Bill Kettelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Labor Day Weekend Extravaganza
Not sure how excited I am about Labor Day since I have been unemployed for
almost a year, but this is a big weekend with a lot of fun stuff going on.
Labor Day is a federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September
since its start in 1882 as the Central Labor Union sought to create "a day
off for the working citizens". Now some might joke that a lot of today’s
labor force already takes enough time off but I’ll play nice (i.e. – get
back to work and read this blog during your lunch break).
Besides being a day of rest, Labor Day means different thing to different people.
For some it signals the end of summer and for others the start of the NFL and NCAA
Football seasons (I’m sure fans of the Lions, Spartans and Wolverines have
there stomachs tied in knots since all three programs have a rough start
which might show what there season might look like and it might not be
Locally, there is the Mackinac Bridge where people may walk the length of the Mackinac Bridge. Whatever Labor Day means to you, just have a good weekend and be safe so you can get back to work on Tuesday in one piece. If you haven’t decided on what to do this weekend, let me make some suggestions.
Starting off is the 11th Annual Arts Beats & Eats in downtown Pontiac. Musically, it is a very sound festival with a lot of great local and national acts. Friday is a strong night for local artists including blues artist Harmonica Shah, Monkey Jacket,Hard Lessons, Twistin Tarantulas
and the Howling Diablos. You will also have performances by national acts Blues Traveler and Rusted Root so if you really want to rock out, this seems to be the best night for that. Also, the Crofoot will be hosting a “Metromix presents Encore” opening night after party with complimentary drinks provided until 10 p.m. courtesy of the Detroit Sports Club and live music by the Hard Lessons, Millions of Brazilians, Prussia and Our Brother the Megazord plus others. Saturday seems to be the day for country and jazz fans with artists such asThornetta Davis, Billy Currington, Boney James (a two-time Grammy nominee who is a saxophonist who popularized urban jazz - an updated version of contemporary jazz that contains elements of hip-hop). Sunday is kind of a mixed bag for me but despite 80’s rockers Loverboy, you do have a performance but funk and soul legend Chaka Khan. Local artists of note include Manna & Quail, Emily Rose, Robin Horlock Band, Broadzilla and the Muggs. There are a lot of other great local bands which
probably shows the biggest diversity of great local talent at the festival. Things wind down on Monday with national act Puddle of Mudd and local artists such as Jill Jack and the Ragbirds. Other reasons to go to Downtown Pontiac for this festival include the Guitar Hero Championships (sign up on www.artsbeatseats.com), numerous art vendors, a lot of fun things for the kids and ways to help yourself become more environmentally friendly.
This should be a great festival and I hope to see you down there. Of course, maybe you are looking to be a little more mellow atmosphere which would lead you to the Detroit Jazz Festival down at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. This year the focus seems to be on more traditional jazz opening on Friday night with four-time Grammy Award winning jazz vocalist Dianne
This year’s line- up does have some uniqueness with “Mashed Potato Time” singer Dee Dee Sharp, The Derek Trucks Band (coming off a great performance at Rothbury) and jam band Stratospheerius. However, you will mostly hear just some great traditional jazz with artists like Pat Martino Quartet, Roy Hargrove Quintet, Count Basie Orchestra, DSO Civic Jazz
Orchestra and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. This is usually a nice
event to stroll around and take in the various stages if the weather stays
nice (only some showers on Saturday at this point look to hassle the weekend
Complete schedule at www.detroitjazzfest.com
Lastly, there is the 2008 Belle Isle Grand Prix. Like last year, Friday is
FREE admission day where you can watch some of the qualifying rounds and
check out some of the Meijer Family Fun Zone events. There will be some big
name musical acts at the races with performances by Sugar Ray on Saturday
and Everclear on Sunday. There are three races happening this weekend
including the IndyCar Series, the American Le Mans Series and the SPEED
For more information and full racing and entertainment schedules, go to www.detroitgp.com
Also, I just heard that Paxahau is putting on a special event this weekend to promote it’s 10th year anniversary. Since 1998 Paxahau has promoted electronic music and has grown to include a web archive, booking agency, record label and an event production company which puts on numerous events in the Detroit area including the popular Movement Festival.
The events include a pre-party on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at Exodus (located in Greektown) with music from DJ’s Chuck Flask, Rich Korach and John Johr, Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Oslowith Zip and Chuck Flask, Sunday, August 31, 2008 at Z’s Villafeaturing DJ’s Richie Hawtin, Magda, Rich Korach and Dan Bain and lastly Sunday, August 31, 2008at Northern Lights Loungewith Cassy and John Johr.
Full details can be found on their updated website, www.paxahau.com
If you are looking for some movie to check out, here is one that might interest you. Hollywood loves remakes since they feel the audience will be comfortable with the product and be more likely to plunk down the cost of a ticket over some new property. In this case, we are looking at the remake Death Race (originally released as Death Race 2000 which was directed by
John Carpenter and starred Sylvester Stallone and John Carradine). The original is a cross country race where pedestrians are run down for points (creating a wonderful pastime for real drivers) and a secret group is trying to bring an end to the race. Transplant the race into a future where the race is now a pay-per-view event for a prison (the winner of 5 races gets
parole). Ex-NASCAR champion Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) gets framed for killing his wife and sent to prison where he is supposed to race in place of the newly killed Frankenstein (who wore a mask so nobody knows his true identity). The warden is totally vicious and played nicely by Joan Allen but that is all the praise I can really give for the film. As the warden is trying to make sure nobody survives this race, Jensen tries to find a way to get revenge on his wife’s killer (who is in the prison) and to find a way to escape. The film has some nice moments but none of the overall fun of the original which I think to confine it into a traditional prison movie. I would suggest renting the original and seeing this update only if you really are a Stratham fan (though this doesn’t have a lot of his trademark fighting of the Transporter films which would have helped). Grade C-.
Alice Cooper rocked the State Fair last night, effectively ending the best of their concert schedule but you can still go to check out the wonderful Miracle Of Life exhibit, the half-snake/half snake lady (you just got to love a fair with freaks), a display by the Michigan Sports Hall Of fame,
fishing on the pond, the world’s largest stove, seeing the best livestock Michigan has to offer and of course the best artery hardening food we have to offer. I spent three nights down there and enjoyed just wondering around.
I also spent some time at the Next Shot Golf Center which is a permanent fixture of the buildings down there but they were offering demos during the fair. I tried some of the holes on the Pebble Beach course which was kind of neat for those gold fans who don’t like golfing in the snow. This is a nice way to keep your game sharp. Check them out if you get down there.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and that I see you at some of these
wonderful Labor Day events. Take care and talk to you again on Tuesday since
Monday is Labor Day and I’ll be busy. Peace Out.