Night and Day

Mar 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

Vivian Girls

With the release of their self-titled debut in 2008, Vivian Girls became something of an indie-rock sensation, winning over jaded critics and fans alike with noisy two-minute punk ditties performed with reckless abandon and a complete disregard for accuracy. And while the backlash came quick (the Girls were derided for their lack of musicianship and accused of being lo fi poseurs), the Brooklyn-based, all-female trio has ignored the detractors, continuing to churn out a completely kickass, dirty din of girl-group harmonies drowned in feedback, murky reverb and thrashing drums. Vivian Girls' stop in town is in support of last year's follow-up disc, Everything Goes Wrong. With Male Bonding and FAWN at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $10; all ages.

Rubblebucket Orchestra

This eight-piece collective with members hailing from Brooklyn, Boston and Burlington, Vt., plays a funky rock-Afrobeat hybrid; a sound the band describes as "Björk meets Fela Kuti." Danceable grooves, a banging horn section and relentless percussion combine to create eclectic and cacophonous tunes, with the alluring and deceptively sweet vocals of saxophonist and singer Kalmia Traver providing a perfect complement to the instruments' furor. Rubblebucket is known for exhilarating and exhausting live shows where horn players battle it out on the dance floor and concertgoers get pulled on stage (they were voted the best live act at the 2009 Boston Music Awards, for whatever that's worth). The rotating cast of eight to 10 musicians is anchored by Traver and trumpeter Alex Toth, both formerly of John Brown's Body, and percussionist Craig Myers of the Mike Gordon Band. At 9:30 p.m. at the Blind Pig, 208 N. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555; $8.

Terence Blanchard and the WSU Big Band

Acclaimed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard knows the overlap of jazz and the art of the film score like few others, having done every Spike Lee movie since Jungle Fever, in addition to projects with other directors, 50 in all. He teams up with the Wayne State University Big Band to present his arrangements of film themes, ranging from A Streetcar Named Desire to The Pawnbroker. He'll also talk about the craft and show clips from several of his Spike Lee collaborations. "Mo' Better Jazz — An Evening of Swing and Film" is a presentation of the Detroit International Jazz Festival at the Music Box in the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5111. Tickets $20, $15 for Detroit Jazz Fest Rhythm Section members and $10 students and seniors.

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Ted Leo cut his teeth in the East Coast hardcore scene of the late 1980s as a member of Citizen's Arrest and Animal Crackers, and as the songwriter and driving force behind Washington, D.C.'s Chisel. But it's his decade-long solo career that has seen him become one of the most important and innovative figures still active in rock 'n' roll today. His punk rock energy, infectious melodies and anthemic choruses make his sound catchy and accessible, while his earnest political lyrics and musical experimentation (he's dabbled with everything from folk to Celtic to soul), provide depth and complexity. Leo & the Pharmacists are here pimping their sixth full-length, The Brutalist Bricks, at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $15; with Title Tracks and City Center.


Vanished tells the story of an immigrant family whose pursuit of the elusive American Dream is halted by the enforcement of immigration laws, dividing the family and leaving children to fend for themselves. Set in southwest Detroit, the story was crafted by the Matrix Young Playwrights, who interviewed area residents, lawyers, immigration officials and advocates in order to create an objective and authentic reflection of a complex and thorny issue. By focusing on how people's lives are directly affected by immigration laws and enforcement procedures, the hope is to foster community discussion and engagement about this relevant and often incendiary topic. Vanished takes place at 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Matrix Theatre, 2730 Bagley St., Detroit; 313-967-0599; $15, $10 students and seniors. Performances continue through March 28; see

Cyro Baptista's Beat the Donkey

The new Alice flick is getting mixed reviews (though our Jeff Meyers liked it), but if you want to take kids down a rabbit hole in natural 3-D, we can highly recommend percussionist Cyro Baptista's group, which is as Mad Hatterish as they come. In various performances, we've seen and heard Baptista and his crew playing at blown pop-bottle doo-wop, samba, power tools, tap dancing, martial arts displays, Zeppelinesque riffs, big-ass Brazilian drums, unidentified percussive contraptions, goofy costumery and … and … we get a little breathless. As this is billed as a "special family performance," we encourage all parties to do head counts on arrival and departure to make sure no parents run off with the band. Baptista is enough of a musical chameleon to work with everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to John Zorn. But this is his show, baby! At 1 and 4 p.m. at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538; $16 adults, $8 children. VIDEO

Small Dark Worlds

Fresh off their last show, How to Blur a Line, curators Amanda Faye Cain and Marianne Audrey Burrows have produced a new show in the Motor City Movie House space. This time, they've asked a number of artists — including Cain, Burrows, Joey Merchant, Jean Wilson, Dave Sanders, Tim Pewe and Diane Whitehead — to create installations that represent the deep recesses of their unconscious. "By bringing these fears out of our minds and re-creating them," they say, "we can exorcise these incredible demons." Some of the art environments in Small Dark Worlds are rumored to be interactive, and the opening night of the "exorcism" should even include a little provocative performance art, including Burrows and Cain, at 9:30 and 10 p.m., respectively. At the Motor City Movie House in the Russell Industrial Center, 1604 Clay St., Bldg. 1, Fifth Floor, Detroit; $5; 18 and older only.

Jimmy Edgar

Local wunderkind DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, photographer and fashion designer Jimmy Edgar plays the role of the special guest star at this month's edition of Fierce Hot Mess. The frenetic one-man creative force has been hitting the turntables since he was 15, performing with the likes of Derrick May and Juan Atkins. A programming whiz, Edgar draws on old school Detroit techno and mixes it with a wide range of influences, from synth-pop to jazz to R&B, to create infectious, dance-poppy tracks. He'll be joined by new FHM resident DJ Chuck Hampton and by DJ Dre, celebrating one year as the beatmaster for the sloppy, stalwart dance party. At 10 p.m. at Oslo, 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7200; $5.

Buster Keaton Double Feature

The stone-faced comedy superstar of the silent film era, Buster Keaton is widely considered one of the greatest actors and directors ever. Renowned for his inimitable slapstick gags, Keaton had no qualms about putting life and limb on the line in pursuit of comedy, an attitude that resulted in a broken neck and a near-drowning at various points in his career, but also made him a master of the art. This weekend, the historic Redford Theatre will feature two of Keaton's short films along with live organ accompaniment — The Balloonatic and Cops. At 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Redford Theatre, 17360 Lahser Rd., Detroit; 313-537-2560; $10.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

The city's oldest surviving neighborhood plays host to Detroit's 52nd St. Patrick's Day Parade. The annual trek through the once-Irish enclave of Corktown features the requisite floats, marchers, Irish dancers, Celtic music and all the frivolity one can expect from a green-bedecked crowd that's been soused to the gills since 11 a.m. Watering holes along the parade route will feature live entertainment and Irish-themed festivities throughout the day, and early revelers can cheer on the runners of Annual Corktown Races, which begin at noon. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Sixth Street and proceeds along Michigan to 14th Street; info at

Art under the Influence

The student-teacher relationship undergoes scrutiny in Art Under the Influence: The Relationship between Teacher and Student and Art, which features work by teachers, students and alumni of Detroit's College of Creative Studies. The displayed works aim to demonstrate the importance of artist-teachers in the development of young creators, as well as to reflect how, over the course of training and studying, these mentorships become both mutually influential and harder to define as students progress to new levels, find greater success and perhaps even surpass their masters. Through March 27, at the Northville Art House, 215 W. Cady St., Northville; 248-344-0497.