Night and Day

Jason Marsalis

It's not entirely fair that Wynton and Branford are so often referred to as the Marsalis Brothers and Delfeayo and Jason are the other brothers. But such are the vagaries of birth orders and fame. That said, the percussionist Jason Marsalis is one of those drummers who knows how to integrate the New Orleans second line rhythm — full-on or reservedly — with any other groove he likes, from bop to disco. His chops at the vibes and other percussive instruments in addition to the drum set are likewise formidable, which he reminded the world of with last year's Music Update, his first disc in eight years — and overdue at that. At the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, 97 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-5299.

Love Bombing After the Earthquake

Penned by Breath Art Theatre founder Demetri Vacratsis, Love Bombing After the Earthquake is set in the not-so-distant future of 2013, a year after a disastrous earthquake. A high ranking security official interrogates an ex-army officer about his relationship with an enigmatic woman and a series of subversive incidents the officer may or may not have been involved with. Vacillating between the interrogation room and the events of the past, the suspense-packed play explores each character's moral code and the actions that their questionable ethics justify. At 8 p.m. both nights at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third St., Detroit; 248-982-4121 and; $20, $15 students and seniors. At 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through May 2, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on April 25 and May 2.

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Last year's Rise Up! had the organ funkmeister proving his mettle on slick originals and some surprising pop tunes — the Beatles' "Come Together," the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round," and the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams." He gave "Come Together" and "Sweet Dreams" the funky, mysterious grooves that they deserve — pondering the metaphoric funk of "toe-jam footballs" perhaps — and made the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round" an anthem punctuated with ... sweeping, well, er ... orgasmic Hammond swooshes. Dr. Lonnie Smith, an embarrassment of musical riches. At 9 p.m. both nights at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543; $35.

Lettuce Rock!

The Royal Oak Community Farm is a planned urban organic farm that hopes to provide the community with fresh produce, give students the opportunity to learn about agriculture and benefit the Royal Oak Foundation for Public Education through any profits from crop sales. Of course, to achieve these worthy goals, the farm must first find the necessary start-up cash. Enter Lettuce Rock, a benefit for the farm featuring music, family activities, local food and local business vendors. All proceeds raised will go toward the $20,000 needed for things such an irrigation system, permit fees and a portable shed. Bands on the lineup include the Satin Peaches, the Wednesdees, the Polish Muslims and the Candy Band. 5 p.m. to midnight at the Royal Oak Farmers' Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; $5; further info can be found at

Thank You, Gary Grimshaw

Renowned graphic artist Gary Grimshaw is an icon of rock art, thanks to the legendary posters he created for the Grande Ballroom and other musical and cultural events over the past 40 plus years. Recently, Grimshaw has undergone major surgery as a result of illness and is currently in the ICU of Detroit's Veterans Hospital. Thank You Gary Grimshaw is a benefit-cum-art extravaganza that will raise funds for medical expenses and celebrate the famed artist's life and work. The evening includes music from the Howling Diablos, Planet D Nonet, John Sinclair and Howard Glazer & the El-34s; a poetry reading featuring M.L. Liebler, James Semark, Sinclair and more; and an art exhibit of Grimshaw's posters and photos by Leni Sinclair. At the Bohemian National Home, 3009 Tillman St., Detroit; $10.

Record Store Day

If there's ever a time to begin to support your local record stores again, it starts now. Because physical music, that which you can, at the very least, clutch in your twitchy little palm, will never go away; there are far too many people who passionately oppose virtual music — for many reasons. Because it's invisible some think it trivializes and devalues the very idea of songwriting and recorded music — and because the compression that's needed to shrink the files kills the music's dynamics and song ambience, and, hence, it greatly reduces — even unconsciously — its ability to work on visceral levels, the ability to draw you in. In other words you're not getting the whole deal. So downloading is not designed for music collectors, or for those who consider listening to music an actual activity, or for those into the thrill of the hunt and discover, who even buy just on the strength of the album cover.

And if you're buying hard-copy music on CD, vinyl, SACD, cassette, 8-track, 78s whatever ... you need an outlet to purchase the stuff that actually puts money back into the community, one that employs people who actually put money back into the community. We could go on all day about this crap, but don't send your money out-of-state to massive corporations like Apple or Amazon. Do they need your money or does Southwest Michigan? Good question, chief!

Believe it or not, there are many record stores in the area, each with their own personality and interior trends, each sporting an inherent love of music.

There's the ever-cozy Solo Records in Royal Oak, Street Corner in Oak Park, the fab and museum-like Melodies and Memories in East Pointe, Roseville's longtime Record Time, the mighty Dearborn Music and Stormy Records, Flipside Records in Clawson and Rock of Ages in Garden City, Peoples in Detroit and the Record Collector and Detroit Threads in Hamtown, Encore and Wazoo in Ann Arbor, and any that we failed to mention. You need these stores, for city health, for community, for life.

So, for this year's Record Store Day, make it an outing, celebrate music's ability to change and help to see things differently. Celebrate music has actual sides and color and cover art and liner notes. Many of the aforementioned stores will be featuring in-store appearances, live music, massive give-a-ways, rare Record Store Day-only releases (Drive-by Truckers, Wilco, Devo, Flaming Lips, Sex Pistols, John Lennon, Pavement, The Cribs, Editors, Hold Steady, White Dwarfs, Metallica and tons of Sub Pop stuff, just to name a fraction) Get in the habit of purchasing music that isn't invisible, hell, load it into your computer or iPod and own the master for when the hard-drive takes a dump. Remember: bands you love love record stores. And how many local record shops employ local rock and music stars? Plenty. All hail the record store. For more info go to or call your local retailer.

Hoots & Hellmouth

Philadelphia's Hoots & Hellmouth fall in the category of hard-stomping, finger-frenzied string bands, the kinds often referred to as "punk" more for their ethos than their sound. The quartet combines acoustic guitars, mandolin and upright bass with foot stomps on plywood boards and handclaps to create the frenzied energy of a bible-belt tent revival. Indeed, revivalism is the name of the game for the group, who mine every corner of traditional Americana music — folk, country, gospel, etc., — to create the sound they describe as "new music for old souls." Hoots & Hellmouth's rollicking and earnest tunes, with some gentler numbers serving as a welcome counterpart, extol the virtues of community spirit, hard work and local activism. They can be heard on two discs; the latest, Holy Open Secret, was released last summer. Doors at 7:30 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1451; $15.

The Church

For three decades, the Church have created knee-shaking dream pop — matching the experimental and esoteric with singsong dreamy — to create richly textured and melodic songs. The Australian quartet is celebrating its 30 years of songcraft with a special acoustic tour that sees the band playing one song from each album they've released, starting with 2009's Untitled # 23 and working backward all the way to their unbelievably great 1981 debut disc, Of Skins and Heart. Whew! (Let's hope they play "Into Your Hands," the best pop lullaby tune ever written.) And if that wasn't enough to set fans a-twittering, every concertgoer will receive a free copy of the Deadman's Hand EP. Doors at 8 p.m. at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030; $28 advance.

Darwin the Dinosaur

Using electroluminescent wire (it glows in the dark!) on costumes and puppet forms, the characters of Darwin the Dinosaur take on the characteristics of crayon drawings — drawings that perform on stage in a completely blacked out theater. It's an eye-popping gimmick for sure, but one that's accompanied by a tale that will captivate kiddies and parents alike. The story begins when the famous scientist Professor Henslow creates Darwin the Dinosaur in his lab. The new dino heads out on an entertaining jaunt around the world, learning lessons about sacrifice, compassion and love along the way. And did we mention its glows in the dark? At 4 p.m. at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; 313-887 8500; $17 adult, $7 child; $35 for a family four-pack.

Through African Eyes

A new exhibit organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts, Through African Eyes: The European in African Art, 1500 to Present, explores how African artists expressed and interpreted their cultures' interactions with Europeans and other Westerners over the course of five centuries. More than 100 pieces from more than 20 African countries are featured, providing perspectives from multiple African cultures on the Western world's entrance into their lives, from early trade interactions to colonization and post-colonial relations. Along with the artwork, the exhibit includes recorded oral histories from elders and artists, quotes from historical and literary texts and video commentaries from Africans living in both Africa and America. Through African Eyes displays through Aug. 8 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900.

Elizabeth Butters LP Release

Brooklyn's Elizabeth Butters in an anachronism, a 21st century city girl who should have been born in 1930s Appalachia. She plays traditional American music from pre-war days, folk blues that she sings with sweetness and simplicity, strumming her dulcimer and performing in period attire with a stately grace that nullifies any accusations of shtick or pastiche. This show celebrates the release of Butters' debut LP, available exclusively on vinyl of course, and the launch of new local record label Top Magic Records. The Sisters Lucas, Danny Kroha and Kelly Jean Caldwell open. Doors at 9 p.m. at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543; $5.

Earth Day 420 Style

On the first April 20 since Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana, celebrations are sure to abound. Earth Day 420 Style gets into the act with DJs Shane LaChappelle and Sharif spinning house all night, a sustainable and hemp fashion show featuring threads from Wound, HempHoodLamb and Sativabags and an appearance by house guru and producer Anthony Attalla. Slide into the ethers beginning at (when else?) 4:20 p.m. with the party continuing until 1 a.m. at Rags, 1376 Broadway, Detroit; 313-878-2436; tickets are $15 advance, contact Green Trees of Detroit at 313-967-9999.

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