Night and Day

An Evening with Sarah Vowell

In her latest book, The Wordy Shipmates, writer, humorist and frequent This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell explores America's Puritan beginnings, focusing on such illustrious residents of the Massachusetts's Bay Colony as John Winthrop and Roger Williams. Mixing historical analysis with references to everything from the Brady Bunch to Happy Days, Vowell posits her own theories of how Puritanism continues to shape American culture and draws surprising parallels between colonial and contemporary politics. Hear Vowell's comic observations on religion, politics and pop culture at 7 p.m. at Pease Auditorium on the Eastern Michigan University campus at West Cross Street and College Place, Ypsilanti; 734-487-2282; $15.

Yes, Michigan!

Yes, Michigan is a homecoming show for New York City comedian Brooke Van Poppelen, whose comedic bone was bred in Rochester. The sassy-yet-goofy stand-up has arranged a special one-night-only Michigan gig with comedy partner and Colbert Report regular, Jordan Carlos. Van Poppelen was recently nominated for an ECNY award for Best Female Stand-Up of 2009 and showcased her, uh, chops on three episodes of TLC's American Chopper. Also, be on the lookout for BVP, as the kids call her, and Carlos on season 7 of NBC's Last Comic Standing. Local comedian Brad Austin hosts the show, followed by music from acoustic duo, the Marvins. Doors at 7:30 p.m., at Main Street Billiards, 215 S. Main St., Rochester; 248-652-8441; $10.

Danilo Pérez Presents 'Things to Come: 21st Century Dizzy'

Dizzy Gillespie was nothing if not a proponent of jazz internationalism. Some 17 years after Diz's death, the astounding pianist Danilo Pérez salutes to his one-time employer with a band whose forward-thinking horn section alone spans half the globe: David Sanchez of Puerto Rico is on tenor, and while altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa and trumpeter Amir ElSaffar are American-born, they dig deep into their East Indian and Iraqi roots. Perez, for the record, originally hails from Panama — brings his roots to the gig, too — and if you saw him with Wayne Shorter at last year's Detroit jazz fest you know his playing can be out of this world. 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University, Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538; $10-$50.

Silver Medal Exhibition

This annual un-themed, all-media exhibition recognizes artists whose work shows "creativity of concept, excellence of design and expertise of media." This year's entries were judged by painter, performance artist and filmmaker Sue Carman Vian. Her 30-year career includes a Michigan Council for the Arts grant, an Ann Arbor Film Festival award, countless theatrical and film productions and her current gig teaching performance at Wayne State University. Her silver medal-winning selections will be showcased through May 16, with an artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250.

Opening Day Breakfast Bar Bounce

Start the baseball season off right with Inside Detroit, which will take die-hard Tigers fans and sundry weekday lushes on a bar crawl before the big game. Meet at the Anchor Bar for breakfast and Bloody Marys, then head toward the park, stopping at two more bars along the way. At each watering hole, you'll meet the owners and be privy to exclusive drink and shot specials. Batter up! At 9:30 a.m. at Anchor Bar, 450 W. Fort St., Detroit; info at 313-268-6562 or; $15 advance, $20 day of.

Words and Rhythms of the D

Words and Rhythms of the D is an annual event that celebrates the intersection of poetry and hip-hop while giving area youth the opportunity to showcase their nascent creativity. Talented and socially conscious emcees, including the mysterious and ambitious Jay Electronica, New Orleans rapper Curren$y, West Coast collective Pac-Div, prominent producer and DJ Don Cannon and locals Ro-Spit and Sheefy McFly, perform with 15 students from Mumford and Hamtramck high schools who participate in the Music Hall's education outreach program. The program encourages students to express themselves through writing; the best students are then selected to take the stage where hip-hop beats are added to their rhymes. The evening is hosted by local emcee-rapper Fluent, who also runs the education outreach workshops. At 7 p.m. at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887-8500; $20.


Girls, the four-balled duo of Christopher Owens and Chet "JR" White, crafted one of the standout discs of 2009 with their debut, Album. A woozy ode to California surf-pop, Album comes complete with catchy choruses and lyrics about love, heartbreak and adolescent longing sung in Owens' hazy, slightly absent-minded vocal style. While the music stands on its own, seemingly every mention of the band has to include a reference to Owens' bizarre backstory — he was born into a cult, escaped to live on the street and befriended by a millionaire benefactor before making his way to San Francisco where he met White. Soon after meeting, the dude duo formed Girls and began penning sunny tunes that they recorded in their bedrooms. Girls perform in support of the critically-acclaimed Result at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313 833-9700; $15; all ages; with Dum Dum Girls and Leisure.

Bootsey X-travaganza

It ain't easy being a Detroit rock 'n' roller. You can play with all the seminal bands you want, rock it out at the right place and the right time, spend years building a fan base, and still find yourself unprepared for a serious crisis when it hits. Take Bob Mulrooney, aka Bootsey X. He has played with everyone from the Mutants to Rocket 455, from Andre Williams to the Sillies, from Coldcock to Nikki Corvette & the Convertibles. He's apparently known everybody and done everything. He hung with Lester Bangs at the old Creem house in Birmingham, worked at Sam's Jams, came up as a drummer and joined the Ramrods just in time to be immortalized on Motor City's Burning Vol. 1. In the early '80s, he named himself Bootsey X and fronted a band called the Banshees, later renamed the Lovemasters. With a tongue-in-cheek style that had one flier call him "the King of the Irish Teenyboppers," he never took himself seriously enough to be a drag. Now in chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, a bevy of Detroit musicians have come together to help raise funds for Bootsey in his time of need, including Timmy's Organism, the Lovemasters, the Meltdowns, the Space Heaters, Dale Beavers and more. Door at 8 p.m., at the Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 248-924-0298.

The Art of Spring

The birds and the bees, as well as flowers, trees and Mother Nature's other minions, are the subject of this spring-themed hand-sculpted glass show and sale. Pieces include everything from bird sculptures to vases and magnets, ranging in price from $10 to $250. The show also includes the demo and sale of "glass memory" wood engravings, pieces of wood etched with piping-hot glass stencils. And in the spirit of all things green, visitors can purchase $1 paper birds to benefit the Greening of Detroit. The Art of Spring takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at the Glass Academy, 25331 Trowbridge, Dearborn; 313-561-GLAS.


A wacky, irreverent and downright foolish street fair, FestiFools features gads of 14-foot tall animated papier mâché puppets, hundreds of masked community revelers and a bevy of cardboard and foil robots courtesy of 826michigan marching down the street to the banging, clanging sounds of percussion ensemble Groove. What's the point of all this whimsy? Besides providing a free good time, FestiFools, which has been an annual event since 2007, strives to "bring students and community volunteers together to create unique public art that's free and accessible to everyone." Not such a foolish idea, after all. FestiFools takes place, rain or shine, from 4 to 5 p.m. on Main St. between Washington and William in downtown Ann Arbor; info at 734-763 7550 or; afterparty in the Aut Bar courtyard.

Detroit Musician's Caucus

The inaugural Detroit Musician's Caucus brings together local bands and musicians, as well as friends, supporters and hangers-on, for an evening of camaraderie and synergistic sharing. The main event is a presentation by Martin Atkins, founder of Invisible Records and musician who's played with Public Image Limited, Nine Inch Nails and his own industrial outfit, Pigface. Atkins, who authored the first "real" book on touring, Tour: Smart, will give a talk entitled "Welcome to the Music Business, You're Fucked," offering no holds-barred advice from his more than quarter century in the biz. Bands are encouraged to bring free music to share and merch to sell. Doors at 8 p.m. at Small's Bar, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117; free; all ages.

Mudville USA

This installation by local artist and long-time Detroit resident Eric Mesko celebrates the halcyon days of baseball's beginnings, when the national pastime was unmarred by gazillion-dollar free agent contracts, steroid scandals and $8 beers. Mesko draws on his family history to re-create baseball's youthful insouciance — his grandfather, Francis Lynch, played on amateur coal mining and steel mill teams for the first three decades of the twentieth century. Mesko's ode to baseball, and a past that's well-worth remembering, displays through April 24 at Northville Art House, 215 W. Cady St., Northville; 248-344-0497.

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