Archive for September, 2007

Oh, the things you missed at last week’s Detour Launch Party

Last weekend’s Detour Launch Party, a three-day music fest celebrating the founding of Detroit’s new nationally-aspiring but locally-based music and culture online mag, Detour, was a “can’t miss” event that you had to miss.

You had no choice. It’s okay. It’s alright. We all missed it, even those of us who were there for every minute of it (alas, I missed the barbecue on Saturday afternoon. DOH!). You had to miss it because there was too much going on, too many bands to see at once, too many beautiful people to gaze upon lasciviously, too much dancing and fist-pumping for any cellular-based life form. Don’t cry your eyes. Your cred is not tarnished. You can’t be two places at once.

The dueling stages at The Garden Bowl and The Magic Stick were impossible to balance. So the end of the Johnny Headband set kept you from catching the beginning of Carjack‘s robot dance party. You were devastated because you missed Child Bite completely since you got to the venue late and was stopped in your tracks by the immense, neo-psychedelic hum of Heroes and Villains. You had to pull yourself away from one-man-musical-mad scientist Deastro to be sure to catch one-man hip hop impresario Juiceboxxx‘s positively psychotic-in-the-best-way rantings and rollickings. The Hadituptoheres so had it up to here with rock n’ roll and so took it out on you that you were too paralyzed to do the “Detroit Shuffle” with The Mahonies. You missed the barbecue completely (and your favorite Detroit band, the sonically and lyrically awe-inspiring rock n’ rollers The High Strung).

Well, actually, that was me. But I’m sure you had a similarly daunting experience trying to catch every second possible of this extremely successful event. So what did you think? I’d like to hear who disappointed you and who rocked your panties and boxers off, not to mention those cumbersome socks. I liked most of the bands I saw, but Freer in particular blew me away, and even though I’ve never been terribly partial to The Hard Lessons, I was extremely impressed by the show (and like how Augie appropriated a bit of Gordon Downie’s rantings from The Tragically Hip’s Live Between Us before embarking on a gallant crowd surf.

Speak your minds, music lovers of Detroit, and huzzah! to Detour. May you live long, prosper, and throw one hell of a 1st Anniversary party next year.

Education Expo this weekend at Cranbrook

Attention, parents: this Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm, MetroParent is hosting its 12th annual Education Expo at the Cranbrook Institute of Science and you won’t want to miss out on the free resources and free activities that will be available.
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Walk the walk

While perusing through the top Detroit stories this evening, I couldn’t help but stop — and gape — at this Free Press headline: “Kilpatrick press secretary’s car, insurance registered outside Detroit”. What?! I’m sorry, I must not have read that correctly.
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don’t hate me for this…

i have a feeling this post may be like yelling “HONEY!” in a crowded bee hive but i i’d like to see some opinions and maybe have some of you open my eyes to the light right in front of me, so to speak. that being said, let’s discuss the UAW/GM strike. having never been faced with that sort of huge corporation or, honestly, never having really worked for a “big business” before the way i see it may be 180 degrees off base but i think that the union workers should realize that if they expect the business to last, thus creating job security, they should understand that they,GM, need to make some big changes. history is proving that offering paid health care for the whole life of the worker can not continue. and to make it even worse the average human is now living longer than ever before. from what i have heard the typical auto worker makes a pretty damn good wage, has good benefits and is rewarded for their services with some pretty good vacation time and is quite franklly doing much better than me on each of those levels (but i’m happy to have a job that keeps me bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan) to me…again..TO ME it seems like asking to be taken care of after you retire…especially in these economic times, is greedy. don’t they see that the company is struggling just to stay alive and that the struggle is based mostly on the very thing they are demanding? i’ll drop this the way it started by saying that this is my opinion and i welcome oposing views and admit, as i frequently do, that i may be completely wrong about this whole thing.

Detroit Docs

After a year of slumber, the Detroit Documentary Film festival is reemerging this year October 17th to the 21st. The call for entries has past and the schedule of films is to come very soon. The 2007 award categories include Best Michigan Film
and Doc Most Likely to Change the World. It is important that the organizers recognize the contribution of the state of Michigan to national and international filmmaking. Of course, Michigan’s noted documentarian – Michael Moore – is one that most people recognize, but there is plenty of talent yet to be discovered and to put the state on stage. I will be volunteering, so I will see you there.

Open City

Tuesday night at Cliff Bell’s was one of the most impressive events I have attended in the city in a long time. Open City is a group of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be in and around the city to come together and share their expertise, vision, success, and learn from failure. On Tuesday a good 100 people gathered to hear the inspirational stories of Avalon Bakery, Canine to Five, and Bureau Living owners who hosted the night’s events. We also heard from a dozen other entrepreneurs. The positivism that emanated from the crowd was inspirational. Detroit is a city that truly celebrates its entrepreneurs and its entrepreneurs in turn are grateful to the people for their success. The stories had the common thread of enjoying the success of word of mouth advertising from grateful citizens. The low barriers to entry, the lack of competitors, and spirit of the consumers is what makes it so rewarding for so many to start up in the city.

Russell Industrial Fair

This past weekend hosted one of my favourite fall events, which I unfortunately missed being out of town. The converted Russell Industrial Center opened up its artists’ studios to the public. From 11 a.m. to midnight, one was able to see the artists’ work, able to purchase unique creations, and observe the artist’s creating in the city. If you are looking for glassworkers, mural painters, photographers, metalworkers, etc. this is the place you need to visit.

Towing Fiasco

One of the worst feelings is going to find your car and not having it be there. It is even worse when it is towed from your own place. Getting to the impound on Michigan Avenue was a fiasco. The gatekeepers at my place were telling me to look for a run down area and those in the Dearborn area were telling me to look for a shady area. The problem is that I find all of Detroit – the good and the ugly – all beautiful and the “run down” areas did not strike me as any different from what I usually see in and around the city.

Good Times / Mediocre Tennis

Do you play tennis? I don’t. But my friend Katy does, and she’s asked me to post this call to arms (and legs too):

Members of friendly Ferndale tennis group, “Da Fennis Klub,” are more likely to wear tennis blacks than tennis whites (“when there’s peace on earth, we’ll change”), and they want to test out their serves on you. The rules: show up, be nice, and have fun.

Through the summer, the group plays 2x weekly at Detroit’s Palmer Park and Ferndale High School courts. A ladder system ensures that everyone gets points and the matches stay competitive. Now that it’s fall, the matches are petering out, but informal, pick-up games are all the rage (so is replenishing your sweat with $2 beers at the W.A.B. afterward).

To get in the game simply show up from 5-7 pm at the Ferndale High School courts. For more info, email: fennisklub@gmail.com

CORRECTION: Sorry about not mentioning the date. Thanks Homer. Tennis ensues Sundays through October 21.

this ain’t yo momma’s craft fair

more than once i’ve been duped into driving off to the suburbs to attend an “art fair” when in reality it’s more “craft” than “art” where i’ll find myself wandering insipidly from tent to tent looking at the latest offerings from dozens of “artists” that seem to have spent too much time picking through the discount bins at Michael’s or have just recently gotten ahold of the first season of Bob Ross’ “Joy of Painting” on DVD. hand painted bird houses and black & white photos of Lake Superior…snore. however, this Saturday is an event that i suspect will live up to it’s title of “The People’s Arts Festival”. it’s taking place at the Russell Industrial Center (1600 Clay), it runs from 11am ’til Midnight, promises over 100 artists, 30 bands, fashion, film, food, beverage and is all absolutely free. maybe this event could be sub-titled Arts, Beats & Freaks? what about the Bustle at the Russell? i suggest being there or being square. giddyup!

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