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WEDNESDAY-MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2-7
The Old Miami's Labor Day Benefit
SAVE THE BAR, SAVE THE WORLD
To raise money for potential legal fees in its ongoing property dispute with University Auto, the Old Miami is hosting a six-day blowout of recommended beats, rhymes, bands and everything in between. Performers include Grandad Crunk and Elec/Trik on Wednesday; Bricktown Station, Nobody & the Dead Men (and more!) on Thursday; Marco Polio & the New Vaccines, Bad Party and Taking on the World (and yet more!) on Friday; the Kalashnikovs, Circus Boy, Electric Lions and Vox Pop (and more and more!) on Saturday; Frankie Bank$ with guests on Sunday; and the Party Stompers, the Amino Acids and The Burt Show (and more, more, more!) on Monday. Do your part, support one of the Corridor's best bars, a vital piece of Detroit culture. At the Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830; $5 plus donation at the door.
THURSDAY-MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3-7
Ferndale Film Festival
The so-called fashionable burb is jumping on the Michigan-film-industry bandwagon with its very own brand-spanking-new film fest. The Ferndale Film Festival, or F3 as the kids are calling it, kicks off Thursday with a pre-glow featuring screenings of the micro-mini films — films under 300 seconds made in 45 days or less. The red carpet officially rolls out on Friday with a gala opening featuring the film Creator of God and a movie food buffet (whatever that is). The remainder of the weekend includes tons of screenings, movies under stars, kids flicks and free workshops covering such topics as guerrilla filmmaking, set design, stage fighting and zombie makeup. Events take place at venues throughout Ferndale, including Dino's, Go Comedy! and the Magic Bag. The red carpet opening will set you back a ten-spot; most other screenings are $5 with proceeds benefiting local charities including the Michigan Aids Coalition and Ferndale Youth Association. For a complete lineup and to register for workshops, visit ferndalefilmfestival.org.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4
POTTERY AU NATURALE
Local photographer and ceramist Mariko Brenner is a devoted student of ceramics — she has traveled the world visiting museums, has spent innumerable hours in the studio and has studied the craft endlessly with established artists and at prestigious institutions. Much of Brenner's work draws inspiration from nature, both in the subject matter of her photos and in the shapes and forms found in her ceramic pieces. This pastoral bent can be seen in her latest solo exhibit Mariko Brenner: Lilies of the Field, Ceramics and Digital Photography, which opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lawrence Street Gallery, 22620 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-0394; on display through Sept. 26.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 4-6
Panic in Hamtramck 6
MUSIC, MISCHIEF & MAYHEM
Created by intrepid musician Tim Vulgar, this yearly celebration of the Painted Lady's anniversary, which happily coincides with Hamtown's annual Labor Day fest, features 12 bands from across the country (and across the spectrum of rock 'n' roll) performing over three days. It gets a kick-start on Friday with Greg Ashley (of Cali psyche-rock outfit Gris Gris), the Dial Tones, Rise of the Peace Balloon and dreamy New Detroit songstress Aran Ruth. On Saturday, Gardens is joined by the wonderful warbling country rock of North Carolina's Spider Bags, Austin's Golden Boys and Omaha's Brimstone Howl. And the shindig wraps on Sunday with Tyvek, White Mystery and Mickey (both of Chicago), and Kommie Kilpatrick. Freak the fuck out in Hammie! Doors at 8 p.m. at the Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991; $6 each night.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 5
A TRUE DETROIT LEGEND
In the wake of Elvis during the late '50s, rockabilly stars rose out of regions all over the country — and Detroit had one of the very best in Jack Scott, who's often called the area's "first white rock 'n' roll star." He was born Giovanni Dominico Scafone Jr. in Windsor, but his family relocated to Hazel Park when he was 10, where he grew up listening to "hillbilly" music and learned to play guitar. He scored a double-sided national hit ("My True Love" / "Leroy") in 1958, before entering the U.S. Army, where he recorded some of his best-known and loved hits, including "Goodbye, Baby" and "The Way I Walk," the latter a rockabilly anthem in the late '70s when rerecorded by both the Cramps and Robert Gordon. The great "What in the World's Come Over You" and country crossover "Burning Bridges" — like most of his material, composed by Scott — followed in 1960. Like many artists of the era, the Beatles' arrival rendered him somewhat obsolete, although the legend would continue to grow for years, leading to a session with John Peel for the BBC in the '70s. The mystique has also grown due to how he hardly ever does interviews or plays. Thus, here's a rare opportunity to see a true hometown musical hero up close and in action. Dave Marsh once labeled Scott "undeniably the greatest Canadian rock 'n' roll singer of all time" in Rolling Stone ... and Dave probably had it right. At 9 p.m. as part of the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, downtown Hamtramck. Go to hamtramcklaborday.com for more info.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4-5
A KNEE-SLAPPING GOOD TIME
Despite controversy over the fest's original moniker (who actually gets offended by the name Ypsitucky?), the first ever, PC-titled Jamboree continues with two days of roots, Americana and bluegrass acts from across the Midwest. Performers include the supremely talented Matt Jones, the Macpodz, That 1 Guy, the Ragbirds, October Babies, Chris Bathgate, Black Jake and the Carnies, and more. The Jam also includes kids' activities, displays by local artists and craftspeople, and local grub. The jams will be kicking from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, at Riverside Park, at Huron and Cross streets, Ypsilanti; info at the-jamboree.com. Tickets are $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday in advance; $5 more at the gate.
FRIDAY-MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4-7
Arts, Beats & Eats
YOU LOVE ROCK 'N' ROLL, DON'T YA?
The big buzz surrounding this year's Arts, Beats & Eats (rechristened with the rosy subtitle Festival of Hope) was that the traditionally free festival would start charging an admission of — gasp! — $2. But it's not all bad news; to wit, food and beverage prices have been reduced, parking fees are less in city-run lots, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a slew of local nonprofits, and Friday is free, as long as you slink through the gate by 6 p.m. And the fest still features its traditional draws: works by 150 fine artists; delectable tidbits from 45 restaurants including Coach Insignia, Tribute, Sangria and more; and eight stages of music featuring such godhead national headliners as Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Los Lobos ($2 to see Joan Jett? We are so there!), as well as dozens of local acts including the Muggs, Tone & Niche, Charlie Slick, Lord Scrummage and on and on. Kid-oriented family crafts, displays by the Big Three, interactive art displays, live painting, and dance performances by the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble are also on the agenda. The fest takes place in downtown Pontiac; for a complete lineup and advance tickets, visit artsbeatseats.com.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 5
SUGAR & SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE?
A lesson in contemporary pop culture — if you want to become a pop sensation, just mention Patron Tequila in one of your songs. The latest proof of this maxim is the Paradiso Girls, whose lead single is actually titled "Patron Tequila," and while it may not have catapulted them to superstardom, the girls night out, let's get fucked up on tequila club jam sure is a good start. The five members of the girl group, two years in the making, all hail from different countries and include a DJ, a rapper and three lead singers. Their dance club-oriented sound is a mishmash of pop, R&B and hip hop, featuring such thought-provoking lyrics as "I'm not your bitch/I'm not your ho" and "I'm drunk on margarita." See, it's like the Spice Girls, but with swears! The Girls' debut disc has yet to drop, but in the meantime you can catch their scantily-clad asses in action at 9 p.m. at the Necto, 516 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-5436.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 6
This New Jersey indie-rock outfit traverses the terrains of despair and desolation, delivering sloppy riffs, anthemic melodies and wretched, cracked vocals at breakneck speed. The Airing of Grievances, the group's 2008 debut, which was recently re-released, drew comparisons to Springsteen's working-class ethos and the Pogues' boozy nihilism. But alongside the bluntly bleak lyrics — "your life is over" on repeat, for example — are literate references to everyone from Shakespeare (the band's name is the title of one of his early tragedies) to Camus, giving the anguished intelligent something to chew on. Titus Andronicus performs its raucous brand of misery in support of North Carolina noise rockers Polvo at 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $12; all ages; with Tigercity and the So So Glos.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 8
The Phantom of the Opera
SING FOR ME, YET AGAIN
Even the most anti-musical philistines have probably had some exposure to The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running musical in Broadway history and probably one of the biggest crossover hits in terms of appealing to those who ain't theater-going types. By now, the story — which has earned billions and entertained millions —should be utterly familiar — a masked man lurks beneath the Paris Opera House terrorizing actors and patrons until he falls in love with the young soprano Christine, and turns all his maleficent methods to making her a star. Playing through Sept. 27 at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; tickets start at $23 and can be purchased by calling 800-982-2787 or at broadwayindetroit.com.
Photography — The First 100 Years
SHOOTING FOR A CENTURY
Photography — The First 100 Years: A Survey from the DIA's Collection offers an overview of photography's first century, from its beginnings in the 1830s to its ascendancy to an art form in the 1940s. The exhibit includes many rare images that have not been on view for years, including a Civil War-era photo of an African-American Union soldier and his female companion, and an image of a migrant worker and her children in 1936 California. The shots range from 19th century pictorialism to works documenting life during the Depression to modernist prints. During the exhibit, visitors can take part in a cyanotype drop-in workshop, making their own ultraviolet, light-developed images. Neat-o keen! On display through Jan. 3 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org; free with museum admission.