Arts > Night and DayNight and Day
TOLSTOY ... MARQUEZ ... FREY?
To gain entry to the illustrious inner circle of Oprah's Club of Books, only to have it all snatched away in an hourlong episode of talk show defamation (ouch, biyatch!), is the mark of a true deviant. Forget "memories" penned of substance abuse and hard times — James Frey, author of the 2003 semi-fictitious memoir A Million Little Pieces, caused some major controversy in 2006 when portions of his best-selling book were proven false. After which, the ex-junkie (or was he?) suffered through a very public and very hilarious verbal smackdown on Winfrey's show. Still, Frey's not quite ruined, and he's at it again — this time, writing a purely fictional, nonfactual, make-believe novel about life in L.A. Think Crash, but with sentences. That look like. This. Frey will be signing copies of Bright Shiny Morning at 7 p.m. at Borders, 612 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-7652.
GLOW IN THE DARK TOUR
Despite enormous success on the airwaves, a frequent complaint of hip hop is that it doesn't always translate well to the main stage. This idea, however, is being challenged for a second time this spring — following Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige's impressive Auburn Hills appearance last month, Kanye & Co. are geared up for a knock-yer-socks-off, futuristic performance in the same venue. (The aesthetic theme? Spaceships.) The highly opinionated and almost sickeningly successful artist will perform with some of rap and R&B's best — Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills, 5 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-377-0100.
PRINCE OF DARKNESS II
Nearly 17 years after Miles Davis' death, Wallace Roney, the only trumpeter Davis mentored, unabashedly continues to run the Miles Davis voodoo down. This weekend's stand includes a special birthday tribute on Sunday, which marks Wallace's 48th birthday and what would have been Miles' 82nd (unless you go with the Miles scholars who place his birthday a day later). As part of the festivities, Roney will perform several Davis compositions, share his Davis reminisces and tap others (like Detroit bassist Ralphe Armstrong) for theirs. At Arturo's Jazz Theatre & Restaurant, at 25333 W. 12 Mile Rd., just west of Telegraph Rd. (in the Star Theatre Complex), Southfield; 248-357-6009. (Need more jazzy choices this weekend? Consider Michael Weiss Friday and Saturday at the Music Hall Jazz Café; Marcin Wasilewski Trio on Saturday at the Firefly, Shahida Nurullah on Saturday at Bakers, Kathy Kosins Wednesday-Saturday at the Dirty Dog.)
ROCK ON, SIS
A pretty stellar lineup will be performing for the benefit of Laura Rock — a singer, bartender, and devotee of the local music scene — as she recovers from an emergency liver transplant. The money made from this concert will help defray her health insurance and medicine costs. The lineup includes Electric Six, SSM, Johnny Headband, Carjack, Deastro, and Lansing group the Meatmen. And that's not the only group effort from this intergenerational lineup. Later this year, the some of the Electric Six guys plan to help the Meatmen on an all-cover LP of shock rocker Tesco Vee's favorite songs, including songs by the Fugs, ABBA, Slade, Thin Lizzy and "a rompin'-stompin' cover of Jimmy Dean's 'Big Bad John.'" Neat! At 6:30 p.m. at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac, 248-858-9333; $15 advance and door.
DONNA SUMMER ALBUM RELEASE PARTY
IN THE COURT OF DISCO QUEEN
Life lesson of the day: There are fair-weather friends, and others who always love to love you, baby. Tom Gilliam, whose stuck by Donna Summers as president of her fan club for 15-or-so years is in the latter group, which before the advent of the Web meant mailing out a couple thousand newsletters four times a year to keep the true followers abreast of the disco diva's doings. To celebrate Crayons (Burgundy), her new release — yes, she still records regularly — Gilliam is organizing a party at Diamond Jack, where he tends bar, including Summer impersonators, DJ Jim Shaff and giveaways of Summer discs and such for bad girls and bad boys. $3 cover. 19650 W. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-336-8680.
NIRVANA-ISH POSEURS, THEY ARE NOT
Emerging in the mid-'90s as yet another grunge combo, Local H soon proved their mettle following the release of their critically-extolled 1996 album, As Good As Dead. The duo gained a modicum of mainstream success following chart-climbing singles like "Bound for the Floor" and "Eddie Vedder," but have since remained somewhat under the radar. That is, until a recent reworking of the Britney Spears' song "Toxic." And that shit was everywhere. At Alvin's, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-633-6326 for info.
YOU! WILL! BE! DANCING!
The songs of Los Campesinos! are just lush with lyrical idiosyncrasy. Opening lines to the catchy ditty "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" aptly showcase absurdist humor: "When you play pass the parcel with human body parts, somebody might get head — but someone will get hurt." Hee. Deep. The Welsh indie-punk septet formed at Cardiff University in 2006 and boasts both smarmy and dreamy vocals, with backing instrumentals including violin, melody horn and glockenspiel. With Jeffery Lewis and the Jitters at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Tickets $12.
It, uh, must have been hard in the '90s to combine hilarity and AIDS in the same three-hour window (though, this century, Matt Stone and Trey Parker did an admirable job of it in Team America). Somehow, humorist and playwright Paul Rudnick managed to pull it off in the gay romantic comedy, Jeffrey. The production follows the life of gay actor-waiter Jeffrey, whose choice to opt for celibacy amidst safe sex frustrations takes a twist when he falls for a man with HIV. Jeffrey will run at 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays starting May 16 through June 9 at The Ringwald Theatre 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-556-8581 or whowantscaketheatre.com for more information.