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Marilyn Minter's sexy-gross work hits MOCA on Friday

Talking about Marilyn Minter's pictures makes them sound straight-up sexy: super close-ups of turgid lips, licking tongues, sultry eyes ... Her 2009 video Green Pink Caviar is made up of eight minutes of models' mouths sucking and licking Jell-O and candy, shot up-close. But that video, as well as Minter's photos and large enamel-on-aluminum paintings, also have grotesque qualities that seem to be more criticism than celebration of the decadent glamour we typically associate with fashion mags. MOCA Cleveland curator Margo Crutchfield has put together a new show focusing on Minter's recent works, including a large painting called "Orange Crush." That luscious video, which was part of the European leg of Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour, is also here. An opening reception runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at MOCA Cleveland (8501 Carnegie Ave., 216-421-8671, mocacleveland.org). It kicks off with a gallery talk by the artist and curator; the show hangs through August 15. Admission is free.  Michael Gill

Wednesday, June 2

BEER + WILD ANIMALS = FAMILY FUN

The Akron Zoo (500 Edgewood Ave., Akron, 330-375-2550, akronzoo.org) may not be as extensive as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, but it's got a cool collection of lions, snow leopards, tigers, and jaguars. It's also got two brand-new baby capybaras — the world's largest rodent, which can weigh close to 150 pounds. Just the thought of one of these guys in your trashbin could drive a person to drink — and the zoo's got you covered: From 6 to 9 p.m., Brew at the Zoo offers locally made libations from Akron's Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and Ohio Brewing Company, as well as Indigo Imp Brewery and Rocky River Brewing Company from the Cleveland area. Billed as a "casual beer tasting," the event also includes light appetizers. It's $10 for zoo members, $15 for non-members. Anastasia Pantsios 

B-SIDE'S MUG NIGHT

If mugs of beer and '80s music are your thing, then the B-Side Liquor Lounge has a cool deal for you. Buy a mug for $2 and you can get it refilled all night long for only a dollar as you listen to the sweet sounds of DJ Chris Wright. Impress your friends by showing them you can dance without spilling any of that beer. Then come back next Wednesday and do it all again. The action starts at 8 p.m. at the B-Side (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216-932-1966, bsideliquorlounge.com). Admission is free. Jordan Zirm

CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE MUSIC!

Florida indie rockers Morningbell first made some buzz with 2007's Through the Belly of the Sea, which was billed as the world's first "Choose Your Own Adventure" album and included a lyric-book story with navigational prompts. Unfortunately, the gimmick obscured the music made by the band, which had been plugging away with a steady rotation of members since 2000. On Sincerely, Severely, Morningbell choose their own musical adventure. The band's early efforts were standard-issue Shins-inflected indie rock, but Sincerely explores all sorts of styles and sounds — from the Latin flavors in "The Blue Whale and the Fly" to the classic-soul homage "King Mango Strut." Somewhat surprisingly, the stylistic schizophrenia yields the band's strongest record. Morningbell play Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576, myspace.com/nowthatsclass) at 9 p.m. The Tides, Dan Kearsey, and Sixes and Sevens open. Tickets are $5. — Chris Drabick

Thursday, June 3

WHEN OIL, WATER AND FIRE MIX

Don Frey might sound a little crazy. He uses oil-based paints to cover his canvases, then blasts the canvases with a garden hose, throws crumpled-up leaves, grass, sand, and whatever other natural materials he feels like using on top of that...and then lights the whole thing on fire. The result, When Oil, Water, and Fire Mix, is anything but crazy. Frey calls it "collaborations with nature," and the works are a stunning look at what nature and man can create. Frey's creations will be on display through Sunday at Studio 11 (2337 W. 11th St., 216-472-3611, studio11tremont.com). Zirm

Friday, June 4

FAME, CLEVELAND STYLE

Nobody's checking out All City Musical's production of Fame because they want to find out what happens to those tenacious teens from the New York School of the Arts as they work to realize their Broadway dreams. They're checking it out because they want to see how Cleveland kids are doing with their dreams. Now in its 11th year, the All City Musical represents the remains of Cleveland Public Schools' musical program. Although the individual schools no longer put on spring shows, what they do together is often spectacular. With support from the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the Cleveland Music School Settlement, the Music Theatre Project, and PlayhouseSquare, the program draws talent from the entire district and fills the stage with it. This year's production of Fame will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ohio Theatre (1511 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.com). Tickets are $15.  Gill

TAKE THAT, BLUEGRASS LEGEND

When he was a fiddle-playing teen, Sam Bush met bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and tried to show off his blossoming mandolin skills. The icon of the genre's advice? Stick to the fiddle, kid. Bush ignored him and went on to become the "Father of Newgrass." Bush first picked up the mandolin when he was 11, won the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler's Contest three times, and released his first recording, 1969's Poor Richard's Almanac (with Wayne Stewart and Alan Munde), when he was 17. The following year, energized by the New Deal String Band's rock-tinged bluegrass, Bush joined the similarly grained Bluegrass Alliance, and when the group dissolved, he reassembled it as New Grass Revival in 1971. The band's fluctuating lineup included some of bluegrass' biggest names (like Bela Fleck) before Bush dissolved it in 1989. He quickly moved on to a variety of projects: forming Strength in Numbers with Fleck and other likeminded musicians, playing with Emmylou Harris' Nash Ramblers, performing sessions with Lyle Lovett, and launching the Sam Bush Band. Bush's frequent and ecstatically received appearances at the country's most prestigious bluegrass festival inspired his other title, the King of Telluride, and three years ago he mantled the International Bluegrass Music Award trophy for Mandolinist of the Year. Somewhere, Monroe is having a good laugh. Bush plays the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. — Brian Baker

WALK WHERE THE SLAVES WALKED

Oberlin has a rich history. It was a crucial link in the Underground Railroad, and its college was among the first to enroll black students. The town also banned alcohol purchases until 1980 — OK, that part's not exactly cool, but it is part of the city's interesting past. At today's guided Tappan Square Tour, you'll learn about the memorial dedicated to Oberlin missionaries who were killed in China. Tomorrow, you can take a trip to the Underground Railroad and get an earful about abolition. The Tappan Square Tours start at 11 a.m. Fridays; the Underground Railroad and abolitionist history walks begin at 11 a.m. Saturdays. Both run through September at the Oberlin Heritage Center (73 ½ South Professor St., Oberlin, 440-774-1700, oberlinheritage.org). Tickets are $6, $3 for kids. Zirm

OHIO BIKE WEEK

Fade in with the gleam of chrome, a frosty beer, and a sweat-slippery leather saddle that gives any rebel a cause. Then infuse the scene with gasoline fumes and the occasional plume of cigarette smoke. Finally, pan out to reveal a sea of tattooed flesh and rumbling hogs. Sturgis? Nope. Daytona? Guess again. Try Sandusky, where Ohio Bike Week stretches out for ten glorious days of rockin' and ridin'. The rally kicks off at the Erie County Fairgrounds today and unfolds around the AHDRA Ohio Bike Week Nationals, which rampage through Summit Motorsports Park tomorrow and Sunday. From there, all bets are on in the poker runs, the charity rides, the oil wrestling event (!), and the snowmobile drag racing (?). Bonus: A daylong symposium serves as a celebration of Ohio women bikers, and the bikini contest serves as a celebration of Ohio women in a more general sense. There's even an all-faith worship service to keep the karma clean. After the rides are more rides, including a winery tour, a Lake Erie loop ride, and another to the Mansfield Reformatory. When the hoggies are tucked in, the other heavy metal takes center stage: Vince Neil, Charlie Daniels, and Great White play at various venues throughout the region. Visit ohiobikeweek.com for a complete schedule and more info. Erin O'Brien

SPRINGSTEEN WEEKEND

The Rock Hall's From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen exhibit opened last spring, but it's so popular it's been extended through 2010. Last year's Springsteen Weekend was a hit too, so it's happening again this weekend. Festivities include special screenings of Bruuuuce's appearances at various Rock Hall inductions and the 25th anniversary concert, as well as rare concert and TV footage. There's also "Meet the Curator" gallery talks in the exhibition hall. From 3 to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Stone Pony Band will play the lobby stage, and there'll be a discussion of Springsteen's ties to Cleveland with longtime promoters Jules Belkin and Henry LoConti (who booked him before he was the Boss) and John Gorman (who was WMMS' program director when the station helped make him the Boss back in the mid '70s). It all takes place at the Rock Hall (1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-781-7625, rockhall.com). Admission is $22. Pantsios 

BRINSLY TYRELL IS EVERYWHERE

You can see Brinsley Tyrell's work all around Cleveland. The Kent State University professor emeritus has had some very visible commissions over the years, including a fence at Ohio City's Orchard Park School and some large enameled panels in the corridor of RTA's West 117th Street and Madison Avenue stop. Challenged to make something that would endure the weather and other abuses of a bus stop, Tyrell used KSU's industrial-style enameling kiln — a gigantic box that looks like a pizza oven — to melt images onto 36-inch sheets of metal. He then painted them with powdered glass and metal oxides. The process includes heating the sheets to 1,500 degrees, so the molten results are somewhat unpredictable — in part because colors typically change by the time the piece comes out of the kiln. Tyrell shows off his recent work using the process at William Busta Gallery (2171 Prospect Ave., 216-298-9071, williambustagallery.com). There's an opening reception from 6 to 9 tonight. The show runs through July 31. Admission is free.  Gill

Saturday, June 5

ADOPT-A-TRAIL WORKSHOP

Today is the American Hiking Society's National Trails Day, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park is celebrating by putting you to work. Attend their Adopt-a-Trail workshop and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping keep the park's hiking trails in good shape. You'll also acquire maintenance skills you can use around your house. A classroom session starting at 8 a.m. teaches pruning techniques and the proper way to clean ditches and culverts. Then it's time to get to work on area trails until 1 p.m. Dress for it, and bring lunch, water, and gloves to Octagon Shelter (801 Truxell Rd., Peninsula.). Call 330-657-2296 for more information. Pantsios

COMPOSERS CONNECT

The music on tonight's Cleveland Orchestra's program isn't exactly new, but you probably haven't heard any of it before. Each of the four pieces was written by fellows from the orchestra's Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer program: Johannes Maria Staud's "Comparative Meteorology" (from 2009), Susan Botti's "Translucence" (2005), Matthias Pintscher's "With Lilies White" (2002), and Marc Andre Dalbavie's "Concertante il Suono" (2000). Composers Connect is an evening-length concert that celebrates these young composers, kicking off with a dialogue featuring Botti and Dalbavie at 6 p.m. The performances start at 7 p.m. at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com). Admission is free, but tickets are required.  Gill 

ENGINE SHOW AND FLEA MARKET

There's a neighborly, distinctly small-town feel to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce's Antique Gas Engine Show & Flea Market, now in its 34th year. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, vendors and exhibitors will set up in Columbia Township Park (25540 Royalton Rd.) to show off their vehicles, crafts, and odds-and-ends. Both days feature a tractor parade around the park (yee-haw!), plus a Ladies Skillet Toss, a Men's Rolling Pin Toss, and a Kid's Corn Cob Toss. You can start off the whole thing from 8 to 10 a.m. this morning with a breakfast buffet. Here's how homey this event is: At the end of the day today, vendors and exhibitors are invited to bring a dish to share at a cookout in the park pavilion. You don't see that at your fancy-schmancy fairs. For a full schedule of activities, go to columbiastation.com/engineshow.html or call 440-236-9053. Admission is free. Pantsios 

HALE FARM 5K AND FAMILY WALK

If farmers in the 1800s wanted to go for a jog, it was probably a lot like the Hale Farm 5K Run, which rolls through pastures and nature trails. If the whole making-your-legs-move-really-fast-and-being-out-of-breath thing isn't for you, try the Family Fun Walk, which follows the same path founder Jonathan Hale took when he left his Connecticut home in 1810 for greener Ohio pastures. Take in the beautiful scenery of Cuyahoga Valley National Park while you're at it, because you're going to need something to take your mind off how far you have to run. The 10K starts at 9 a.m., followed by a 5K five minutes later, at Hale Farm (2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath). The Family Fun Walk takes place at 11 a.m. Call 330-666-3711 or visit halefarm.org to register. Zirm

SUGARLAND

Country superstars in every sense of the word, Sugarland (singer Jennifer Nettles and guitarist Kristian Bush) have scored three platinum albums in five years. It all started with 2004's "Baby Girl," and they've been burning up the charts ever since with a string of hits, including "Stay," "It Happens," and "Already Gone." With her nasal twang, the spunky and charismatic Nettles is one of country music's most distinctive voices. In concert, she and the equally exuberant Bush look like they're having the time of their lives — and you might too. They aren't your typical country band, covering R.E.M. and the Jackson 5, and occasionally soaring above the audience in giant inflatable bubbles. They'll likely play songs from their next album, The Incredible Machine (which is due in October), at tonight's 7:30 visit to Blossom Music Center (1145 Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-241-5555, livenation.com). Luke Bryan and Danny Gokey open. Tickets range from $26 to $49.75. — Tierney Smith 

Sunday, June 6

BASIA

The cool, cosmopolitan Basia made her initial solo mark in 1987 with Time and Tide, a suave album that cemented the singer's alliance with keyboardist Danny White and yielded a hit in the title track. Basia Trzetrzelewska and White met in Matt Bianco, a group from the early '80s. Millions of album sales later, Basia is touring behind It's That Girl Again, a fresh collection showcasing her smooth, rangy expression of global pop. Basia and her band, including White, will play Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-795-0550, nighttowncleveland.com) at 7 and 9 tonight as part of a 10-gig U.S. tour. Like her contemporary, the more supple, sultry, and similarly single-named Sade, Basia aims to snare you with sinuous melodies and styles spanning Latin, gospel, and slinky soul-jazz. While Basia's not really part of a movement, her approach and attitude fit right in with smooth jazz. You'll find out just how contemporary she still at this show, a fitting setting for her brand of confidential, intimate artistry. Tickets are $40. — Carlo Wolff

ARTIST AS QUILTMAKER

When you think of quilts, perhaps you picture old ladies sitting in rocking chairs slowly but surely knitting something you wouldn't be caught dead in. But the works on display in FAVA Gallery's Artist As Quiltmaker use the quilts as canvases for some spectacular scenes. From Ludmila Aristova's "Vertigo" (where the artist layers skyscrapers on top of each other to create a looming effect) to Nancy Condon's "Soul Boxes" (where bits of sea shells, stamps, calendars, and other objects are strewn across the quilt), these pieces tell stories with their intricate detail. Bet your grandma never did anything like this. The show runs through June 31 at FAVA Gallery (39 Main St., Oberlin). It's open from 1 to 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Call 440-774-7158 or visit favagallery.org for more info. Zirm

RACE FOR THE PLACE

The double-entendre fund-raiser Race for the Place refers to the Gathering Place, whose Beachwood and Westlake campuses support individuals and families dealing with cancer. It also refers to Beachwood Place (26300 Cedar Rd.), the scene of the annual event. This year, the goal is to raise $350,000 through the "race," a relatively undemanding 5K/one-mile run/walk that's more about celebrating survivorship and sharing time with family and friends than grueling athletics. Adult entry is $25, $20 in advance. It's $15 for kids ages 13-17 and $10 for kids 6-12. All runners receive a T-shirt. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. on the upper-level south entrance, between Dillard's and Nordstrom. Celebration Village's family activities start at 8 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony. Go to thegatheringplace.kintera.org for more information or to register. Pantsios 

Monday, June 7

CHRISTMAS IN JUNE

Christmas Ale has been one of the Great Lakes Brewing Company's most popular beers since the first one of these crisp and delicious babies was cracked open back in 1988. The downside is that the seasonal brew is available for only two months every year, and if you don't act fast, you miss out on that wonderful mix of honey, ginger, and cinnamon. Luckily, Christmas comes early this year — or is it late for last year? No matter: There will be Christmas Ale flowing and no snow snowing tonight when Bier Markt celebrates Christmas in June, complete with Great Lakes' Christmas Ale and a half-dozen other delightful yet inferior holiday beers from around the country. It begins today at 4:30 p.m. and lasts until the limited supply is gone at the Bier Markt, 1948 W. 25th St., 216-344-9944, bier-markt.com). Zirm

Tuesday, June 8

CINCO DE MAYO FOREVER

There's something about sombreros and margaritas that makes us wish every day were Cinco de Mayo. And now our dreams have come true: R.J. Boland's at Gateway relives the celebration every Tuesday! Never mind that the Cavs should be gearing up for the Finals right about now: $3 margaritas and $2.50 Coronas will help you forget all of that. Throw in tacos for $1.50, and you just might forget Cleveland sports altogether. R.J. Boland's (724 Prospect, 216-938-8949, rjbolands.com) is open from 11 to 2 a.m. Admission is free. Zirm

EARTH WIND & FIRE

Earth, Wind & Fire, the pop-soul group drummer Maurice White and his bass-playing brother Verdine founded in Los Angeles in 1970, will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 17, joining Bob Crewe, Jackie DeShannon, and Diane Warren. Membership in this virtual museum is fitting for a group that soldiers on decades after it notched hits like "Shining Star," "That's the Way of the World," and a fabulous cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life." Like contemporaries Chicago and the Eagles, EW&F muster a thoroughly professional show; unlike Chicago and the Eagles, they're also visually engaging. The hits are sturdy too, which helps explain EW&F's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Another reason: EW&F's pioneering incorporation of African themes and sounds. While the group continues to showcase the astonishing, multi-octave singer Philip Bailey, Maurice White no longer tours with the band (he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the mid-'90s). Still, the group connects with its anthemic, positive music, razor-sharp horn section, and a heritage spanning White's extensive jazz roots. Earth, Wind & Fire play Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City (351 Canal Rd., 216-522-4822, livenation.com) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 to $69.50. — Wolff

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