Wednesday-Sunday • 26-30
Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival
Ker-blooey! Eeeeep! Splat. Sound of an overeager orgasm? Another chipmunk getting its innards blown up? Either way is fair game at Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival, which, for more than two decades, has showcased a series of animated shorts that are demented, perverse and bizarre. To quote Robin Williams, "Spike and Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival is like Disney with tits." New titles include Ron the Zookeeper, where the title character leans toward the overamorous with his bestial charges; Rats on Cocaine: Pregnant, where a chain-smoking lab rat feasts on her offspring; Snowman, where "Lego blocks and figures engage in sex, violence, drug use and other forms of unLego-like behavior." Twenty-seven shorts will play at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-1991.
Thursday • 27
DJ House Shoes and DJ Dez
"I've got people to educate now. I'm going out there to strengthen the platform here in Detroit. I've basically done everything I can do for Detroit hip hop. So I'm gonna get out there to Cali and just rep Detroit 100 percent." That's the way DJ House Shoes laid it on us in early 2006 when he made his move to El Lay. But it's not like he's become a stranger back home. He's even back for the run up to New Year's, sharing a hometown bill with DJ Dez. Alvin's, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit.
Friday • 28
Industry was once a nightclub that operated out of Pontiac, and though its doors closed at the turn of the century (1999), two local hot spots — the Crofoot and Clutch Cargo's — want to bask in its awesomeness once more. The Crofoot will bring back DJs that spun there in the '90s — like Urban Kris and Mike Scroggs — and hold a fashion show featuring Mange La Mode, a gothic, alternative clothing line. Over at Clutch Cargo's, they plan to highlight contemporary art, fashion and music — but offer drink specials that, get this, date back to 1991! That's right — give a hearty round of "welcome home" applause to the finster martini. Cover is $15 at the Crofoot; 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333. E-mail [email protected] to be added to the guest list. Clutch Cargo's, 65 E. Huron, Pontiac; 248-333-2362.
Friday • 28
Sixth Annual Billie Holiday Revue
ANOTHER LADY SINGS THE BLUES
As if being one of the most influential singers of her century weren't enough, Billie Holiday looms as an enigmatic icon. So it's fitting that the woman behind these annual tributes, Skye Covington, has one foot in music and the other in performance art, dubbing her Holiday tribute a "ghetto opera." Also in on the action: saxophonist Scott Reiter, pianist Harvey Reed, drummer Butter Hawkins, additional vocalists Chelly K and DJ Holiday, and comedian (it's a revue, right?) Michael McDaniel. If you're ever going to go out with a gardenia in your hair, this is the night. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; 1515 Broadway, Detroit; 313-965-1515; curtain at 8 p.m.
Saturday • 29
Motor City Ska Fest
THE HEAVY MONSTER SOUND
Ska's gone through so many incarnations, starting out as a sorta Caribbean-influenced jazz movement, getting punk-rocked by the Brit two-tone sound in the '80s and now — in its latest incarnation — leaning a tad to the metal end of things. Get feisty with the locals as Mustard Plug, Gangster Fun, the Exceptions, Deals Gone Bad, Soapbox Paradox and Matt Wixson perform at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665.
Saturday • 29
Awesome Color and Human Eye
We wrote of Human Eye: "Start with a rolling, tribal beat, layer it with stun-guitar blurts and howling vocals, then surround it all with electronic noise and occasional accompaniment by a psychedelic horn section." Joined by Awesome Color, also known for their primal, energetic guitar playing, the bands are taking a pause from touring nationwide and to play their avant ear-ticklers at the Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; 313-737-6606 for info.
Saturday • 29
Noted hip-hop artists, including Monica Blaire and Dwele, have sung his praises, and he's made a mark with seven LPs and residencies at Downtown Fifth Avenue and elsewhere. But if you haven't checked out vocalist-musician-singer-songwriter Malik Alston, consider this: Won't you be embarrassed (again) if his work in Japan and elsewhere makes him a star there before you hear him here? 10 p.m. at Jazz Café at Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8501.
Saturday • 29
Barry Harris Kwanzaa Jazz Concert
Three Detroit-area pianists became bopping mainstays on the New York scene. Tommy Flanagan passed away six years ago. Hank Jones still cuts great discs, but hasn't been heard here in years. Barry Harris, on the other hand, is a once-a-year regular, even at a ripe 78, performing an annual Kwanzaa Jazz Concert at First Unitarian-Universalist Church. His playing is elegant and charming, witty and swinging, and he's one of the masters of the Thelonious Monk songbook. For many engagements, he lets the audience call out notes that he'll weave into a melody on the spot, and if you're lucky you'll remember enough to keep humming as you head home. At 7 p.m., 4605 Cass Ave. (at Forest Street); 313-833-9107; $25, $5 for children.