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Friday, December 18, 2009

Bastone Royal Oak

Bastone logo

I recently visited Bastone in Royal Oak for a light lunch and some beer tasting with my wife and was pleasantly surprised on the Sunday afternoon.  When we walked in we were greeted promptly and seated in a nice wood booth.  The restaurant was dimly lit (not good or bad) and our booth looked like classic polished hardwood.  

The menu is very extensive but also a little pricey.  We both opted for the soup.  I chose to try beef soup and my wife had the creamy mushroom.  Both soups had the consistency of heavy cream and were delicious.  The beef in my soup seemed to be pureed and mixed with the cream.  They were served in gigantic bowls and although I was not able to finish all of mine (she liked mine more than hers) it gave me the opportunity to try both. 

We also ordered the beer sampler that includes all 6 of Bastone's regular beers and two of their seasonal beers.  I would highly recommend the Royal IPA and their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Ale.  The IPA was bitter and hoppy just like IPAs should be and the pumpkin spice was extra spicy with a pumpkin pie body and a cinnamon nose.  They also offer a beer club membership that includes 22 oz beers for the price of pints, a beer club t shirt, $2 beers on Tuesdays, 25% off all retail merchandise and beer to go (growlers), special event discounts and much more.  The cost is $55... I think... our waiter didn't know.

I would say the one knock on Bastone would be that their wait staff was not very knowledgeable about the food or beer menu.  It seemed like our waiter was preoccupied with something else that might have been going on in the kitchen and he didn't even know how much the beer club cost.  But he was polite.

All in all I would visit Bastone again to try the beers and something else from their appetizer menu.  It was a great place to have a few beers and some good conversation on a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Old Crow Show recap and Lez Zeppelin preview


Thanks to my wife for getting some tickets to the Old Crow Medicine Show in Ann Arbor two weeks ago!  Awesome time, although I was hoping for a Wagon Wheel encore.  They played a bunch of stuff from "Tennessee Pusher" that I expected.  What I did not expect was special guest Ed Helms from "The Office" and The Hangover movie.  He came up on stage about halfway through the second set and joined the band on banjo.  You can read the concert review at
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LEZ ZEPPELIN w/ Broadzilla 

Tonight only at the Magic Bag in Ferndale "All girl. All Zeppelin" cover band, Lez Zepplin, will be playing a show for $15 starting at 8pm.  I have never witnessed this band play before but I am a Zeppelin fan so I may venture out to the experience.  They have been getting rave reviews since they formed in 2004 and have headlined some of the major national musical festivals, including Bonnaroo.  Visit their blog here.

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Joining Lez Zeppelin will be Broadzilla, the motor city's own answer to all female hard rock.  This Detroit trio "jam out.." with fast guitar, blazing drums and the sultry scream of their lead vocalist.  I could not find member names on their website  From the looks of it they have done some touring nationally and even some in London, so they better be good.  You can get a taste of Broadzilla's "Hellbound" on their myspace page (linked above).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fashion in Detroit, A Motor City Year and OCMS show

Joe Faris at Fashion in Detroit at the Detroit Zoo, Thursday, October 1, 2009.   (KATHLEEN GALLIGAN/Detroit Free Press)

Fashion in Detroit has announced that it will hold its spring fashion show at Shed 3 in the Eastern Market on March 19th and 20th from 1-6pm.  The line up of designers has not been mentioned but promises to be a good one according to "Project Runway" alum Joe Faris.  Faris, who resides in Troy, came up with the idea for the shows.  Read the article here.

A Motor City Year

A Motor City Year, a new book by John Sobczak, features 365 images of Detroit from the Woodward Dream Cruise to the Eastern Market.  Sobczak discussed how the images reflect the "fabric" of Detroit on Wednesday evening at the Detroit Historical Museum.  Read the article here.  Sobczak has a similar book titled "Cleveland Classics."

Old Crow Medicine Show, a bluegrass revival/old time acoustic group and one of my personal favorites, is doing a show tonight in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theatre.  I am sure the concert will feature many of their classic hits like "Wagon Wheel" and "Tell it to Me" as well as new songs from their most recent album (2008) Tennessee Pusher.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dylan at the Fox, Grunge cover bands and Pongtoberfest

Tonight, for one night only, Bob Dylan will be playing at the Fox Theatre in Downtown Detroit.  The show starts at 7:30 and tickets are going for anywhere from 39.50 to 70 bucks.  After researching the set lists from previous concerts on this tour at, it looks like he's doing a lot of older songs, not just the stuff from his latest album "Together Through Life."  Dylan has also released a Christmas album, "Christmas in the Heart."  Proving that he really doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

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Also playing tonight are a pair of Seattle Grunge cover bands, Ten (Pearl Jam covers) and Badmotorfinger (Soundgarden covers), at Ferndale's Magic Bag.  Tickets are $10 in advance and the show starts at 8pm.  This might be a sweet show to see and for only ten bucks it's a steal.  Plus The Magic Bag also serves beer from the WAB across the street so you can drink some quality microbrews while you listen to the sounds of your youth... if you are 27 like me.  I will say that Nirvana was probably my favorite grunge band of the early 90's.  Their tribute band, Nevermind, is currently touring but is playing in North Dakota tonight.  It seems as though all three, plus an Alice in Chains tribute band were touring together as the Sounds of Seattle Tour, but some legal stuff got in the way and Nevermind had to leave the tour.  Bummer, because having all those grunge tribute bands in one night would have been awesome.  It's good to know that some people are still buying flannel shirts and ripped up jeans.

I was recently invited to Pongtoberfest, or Poctoberfest? in Ferndale.  Some really cool people that my wife works with are holding this event at the Ferndale VFW hall tomorrow, Saturday November 7th.  It is a giant beer pong competition and is invite only.  Sadly, I will not be able to take part, but the good news is that events like this take place.  I wish the best of luck to all the team and wish to partake in the future.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Good Food, Good Drink, Good Music, Good Fun and Good Feelings

Food, Drink and Music

I recently visited the legendary Memphis Smoke restaurant, bar and live music venue in Royal Oak to take in a concert by The Wall Clocks.  They described themselves as an indie rock band, but they are really so much more.  I witnessed some wicked guitar playing as the Clocks ran through some originals as well as a mini set of covers.  The crowd was small but appreciative and the food was amazing.  I highly recommend the Beef Brisket sandwich done Memphis Style (on a hamburger bun with cole slaw).  The brisket comes slathered in Memphis Smoke's sweet BBQ sauce.  I regret not bringing any of it home so much I sung the blues.  During a break the bassist of the Clocks handed us a bill for their album opening which was last night (Thursday) at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown.  Although I did not get to go I am sure it was good.

Drink and Fun

Last Saturday a few of us went out to watch the MSU vs. Iowa game at a local Ferndale establishment called Rosie O'Grady's.  O'Grady's is located on Nine Mile Rd. west of Woodward and is a huge bar with this awesome "$2 domestic pints during a televised Michigan sporting event" deal.  But the wait for a table was so long (2 hours) that we decided to pass for the time being and head to Dino's Lounge for dinner.  I strongly suggest the B.F.J. ( Big, Fat, Juicy) burger.  It comes stuffed with four cheeses and pepperoni and is served on a sesame seed bun with all the trimmings.  The only draw back to Dino's is their draft beer selection and beer prices (no specials).  But I made due with a bottle of Pabst.  

Halfway through dinner a live band started to play.  I do not remember their name but the lead singer was pregnant.  They were pretty good but the music was so loud that no one could hear anyone else at the table, whatever, if it's too loud you're too old I guess.

After dinner we went back to O'Grady's and had a few $2 Miller Lites as we watched the last second demise of the Spartans.  Then we turned on the Red Wings game, which was also a disappointment.  The table next to us at Rosie's was playing the quarters drinking game, and it took us three tries to get the channel switched to the Wings, but the place is so huge.  We saw a bus boy whose shirt said "Go To Guy" on the back... as he clearly was the go to guy.

Good Drink

Bud Light Golden Wheat is on special at The Rock On Third in Royal Oak.  Bottles are $2.50 for beer of the month.  It's sweet tasting, but still good, not quite Bell's Oberon, but like a cheaper version for when you can't taste anymore.

Good Feeling

ExOfficio Logo

I recently was gifted some underwear for helping run music at a wedding.  But these underwear are no fruit of the looms.  EXOFFICIOS Give-N-Go boxers are a high tech, breathable, boxer brief with something to prove.  Designed for rugged outdoor activity and camping, the Exo's, as I call them, keep you comfortable and dry all while offering tremendous support for the nether-regions.  I teach tennis for a living and these bad boys give me more than enough support with maximum comfort.  Guys, if you don't have a pair of these, get one.  That's right, just one.  Exos are good for at least two or three workouts without a wash.  Just for kicks, they were field tested and approved by the African Wildlife Foundation.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rad shows this weekend and Lazy Boy DUI

I like to find out about new music in the Detroit area as much as I can.  I also love going to see live music of all kinds.  That's why I have checked out concerts that are happening this weekend in the Detroit metro area and am making my recommendations.  

Mercy Lounge 1

First up, Emmy Lou Harris will be playing at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor tonight starting at 8pm.  Harris is of course a world famous country music/Americana singer/songwriter.  With her she will be featuring the Red Dirt Road Boys and Buddy Miller.  I could not find anything on the Red Dirt Road Boys but I did, fortunately find Buddy Miller's myspace page.  Although he is from Nashville he does not have the polished glitzy sound to go with.  His sound is stripped down and more raw than most Nashville contemporaries.  Kind of like the White Stripes of Country/Blues.  He does have some slower songs, but even those seem more genuine due to the "lack" of production.  My favorite is "Gasoline and Matches" a duet with his wife Julie.  So if you are in the Ann Arbor area tonight check out Buddy Miller, a guy Steve Earl calls, "the best country singer working today."  Also check out the website

Just to prove to you all that I'm not only a country music fan and that I like all types of music I have to mention Tigersapien.  Tigersapien is an electronic/dance foursome that hails from the cities of Philadelphia and New York City.  I think what is rad about this band is that they perform live with more than a laptop or a synthesizer.  There are live drums, guitar, etc.  They will be playing the Magic Stick in Detroit on Saturday (tomorrow) the 24th.  They report on their myspace page that they are currently unsigned to a major label, but they sound pretty polished.  Their music is pretty danceable but I like their name and band mascot the most.  The tigersapien is a human with a tiger head, pretty hilarious.

Lazy Boy DUI

Add your reclining chair to things you may not operate when you are having a beer or nine. 

In the small Northern Minnesota town of Proctor comes this story about a man who has pled guilty to crashing into a parked vehicle while driving his motorized recliner home from a local bar.  The man is 62 year-old Dennis LeRoy Anderson and authorities report that his blood alcohol level was 0.29 at the time of his August 2008 crash.  According to the AP article, the motorized chair was equipped with a stereo and cup holders and powered by a converted lawnmower.  The judge has ordered 2 years of probation for Anderson.  

This is just proof that genius inventors also like to go out for a few beers too.  We are glad you're ok Dennis.  Don't let this keep you down.  We can't wait for the motorized ice fishing shack!

Happy Mole Day!

I have to mention this because I am a total science geek.  

Today, October 23rd (10/23), across the nation and even the world, chemistry people are celebrating Mole Day.  Now this is not the kind of mole that burrows underground and into your back yard ruining your bushes or vegetable garden.  This is the molecular mole.  One mole of a molecule is equal to it's atomic mass in grams (see website).  There are 6.02 x 10^23 molecules of a any substance in one mole of the substance.  The number, 6.02 x 10^23 is called Avogadro's Number after Amadeo Avogadro who made this discovery.  Therefore Mole Day officially begins at 6:02 am and lasts until 6:02 pm today.

To celebrate Mole Day this year you can start by saying the Mole pledge.


(Background:  When saying the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag, one faces the flag.  If no flag is present, one should face our nation's capitol, Washington D.C.  When saying the pledge to the mole, a real mole is usually not present.  So, one should bend over and face the earth!)

I pledge allegiance to the mole, and to the science from which it comes, one SI unit, extremely divisible, with micromoles and millimoles for all.     (Provided by R. Thomas Myers - Kent State University, Kent, OH)


I pledge allegiance to the mole, to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and to the atomic mass for which it stands, one number, most divisible, with atoms and molecules for all.                                       (Provided by Sylvia Cooper - Morgantown High School, Morgantown, WV)

Thanks to the National Mole Day Foundation, Inc. for the website  Log on to find more mole info!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wilco, Manoogian Mansion and a Tour de Ferndale


Tonight at 7:30pm Wilco will play a show at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.  Price for the tickets is $30, which is not bad for an act like Wilco.  Their most recent album, Wilco (the album) on Nonesuch Records is out now and will probably be featured at their show tonight.  I have never been to a Wilco show, but I've heard they are sweet.

Wilco (the alternative rock band) is a result of the split of the popular alternative country band Uncle Tupelo.  Jay Farrar went his way forming Son Volt and other solo projects while the rest of the members led by Jeff Tweedy formed Wilco.  The term "wilco" refers to the voice procedure term "will comply."  Find more history of the band and their music here.

Manoogian Mansion

The Mayor of Detroit is supposed to live in the Manoogian Mansion in downtown Detroit.  But Mayor Dave Bing does not want to.  It costs $160,000/year to maintain the 4,000 sq. ft. mansion that was a gift to the city of Detroit in 1966 by the Manoogian family, founders of Masco.  I say if Bing doesn't want to live in it, the city should sell it to a brewpub or microbrewery to transform it into a restaurant/bar/brewpub a la McMenamins on the west coast.  Bing maintains a condo in Detroit so that he could run for mayor.

Tour De Ferndale

Ferndale has some popular night spots.  The WAB, The PostComo's, Dino's, they're all so crowded during the weekend.  But what about the other guys?  The bars that don't attract the young crowd on traditional bar nights.  I think those are the real champions of downtown Ferndale.  They are the heart and soul of any neighborhood.  They are legendary bars that can do without the glamor and glitz that the others relish in.  They have a history that you can't make up, and they have a cozy feel to them.  They make the neighborhood what it is. 

Tony's Sports BarThanks to Brett Callwood's review on metromix for the pic

My brother and I started our night off at Tony's.  A small sports bar with a strong baseball theme on Woodward Ave. north of 9 mile.  We sat down at old worn out bar that looked like it had seen some things next to some older gentlemen who were there for the Phillies vs. Dodgers playoff game. When we ordered our drafts (miller lite for me of course) they came in oversized pint-and-a-half glasses.  There was a simple piece of paper advertising the world famous chili for $3.50.  It seemed that most of the patrons had just finished either softball practice or a game and were there for a couple beers.  The total capacity of the place said 78.

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After Tony's we walked in the freezing cold down to the New Way bar, also on Woodward but closer to 9 mile.  When we walked in the place was dark and there were only 3 people there.  One was the owner, one was the bartender, one was just a lady who said she was old enough to be our mom (she didn't look that old).  It seemed like a good place to see live music.  On the way out I picked up an add for the band Bazooka Jones that is playing there Saturday night starting at 10pm. We decided to have just one beer there (cash only, no tabs).  They were also watching the Phillies vs. Dodgers game.

Danny's Irish Pub, Ferndale, MI

The last stop on our Tour was the best.  We walked further south on Woodward, just north of 9 mile to Danny's Irish Pub.  There we picked up a game of darts (no points cricket) with a younger looking guy that seemed to be a regular.  The crowd here was younger but the feel was still neighborhood bar, cozy and dimly lit, and you probably wouldn't want to touch the floor with your bare feet.  The juke box was also a pleasant surprise, featuring albums from Iggy Pop, The MC5, The Jam and Operation Ivy.  There was an old guy at the bar in suspenders that looked like he didn't know where he was.  I am not sure if he could talk.

After losing $1 in darts and then winning $3 in darts we decided it was time to go.  It was still a work night for one of us.  But I was glad that we decided to leave the house on this Thursday night to plunge ourselves into the neighborhood bar scene in Ferndale.  They are not fancy, you won't find hot young coeds slurping vodka cranberry and it won't be crowded.  But you will find a community that loves to go out for some beer drinking, dart throwing and good times.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Prize and Motor City Brew Tours...

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It sort of comes as a surprise to me that Barak Obama, our president, won the Nobel Peace Prize today.  I think he was shocked too, since one of his aids had to wake him up (at 6am) to let him know he won it.  When I heard that I was like, "Obama sleeps in past six?"  I was up before the president this morning!  I guess he can't be awake 24 hours like I thought.  Anyway, I first heard the news this morning when I turned on the TV.  But there are countless articles about it on the internet, this is just one from the Wall Street Journal.  Obama was awarded the prize for his actions dealing with new countries and nuclear power and also for his commitment to communicating more openly with other world leaders.

Now on to the fun stuff...

Motor City Brew Tours has been in operation for less than a year but I think this is a winning idea.  It was founded by two gentlemen from the Royal Oak area who are salesmen during the day but love beer and want to spread the word about craft beer in southeast Michigan.  Steve and Bryan are currently offering tours of breweries in the Detroit area using the Night Move bus as transportation.  

You can take one of their tours or they will let you customize your tour with three breweries that you want to see.  The tours include a tour of the brewery with the brewmaster, free tastes/pints, lunch, Q&A with the brewer and specials on pints and beer to go (growlers).  

While visiting their website I was able to browse some of their pictures from recent brewery tours.  It seems as though the groups are small (around 10 people) and fun.  The breweries that I saw were Bastone in Royal Oak, Dragonmead in Warren and BNektar in Ferndale.  They have a great video slide show on YouTube.

I have not been to any of the above mentioned breweries and have not been on a tour with Motor City Brew Tours but I would gladly participate in one.  I think this would make for an awesome "mancation" or bachelor party activity.  Kudos to Steve and Bryan for this idea, it's beer-tastic!  What about chartering trips to famous breweries around the country... or even... the world.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ye Olde Saloon, The Reefermen, The Waybacks and more!

Ye Olde Saloon, Royal Oak, MI

On a recent trip to my favorite saloon in Royal Oak, Ye Olde Saloon, (notice the Old English spelling) I was fortunate to catch half of the traveling cover band known as The Reefermen.  Their set at Ye Olde was not much to look at.  The acoustic guitarist and singer/tambourine/harmonica player both sat the whole time.  But the songs they covered they did with such soul and ease it seemed as though they were just jamming on the back porch for no one but themselves.  In fact these two guys were so laid back we thought they might take long breaks between songs.  Their set included songs like Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy" and a Led Zeppelin medly.  It was like we were watching an unplugged version of a Reefermen show, while cracking jokes about what kind of activities they partake in before a show and during breaks.  It's bands like this that make Ye Olde a great place to sit down, have a Pabst (draft) and listen to some good music.

The Zeppelin cover got us talking about a band called The Waybacks.  My friend who runs the site suggested I check out the band on YouTube because of a set they did at Merlefest where they covered Led Zeppelin's entire II album.  So that night I did check it out and it was amazing.  The guitarist for the otherwise old timey folk and bluegrass band is James Nash and can really pick.  Their Zep set also included vocals by John Cowan, a fantastic bluegrass artist in his own right, who sounds eerily similar to Robert Plant.  The banjo and violin solos also add some bluegrass flavor to otherwise very crisp and clean covers of these classics.  I have only included one video but be sure to check out the others on YouTube under "The Waybacks Merlefest."

I have recently moved to Ferndale, MI. and live extremely close to the downtown area which brings me to my next topic, The Magic Bag.  The Magic Bag is Ferndale's premier night time event showplace.  They host live music acts as well as brew and views and special screenings of movies.  Although I have not visited the venue yet, I may not be able to help myself this October.  Tonight at the Bag, Living Colour


performs starting at 8pm.  Then tomorrow the Mega 80's


(probably the greatest 80's cover band of all time, more like of all time) plays starting at 8pm.  The list goes on and on and includes a brew and view of The Hangover, concerts by Brandon Calhoun (check out past post on Four Green Fields and drunken bingo) and Mason Jennings.

Norm MacDonald will be at the Royal Oak Music Theater tonight for a show at .  MacDonald, stand up comic and actor, is famous for his dry, sometimes raunchy humor that won him a stint on Saturday Night Live hosting The Weekend Update.  He also starred alongside Artie Lange in the movie Dirty Work.


The kids these days like to describe big screw ups and mistakes as "fails."  Well I just discovered this blog called failblog that posts pictures, videos and news stories about "fails."  I have not integrated "fail" in to my vocabulary yet but if you have you will probably enjoy this site.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Rad Beer Festival at Eastern Market, Detroit

If you like festivals... and beer... like me, then this sounds pretty rad.  The first ever Harvest Festival will commence at the Eastern Market downtown on October 24th 2009.  Since the festival is being put on by the Michigan Brewer's Guild and the Metro Times the centerpiece of the festival will, of course, be the beer.  According to the festival info website, there will be more than 40 breweries and brewpubs on location and over 200 beers to sample.  The samples will be doled out in 3oz sampling cups.

$35 gets you in to the festival if you get your tickets early, which I thought was pretty expensive, but it also gets you 15 drink tokens.  If 1 token gets you one sample then that's 15 x 3 = 45 oz of craft beer samples.  That's like drinking a 40 of craft beer for $35.  There might be some beers there that are extremely high gravity though, and this also includes the entertainment portion of the festival.  Food from local restaurants will also be available for purchase.  Also, designated driver tickets will be available at the gates for $5, which is awesome, but if Detroit had a metro system that ran to the suburbs then everyone could buy the $35 ticket (hint hint Detroit).  All tickets are available at the MBG website.

The Harvest Festival is going to last from 1-6pm.  Which I think is rad because then after the festival is over those still wanting to party can hit the bars in downtown Detroit to rabble rouse until the wee hours.  Those that want to sober up and head home can step out for dinner at one of the fine restaurants they have sampled food from and then head home.  Or if you live in downtown, your home will only be a walk away while it is still fairly early in the evening.

All in all I love festivals like this one.  Anytime people come together to celebrate beer, and local beer at that, is a beautiful thing.  Plus Fall is the best time of year in Detroit.  A window of time when the air is crisp and refreshing yet the ground is free of the ice and snow that plagues the winter months.  For more info on the Harvest Festival visit the Michigan Brewers Guild blog, the MASH.

Go get your tickets for The Inaugural Harvest Festival!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Girl Talk is rad

You may have heard of him already but I just read about this artist in "Details" magazine's October issue.  They had a feature article on him that covered everything from his story to the controversial question of whether what he does is illegal or not.  His name is Gregg Michael Gillis, AKA Girl Talk.

Girl Talk is simply a man on stage with a laptop, at least that's what he wants you to think.  It's what is on the laptop that so many college age and young professionals have been talking about around campuses and water coolers.  Gillis is a master at mixing (called "mashup") unrelated vocal and instrumental tracks often times pitting rap lyrics against the background of classic rock or pop songs.  He then creates his own playlists of these mashes and plays them on stage for concertgoers.  The best part is you can also get on stage and take your turn dancing with Girl Talk.  That's right, he's not concerned about fans on stage, which makes most of his concerts look like a rave type dance/college house party.  To keep his laptop dry, he told Details, he wraps it in plastic wrap before each show.

Born in 1981, Gillis grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. and attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. where he studied biomedical engineering.  After college he started working at a biomedical firm while still producing his mashup creations.  It got to the point that he was using vacation days and leaving on weekends to play shows in London, Paris, New York, etc. and then coming back to tissue samples at work, without telling any of his co-workers.  Finally, Gillis quit his job in 2007 to become a full time musician. 

Girl Talk's latest album "Feed the Animals" was released in 2008 on the Illegal Art label.  You can check it out on his myspace page (linked above) or you can download it for whatever price you want to pay for it at .  

All of the info here comes from the Details article, the wikipedia page and his myspace page.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ernie Harwell Final Farewell, Thanks Ernie!

Ernie Harwell is best known for calling balls, strikes and home runs for the Detroit Tigers for 42 years. He retired in 2002 and earlier this month was diagnosed with inoperable, incurable cancer of his bile duct.  

Last night at Comerica Park, in the middle of the third inning of the Tigers win against the Kansas City Royals, he said what will probably his last goodbye to the Tigers, their fans and the city of Detroit.  Harwell thanked the Tigers organization, specifically Mike Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski.  He declared that there were no better fans than Tigers fans.  And he told of his love for the state of Michigan and the "grit" of those who live here.  All while the crowd at Comerica cheered.  I think the "sweetest sorrow" part of his speech was when he said that the best part of his life, his story, was that it would end here in Michigan.  

Once again, Ernie revealed how humble and thankful he is to have had the career he did.  He was the first announcer inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame while still working.  He will also be named honorary captain this Sunday as the Lions take on the Vikings at 1pm at Ford Field.  Ernie is truly a legend of baseball, and he will always be remembered.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

R.I.P. Swayze

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Patrick Swayze, famous actor and star of the films Dirty Dancing, Ghost and Roadhouse has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 57.  He had battled for two years with the pancreatic cancer and even started acting in a new TV show called "The Beast."  

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Swayze's biography and filmography from wikipedia can be found here

Patrick was probably most well known for his award winning performances in Dirty Dancing

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and Ghost, 

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but I will always remember him as Dalton from Roadhouse 

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and as the good looking Chippendales dancer who played opposite Chris Farley's Barney character.  

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Also, who can forget his bank robbing zen surfer from Point Break, Bodhi?

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Memorable lines of Swayze's

"Pain don't hurt much."  Roadhouse

"On pure moves alone you beat me any day."  SNL Chippendales sketch

"Little hand says it's time to Rock n Roll!."  Point Break 

His movies live on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Detroit Restaurant Week

This fall downtown Detroit is doing something very rad.  There are 17 restaurants that for ten days ( September 18th-27th) are offering up three course meals for $27/person (excludes beverages, tax and gratuity) during an event called Detroit Restaurant Week.  The 17 restaurants and Detroit are putting this on to obviously get people out of their houses, out of the suburbs and down to the city where things are starting to look better for businesses new and old.  I think this is a great idea and an opportunity to try food from places that you would not normally go.   There will also be plenty of after dinner entertainment for those looking to make a night out of it.

For a list of restaurants participating and what they will be serving please visit

Bon appetite!

Cutting edge Study

News flash... drinking and driving is bad and causes more accidents than if you don't drink and drive... or at least according to a study done in Italy, where apparently they have never heard of this crazy idea. Oh yeah, sleep deprivation and driving doesn't mix either.

According to a new study from Italy people that have one or two drinks at dinner (even just a glass of wine or beer) tend to get in more car accidents than those who don't.  One word for this study... genius.  When asked what they were doing right before they got in to the accident many people interviewed said they had been having after work drinks with colleagues or at a celebratory dinner... having drinks.  

I'm sorry but haven't we known this info for a while?  Alcohol affects your judgement and motor skills, which can in turn make your reactions slower and makes you more likely to get in an accident.  They must be bored in Italy.  Plus, even though people already know this, it does not seem to prevent them from still drinking and driving.  And who drives in Italy?  In most of the major cities there is at least a bus system and roads and streets that are very walkable.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Give me that fish!

According to fast food restaurants like Long John Silver's and McDonald's may have to look elsewhere for fish used in their filet o' fish sandwiches.  

In the article yahoo says that the hoki fish that is used in the filet o' fish sandwich is being over fished and is not as sustainable as once thought.  The fish, native to the deep seas near New Zealand, was thought to be a self sustaining option for fish meat.  It has a relatively short reproduction cycle and life, living for an average of only 25 years.  Recently the quotas for this fish have been lowered because of the self sustainability controversy.  
File:Macruronus novaezelandiae.jpg

The hoki fish in all it's glory!

Hopefully this issue will be resolved, and McDonald's will not have to shut down the ever so healthy and lucrative filet o' fish business.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

LaborFest 2009

School is back in and so am I.  Welcome back to rad-aholic after a long summer.  A lot of things went down over the summer that kept me too busy to blog but boy are going to kick off this year with a bang.  

First up... LaborFest '09.

There is a well known lake in the north metro Detroit area called Cass Lake.  Every Labor Day for the past 4 years it has come alive with a celebration that can only be described as a Kid Rock music video.  There is sun, water, pontoon boats, BBQing, music, dancing, volleyball and all sorts of drinking games.  The cost was $10 per person but the experience is priceless.

LaborFest was started by the 20 or so families that all own cabins/cottages on the lake.  They have celebrated Labor Day at the lake for numerous summers.  They started inviting friends up to the lake to help celebrate.  Those friends started inviting other friends and the thing just grew.  Now, 4 years after the first "official" LaborFest, almost 400 people come out to enjoy the last Sunday night partying without fear of work the next morning.

There are two picnic table sized BBQs grilling steak, chicken hot dogs and sausages.  The "Fun Time Orchestra" plays German polka music.  And LaborFest Man was wandering around making sure no one was participating in any kind of labor what so ever.

We got to the party at about 5pm.  Paid our entrance fee and started in on the all-you-can-drink beer.  After an hour we had located the folks that invited us and found a seat for dinner.  At 6pm the meal was served.  Everything was great.  I had steak, chicken and sausage not to mention potato salad (homemade) and pasta salad.  After dinner the band came back on and there was some dancing.  I caught up with one of the original LaborFest-ers who said that if we stuck around late enough there would be some beer pong played.  He also hinted at a game that combines the skills of flip cup and beer pong into one game, called "flip-pong."  I will have to investigate that further.

I hope everyone had a wonderful lazy Labor Day void of any kind of labor.  Stay tuned for more posts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Night Out With Willie... in Detroit

Another dandy of a Sunday night in downtown Detroit with the Downtown Hoedown at the culmination of the weekend.  Willie Nelson closed the show in a fashion that only Willie could.  He brought all of Detroit together for some ol' time, hootin' and hollerin' fun.  Jeff and I wanted to be a part of it, and we almost were not.  Here's the story.

About 7pm I pick up Jeff and head downtown.  You can't beat free parking at Greektown Casino, which we utilized before walking to Foran's Grand Trunk at Congress and Woodward. On the way we saw a Ford Explorer with Lamborghini doors, which seemed excessive.  We had a drink there and got some food (I had the Turkey Ruben and Jeff had the corned beef topped Foran's burger, both highly recommended by rad-aholic).  The bar is housed inside what used to be the ticket office for the Grand Trunk Railway, thus the name.


Foran's Irish Pub was rad!

The bar is long and skinny with friendly bartenders with lots of tattoos and tons of Red Wings fans.  The discussion got around to other bars in Detroit and The Town Pump came up.  It was still about 30 minutes before Willie was to come on so we decided trek uptown a bit to Montcolm and Park to make a visit.

The Town Pump was not quite as historic as we thought ( it was established in 1996), but they pour a good drink.  We stayed there for one and were able to ask the owner about the history of the building.  He told us it used to house a bar and stage where so-called "smoker shows" (where women would perform raunchy songs and poetry filled with innuendos) were held back in the day.  I think at one point he also said it used to be a laundromat.  The floors above the bar used to be a bunch of hotel rooms but have been transformed into 1-bed apartments that are rented out to mainly service industry workers.

Willie was going on but we decided he would play well into the night and so we stopped at The Centaur across the street from The Town Pump... same owner.  The Centaur is more of an upscale martini bar type lounge with a loft housing what looked like a VIP area.  We sampled the Centaur martini (awesome).  


The owner had told us about the history of this building as well.  It used to house a vertically situated toothpaste factory that produced Iodent (the invention of a chemist from Ann Arbor).  It also had a store front that sold tires, overalls and of course the main attraction, toothpaste.  After that is housed a "ghetto" party store selling "loosy" cigarettes (singles).  According to the owner it was bad for business and eventually he decided to turn the bottom floor into The Centaur about 3 years ago.

After our tour of the theatre district bars we headed back to Hart Plaza to try and catch what we thought would be the last half of Willie's set.  Unfortunately, security at the Hoedown was tight and even though Willie was still on stage they were not letting anyone else in.  Convinced we were going to get in anyway, Jeff and I canvassed the perimeter of the grounds looking for the slightest opening but were met with security at every turn.  Eventually we made our way over towards the back of the stage where we could see and hear Willie playing his final few songs, "I saw the Light" being one of them.  After the show, we were able to catch a glimpse of Willie's front as he walked off stage and down to sign autographs and board his mural-sided tour bus.  People from all over Detroit had gathered in anticipation that maybe Willie would sign something of theirs.  I saw an old record, cowboy hats and even a guitar.  But to our dismay Willie did not make it to the back of the bus to acknowledge us.  He was hustled on the bus by security that looked like they were escorting the president on to Air Force One.

Willie, on the road again, heading down the whiskey river, to his next show.

On our voyage we did see at least one familiar face.  Crazy hippy guy from the Corktown celebration was there and this time he brought a friend, Crazy pants guy.  They were both their in all their glory sporting the most pins and buttons on two human beings with bell-bottoms I have ever seen.  To cap it off we did stop back at Foran's after Willie.  All in all it was an eventful evening, as all of our Detroit Sunday's have been.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

So sue me

According to Manuel "Matty" Maroun and a ton of coalitions (see next paragraph) from the city of Detroit have filed suit against the Federal Highway Administration, citing improper conduct in getting the approval for the second bridge being built over the Detroit River to Canada south of downtown Detroit.  

The Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) is leading the way along with Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), the Detroit Association of Black Organization Inc., MANA de Metro Detroit, the Mexican Patriotic Committee of Detroit and Detroiters for Progress have jointly filed the suit which may halt construction of the bridge.

Mr. Maroun is no doubt trying to get this project shut down in order to save his new bridge project which he has started construction on without the proper permits or with community support.  Ahhh, when will the bridge wars end?