Wild At Heart
How is everything going out in Motor City?
I just came from an exciting premiere of the new Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds that I enjoyed and look forward to reviewing next week. I spent the weekend up at Boyne Mountain which is the farthest north I have been in this state since arriving 5 years ago and must say it is beautiful up there. The Kid Rock show was also pretty good though I still don’t understand why people think getting stone drunk is conducive to the concert experience. I saw a number of fans who could barely get up the mountain and a few that ended up being escorted out due to the state they were in, so basically they paid $50 for a concert ticket they never even saw.
In other news, have you heard about what happened at the Nickelback concert this past weekend? I went to the show without having tickets in hopes that someone might have an extra ticket or such and I could get in basically cheap. I got there about 5PM and started waiting around and noticed a number of people at the ticket lines looking worried and upset. I started talking to these people and it turns out that they had all bought tickets from this guy they named as Kyle Branum who they had met at various locations throughout Detroit. One girl mentioned she planned on hanging out with him at the show. However, this wasn’t meant to be. It seems he made photocopies of the 4 tickets and resold them numerous times. I figured by the number of people I met, he sold about 200 of these tickets for about $25-$50 a pop for lawn seats and only the first 4 people to show up with the fake tickets were allowed in (when a ticket’s barcode gets scanned once, you can’t scan it again since it will show an error saying you are already in). I have known many people to buy tickets on Craigslist that never had this problem. Everyone I talked to had met the person and while they felt something was funny they all trusted this guy upon meeting him. I have no idea what troubles this guy might have been in to do this but it seems to have been serious enough for him to take his own life. According to the Free Press, the man was found hanged in his Troy apartment Wednesday night but they didn’t indicate if foul play was involved. Some of the people at the ticket window were talking about finding him and beating him, etc and I saw that some people said some nasty things about him on various blogs. Right or wrong, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone and feel sorry for the guy that he felt he needed to do something like this to get by or maybe even just for fun. Who knows now what was going on and I wonder if anyone will get their money back from this deal since some of the people drove a good distance to get to the show that night. The main lesson is if buying tickets online, meet at the persons house or at the venue to make sure you get in because the venue is not responsible for you buying tickets online from a third party and those who were upset at the ticket girls should apologize to them despite your need to feel like yelling at someone.
In case you are wondering,
I did finally get in for $20 and I found $12 of beer cans in the parking lot
so I saw Nickelback for less than $8 though I did miss the rest of the bands.
It was also a sad day for music fans last week with the announcement of the death of musician/innovator Les Paul. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar and is credited with many recording innovations, including overdubbing, delay effects, phasing and multitrack recording. Basically, rock N roll would sound very different without this man’s genius. He was also the godfather of Steve Miller. In other news on the music side, the original drummer of Space, Andy Parle, passed away at the age of 42. Space is a wonderful band who is known for their unique sound as seen on their hits "Female Of The Species" and "The Ballad Of Tom Jones". Also, Willy DeVille died of cancer at the age of 58. He is best known for his wildly diverse musical sound of his band Mink DeVille which was a house band at the legendary CBGB's though more soulful than the New Wave bands of the era. Lastly, film director John Hughes who penned such 80's comedy classics as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "National Lampoon's Vacation", "Pretty In Pink" and "Weird Science" passed away of a heart attack at 59. His last film was "Drillbit Taylor".
Speaking of film, there is a wonderful documentary out entitled "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs Goldberg"about the accomplishments of Getrude Berg. She was a true pioneer of early radio and TV where she not only created the serial comedy-drama "The Rise of the Goldbergs" which debuted in 1929, she also wrote, produced and starred in a long-running hit. Berg found herself universally identified as her character Molly Goldberg, the bighearted matriarch of her fictitious New York family who moved to Connecticut as symbolic of Jewish-American upward mobility. Her natural ability to portray a non-stereotypical Jewish woman that also spoke to the beauty of friends and family helped many immigrants deal with the troubled of the depression and later the war in Europe. She also was able to catch the spirit of product placement and brought the show later to TV where she won the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She played the character for 25 years and through a movie and TV. She was a true feminist and heroic figure in my mind esp after her defense, though failed at the time, to try and protect her lead co-star Phillip Loeb from the Communist witchhunts of the 1950s. This documentary covers all this history and more and is worth seeing a document about a woman who is extremely important in terms of historical record but has been overlapped by others such as Lucille Ball.
This documentary gets a grade of A.
For supporters of the DIA, make sure to keep August 18th marked on your calendar. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan, is announcing an innovative program to help local arts and cultural organizations raise sorely needed operating funds. Starting on Aug 18th at 10AM, the Community Foundation will launch its $1 million "Community Foundation Challenge — Arts & Culture," which is an online giving challenge designed to stimulate giving to arts and cultural organizations in southeast Michigan including the DIA. Donations of $25-$10000 can be made on www.cfsem.com until the funds run out so get out and support this fine institution.
I have also found a new place to watch some great music here in Detroit. Hidden away in Auburn Hills is Callahan's which is dedicated to bringing the best of blues music to the area. Over the weekend, I saw 2 great shows at this venue including Moreland & Arbuckle who brought their delta blues all the way from Wichita, KS and Tab Benoit bringing his Cajun blues from Louisiana. The venue is a bit smaller than the Ark but they do have a nice menu that includes hamburgers and nachos along with a good selection at the bar. This is a nice intimate setting and there is not a bad seat in the house. You can go to www.atcallahans.com for more info on upcoming shows but some highlights include Walter Trout (8/19), Sonny Landreth (10/01) and Candye Kane (10/25).
Speaking of concerts, here is what stands out to me this week starting with Wednesday (8/19) where you are in for a blues treat with BB King and the Robert Cray Band (I saw Robert open up for Eric Clapton last year and he was amazing) or head down to see Emily Wells with the great Sisters Lucas @ Magic Stick. Thursday (8/20) you can see the ultimate party band, the B-52’s @ Pine Knob or go to Ann Arbor to see folk singer Jonathan Edwards @ the Ark. On Friday (8/21), you can go downtown and see classic rockers Foghat for a free show @ Riverfront, rockers Heaven Or Hell @ Meadowbrook Theatre or you can see Chaka Khan @ the Phoenix Plaza Amphitheatre. On Saturday (8/22) will see the free Hot Summer Nights Music Festival @ FOCUS: Hope which will feature a diverse musical line-up of local talent including bluesman Paul Miles, Lola Morales and the Carolyn Striho Band (visit visit www.generalpopulation.org for complete info), guitarist Peter Frampton @ Meadowbrook Theatre, local guys Empty Orchestra w/the Phenoemauts @ Mac’s Bar (in Lansing) or you can see Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco open for Blink-182 @ Pine Knob. August 21st-23rd sees the 7th Annual Hoxeyville Music Festival located up north which has a combination of national acts such as Buddy Guy and Galactic along with some good local acts such as the Macpodz, Four Finger Five, the Ragbirds and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus. Also Lapeer Days (lapeerdays.com) will have some interesting music with country acts Aaron Tippin and Stone Cold on Friday, metal legends Jackyl on Saturday and Bill Haley’s Comets on Sunday.
I hope everyone has a good week and I look forward to seeing you at some shows. Also don’t forget the Shock plays Seattle on Aug 18th and San Antonio Silver Stars on Aug 23rd which always provide good entertainment. Also, on Wednesday, you can go to the Ann Arbor Main Library for The Purple Rose Theatre Company first rehearsals of Escanaba, Jeff Daniels' new play which is scheduled for its World Premiere at the Purple Rose Theatre from September 17-December 19. It is the final installment of the hugely popular trilogy that began with Escanaba in da Moonlight and followed with Escanaba in Love. Come see the cast and director Guy Sanville in action and learn, firsthand, how Purple Rose prepares for a production in its infancy, then stay and offer your opinions on this new work. That should be fun.