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WILD AT HEART - Monday August 24th 2008

Kirk, Here is today's blog - Bill
"Wild Bill" Kettelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University

Wild At Heart

You know your city has a bad rap when the lead guitarist of a Christian band
(Third Day) takes a cheap shot at you during a performance. On Thursday, he
joked that he was a bit afraid of playing a USO show in Iraq for the troops
when he was reminded that they had played Detroit before.

Yeah it’s funny, but you wish it wasn’t so.

The Olympics is finally over and I must admit that I enjoyed watching them
this year, esp beach volleyball, team volleyball, BMX (did you see some of
the wipe outs – Ouch!), women’s basketball and events with Phelps and Bolt.

For most track, gymnastics and swimming events, I hate watching the
qualifiers but I like to see the final events. I still can’t get into Equestrian or floor exercises (maybe because looking at cute girls in those form fitting outfits whom you know are underage makes me feel creepy). I missed the closing ceremony but I thought the opening was spectacular (and I don’t care about what might have been faked with regards to the fireworks)
proving that there are some talented film people in China such as Zhang Yimou, the director of such wonderful films as Raise the Red Lantern, Hero and House Of Flying Daggers.

While his work on the Olympics is amazing, I can’t help but think about some of the hardships he encounters in his youth due to his parents involvement with the Nationalist
party when he was forced to give up his studies and spent time as a farm laborer and as a cotton textile mill. At the age of 27, he had to write a personal appeal to the Ministry of Culture.

Luckily for us and the Chinese government, the authorities relented and admitted him into the Department of Cinematography.

Speaking of politics, I had the opportunity to talk with James Brown last week.

This is not the Godfather of Soul, but the drummer of UB40 who was in town last Friday. UB40 is one of the biggest recording acts in England having around 50 top 40 hits and they put on a wonderful show. They got their start by claiming unemployment (using the UB40 form or Unemployment Benefit, Form 40) and they used their first check to help promote their
first gigs.

There current album, "TwentyFourSeven", is the last to feature Ali Campbell who left for solo work after 30 years with the band and replaced by his brother Duncan. Brown said the album is their most political in a long time and a lot of their early work touched on themes of
unemployment and racism, though when I asked about the politics of Briton, he was more interested in the US. He said that the British are very interested in our election (probably more so that most Americans) and said that most are hoping that Obama gets elected and brings a change to our policies. He feels Obama represents something which is hard to pin down but
similar to past presidents like Kennedy and Reagan. I had to miss their show for the Commodores, though I had seen them last year and hope they come back
around again.

Speaking of drummers, I went to see Def Leppard and enjoyed watching Rick Allen, the drummer who lost his arm but has managed to retool his drum kit to allow him to play using his one good arm and both his feet using an electronic kit.

Incredible! The guy rocks and the rest of the band aren’t that bad either. Also, the movie The Rocker is officially out. This is the story of a failed drummer (must be a theme this week) who is given a second chance at fame. Robert "Fish" Fishman (the Office's Rainn Wilson) is an extremely passionate drummer for the eighties hair band Vesuvius, who is living the rock n' roll
dream in Cleveland until he is kicked out of the band.

Twenty years later with crushed dreams and working in an office, he hears that his nephew's
high school rock band A.D.D. is looking for a new drummer.

They reluctantly make him the newest member of the band to play for the prom. After an
embarrassing finish to the set, he gets kicked out. He feels awful and tries to make good by getting them a real gig. A viral video of a nude "Fishman" drumming catapults them to success and the band goes on tour, culminating at a gig where they open for Vesuvius with hilarious results. I thought this was a very funny movie showing Wilson can carry a
movie and he is supported very nicely by Teddy Geiger (from my hometown of
Rochester, NY), Emma Stone and Josh Gad, who could actually play a real gig.
Christina Applegate plays the love interest in the movie and William Arnett
as Vesuvius’ lead singer. There are a few head-shaking moments but overall,
it is enjoyable to watch esp for the Beatles parallels (look for a cameo by
Pete Best). Grade: B.

Yesterday was a very 80’s day for me at the Regeneration tour. Naked Eyes
started the show with a nice set including "Always Something There To Remind
Me" and "Promises, Promises". A Flock Of Seagulls are hard for me to watch
nowadays but most of the audience enjoyed such hits as "I Ran" and "Space
Age Love Song". ABC came out and rocked the place with some new songs as
well as hits like "Poison Arrow" and "Be Near Me". Belinda Carlisle put on a
set of her solo hits and some Go-Go’s favorites. She is looking really good
these days. The stars of the night were Human League who I wished could have
played a longer set, but this was one of my favorite shows of the year.

This also sets up Friday’s show at the Royal Oak Music Theatre up nicely when
Squeeze and Aimee Mann take the stage. Tune in to Wild At Heart on WXOU
88.3FM (or online at between 8-10AM Thursday morning to win tickets to the show.

There is a lot going on this week starting with the Michigan State Fair, first held in 1849. From a music point of view, there is not much action this year with only a few name acts on the line up and most of them generic or aimed at kids such as Corbin Bleu of High School The Musical fame tonight and ex-Cheetah Girl Raven Symone on Tues.

We can purge ourselves on Wed when Alice Cooper returns for a rocking show. Despite the anemic lineup, I always enjoy hanging out at the fishing pond and trying out the bow target
shooting. I will hopefully run into some of you there and will post a special blog on Thursday talking more about the fair along with movie reviews of ‘Lakeview Terrace’ and ‘Death Race’. Also, I’ll look at line-up at Arts Beats and Eats and the Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Have a good week and see you all later and look at for more info about what’s happening.