Mark Dvorak at the Pump House
Saturday, Aug. 26 @ Pump House Concerts, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing. All ages, $15 suggested donation, 7 p.m.
Mark Dvorak, who performs Saturday at the Pump House, was born to a working class family on Chicago's southwest side when he discovered Bob Dylan and slipped into the folk-music rabbit hole. Soon, he was saving for an acoustic guitar while tracking down LPs by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Lead Belly. By 1981, he was on the local folk circuit and opened the Old Quarter Coffee House. He also promptly learned the banjo and mastered the claw-hammer stroke. In the following decades, he’s been recording, gigging in the Chicago acoustic scene, and touring the country while simultaneously teaching music – including a faculty position at Chicago's prestigious Old Town School of Music, where he is an artist-in-residence. In December 2013, Dvorak published his first collection of essays and poems, “Bowling for Christmas and Other Tales from the Road.”
A Night for Nate
Sunday, Aug. 27 @ Moriarty’s Pub, 802 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 21+, 3 - 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation.
Local bands from Big Sur and Atomic Boogaloo celebrate the life of Nathan Wardell, a local man who died last year at 35 following complications stemming from spina bifida. “I decided to hold the Night for Nate just as a way to honor his memory as he was a huge fan of music,” said his brother, and event organizer Christopher Wardell. The show at Moriarty’s Pub celebrates what would’ve been his 37th birthday, but also is a benefit for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. “His issues began when he was forced to use a loaner wheelchair while his was being repaired,” Christopher recalled. “The repairs took forever, and he soon gained a pressure wound.” Christopher said this show is aimed at drawing attention to such issues.
The Dirtball of Kottonmouth Kings at Mac's Bar Thursday, Aug. 31 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $15, 7 p.m.
David Alexander, better known as the Dirtball, is an Oregon native best known for his lyrical work in the Kottonmouth Kings, the California-based band known for blending psychedelic sounds with hip-hop and punk rock. The Dirtball is the newest member in the group, joining in early 2010, but he’s also worked with fellow members of the Kottonmouth Kings in X Pistols, a West Coast-style punk side project. This tour, Dirtball performs his hip-hop solo works at Mac’s Bar. Openers are KnowledgeDaMC, S.O.P., Bake Lo, Primo and 6leggz. The Dirtball’s rapid-fire delivery has been compared to Chicago-based Twista, while his off-color lyrics mirror Detroit’s own Eminem. AllMusic Guide called him “a West Coast rapper with a passion for Midwestern hip-hop.”