In one ear


If you plan just right, this Saturday could just hit musical critical mass and explode in a supernova of chords, notes, strings, drums, solos, harmonies and chori – or is it choruses? Observe: The human suffering in the Balkans that may seem a world away to some strikes close to home for others, particularly here in Detroit, with the metro area’s relatively large population of Albanian and eastern European immigrants. Alleviating the suffering of Kosovar refugees is a monumental task that has mobilized the Albanian Relief Effort, a grass roots project to collect funds to send health, hygiene, education and personnel resources to the beleaguered region. This Saturday, Detroit’s Immigrant Suns – a group whose boundary-crossing music has strong ties to Albanian folk music and instrumentation – headline a benefit concert for the A.R.F at Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., on the campus of Wayne State). Sharing this eclectic, world-music-focused bill are Irish folk group the Lash, Albanian folk-pop group Albanet and the acoustic world sounds of guitar duo Blackman & Arnold.

As the sounds of the world are at your doorstep, so should be an appreciation for the lives and cultures of others. In that spirit, this night promises to be special, indeed. Cover is $7 and the show kicks off at 9 p.m. Call 313-832-2355 for more info.

Saturday also marks the return to the DIA of jazz guitarist A. Spencer Barefield’s Creative Arts Collective. For 13 years the CAC presented the "Creative Music at the DIA" series until 1992, when state funding cuts forced the DIA to shut down its Performing Arts Department – of which "Creative Music" was part. Ironically, the CAC was awarded the Governors’ Arts Award that same year – can you say bittersweet? Well, this Saturday, Barefield and jazz bass legend-composer Reggie Workman combine their considerable musical strengths to perform an evening of works by John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington as well as original works by the two principals. The concert takes place in the DIA’s Recital Hall at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors and CAC members). Call the CAC at 313-891-2514 or the DIA box office at 313-833-4005 for more info.

A wise man once said to me, "If there weren’t so many rock bands in Detroit, I’d start a rock band." One of those outfits that is setting that particular bar high – if I’m to take this fellow’s comments in proper context – is the relatively new power-pop trio, the Numbers. The quick-fast-in-a-hurry stats on the Numbers are this: three guys, 10 strings, a handful of chords and a singular romantic notion of tight guitar pop with the energy to carry the day. Formed less than a year ago, the three young dudes have managed to gel into a unified wall of riffage and harmony. The Numbers only recently started taking it to the stage – proving the wisdom of letting a band’s sound gestate properly before unveiling it in public – but have stunned cynical Detroit rock fans (yours truly included) with their lust for live. They’ve spent some time in Rustbelt studios recently with producer Al Sutton, too, and the results are an encouraging amalgam of classic pop sounds (Who, Beatles, etc.) and postmodern edge (plus, and this may not be what he wants to hear, Tudrick’s vocals on record are at times reminiscent in strength and sound to one Bono). Get on out to 313.jac this Saturday (624 Brush, above Jacoby’s Bar & Restaurant) and get inspired to not have to start another rock band. The Numbers have it well in hand. Call 313-962-7067 for more info.

Lend your dancing feet

Detroit acid jazz phenoms Jazodity are throwing a party this Sunday, May 16 for a very different cause. The octet’s guitarist, Marcel Fouch, was beaten up by thugs after an April 10 gig. The beating was so bad that it not only caused amnesia, but the damage to his teeth requires ongoing reconstructive dental surgery. As is the case with many full-time musicians, he lacks adequate health care to cover the $3,000-$5,000 bill for the work. Friends and bandmates, though, are hoping the proceeds from what promises to be a damn fun night of musical celebration will offset costs. Jazodity, which recently released its debut CD In the Mix, tears up dance floors with its groove-friendly virtuosity. Add to the evening’s mix funk outfit Psyfunk, plus Sugarfoot and DJDave Z., and you’d best dress to sweat Saturday night at Greektown’s Music Menu (511 Monroe). Call 313-964-MENU for more info; write Jazodity c/o 3852 Bagley, Detroit, MI48216.

In two weeks read the truth about Outrageous Cherry and the year 2000 and reach dizzying heights.

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