Culture Calendar: D.L. Rossi’s New Album, The DIA’s Student Art Show, & More

Ryan Patrick Hooper, host of ’CultureShift’ on 101.9 WDET, curates your guide to the month in arts and entertainment
DL Rossi
Full of heartache and humor, D.L. Rossi’s new album, Lonesome Kind, explores new territory in the realm of alt-country. // Photograph courtesy of D.L. Rossi

D.L. Rossi Returns Home

From the artwork to the music itself, there’s a lot to love when it comes to the new D.L. Rossi record, Lonesome Kind, which he released independently last month. Originally from Sterling Heights, Rossi headed down to Nashville for three years, where his brother Nolan has a recording studio. That’s where his second full-length effort came to fruition last May. Many of the songs began as acoustic versions before his studio mates fleshed them out into full-fledged alt-country jams that will resonate with fans of Band of Horses and Jason Isbell. There’s a lot of heartbreak, which manages to be both humorous and oddly specific (“I’ve got a drink in my hand / the boys are in town from Michigan / and I’m not thinking about you,” from the song “Don’t Wait Up”). What makes Rossi stand out is the range of sonic flourishes and grooves he finds while exploring this tried-and-true genre. Find Lonesome Kind by D.L. Rossi on iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, and other streaming services.

Outdoor Venue Debuts in Downtown

What a bag of mixed emotions to be writing about the return of live music to downtown Detroit. A new socially distanced outdoor venue is set to debut just steps from the former site of Joe Louis Arena and the Detroit Riverfront. It’s called Riverside Station (701 W. Jefferson Ave.) and is being booked by the folks behind The Crofoot music venue in Pontiac, who have long booked music throughout the state. If you attend, you’ll be watching from a pod of four to six of your friends and using an app to order everything from beer to merch. The music announced so far has been eclectic — the indie-rock of Mt. Joy and the homegrown talent of Michigander; the heady jam band vibes of Umphrey’s McGee; even the heavy-bass electronic music of Subtronics. Expect more shows from national touring artists to be announced throughout the summer. For info, visit thecrofoot.com. 

This colorful creation by fifth-grader Morgan Covington is part of the DIA’s 84th exhibition of works by Detroit Public Schools Community District students. // Photograph courtesy of the DIA

Students Shine at the DIA

For the past 84 years, the Detroit Institute of Arts has hosted an annual student exhibition with Detroit Public Schools. It’s the DIA’s longest-running partnership with an educational organization. Back this year as a virtual affair, the exhibition will highlight works from students in kindergarten through 12th grade. This is a wide-ranging multimedia artistic window into the aesthetic influences that are resonating in the minds of tomorrow’s artists and non-artists alike. The show will feature a video of 232 artworks photographed by teachers who submitted their students’ work digitally for the first time this year. Interviews with the student artists add a wonderful dimension to this highly anticipated annual tradition at the DIA. On display now through May 30. View it virtually at dia.org.


Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET Detroit’s NPR station (weekdays from noon to 2 p.m.).

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