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8/14/10

Wild At Heart weekend

Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University

Wild At Heart




One of my buddies went to see Tears For Fears at the Motorcity Casino and wasn’t overly impressed though it was the first date on this part of the tour. I was supposed to be at the show but with my mom’s illness, I’m still in NY until the end of next week. However, they put on a free show out here in Lockport which was very good, starting off with “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and hitting a number of hits like “Mad World” and “Sowing The Seeds Of Love”. The even broke into a cover version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” which was very interesting. They ended the night with “Shout” which had the whole place dancing and singing. One of the things I’ll miss most being out here when I do move back is the ease of getting to concerts and the time to do it without feeling pressured by parents to stay home and feeling nervous about me driving around. Luckily there are good shows here with some new venues that have opened up since I was last here.

Lockport, where the concert series was going on, is nice because of the locks which connect the lakes and canal. After one of the openers went on, I wandered around and watched some boats go through the locks. The Erie Canal, for those who are not familiar, is a waterway in New York that runs about 363 miles from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal was first proposed in 1807 and this marvel of engineering was under construction from 1817 to 1825 (officially opened on October 26, 1825) and it became the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard (New York City) and the western interior (Great Lakes) of the United States that did not require portage. It was faster than carts pulled by draft animals (though the one boat in the lock from NYC said it took 5 days of travel and a top speed of 7.2 mph) and cut transport costs by about 95% and thus fostered a population surge in western New York state and beyond. Lockport currently holds 2 locks (originally 5 were in place) numbered 34 and 35 which are used to raise and lower ships a total of almost 24 feet in pretty quick fashion which is impressive to watch. They also have a museum and boats where you can ride through the locks. Right above lock 35 is the widest bridge (399 wide x 129 length) in North America which spans the canal to the southwest of the locks. It was also the birthplace of author Joyce Carol Oates (whose novel “them” was about the ghettos of Detroit), writer Brock Yates (did script for ‘Cannonball Run’) and William G Morgan (the guy who invented volleyball).

I also had the pleasure of running into one of my old college buddies who I hadn’t seen in 20 years. I’m used to running into people I know at concerts in Detroit, but who would have thunk I would have run into someone out here.

I would also like to apologize for not running a review of "Agora" this weekend. I hadn’t had the chance to watch the film before I had to rush home to take care of my mom and I forgot to bring it home with me. I do however have a review of “The City Of Your Final Destination” which follows a graduate student, Omar (Omar Metwally), who wishes to write a biography on an obscure writer, Jules Gund, who died years before. A letter he wrote turns him down, but his insistent wife gets him to travel to Uruguay to persuade the three living members of the Gund family (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg - mistress, Laura Linney – widow and Anthony Hopkins - brother) to authorize the biography. The story starts off slowly and gets some legs when we finally get to Uruguay where the lush scenery along with the strong performances by Linney and Hopkins take over. Unfortunately, Metwally is not up at the same level and tends to drag the production down to a more human level and his budding relationship with Gund’s mistress doesn’t flow as nicely as I would like. The story overall is pure Ivory Coast productions, so followers of “Howard’s End” and other such films will probably enjoy this film but a stronger lead actor would have made this all the richer and up to the same standard. My grade is a B-.



Enjoy the weekend and hope to see you again soon.