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18 WED • MUSIC Music from the Wires for Ears Vol. II Matthew Dear makes his live debut this week. Sure, he’s done live sets from his laptop before, but this time is unique because he’ll be singing through a Vox to create a true techno pop performance. Dear’s recent album, Leave Luck to Heaven, has been yet another critical home run for Ann Arbor’s Ghostly International label, and his work seeks to bring pop song structure to the darkly sexual side of techno with synth and bass lines that work their way into your spine like a solid champagne buzz. Also on the evening’s bill will be Perspects — they take complex, austere electro tones and work them into songs reminiscent of your favorite pre/post-industrial pornographers — they are forceful without being sterile. And as much as the term “punk-funk” sucks, DC’s Measles Mumps Rubella (also scheduled to perform) makes it OK — so long as you’re not caught saying “punk-funk” in public. At the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit), call 313-833-9700 for further lowdown.

 

18-22 WED-SUN • THEATER Monk For decades now, musicians have been poring over Thelonious Monk’s book of compositions as if it were a sort of jazz Rosetta Stone. But the man behind the music and the manic-depression bedeviling the man have taken center stage in this one-man show written by Laurence Holder and starring Rome Neal. The sound track has an original score by Bill (father of Spike) Lee. The Friday and Saturday shows are followed by the music of Monk performed by Detroiters Kenn Cox, Rodney Whitaker, Vincent Chandler, Cassius Richmond and Bert Myrick. At the SereNgeti Gallery, 2757 Grand River, Detroit. Call 313-963-8099.

 

20 FRI • MUSIC Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters — Her band is called the Firespitters, but that term could just as well apply to front-poet Jayne Cortez. Even on the page, Cortez’s lines are torrents of images — from the earthy to the historical to the surreal. But her live delivery adds an incandescent, incantational edge that lets her move within the music without being overpowered. With her (and Ornette Coleman’s) son Denardo Coleman in the drum seat, and former Ornette associates Bern Nix on guitar and Charnette Moffet on bass, the Firespitters are amply grounded in the “harmolodic” fusion style that Ornette pioneered beginning in the late ’70s. Rounding out the group is baritone saxophonist Alex Harding, a former Detroiter who’s been making serious cutting-edge noise since relocating to the Big Apple. At the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-833-7900). Performances will be at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and will be included in the price of museum admission.

 

21 SAT • THEATER Baba Ishangi — For the past 39 years the Ishangi Family African Dancers from West Africa have brought culture, storytelling, music and native magic to Southfield’s Youtheatre. Sadly and unexpectedly, the family patriarch, Baba Kwame Ishangi, passed away this year. But the show must go on; despite the tragedy, the Ishangi Family has generously decided to continue their tradition and commitment to enlightenment by returning to Michigan to perform the legendary Ishangi’s Africa. Enjoy the customs, history, music and folklore of West Africa at the Millennium Centre (15600 J.L. Hudson Drive, Southfield). Call 248-557-PLAY or visit www.youtheatre.org to reserve tickets.

 

24 TUE • THEATER The Exonerated — It was critically acclaimed by the NYC journos, so it’s probably just a matter of time before the local theater votaries join the ranks of the truly impressed. Based on the real-life stories of death-row prisoners who were subsequently freed by the state, The Exonerated is a sobering look at the American judicial system and its many unforgivable flaws. Starring such celebrity luminaries as Mia Farrow (pictured above), Robert Carradine, Carol Kane and Lynn Redgrave in rotating roles — it looks as if off-Broadway is on the Boulevard. At the Fisher Theatre (3011 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit). Call 313-872-1000 for ticket information. Runs through March 14.

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