The Queen of Soul...

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin

Aretha_Franklin will perform at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on Sunday, August 12th at 7:30pm.

Before you go, you may want to brush up on your knowledge about this legendary singer. You'll appreciate the concert even more... trust me.

So here are a few fast facts to get you started:

She began her singing career at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.

She sang at Martin Luther King's funeral in 1968 and performed at the Inaugural gala for Bill Clinton in 1993.

Aretha Franklin is the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Want more? Check out AADL's collection of Ms. Franklin's music and if time permits, flip through her biography...

Enjoy!

Hairspray is in again

A new film version of Hairspray, which is also an award winning Broadway musical, was released last week in theaters. Before heading out to see it why not check out the original film version by John Waters. The original cast, featuring Sonny Bono, Divine, Debbie Harry, and Ricki Lake, is sure to please. Watch Tracy Turnblad as she takes the Baltimore dance scene by storm with her hip moves and her wild hair-do. Don’t feel like watching a movie? The Broadway cast sound recording will get your feet tapping as well.

Local music groups on stage

A great display of local talent is on hand at Top of the Park this summer. Following are groups whose music you can continue to enjoy by checking out their cd's at the Library:

Hullabaloo. "This rousing band indulges in hip-shaking ska, Latin and rock." "Hullabaloo is sheer energy and fun." (Current Magazine)

Nomo. "Nomo swings a sense of spirituality, soul and grace into pop music." (Detroit Metro Times)

The Terraplanes "A rhythmn and blues powered vehicle that will take you along the entertainment highway to a swinging place where you can jump and shout. (terraplanes.net)

II-V-I Orchestra "Through it all shines the professionalism and dynamic vocal performance of Al Jacquez and the crack II-V-I horn section." (http://home.comcast.net/~iiviorchestra)

Ann Arbor Civic Band March Mania

Were you like me and spent your formative years in various bands? Not the kind with kids with cool haircuts and loud guitars, rather the kind with uncomfortable uniforms and instruments with spit valves. If you can relate then you should check out the Ann Arbor Civic Band as they kick off their summer season with March Mania, June 27th at 8pm in the West Park Band Shell. Concerts will run weekly through July.

If you are eager to get in the marching spirit listen to The World's Greatest Marches, the United States Marine Band, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. And just for giggles, check out the picture book, Olivia Forms a Band.

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

In the mood for a little night music this weekend? Arbor Opera Theater is performing Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata this Thursday through Sunday at the University of Michigan’s Mendelssohn Theater. La Traviata spins the heart-wrenching tale of a star-crossed courtesan, Violetta and her noble lover, Alfredo (and it also happens to be the opera featured in Pretty Woman, according to Wikipedia). The opera will be performed with supertitles, but should you desire to study a bit beforehand, the library owns several recordings of La Traviata, and guides on the subject of opera in general. Andiamo!

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is kicking off June 15th with music, food, film, and other live performances. While you can pay to see performances such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Lyle Lovett , be sure to check out Top of the Park for free. This admissions-free portion of the festival is held on Ingalls Mall on University of Michigan’s Central Campus and features musical performances, dance demonstrations, films, and even a Brazilian Festival. The three-week festival will kick off with performances by local favorites such as Salmagundi, Hullabaloo, Owen B. and the Overtime Band, and NOMO. Get a sense of the history of the festival by checking out AADL’s collection of posters from some of the past events starting in 1985.

Dinosaur Jr. at the Blind Pig

Did you wear flannel shirts and Doc Martens in the early 90's? Do you strongly identify as a Generation Xer? Then, you'll be happy to know that Dinosaur Jr., the indie rock band from the 90's, will be in Ann Arbor June 3rd and 4th at the Blind Pig. The original members recently reunited for a new album, their first since 1988, and are now on the road. However, if you're expecting a greatest hits set, you'll be a bit disapointed. The band is said to be primarily performing from their latest album, Beyond. So leave your flannel at home and discover something new. Doors open at 9:30 pm starting with Michigan band, Awesome Color.

Meanwhile check out their last album before they dissolved the name Dinosaur Jr. in 1997 as well as the book, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground. Dinosaur Jr. is just one of the many bands chronicled in the book.

Kristin Hersh at The Ark

Kristin Hersh, former lead singer of the Throwing Muses and current leader of 50 Foot Wave, will be performing some of her solo work Thurs., May 24th at 8 pm at The Ark. Known for her work in the alternative post-punk scene, Hersh is now known for her songwriting and poetic innovation. She's even got a blog!

Want to get to know her music a little better before heading to the show? Check out her albums at the AADL. Still want more? Check out some her musical influences: Talking Heads, Violent Femmes, Meat Puppets, Dead Kennedys, and Velevet Underground.

Friday Nite at the Blind Pig: SLUM VILLAGE

Slum VillageSlum Village

Slum Village will perform at the Bling Pig on Friday, April 27th at 9:30pm.

Homegrown (from Detroit), Slum Village has always stayed true to Hip-Hop by mixing old-school rap with funk/soul. The group formed during the late 80's at Pershing High School and quickly became a favorite of the Detroit underground scene. By the mid-late '90s, Slum Village could be counted among Hip-Hop's elite.

Want more? Check these out:
Slum Village Official Site
MySpace -- Slum Village

Similiar Artists:
Tribe Called Quest
De La Soul
Common
Pharcyde

Enjoy!

Japanese Taiko Drumming returns to the Ark!

Kiyoshi Nagata EnsembleKiyoshi Nagata Ensemble

The Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble will perform at The Ark on Saturday, April 28th at 8 pm.

The Toronto-based professional music group has been delighting audiences since 1998 with rhythmic beats and mesmerizing movements. Their performances bring new life to a sacred Japanese tradition.

Want more info? Check these out:

Japanese Taiko Drumming

Japanese Folk Music

Soh Daiko

Enjoy!

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