Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
I had a great time at the People’s Art Festival at the Russell Industrial Complex this past Sunday.
I was there representing WXOU at the MOTORCITYBLOG table and I want to thank all the people who stopped on by and said ‘Hi’, including my newest myspace friend, sexy Sandy from Ferndale, lead singer Christina of Bricktown Station and everybody else. The festival was a nice mix of local music (including great sets by Rogue Satellites, Sultry Surfers of the Apocalypse, Innerphonic, Joan Of Arc and Los Minstrels Del Diablo) and art by a number of talented local artisans.
They also had a movie screening room (MICHIGAN MOVIE HOUSE) which ran locally produced movie and some old Corman films. The best was a Mexican wrestling movie called “Enter Zombie King” (aka Zombie Beach Party). This is one of the funniest movies I have seen in awhile. Ulysses, a professional wrestler, is going to watch his old partner Tiki fight in a match where he will go up against a horde of zombies. During the fight, one of the waitresses is killed by a zombie and Ulysses, with his friends, decide to take matters into their own hands and track down the creatures. The movie boasts music by the Tijuana Bibles, a cameo by WWF wrestler Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart and just a lot of cliché ridden dialogue that just seems to work for this film.
The event was made to coincide with the grand opening of the Russell Bazaar which is hoping to become a destination for shoppers though I am not sure it succeeds. The place isn’t finished just yet but a number of vendors have opened up shop. There are some unique artist areas but the other shops don’t really offer anything that you can’t get elsewhere which I think will be what holds it back. While having places that sell beanie babies, carpeting and hair products isn’t bad, I think the bazaar needs 3-4 unique stores that offer products you can’t get elsewhere along with the art galleries. Loco’s and Niki’s are not yet open and will hopefully be so soon. My favorite shop was the Future Gallery which puts together a mix of local art and music so look at the online and check them out. I hope this experiment works out but by fear is that is will not be unique enough to maintain a lot of traffic. I hope I’m wrong.
I had the pleasure of seeing a wonderful theatre production this week with the Detroit debut of “Say Goodnight, Gracie” which will be playing at the GEM until Nov 16th.
The man lived to be 100 years old and along with his one true love, Gracie Allen, became a star of vaudeville, radio, TV and film. “Say Goodnight, Gracie” is the Broadway play starring Joel Rooks which allows us to look back at the life of a man who is fondly remembered for his work with Gracie as well as his portrayal of 'God' (a role he remarks that they were looking for someone close to his age to play him). The play starts with George Burns at the time of his death where he is in limbo and must perform a one man play of his life to be able to move on and be with his Gracie. Rooks does a wonderful job capturing the essence of Mr Burns along with his signature cigars. He looks back upon his impoverished, plucky youth on the lower East Side of New York, his disastrous but tenacious career in Vaudeville, the momentous day when he meet a fabulously talented young Irish girl named Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen and their instant chemistry, their marriage and joint rise to the pinnacles of Vaudeville, Movies, Radio and Television and his life in movies afterwards.
The show is a multimedia presentation that also features the vocal talents of actress Didi Conn as Gracie Allen as well as music and film of George's life, including some material with Gracie and his best buddy Jack Benny. George seemed to have the perfect life with great friends, a wonderful lover and successful career. The play, written by Rupert Holmes (yes of "Escape, The Pina Colada Song" fame) does a great job bringing George to life in a play that shouldn't be missed. I talked with Joel who agreed with me that without Gracie, George might never had been a star which is seen by the fact even though it is a one man play, the bits showcasing Gracie's material get the biggest laughs just like they did in real life. This is one of the best plays to come through the area. Grade: A+. Go to www.gemtheatre.com for more information.
I also saw the movie Ghost Town, not to be confused with the 1988 horror western, this new 2008 flick is a romantic comedy which happens to have ghosts. David (Stir Of Echoes) Koepp directs as we are introduced to misanthropic dentist Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais). The films tagline is “He sees dead people... and they annoy him”. He is not a people person by any stretch, alienating co-workers and the people in his apartment. After a near death experience after a simple operation, he gains the ability to communicate with ghosts which he doesn’t want. One ghost, Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), is particularly persuasive and tries to get Pincus to help him break up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen (Téa Leoni), putting him in the middle of a supernatural love triangle.
Pincus doesn’t want to help but finds himself attracted to Gwen so he gets involved with her life to end her relationship. Things go south when she gets suspicious of some of the personal things she does and Pincus decides to make himself worthy of her by helping out the ghosts take care of their unfinished business. It's not as bad as it might sound since the movie does avoid many of the clichés that could cripple a movie of this kind. Kinnear is his charming self while Gervais does a great job in being an aloof human being. He develops a nice chemistry with Leoni which makes the film a great movie to take a date to. Grade: B+.
Another big event this weekend was the Ferndale DIY Festival. I was down there part of Saturday, mainly checking out some of the musical acts. One of the acts I enjoyed was Paul Green’s School Of Rock which is basically a place where young kids can learn how to be Rock N Roll stars. The documentary ‘Rock School’ was based on the school and the film “School Of Rock” has been said to have been influenced by it. Either way, they did a Rolling Stone tribute this week including such songs as ‘Bitch”, Wind Horses, and ‘Tumblin Dice’ and many others. If this sounds like fun, you can check out there AC/DC tribute show on the 27th and 28th at Main Street Billiards. They also have shows dedicated to Led Zeppelin, 80’s tributes and Motley Crue vs Gun’s N Roses. Check them out at www.schoolofrock.com
The other thing I learned in Ferndale is the Detroit Curling Club is looking for new members. Believed to have been invented in medieval Scotland, the word derives from the verb ‘curr’ which describes a low rumble the stone makes when it moves across the ice. The first world championship was played in 1959 and won by the Canadian team from Regina, Saskatchewan. The first curling club in the United States was organized in 1831 only thirty miles from Detroit in Orchard Lake, Michigan. The Detroit Curling Club started back in 1885 and you can learn more about them at www.detroitcurlingclub.com
Curling is a team sport with similarities to bowling and shuffle board, played by two teams of four players each on a rectangular sheet of carefully prepared ice. I played a bit while at Bowling Green and it was a lot of fun. They also know how to party so if interested trying something new, give them a try.
Lastly, come to the Crofoot on Friday, Sept 26th where WXOU (more info at www.wxou.org ) will be having a fundraiser with special musical guests The Wild Years from Ann Arbor. Check out there music at http://www.myspace.com/wildyearsmusic and then get ready to come out and get some free swag at event. Also meet your favorite DJ’s, such as Wild Bill (which is me) and Nick Rorick among others. Doors are at 9PM. The Wild Years have a sound that seems like a mix of Andrew Bird and the Flaming Lips that one reviewer described as a blend of “chilly electro-dance and hazy folk-pop”. It should be a fun show so stop on down to Pontiac and check it out.
I will also be having Americana singer Sally Spring on my show that morning talking about her upcoming show at the Trinity House on Sept 26th.