WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY DECEMBER 9-12
KILLER GUITAR WANKERY
Elsewhere in this issue, we profile Detroiter Ralphe Armstrong, who joined the jazz-rock fusion scene in the early '70s. There from the beginning was guitarist Larry Coryell, who'd brought his bag of rock and blues licks to the bands of Chico Hamilton and Herbie Mann (on Memphis Underground) before recording his own classic Barefoot Boy, and with groups such as the Eleventh House (with Randy Brecker). A high-functioning eclecticist, he's see-sawed from distorto-electric to classical-style acoustic guitar and played alongside musicians as diverse as Paco DeLucia, Stephane Grappelli and Charles Mingus. There are $30 seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, $40 at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, 97 Kercheval St., Grosse Pointe Farms, 313-882-5299.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 11
Ursula Walker and the Buddy Budson Trio
Ursula Walker is known for getting over the story in a song. But for "The Music in My Life" she'll be using songs to retell her storied life in Detroit music. The set list includes "Be Anything, But Be Mine," the song that made her a local TV child star after she auditioned with it for the Auntie Dee TV show on WXYZ in 1952. Among the later tunes she'll include are "Them There Eyes," the first up-tempo tune she learned, and a version of "Norwegian Wood" that she sang as her signature tune back in the '80s with Brookside Jazz Ensemble's P'Jazz Shows at the Hotel Pontchartrain. That's not to mention the holiday faves she'll add to the mix as she performs with her music and life partner Buddy Budson on piano, plus Marion Hayden on bass and Djallo Djakate on drums. Shows as 7:30 and 9 p.m. at the Arts League of Michigan's Carr Center, 311 E. Grand River, Detroit; $20; 313-965-8430 for reservations and info.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 11
Wound Menswear Fashion Show
FRIDAY NIGHT ALIVE
Over the last year and half, Detroit has continued to see a heightened interest in — and influence on — the fashion world. This Friday night, one of the city's most stylish exports, Wound Menswear, is back in the spotlight after two years in "redevelopment." The internationally recognized label's runway relaunch takes place inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, currently home to an exhibit of Richard Avedon's stunning highbrow fashion photography. This special installment of the DIA's Friday Night Live! series is produced by Detroit by Design and features performances by electro trio ARS, (featuring Joachim Roedelius, best known for his work with German experimental ambient duo Cluster). A couple of womenswear designers, L.A.'s Brit Moore and Portland's Jeannine Shinoda, will join Wound on the runway. At 8 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900. At 10 p.m., head over to the Bankle Building (2944 Woodward Ave., Detroit) for the Detroit by Design holiday party and dig the art installations, including a DBD five-year photo exhibition along with artwork by Nicola Kuperus, Rich Rice, Camilo Pardo, Shades, 323 East and more.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY DECEMBER 11-12
Warren Miller's Dynasty
Whether you cruise, carve, shred or jib, Warren Miller is a good way to kick off your season on the slopes. The legendary filmmaker returns with Dynasty to celebrate 60 years of moviemaking on the world's mountains. Narrated by Olympic mogul medalist Jonny Moseley, the latest rendition takes viewers to slopes in China, Alaska, Norway and British Columbia, as well as sites in the American Rockies for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. From Miller's famous people-watching to aerial stunts to big mountain madness, the movies showcase the best of winter set to an innovative soundtrack. The showing is part of a 240-city tour and is accompanied by plenty of sponsor giveaways (we're still using last year's lip balm, natch!), a raffle and other extras. At 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday, at Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-298-0708.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY DECEMBER 11-13
"A DETROIT HOLIDAY CELEBRATION"
Now in its third year, Woodward Wonderland is Mosaic Youth Theatre's homage to the holiday traditions of Detroit. Through song and dance, more than 90 performers bring to life the places and events of the past, from Toyland on the 12th floor of the old Hudson's store to Chilly Willy's escape at the 1990 Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as portraying current traditions such as ice skating at Campus Martius Park. This year's production features a number of new short plays, along with favorite scenes from years past. The heart-melting holiday fantasy takes place 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Ave.; tickets are $20, but are half-off for Friday's show, available at 313-833-4005 and mosaicdetroit.org.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12
THE MUGGS BREAK IN A CLASSIC
Storied Cass Corridor watering hole Alvin's has been reborn (yet again) thanks to the new ownership that took over the briefly shuttered venue earlier this year. To celebrate its new life — which comes complete with a fireplace, outdoor seating, a revamped stage and sound system, and bathrooms that are actually usable — the bar is hosting a series of six free shows featuring some of Detroit's finest. The Alvin's Resurrection Concert Series will take place once per month, and kicks off this weekend with a performance by classic rockists the Muggs. Next up are garageland originals the Hentchmen on Jan. 16. What's more, the joint's now open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. Yippee! At 9 p.m. at Alvin's, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-638-6300; with Super Dollar.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12
SHOP LOCAL, GODDAMNIT!
Considering our tireless promotion of shopping local, we'd be downright remiss not to mention Detroit Synergy's sixth annual Shop Detroit, a day devoted to holiday shopping at Detroit's mom and pops. Shoppers are privy to special discounts and promotions at participating stores, free shuttle service between downtown, Midtown, New Center and Eastern Market, and special events around town, including free gift-wrapping at the Fisher Building, a fashion show at the RenCen, and gift basket demos in Eastern Market. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., check-in at Compuware World Headquarters, 1 Campus Martius, Detroit; detroitsynergy.org for info. Immediately following Shop Detroit, Inside Detroit is hosting a happy-hour bar crawl for thirsty spenders and anyone else who wants to stagger along. Visit insidedetroit.org for info and tickets ($10).
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12
Winter Clothing Show
The Yes Farm's Winter Clothing Show features old clothes made new, thanks to an artist's touch. Unwanted but still serviceable garments are transformed with stencils and silkscreens, allowing buyers the smug satisfaction of knowing they are wearing truly one-of-a-kind duds. The show also features a performance by Danny "Doll Rod" Kroha of the Readies at 10 p.m. The Yes Farm is a collective of artists, teachers, skilled workers, activists and farmers working to make the arts more accessible to the members of their near east side community. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Yes Farm, 5149 Moran, Detroit; info at theyesfarm.blogspot.com.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12
Christian Marclay: The Sounds of Christmas
SEASONAL JOY, REMIXED!
The Sounds of Christmas is an annual work presented by visual artist and composer Christian Marclay, an innovator of the turntable movement and an artist at the forefront of the exploration of relationship between the visual and aural. The installation, now in its 10th year, features thousands of Christmas LPs made accessible to the public, alongside projections of the record covers and past performances. The project combines the pedestrian sentimentality of Christmas songs with cutting-edge experimentalism, putting a new spin on oft-repeated tunes. The installation runs through Dec. 20, during which time guest artists will put their own mark on Marclay's voluminous collection in a series of special performances. Christian Marclay himself kicks it all off at 7 p.m., opening night, with an improvised set featuring all the performers for the series; it continues with mash-up artists Jon Moshier and Ed Special on Dec. 17, Detroit based musician and multimedia artist Ian Clark (or Perspects) on Dec. 18, and Hamtramck-based installation artist Jeff Karolski on Dec. 19. At the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 12
With his 1995 solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon received critical blow jobs for the rich lyrical imagery he used to portray the seediness and sins of a Mafia empire. Though the disc didn't earn Raekwon the notoriety enjoyed by fellow Wu-Tang members Ol' Dirty Bastard and Method Man, it did help his rep as an influential and innovative emcee in the hip-hop underground. After two more solo discs and continued work with the Clan, Raekwon comes full circle this year with the release of Cuban Linx's long-awaited and much-delayed sequel. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II sees Raekwon rejoined with longtime collaborator Ghostface Killah to continue the story of Mafioso, drugs and violence, and is heralded as that rare thing — a sequel as good as the first. Raekwon rolls into town in support of the disc at 9:30 p.m. at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555; $20, $25 includes copy of Cuban Linx Pt. II.
MONDAY DECEMBER 14
Living in Emergency
HEALING THE WOUNDS OF WAR
Featuring aid workers from the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group Doctors Without Borders, a documentary titled Living in Emergency will show simultaneously in nearly 450 movie theaters nationwide including eight in southeast Michigan. The film follows Western aid workers as they take their idealism to war-torn Congo and post-conflict Liberia, finding that they can heal but only within the limits of the choices and challenges of their environments. The featured doctors are motivated, exhausted and insightful about the human cost of war. The screening will be followed by a live panel discussion broadcast from New York City that includes Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger, Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Doctors Without Borders, and Tom Krueger, a surgeon featured in the documentary. At 7:30 p.m. at various locations, including AMC Livonia 20, (19500 Haggerty Rd., Livonia) and AMC Forum 30 (44681 Mound Rd., Sterling Heights); see fathomevents.com for info on other locations and tickets.