Night and Day

Sep 9, 2009 at 12:00 am

Coping with the Unknown

In Coping with the Unknown, artists Adrian Hatfield and Joe Meiser explore ways in which humanity attempts to understand its existence through science and religion. The works question the ability of either to provide answers, suggesting that any attempt at understanding may be futile or illusory. Through his paintings, Hatfield examines scientific explanations about our world, while Meiser creates everyday objects that can be used beyond their intended functions to achieve "transcendence." Between the two artists arises a dialogue about who gets to tell us what and why. The exhibit opens with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at Eastern Michigan's Ford Gallery, 114 Ford Hall, Ypsilanti; 734-487-0465; on display through Oct. 2.

Amazing Baby

Amazing Baby is Brooklyn's latest buzz band to nab SXSW attention with its neo-psychedelic glam and free EP handouts. Drawing on a hodgepodge of influences — T. Rex, Zep, Floyd and Bowie, etc., etc. — the group manages to create a cohesive sonic boom of swirling riffs, crunchy rhythms, and bombastic vocals delivered with the sexy strut of old-school frontmen — you know, the kind who never played instruments. The group's currently touring in support of its debut LP Rewild. With the Entrance Band at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot's Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $10.

Caroliner Rainbow

A sort of performance art project masquerading as a band, Caroliner Rainbow materialized in early '80s San Francisco, a product of the strangest currents of the city's underground arts scene. The group creates a disconcerting, minimalist noise they describe as "industrial bluegrass." Indeed, many of the compositions feature little more than banjo, violin, organ and bass, although songs often change trajectory unexpectedly, becoming wild romps of fuzzed-out noise-rock midway through. Caroliner's sonic weirdness is carried over into every aspect of the group — live shows are dramatic spectacles of absurd costumes and elaborate, Day-Glo staging, and albums are individually packaged with handmade art made of found objects and crammed of random ephemera — notes, trash, broken tapes. The group performs at the opening of two new exhibits — Alexander Gutke and Ann Lislegaard: 2062 — at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; $6; all ages. Opening begins at 8 p.m., performance at 9 p.m.

Emerge & See

Local artists and musicians are center stage at this orgiastic fete that merges art, music and performance. Up close and in person you'll experience graffiti, painting, puppet shows, a one of-a-kind photo booth and artwork on sale. No shit! And when you thought it couldn't be better, you'll hear and see Satin Peaches, Mick Bassett & the Marthas, SikSik Nation, Emily Rose, Justin 2rok and more. 7 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $7; all ages.

Alloy Orchestra

The Alloy Orchestra wants you to contribute to their act, or at least to their axes. Here's how: Go to the Detroit Film Theatre entrance by 6 p.m. on Friday and register your wood blocks, stove pipes, stock pots, key rings, etc. — whatever "found objects" you want to hear/see in the orchestra's improv set at 6:30 p.m. in the Rivera Court. That performance is free with DIA admission. At 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the Detroit Film Theatre, you can hear the orchestra doing what it's best known for, spur-of-the-moment accompaniment to silent films, in this case, Dziga Vertov's The Man With a Movie Camera from 1929 (Friday) and the better-known Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau's 1922 perfect take on Dracula (Saturday). DFT admission is $10 each night. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900.

Midori Plays Sibelius

For its first performance of the season, the DSO hosts acclaimed violinist and former child prodigy Midori performing Sibelius' Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. The DSO also begins a season-long exploration of American music with what's considered the quintessential American symphony, Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Orchestra Hall (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111). And for the budget-conscious, the DSO is also taking it to the streets for a number of free community concerts: Monday, Sept. 14, at Seligman Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Dearborn's Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Detroit and back home to Orchestra Hall as part of the DSO's Open House on Sunday, Sept. 20. Seating is limited, so call or visit the Max M. Fisher box office for ticket vouchers (for the Dearborn show, call the Ford Center at 313-943-2354). Visit for details.

Confessions of Women from East L.A.

The Matrix Theatre Company and Mah-Dey Theatre, both of Southwest Detroit, join forces to present Confessions of Women from East L.A. Written by acclaimed playwright Josefina Lopez, best known for the film adaptation of her play Real Women Have Curves, Confessions features four actresses playing nine different women whose diverse stories explore and challenge stereotypes of Latinas. Humorous and provocative, the play not only addresses the specific challenges faced by Latina women, but also celebrates the experiences that women, regardless of background, often share. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 27 at Matrix Theatre Company, 2730 Bagley, Detroit; 313-967-0599; $15.

Art & Apples Festival

Art & Apples is the second largest fine arts festival in the state, featuring more than 270 artists and a taste-bud titillating apple baking contest, all presented by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. The fest also features music from Rochester-area high school bands, the Paul Green School of Rock, Hubbell Street Jazz and more; dance performances; two food courts serving up plenty of apple pies; and kids' activities. The fall fun goes down in Rochester Park, located west of Main Street, north of University in Rochester; 248-651-7418 or for info.

Dally in the Alley

For many, Dally in the Alley is the Detroit street fair, celebrating the music, art and people of our beleaguered and beloved city. This 32nd edition features artwork in the Dally Gallery; performances from the likes of Will Sessions, Devilfish, Noman, James & the Rainbros and I, Crime; aerial yoga from members of the Detroit Flyhouse; a kids fair; and vendors serving up local food, vintage clothes, vinyl, art, books and the truly bizarre things that only the Cass Corridor can produce. This year, the Dally continues its efforts to become the city's greenest fest, partnering with Recycle Detroit, Waste One and Great Lakes Recycling to divert 85 percent of waste into recyclables. Proceeds from the event will help the North Cass Community Union construct an urban garden on Second Ave. at Hancock. The volunteer-run freebie runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. between Forest Ave. and Hancock St., Third and Second avenues in Detroit; for info; rain date Sept. 13.

LANDSCAPE: A Modern Sequel

Landscape art is rooted in antiquity when pastoral paintings graced the walls of Roman and Greek villas, but it wasn't until the 19th century that it was widely accepted as a genre worthy of study and practice. In contemporary times, the notion of landscape has expanded to include urban and industrial scenes. LANDSCAPE: A Modern Sequel displays work by artists who test the boundaries of the definition yet again, offering new perspectives in a variety of media. Artists include Yoriko Cronin, Andrew Krieger, Nicole Macdonald, George Rahme, Corine Smith and Catherine Peet. Reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Artists Market, 4719 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8540; on display through Oct. 17 with a gallery talk on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m.

Hott Lava featuring Mountains

The avant garde and the outré, the trashy and the campy, are all showcased at this night of experimental film which features underground oddities from days of yore as well as freaky flicks from contemporary filmmakers. The exact program is under wraps, but the folks behind Hott Lava did reveal that Brooklyn-based ambient duo Mountains will perform to a film of their own making. On tour in support of its third album, Chorals, Mountains uses guitars, violins, cellos, books, wooden bowls and even recordings of birds and thunderstorms to create subtly complex and beautiful layers of sound. Doors at 8 p.m., films roll at 8:45 p.m. at the Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor; tickets are $9 in advance, $8 at the door, $5 for Ann Arbor Film Festival members. Space is limited, so go early or go home. Further info and tickets can be found at

Matt & Kim

A pair of married Brooklynites (yes, Brooklyn again), Matt & Kim have gotten the Converse a-moving with their infectious brand of indie dance-pop. They've released two discs — 2006's self-titled debut and this year's cheery Grand — but where they really shine is live. The duo performs with boundless enthusiasm and unbridled fun, turning each gig into a sweaty and rapturous dancehall affair. Riding high off a series of yakked-about festival appearances, Matt & Kim perform with Amanda Blank at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $10; all ages.