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This Week's Events

Nobody's Darlin': Jonesin' for Mo' Satan's Purse

There has been no shortage of bands in our region chock full of boys one moment jamming in their garage then, later, leaping to any one of the number of stages around the city.
But until recently, the all-girl act was a bit of a novelty -- until now. With groups like Girls Rock Grand Rapids emerging as options for young female musicians, this is about to change really quickly here in our region.
One act that is celebrating its third release at the downtown go-to-spot for the singer-songwriter scene is the all-girl string band, Nobody’s Darlin’, who have been plucking around since 2004.
And while this band has seen its fair share of band mates come and gone, the band’s dedication to old-time, Americana, and gospel music – a sound that is still as fresh today as when it was created – still continues to wow the audiences with their "new-grass" style. Joining the line-up this time around is Becca Ling --  Nobody’s Darlin’s newest member -- long-time guitar player from Hawks and Owls, the duo she performs in with her husband, Bruce Ling.
Nobody’s Darlin’ does not let the boys have all the fun lyrically as they dive in skirts first with a new release, The Devil's Purse, that is all about drinkin’, dyin’ and Jesus -- and all buried within their distinct mix of storytelling with upbeat melodies.
The band features five strong vocalists who are also skilled in playing classic instruments like the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and upright bass. 
Nobody’s Darlin’ is Sara Q, Janet Shelby, Barb Weatherhead, Natalie Beversluis, and
Becca Ling.
Admission: Free - but it might be wise to make a dinner reservation as space is limited at this downtown establishment.

El Gremio: Lyrical Revolutionaries

Saturday, July 19, 8:30 p.m.
Hip-hop in Grand Rapids is not rare, as evidenced by the July issues of Revue and Recoil Magazine, which both devoted covers to hip-hop artists and the scene.
But with the appearance of El Gremio, a Spanish language act not afraid to dele into the arena of hip-hop, they help fill a void with a distinct sound born out of the timba of ethnic salsa, which gives birth to other familiar styles including rock, funk, and soul.
Local musician Julio Villalobos has been very busy these last few months inviting more and more Latino acts to place Grand Rapids on their tour destination maps. The result has been a win for our region, especially in attracting an act like El Gremio, who will wind down their North America tour at Founders Brewing Company.
"What is also distinctive about El Gremio is that they rescue the Chilean heritage, particularly in their lyrics," says Villalobos.
It is within the band's lyrics that a poetic flight takes to the sky from the stage as the band effortlessly addresses social, political and even more philosophical issues, touching on the universal themes of identity, love and justice.
Opening for the band is our local multi-national act Cabildo, which could quite possibly feature the first appearance on stage of their guitarist Julio Cesar, who has just completed a nearly month-long "vacation" with the federal government.
Admission: $10.

Batman Dance Party: Grandpa And Robin

Wednesday, July 23, 8:00 p.m.
Since landing in the epicenter of our city, Vault of Midnight's newest store in downtown Grand Rapids has wasted no time in acting as a host of fun-filled events.
While they host many of these events within their colorful space on Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids, it is their events at a neighboring business, the Pyramid Scheme, that are turning heads. Downtown dwellers and business owners are watching as they up the ante all the time with board game parties and their more recent Girls Read Comics Too event.
The latest event is sure to be a huge hit as they invite fans to a very special birthday party for Batman, who will be turning 75 on Wednesday, July 23.
Fans of the Caped Crusader are invited to a dance party. They're also invited to dress up (or at least attempt to don some sort of costume) and compete -- not just for a chance to win some prizes but also for a chance to ride the coattails of this masked man into the world record books as they attempt to set a record.
Even if you do not have a costume, just make one up and join the party because at 75 years of age, the ol' bat probably has vision issues.
The best Bat-beats will be dropped by our one and only Adrian Butler, who is on the decks to make sure we all have a EEE-YOW of a good night in our Gotham City. (At the request of the birthday boy, no gifts please.)

Admission: Advance tickets $6 or at the door $8


Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again

Friday, July 25, 7 p.m. park opens, movie begins at dusk
For the uninitiated to 1970s camp, let me be perfectly clear and save you some trouble if you think you are heading in to watch Fred and Ginger dance the night away on the big screen.
If you simply read the Rocky Horror Picture Show description and took it in at face value ("a newly engaged couple's car breaks down in an isolated area and must pay a visit to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter"), then it is perfectly clear how you could assume this might be some long-lost Jerry Lewis flick.
That is, until you see the man dressed in your wife's Frederick's of Hollywood outfit arriving on screen in an open metal frame elevator to welcome you to the campiest musical the 1970s ever produced.
One thing to remember about the Rocky Horror Picture Show is that it was a cult hit that carried over for more than a decade at midnight movie screenings all over the country, including at our very own Woodland Mall. It could attract fans who really take this film seriously so be prepared to have some fun.
If you find yourself next to some folks who are yelling back at the screen and tossing things like toast in the air, then you will need to follow this link to get up to speed on the audience participation aspects of this cult favorite.

Personally, it has been too long since I have seen a public screening of the film, so here's a toast to hope that the faithful will rise from the past and reunite on the Grand River's shore, creating something truly memorable at the Downtown Grand Rapids Incorporated Bloooow-up screen. The an-ti-ci-pa-tion is killing me.
Admission: Free
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