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In an effort to jazz things up a bit, Roger and I decided to take our Friday show on the road. So for the entertainment video this week, we reported from the Michigan Theater for the A2 Film Fest.

Ummm…. we had the right idea, but watching the finished product made me remember clearly why I chose to go into radio and print. Even with the sunglasses, which are awesome, it was awkward to say the least. I’m kind of embarrassed (although, in true form, that isn’t enough to stop me from putting it on the internet).

But do yourself a favor and watch it long enough to see me tell some guy that his movie sounds creepy.

(I can’t get the video to embed properly, but you can watch it HERE)

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Don’t worry, I’ll be doing a story on him soon, but in the meantime I present T. Casey Brennan, singing his opus, “Social Worker.”

In the meantime, if you see Mr. Brennan around the diag, Fleetwood, Double Eagle, etc., etc., tell him that I said hi. And that I’m not mad he called me Jill.

NOTE! THIS VIDEO HAS COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF SWEARING. (and also some sideways camera work)

Although I will not be modeling, you should still attend the Yellow Barn Bizarre Dance Unihood Unification Project on Saturday night at the Yoga Zone across from the Y (416 W. Huron).

The Unihood Bizarre Walk is a “not a couture fashion” fashion show of sorts, in that people will be walking in their individual fashions. Please, DO NOT miss the chance to experience Adam Eichner, Majestic bouncer-cum-lawyer-cum-Realtor (but also in full posession of all requisite tattoos and attitude), the good doctor Brande Wix (of Found magazine fame and my New Orleans traveling partner), a guy I think might be my ex-boyfriend, and others walk the walk.

It’s also in celebration of my favorite headwear item, the Unihood, which I’ve already told you all about.

9-10 p.m. Marco & Asim play (It’s pronounced Marco and Awesome, according to my friend Yama, who had their CD in his car. I never listened to it, but he likes them)

10-10:30 “The Bizarre Walk”

10:30-11+ Live Bluegrass

11-? Dancing, music, improv instruments…

As one of the organizers, the lovely Britten Stringwell, put it: “Bring Kids . Babysitters . Bring who you wouldn’t normally . Bring him. Her.”

How can you resist an invite like that?

While you eat your lunch today, check out the recently-launched, locally-produced Textsound.

There are some interesting sounds to hear, and it’s better than listening to the hum of florescent lights while you eat that healthy combination of pretzels and diet pepsi you got from the vending machines.

I really enjoyed “Genkomst” and “Schengen,” tracks 8 and 9. I’m not sure what language they’re in, or if it’s a real language (which will probably make me sound like an idiot), but they sound like stylized language learning tapes. Some of the other tracks weren’t really my taste but, personally, I find a lot of slam poetry stuff to be irritating. I don’t like the tendency to mask what’s essentially a bad poem in the weighty repetition of certain words, or the need to discuss your uterus at length.

Textsound is having a launch party at the Dreamland Theater in Ypsi on Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m.

I’ll be spending my lunch hour reviewing a bunch of films made by high school students in a contest organized by my favorite librarian, Ben Malczewski of the Ypsilanti District Library. If you’ve ever marveled at the Ypsi library’s absolutely amazing film collection, thank Ben. I thank Ben for recommending “The Magnificent Ambersons” to me when I interviewed him a year or so ago.

I have to go now, because it suddenly smells like cupcakes and I need to find out why.

Sorry for the delay, but I was on vacation, the first two days of which were spent in scenic Ann Arbor, Michigan.

There’s nothing like vacationing in the city where you live, in your own apartment. On Wednesday I spent the whole day drawing comics, and the evening eating take-out from Miki and watching season three of Lost with Josh D. After that we went to Bab’s, where we did some dancing. Day two of my vacation started with a house cleaning, and then coffee and bagels from Zingerman’s with a friend in my just-cleaned kitchen. I then took a walk up scenic Liberty Street, to the even more scenic Stadium Boulevard, where I went to the bank and ran into Homeless Dave, who was riding his bike loaded with bins on his way to the post office.

Thursday night my friend and I decided, on a whim, to drive to Chicago, where we stayed until Saturday afternoon. That trip only served to remind me that I am getting old. I can no longer function on 3 hours of sleep, and for the first time in my life I thought, “I should just get a hotel room.”

I am now sick.

On another note, this morning I had breakfast with my mom at Afternoon Delight (no big surprise, I have breakfast with my mom there almost every day). Afterward, when we were getting into our respective cars, she came running up to my window, waving her arms. “My glove! It’s my glove,” she told me, happily waving a black leather glove in the air. She had been missing this glove for two weeks, and there it was, resting on the bike loop outside the restaurant. It was pretty amazing.

So thanks, glove returners. Ann Arbor is so much cooler than Chicago.

I’m writing this early, because I haven’t gotten my review copy yet, but just a heads-up that Ghostly just released (in North America) Matthew Dear’s “Asa Breed Black Edition,” a re-worked version of one of my favorite albums of 2007.

I agree with everyone who says it sounds eerily like TV on the Radio (the first time I heard it I thought it was TOTR), but who cares. It’s a super-listenable album pretty much from start to finish.

(To buy it, and to listen to excerpts from each song, click here)

There’s a Hot Chip re-mix on there (Dear just finished up touring with them), and it looks like five other new tracks. From what I could tell from the excerpts on the Ghostly site, the original tracks are unchanged, but I could be wrong.

If you don’t already own Asa Breed, you should buy this version (and get the extras… duh.), and as soon as I listen to the whole thing, I’ll let you know if it’s worth having the second copy. Either way, I’m psyched. I’ll report back.

Oh, and for the record, Matt is the real producer of “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit.” Hands down.

On Wednesday I crawled out of my hole (okay, Josh D pulled me out of my hole) to hit up TCs Speakeasy for the SheBang!, which happened to also be featuring the Cowgirl Cabaret.

Although several of my close friends are regular faces there, I’ve never attended the SheBang. Somehow I’d envisioned a room packed tightly with sweaty, dancing, interestingly-attired ladies. Kind of like The Bang, but with lesbians. In my mind, this event would be very glamorous. Maybe this is because my very dear friend, who is a lesbian, is the most glamorous person I know.

In reality, it was more like a regular night at the bar. But with more lesbians. And they were wearing jeans and t-shirts. And hanging out, drinking beer. Not dancing. There was no sweating. It was not glamorous. But it was fun. I met some cool people. You know, that kinda thing.

I do always enjoy watching the Cowgirl Cabaret. I’ve been going somewhat regularly since my friend Maggie joined the crew, singing at Goodnight Gracie’s and the Firefly. I believe firmly in the importance of supporting your friends in their creative endeavors, and I especially like that girl who sings “Brand New Key.” She’s super cute.

Most of the performers in the cabaret are really good, and those who aren’t still have soul and spunk, and that makes up for it. I think. It’s a bonus for me that I get to hear a bunch of my favorites songs (Jolene, Walkin’ After Midnight, etc.), plus, although it didn’t seem to happen at TC’s (although maybe I left too early), the cabaret often turns into a dance party with everyone getting up and swinging around. It’s fun.

So, if you haven’t already, check out the Cowgirl Cabaret. They’ll be at the Firefly Club (in the old Neutral Zone space on S. Main Street near Hill), Wednesday, 3/26 from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The SheBang! is every Wednesday night at TC’s Speakeasy in downtown Ypsi. Check the events page their site for a rundown of what’s going on (I see karaoke!).

Today I learned about the impending doom that is America’s Prom Queen. I have a TV in my house, but the only thing it’s hooked up to is a DVD player, and that’s fine with me, but it means that sometimes I am a little behind on knowing just how far we’ve fallen.

And we have fallen far: Apparently millions of Americans, or so ABC believes, are actually interested in a staged competition in which teenage girls, children too young to vote but apparently old enough to make fools of themselves on national television, duke it out for the prize of being the most important prom queen ever.

Which is pretty huge, really, because prom queens are really, really important.

This reminds me a bit of when I was assigned to cover a Playboy audition for Girls of the Big 10 back in October. When I was given the assignment, I felt pretty neutral about Playboy, and was of the “this is their choice, so what’s the big deal?” attitude. I have several friends who are Suicide Girls (I would link to that, but this is a family blog), and they are all proud of what they do.

But when I got to the hotel suite where the auditions were being held, I was hit with the giant hammer of feminism that must have been ingrained in me by a family and school environment that told me that my intelligence, talents, and personality were what would get me anywhere (that and the fact that, frankly, I was small and nerdy and nobody thought I was going to get anywhere by just being a trophy wife). I won’t go into my reaction to seeing those young girls taking off their clothes in an effort to be appreciated, but if you want to read about it, you can do that here. (I didn’t produce that video by the way. Let me just set that straight)

Okay, so vying to be the nation’s prom queen is not the same as posing for Playboy. But it still illustrates what I want to say.

Maybe my point of view on this is skewed, since my high school didn’t have prom or homecoming queens, or cheerleading for that matter. And the idea behind that was one that I applaud: competition among students should be based on achievements other than a perfect tan or washboard abs. Yes, high schoolers will be competitive. We’re all competitive in some fashion (I happen to be hyper-competitive, as anyone who has ever played Risk with me will tell you), and asking young people to be above that is ridiculous. But to channel that competition into something important, like art, or writing, or math… that’s purposeful. And educational.

Channeling the competitive nature of young people into vapid contests of looks and popularity can only end up one way….

I don’t even like Tally Hall, and I think this video is awesome:

My favorite Tally Hall memory was when they played with The Changes at the Blind Pig a couple of years ago. Dave and I were sitting around in the green room, and raided Tally Hall’s extensive costume collection and took photos while they were on stage.

It’s too bad that Tally Hall is the only band we’ve managed to export in a major way lately, but it is a tribute to the mad skills of Al McWilliams over at Quack!. Let’s hope he can do the same thing for the Hard Lessons and Great Lakes Myth Society, two bands that would truly make the ace deuce proud.

A couple of days ago when it seemed like some “producer” going by the name Flip Wilson got shot in Ypsi (it turned out to be someone else), everyone in the newsroom was asking me if I knew him. Because, obviously, I know everyone in Ypsilanti who makes music. Especially the ones who finance their musical careers with this:

Apparently this man’s associates are also independent filmmakers, one of them told us. I only know two independent filmmakers, one of whom is currently an assistant in New York to a more famous filmmaker, and the other works out of the basement of a family in Burns Park. Neither of them have security cameras or barbed wire fencing around their places of employment. Or enough weed to run the Hash Bash, the Bob Marley Fest, and an entire Phish tour.

On a slightly related, but only musically (I hope) note, does anybody know these guys:

The one kid, Rampage, is pretty good. I’m trying to find them. It’s interesting, ’cause with the burgeoning indie rock scene in A2 and Ypsi, sometimes hip hop gets swept under the rug.

And I think their video is funny.