Downtown Ferndale, Free
Join Metro Times and The Woodward Avenue Brewers (WAB) for a weekend full of outdoor fun in downtown Ferndale July 13th-15th. Pig & Whiskey is free to attend and all ages are welcome! Attendees will enjoy the flavorful fare from SE Michigan’s best BBQ restaurants, including Detroit BBQ Company, Lockhart’s BBQ, Redsmoke Barbeque, RUB BBQ Pub & Catering, Slows To Go, Smokin’ BarBQ and Union Woodshop / Vinsetta Garage. To cool off, Treat Dreams will serve their unique ice cream flavors.New for 2012, Pig & Whiskey’s “Cocktail Corner” will showcase original whiskey drinks from local these favorites: Cadillac Jack’s, Café Muse, Cooley Lake Inn, Imperial, McClure’s, The Oakland and Toast Birmingham and more! Over 40+ whiskeys are available to sample plus a beer tent full of local microbrews. Tickets will cost $2.50 each, or 10 for $20. Cash only. Pig & Whiskey will also feature an exciting line-up of entertainment! Friday acts include Ty Stone, Passalaqua, Jamaican Queens, FUR and American Mars. Saturday will include Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band, Frontier Ruckus, Lord Scrummage, The Beggars, Dutch Pink and Jeecy and the Jungle. Sunday will conclude with Electric 6, The Hard Lessons, Child Bite, K.I.D.S, illymack and Dragon Wagon. Friday’s “Pre-Party” serves as a kick-off for the weekend’s festivities, with select restaurants on-site and an array of Jack Daniels brands to sample. Hours are 6:00 p.m. to midnight. The main event runs Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to midnight, complete with the full list of restaurants and whiskey brands offered.
The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor.
NO MANDOLIN IS AN ISLAND Fans of folk should look forward to this Friday night of Michigan-based rootsy folk music, with several bands coming together for a big show. Ann Arbor’s Dragon Wagon, self-described as “bluegrass folk rock with a shot of Irish whiskey,” is hosting a release party for a new full-length album at the Blind Pig on Friday, so expect a night of honky-tonk stomp, fiddle and mandolin, with the appropriate dancing and whooping. Also on the bill is Back Forty, a band from western Michigan that describes its sound as “funkgrass,” as well as another Ann Arbor-based folk outfit Match by Match. The show will all be held together by emcee Nickie P. It all starts at 9 p.m. at 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555.
Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle, Royal Oak.
Comedian Kevin McCaffrey describes himself as “not the crazy props guy, the crazy angry guy, or the crazy fat guy. At least not yet.” We’d describe him as a storyteller, a man of letters. A Midwesterner at heart (from Chicago, to be exact) and a New Yorker by destiny, Kevin is a contributing monologue writer for The Late Show with David Letterman and a commentator on TruTV’s World’s Dumbest. This weekend, he returns to Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle to do four shows. Kevin’s style is a marriage of the two places he’s called home: He’s both laid-back and confident, the kind of unassuming guy you’d meet at a party and think, “This guy has a lot of crazy stories.” Asked about his style, Kevin says, “What I do is: I try to say stuff that’s funny.” On paper, this sounds like a bit of gruff New York sarcasm, but it’s also good, old-fashioned Midwestern modesty. What Kevin does is disarm us, with an “It’s not just me, right?” demeanor. He reminds us that it’s a weird world out there — and sometimes you’ve just got to laugh. Appears at 8 p.m. Thursday, at 9:30 Friday, and at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, at 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; 248-542-9900; $10 for Thursday’s show, all other shows $15.
THE ART OF ROCK ’N’ ROLL Every year, almost a quarter of a million visitors converge on the streets of downtown Wyandotte for four days of art, food, music and revelry. Marking more than a half-century, this year’s fair will draw hundreds of fine artists from across the state and beyond to offer their handcrafted wares in a fun and festive environment. More than 25 food vendors will offer the usual fair fare, and you can nosh on much more than elephant ears at the many restaurants in the compact downtown. Other fun will include street performers, a live green fair with environmentally friendly products and vegetarian food, a children’s activity area with a hands-on creative workshop hosted by the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and entertainment including local bands from Wyandotte and the Downriver area. Another attraction, dubbed Retro Row, will feature artists who trade in the spirit of the ’60s, notably including Carl Lundgren, the well-known fantasy artist and rock poster illustrator who has created poster art for such seminal bands as the Who, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. all four days, with entertainment until 11 p.m. daily.
PJ's Lager House, Detroit.
A BIG BILL FROM LEFT FIELD It’s a fascinating bill at PJ’s Lager House, as the trippy Brit-invasion-influenced alt-rock of Gardens collides with the balls-out, kick-ass punk rock of Kommie Kilpatrick, and the noisy, feedback- and female-heavy trio Body Holographic. The latter wowed and surprised many at the Blowout earlier this year, and they’ll be hoping to carry that momentum forward. Three very different local bands on display here, plus Nashville’s own Natural Child. If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, we don’t know what is. Starts at 9 p.m. at 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $8.
Harmonie Park, Detroit
StoryCorps, a national nonprofit group, travels the country to pursue its mission of recording and preserving the tales told by “Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.” This month, that focus is on stories told from the perspective of Detroiters. Until Aug. 8, the organization will be camped in their mobile studio, in an Airstream trailer, parked outside the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center in Harmonie Park. Selected recordings may be aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, and all interviews are to be archived at the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Want to share your tales of Detroit for the ages? Reserve a slot by by calling StoryCorps any time of day at 1-800-850-4406 or at storycorps.org.