The Threads All Arts Festival has finally been rescheduled. The second edition was originally set for August 2017 at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, but when the city put a temporary kibosh on live events at the artisanal spirits space due to parking issues, Threads was called off. It took the U-M student-run festival a while to reorganize, but it has now found a home in Ypsilanti’s Historic Freighthouse and will present its rangy mix of live music, dance, film, poetry, and art on March 10-11.
The idea for Threads began in 2015 when Nicole Patrick (U-M 2016, percussion and jazz and contemporary improvisation) and her friends "wanted to find a way to share, with many people, all the amazing art they saw coming out of their friends and neighbors," they told Pulp contributor Anna Prushinskaya for piece meant to preview the 2017 edition.
But along with the break came a new mission statement that shows Threads has expanded its focus:
The inspiration for his hero’s name comes from his nephew and ancestral home. His love for thrillers comes from his father and brothers. And being an architect leads to a unique and intriguing writing style. These influences all lead to the successful Nolan Kilkenny series by bestselling author Tom Grace.
The first Kilkenny book, Spyder Web, is a thriller that launched the former NAVY seal protagonist into a pursuit of modern day pirates who stole intelligence programs from the CIA -- the titular SPYDER program. Book six of the Kilkenny saga, Undeniable, finds the hero involved in a race against time to find a cure for a young boy suffering from a genetic disease. Genetic testing shows that the boy, adopted in a “blind” adoption, and Kilkenny have the same biological father. This revelation thrusts Kilkenny into the world of reproductive technology of clones, stem cells, DNA -- and blackmail.
Me, the "Other" is a documentary that explores the ways race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender have impacted 12 Washtenaw County college students. The film makes its world premiere on Monday, Jan. 15, at the Michigan Theater.
"'Otherness' is never one thing" is the doc's guiding light as the filmmakers allow the students to tell their disparate tales in full so viewers can understand and appreciate their humanity. “I’ve come to see our differences in beauty like different flowers in one garden," said Shahrzad Mirafzali, co-producer of Me, the "Other" and University of Michigan School of Dentistry faculty member.
Jessica Shattuck says that it wasn’t a big secret in her family. She always knew her grandparents were “ordinary Germans” during and before tWorld War II. “But in my late teens, I grasped that they had also enthusiastically joined the Nazi party in the late 1930s,” Sattuck said. Learning this family history from her grandmother prompted Shattuck to begin writing what became her new book, The Women in the Castle, which she'll read from, discuss, and sign at Nicola's Books on Friday, Jan. 12.
Once you learn that someone has an “adventure tiki room” in his own home -- well, let’s just say it’s not so surprising to learn this same person was inspired to direct an Ann Arbor Civic Theatre production of Nell Benjamin’s comedy The Explorers Club.
“(My adventure tiki room) is very empty right now,” said Brodie Brockie. “Pretty much everything is on the stage.”
The Arthur Miller Theatre’s stage, to be exact, where this weekend audiences will be transported to an exotic gathering spot for male adventurers in 1879 London. The Explorers Club, which had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2013, tells the story of what happens when a gutsy female explorer, Phyllida Spotte-Hume, crashes the club, with a non-English-speaking tribesman from a “lost city” in tow.
"This is for all you strutters out there," announced Jay Frydenlund midway through [https://www.chirpband.com|Chirp]’s headlining set at the Blind Pig on Saturday. On cue, the Ypsi-based quartet of fusion rockers launched into a swaggering, deep-pocket jam ("Dickerville") that sent an obvious ripple through the crowd as folks remembered what they came for and got their boogie on.
[https://smtd.umich.edu/performances_events/event.php?&id=11323|Violet] is a musical that’s known both for its soaring gospel- and blues-infused score and for its social commentary about race relations. Originally written for Off-Broadway back in 1997, the show follows a young, facially disfigured Caucasian woman in 1964 who travels across the United States in the hopes of having her outward scars healed by a TV evangelist. Over the course of her journey, she meets and falls in love with an African-American man. “It’s about finding out who you are, accepting who you are, appreciating who you, and loving who you are. And then being able to navigate this world,” says Mark Madama, who is directing a production of Violet this weekend through the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance department.
As someone with a bachelor's of music in percussion performance from Columbia College Chicago and, soon, a master's degree in improvisation from the University of Michigan, drummer [https://www.adiaphoramusic.com|Adam Shead] sounds like an academic. But while growing up in South Bend, Indiana, it was hardcore punk that first informed Shead's attitude and artistic aesthetic. That combination of academic rigor and raw energy is what makes [https://adamsheadmusic.bandcamp.com|Shead's drumming] such a potent force, which he'll get demonstrate live on Friday, Dec. 8, at U-M's Duderstadt Video Studio when he presents his master's recital, [https://www.facebook.com/events/134772203891220|Adiaphora Music]. The seven-part suite features 11 musicians along with Shead exploring his influences, which run from Chicago visionaries [http://www.aacmchicago.org|AACM], [http://www.kenvandermark.com|Ken Vandermark], and [https://timdaisyrelayrecords.bandcamp.com|Tim Daisy] to South Africa's [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudu_Pukwana|Dudu Pukwana], and contemporary classical giants [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Feldman|Morton Feldman] and [http://johnlutheradams.net|John Luther Adams] to H.R., lead singer of the groundbreaking punk band [https://badbrains.com|Bad Brains]. We talked to Shead about his philosophy, sound, and the meaning of Adiaphora Music.
Growing up, Erin Zindle -- leader of the Ann Arbor global-roots band [http://www.theragbirds.com|The Ragbirds] -- loved her extended family’s Christmas Eve gatherings. Her “very large and very musical family” would traditionally gather to perform Christmas songs together. “It was my favorite thing all year round. Honestly, it was better than the presents,” she says. “I was known for making everyone sing all seven verses of everything. I didn’t want it to end.” That’s the spirit she and her fellow musicians will re-create at the annual Ebird and Friends Holiday Show at The Ark Dec. 7-9. “It was just a real natural extension of that childhood experience,” Zindle says. And indeed, the holiday concert has become a tradition all its own, now marking its 10th year.
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Michigan native and U-M grad Councilman Jamm -- nee Jon Glaser -- sat down with us to discuss his television and comedy career on Nov. 26 at AADL's downtown branch.
He created, starred in, and co-wrote the TV shows [http://www.adultswim.com/videos/neon-joe/|Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter], [http://www.trutv.com/shows/jon-glaser-loves-gear/index.html|Jon Glaser Loves Gear], and [http://www.adultswim.com/videos/delocated/|Delocated]. He is perhaps best known as the aforementioned Councilman Jamm on [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/series/%22Parks%20and%20Recreation%2…|Parks and Recreation] and and Laird on HBO's [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/series/%22Girls%2B%2528Television%2B…|Girls]. Other TV credits include
[http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/series/%22Inside%2BAmy%2BSchumer%2B%…|Inside Amy Schumer], [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/series/%22Curb%20Your%20Enthusiasm%2…|Curb Your Enthusiasm], and [http://www.mtv.com/shows/wonder-showzen|Wonder Showzen].