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WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25
The Jesus Lizard
DO YOU THINK YOU'D LIKE THAT?
The Jesus Lizard formed in '87, helping usher in a new era where screwed-up malcontents of an underground rock scene battled against the glossy image of the pop star. The Chicago-via Austin quartet made grating, abrasive and glorious noise rock with frontman David Yow issuing demented incantations in an eviscerating yowl. Live, they were an unstoppable wrecking crew, with a volatile, out-of-control and often vulgar Yow leading. After releasing six albums and amassing a devoted cult following, the Jesus Lizard disbanded in 1999 and return only for a fleeting reunion tour. Don't miss your last chance (probably) to witness their guitar-driven maelstrom at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $20 advance; with Easy Action.
WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY-SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25, 27-29
Charles Dickens' holiday staple gets made over yet again with local playwright Joseph Zettelmaier's adaptation, Christmas Carol'd. The play takes the classic yarn to new hilariously heartwarming heights, digging even deeper into the lives of the well-worn characters and exploring the parallels between the 19th century London of Scrooge and 21st century America. The world premiere of Christmas Carol'd is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Performance Network Theatre, 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-0681; performances continue Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 27.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26
America's Thanksgiving Parade
Clowns, giant balloons, gaudy floats, papier-mâché heads and a roundup of reality TV "stars," including American Idol contestants Danny Gokey and Josh Gracin and Real Housewives of New York celebrity chef Bethenny Frankel, will march down Woodward Avenue Thanksgiving morning, keeping Detroit's favorite Turkey Day tradition in motion for the 83rd year. The parade begins at 9:20 a.m. at the corner of Mack and Woodward and ends at Congress and Woodward. Grandstand tickets are sold out, so get there early for a prime curbside seat (it just isn't the same when your eyes aren't at ass-level). As a bonus, early birds will be able to cheer on the runners in the 27th annual 10K Turkey Trot. Oh, boy! Parade-goers are also asked to bring canned goods for donation to Gleaners Food Bank, further info at theparade.org.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27
THE STUFF OF LEGENDS
Toronto trio Elliott Brood immerses itself in the mythic past, crafting sometimes rollicking, sometimes thoughtful "death country" (their term) around topics such as a 19th century attack on a wagon train by a Mormon militia (the subject of their sophomore disc, Mountain Meadows) to the opening of the Ambassador Bridge ("The Bridge" is the standout track on their debut, Ambassador). The group has a reputation for shit-kicking live shows, with members using all four limbs to navigate multiple instruments at once. It's a technique that pays off — for a trio armed with banjoes and ukuleles, they make one hell of a massive, god-durned racket. At 9 p.m. at the Majestic Café, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $8; all ages; with Four Hour Friends and Old Empire.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27
Scottish twee-pop ensemble Camera Obscura delivers luminescent melodies complete with layers of orchestral strings punctuated by bursts of exuberant horns. Their repertoire ranges from lilting ballads to sing-and-dance-along '60s girl-group throwbacks, all a backdrop for the exquisite voice of Tracyanne Campbell, which resonates with heartbreak laced with venom. Often compared to fellow Glasgow residents Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura has released just four albums in more than a decade of making music. The five-piece performs in support of the latest, My Maudlin Career, at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $12 advance; with the Papercuts.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28
INSIDES TURNED OUT
Artist David Foox first came to prominence with his Organ Dolls, a series of vinyl dolls sporting internal organs instead of heads. The toys were inspired by a relative's organ transplant, an attempt, if a somewhat cheeky one, to encourage people to become donors. Besides quirky collectibles, Foox also creates disconcerting and arresting surrealist paintings and has recently started sculpting. The exhibit will feature a variety of his work and will also help raise awareness for Gift of Life Michigan, a full-service organ recovery organization. The artist's reception takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. at 323East, 323 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-246-9544; displayed through Dec. 18.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28
Star Wars: In Concert
THE MUSIC OF THE FORCE
A full-on multimedia bonanza, Star Wars: In Concert features a complete symphony orchestra and choir performing music from all six of John Williams' Star Wars scores while a specially created film montage plays on a three-story-tall super-screen. Holy jeez! The whole enchilada is narrated by Anthony Daniels, better known as C-3PO. The concert is also accompanied by an exhibit of Star Wars memorabilia, including props and costumes that have never before left Skywalker Ranch. Geek out at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills, 6 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; $33, $55 and $75 tickets available at 800-745-3000 or palacenet.com.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28
Detroit Derby Girls
After losing in the first round of the national championships against defending champs Gotham City Rollers (who lost in the next round to speed-skating upstarts Oly Rollers of Olympia, who went on to win it all), the Detroit Derby Girls return for their home opener. The D-Funk Allstars face off against the Pistolwhippers in a rematch of last year's Detroit Championship bout that saw the Whippers coming out ahead of their archrivals. But can the beat down streak continue? Find out at the Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit; doors at 6 p.m. $12 advance tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or at the Fox Theatre box office. A limited number of $15 tickets are available at the door, but considering that every home bout in the last two years has sold out, buying tickets in advance is best.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 29
Vienna Boys Choir
CHRISTMAS IN VIENNA
The famed Vienna Boys Choir dates back to 1498, when Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna and ordered that six singing boys should be among his court musicians. Now, more than 500 years later, the Choir consists of about 100 ten to 14-year-old boys divided into four touring choirs which travel throughout the world performing everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental works. Besides their touring duties (it helps pay the bills, after all) the boys, along with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Opera Chorus, provide music for Sunday mass in Vienna's Imperial Chapel, a tradition that also began in 1498. The Choir performs a holiday program entitled Christmas in Vienna at its 13th Universal Musical Society appearance, the first since 1992. At 4 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University, Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538; ums.org. Tickets are $10-$36. Because the performance is part of the Classical Kids Club concert series, parents can buy up to two $10 tickets for students in grades 1-9 with the purchases of a $20 adult ticket. Call for more info.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 30
Big Bright Light Show
WHAT ENERGY CRISIS?
True to its name, Rochester's annual light bonanza sees downtown businesses covered in millions — that's right, millions — of LED lights. Now in its fourth year, the light show (a true embodiment of the season's more gratuitous traits) debuts during the town's annual Lagniappe (Creole for "a little something extra") event which features specials at local businesses, free horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers and a visit from the big man in red. Bring a pair of new shoes to be donated to be donated to children in need. The switch gets flipped at 7 p.m. and stays on 6 p.m. to midnight nightly through Jan. 3. Downtown Rochester, along Main and Fourth streets; see downtownrochestermi.org for info.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 1
POETRY'S ELDER STATESMAN
In recognition of the annual Day With(out) Art, an acknowledgment of the toll that HIV/AIDS has had on the creative world, the University of Michigan Museum of Art hosts a reading by celebrated American poet Donald Hall. A prolific writer, the 81-year-old Hall has written short stories, essays, children's books and nonfiction works, as well as served as the editor for more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. But above all, he is a poet, writing concise verses with a simple, straightforward style that have been described as "being full of love and observation of the commonplace." Hall has published more than 15 books of poetry, served as U.S. Poet Laureate in 2006, and received a number of awards, including two Guggenheim fellowships, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize. The former U-M professor returns to his old stomping grounds at 5 p.m. at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-UMMA.
In this exhibit of his most recent body of work, Detroit artist John K. Bunkley explores the need for social unification and the importance of collective action. Through installations, large-scale multimedia works and a series of portraits on stained wood, Bunkley examines the group dynamic while placing emphasis on the individuality of each group member. Of special note are the series of portraits, which showcase the beauty and strength of the ordinary people who, when united, are the most potent agents of change. Through Dec. 6 at the Johanson Charles Gallery, 1345 Division St., Detroit; 313-355-0216.