Friday, 17-11: It’s pitch black at 4:45 p.m., temperatures are dropping, our families love what the vegans will eat for Thanksgiving dinner, and radio stations have already switched to playing non-stop Christmas music. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for whiskey – all whiskey.
Not to, you know, spin on our own alcohol-filled horn, but Metro Times is here once again to save you from your winter woes with our annual Whiskey in the Winter event, which returns to Detroit Shipping Co. and invites people to sample a wide selection of whiskeys, scotches and bourbons, as well as craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails. But this year, in addition to the fun and boozy vibes and live music from Detroit’s very own Whiskey Charmers, Whiskey in the Winter is treating all guests to the VIP experience, because you deserve it. (No, seriously, like, we need this.) Each cardholder gets 10 drink coupons (yes, that means 10 drinks) along with a free food token that can be used at any of Detroit Shipping Co.’s food stalls, such as Bangkok 96 Street Food, Halal NY Style Street Food, Coop Caribbean Chicken, Momo Cha Nepalese Dumplings and others. Being a VIP also means swag, and there will be plenty of that: a swag bag with a custom whiskey glass and some other goodies. Not included? A designated driver. —Jerlyn Jordan
Doors open at 7:00 PM at Detroit Shipping Co.; 474 Peterboro St., Detroit; mwhiskeyinthewinter.com. Tickets cost $65.
Saturday, 11/20: When we last spoke to iconic Detroit photographer and activist Leni Sinclair, 81, she told us that of her approximately 100,000 negatives (a number she estimates higher, but says she’s lost count), her favorite photo is not one of the rock. stars like Iggy Pop, Aretha Franklin, the MC5, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, John Coltrane, or ex-husband and marijuana activist John Sinclair, or the 1967 Detroit uprising. Sinclair’s favorite photo is one of them herself, but not a self-portrait – it is one that represents the attitude, tenacity and brutality with which her work is associated. “…it’s one of my favorite photos of my life,” Sinclair says. “And that’s me standing by the Berlin wall with a hammer and knocking it down all by myself. I handed my camera to a bystander and said, ‘Can you take this picture of me?’ And that’s how it went,” she says.
Sinclair’s photographs have become synonymous with 1960s Detroit, as has the work of Gary Grimshaw, the late poster artist known for his pioneering psychedelic work during the Grande Ballroom era. The former White Panther party arts secretary in 2006 told former Metro Times editor Brett Callwood he couldn’t afford to buy his own work. The pair, who teamed up in 2013 to publish a limited edition of their co-published, self-funded, and crowdsourced book, Detroit Rocks: A Pictorial History of Motor City Rock and Roll 1965 to 1975 (which goes as much as $795 on bookselling sites) are honored with a one-off joint exhibition of their work at Edo Ramen in Royal Oak. Marcie Bolen (the Von Bondies) will DJ from 6-10pm and author Peter Werbe will sign copies of his latest book Summer on Fire, which combines “history and inventive memories” from the history-changing summer of 1967 in Detroit. —Jerlyn Jordan
Event starts at 6pm in Edo Ramen; 4313 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-556-5775; edoramenhouse.com. Event is free.
Saturday, 11/20-Sunday, 1/9: We can be divided on many things, be it political lines, social issues, or whether the world really needs a Tiger King sequel (answer: we don’t), but there is one thing that we think is quite universal. is: lights are friggin’ cool. Thanks to Thomas Edison and, well, the Detroit Zoological Society, metro Detroiters can get wild again, er, wild at the zoo’s annual Wild Lights event, where part of the zoo’s campus is transformed into an illuminated wonderland. Who needs a partridge in a pear tree when you have lions, tigers, bears and over 5 million LED holiday lights decorating buildings and over 280 sculptures? While Wild Lights is at the zoo, animal exhibits and enclosures will not be open or activated; however, many of the illuminated structures are shaped like animals, so that has to count for something. Add in some snow, hot chocolate (which will be on sale along with other festive treats), and maybe one or two edibles (adults, duh) and you might just forget the fact that your seasonal affective disorder is in the driver’s seat. Oh, in addition to the lights, the entrance fees also give visitors access to The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, which features award-winning photography. —Jerlyn Jordan
Event runs 5-9pm on select weeknights and Sundays, and 5-10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays at the Detroit Zoo; 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org. Tickets are $17-$24, plus $8 for parking. Tickets must be purchased in advance as there are no ticket sales at the gate.
Wednesday, 24/11: In Detroit, we’re lucky enough to have several annual events that are hype AF and have us counting down the calendar days until the next time we go all out. There are festivals, parties, scary immersive experiences (we miss you, Theater Bizarre!), and then there’s our eccentric hometown hip-hop hero, all-round goofball (and future stand-up comedy star?), and “one of rap’s most unique figures in recent memory,” Danny Brown will personally celebrate his annual Thanksgiving night performance after last year’s party was live streamed.
Danny Brown’s Bruiser Thanksgiving, who has moved to the Russell Industrial Center, turns eight this year and, as usual, he’s not doing it alone. As in previous years, Brown will share the stage with Bruiser Brigade and a steady rotation of local emcees. The Thanksgiving Eve bash comes after he announced the title of the upcoming fifth record. Per Brown, Quaranta is ready and mixed by Derek Ali of TDE. “We’re just waiting for the right timing,” he said in an interview. “But it’s not called 40, it’s called Quaranta. I don’t want to give too much away why, but you will figure it out.”
Doors open at 8pm at the Russell Industrial Center; 1600 Clay Street, Detroit; 313-872-0358; russellindustrialcenter.com. Tickets are $25.
Saturday, 11/20: It’s been a great year for Gen Z pop stars, Olivia. For 21-year-old Olivia O’Brien, the R&B-infused Stevie Nicks-obsessed pop singer with over 8 million monthly Spotify listeners who regrets the nose job she got at 16, it’s always the Olivia O’Brien Show — and it’s picked up for a second season. This year, O’Brien, who broke through in 2016 thanks to her and gnash’s song “i love u, i hate u” (which by the way has more than 6 million views on YouTube), released the first episode of her second album, Episodes: Season 1. Through rolling beats, the character-driven hook-heavy record explores the pains of early adulthood, such as the belief that we will all die, insecurity, soured friendships, sociopathic lovers and the desire to call your mother when the going gets tough. It’s almost enough for us to forgive the fact that she might be dating internet turd Logan Paul. —Jerlyn Jordan
Doors open at 7pm at St Andrew’s Hall; 431 E Congress St, Detroit; 313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroi.com. Tickets cost $22.
Thursday 11/18-Saturday 11/20: Voted the “best club strip” we’ve got and New York City’s hardest-working, off-color fast-paced hit, Dave Attell doesn’t really have a grand plan. Last of its kind, the 56-year-old has led a successful career, starring in TV shows such as Insomniac With Dave Attell, Dave’s Old Porn and Comedy Underground, as well as a Netflix series with fellow blue man Jeff Ross called Bumping Mics and Coming Soon. he will star alongside Amy Schumer, Michael Rapaport and Michael Cera in the upcoming Hulu series Life & Beth. He described his aging genitals as “a tent no one knows how to fold” and when he takes the stage in the winter, he is known to refer to himself as someone who looks like they just came to the club to get warm. . But the great thing about Attell is that no one is safe. No cats (they’re a hoarding gate), nor strippers, fame, Santa, dildos, drunk dads, the Amish, Florida, Spider-Man, Ohio, the police, music and, probably, you – if you find yourself in the first row. —Jerlyn Jordan
Doors open at 6:45pm on Thursdays, 6:30pm and 9:00pm on Fridays, and 6:15pm and 8:45pm on Saturdays at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle; 310 S Troy St, Royal Oak; 248-542-9900; comedycastle.com. Tickets are $30-$35+.