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This Week's Events

Ape: Hero of cinema world is local indie darling

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m.
Local actor and singer/songwriter Joshua Burge's face is being plastered all over buildings -- and soon the big screen -- in celebration of his role in director Joel Potrykus' third Grand Rapids-set animal film trilogy "Buzzard," which is coming to American theaters on March 6.
 
But before the national release, on Mar. 4 you will have another great opportunity to see the second film in the trilogy, "Ape," at UICA.
 
In the first short film, “Coyote,” Burge is a nervous werewolf ranting about howling at the sun like the junkie that he is. Pretty tame stuff compared to the weirdness of "Ape," which became a prize-winning darling at the Locarno Film Festival in Spain (2102).   
 
In “Ape,” Burge is back to his weirdness as a standup comedian with pyromaniac tendencies (think of LaughFest on Acid with ease of access to flame) who crafts a deal with the little red man (the devil). And if we know anything about the devil, he never plays fair.
 
So this is a great time to see "Ape" and meet a few members of the production (except Burge, who is ensconced in Canada working on a new film by Academy Award-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu for "Birdman.") 
 
Immediately after, attendees are encouraged to attend a Q&A with producers Mike Saunders and Kevin Clancy.
 
"Buzzard" is released March 6 in theaters around the country.
 
 

Two Mega Dance Parties: GR has fresco soul and a superhero fetish, too

Saturday, Feb. 28, (Super) 8 p.m. / (Soul) 9:30 p.m.
There is no shortage of fun dance party events in the city these days and this weekend, in what can only be described as the battle of the booty, comes two events that even old King Solomon would have trouble choosing between.
 
For starters, The Pyramid Scheme is banking on a big box office sequel success with the return of last year's popular downtown comic store Vault of Midnight's second dress up event: Super Heroes Unite! (The first one was a birthday celebration for Batman who, if you recall, is finally old enough to collect social security.)
 
To up your odds, use the hashtag #vomdance when you post photos of your favorite (or lamest) costume to improve the chances of someone winning a cool prize! And this night is packed full, like the event will surely be, with prizes. DJ Adrian Butler (of A.B. fame) is back as your guest MC for the night.
 
On the same night, this month's Grand Rapids Soul Club takes us on a journey into an area of music we often do not think of when we talk about soul music: Latin grooves.
 
"We are approaching our local chapter with some fresh new takes on what is soul," says Mike Saunders, one of the three founding members of Grand Rapids Soul Club. "Adding the Latin flavor is going to bring a new level of diversity to our event."
 
Should you be wondering, Grand Rapids Soul Club is a wonderful mix of folks in the city who understand the power of having a good time.
 
For this Saturday's GRSC event, titled Sonorama, they will welcome Chicago DJs Marlowe Baca and Charly Garcia who, like most soul clubs, seek to educate via the obscure and vintage soundscapes they produce but with a huge Latin groove bent in programming.
 
It is sure to be a hot night in Billy's Lounge so be prepared to peel off layers as we sweat on the dance floor to some amazing tunes.
 
 
Admission: Super Heroes Unite! tickets are $6. / Grand Rapids Soul Club $5. paid at the door.

 
 

Michigan Global Roots Music Festival: World Wide Flavor Station

Sunday, Mar. 1, 2 - 5 p.m.
As Grand Rapids attracts more and more attention from the outside, those on the inside know that our city has a vibrant and lively music community committed to expanding our musical landscape.
 
Michigan Global Roots Music Festival (MGRMF) is committed to the showcasing of local world music. The festival returns to downtown's One Trick Pony for an afternoon of amazing grooves to start your winter thaw on March 1 right. With a focus on the family aspects of this music (i.e. lyrically smart for families worried about language use), MGRMF presents traditional world folk music married to a dance and dramatic movement presentation.
 
"MGRMF came about from a conversation between Carolyn Koebel of An Dro and Dunuya, and members of Wisaal," says MGRMF co-founder Josh Dunigan of Cabildo and Afro Zuma.
 
This year, the festival is being hosted across three venues in our state known for supporting the community they serve: The Avenue in Lansing, Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, and One Trick Pony in Grand Rapids. Dunigan hopes that those in our state close to these venues will not miss this opportunity to experience global music and dance at these great hometown locales.
 
This year's event at One Trick Pony will feature An Dro (Celtic-world/with the Bhraonáin school of Irish dance); Wisaal (Arabic-fusion/with Sarah & Erik of Boheme Tribal Belly Dance); Villalobos (featuring members of Cabildo); & West African Drum & Dance.
 
 
Admission: All ages show: $5/adults; $15/ family
 

Kcymaerxthaere: Everywhere (and yet not here)

Friday, Feb. 27, 4 p.m. artist talk; 5 p.m. reception
Holland  
West Michigan has long had a steady relationship with the work of one power couple (and their grandparents) and for once I am not talking about the DeVos-VanAndel empire but that of Charles and Ray Eames, who formed a partnership with Herman Miller that we still benefit from to this day.
 
But many may not be aware of how their grandson, Eames Demetrios, has been traveling the world, creating new connections as he installs markers and denotes the historic sites of a parallel world he calls Kcymaerxthaere. 
 
I was recently reminded of these 104 markers and historic sites installed in 22 countries on six continents as I enjoyed a meal and a beer at a brewpub in downtown Grand Rapids the other day. As my eyes narrowed, I noticed a small plaque on the wall of this establishment that no doubt others have seen but never thought to dig deeper. (In an attempt to keep you in the explorer mindset, do you know where it is?)
 
"'Eames Demetrios: Kcymaerxthaere' is a multi-decade-long conceptual art work that brilliantly explores and plays with ideas of our physical reality, parallel universes, history, authoritative academia, tourism, storytelling, and the role of memorials in the public sphere," says Mark Holzbach, co-founder and advisor of Zebra Imaging, a holographic production firm.
 
On Friday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall, Demetrios will present an hour-long lecture on Kcymaerxthaere with the public. Immediately after, the gallery show will open to the community.
 
Those who are smitten by this project have a very unique opportunity to explore Kcymaerxthaere via a new tour co-produced by Holzbach. The trip will include stops in Los Angeles and Palm Springs (Joshua Tree) with Demetrios as your tour guide from March 25-29th.
 
For more info about participating in this very unique offering, people are encouraged to contact Leslie Frazier soon as only a few slots remain open at press time. (email: leslie@kcystories.com, tel: 310-397-6179)
 
Admission: Lecture and gallery reception are free
 
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