LUNCHBOX & UNDIE BRIGADE
How does one enter the fray of upper-echelon kiddie entertainment? As in Death to Smoochy, is the competition brutal, cutthroat, dog-eat-Big Red Dog? Australian quartet the Wiggles began in the '80s as the Cockroaches, but mellowed their sound ever so slightly, moving from pubs to preschools as their venue of choice. Today, they're the wealthiest performers to come out of Australia, earning a cool $45 million yearly. (The branded lunchboxes and undies help.) The Wiggles, joined by a troupe of "Wiggly Dancers" and puppet-pals Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword, will perform at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills, 4 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; call 248-377-0100.
Yeah, Lil Jon fave Ciara is hot, alright; her over-aerobicized derriere and deltoids are the stuff of pubescent chain-yanks the world over. It was her crunky tease-a-rama "Goodies" that defined summer 2004 and set her career afire. And who can forget her 2005 Gwen Stefani tag-team tour? This perfect-skinned Grammy winner is the femme-power dance-pop stuff that can put ass in arena seats and single-handedly balance out the dude-heavy Screamfest bill. Co-headliner T.I., the millionaire street-merchant and "Jay Z of the South" who has a dead personal assistant (murdered) and a beef with Lil' Flip simmering in his wake, should be noted for his empathetic role in the underrated film ATL, and the huge personal efforts he gave Katrina. The Grammy winner's latest, T.I. vs T.I.P., sees T.I. emceeing a "concept" album with both coarse command and croon-y ease. Those two mash it with platinum rapper Young Joc, chart-topper T-Pain, and chick-magnet Lloyd. At 7 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Dr., Detroit; 313-983-6606.
The old Ramrods haven't been onstage together since their last reunion show a few years back, supporting Was (Not Was) and the Romantics at the Royal Oak Music Theater. The show wasn't without flaws, certainly, but was a rock show nonetheless. See, many consider the 'rods to be one of the seminal bands of Detroit's punk rock era. The group still minus original member Peter James (which has added some colorful reunion "controversy") reunites Thursday to celebrate the 30th anniversary (that's right, 30th) of their first show together. (Yes, it was the night Elvis died, though band members plead "not guilty" to having had anything to do with the King's untimely croaking). The current lineup includes singer Ivan "Mark Norton" Suvanjieff (a Nobel Peace Prize nominee no shit!); guitarists Dave Hanna and Steve King, guitar hero Danny Doll Rod (on bass); and Bob "Bootsy X" Mulrooney on drums. This gig coincides with a spanking new single produced by Steve King (of Em fame) and released on Ben Blackwell's Cass Records. With the Muldoons at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
I Paint What I See
SEE YOU SEE ME
Expect an artist's eye-view of reality: The still lifes of Elizabeth Crank, the cryptic narratives of Thom Humes, the mimesis of Kathy Rashid and the illusionist trees of Rick Vian will be displayed for the next month. The show promises to weave together the artists' styles, techniques and motivations despite their different visions. Gallery goers can return for a closing reception at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21, and a talk at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22. At the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, 407 Pine St., Rochester; call 248-651-4110 for more information.
A LITTLE TRANE
With one of the most revered names in jazz, Ravi Coltrane could have started recording as a leader as soon as he picked up the clarinet in middle school. Instead, he followed serious study with a lengthy sideman apprenticeship, starting with Elvin Jones in 1991, before landing his first leader date roughly a decade ago. His sound may be indebted to John and Alice (as well as to Steve Coleman, a key mentor) but it's become very much his own. Word is that he'll be debuting new material from his upcoming fifth release and featuring pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress and drummer EJ Strickland. Shows at 8 and 10 p.m. both nights, tickets $30. At Arturo's Jazz Bar, 25333 W. 12 Mile Rd., Southfield; 248-357-6009.
Preservation Wayne Theater Tour
WE BUILT THIS CITY
There's no business like the old theater business especially when it involves an annual walking tour of seven of Detroit's early 20th century theaters. Led by people who know what they're talking about theater buffs and the like the tour has helped promote and restore the city's entertainment district by emphasizing the need to preserve historic architecture. Advance reservations are suggested; call Preservation Wayne at 313-577-7674 to purchase tickets. Tickets are $40, and a boxed lunch is included. Tours depart every half hour between 9 and 11:30 a.m., and begin in the lobby of the Fillmore Detroit; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise
Choking heat, gut-grumbling barbecue, legions of automobiles, old and new: Detroiters wet themselves each summer, anticipating the flashy, seemingly endless Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise. There's no point in trying to go anywhere else, anyway with metro Detroit's lifeline, Woodward Avenue, completely blocked off, what else can you do? So pull up a lawn chair or your own vintage ride and park yourself somewhere, anywhere, along Woodward Avenue. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; visit woodwarddreamcruise.com for more info.
EAST MEETS WEST
Powerful, harmonious and fanciful, opera is an art form most often associated with Western Europe in the last few centuries. But the reality is Chinese opera is considered one of the oldest dramatic art forms in the world and became fashionable for "ordinary" audiences there by the 17th century. Combining music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting, Chinese opera tells stories of Chinese history, tradition and philosophies. A performance of "Rising Dragon" is part of the ongoing "Chinese Canadians in Windsor." At the Windsor Community Museum, 254 Pitt St., Windsor; call 519-253-1812.
Hands Along Woodward
GOOD IN THEORY DEPT.
Oh, yeah! I'll tell you something I think you'll understand. When I'll say that something: I want to your hand! I want to hold your haa-aa-aa-aand; I want to hold your haa-aa ... And so will, hopefully, thousands of other metro Detroiters in this warm-and-fuzzy human chain that's to string all the way down Woodward to celebrate the avenue's 200th anniversary. Yep, the chain's to stretch for 29 miles. Where: All along Woodward Ave. Visit woodwardavenue.org for more info.
Summer of Love Sexy Lingerie Bash
Make like a pro and sex it up for dough: The clubgoer with the perkiest push-up, the skimpiest negligee and the most artfully displayed Brazilian has a shot at winning a limo ride, dinner for two and a cool grand. Golly. DJs Melle Mel, Ryan Richards, Shortstop and Liquid will spin hump-friendly tunes, so be sure to stain-guard your tease-me leather and fuck-me lace before the old bump and grind at Tonic Nightclub, 29 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; call 248-334-7411 for more info.
Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to [email protected]