He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Hi everyone! Sorry about my blog not appearing here last week. I’m not sure what happened so you can go to my webpage myspace.com/wildatheart_13 for the complete blog though I will reprint most of the still relevant parts this week though I will start with a ticket giveaway.
Here is a chance to see the Seattle based band Fleet Foxes when they play the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Wednesday, Aug 5th. The band saw their self-titled debut album peak at #36 on the US album charts with their blend of indie folk, rock and pop and have seen sold out shows in the European and Australian tours. If you want to see what all the buzz is about, reply to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to win a pair of tickets for the show.
Now to repeat some of last week’s blog action by passing on some info concerning the vouchers from the Palace Entertainment group. A while ago I mentioned that one could go online to redeem vouchers for show at Palace Entertainment since they are not making as many as last year due to various marketplace costs. The website is www.redeemonlinenow.com but unless you had a voucher, it was almost impossible to track down the code to print out your voucher. Well I finally cracked their code. For a login, you have a letter (D for DTE, M for Meadowbrook or P for Palace) followed by 4 numbers, which are the date (for example Kenny Rogers is on July 29th so the numbers are 0729). Thus the login for printing up vouchers at home for Kenny Rogers is D0729. Now the passwords can get tricky. For Kenny Rogers, it is simply Kenny but some shows use last names or genre (Travis Tritt's password in 'country' while the Temptations is 'Motown' or Laugh-a-palooza is
'laugh'). So the Palace doesn't make it easy but this might help if you want to see if a show has vouchers and you can't find them since they are printing far fewer this year. I hope this helps and once again shows why the palace should hire me to straighten out their PR department.
Had a good talk with Julie Powell this past week that aired during my show this past Sat morning (my show runs 8-10AM on WXOU 88.3FM or www.wxou.org). For those who might miss it, she has a movie coming out entitled “Julie & Julia” starring Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia Child. After graduating college with a degree in theatre and creative writing, Julie tried for years to get a career going doing various stories and plays but with little success. She got a job as a secretary for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation fielding complaints and stories from the survivors of 9/11, which became too much for her to handle. She turned to a dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ that had been owned from her mom and decided to make each of the recipes in the book. She was convinced to blog the results online and shortly thereafter started to get feedback from other people who shared her interest in cooking
and made her somewhat of an online celeb. So she found inspiration for her writing at a time when she wasn't really looking for it and despite hearing that Julia Child didn't like the blog (for whatever reason), she finally found her voice for doing something she loved (writing and cooking). Nora (Sleepless In Seattle, Silkwood, You've Got Mail) Ephron has directed the film, which is out shortly.
In other movie news, we have a couple of nice films starting with the 'Hurt Locker', directed by Kathryn (Strange Days) Bigelow and starring Jeremy Renner who you might remember from '28 Weeks Later' or 'The Assassination of Jesse James'. The film follows Staff Sergeant William James (Renner) as he replaces a fallen leader of an US Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit over in Iraq. Somewhat of a loose cannon in the methods he uses to defuse the bombs his unit comes across, he creates a small gap with his fellow soldiers. The films looks at the real psychological and emotional strain that it inflicts on the soldiers whose duty it is to perform this task when anyone they meet on the streets can be a potential enemy and a hidden bomb could be anywhere. While we have some nice guest stars such as Guy Pearce as a psychologist who despite trying to help the soldiers is really out of touch with field conditions and Ralph Fiennes as a contractor who
looks for Iraqi war criminals. The best parts are the interactions within the team where one day everyone gets along and another could see one of them thinking of letting a fellow soldier get killed. I have never been a fan of the war where I feel Bush should have listened more to Colin Powell, but this movie is amazing in it's telling of a story about the common soldier and the ups-and-downs of the war and how it affects them and their relationships. Given time, this might go down as one of the best war movies of all times. Instead of trying to go up against specific villains, the movie relies of the situations and showing the mental stresses and the adrenaline addiction soldiers get when in the field doing highly dangerous work. Renner makes for a good, believable hero we can get behind while recognizing his flaws that can annoy his partners who lives could depend on the decisions he makes. This is one of my favorite films of the year so far. My grade
is an A.
On a different note is the Japanese surprise hit Departures, which was the winner of last year's best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Daigo is a cellist in Tokyo who loses his job because of dissolution of the orchestra. With the support of his wife, he decides to sell his cello and move back to his old hometown to start life anew. One day, he finds a classified ad entitled "Assisting departures" for an "NK Agency" and he goes on a job interview thinking it is for a travel agency but instead finds it is for "encoffinment" and that his duties is to help the departed to move on to the afterlife. The owner instantly hires him though Daigo wonders if he can do the job. In Japan, there is great ceremony to send the departed on but it is also held in great taboo, so much so that Daigo is unable to tell his wife his real job and just states that it is for ceremonies. His first job is a real test as it deals with the corpse of a woman who was
found dead in her apartment after two weeks. Things get better and he comes to really like his job until his wife finds out what he is doing and wants him to quit. When he refuses, she leaves him but comes back when she finds out she is pregnant. She pressures him to quit until she watches him perform a ceremony for a friend and starts to see the value of what he does. The film does a good job at looking at a career that many see as unclean in the society until they are forced to use the service. The film looks closely at the bonds between people whether it be father/son, father/daughter, etc and how we don't always realize what people mean to us in life. I thought this was a very moving film and highly recommend it. My grade is an A.
This week also sees the debut of the new comedy mockumentary, Paper Heart starring Charlene Yi and Michael Cera. The film follows Charlyne as she embarks on a quest across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn't fully understand, love. Now Charlene and Michael play themselves and from what I can gather, the interviews seem real and has guest cameos by Seth Rogan and Dimitri Martin which further blurs the lines of the actual nature of the film. Charlyne travels around America with her friend and director Nick interviewing various friends, strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists and children to get their diverse views on the subject. She also gets introduced to Michael who is attracted to her and eventually becomes the focus of the documentary and she wonders if she is falling for her. The making of the documentary strains the relationship and Charlene has to figure out if she really is in love and what she should
do about it. The film really blurs the line between reality and fiction and creates an interesting look at love and what it means. Not a traditional comedy or romance but an blend that is fascinating and thought-provoking at the same time. My grade is a B+.
I’m not sure if this will get posted in time to attend tonight’s last showing of the Ringwald Theatre’s “The Book Of Liz” by David and Amy Sedaris and stars Jaime Moyer, Joe Bailey, Melissa Beckwith and Joe Plambeck. The story is a simple one about Sister Elizabeth Donderstock (Moyer) and the feeling that she is unappreciated within her community of the Amish-based Squeamish religious community, Clusterhaven. The community has been financially stable due to the sales of her popular and flavorful cheese balls, which she has been making since a young girl. However, change is in the air with the arrival of Brother Bright bee (Plambeck) that despite a physical deformity plans on taking over the cheese ball making duties. Community leader Brother Tollhouse (Bailey) orders Sister Donderstock to give over her secret recipes to Brightbee, thus taking away the one duty that makes her feel that she is a special. Feeling under-appreciated and betrayed,
the Sister runs away and enters the modern world to make new friends and work in a Puritan themed restaurant. While she is away, the community hits hard times as the cheese ball recipe doesn't seem as good without her special touch. Finally, Sister Donderstock decides while she had a good run, the outside world is not for her and she returns in time to save the community. The show, with its unique sets, is very strong in the humor department. While the supporting cast is wonderful, esp since everyone has multiple roles in the play, the true standout is Moyer whose character of Sister Donderstock stands out through her constant questioning and profusely sweating while throwing out lines like the best of Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett, frequently forcing her fellow actors to try to maintain their performance and not fall down rolling in laughter as the audience was. I would say that if they ever make a film version, Moyer should be considered playing this
role as she really brings it too life in one of the best performances I have seen in the independent theatres here in Detroit. I am confident in saying that “The Book Of Liz” is one of the better productions I have seen in Detroit in the past 5 years of covering local theatre and you need to come out and see this piece while you can. You have one week left. For more information, call 248-545-5545 or go to www.whowantscaketheatre.com. My grade for this performance is an A+. If not too late, check out one of the area’s best plays before it ends.
Lastly, I wanted to bring something to your attention, which might be important to you and help you save money down the road. I'm not sure if you know this but every time you go to the store and use your credit card, that company is charged a service fee. An average of $2 out of every $100 Americans spend goes to transaction fees, and for many businesses, transaction fees are now their highest non-labor cost, growing even faster than health care costs. As other countries have reined in excessive transaction fees in recent years, the actual cost of processing credit card transactions has gone down, but Americans are now paying triple the amount in transaction fees they paid in 2001, reaching $48 billion last year alone. This is part of the reason when gas prices spiked last year many gas stations charged less for cash purchases than when you used your credit card. One company is looking at challenging the way the credit card companies decide to charge
their fees but spearheading a grass roots petition campaign. Some 6,300 7-Eleven franchisees, licensees and store operators in the US, including the owners of 149 stores in metro Detroit, are asking their customers to sign a petition which they will deliver to Washington. If this is something that interests you, go to you local 7-Eleven and sign in the hopes that if they win the savings will be going back to you, the customer.
I was just reading some old Popeye newspaper strips and realized that we share the same birthday, Jan 17th though I admit he is a little older. The strip was entitled “Thimble Theatre” and had been around for 10 years when EC Segar introduced Popeye in the strip on January 17, 1929 as a minor character. He was initially hired by Castor Oyl and Ham to crew a ship for a voyage to Dice Island, which is the location of a casino owned by the crooked gambler Fadewell. Castor intended to break the bank at the casino using the unbeatable good luck conferred by stroking the hairs on the head of Bernice the Whiffle Hen. Weeks later, on the trip back, Popeye was shot many times by Jack Snork, a stooge of Fadewell's but survived by rubbing Bernice's head. After the adventure, Popeye left the strip but due to reader reaction he was quickly brought back and became the lead character. In the old days, Popeye didn't eat Spinach that was popularized in the cartoon
but basically outlasted his foes before delivering his knock out punch. I recommend finding “E. C. Segar's Popeye” which are oversized books put out by Fantagraphic Books and reprints all Segar Sundays (in color) and dailies featuring Popeye in 6 hardcover volumes starting with Vol. 1 "I Yam What I Yam," which covers 1928-1930. Highly recommended reading.
The Detroit Lions will hold “Lions Uncaged! presented by SVS Vision Optical Centers” on Saturday August 8 at Ford Field. The event will feature an autograph session and public practice. Tickets, free of charge to the general public, are available at SVS Vision Optical Centers. Gates open at Noon, the autograph session is from Noon-12:45 p.m. and practice begins at 1 p.m. With their new coach, do you think the Lions ar eworth following this year. Attend this practice and find out.
Here are some upcoming concerts that you might be interested in starting Tuesday (8/04) with Annabelle Road @ Hard Rock Café. Wednesday (8/05) sees progressive/a;lt rock Dredg & RX Bandits @ St Andrews, the Amino Acids @ Garden Bowl for a free show or you can travel to see Kenny Loggins @ Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen Center For The Arts. On Thursday (8/06) Joan Baez will be @ the Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen Center For The Arts for a good two days of concerts there or you can see Motown greats Four Tops & Temptations @ Pine Knob or chill to the light jazz sounds of Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson and Peabo Bryson @ Motor City Casino. Friday (8/07) has the rocking sounds of Bachman-Cummings (of Guess Who fame) w/Booker T (of MG’s fame) @ WFCU Center in Windsor, Wooden Wand w/Aran Ruth @ Majestic Café, Macramé Tiger @ Vernor’s Lounge (Crofoot) or Lacuna Coil @ Machine Shop (Flint). Saturday (8/08) has the Misfits @ Harpo’s, Tori Amos @
Detroit Opera House, Chickenfoot (with Joe Satriani and Sammy Hagar) w/Back Door Slam @ Fillmore or a free show with Rick Springfield @ Ford Field Park (Dearborn). Lastly, Sunday (8/09) has choices between the Moody Blues @ Pine Knob, Band Of Skulls @ Magic Stick or Ida Maria @ the Pike Room. Choose wisely and I will you at a few of these shows.
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