PJ'S LAGER HOUSE THANKSGIVING EVE BASH
On the biggest party night of the year, there's not a bar, club, pub or tavern in sight that ain't vying (dying?) for your pre-Thanksgiving cash and patronage (your post-party puke notwithstanding). There are options to satisfy pretty much any fancy, but local music obsessives can't do better than the Lager House's sonic Detroit jamboree. The always-exhilarating Lee Marvin Computer Arm will hit the stage, along with lo-fi avant soundsters Gardens, punk rock madmen the Terrible Twos and fun-time quartet Magic Shop (with Steve Nawara). That's some damn fine drinkin' din, to be sure. At PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $7.
THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
SEND IN THE CLOWNS
What's turkey day without the parade? The Woodward Avenue throngs battle cold to ogle giant balloon Captain Underpants, briefcase drills and marching bands — they know that America's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a D-Town tradition that shouldn't be missed. Get there early for a curbside seat (or to nurse your hangover with a pre-parade Bloody Mary) and revel in the surreal spectacle of creepy clowns and giant papier-mâché heads that is the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The colorful convoy begins at 9:20 a.m. at Woodward and Mack avenues and finishes at Woodward Avenue and Congress Street; visit theparade.org for more info.
RAISED IN CAPTIVITY
Death by showerhead, a self-mutilating therapist, prison pen pals and a dentist who hates teeth all figure in this black comedy of quotidian dysfunction by Nicky Silver. Two estranged siblings reunite and attempt to build tenuous relationships with the strange and damaged people who now fill their lives, both by choice and by chance. Emotionally stunted and closed-off, the characters must find unconventional (and funny!) ways in which to break free from their comfortable alienation. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third St., Detroit; 248-982-4121; breatharttheatre.com; $20. More performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 7.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
YOU'LL SHOOT YER EYE OUT
One boy's quest for a Red Ryder BB gun is at the center of this Christmas tale, adapted from the iconic film of the same name. The holiday trials of little, four-eyed Ralphie Parker are now as well-known as the time travels of Scrooge or the names of Santa's reindeer (... on Dasher, on Dancer, on, uh ...). A plethora of images and lines from the film have reached sacred pop status (the leg lamp, the tongue stuck to the flagpole, and so on), but at heart this story of a whitewashed Midwest Christmas is really about the burning desire that every child experiences for that one gift that will make or break that morning spent beside the tree. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Avon Players, 1185 Washington Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-608-9077; avonplayers.org. More performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, and 7 p.m. Dec. 7.
GOOD TUNES, GOOD TIMES
There are as few things as feel-good as a homecoming show, when the road-weary prodigal sons return to comfy surroundings and hometown fans. And it should be no different when Electric Six returns to the Detroit chill after a coast-to-coast tour in support of their latest full-length, Flashy. The hometown combo brings back their balls-to-the-walls party attitude, backed up by the hook-driven, nearly nonsensical yet fun-as-hell anthems that every good Electric Six fan knows and loves. With Local H and the Golden Dogs at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-MELT; $15; all ages.
Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to listen to "Thankskilling Theme," just one of the angry and outrageous squalls brought to you by metal meets punk (and everything in between) rocker General Bastard. The General may even throw a TV theme or two your way (Laverne & Shirley, perhaps? We kid you not) before charging into the intriguingly titled "Terrorist in my Living Room" or the surfer rock anthem "Surf Bitch Surf." Um, yeah. It's funny or something. With Country Bob & the Blood Farmers and Left for the Blade at the Double OO Pub, 25044 Grand River Ave., Redford; 313-592-9705.
CONSUME, WITH CONFIDENCE
Discover Detroit's indie shops and boutiques at Detroit Synergy's annual D-Town capitalist happening. In its fifth year, Shop Detroit now takes place on four different days, each day highlighting a different shoppable area of the city. The kickoff is this Saturday when shopaholics can discover the diverse retail of downtown. Participating stores will offer special discounts and surprises for everyone carrying a Shop Detroit tote, and Inside Detroit will conduct walking tours at noon and 2 p.m. If downtown isn't your cup of tea, explore midtown on Dec. 6, the Russell Bazaar on Dec.13 or Eastern Market on Dec. 20. Check in at 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lofts of Merchant's Row, 1247 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2940; info at detroitsynergy.org.
DAY WITH(OUT) ART WITH HONOR MOORE
A LITERARY REMEMBRANCE
During the Day With(out) Art organizations worldwide acknowledge the effect that HIV/AIDS has had on the global creative community due to the loss of performers, artists and patrons. UMMA/Offsite recognizes this day by hosting a reading and discussion with poet, memoirist and playwright Honor Moore. Moore's latest work, The Bishop's Daughter, chronicles her relationship with her father, Paul Moore, a well-known activist and Episcopal bishop whose bisexuality was an open secret to many, including his wife and nine children. At 5 p.m. in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor. For more info, contact UMMA/Offsite at 734-763-UMMA.
As one-half of the self-described "Brechtian punk cabaret" duo the Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer melded the worlds of performance art and rock, proving both her chops as a musician and her talent for the theatrical. But considering her history that's no surprise — she cut her teeth as a street performer, theater chick and spontaneous piano-pounder long before the formation of the Dresden Dolls. After five years of near-constant touring, Palmer decided to bust the solo retreat and recorded, with the help of Ben Folds, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. The dramatic (of course), beautiful and intelligent album is soon to be followed by a limited edition companion book of oddball photos and text by Sandman author Neil Gaiman that sends readers on the hunt for the answer to the question, "Who killed Amanda Palmer?" Just another marriage of artistic forms for the jack-of-all trades Palmer. With the Builders & the Butchers and Zoe Keating at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030; themagicbag.com; $18 in advance.
BEST OF THE MITTEN MOVIE PROJECT
This monthly evening dedicated to showcasing indie shorts and trailers from the Great Lakes State and beyond is hosting a best-of night featuring the best from the past few years' film screenings. Highlights include Jesus Rises, a grindhouse-style short starring a zombie Jesus (!) and Cribs: Arab-American Style, which is, well, pretty self-explanatory. A mix-and-mingle reception kicks the evening off at 6:30 p.m., with the films rolling at 7:30 p.m. at Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-263-2111) followed by an afterglow at Mr. B's (215 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-399-0017). Tickets are $8 advance, $10 door. Visit myspace.com/mittenmovieproject for further details.
IN THE COMPANY OF ARTISTS AND LET YOUR MOTTO BE RESISTANCE
CLICK ... FOR THE AGES
It's feast time for major photo shows. Just opened this week at the Detroit Institute of Arts there's In the Company of Artists: Photographs from the DIA Collection, which considers the way photographers have rendered writers, painters, musicians, fellow photographers and others — from today back to the 1890s. It includes André Kertész, Man Ray, Yousuf Karsh and Robert Mapplethorpe behind the camera, Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, James McNeill Whistler and Georgia O'Keefe in front. (Through Feb. 15, at 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900.) Meanwhile, a short walk away, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits presents subjects from Frederick Douglass to Malcolm X, Josephine Baker to the Supremes, in a 150-year historical sweep. Organized by Deborah Willis, a MacArthur genius grant- winning scholar and photographer, the show is a joint project of the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Through March 1, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-494-5800.)