the koffin kats
1/20 • Machine Shop
Detroit punkers the Koffin Kats have been spending quite a lot of time on the road lately, but they're bringing their balls-out assault of heaviness back to metro Detroit for this show. What's the occasion? A "CD release throwdown" for the Kats' latest record, Our Way And The Highway. Having just inked a deal with Sailor's Grave Records, the Kats are shooting for a broader audience but still sticking to their wild psychobilly roots with the new release. Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are just $5.
1/28 • Emerald Theatre
Grungy Detroit '90s stars Sponge return home for a gig at the Emerald Theatre. The band may have honed their gritty pop sound a couple of decades back, but they're still rocking it out on the road. Expect a good cruise through "Molly" (and the entirety of Rotting Piñata, in fact) at this flashback of a show. Tickets are $15.
ann arbor folk festival
1/27-1/28 • Hill Auditorium
The Ann Arbor Folk Festival returns with its customary one-two punch of contemporary and classic folk. Ryan Adams leads the "contemporary" charge on Friday night, headlining a lineup that includes Dawes, DeVotchKa and David Wax Museum. On Saturday, country-folk legend Emmylou Harris headlines for a more old-school lineup including Nanci Griffith and Glen Campbell. Heywood Banks MCs both jam-packed nights. Tickets are $35 and $47.50 per night.
1/27 • Blind Pig
Ann Arbor's Chris Bathgate has been taking his act national in a big way recently. He's had tour dates across the U.S. and his set at last year's CMJ festival received rave reviews, including a place on Paste's list of "10 Great Bands From CMJ." Doors are at 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $10.
Lenny Kravitz & Raphael Saadiq
1/30 • Fillmore
93.9 The River may be billing this as a "Winter Icebreaker," but we're expecting Lenny Kravitz and Raphael Saadiq to melt right through the damn ice before anyone even gets a chance to break it. Saadiq, the master of sexy neo-soul, and Kravitz, the master of sexy pop funk, make a great double bill. That ice has no idea what it's in for. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $25-$75.
2/8 • PJ's Lager House
You might be familiar with Craig Finn as the hyper, nerdy frontman of the intelligent bar-rock outfit the Hold Steady. But Finn's ditching his usual bandmates for a new solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, and an accompanying tour. The tracks that have dropped so far seem darker and more restrained than Finn's Hold Steady material, so expect less of Finn's goofy showmanship but the same brilliant and witty wordplay. Tickets are $10.
2/10 • Bleu
Detroit DJ Anthony Attalla has been aggressively staking out territory for himself on the national level lately, but he's coming back home for this DJ set. Attalla has been touring heavily across the country and overseas while also starting up his own label, Incorrect Records. With the label marking its second anniversary, Attalla will be rocking Bleu with some bumping house jams. Tickets are $10.
2/10 • Saint Andrew's
For the record, The Darkness actually did record other songs besides "I Believe In A Thing Called Love," and they'll be busting out all that material at this stop on their reunion tour. While it might seem a little strange for a band that only formed in 2000 to be on a reunion tour, the glam-rockers (we hope you appreciate falsetto, by the way) have definitely seen their share of trouble in the meantime, including frontman Justin Hawkins' struggles with drugs. Hawkins has cleaned up and all seems to be well in the band, so expect a typically flamboyant good time. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20.
2/20 • Palace of Auburn Hills
Although Van Halen has been touring steadily for the last few years, the new album the hard-rock stalwarts are touring behind marks a few major milestones. The brand-new A Different Kind of Truth will be the band's first album since 1998, and their first to feature David Lee Roth on vocals since the classic 1984. It's almost like old times again. Tickets are $29.50-$149.50.
2/21 • Small's
Here's the thing about Fat Tuesday in Hamtramck – you not only get to gobble up some glorious Polish donuts (paczkis), but you get to drink booze all day and listen to some killer polka while you're at it. And as if the polka-fied Floyd majesty of Polka Floyd weren't enough, they'll have other live music and surprises too!
2/23 • Crofoot
Emilie Autumn brings an extra theatrical touch and a respect for old-school classical music style to the world of goth. The violinist and singer has struggled with bipolar disorder and has written a book about her experiences as a patient in a psychiatric ward. Autumn's "Victoriandustrial" style draws equally on the Victorian era and the flamboyant sparkle of glam rock, mixing it all in with a dark electronic edge. Doors are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door.
2/23 • Magic Stick
With the sing-along Canada shout-out "Oh Alberta," Toronto's alt-country trio Elliott Brood cemented their place as major players on the Canadian music scene. The group has since toured with big shots like Wilco and the Black Crowes, spreading their energetic acoustic sound across the American border. Their latest, Days Into Years, arrived in September. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Passion Pit (DJ set)
2/24 • Elektricity Nightclub
Electropop crew Passion Pit made quite a splash in 2009 with their album Manners. But they'll be ditching their traditional live performance for this DJ set at Elektricity. If reports from past events are any indication, expect some Passion Pit remixes to be on the table alongside whatever other grooves tickle the group's fancy. Doors are at 9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10.
Royal Comedy Tour
2/25 • Detroit Opera House
The Royal Comedy Tour hits the Detroit Opera House for a night of no-holds-barred standup featuring comedians Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Earthquake and Tony Rock. Tour headliner Sommore has appeared on Oprah, Comedy Central's Flavor Flav roast and the movies Soul Plane and Friday After Next. Her tour mates' resumes collectively include mainstream appearances on everything from HBO to BET to The Howard Stern Show. Tickets are $53.50-$71.50.
Young the Giant
2/28 • Majestic Theatre
It would seem that Young The Giant's ascension to fame has been surprisingly speedy, but the band had been working hard for a good six years before its self-titled debut dropped in 2010. The band's energetic, inoffensive alt-rock hooks have won recognition from such disparate sources as MTV and Morrissey. These guys clearly have quite the crossover appeal. Tickets are $20.
the Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys
3/3 • Joe Louis Arena
It's almost unbelievable that these scrappy, scuzz-blues boys from Akron are doing an arena tour, but it's true: the Black Keys have made the big time. But the sound is still mostly the same; the band's well-received new album, El Camino, still has the same lo-fi grit we've come to love them for. Even more incredible: psych-punk savant Alex Turner and his Arctic Monkeys are opening up for the Keys. Go Akron. Tickets are $34.50-$54.50.
3/3 • Caesars Windsor
Whoopi Goldberg has had a remarkable three decades in show business. With a series of prominent film roles in the '80s and '90s ranging from Ghost to Sister Act to The Color Purple, she's gone on to carve out a morning spot for herself in many a home as one of the ladies of The View. The dry and outspoken comedienne brings her standup act to Caesars for this one-night stand. Doors are at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $48.81-$82.71.
3/8 • Blind Pig
Detroit's Electric Six has parlayed its goofy mix of rock, funk and electronic into major international success as a touring act. Electric Six return home to the Michigan area for some intimate rocking out at the Blind Pig. And if you don't get to hear "Gay Bar" and "Danger! High Voltage" consider it a travesty. For more info, check out blindpigmusic.com.
3/16 • Magic Bag
Kevin Nealon is most recognizable to fans of Weeds as pothead finance man Doug Wilson. (He's also recorded some ditties for the show's soundtrack.) But he got his start on Saturday Night Live in the '80s, with characters like Mr. Subliminal and Mr. No Depth Perception. Nealon will be getting into his Mr. Standup Comedy character for this gig, as he brings his act to the Magic Bag. Nealon will be playing two shows; doors for the first gig will be at 7:00 p.m. and doors for the second at 10:00 p.m. Tickets are $28.
Mythbusters: behind the myths tour
3/16 • Fox Theater
Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage bring their mythbusting magic to the stage of the Fox Theater for this stop on their live tour. The show promises audience interaction, onstage experiments, and behind-the-scenes stories and video. All we really want is some explosives, firearms and dangerous animals, though. And what happened to that hot redhead? Tickets are $35-$99.50.
3/23 • MotorCity Casino Hotel Sound Board
Musiq Soulchild, born Taalib Johnson, specializes in smooth and sexy contemporary R&B with a distinctive nod to his musical predecessors. The artist constantly speaks with respect for his forefathers in jazz, Motown soul and funk, and it shows in his tunes too. Although Musiq's music has a definite modern shimmer to it, you can also hear the influence of the soulful jams of decades past. Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $42-$50.
3/24 • Blondie's
Detroit rapper Trick Trick cut his teeth alongside artists like Eminem and Proof, and although he may not have reached the same heights of national fame, his skills are still to be reckoned with. The Goon Sqwad member has recorded two full-lengths of his own, featuring guest stars from Ice Cube to Em himself. Trick Trick's latest, The Villain, dropped in 2008. Tickets are $12.
3/27 • Fillmore
If you're not already familiar with Childish Gambino, you might recognize the man behind the stage name, Donald Glover, as the lovably dopey ex-jock Troy from NBC's Community. Not only one of the most talented and funny young comedians working today, Glover also has some serious rap skills. As Childish Gambino, he delivers fast, funny, nerdy rhymes jammed with pop-culture references and hilariously outsized swagger for a skinny little dude. Doors are at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $35-$47.
Grand Funk Railroad
3/29 • MotorCity Casino Hotel Sound Board
Flint's arena-rock champions return home for a set at the Sound Board. The power trio hit its hard-rock high back in the '70s, and has since weathered a series of breakups and reunions to continue regular touring. Plus, they're Homer Simpson's favorite band. You can't beat the wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner, right? Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $38-$40.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
3/31 • Royal Oak Music Theatre
Somehow, both Noel and Liam Gallagher have recently managed to find time to pursue their own solo musical projects in between carrying on their near-constant public slap-fight. Noel's bringing his new Liam-less show to Royal Oak, and the self-titled album he and his band are touring behind is one of the solidest sets of tunes Noel's worked on since Oasis' early days. The Gallaghers may actually be better off away from Oasis – and each other – after all. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door.
3/31 • Elektricity
Paul Oakenfold has long been a giant in the world of trance and house. The DJ and producer exploded onto the scene in the late '80s as the mastermind behind England's massive "Spectrum At Heaven In Charing Cross" acid house night. He's since gone on to work with talents from U2 to Madonna, and his upcoming album, Pop Killer, is set to feature collaborations with big shots including Cee-Lo Green and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tickets are $20. | RDW