You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

Check out this video, a spoof on will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” video endorsing Barack Obama. It features Nyima Funk, an Ann Arborite currently living in Los Angeles.

I was really excited about the Love Bang! this past Saturday night. I hadn’t been since the Ninja Bang, when my friend and I were… ummm… removed… for bringing in our own beverages. How were we supposed to know that the Blind Pig doesn’t serve Sparks?

I think I speak for many when I say getting dressed up is half the fun. Why else would they have themes? I spent a good hour painting a black tank-top with a human heart and the words “I don’t beat, I BANG!”, and was pretty darned proud of myself. My friend wore a bright red slip with black slouch boots and her date dressed in semi-drag, donning a fedora and striped tie. We looked great. We were on the guest list. We had consumed a pitcher of a new drink recipe that’s been going around, although I won’t tell you what it’s called here lest I insult someone (but I’ll tell you that you shouldn’t be as dubious as I was about the combination of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sparks Plus. It’s amazingly tasty).

We were ready to rock it.

But when we got there we were quickly deterred by the line of freezing people stretching down the block. We went down to the 8-Ball, hoping we could wait out the throng of obviously NOT dressed up, and, frankly, not strange, weird, or interesting people. Sorry to be insulting, folks, but boot-cut black pants and a “cute top,” or baggy, stone-washed jeans and a button-down shirt, are not proper attire for a mixtape dance party. You would stare at us if we showed up (which we never would!) at Rick’s or the Brown Jug, or wherever you go east of Main Street, so fair’s fair.

After our beers downstairs (where a girl dressed in the aformentioned chick uniform was stopped by the bouncer from trying to dance sexily on the bar, and a heavily tattooed friend commented to me that it looked like Delta Delta Zeta had taken over the 8-Ball), we went up to the party. If you can call it that.

The music was completely uninspired. The track list of the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” something by Missy Elliot, and “You Really Got Me,” by The Kinks, was fun the first five times I heard it. It was nice to see some familiar faces on the dance floor, but there were far less than the usual Cheers-like atmosphere I’m used to at the party. I had talked to several people earlier in the evening who had said they weren’t going because they just didn’t have “the energy to deal with it.” Seemed like there were a lot of people who felt the same way, including half the people on the dance floor, who danced like they were shaking it to “Everybody Dance Now” at cousin David’s bar mitzvah.

I think that was my last Bang. Who wants to wait in line for an hour and pay 10 dollars to dance with a bunch of sweaty Scorekeepers ex-pats while listening to music that sounds like someone just brought their iPod and plugged it in?

Guess I’m putting my money on the Elks Lodge. Or staying home to crochet and watch “How’s Your News?” on video for the umpteenth time.

It is pretty much guaranteed that, if you start watching this video now, you will have amassed a gathering of co-workers within three minutes, and they will stand around your computer and whoa! and oh! like the crowd at the Metropark on the Fourth of July.

 

Forget “Jumper.” The Ann Arbor sightings in this video are much more exciting, since there’s a real dude (Colin Bell) climbing all over them. I would make a comment about his perennially shirtless state, but that would be unprofessional.
You can read more about him HERE. I wanted to do the story, but the intrepid entertainment reporter (and my partner in weekend video crime) Roger LeLievre beat me to it.

Hit the bubbly a little too hard with your valentine last night? Why not spend your work day today surfing the internet. No one will ever know.

Pandora Radio I forgot to bring my ipod to work yesterday (you try writing every day in a newsroom full of people on the phone and a constantly chattering police scanner!), and in my desperation I stumbled upon Pandora Radio, part of the Music Genome Project.

Basically, you type a song or artist that you like into the box, and it generates streaming radio for you based on specific attributes of that song or the artist’s general sound. Rad.

Don’t type in Sufjan Stevens. It gives you wuss stuff. Which leads me to believe that my friends who make fun of my love for Sufjan are right……I recommend starting Iron and Wine if you want some great music you may not have heard before that’s just right for listening and still getting work done. I even discovered some artists I had never heard of and really liked, which is super exciting.

Community High on NPR! I heard this story yesterday on the radio, and I was super psyched for the shout out to our fair city, and the great school that we’ve created. I didn’t go to Community, although it’s weird the number of of people, including both of my editors, who just assumed that I did. Nope, folks, I went to Greenhills. Shut up. We read really awesome books.

My Heart is an Idiot Watch the work in progress of local filmmaker David Meiklejohn as he creates a documentary about love, from the bizarre perspective of my very dear friend, Davy Rothbart, a total townie. See Newt Gingrich talk about fidelity before word of his adulterous affair! Bizarre foreshadowing!

Whether you observe Lent or not – or even if you haven’t stepped foot in a place of worship since you can remember – the Lenten season fish fry at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ypsi is awesome.

First off, they use catfish, which parishioner Mark Brown has to travel a significant distance (I think it’s Saginaw….) to obtain. Then it’s fried in his mom’s secret recipe, and you can have it spicy or not. Get the spicy! It is some seriously delicious fish.
The dinner comes with other stuff, including that really sweet, yellow, fake lemonade that just seems to go perfectly with catfish and cole slaw.

In a new development this year, you can take your dinner to go, but I don’t recommend it. When I’ve gone I’ve had interesting (and totally NOT religious) conversations with other people eating at the round tables in the church basement. The atmosphere is half the experience.

The particulars:
Where: St. Lukes Episcopal Church, 120 N. Huron St., Ypsi.
When: Wednesday evenings during Lent, 5-7 p.m.
How much: $10 adults, $5 kids (proceeds go to the church outreach budget)

In an effort to keep their gig alive, the folks at the Ann Arbor Film Festival have resorted to amazing “Acts of Audacity” to raise both funds and awareness of the fact that they are brilliant and insane. These acts are chosen by fans of the festival, including the first act: “Glam Rock Karaoke,” which took wigs, costumes, and David Bowie to the streets of Ann Arbor this summer in a yellow pick-up truck.

This video is the second Act of Audacity, in which giant animals were pitted against the Detroit Derby Girls in a badminton match in the snow this past December. And I didn’t even realize until after watching that it was directed and edited by my very talented friend, A2’s own David Meiklejohn.

“It’s like putting the movie back into the shuttlecock.”
Brilliant.

(HEY! please be aware, there is swearing. So not for work or the kids)

It may be February, but Michiganders know it’s never too late in the season to purchase winter gear. In fact, I usually wait to buy said items (gloves, hats, etc.) until January, since they’re all on sale by then, and any true midwesterner worth his or her salt doesn’t need a hat and gloves until it’s cold enough to freeze the snot in your nose on the walk from the front door to the driveway.
Plus, it’s going to snow in May and you and I both know it.

So here’s my suggestion: You need a Unihood.

I have one, and it’s awesome in so many ways. It looks rad, it’s super warm, and it’s made by a really cool Ann Arbor artist, Britten Stringwell. Mine is made from an old down jacket, I think, but the wool and silk ones are dope too. You can pick one up at the shop on Britten’s site.

Vampire Weekend will be at the Blind Pig on Tuesday, and I highly recommend that you attend.

Reason 1. They sound like a Wes Anderson film scored by The Clash, The Police, and (my favorites and friends) The Changes.
2. They’re so cute in that New York, indie-pop band kinda way.
3. There’s a ton of hype surrounding these guys (they’re on the cover of Real Detroit this week), so this may be a good opportunity to see them before they blow up… or self-implode a la OK GO.

I do hope, though, that they skip the Tally Hall same-look-different-colors thing that they have going in the video.

Here are the details:
Who: Vampire Weekend
Where: The Bling Pig
When: Tuesday, Feb. 12. Doors at 8 p.m. (with all the talk, I would recommend getting there relatively early to avoid too much of a wait in line)
How Much: $12 at the door, $10 in advance

The Elks Lodge, for those of you who have been living under a rock and/or don’t own at least one scarf and a pair of vintage or vintage-esque sneakers, has become the place to throw down.

Considering the super-sweet 60s interior complete with orange plastic booths, the bar with a liquor price list framed on the wall like a movie marquis, and the wall of photos of Elks members enjoying Lodge functions, the local chapter of the Benevolent and Fraternal Order of Elks of the USA is actually the perfect hipster venue.

There are dance parties (sometimes with bonfires in the summer!) with locals like Dykehouse, Noah C., Josh D, Charles Trees, etc. There’s also a jazz night on Mondays that I haven’t been to, but I heard it’s cool. If this all seems nebulous, it’s because it is, and word of the events is generally spread through myspace bulletins or by someone saying, “Hey, are you going to the Elks Lodge tonight?”

And, although I have yet to validate this claim, Josh D excitedly reports that they serve lunch several days a week.

There’s a party tonight, (click HERE for a map) DJ’d by Ann Arbor’s own Charles Trees (with whom I attended Varsity Day Camp for several years). Sometimes there’s a $5 cover that goes to the Elks, sometimes there isn’t, so come prepared. And bring cash for the bar, too. Better yet, bring it in a money clip. ‘Cause money clips are cool.

Since when did leggings, perfectly disheveled hair, an over-sized sweatshirt and Ugg boots become a standard-issue uniform? Let me break this down for you, young ladies of Ann Arbor:

1. Leggings are not pants. I am not averse to leggings, I wear them myself. But they’re supposed to be worn like tights that are thick enough to let you get away with a little less skirt.

2. This comment is going to instantly date me, BUT: I already regret my side-ponytail from the 80s. If you’re going to spend $300 getting your hair colored in Birmingham, at least style it so you won’t want to hide your photos at the bottom of a drawer in 10 years.

3. Over-sized sweatshirts are okay.

4. Uggs are anything but okay. Mine have been at the back of my closet for so long that there is a giant moth in the toe of one of them that I’m too grossed out to pull out, but I don’t really care because I will never wear them again. If you don’t believe me you I’ll stick my phone in there and try to take a picture. Uggs were cute on famous people at Sundance in ’03, and on the rest of us with slip dresses in the spring and summer of ’04.

And if your argument is that this uniform is comfortable, let me suggest THIS. That’s really comfort. Just ask my grandma.