for the first weekend).
Ribs 'N' Soul Festival
FUN FOR ALL
That barbecued baby's back, slathered in a sanguine-hued sauce, might have a hacked-off-the-carcass look to it but at least you know it's fresh. To the deep chagrin of the PETA-minded, many believe that mammalian midsection tastes amazing, which is why the 12th Annual Ribs 'N' Soul has drawn more than 2 million visitors through the years. Notable events include a rib cook-off, a classic car show, and two stages featuring local and touring R&B, jazz and soul performers. You can pay homage to your inner Neanderthal this weekend at Hart Plaza in Detroit; call 1-800-643-1200 or visit Ribsnsoul.com for more information.
Orchard Lake Fine Art Show
Are you in need of a yard gnome? Is your wind chime half-assing its tinkle? Does your mantel need yet another glazed pot? Metro Detroit's next (but certainly, not last) art show could provide the solutions, as the juried show features more than 150 artisans of national repute. Jazz and folk musicians will perform throughout the weekend, and children's art activities include plaster painting, tie-dye T-shirts, candle making and face painting. The show will be on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools, on the corner of Indian Trail and Commerce Rd., Orchard Lake; call 248-684-2613 for more information.
Video Aura Feedback
WHO THE HELL KNOWS
Clever camerawork or spiritual insight? Get your "aura" evaluated with a special video camera. "Auras are energy fields that surround the body's seven energy centers with their own color," according to Roxane Firmin of Mystical Resources. "See how changing your attitudes and emotions on the inside affects the energy you project to others." Yep, the video camera captures your vibe, and displays it in Technicolor. Sweet. At the very least, you're guaranteed a hallucinogen-less hallucination, captured onscreen for posterity. At Mystical Resources, 32425 Grand River Ave., Farmington; call 248-442-2525.
Opie & Anthony's Traveling Virus
He's rapped with Jamie Kennedy about engorged penises and smoking glocks, and giggled about freshly-hewn (and penetrable) orifices and extreme incest during, perhaps the foulest "aristocrats" joke ever told but it's still hard to shake the image of daddy Danny Tanner from comedian Bob Saget. Help dispel your last innocent memories of Full House's lamest dad by watching him perform on tour with radio hosts Opie & Anthony. Also on the lineup are Carlos Mencia, Bob Kelly, Jim Norton, Louis C.K., Otto & George, Rich Vos and Stephen Lynch at DTE Energy Music Center, 7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkson; call 248-645-6666 for more information.
Tom Payne Tribute Show
Tom Payne was a great guy. He was also a great "wild man" bassist during his years with the Leonards, a four-piece Detroit-by-way-of-CMU band that made some waves in L.A. after relocating there in the '90s. Not quite power-pop, not quite punk rock (though they used to blast a mean "Search & Destroy" on the Sunset Strip), not quite garage (though a new CD anthology is titled Garage Sale), the band wasn't "fashionable" enough to land a major deal, even if "She Said Goodbye" enjoyed some local airplay, bringing them a strong Hollywood following. Sadly, we lost Mr. Payne to cancer two years ago, but his bandmates singer-guitarist John Pozza, lead guitarist Nick Grassa (who moved back to Detroit earlier this year) and drummer Nick Zeigler plan to reunite once a year to honor their "crazy" fallen comrade. The band has been in town rehearsing, and the second annual show, with old pal Arvo filling in for Tom, takes place this Saturday in Hamtramck. Warning: Last year's event was a sellout ... so get there early. With the Switches and Test Pilot at Small's, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117.
D'Sean Jones Quartet
Earlier this year our frequent jazz scribe Charles L. Latimer spotlighted some rising young talents who've leaped to the ranks of bandleaders without having spent much time in the trenches as side players. They're players who are taking control of their futures, Latimer said, creating their own musical opportunities. Of the bunch, he singled out saxophonist D'Sean Jones as "the most adventurous": "His performances have the bustling energy of a neighborhood picnic. The young tenor player knows his way around the classics, but he prefers to play originals. He also has a fat-ass sound, and can make his tenor swing and sing at the very same time." Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave.; 313-961-2543.
Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to [email protected]