here is this week's blog post - Bill
Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
What a busy morning I have been having trying to get things organized for my radio show.
I started off today doing an interview with Aaron Stegemoller who plays “The Bonze” (Cio-Cio San’s uncle) in the Detroit Opera production of Madame Butterfly and what a beautiful production it is. Originally, the opera premiered in 1904 and Puccini based it in part on the short story "Madame Butterfly" (1898) by John Luther Long. The story follows a Japanese geisha who enters into an arranged marriage with US naval officer B. F. Pinkerton. Cio-Cio San falls so much in love with the officer that she even changes her religion and adopts the ways of her husbands’ nationality. By doing this, her uncle outs her and she is shunned by her family and society for forsaking the old gods but she doesn’t care because of her deep love. Finally, Pinkerton ships off and promises to return. Three years pass and money is running low and despite the warnings of friends, Cio-Cio believes he will return. Besides, she also has a son by him. When he finally returns, it is with an American bride and he thought she would have forgotten him. She gives her son to her husband but takes her own life leaving Pinkerton to forever remember his mistake. The opera is also the basis for the play Miss Saigon in case it sounded familiar. The music is wonderful and once again, the production has beautiful sets. The sets bend downward which Aaron states is to allow the audience to see as much of the stage as possible though there is some worry (though not too much) that a misstep could land one in the orchestra pit if not careful. This is a very assessable piece for opera beginners and the cast is superb and bringing out the emotions of the relationship. You can go to www.motopera.org for more info on showtimes.
For my rock ‘n roll fans, The Album Pinkerton by the rock band Weezer was based loosely on the opera. Like the Puccini opera, the album makes reference to Japan, the Japanese people, and Japanese culture from the perspective of an outsider who considers Japan fragile and sensual.
I have heard of creating atmosphere, but Sisters Of Mercy takes it to new heights when their smoke machines on Saturday basically hid the band in their own smoke screen. For a minute, I thought I was watching a stage version of John Carpenter’s “The Fog”. The opening band, Hypernova, however was highly visible and pounding out some nice Goth rock and invoking memories of “Dark Entries” era Bauhaus.
Brian Wilson put on an excellent show at the Michigan Theatre and it was a shame that it was only about 70% full. He started the show with a bunch of classic songs such as “Good Vibrations”, “Surfer Girl”, “Do It Again”, “California Girls, etc. The second hour was a recreation of his new album, “That Lucky Old Sun” in its entirety which sounded wonderful. He then did a 6 song encore. I met with Brian and despite obvious signs that years of mental issues have taken their toll, you can tell his mind is still active and he said he does plan on doing a new album after the tour is done. I wish him the best because his new album is very good and you can feel his love of the Beach Boys past and the state of California are in full view with this work.
I have also noticed that the second year of the libraries museum passes is in effect with a few new choices such as the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park. I used my ration this week to get a pass for the DIA so I could see the new exhibit by Jane Hammond in the print gallery. Hammond uses a myriad of techniques and materials, along with prints and books, where she uses borrowed images that she manipulates into various varied works such as altered postcards, clown outfits and numerous other ideas. Opening on the 19th is there photography exhibit photographs showcasing the works of such photographers as André Kertész, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe. “In the Company of Artists” brings together portraits of artists, their families, friends, and surroundings along with dancers, writers and musicians and other individuals from artistic and bohemian circles from the late 1890s to present day. Go to your library to learn more about these passes.
There are some exciting events coming up in the area starting with Ann Arbor. If you wanted to see the sold out Ingrid Michaelson at the Ark, you can still see her if you get to the Border’s bookstore by 12:30PM on the 20th where she will be doing an in store performance and CD signing. She has a new song out called “Be OK” which I played on my show this morning and admit it is quite good. If things work out, I will be interviewing her after the signing and will play it on my Monday show (tune into 88.3FM or online at www.wxou.org between 8-10AM).
You can go to the station website or my MySpace page for more info (myspace.com/wildatheart_13). Ingrid is a is a indie-pop singer/songwriter best known for her single "The Way I Am" (peaked at #37 on the top 40 charts last year).
If movies are your things, go to the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak to meet Bruce Campbell (who was born in Royal Oak) promoting his new movie, “My Name Is Bruce” which is a nutshell is about Campbell (playing a sleazy version of himself) who, after being harassed and mistaken by fans to be a character much like Ash from the Evil Dead series is abducted from his trailer park home to fight against a Chinese war deity. I can’t wait. They will be having showings at 7 & 10PM Fri, Sat & Sun. I am interviewing Bruce on Friday after the Q&A and will have that interview on my show Monday morning. If you haven’t seen it yet, I also recommend tracking down the movie “Bubba Ho-Tep” in which Bruce plays a nursing home Elvis who gets in a fight against a soul stealing mummy with the help of JFK (you just got to see it to understand it).
On Thursday, I will have an interview on my radio show with movie director Danny Boyle of “Trainspotting” and “28 Day Later” fame. He is in town promoting his new movie “Slumdog Millionaire” which is about a young street beggar in India who appears on a game show (think “Who wants To Be A Millionaire” and wins big, thus raising suspicions from the game show host and law enforcement.
Cool upcoming shows include the big one tomorrow at Ford Field where the material girl will be playing. Punk fans will be allowed to do see the Japanese rockers Dir En Grey @ Clutch Cargos if they don’t want to Vogue. On the 19th, indie band Steel Train will play at the Shelter (lead singer Jack used to date Scarlett Johansson – the bastard). Reggae fans can unite at the majestic to see the Wailers rock the house down. On Thurs 20th, you can be a private dancer at the Palace with Tina Turner, chill out with Calexico at the Crofoot or punk out with me and Agent Orange at the Magic Stick (win tickets at WXOU). Also, you can still catch Avenue Q at the Fisher and the “Rat Pack Returns” to the GEM (interview pending) just in time for the holidays.
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