He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Got invited to see Disney On Ice this past Saturday which is an event that I have usually looked down on every year but when by buddy told me he had an extra ticket, I decided it was better than just siting around the house. Yes, it is mostly for young kids and the prices for Disney merch might force you to get a second mortgage, however, the show does have it's moments. This year the focus was on "parties" starting covering the Madhater's "unbirthday" (wonder if that had anything to do with the new film coming out) and covered a luau with Lilo and Stitch, a Christmas party with the Toy Story cast and Valentine's Day with the various Prince and Perincesses ranging from Snow White to Mulan to Tiana (from the new 'Princess and the Frog'). What made the night for me was a Halloween piece starting with the Sorceror's Apprentice and had Jack the Pumpkin King with special guests Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, Jafar, Maleficent and the Queen. Villains rule! Here are a couple of pics by Taylor Shallal.
Based on the 1973 film, the "Crazies" is the latest in a long line of horror remakes. Originally directed by Romero betwen "Night Of The Living Dead" and the rest of the Dead series, the newest version is produced by him. Simply, the citizens of a small farming town in Iowa, Ogden Marsh, are suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. The whole movie takes place over a couple of days as the army comes in to quarantee the town with brutal force and not very good bedside manners. After the plague hits the local sheriff is about to be put on a truck out of town when he escapes to get his wife and they, along with a nurse and the sheriff's deputy must avoid both the military and infection to escape the town with their lives. The remake doesn't quite pull of the punch of the original which had a bit more to critique about the military, but it does do a good job at pacing the action and bringing some gory moments. I would have liked to see more gore in the remake, but overall it is pretty solid and should scratch the horror itch if you suffer from that. My grade is a B-.
Film and horror lovers will also be honored to know about the Detroit Independent Film Festival which opens Tuesday night with "Babysitter Wanted", a film by Mike Manasseri about a young college girl Angie (Sarah Thompson) who is hired by Jim and Violet Stanton to babysit their son Sam. However, their has been a number of missing girls in the area and the babysiting assignment seem more dangerous that advertised. This is a nice moden horror movie with a few neat twists. Horror fans will also be excited about the screening of Troma's "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead" and a special Q&A with film director Lloyd Kaufman, the king of current b-movies and the classics "The Toxic Avenger" and "Class Of Nuke 'Em High". With the "Crazies" coming out this weekend, you can make it a Romero double feature with the 2nd US showing of his latest zombie movie, "Survival of the Dead". It takes palce on an island off the coast of North America, where local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state. The festival is not all horror, and some of the other highlights include "The Woman from Sarajevo" by Ella Alterman (Sara Pizatnich, the protagonist of the film, travels with her daughter Stella back to their home town, Sarajevo), "Freezer Geezers" by Denn Petro and Denver Rochan (follows 83 year old coach Ray Tuller and his team - Millenium 75's - from Springfield, MA, as they challenge three other teams from around the world competing in the world's oldest age division, 75 and over, in the annual Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament), "Official Rejection" by Scott Storm and Paul Osbourne (the documentary following the exploits of a group of filmmakers as they take their independent feature, "Ten 'til Noon", along the film festival circuit, and the politics, pitfalls, triumphs and comic tragedies they encounter along the way) and "The 8th Samurai" by Justin Ambrosino (Nanshu, a poor man with a big heart, is struggling to break into the booming film business, but the only thing keeping him from success is his desire to be the best. After numerous failed attempts, he gets the chance of a lifetime. During an encounter with Japan's most ambitious film director, he lands a lead role as one of the eight samurai that will save a village from group of bandits in a new epic film about to go into production). The weekend should be a blast for film buffs who are looking for something different from the standard Hollywood fare. Go to http://www.detroitindiefest.com for a full schedule of films.
A new theatrical juggernaut has come to town based on one of the 5 funniest movies of all time, "Young Frankenstein". The play is basically a retelling of the movie with some additional music numbers and added gags. I started off on the fence about the production until the second half numbers "Please Send Me Someone" as the monster meets the blind hermit and the show stopper "Puttin' on the Ritz" which basically is worth the price of admision by itself. For those not familiar with story, this horror parody of the Frankenstein films, follows the bright young Dr. Frankenstein (that's Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather's masterwork and bring a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that's Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant Inga, and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fiancé Elizabeth, Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster but not without frequent hilarious complications. As Dr. Frankenstein, Roger Bart, does a wonderful job capturing the madcap comedy of the original film as he delivers tongue-twisting dialogue and wacky dance routine without missing a beat. The rest of the cast also does a good job but this is Bart's world and it rises and sinks based on his performance. A wonderful diversion and fans of Brooks work should love the experience. My grade is an A.
Here are my concert recommendations for the week. Not much is going on except for a big Saturday and the Metrotimes Blow Out:
Tuesday (3/02) - punk rockers Alkaline Trio @ Royal Oak Music Theatre,
Ann arbor jam band The Macpodz @ Majestic Cafe
Thursday (3/04) - emo rockers New Found Glory @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Friday (3/05) - Serena Ryder opens for Howie Day @ The Ark,
Laith Al Saadi @ Magic Bag,
Howling Diablos @ Alvins,
funky Morris Day & the Time @ Motorcity Sound Board,
Liz Larin @ Memphis Smoke
Saturday (3/06) - Irish punks Flogging Molly @ The Fillmore,
the world guitar sounds of Rodrigo Y Gabriela w/ex-Testament bassist Alex Skolnick Trio doing jazz covers of metal tunes @ Royal Oak Music Theatre,
CSN alum Stephen Stills @ Michigan Theatre,
Robin Horlock opens for Aaron Lewis @ Motorcity Sound Board,
The Irish Rovers @ Ford Community and Performing Arts Center,
Howling Diablos @ Callahans,
rockers The Muggs @ The Dawg House (Clinton Twp),
bluesy Mystery Train @ Memphis Smoke
Bands Of The Week: The Metro Times Blowout starts Wednesday the 3rd at the Majestic Complex and continues Thursday through Saturday the 6th at various locations in Hammtramck. Last year I had a great time and checked out over 20 bands. I'm not sure how much I will get around this year since I'm also covering DIFF but here are my top 5 bands of the week to check out this year at the Blowout:
1) Sh! The Octopus - they are playing at 12:40AM on Saturday at the Whiskey In The Jar. They are becoming a strong pop band with strands of Americana stewn throughout. Their album "The Carrot Chase" is a very nice blend of folk rock backed by a rocking rhythm section and should be a must see at the Blowout.
2) Oscillating Fan Club - rocking at Skippers on Saturady at 1:00AM, this band brings back the fun of psychedelic garage bands of the 60's and 70's.
3) Lightning Love - plays at 12:20AM at the Gates Of Columbus Lounge on Saturday. They are an indie pop band with a lot of energy and some rockin' lyrics.
4) Blueflowers - performing at the Painted Lady on Saturday at 11:40PM. They are another band which focuses on the Americana crowd and should appeal to fans of the Cowboy Junkies or Neko Case. Very beautiful, full sound with an alt-country flavor.
5) Electric Fire Babies - partying at Baker's Street Car @ 9:20PM on Friday. They remind me of the early new wave bands such as Blondie or Missing Persons. Very exciting live performances.
For more info and full schedules for the Blowout, check out http://www.metrotimes.com/blowout/.
Have a safe and happy week and see you next Monday.