He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Good evening everyone. Feeling prety excited right now. I just got off the phone with the Motor City Casino PR people about geting a Cyndi Lauper interview for my radio show (8-10 AM on WXOU 88.3FM and www.wxou.org) and even though I have to wait until May (she isn't coming until July 1st) I am still pumped, esp considering she is my Holy Grail of interview requests. I have had requests in on 3 separate occasions and have been thwarted by a throat condition and the idiots who PR the True Colors Festival (though I thank them for the Cliks and B-52 interviews) who didn't think my show would work for Cyndi. Of course, if you can find a radio station that plays more Cyndi Lauper (both quanity and variety) than my show, I'll lay down my mic and never DJ again. Heck, while down at the NAIAS, I was yelling at one of the top radio stations in the area (starts with R) when they told me they didn't even have Cyndi in their playlists. What kind of self-respecting radio station doesn't have Cyndi on their playlist. Amatuers!! So fingers crossed and hopefully around May I'll find out if I got the interview. Selling my soul on Ebay now! People should also know that Cyndi is currently recording her new blues album, appears on the new David Byrne album ('Here Lies Love') on the title track, is starring in the new season of 'Celebrity Apprentice' (premiere is on Sunday, March 14th) and is performing a free concert on July 3rd in Toronto during their Gay Pride Festival.
It was a great day for film this past weekend with the Detroit Independent Film Festival which took place at the Burton Theatre. I really liked the venue which is revamped from a high school class room and includes a pool table in the men's room. I ended up playing a bunch of 9-ball between films. I missed a couple of films due to oversleeping but overall, the quality of the features and shorts was wonderful. I caught the film "The Twenty" which was film in California and in the UP where a guy who is atempting to recover from a bad drinking habit finds a message on a twenty dollar bill which is a plea for help. On a bender, he drives to upper MI to try and find the person who wrote the message and gets put in the middle of a conflict between a child moester and one of his victims. The weakest of the features I saw but still not bad for a indie film. Of the shorts, my favorites included "Animated American" (a revenge story of a hand drawn toon getting revenge on a producer who prefers digital animation), "Skylight" (an animated mock documentary about the ecological plight of penguins in the Antarctic) and "Open Your Eyes" (a story about a woman dealing with breast cancer). In talking with the people who put on the festival, they had 4 sell outs and while they didn't make a mint, they did break even so a second year is currently in the planning stages so fingers crossed. The only thing they need to watch is trying to make sure programs run on time but that is part of the learning curve when doing something like this for the first time. Good luck guys!
Also, congrats to the "The Hurt Locker" for winning best picture and director Kathryn Bigelow becomming the first woman to get top directing honors. You go girl!! This was my favorite US film of the year and I figured "Up" would get the animation award. Also kudos for "Crazy Heart" for best song with "the Weary Kind" which I'll have to play next week on my show.
In recent releases, we have "Alice In Wonderland", the new film by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp which has already cleared $200 million worldwide. I saw the film in 3D last week and while visually interesting, I was a bit disappointed by the story. The film itself is actually a sequel of sorts since it doesn't deal with the original story like the animated Disney film but takes place years later as an adult Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is about to be asked her hand in marriage by a guy she doesn't love and runs away to think, only to find herself down the rabbit hole once again. Wonderland is under control of the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and Alice is told by the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) that she will slay the Jabberwocky and save the world. Carter is very Wicked as the Red Queen and I love the version of the Cheshire Cat in the film. It is Mia who really steals the show with her portrayal of Alice though I tend to like her real world character a bit more than the fantasy parts. Otherwise, most of the characters to me are just OK as is the film which I can relate the disappointment I felt with Burton's "Charlie And the Chocolate Factory". Alice is a visually stunning film but the actual story doesn't seem to match the best of Burton's best work (Ed Wood, Nightmare Before Christmas, Big Fish) but doesn't fall as flat as his worst (Mars Attacks, Planet Of The Apes). Alice purists might be torn by some of the characters but I feel it does a decent job maintaining the integrity of the main group. Let's face it, this film is for the spectacle and it presents a visually stunning experience (I love the red card soldiers) with a story better than most blockbusters (GI Joe, Transformers, 2012 anyone). Get the popcorn and the happy juice and just sit back and enjoy. My grade is a B-.
As far as the Blowout, I managed to get down for a few more shows and tried out a couple of new venues (Kelli's Bar and Skippers). The crowds seemed larger tonight and the quality of bands was very good. Highlights Saturday included the high powewred punk rock band The Black List, the light pop sounds of the Marvins (from Rochester, MI) and the rockibilly/burlesque fun of Bazooka Jones. I also took my buddy to see Sh! The Octopus and Oscillating Fan Club, who rocked out Skippers to end the festival and the main reason I overslept the early screening at DIFF. I ran into a lot of people I knew which is always fun at these events and once again I am just amazed by the quality of local bands which makes being a music fan in Detroit so exciting and the main reason I want to stay in the area.
Brandi Carlile just released a new song called "Let It Go" that she wrote and performed with Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. The song is available exclusively at Amazon MP3. All proceeds from "Let It Go" will benefit the Fight The Fear Campaign, a community oriented violence prevention initiative based in Seattle. The mission of the campaign is to provide free self-defense training and violence prevention education for women in underserved and at-risk populations. Nice little song and great cause so check it out!
In other arena, here are the shows of note that I recommend this week:
Tuesday (3/09) the folk rock band the Avett Brothers @ Michigan Theatre,
the dance music hits the fan with Black Eyed Peas w/LMFAO @ Palace Of Auburn Hills,
Ann Arbor's rockers Tally Hall @ Blind Pig
Wednesday (3/10) 100 Monkeys (featuring Jackson Rathbone of Twilight: New Moon) @ Shelter
Thursday (3/11) Kinks legendary frontman Ray Davies @ Michigan Theatre,
the vibrant Vivian Girls @ Magic Stick
Friday (3/12) country artists Annabelle Road opens for Justin Moore @ Royal Oak Music Theatre,
back to the 50's with Vogues and Jay & the Americans @ Andiamo Celebrity Showroom (Warren)
Saturday (3/13) R&B/soul singer Chrisette Michele @ Royal Oak Music Theatre,
80's easy listening band Air Supply @ Caesars Windsor,
ex-Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm @ Andiamo Celebrity Showroom (Warren),
Juliets video release party @ Majestic Cafe,
Pistol Day Parade @ the Ritz,
rockabilly and ska with Koffin Kats and St Thomas Boys Academy @ New York New York (Chesterfield TWP),
blues artist Alberta Adams @ Callahans (for Detroit Blues Society meeting)
Sunday (3/14) rappers delight with Jay-Z w/Trey Songsz @ Palace Of Auburn Hills,
blues guitarist Tab Benoit @ Callahan's
Monday (3/15) Japanese punk rockers Uzuhi play free show @ Garden Bowl
Before I go, here is my band of the week: Shonen Knife. They are an all-female Japanese pop-punk band formed in Osaka, Japan in 1981 which were heavily influenced by American 1960s girl groups, The Beach Boys, and early punk rock acts (such as The Ramones). They started off as a trio (currently a duo) and play stripped-down songs expressing infectious melodies and simplistic, exuberant lyrics sung both in Japanese and English. There videos are very colorful and the music is just infectious live. The band has taken on the perpetual status as a DIY styled garage band despite having been recording for over 25 years. They occasionally come to town and play the Magic Stick where I have seen them twice and I would highly recommend their shows. There newest album is titled "Free Time" and is out this year.
Have a good week as I'm off to see the indie movie "Fish Tank" (to be reviewed later).