“You’ll be hit by these big waves that’ll sneak up on you.” That was what Fr. Jack Trese told us about grief at my dad’s funeral in 1997. But a week ago I got clobbered by one those waves in the form of a showtune I couldn’t stand–driving south in the middle of Ohio.
These days, my go-to stations on Sirius include “On Broadway,” “The Beatles Channel” and “The Seventies on 7,” especially on Saturdays they reply Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” broadcasts from the same week from 1970-79. I was very excited one weekend brought back my transistor radio tied to by handlebars as I listened to WDRQ delivering my newspapers at 5:30 AM.
In addition to the Saturday Night Fever‘s stranglehold on the airwaves that spring … Read More… →
Join host Pete Kalinski from Royal Oak’s Boo’s Music Bistro inside Mr. B’s Restaurant as he welcomes two of the city’s foremost fans and promoters of Detroit’s legendary blues legacy–President of the Detroit Blues Society, Steve Soviak and Vice President Tom McNab.
It’s first meeting in 1985 began a multi-decade of transformations to increase public interest in the Society. Large-scale events included a number of indoor and outdoor concerts and school workshops. Increased membership and a more organized approach allowed the Society to embark on special projects. Educational programs became more formalized and in 1996 the Scarab Club Educational/Blues Heritage Series began. Each event featured a theme based on some aspect of the Detroit blues tradition.
Look, just because this is being written from a parallel universe, you’d be wrong to think that everyone over here is so totally freaky that you couldn’t possibly carry on a conversation with any of us without a cheat sheet in your breast coat pocket.
“There’s more that unites us than divides us.” Isn’t that what the bumper sticker makers say? Well, I’ve always put my faith in their deep wisdom and I think you should do the same.
I’ll give you a ‘for instance’ because over here, just like over there, a quality ‘for instance’ makes everything so much easier to understand. For instance, don’t assume … Read More… →
Like most kids growing up in Suburban Detroit, I was first introduced to Prince by The Electrifying Mojo, the legendary underground DJ on WGPR. I was a card carrying member of the Midnight Funk Association.
Mojo had been going on for hours about this 19year-old kid from Minneapolis who was going to take over the world. Then shortly after Midnight, and after I raised my hand and “Pledged Allegiance to The Funk”, Mojo played “Soft and Wet” – I was hooked.
From that day on, I have bought all of Prince’s 47 albums the day they were released. … Read More… →
Ladd Biro has loved music and been a performer his entire life–but never wanted to be a starving artist either. For 40 years he has worked in the entirely non-9-to-5 world of the track–and been in bands and created albums.
He contacted Kevin Walsh about creating a music video for “In Days Gone By,” a song that a friend of his wrote for his niece’s wedding–dedicated to the special relationship between a father and daughter.
I’ll start this review how I start every review, which is: go see Whiplash before you read this post. But this time I say this not only because there be spoilers below, but because it’s one of the best damn movies I’ve seen in long, long time. A long time.
As I begin my thoughts on Whiplash, I am reminded of the Honest Trailers trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you’re unfamiliar, Honest Trailers is a fantastic YouTube channel that takes films we love and makes trailers for them that rip them to shreds; pointing out every plot hole and confusing character motivation they can find. Here was the trailer they made to rip Cap 2 to shreds:
Few third graders have been heard to proudly announce to their classmates…
“I hope to be fourth cellist in the New York Philharmonic.”
“I’d like to be a situational middle-inning relief pitcher for the Yankees.”
“I want to be an Indy pit crew member.”
“My dream is to be an editor.”
Not many editors get a standing ovation. Even at the Oscars, its award is sandwiched between Best Costume Design and the latest Revlon commercial. And you are more likely to be mistaken as that fourth cellist before someone says, “Aren’t you an editor–of documentaries?”
Twenty Feet from Stardom honors the teammate, the supporting role–in effect, the glue behind some of the greatest songs of the last fifty years. And … Read More… →
We live in an absolutely ridiculous time for geeks. If you were to create an historic timeline of superhero films, you could try and pinpoint the turning point with X-Men or Spider-Man. Around the turn of the century, when those films were released, the blockbuster world slowly began to turn on its head. In the 90s, the basis for most action movies was one of the following: (1) CIA agent, (2) rogue cop, (3) two unlikely cop partners teaming up for an action-comedy. After Sam Raimi’s success with Spider-Man, everyone and their uncle had to get their hands on some hot superhero action. But it wasn’t always pretty. For whatever reason, the studios knew that there was a market out there for all and everything superheroes, but they just … Read More… →
I have a very patient wife and two tolerant children–particularly if I am allowed to pick the music.
Prior to the patient folks at home, I had a very patient set of roommates in college. The stone-age version of a playlist was a 200 lb “Peaches” crate of LPs that I would transport every year–in and out of our van, up and down three flights of stairs at the dorm, all so that people could flip through my records and say, “Oh, my. You’ve got this” Probably holding up either an obscure soundtrack or noticing that my alphabetical listing had Adam Ant a bit too close to … Read More… →
Growing up in the Midwest, it’s the event that became our first memory of each New Year. For sports fans, it continues to be that special tradition that proves to us that no matter how much we may change as a person from New Year to New Year, there are some things that just need to stay the same. Sure, we watch the Rose Bowl a little differently than we did when we were kids. Instead of hot chocolate fighting off Jack Frost in our tippy toes, copious cups of coffee fight off the champagne in our heads and our stomachs, for example.
Tradition is tradition.
My friend Michael once told me that his dad taught him two things growing up: (1) … Read More… →
It’s just six minutes of random videotape from thirteen years ago as the kids decorate a Christmas tree. It’s funny what passes for nothing at the time but turns into family legend. Thanks to my kids for letting me post these brief video clips and for not minding an interview on-location a couple days ago (final clip).
The 2000 model of Abby (3) and Aidan (5) had decided it was time to add the candy canes to the tree. As a kindergartener, it was very clear to my son what the pecking order would be–and not just for tree-trimming . My daughter, in a calm “no,” simply vetoes the maneuver and moves to the front of the line when dad asks for a song.
An American buying a Lotto ticket seems a bit redundant. After all, in the millions of years of evolution (or few thousand years–depending on which Texas schoolbook you’ve got approved) what are the odds that you’ll be born in a century with indoor plumbing, electricity and fabric softener?
Then factor in that you’ll most likely not be born somewhere between the Atlantic and Pacific, north of the Rio Grande. Instead you’ll land where 50% of the world is born–a place where you survive on $2.50 per day or less–or nearly three scratch-and-wins. (source)
So as you tsk-tsk high gas prices and the lawn-service guy who’s ripping you off (causing you to get so upset you nearly spill that $4 mocha) remember the cost of … Read More… →
We are obsessed with it. Many of us bask in its glory; worship its treasures and truths. Others are shaped and molded by its destructive affect and merciless circumstance. Then there is the rest of us: those that are almost certainly meant to spend life trying to figure out if love is as real as Bigfoot, honest politicians or a Detroit Lions Superbowl win, and not some made up, human hoax to sell greeting cards and movie tickets. One thing is certain, though. We love to sing about love.
If it’s not about partying or politics, at times, it appears that every song ever written is about the wonder of or dismay for love. The Beatles, for example, used the word “love” 613 times in … Read More… →
I mean, really sit down and experience it all. Turn on that 480p, shut off the lights, grab a bag of popcorn and if you’re lucky enough to have a significant other, grab him or her too, sit down, and watch “Michael Jackson’s Thriller”. It’s one of the most incredible short films ever created, and its impact on pop culture can never be overstated. We view it every Halloween because it puts air in our tires. It gets us excited for horror films and candy and costumes and–dancing. But before it became a Halloween staple, it was the production that changed music videos and television and the role of the pop … Read More… →
The reviews were in last Monday for the finale of Breaking Bad and some cried: “It’s too tidy. It’s too neat. The rest of the show wasn’t like this.”
It was the polar opposite of the terrible “But-They-Were-All-Dead-All-Along” finale of Lost. It had no irritating fade to black with Tony’s knowing smile as he sees his daughter or a hit-man in The Sopranos.
Sure, Walter White didn’t wake up beside Suzanne Pleshette like the end of The Newhart Show, but the ending of Breaking Bad was completely satisfying because it was so neat–as precise as Walt’s nearly pure blue meth.
There’s a reason no one in music makes songs like the pop rock ballads of the 80’s anymore. It’s not because that kind of organized noise is out of style or because it’s difficult to recreate the sound of obsolete synthesizers and early ’80s, electric Yamaha drums, but because I don’t believe there is anyone in the pop music world right now with the vision, skills or intellectual wherewithal to come up with the classics that were bred from the likes of Toto, Journey, Styx, Foreigner, et cetera.
What makes those ’80s rock songs so great though? Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint. Fear not, though, because Kale is here to give you the breakdown on what makes these ’80s pop rock songs so perfect. To … Read More… →
People are really sensitive about their media. People are especially sensitive about remakes, covers, books that are made into movies and special editions. For a lot of us, the first version of a song or a story we hear is THE version of that song or story, and anyone who tried to do it again, well, it’s just not as good. The word remake, especially in the cinematic universe, is often a four letter word. Especially these days, when we’ve got remakes of “Poltergeist” coming out. Why do we need to remake movies that are already so good? I mean, I’m with you people on that. We don’t need a remake of “All the President’s Men” … Read More… →
I can see why a lot of people don’t like the Dream Cruise, especially if you live in that area. Or, as is in my case, the Dream Cruise can be a big ol’ inconvenience to those who have to work in the Bloomfield Hills to Royal Oak area. It’s loud, a lot of the people are annoying. You can’t get anywhere quick, if you can get anywhere at all. Vendors are closed, and it’s no honeymoon trying to make the last FedEx pick up in Birmingham the Thursday and Friday before the actual Dream Cruise.
So, I get it. It seems there are more haters every year, though. In classic Michigander style, we like to complain when there’s nothing going on as much as … Read More… →
I used to be as inactive as it gets. My life was just sitting and watching other people being active in high school. I’d sit around and listen to music, play video games, watch movies, watch sports. But I wasn’t really getting around and doing much. By the time I was 16, I started to realize that if I wanted to, I could really go out there and be physical in my spare time. In order to motivate myself, I decided to get into the podcast scene. I’d throw on a podcast, and go for a walk. Walks turned into sporadic running and sporadic running turned into running, … Read More… →