Events in Detroit with Staff Pick

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'Detroit Future History' closing reception

Sat., Jan. 18, 4-8 p.m.
Irwin House Gallery 2351 Grand Blvd., Detroit Greater Detroit Area


DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY explores those distinct moments, memories and imaginings that define our great city. If you haven't visited, please come check us out before the show closes. If you've been here or been part of of some of the recent programming - including the opening reception, artist talk with Darin Darby and Delores Slowinski, M.L. Liebler's PoetryMusicArt Jam, John Sims Detroit Art Residency and the Sorrento Project, VidaAfroLatina's film screening, or Dancing by Day with Detroit Diaspora - we THANK YOU and invite you back for a closer look and an intimate afternoon with the artists. We'll be here all day with artisan teas and cocktails, powerful Detroit art (much of it for sale!), and more... Featured artists include: Brian Nickson, Carolyn Thompson, Damon Chamblis, Darin Darby, Dolores Slowinski, James Charles, Morris, Jeni Wheeler, Jonathan Harris, Jon DeBoer, John Sims, Kathleen Rashid, Lance Johnson, Melissa Vize, Robert W. Clark III and Waleed Johnson with special contributions by Eric's I've Been Framed, M.L. Liebler, and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN).

The Matrix

Sat., Jan. 18, 2 & 8 p.m.
Redford Theatre 17360 Lahser Rd, Detroit Greater Detroit Area


“One, nothing wrong with me. Two, nothing wrong with me. Three, nothing wrong with me. Four, nothing wrong with me.” Why are we singing the lyrics to Drowning Pool’s 2001 banger “Bodies” in a blurb intended for the 1999 film The Matrix, you may ask? Well, first of all, mind your own business. Second, YouTube user thehizouseV1 made a pretty sick mashup video using the song against Matrix footage in 2007 that we stumbled upon by simply searching the terms “The Matrix and Drowning Pool.” Anyway, maybe we’re purposefully not talking about The Matrix because we’re living in the Matrix. Think about it: it’s a film about a race of machines that enslave humanity by trapping us in a virtual-reality simulation so they can harvest our energy. It’s a lot more entertaining when a hot-ass Keanu Reeves is bending over backward, dodging bullets as Neo than, say, being forced to face our own reality in 2020, which is eerily similar to the film’s fictional digital hellscape. Fun fact: Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Johnny Depp were all approached for the role of Neo, but all turned it down. Smith apparently picked the dud pill when he opted to star in Wild Wild West instead because, at the time, he didn’t understand the Wachowskis’ Matrix pitch.

Structures of Light

Through Jan. 31
Culture Lab Detroit 1301 Broadway St, Detroit Downtown Detroit


For Structures of Light, a joint show from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Playground Detroit, artist and educator Scott Klinker uses new LED neon technology to transform a downtown Detroit space into a light-up wonderland — “like entering the space of a glowing, geometric line drawing,” according to the event curators. Should make a great selfie photo op.

Klinker is currently Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook, where he received his MFA in 1996. Klinker led the product design program at the Kanazawa International Design Institute in Japan, where he founded his independent studio, Scott Klinker Design, and has worked with clients like Herman Miller, Alessi, Steelcase, Landscape Forms, Burton Snowboards, and more.

Opening reception from 6-9 p.m.

313-649-7741

Preoccupations: Palestinian Landscapes

Through Feb. 8
Holding House Gallery 3546 Michigan Ave., Detroit Greater Detroit Area


Here, the word “preoccupations” is a double entendre — it can refer to both Palestinians’ longstanding preoccupation with landscape art, but also Israel’s occupation of Palestine, which has transformed the terrain with military checkpoints and the West Bank wall. Curated by Kathy Zarur, this show features photos, paintings, and mixed-media from Palestinian artists Ryah Aqel, Zeina Barakeh, C. Gazaleh, Najib Joe Hakim, Manar Harb, Yazan Khalili, Suhad Khatib, and Mary Tuma. The show’s run includes a panel discussion and brunch at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12; a conversation between Zarur and University of Michigan Islamic Arts lecturer Sascha Crasnow about the challenges of curating exhibitions of Palestinian art in the U.S. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16; a “Building a Palestine Library” event from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25; a zine-making worksop from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1; and a closing reception from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.

C. Gazaleh, "Flight Over Jerusalem," 2015. Ink on paper.

Through Feb. 22
Simone DeSousa Gallery 444 W. Willis St., Units 111 and 112, Detroit Midtown


Simone DeSousa Gallery has two exhibitions opening on Saturday. Always Sometimes Never is a solo exhibition of paintings by Timothy van Laar, made up of new works alongside selected works from the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, I went to work but I did not get there has new work from Ryan Standfest, which draws on Standfest’s love of all things old-school, like comic strips and tabloid newsprint. (313) 833-9000

American Paintings from Nancy and Sean Cotton Collection, 1850-1940

Through April 5


This partnership with the the Detroit Institute of Arts exhibits 40 paintings made during the 90 years between 1850 and 1940 — a period of time that includes the Civil War, World War I, and the outset of World War II. The collection, “drawn from a turbulent epoch, presents a fascinating historical snapshot,” according to organizers. “If art is a mirror of its time, what do these forty paintings say about the ninety-years between 1850 and 1940?” Works include Seymour Joseph Guy, Carl Hirschberg, and Thomas Moran, among others.

Opening reception from 5-7 p.m on Friday, Jan. 10. Runs through Sunday, April 5.

(248) 370-3005

Detroit Public Library Presents Susan Rice

Sun., Jan. 19, 2-4 p.m.
Main | Detroit Public Library 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit Midtown

Buy TicketsFree


Susan Rice is calling bullshit. Rhodes Scholar and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama tore into President Donald Trump after he blamed the Obama administration for funding the very missiles that struck Iraqi bases last week. “This is another series of despicable lies by President Trump,” Rice told MSNBC. “The fact that three years after taking office he remains obsessed with President Obama shows President Trump’s extreme weakness & insecurity.” In her 500-page New York Times 2019 bestselling memoir, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For, Rice takes an opportunity to reclaim her voice outside of U.S. politics while also walking the reader through the experience of being tasked with incredibly difficult decisions on behalf of the country and what it was like to disagree with, yet endorse, the president’s military action in Syria. Tough Love takes the reader through many of the turning points in Rice’s career, including Benghazi, Black Hawk Down in Somalia, and the Rwandan genocide, to her first contact with Obama in 2004, the emotional toll of her parents’ painful divorce, and motherhood. Rice will appear at the Detroit Public Library’s main branch for a discussion and book signing. 313-481-1300

Ashanti

Sun., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Sound Board 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit Downtown Detroit

Buy from Ticketmaster$41-$55


When you hear Ja Rule let out a “Woo! Right back atchya,” you just know that an early 2000s Ashanti banger is about to drop. Since signing to Ja’s Murder Inc. Records at just 21 years old — which is when she released her No. 1 bop “Foolish” and award-winning, self-titled debut record — Ashanti, now 39, is ready to return to her R&B roots. Last year, the “Rock Wit U’’ singer appeared as herself on an episode of the Dynasty reboot on CW, launched a swimwear collaboration with PrettyLittleThing online boutique, and teased new tracks from her forthcoming record, due out this year, marking her first LP since 2014’s Braveheart. Though Ashanti’s breathy tonality may not scale to Jennifer Hudson-level heights, what has set her apart is her “I have a secret” vocals, which, according to a forgetful Ja Rule, may have ended up on a song for Jennifer Lopez? Weird. During an interview with Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Cohen asked Ja about a rumor that suggests Ashanti sang J.Lo’s parts on their 2001 collaboration, “I’m Real.” While Ja may not know if her vocals ended up on the final cut, as Ashanti suggested in 2014, he did say he wrote the track for J.Lo but enlisted Ashanti to demo it as a reference because Ja didn’t have the vocal chops to make it sound enticing. Ashanti stoked these rumors in 2014, adding that it was bittersweet, considering she wanted the song for herself but was flattered that J.Lo ended up using her vocals. Talk about Big Libra Energy.

Charivari Bowl Series

Sun., Jan. 19, 5 p.m., Thu., Jan. 23, 5 p.m., Sun., Feb. 9, 5 p.m., Sun., March 8, 5 p.m. and Sun., March 22, 5 p.m.
Bowlero Lanes & Lounge 4209 Coolidge Hwy., Royal Oak Greater Royal Oak Area


While it was recently redesigned with a decidedly rock ’n’ roll vibe, Royal Oak’s Bowlero is the perfect home for a new biweekly DJ night hosted by Charivari, the free, three-day electronic music festival set to return to Detroit for its seventh year in August — the groovy lounge calls to mind the nocturnal playboy described in the lyrics of A Number of Names’ proto-techno hit “Sharevari.” Anyway, each night of the Charivari Bowl series features 10 Detroit-based DJs and two stages. Sunday features Mike Brown, Bruce Bailey, Jarsych, Tony Foster, Walter Glasshouse, and Raymond Hill on the Bowling Alley Stage, and Pat Osiris, DJN10se, Pilar Cote, Powdrblu, Mike Rott, Darron Merritt, and DJN10se on the Bar Stage. The event continues on Feb. 9 and 23, and March 8 and 22. (248) 549-7500

Detroit's Museum District celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mon., Jan. 20, 8 a.m.


Just two months before embarking on his historic March on Washington, D.C., in 1963 when more than 200,000 people descended upon the National Mall in support of economic and civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the largest march against racial injustice ever in Detroit. More than 125,000 people participated in Detroit’s Walk to Freedom in June 1963, which traveled down Woodward Avenue, concluding at Cobo Hall, where King delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech. There are many ways to honor Dr. King on MLK Day, including the 35th Annual Peace Walk in Southfield, the 17th annual MLK rally at Detroit’s St. Matthew’s/St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, and the Walk for Peace and Justice at Comerica Park. Meanwhile, both the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts will offer a free afternoon of MLK-themed programming. The DIA will open its doors during off-hours to offer docent-led talks throughout the Detroit Collects gallery, as well as a book-making workshop (perfect for penning your own peaceful manifesto), and a screening of King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, which follows Dr. King from 1955-1968 and includes rare footage of protests, arrests, and speeches. Over at The Wright, the holiday kicks off with a ticketed keynote speaker event with a breakfast buffet. The rest of the day’s free programming spans kids activities, panel discussions, performance artists, as well as a screening of 2014’s Selma. 313-494-5800

Rebirth Brass Band

Mon., Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
Magic Bag 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale Downtown Ferndale

Buy from Ticketmaster$25


The New York Times has referred to the Rebirth Brass Band as “a New Orleans institution,” and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea once called the ensemble “free as a ray of light,” adding “there is not a band on Earth that is better.” For more than 35 years, the Rebirth Brass Band has upheld the tradition of brass bands while also exploring funk and hip-hop for a sound that is equal parts technique and feeling, resulting in what co-founding member Phil Frazier once lovingly referred to as “junk music.” Formed in 1983 by Phil and Keith Frazier, the Rebirth Brass Band has done everything from performing to sold-out music halls to starring in Treme, an HBO series about their neighborhood following Hurricane Katrina, to maintaining a standing Tuesday night residency at the historic Maple Leaf Bar in Uptown New Orleans. 248-544-1991;

Hazel, Ravines, and Downtown Crab Trap takeover

Mondays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 16
Hazel, Ravines and Downtown 34977 Woodward Ave., Birmingham Greater Birmingham Area


Winter in Michigan means one thing: everyone is so dang crabby. The lack of sunlight, the promise of snow, frigid temperatures, and, to top it off, the perfect hair day is beyond out of reach, thanks to this stupid hat and static electricity. Though spring break may feel like an eternity away, the folks over at Birmingham eatery Hazel, Ravines, and Downtown are bringing a bit of the Gulf Coast to our frosty Mitten state. Starting Jan. 21, Hazel’s will undergo a temporary makeover when it transforms into Hazel’s Crab Trap. The heart of the special event menu, which will be available through Feb. 16, is fresh stone crab, which will be flown in fresh from Florida daily. The crab event follows in the footsteps of the restaurant’s popular Lobster Pound takeover last summer and will also offer hushpuppies, conch fritters, alligator bites, several fresh grouper items, Cedar Key Clams, Buffalo calamari, as well as amped-up raw bar offerings, including king and snow crab, oysters, and shrimp. Even vegan Detroit pop-up Street Beet has gone coastal, creating a vegan addition to Hazel’s Crab Trap menu in the form of the Not-So-Crabby-Patty sandwich. Oh, and to make it feel a bit more like a vacation, Hazel’s will also offer frozen margaritas and daiquiris because just kill us already.

Metro Times This is Brunch 2020

Sat., Feb. 8, 11 a.m.
Majestic Theatre 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit Midtown


There’s no better way to chase away a hangover than brunch with friends. And Metro Times is once again bringing together the best restaurants in town with one mission: unite to cure Detroit’s hangover.

Brunch tastings, bloody mary’s, mimosas, boozy brunch drinks, beer, and champagne - plus bowling at the nation's oldest bowling alley, Garden Bowl (first come, first serve). It’s the ultimate cure for a Friday night party — and a great start to another night on the town!

GENERAL ADMISSION ENTRY:
Unlimited brunch tastings while supplies last
6 drink tickets

VIP ENTRY (LIMITED VIP Tickets Available so hurry!):
Unlimited brunch tastings while supplies last
8 drink tickets
Commemorative glass
VIP area with exclusive cocktails and brunch tastings

Restaurants and vendors added daily. Check the website or Instagram for updates. (313) 833-9700

Nicole Byer

Fri., Feb. 14, 7 p.m.
Majestic Theatre 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit Midtown

Buy from Ticketmaster$25+


Sometime in 2018, when the cooking show competition bubble popped, something beautiful emerged. Instead of heated competition between the top tier of chefs, bakers, and makers, along came a show called Nailed It! which celebrates the A for effort spirit with host and comedian Nicole Byer. No one is better suited to let people down gently and celebrate — and laugh at — the ugliest, most demented looking, shitty-tasting cakes, cookies, and treats quite like Byer, who is as sweet as she is funny. Oh, she’s also host of the Why Won’t You Date Me? podcast where she dishes on her chronic blow-job-loving single-life with guests who may or may not have the answer to the podcast’s titular question. (313) 833-9700

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