He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
I would like to start off with a movie this week. Over the past few years, we have seen a films focused in on the mishaps that can happen prior to a wedding such as "27 Dresses", "Bride Wars" and "Rachel Getting Married" to name a few. With all these cinematic disaster movies, one wonders why people go through the hassle of getting hitched. Now we have "Our Family Wedding" to add to the list. The film starts decently enough as Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) return from college and announce their plan to get married. However, their two ego-heavy fathers, played by Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia, get involved in a competitive argument and threaten to ruin their plans of this interracial marriage (latino and african american). The rest of the movie revolves around the fathers trading insults to each others cultures and themselves with only Lucia's mother (Diana Maria Riva) and Whitakers best friend and lawyer Angela (Regina King) giving any assemblance of family love and loyalty. The relationship as shown by Ferrera and Gross is strong and basically the only thing this movie has going for it. What might have been a nice romantic comedy is ruined by the way the fathers are played. It almost seems like to different movies melded together to form a cohesive whole and that rarely works (just ask Uncle Buck). And there is this scene with a goat which just seems way over the top and unneeded in this comedy. The filmmakers should really have focused more on the kids and let the fathers fade away to a lesser role and this might have been a real tear jerk romantic movie. Alas, they didn't and we, the viewing audience, have to suffer for it. This is one wedding I really can't recommend, even for Wedding Crashers. My grade is a D.
Musically, it was a better week though I did have 2 interviews fall through. The Silversun Pickups opened for Muse on Sat but I couldn't get a good time to do the interview. The two times they gave me times to do it, they conflicted with a census test and the other was recieved after the potential interview time. I have told them I'm still interested and maybe something will happen in the future. I have been a fan of the band since we got the album in the studio. I also tried to interview the 100 Monkeys which has vocals by Twilight actor Jackson Rathbone. The band is not a gimmick though as Jackson and company put forth a vibrant show with each band member taking turns with vocals and playing different instruments. They even took a request and sang a song based on something from the audience. One audience member shouted out "Robitussin" and they sang a song about everyone's favorite cough medicine. I had put in a request months ago but I made the mistake on trying to go through a third party instead of the band directly. They apologized at the show and hopefully I will get them in the future. In the meantime, they are worth a listen to so check them out. Their on the spot singing of the audience song also reminded me of the Black Eyed Peas show where halfway thru their set, each band member sang their own stuff. Will.i.am did a DJ set and also did a song based off audience text messages which appeared on the screen behind him. A nice concert use of technology. Kid Rock also showed up and sang "All Summer Long" with the band making the second time in a month I have seen him perform that song during another artists set. Wouldn't it be cool if he showed up at the Detroit Symphony and did that song with the full orchestra?
Also this past week, I had the pleasure of seeing legedary frontman Ray Davies of Kinks fame. I saw the Kinks at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame show and the played two highpowered songs, "You Really Got Me" and "Lola". He came out wearing a British flag shirt which he turned inside out for Lola and it was the US flag. It was a great performance and way to short. He made up for it last week as he blended his solo work with his work with the Kinks covering tunes like “Tired of Waiting for You,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” “Well Respected Man” and “Victoria” in an acoustic setting before being joined onstage by the opening band, The 88, where he cranked out “You Really Got Me”, “Dead End Street”, “David Watts” (a song also sung by The Jam to great success) and ending with "Lola". An incredible night of music and shame on you if you missed it. I was also impressed by blues guitarist Debbie Davies, no relation to Ray but just as talented, who played at Callahans and is best known for her work with Maggie Mayall (blues legends John Mayall's wife) and Albert Collins. She plays a nice soulful blues style that just permeates a room. If you are not doing anything on April 10th, she will be back at Callahans. Miss this show at your own risk.
Speaking of cool shows coming up this week, here are some I recommend. I didn't list any St Patrick's Day events but their are a lot of bars with great local bands to coincide with your drinking pleasure. Here are the rest:
Tuesday (3/16) alt rockers Cage The Elephant @ St Andrews Hall, the R&B stylings of Robin Thicke @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Wednesday (3/17) classic rockers Bon Jovi w/Dashboard Confessional @ The Palace Of Auburn Hills, local rockers The Orbitsuns @ Four Green Fields (Royal Oak)
Thursday (3/18) singer songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips (of Grant Lee Buffalo fame) @ the Ark, get you ska outfits out for a fun night with Mustard Plug w/Aquabats @ St Andrews Hall, Our Lady Peace @ Fillmore (band members Raine and Steve perform acoustic set at 1PM @ Hard Rock Cafe), local cover band Mr Shz @ Hard Rock Cafe
Friday (3/19) Seattle based rockers Alice In Chains @ Fillmore, Satin Peaches @ Magic Bag, 60's influenced Ultraviolet Hippopotamus @ Vernor's Lounge, the must see for serious music fans with the Motor City Blues Festival (featuring the great Bobby "Blue" Bland, soul man Clarence Carter and gospel great Marvin Sease) @ Detroit Opera House
Saturday (3/20) get your punk on with H2O w/Swellers @ Magic Stick, country artist Eric Church @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, one of the best jazz groups Tower Of Power @ MotorCity Casino Sound Board, a free local concert with a bunch of bands including Zoos Of Berlin and Prussia @ Eagle Theatre
If you are looking for some laughs, the 3rd Annual Detroit International Comedy Festival “Laugh Detroit” is coming to the Comedy Castle in downtown Royal Oak which will run from March 21st-27th. Last years festival was recorded and will be officially released on March 21st. The films takes a quick peek at the best of the comedic performances by some local talents as well as those from around the world. I saw the premiere back in Janary and admit the DVD is worth the cost for the performance by Tim Nutt alone so whether you attended last year and want a souvenir or if you just like stand up and want a look at a very well done local festival, you might want to add this to your collection. For more information and to buy a copy of the DVD go to www.ArkDistribution.com. This year's festival includes performances by hosts Lewis Black, Heywood Banks, 1996 Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic Kathleen Madigan and Dave Coulier (who played Joey Gladstone on the ABC sitcom "Full House"). Go to
www.laughdetroit.com for more information on line-ups. Here is a sample of a Heywood Banks classic:
Theatre lovers can also rejoice if you have been wanting to see the Gem's hit show, "The Marvelous Wonderettes". The GEM has lowered it's ticket prices for some shows by as much as $13.50. Their Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evening performances are now just $29 with matinee and Saturday evening shows available for $39.50. Go to at www.gemtheatre.com for complete performance schedule with updated pricing. This is a great musical for those who love the nostalgia of the 50's and 60's girl groups.
This week, with a number of celebrity led bands playing in the area the past year (100 Monkeys, Kevin Costner and the Modern West, Bacon Brothers), I decided to use that for my theme for this week's Band of the week: It is Juliet Lewis and the Licks/The New Romantiques. I knew Juliet could sing with her performing of the covers of PJ Harvey's "Hardly Wait" and "Rid of Me" in the film "Strange Days". She was inspired to perform after attending a Blondie concert with her friend Patty Schemel (drummer for Hole and plays on Juliette's first EP). Foo Fighters David Grohl did drumming duties on her second album which led to the Licks to play at the Hyde Park show with Motorhead and others. Later tours opening for Muse and Chris Cornell followed, though I have enjoyed their more intimate shows at the Magic Stick and Small's. The first time I saw them was because I was just in lust with Juliette Lewis but she quickly won me over with her hard rocking ways. Here was a big name actress (Cape Fear, Natural Born Killers, Whip It) willing to body surf the crowds, playfully chastise a guy for touching her ass when doing so and just let herself go in a way that reminded me of Iggy Pop (of whom she is a big fan and covers "Search And Destroy"). I also like the fact that she is one of the few singers that actually makes direct eye contact with the audience during shows. Some of her songs are week, but her live show kicks major ass and is highly recommended.
Explaining that she needed a change to grow as an artist, Lewis has formed a new band called The New Romantiques; their album "Terra Incognita" was released in 2009 and here is a live performance from that album.
Going down to the Detroit Fish Market for dinner today because Robin Givens, known for her roles in "Boomerang" and "The Family That Preys", will be tending bar tonight in Detroit during the restaurant's Martini Mondays event from 5PM to 1AM. She is in town for the play "Church Girl" at the Music Hall from March 23-28. For more information call 313-963-3003 or www.detroitfishmarket.com for today's appearance or www.musichall.org about the play.