11th Annual Edgefest
THE OPPOSITE OF SMOOTH JAZZ
Ann Arbor's Edgefest moves into its second decade this year with more of the improvised mayhem that's made it a must for adventurous jazz fans. There are big names and elder statesmen (such as the Trio with Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell and George Lewis; and BassDrumBone with Ray Anderson, Gerry Hemingway and Mark Helias), engaging newer names (saxophonist Rudresh K. Mahanthappa's quartet featuring pianist Vijay Iyer, and Sonic Liberation Front, described as "Afro-Cuban Yoruba roots meets postmodern free jazz and electronica") and local stalwarts (the Faruq Z. Bey Project and Andrew Bishop's Curio Cabinet). But the sheer multiplicity of offerings, 22 events in all, many in the intimate Kerrytown Concert House, creates a dizzying synergy, a sonic maelstrom unlike any other festival in this region and like few anywhere. If you want a free taste, check out the BassDrumBone-led Saturday noon parade through the Kerrytown district or any of a half-dozen no-charge concerts and talks. If you want to get real deep, MacArthur genius grant winner Lewis, Mahanthappa and U-M's Ed Sarath anchor a symposium: "Global Improvisation in Art and Life" at 3 p.m. Friday in the Thayer Building, Room 2022. Ticketed events are $15 and up. All-event pass goes for $125. Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999. Full schedule at kerrytownconcerthouse.com.
THREE DUDES, THREE CHORDS
Matching crew cuts and all, the back-tat-inducing trio Tiger Army hits St. Andrew's Hall pimping its fourth full release, Music from Regions Beyond. Steady frontman Nick 13 appears with the band's second stand-up bassist and third drummer, with more three years and some 200 shows together, and a more radio-friendly incarnation of the same psychobilly sound. Before you yawn and move on, know this: What separates TA from lesser bands is its gusto onstage; there's a sense that the trio actually means it when the beer flies and tables tumble. A Euro summer and another Warped Tour behind them, their current Midwest stint promises a tight formation and sweaty tits. At 8 p.m. at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-MELT.
Friday & Wednesday 19 & 24
Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus & Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia
THE ORIGINAL RED ROCKERS!
Talk about a band with a backstory: Founded in 1918, the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus survived Stalin and Hitler, and, after World War II, core members moved to Detroit. Metro Detroit remains the hub for a group whose 50 members are now spread across the States and Canada, and who reunite every couple months for full rehearsals and every couple years for a tour, like the one kicking off this weekend. Thirty-plus massed male voices and a dozen or so string players strumming on 60-string bandurs (sort of a cross between a lute and harp) create grand choral music backed by a shimmering wall of sound. Wholly different musics from former Soviet republics to the east are to be heard in Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia, a cavalcade of 18 musicians from six countries, including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Off-kilter, but hard-driving rhythms and wildly quavering, hypnotic voices are among the attractions. The Bandurist Chorus performs Friday, October 19, at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111. Spiritual Sounds is Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668- 8463.
Throughout the month of October, artists Alana Bartol, Liz Bernblum, Emily Linn, and Lindsay Satchell have been working with Detroit community members to create and collect materials for an installation at the Carriage House Gallery. The materials? Safety glass collected curbside from broken car windows. The artists carefully washed and sorted the "diamonds," removing stones and other debris, and piling the glitter in mounds on wool blankets. The theme, if you hadn't guessed it, is finding value in remnants of cars and crime. Sound a little far-fetched? See for yourself. It's on display at CAID's new Carriage House Gallery, at 1532 W. Warren Ave., Detroit; reception 6-10 p.m. Oct. 20; exhibit runs through Sept. 22.
HBO Real Sex alum Jessica Holter and her panty-plumbing poets plan to w(h)et the appetites of horn-dog trios. That's right: By performing in a special "Menage a Trois Sweetest Day" event an evening devoted to the seductively spoken word she hopes to bring threesomes closer together. On sale, to be sure, is her latest collection, Verbal Penetration. Subtle. At 8 p.m. at the Magnolia Key Club, 1440 E. Franklin, Detroit; 313-393-0018 for more info.
UN CHIEN ANDALOU
An officially R-rated evening awaits the bedlam-braving few who have a ticket to Theatre Bizarre. With a rumored 700 heads given passage, Detroit's most undaunted will join the carnival macabre "not even death can stop," while the rest of us cavil at the cut-off. Reading like an exquisite corpse to the far-flung Burning Man, the billing promises acts of every persuasion, with bands Crud, the Gipetto Files, and Snake Out among those getting the star treatment the last of these now infamous for the 35-foot-high flaming "Roller Coaster of Death" dreamed up and dropped on revelers two years ago. Unspeakable emporiums, marquees of Sade, freaks, geeks, and "much, much more," all under the aegis of an unending keg. Halloween's biggest hush-hush is back from the dead and looking mad as hell. Costume only, 21 and over. Tickets $35 in advance, $40 at the door. At 967 W. State Fair, Detroit; for more information, see myspace.com/theatrebizarre.
Darfur-Darfur A Digital Photo Essay
EYE FOR EMPOWERMENT
The Detroit Public Library hosts a globetrotting exhibit of acclaimed photojournalism from the Darfur region of Sudan, hoping to raise visitors' awareness of the diverse cultures beset by the world's gravest humanitarian crisis since the Rwandan genocide. A digital projection of changing images will include the work of former U.S. Marine Brian Steide and photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Mark Brecke, Helene Caux and others, accompanied by music of Sudanese origin and inspiration. With Amnesty International estimates of over a million internally displaced Sudanese and more than 300,000 killed, the civilians documented herein exist amid intractable conflict and failed attempts at intervention, but curator Leslie Thomas presents the piercing imagery with an eye toward empowering viewers as it informs them. Running into mid-November, the exhibit finds common cause with the Michigan Darfur Coalition's many planned events, including the Majestic Theater's "Concert for Darfur" on October 20, featuring an all-star Detroit lineup of the Go, the Sisters Lucas and many in between. At the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave., 313-833-4042 for more info.