Night and Day

Springfed Arts in the Park
This new weekly event celebrates the literary arts and the literati who love and practice them. Springfed Arts hosts these outdoor performances that feature poets, writers, singers, spoken word artists and more. It kicks off with M.L. Liebler and the Magic Poetry Band performing with Faruq Z. Bey and Ron English, and happens from noon to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Aug. 25, at the Beatrice Buck Park across from the Carr Center, 311 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-965-8430 or for info.

Windsor International Fringe Festival
Now in its third year, the Fringe Festival showcases both amateur and veteran performers and troupes from as near as Detroit and as far as Australia, presenting works in informal settings at a low cost. Zero censorship, no artistic direction and complete accessibility to both audience and artist are the guiding tenets of Canadian Fringe Festivals, making this event an exciting incubator for fresh actors and innovative new works. The schedule includes pieces such as Breaking Down in America, a spoken-word work incorporating photos and videos that tells the story of one man's journey across the country in a busted Caddy, and The Man Who Fell in Love with a Tuba about ... well, really, the title says it all. Along with all the drama, the fest also includes a buskers' festival, a kids' fringe fest and Visual Fringe, an exhibit of artwork displayed in stores, storefronts and restaurants. Performances at venues throughout Windsor; see for a complete schedule and further info.

Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven is the kind of band that seems to beg for the use of hyphenates. The quartet has been described as everything from art-rock to psych-prog to electro-rock to plain old experimental indie. What began as the solo project of singer-instrumentalist Jon Philpot is now a quartet of Southerners (all members hail from either Georgia or Alabama) residing in Brooklyn and creating a seemingly unclassifiable racket (really, there are but two kinds of music: good and bad). After releasing its debut disc in 2007, the band hit its stride with last year's follow-up, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. Featuring Philpot's soft vocals resonating eerily amid lush synths, expansive choruses and bubbling electronics, the music is indeed a kind of proggy pop, er, good, with swirling, echoing atmospheres fitting neatly into three-to-four-minute tracks. It's a sound that's epic in scope if not in length. The quartet performs in support of the disc with Twin Sister and Mountain Man at 9 p.m. at the Blind Pig, 208 N. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555; $10.

Merle Haggard
One of the prime practitioners of the Bakersfield sound — country music that eschewed Nashville's overproduction for grit and twang — in the 1960s, Merle Haggard made his name as the "working man's poet" who sang about hard times and the common man's blues. He was, as they say, a badass, and an early practitioner of "outlaw" country. After a youth of petty larceny punctuated by jail time (possibly apocryphal stories have him watching three of Johnny Cash's San Quentin concerts), Haggard sought salvation in music, scoring hits with songs such as "Mama Tried," "Okie from Muskogee" and "The Fightin' Side of Me." It was the last two — which challenged anti-Vietnam War protesters — that earned him a rep as a right-wing patriot, although Haggard himself ignored political distinctions. The Hag continued to score hits throughout the '70s and '80s thanks to his authentic sound and baldly honest lyrics. Lauded by everyone from Elvis Costello to Don Was, Haggard released his latest disc, I Am What I Am, in April. See him at 7 p.m. at the Pease Auditorium at West Cross Street and College Place, Ypsilanti; tickets $45-$60 at

Wyandotte Garden Trolley Tour
Horticulturists, botanists and ordinary floral enthusiasts will be treated to a narrated tour of some of Wyandotte's lush gardens and historic homes on the annual Garden Trolley Tour. The tour begins at the Wyandotte Museum's historic Ford-MacNichol Home, where participants can soak up the graceful Queen Anne architecture and learn about 19th century gardening techniques. Then it's all aboard the trolley for a guided exploration of the gardens, along with a brief stop to enjoy chamber music and desserts. Tours depart at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. from the Ford-MacNichol Home, 2610 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-324-7284; $15. 

La Chispa & Company Benefit Show
Locally renowned flamenco dancer and choreographer Valeria Montes, aka "La Chispa" ("The Spark" for those who don't habla español), and her company perform to raise money for wellness treatments for Detroit artist and educator Mary Laredo Herbeck. Montes' sultry dancing will be accompanied by flamenco singer Chayito Champión and guitarist José Vega. Singer-songwriter Ismael Duran opens the show. Herbeck is the curator of exhibitions at the Ellen Kayrod Gallery and co-founder of the Southwest Artists Network of Detroit (SWAN). An exhibit of her and other SWAN members' artwork will be featured. At 6 p.m. at the Mexicantown International Mercado, 2826 Bagley St., Detroit; info at 313-530-2710; $20, $40 VIP.

Swim Lane
In this group show, four artists explore swim lanes not as literal paths through pools and body of waters, but as metaphors for negotiating the complexities of life. The paths that artists George Rahme, Lauren Rice, Ian Swanson and Graem Whyte lead viewers down diverge in distinct and individual ways, providing four original perspectives on how to negotiate the convoluted map of modern life. Swim Lane opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at 2739 Edwin Gallery, 2739 Edwin, Hamtramck; displays Saturdays through Aug. 14 with an artists' talk and gallery tour at 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 7.

Detroit and Issues
The city is the subject in Cass Café's latest artistic offering. Local artists taking a stab at portraying Detroit and its issues (issues? what issues?) include fairy painter and Joy Toy creator Gwen Joy, artist and illustrator Aaron Zorn, documentary photographer Karpov the Wrecked Train, and painter Jason Clark. Goodtime rockers the Wrong Numbers, featuring the impressively soulful Clark as singer, perform at the opening. At 7 p.m. at Cass Café, 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400; displays through Sept. 18.

Detroit's 309th Birthday Party
You won't find pin the tail on the donkey at this annual bash, but you will find ways to celebrate the city you love. The Dance Thru History Company will present The Belles and Bachelors of Fort Detroit, telling the story of Judge Woodward and Detroit's role in the War of 1812. Visitors can also trace their family genealogy, learn about Native American culture, munch on complimentary birthday cake and enjoy kiddie crafts and games. The museum will also be offering a birthday present to history buffs — discounts on museum memberships. Oh, boy! From 1 to 4 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7935.

Sonic Orphans
Photographer and filmmaker Bill Daniel documents fringe elements of our culture, capturing margin-dwellers such as graffiti hobo artists and rural drag racers in his pics and vids. With Sonic Orphans, Daniel presents a series of found music "videos" shot from 1965 through 1987 — clips that run the luminary gamut of the Beatles and Johnny Cash to punk rockers the Huns and Boy Problems, all of them rescued from obscurity (you mean they haven't even been shown on YouTube?!) and destruction. Alongside the films, Daniel will display a series of photos documenting the burgeoning Austin, Texas, punk scene of the early '80s. Doors at 7 p.m., films at 8 p.m. at the Cave, located in the Russell Industrial Center, building 4, floor 3, 1604 Clay St., Detroit; 248-755-1207; $5.

Lightning Bolt
Noise rock drum-and-bass duo Lightning Bolt specializes in unrelenting sonic assaults. Maniacal bass riffs are coupled with manic, frenzied drumming and indecipherable vocals screamed through a telephone receiver sewn into a knit mask worn by drummer-singer Brian Chippendale. In short, it's intense (not to mention kind of terrifying). The band has released five discs since its late '90s inception in Providence, R.I.; the latest, Earthly Delights, hit the street last year. But Lighting Bolt can only be truly experienced live — the holy trinity of volume, speed and mesmerizing repetition reaches dizzying heights, the earth shatters, your mind melts and the word "noise" becomes another annoying beast entirely. At 7 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; $8; all ages.

Kurt Vile
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Kurt Vile creates amiable, good-time tunes that straddle the line between psych-folk and classic rock. His lo-fi breeziness barely conceals the ghosts of radio sing-along rock stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and John Mellencamp. Indeed, Vile's music hints of wistful nostalgia for a time he couldn't possibly remember, but the twentysomething singer plays it convincingly. His soft-spoken vocals and fuzzy production add to the effect, which can be heard on his critically acclaimed discs Constant Hitmaker and Childish Prodigy. At 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $12; all ages; with Real Estate and Swimsuit.

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