He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
We are called Hockeytown and while the Red Wings were on the road, the CCHA Hockey Finals took place at Joe Louis Arena. Things started off with the 3rd place game between Miami (OH) and Ferris St. There was no scoring in the first period though Ferris St was taking charge of face-offs. The second period saw Miami score first as Steve Mason got the first goal of his career but an oddly bouncing puck which hit the bar at the top of the net and then bounced off the goalies back into the net. Ferris also had a sloppy goal in this period when Blair Riley power play shot deflected off the goalie into the stick of Casey Haines into the net. The game itself was filled with penalties which hampered both teams. Their were more penalties in this game as both of Friday's games combined. It looked like this game would never end when with less than five minutes left in the game, Miami's Jarod Palmer faked a shot from the blue line and then whipped it past the Ferris St goalie and Miami hung on to a 2-1 lead in a very messy game. Ferris should've won this game but penalties and only 13 shots on goal really hampered them. Top place Miami looks like they need to toughen up if they want to put a dent into the Frozen Four.
After a boring game 1, game 2 was one of the most exciting hockey games I ever attended which pitted Northern Michigan against 7 seeded Michigan which once again had the home crowd advantage. The first 2 periods were extremely exciting as both teams took chances at the goal but supreme goal tending by both teams kept the score 0-0 until Michigan got a lucky break with 19 seconds to go in the 2nd. Louie Caparusso broke his stick during a power play and he went to the box to get an extra stick. On his way back to the play the puck arrived to his stick and he scored the first goal of the game before the goalie could readjust his angle. Halfway through the third, Louie Caparusso took advantage of another power play opportunity and an assist by Steve Kampfer to bank in a shot from close range. Northern Michigan answered back a minute later when Andrew Cherwchan takes a short pass by Justin Florek in front of the net. From then on, the score remains the same as Michigan wins 2-1 over Northern Michigan in a thriller. What hurt N Michigan was the power play opportunities given to a relentless Michigan team and the fact they were outshot 35-18 throughout the game. By winning, Michigan gets the Mason Cup and guarantees themselves a spot in the playoffs. If they remain this focused, they might make the finals in Detroit in a couple weeks.
Jonathan Demme broke into feature film working for exploitation film producer Roger Corman from 1971 to 1976, including such fare as "Caged Heat" and "Crazy Mama". Demme did some work with music videos including the Suburban Lawn's "Gidget Goes To Hell" and New Order's "Perfect Kiss" and what is probably the best concert video of all time, the Talking Head's "Stop Making Sense". Later he made waves with films such as "Silence Of the Lambs", "Philadelphia" and most recently "Rachael Getting Married". He captured Neil Young for the first time in 2006 for "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" and now, three years later he captures him in "Neil Young Truck Show" which opened this past weekend in theatres. I'm not much on concert videos, mainly for 2 reasons: 1) I rather see live performances and 2) if I do see a concert video, I prefer to see someone who I am unable to see like Jimi Hendrix. I have seen Neil Young over a decade ago when I went to a Farm Aid concert in Columbus, OH and he put on a great set including having some Native American performers joining him on stage for some songs. That said, this video is from a 2007 concert in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and captures Young in a personal setting surrounded by a lot of his personal items as well as a guy painting on the side. Completing his band are long-time touring friends Ben Keith, Ralph Molina, Rick Rosas, Pegi Young and Anthony "Sweet Pea" Crawford. The sound is crisp and the footage is clear. The songs run the gambit from acoustic numbers like "Sad Movies" and "Mexico", rocking anthems such as "Like a Hurricane" and "Cinnamon Girl" and rarely performed pieces like "Kansas" and "Ambulance Blues" which should satisfy any Neil Young fan. That said, I repeat that I am not a fan of this type of video, but if you are, this is nice movie to see. It's not flashy and Neil looks haggard as his age suggests. That said, the footage captures Young performance with great vigor and while Demme tries to get some backstage footage which seems out of place either because Neil isn't that exciting except when he's playing or they just needed some more of it to create the feeling of putting a show together. As is, they could've left that stuff out and just focused on Neil's stage performance which is what people who would see this film really want. My grade is a B though I wouldn't mind having a soundtrack for this film.
I also saw the foreign film "Terribly Happy" which was the the official submission of Denmark for the category of Best Foreign Language Film for the 82nd Academy Awards. Robert Hansen is a cop in Copenhagen who makes a mistake, is remanded for therapy, then assigned to a small town in South Jutland. It is a place where cows and problems disappear into the mud. He quickly learns that the town bully, Jørgen, beats his wife who is also an outsider like Robert. He tries to get her to make out a complaint against Jørgen but she refuses and instead flirts with him. When she dies, Robert knows the prime suspect is innocent, but is he overstepping the town's unspoken boundaries by protecting the man they think is guilty. Throughout the film, Robert flirts with adjusting to the town's quirks but what are the consequences to himself and will he be able to reconnect with his daughter back home. The film is well crafted by Henrik Ruben Genz who is a big fan of Hitchcock's work who which is a huge influence in his style. The film is very quirky and should be a favorite among those who enjoy the work of the Cohen brothers. While we don't see a lot of the town, it becomes it's own character as someplace just south or normal, very similar to the Britsh TV series "The League of Gentlemen". The love triangle between Robert and the Buhl's is tense and full of surprises. Highly recommended for those that like quirkly thrillers. My grade is an A.
This Sunday I had a nice day which started off with sunday brunch at the Pine Knob Mansion. My friend Mark who I used to work with found a coupon and we both enjoy historic houses so this seemed like the perfect time to catch up and enjoy a good meal in a cool setting. The mansion is a 19-room English Manor built by Colonel Sidney Dunn Waldon in 1927. Dunn was a VP of Packard and Cadillac Motor Companies and is known for helping develop the US Air Force during WWI. The manor sits on the highest natural point in SE Michigan and is next to the ski slopes which are easily seen on the other side by concert goers at Pine Knob. The brunch is held in the Main Hall which has a beautiful cathedral ceiling and beautiful wood work. They usually do holidays at the hall or weddings at the carriage house, but for now they are doing Sunday brunch between 10AM-2PM. I started off with a trip to the salad bar for some smoked salmon and crab legs. I also enjoyed some red potatoes, green beans, baked fish, chicken and carved honey ham. I went back up for their omelet station (also has waffles) and then a trip to the dessert bar for some chocolate ice cream and strawberry cream pie. The buffet also includes salads, cheese and a nice bread selection. The price seems a tad high for the food but you are also paying for the ambiance. It is definately a nice place to go for a change of scenery and just the building itself is worth the trip. Go to www.pineknobmansion.com for more information.
After dinner, I went to see the newest Meadowbrook production entitled "Enchanted April". The story is about four dissimilar women set in 1920s England who leave their damp and rainy environs to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy. Mrs Arnot (Jean Lyle Lepard) and Mrs Wilton (Robyn Lipnicki), who belong to the same ladies' club but have never spoken, become acquainted after reading an advertisement for villas for rent in a newspaper. Both are struggling to make the best of unhappy marriages as dreams of wisteria and sunshine capture their imaginations as they plan this trip without telling their husbands. To help with the cost, they decide to seek other ladies to help share expenses who turn up in the forms of the waspish, elderly Mrs Graves (Ruth Crawford) and the stunning, but aloof, Lady Caroline Bramble (Leslie Ann Handelman). The four women come together at the castle and find rejuvenation in the tranquil beauty of their surroundings, rediscovering hope and love. I remember seeing the movie years ago but didn't remember it being as charming or funny as this play which just delights the audience. Particularly strong are Crawford as the crotchety Mrs Graves and Lepard as the mousy Mrs Arnott. If you are looking for a nice drama with flashes of humor and an uplifting plot, this is the production for you. My grade is a A-. Go to www.mbtheatre.com for a listing of showtimes and prices.
Also, if you are free tomorrow, the Meadowbrook Theatre interns are putting on a pair of one act shows for the amazing low price of free. On Tuesday 23rd at 7PM, you can see "Puppet Play" where the successful star of a children's puppet show is on the verge of identity crisis while Mark and Tina are having trouble getting in touch with their true feelings. Will everyone find their own true feelings or will they continue being 'puppets' to their own emotions. Next is a farcical take on Macbeth entitled "The Macbridged Mactragedy of Macbeth" where six actors are forced to put on a shortened version of Macbeth after one of them says the plays name outloud (apparently a theatre is cursed if you say the name without performing the play). I'm not a big Shakespeare fan but their are a number of funny moments ranged from fake Scottish accents to two of the actors improvising lines since they don't know the script. Neither show is great but their are some truly nice moments thrown in esp the performance of Anne Marie Damman (Lady Macbeth in 'Macbeth' and Tina in 'Puppet') who shows wonderful promise with her scene stealing turn as Tina when she has a conversation with a sock puppet as relationship counselor and some nice over-the-top Lady Macbeth moments. She is a talent to watch out for. This is a nice chance to get out and show some support for the hardworking students who help behind the scenes at Meadowbrook. My grades are B- for "Puppet Play" and C+ for "The Macbridged Mactragedy of Macbeth". They do accept donations at the door.
Laugh Detroit ended my Sunday with comedian Lewis Black at the Royal Oak Music Theatre for a very funny set. Known for his comedy style which often includes simulating a mental breakdown or an increasingly angry rant, he made fun of everything from the media, cell phones, the government and the reasons why we should legalize marijuana. I won't insult him by trying to paraphrase his jokes but the festival continues throughout the week with Heywood Banks on Tuesday, Kathleen Madigan on Wednesday, Dave Coulier on Thursday and Kivi Rogers on Friday and Saturday at Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak. Go to www.comedycastle.com for more information on line-ups.
Now it's time for my suggestions for this week in concerts.
Tuesday (3/23) Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers open for Needtobreathe @ the Crofoot, ex-Poison lead singer Bret Michaels @ Machine Shop
Wednesday (3/24) metal fans rejoice for The Black Dahlia Murder @ Magic Stick, indie rocks sounds of Manchester Orchestra @ St Andrews Hall
Thursday (3/25) Canadian acoustic rocker Matthew Good @ St Andrews Hall, Christian alt rockers Switchfoot @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Friday (3/26) country megastar Taylor Swift w/Gloriana and Kellie Pickler @ The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Border Crossing event featuring bands from Detroit and Windsor like Four Hour Friends and Carjack @ Magic Stick/Majestic Cafe, Winter Jam 2010 featuring Third Day and other Christian acts @ Convocation Center (EMU)
Saturday (3/27) oncore performance by Taylor Swift w/Gloriana and Kellie Pickler @ The Palace Of Auburn Hills, the sexy and melodic Tegan and Sara w/Steel Train @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, and local country artists Annabelle Roads opens for Stephen Cochran @ The Crofoot
Sunday (3/28) Michigan In Word And Song featuring Jan Krist and other local talents (song and spoken word) @ the Ark
Monday (3/29) 80's rockers The Fabulous Thunderbirds @ the Ark, local talents Javelin @ Majestic Cafe
Band of the week: this week I am including Big Star based on the recent death of their lead singer. William Alexander "Alex" Chilton was an American songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer best known for his work with the pop-music bands the Box Tops and Big Star. He was recently taken to the hospital in New Orleans complaining of health problems and died the same day of a heart attack. Chilton grew up in a musical family; his father, Sidney Chilton, was a jazz musician. A local band recruited the teenager in 1966 as their lead singer after learning of the popularity of his vocal performance at a talent show at Memphis' Central High School; this band was The Devilles, later renamed Box Tops. Chilton's had his biggest commercial sales success in the 1960s as a teen vocalist for the Box Tops when he was just 16. The band broke up in 1969 amid problems with management and other forces. Chilton returned to Memphis in 1971 and joined the power-pop group Big Star, with Chris Bell. While the band never achieved great success he did draw a loyal following in the indie and alternative music fields. The group broke up in 1974 and later alternative music bands like REM and Replacements would praise the group as a major influence. They reorganized with a new line-up nearly 20 years later. In its first era, the band's musical style drew on the work of British Invasion groups including The Beatles and The Kinks, as well as The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and other US acts. To the resulting power pop, Big Star added dark, nihilistic themes, and produced a style that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s. The band reformed in the 90's and released some live albums along with 2005's "In Space". They were supposed to perform at SXSW before Chilton's death and while I have seen the Box Tops, I guess it is too late for a Big Star tour. here are two of their best known songs.
Win tickets to Spoon this Saturday morning between 8-10AM with Wild Bill on WXOU 88.3FM (online at www.wxou.org). Listen to Wild At Heart for your chance to win. Have a good week.