Archive for August, 2007

Belle Isle Mix

Thanks to Brooke I have discovered the joy of Belle Isle during the summer. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sun set over the city other than a harvest moon rising behind you. For your “Belle Isle fix survival kit” I would highly recommend a citronella candle to ward off the bugs by the beach at night. Also, I have never seen such a production as the preparations that are taking place for the Grand Prix this weekend. Traffic is being diverted, tents erected, an ungodly number of porta-potties, and guards for all of the aforementioned.

Big Weekend Coming Up!!

I haven’t posted in a while (I’ve been busy moving and working hard!). This weekend is the big break I need, where I can relax with a lawn chair in downtown Detroit and do the jazzfest thing. The jazzfest this year is probably one of the best lineups in recent history. There are some other big events coming up for this weekend too:

Arts, Beats & Eats – Big art & food festival in downtown Pontiac.
Detroit Grand Prix – Auto racing returns to Belle Isle this weekend.
Detroit Jazz Fest – One of the best lineups in years – Herbie Hancock on Friday, and an insane lineup on Saturday (including Martin, Medeski & Wood), Kenny Barron on Sunday.

Also, on August 30th (Thursday) you can catch the Great Lakes Myth Society, one of my favorite new bands, at the Union Ballroom in Ann Arbor.

vote…and vote often

i assume that everyone here has done their part to honor the best places in or around this city we hate to love by firing off a vote for them in the “Vote 4 The Best” contest channel 4 is putting on, i know i have. i have made it a rule, however, that i would only vote for independant businesses because i know how genuinely jazzed the owners will be to win their catagory. i don’t see the CEO of Circuit City giving a crap about it but i’ll bet Mary Ella from Bikram Yoga in Grosse Pointe would literally bend over backwards to get your vote. even though i’m pretty sure the winners get nothing more than bragging rights it’s still nice to know that the things you do for your customers are appreciated. i’ve let the public know where i like to drink beer, shop for mid century antiques, see rock bands perform and eat thai food among other things. how about you guys? anyone willing to offer up their choices for us all to read? i know Rick (who claims to be an avid bicyclist) has voted for who he thinks is the top of the heap. the last time i checked they were in the number one spot, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add to it.

The Metro Times takes on the Environment

The MetroTimes‘ News Editor Curt Guyette has been on top of Environmental Issues in Michigan all summer long and as a result, The Metro Times is becoming the best outlet for learning about Michigan’s role and responsibilities in the Climate Crisis currently facing the planet.

Lately, nearly every issue of The Metro Times has offered an investigative report on Global Warming, energy
of them have been Michigan-based experts, giving this world problem a local treatment that hits home for us Michiganders. I’d like to commend Guyette and the staff of The Metro Times for taking on one of the most important issues of our age with verve, depth, and fairness.

I’ve supplied here links to some of the best of these reports from the Metro Times website. Together, they serve as a short primer for learning about what Michigan is and isn’t doing to make the world a better place to live.

Power in Play: The Struggle is on to Shape Michigan’s Electric Future
The Heat is On: What Global Warming Could Mean for Michigan
Glow Job
Corn Hole: Opposition to Alcohol Growing

The Great Commute

I regretfully left my job at Wayne State University Press for Thomson Gale publisher out in Farmington Hills. Part of the regret is leaving behind the seven minute door-to-door commute to work from downtown to midtown. Thankfully I still get to live in the city even though I don’t get to experience the 9-5 life in the city. The way I see it is that I have a whole pool of suburbanites that I can entice to come play in the city after work. The reverse commute seems like a good idea in theory where I am leaving the city in the morning when everyone is flooding in, but the Lodge closure is messing that up. Then when the exodus after work from the city is to occur, I just realized that all our sporting events mess that up. So really, while this is a great step in my career, it is a step up on the road rage ladder for me.

Detroit’s southwest side in a nut shell

commit a crime (shoot, rob, steal, kill, whatever) – run – have the local television news tell the citizens that the police “need your help” – repeat. has anyone else noticed this trend? oh, and no one ever really “helps out” so by telling the viewing public that the criminals got away it totally makes it seem like your chances of escaping capture by Detroit’s short arm of the law are almost a sure thing. which reminds me, i’m gonna be over near Tireman tonight…anyone need a new Dodge? it’s on me.

Good News For Blanche Fans

Good news for Blanche fans, despite the sudden death of V2 Records America; Blanches’ much anticipated second album Little Amber Bottles will make its American debut on October 23. An insider also promised me that we would all be able to enjoy a live performance before the end of the year. Fingers crossed for a Magic Stick show. In the mean time you can check out a couple of new tracks via their Myspacepage.

The Biggest Detroit Music Event of the Year?

Detour, a new Detroit-based online music, movie, pop culture magazine, will host three nights of music featuring the best bands Motown currently has to offer. Detour is anchored in the Detroit scene, but is also making overtures toward national recognition, offering reviews and commentary on big movies and various national and international recording artists. It will be interesting to see if the online mag catches on in Detroit and outside as it builds content and finds its niche among the many entertainment-based sites traipsing about the Interwebs.

The Launch Party will conglomerate Detroit’s best bands over three days and three venues, The Magic Stick, The Garden Bowl, and the C.A.I.D. Highlights for me will include Johnny Headband, The Hadituptoheres, Freer, and The High Strung (whose newest album, Get the Guests, is pretty amazing). You can check out music from all of the acts by clicking on each band’s name on the official schedule.

Detour’s Three-Day Launch Party will take place Thursday, September 20 thru Saturday, September 22. Ticket prices vary depending on which bands you want to check out and which nights you want to attend.

Things to do this weekend for those who don’t dream of crusin’

Q: Hey, are you going down to the Dream Cruise this weekend?
A: meh

If you’re like me and your answer to this question is also “meh,” then you may be more interested in a couple of activities that are more aesthetic than automotive in nature.

Joe’s 13th Annual Art Party

It’s that time of year again, the time that Joe goes out of his way to throw an art party. To be honest, I’m not sure who this mysterious Joe is. Apparently, said Joe has no artistic talent at all but really, really likes the stuff and likes when people get together to look at it. He hosts this party every year and asks local artists and performers to share their art. So who is this Joe? Well, he’s our art party man. And if he can’t do it, no one can, I suppose.

Highlights for this night will include the performance of excerpts from the new play “A Chinaman’s Waltz” by local playwright John Karabetsos (music by Colton Weatherston), which one performer involved described a “vanguardy cabaret musical.” Sounds pretty cool. There will also be a live jazz band, a DJ to keep you dancin’ into the wee hours, and plenty of local art to “hmmm,” and “Oh wow,”and “Now, that’s interesting” to your heart’s content.

But art snobs beware. Joe’s Art Party is for the proles. Leave snubbed noses and airborne pinkies at home.

Joe’s 13th Annual Art Party takes place at the Iodent Building, Centaur Lounge; 2233 Park Avenue, Detroit, Michigan; Downtown behind the Fox Theatre
Doors open at 8 pm, free admission, cash bar

Last Tourist CD Release Party


Detroit band Last Tourist had this awesome idea recently. You see, they’re releasing a CD called “Portrait of a Marathon,” which I hear is pretty darn good. In order to celebrate the new release, they decided to book a show at Small’s in Hamtramck, get a couple of other bands to play, and have a party! A CD Release Party!

Their MySpace profile, which includes two sample tracks, saith: “If Detroit has become synonymous with “Garage Rock” in your mind, Last Tourist will confound all of your expectations.” Confounding of expectations? Yes please.

Doors open at 8:00. $7 cover. Porchsleeper and Deastro open

And if you’re walking the streets of Detroit or Hamtramck on Saturday and are still feeling wistful for some car-lookin’, I promise I’ll slow down a bit so that you can get a good look at my Ford Focus. She’s a real beaut, Clark!

no shirt, no shoes, no problem

although i’m personally not a big “new pop-country” music fan i know there are a lot of people that are…which is why Ford Field will be at standing room only capacity this Saturday. Kenny Chesney (i like to think of him as a Jimmy Buffet for the new generation) brings his “Flip Flop Summer” tour to town. it’s an all day event full of big named opening acts all leading up to the crown prince of the sand & saddle himself. there will be seperate parties in the Ford Field parking lot as well as at the Marriott Hotel, too. listen to his music and it’ll make you want to sit on the beach with a beer in your hand and your arm around your horse. and even though i’ll never be as big a fan as all the Ches-nuts in his fan club i gotta admit that every once and a while i’ll catch myself tapping a toe along to his big hit “Summertime”. giddy up.

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