He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Ever see the movie "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" starring Clint Eastwood? Great film but I bring it up today to talk about a day in the life of Wild Bill. The film's title has entered the American English language as an idiomatic (like the big word?) expression. Typically used when describing something thoroughly, the respective phrases refer to upsides, downsides and the parts which could, or should have been done better, but were not. The day in question is March 15th and will be looked at in reverse order starting with the Ugly. I was going downtown with one of my concert buddies to take in a free show at the Garden Bowl. There was another event going on which I'll talk about in a few but we decided that we would catch a bite to eat downtown. We decided to stop by the Harbor House which I have always enjoyed the food. We had eaten there about a few weeks back when we went to see Young Frankenstein (hope you didn't miss it) and I remember leaving a pretty good tip (around 20%). Anyway, we get the same waiter though instead of a sandwhich, I decieded I wanted the all-you-can-eat. I will admit that the food was excellent. The frog legs were a bit tough but the london broil, fried mushrooms, shrimp and salmon were all mouth-watering good. What makes this Ugly was the service. It was faster than usual, but the waiter didn't seem to want to serve me. I had to beg for beverage refills, give my order for additional plates while he was walking away from the table and with one exception had to deal with a waiter who almost refused to ask how I was enjoying my meal and if their was anything else I needed. What makes matters worse was that this same waiter was tripping over himself to do everything he wasn't doing for me for the table right behind me. So I can hear him asking the patrons behind me if they needed this or that and if they were enjoying their meal, but for some reason he wouldn't do that for me. Now I know I was being polite and wasn't asking him to do anything other wait staff at this same place haven't been doing for me since it opened downtown (I usually eat there once a month). What makes this worse is that seems to be almost a trend in customer service. Maybe the hardships of the economy are getting the best of people but to me it comes down to the fact that if you don't want to be friendly to customers, whether a cashier at a grocery store or a server at a restaurant, maybe you shouldn't be working in that field to begin with. And maybe these places shouldn't hire people with these attitude problems. I will go back to this restaurant but not when I know this server is working. My friend was also pissed off by this person's attitude and said he will be telling his friends about the experience. I just wonder what this person's attitude was when he saw the tip I left which would have been 3x larger if only he treated me as a valued customer instead of as an unwanted annoyance.
The Bad is next and in all respects isn't that bad but annoying just the same. I did go down to the Detroit Fish Market to see Robin Givens tend bar. When we got there she was serving a drink and then was taking one up to a private area. She stayed their for quite awhile and we were waiting for her to come down because we wanted to be served by her. I'm not a big martini person so it was just the expereince I was looking for. Being served a drink by a celebrity sounds pretty cool and it would be if she ever came back down. Well we waited and then left for dinner (you know how that went) and returned only to find she was no longer at the place. Now the ads said she would be there from 5PM-1AM and when we got back at 9PM, we were told she would be back around 11PM. OK, so she was at rehersal for the play but if you are signed up to do something, do it. I was hoping to get the chance to talk with her and maybe find out if I could set up an interview with her at a later date to promote her play but by her disappearance, I didn't get the opportunity. We never made it back and I never did get my martini that night. And I never did see that promoted complimentary buffet they advertised.
The Good was very good this night as we went to a free show at the Magic Stick featuring the Outernational and Uzuhi who were both off the hook and played some of the best rock of the year. It was a shame that only about 10 other people were enjoying the night but it allowed me time to talk with the bands between sets. Talked a lot to Miles Soley of the Outernational who were getting ready to go down to SXSW to do a couple of sets and they were esp excited to perform their song "Fighting Song" with Tom Morello. The song sounds like a Gogol Bordello song which was explained that they were using the studio after Gogol Bordello and were kind of taken under their wing for a bit. Miles met Tom when he was 14 years old when Rage Against The Machine played on Saturday Night Live and has been friendly since. They were also doing a set with Detroit's own Wayne Kramer at SXSW which really speaks to their indie cred. I really enjoyed their style which brings in elements of punk with dashes of reggae and latin depending on the song. Their trumpet player adds a nice dimension and he was dressed like the Mad Hatter with his vest and top hat. They have a new album coming out in the fall entitled "Future Rock" which hopefully portends a good future in rock and I look forward to them coming back to Detroit, hopefully with a bigger audience. The other band on the bill was the Japanese band Uzuhi which is has deeper punk roots balanced by their female keyboardist who adds a toch of Shonen Knife and classic music interludes within their song structure. That little something makes them stand out among the plethora of other bands and their lead singer thrashes around like a whirlwind when he gets going. The other standout is the keyboardists legend of stuffed animals including her newest bunny "Peach" who was used as the design for their newest t-shirt. After seeing Cage The Elephant to a nearly packed house at St Andrews, it is sad that these bands did a free show to almost nobody as seen in the photo below taken by the bands photographer and graciously allowed to use (I'm right behind the guitar in the back). Their show was so much more alive than Cage and deserved a larger audience.
The same principal can be used for last night's Bon Jovi concert. The Good - playing a nice unplugged set during the middle of the show and playing my favorite songs by them ('Runaway', 'It's My Life' and 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' in which they were joined onstage by Kid Rock). I wonder if Kid is getting a percentage since this is the third time I've seen him at the Palace this year (the other 2 being the Black Eyed Peas and Martina McBride). The Bad - I can't stand people texting during a concert like the lady sitting next to me when Bon Jovi was playing a couple of songs from the new album, The Circle, that went something like "getting bored because he is playing some new songs of his latest album". Bitch! It also pissed me off when a large number of people went to the bathroom during Richie Sambora's solo. To me that was a highlight. I hate these fair weather fans. It is always nice when bands play your favorite songs, but I do like hearing their new material also. I hate it when people complain when bands play mostly new material at a show. The Ugly - arriving at the Palace in a police car. I hate paying for Palace parking and I live within a 30 minute walk so I walked to the show last night. Apparently something thought I was drunk and called the cops. Now I have a foot problem I was born with and I have a bit of a limp when I walk so I was a little annoyed when 2 cop cars surrounded me on my walk (the first time in 30 such trips to the Palace). After making sure I was sober and frisking me for weapons, the cops did give me a lift to the Palace so a saved a bit of walking. I just wished the police responded as quickly a couple of years ago when my apartment got broken into and I had to wait 3 hours at 3AM in the morning for them to arrive. Still, how many people can say the cops drove them to a concert. Luckily, I hadn't taken advantage of St Patrick's Day celebrations.
Just confirmed a 9AM interview for my Saturday radio show (WXOU 88.3FM or www.wxou.org ) this Saturday as I'll have film director Henrik Ruben Genz talking about his debut film "Terribly Happy" which will be showing shortly here in Detroit. The film was the Danish entry at the Academy Award for best foreign film and has been compared to the 1985 film "Blood Simple" and the 2007 film "No Country for Old Men" (both by the Coen brothers).
To celebrate the release of Tyler Perry’s latest film, Lionsgate and BET have teamed up to ask the very important question, “WHY DID YOU GET MARRIED TOO?”. They want to know why YOU got married and they want you to tell them in 30 seconds or less. Video tape your answer to that question and you can get entered in a contest with a chance to win a trip to the Bahamas and for your testimonial to be aired on BET April 1st. So rediscover why you got married and get you answer to the AMC Star Southfield on 12 miles on Saturday, March 20th between 5PM - 7PM. Good luck and send some sun back for me.
OK, I'm not a huge fan of Twilight despite being a big vampire fan. However, on Friday, March 19th, fans can witness the midnight DVD release of the film "The Twilight Saga: New Moon". There will be your typical contests, raffles, limited edition items for sale and the usual. If you are lucky, you can be at one of the locations were actors and filmmakers will be making surprise appearances at! If you love the mocvie and need your copy now, head down to either the Borders on 34300 Woodward in Birmingham or the Best Buy on 3900 Alpine Ave in Grand Rapids. While there, see if they have a copy of the 100 Monkeys CD featuring lead vocals by Jasper Hale (I mean Jackson Rathbone). Festivities start at 10PM and go until 12:30AM.
Also, come join me down at Joe Louis Arena this weekend for the 39th CCHA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament in which the winning team recieves the Mason Cup and earns the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. On Friday, we have top ranked Miami (OH) facing off against 7th seed Michigan in the first game and 3rd seed Ferris State facing 4th seed Northern Michigan. The losers play the first game on Sat for third place while the winners play for the cup in the second. You can go to www.ccha.com for more information of the tournament which should be exciting. I'll finally see a game at the Joe but it won't be the Red Wings (at least not yet).
Also, in case you haven't gotten down to see two of the funniest one man shows in Detroit, The Gem Theatre has announced that "Defending The Caveman" has been extended through May 16 and "The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?" has been extended through May 23. Both shows are playing in rotation in the Century Theatre at the Gem Theatre and are extremely entertaining. Get down there while you have the opportunity.
I'll see you all Monday with a recap of the action at the CCHA and recap by interview with Henrik. Enjoy your weekend and see you Monday.