April 2024 Culture Calendar

The host of In the Groove with Ryan Patrick Hooper on 101.9 WDET offers a curated list of this month’s art and entertainment.
Daniel Campo’s Postindustrial DIY: Recovering American Rust Belt Icons, touches on Detroit’s historic preservation efforts. // Photograph courtesy of Postindustrial DIY

Metro Detroit is always so full of events and other fun things to do that it can be tough keeping track of it all. To help you plan your weekend itineraries, we’ve asked Ryan Patrick Hooper, who is hosting a new show called In the Groove with Ryan Patrick Hooper on 101.9 WDET, to share his top April happenings in the area.

Spring Read

Postindustrial DIY Celebrates Grassroots Preservation Efforts in Detroit

I’m in love with the new, expanded storefront of Source Booksellers, the independent bookstore in the Cass Corridor at the corner of Cass Avenue and Canfield Street. Owner Janet Webster Jones has dedicated her life to books. This haven of nonfiction reads is a testament to her taste.

The recent arrival Postindustrial DIY: Recovering American Rust Belt Icons by Daniel Campo caught my eye. When we’re talking do-it-yourself grassroots efforts of historic preservation in Rust Belt cities, you just know Detroit is going to be front and center. And it is, woven through the book as it profiles efforts to resurrect the Rust Belt and spotlighted in chapters dedicated to the Packard Plant and Michigan Central Station.

Campo brings great narrative and a decade of reporting, alongside fantastic photographs, to properly explore Detroit’s rust, rot, and comeback with the “small guy” front and center.

Postindustrial DIY: Recovering American Rust Belt Icons by Daniel Campo is out now via Fordham University Press. Shop local and pick up your copy at Source Booksellers in Detroit, or an independent bookstore near you.

Live Comedy

A Tale of Two Talents in Two Cities

Photograph by Kane Brown

Tim Robinson has become one of the biggest comedy stars out of Detroit, turning the skills he learned during his time at The Second City Detroit and Planet Ant in Hamtramck into the successful and highly meme-able I Think You Should Leave sketch show on Netflix.

Robinson is bringing a live show of his awkward, surrealist sketches to the Fox Theatre — and it sold out fast. Expect more shows to be added and grab those tickets quickly. And if you can’t, I’ll offer up another homegrown talent who was a featured stand-up comic on Conan O’Brien’s old talk show several times, has put out an album on Jack White’s Third Man Records, and is bound for big things. His name is Brad Wenzel, and he’s headlining the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase (April 25-27).

Whether you’re lucky enough to strike gold with Tim Robinson tickets or end up catching a rising star in Brad Wenzel, you can’t go wrong with local comedy this month.

Go to 313presents.com/foxtheatre to stay abreast of news on Tim Robinson tickets; check out aacomedy.com for tickets to and information about Brad Wenzel’s show and other upcoming events.

On My Playlist

Won’t You Come Listen to My New Show

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of 101.9 WDET-FM’s new show In the Groove. // Photograph courtesy of Ryan Patrick Hooper

This is a little self-serving, but one of the reasons I’m even allowed to be in the glossy, refined pages of Hour Detroit is because of my gig at 101.9 WDET-FM. And the station just went through a bunch of changes — adding more local news, adding more local music — and one of those musical additions is my new show, In the Groove with Ryan Patrick Hooper (weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.).

What you’ll hear is a lot like what you’ll find in this column — great local selections from the deep roster of artists that Detroit produces, plus the best of who is coming to town. And it’s an insane honor for me to be sharing about it here and also on the airwaves at WDET, which is celebrating 75 years in public radio this year (this means no ads, thanks to support from listeners and readers like you).

My introduction to WDET was through my late father, who painted Dodge trucks on the assembly line. Everyone he worked with had their radio blaring, exposing him to lots of different music (not a lot of blue-collar white guys in the plant were able to rap DMX tracks front to back like my dad could). That’s how he stumbled on WDET, listening during his shift and racing home to impress me with the army of new bands he had discovered.

Have you ever heard of The Beta Band? Gomez? It got me hooked and brought me closer to my dad. I fantasized for years about being a music host on WDET. I eventually got an internship, and then another internship, and then a part-time job, and now here I am.

Like the mixed sounds of the city bleeding out from the radios on the assembly line, I hope to build something that represents the city and feels like the city. If you enjoyed anything I’ve written for Hour over the years, I hope you’ll come over to WDET’s airwaves during the week and enjoy the eclectic mixtape of music I’m putting together over there.

In the Groove with Ryan Patrick Hooper airs weekdays noon to 3 p.m. on 101.9 WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. You can stream the show live at wdet.org.

This story originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. To read more, pick up a copy of Hour Detroit at a local retail outlet. Our digital edition will be available on April 5.