Find Something Rad

Custom Search

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ferndale Blues Fest and Fritter's


Today marks the kickoff of the Ferndale Blues Festival with the first performers taking the stage at 7pm tonight at Angel's Cafe with the Tom Dennis Trio. The festival lasts through Feb. 6th with nightly concerts at many bars and restaurants in the downtown area with proceeds going to the Michigan AIDS Coalition and Ferndale Youth Assistance charities.

As a part of the festival there will also be a BBQ rib cook off taking place at Dino's on Saturday Feb. 6th. The "rib burn" will take place from noon-5pm with entertainment by the Reefermen to follow.

A free shuttle will be running festival goers from venue to venue on Friday and Saturday to catch all the acts. For some beer, blues and BBQ head to the Ferndale Blues Festival this weekend or next!


Apple Fritters is like the dive bar of donut shops in Ferndale. There is nothing fancy about the inside. Bare bones tables and chairs with a no non-sense aura about it. The kind of thing you expect when you think local dive bar. I had the pleasure of stopping in at this local Ferndale donut shop this morning for some coffee and a fritter.

They have all the fresh donuts out on the counter and some on the shelfs for display for you when you walk in. I of course chose the apple fritter due to the name of the establishment and a large coffee. I will tell you the fritter was fantastic and the coffee good too! In an effort to help out local businesses I will try to frequent The Apple Fritter Doughnut Shop more often, but I will tell you it will not be difficult to do. Head out as early as pre-dawn and as late as mid-afternoon for some fritters!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let's Save Michigan! campaign

View Image

A friend and former Kalamazoo College classmate of mine, Sean Mann, has started a campaign.  He is trying to mobilize the people of Michigan to save the state from the economic downturn that the whole world suffered.  In order to kick-start this movement he has started the web site

Go to fullsize image

The website offers a pledge to its visitors that states they will frequent the "main street" of their town in order to support local businesses.  The philosophy is that this will in turn boost the economy of the entire state and make it a more desirable place to live so that more people and businesses will want to be here.  If more businesses want to be here they will bring more jobs that can help chip away at Michigan's historically high unemployment rate.  Simple enough.

View Image

Lets Save Michigan also includes posts that review current issues that different communities in Michigan are facing, including many ways to improve Michigan's largest city, Detroit.  Recent posts include one on the metro/light rail train issue in Michigan as well as one on the popularity of winter festivals in other large cities and how Michigan might benefit from hosting some.  On each page there are "fun facts" about Michigan.  Starting today (1/27) Sean Mann will be on the radio at 760 AM WJR for a segment discussing the Let's Save Michigan campaign.

The overall theme is that WE have to do something to make a change for a better Michigan.  We cannot wait for a bailout from "big brother."  Personally, I am in favor of this idea.  My family has just bought a home in Ferndale and we will probably be here for a while.  Let's work together to make Michigan great again... Let's Save Michigan!

View Image

Weezer Raditude

I think Weezer was inspired by my blog.  

It's the title of their latest album that I saw today in Border's.  The CD can be ordered in a standard or deluxe version with optional tie die Weezer snuggie!  They are really taking Rad to the extreme with this offering.  You can listen to a couple tracks for free at  


Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti relief, Comet Burgers and Rad Chinese Food

Google crisis response

Of course you all know by now that a disastrous earthquake struck Haiti this week toppling buildings and burying thousands.  There have been many relief efforts launched in support of those enduring the tragedy and I would like to provide a link to one of those for the 5 people that read my posts.  So in case you missed the other 1,000 links to donate for Haiti relief Google has made it possible to donate to both UNICEF and/or CARE and has links for other ways to help out.


I had an opportunity to visit Comet Burger in Royal Oak for lunch on Monday and was pleasantly surprised.  I had envisioned slider sized hamburgers that were in essence balls of grease... and I wasn't disappointed at all!

I order one of the lunch combos (available with 1, 2, and 3 burgers) with 3 burgers and fries with a Coke.  I sat at the diner counter and read the recent issue of Rolling Stone (excerpt from Patti Smith book is totally rad) while my taste buds were treated to the classic combo of burgers, fries and pop.  The burgers at Comet come plain but you can add ketchup and mustard.  I have never witnessed such a fluffy and light yet greasy bun either... how do they do that?  I could have had more salt with my fries, but then again the salt shaker was right in front of me.

After my visit I read some reviews online about the Comet Burger establishment that criticized the service.  I realize that it is normally a post-bar food joint and I was dining mid-day with no more than two other patrons, but the service was fantastic with a smile.  

The decor inside the Comet Burger is 50's diner-esque with Warhol like pictures of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe on the aqua-blue walls.  I didn't really walk around the restaurant that much but noticed both bar and booth seating.

Overall I would say I had a positive Comet experience but I think I will have to venture in there again after bar hours to get the real atmosphere.  If you're looking for a solid, larger than average, slider(s) mid-day or late I say Comet is the place to go in Royal Oak.  I hear competition at Telway is stiff!

Today I am sitting in a Dunkin Donuts on Van Dyke in Detroit writing to you while I wait for a call from the ABC Warehouse that is installing my wife's Christmas present (a lot late I know).  The automatic car starter that we bought was one of the higher end ones that has start confirmation on it so that was pretty expensive.  Plus she has a 2010 Nissan which requires another part (foreign cars only) that cost an extra $90.  

The installation takes 3 hours so I had some time to walk around.  When I saw this sign I loved it.  I still love it now but I really loved it then.  It screams authentic.  Apparently there is another one in Bloomfield Hills, that's the original one.  The Van Dyke location only shows up on google maps, not yahoo.  Clearly Yahoo is the classier search engine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley

Today, January 8th 2010, is the 75th birthday of the King of Rock N' Roll, the one and only Elvis Presley.  Elvis was born Elvis Aaron Presley on January 8th 1935 to Vernon Elvis and Gladys Love Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi.  35 minutes earlier, Elvis' twin brother was stillborn.  In his early teens the family moved to Memphis, TN. where Elvis would start playing guitar and singing although he was generally too shy to perform in front of too many people.  By his senior year Elvis was walking Beale Street trying to catch live rhythm and blues and country acts playing in the lounges and bars.

From his beginnings in the music industry Elvis was said to have been able to capture the sound of a black man.  His voice and music were reminiscent of that same rhythm and blues he had sought after walking in Memphis.  It wasn't a mistake that all his Grammy's came from gospel songs.  

He was treated like every other working american and joined the army.  Stationed in Germany he turned on to amphetamines.  He would later succumb to this vice, the thought that every one of his problems could be fixed with medicines.  

The King starred in movies galore accompanied by soundtracks, mostly by the recommendation of his manager.  He was laughed at but grew into a different Elvis that came back in 1968.  At one point he said he would never sing another song he didn't believe in.

As we celebrate his 75th birthday today lets remember the songs he did believe in.  Lets remember the man that changed the world of music.  Lets remember the man the FBI couldn't change.  Lets remember Elvis Presley, The King of Rock N' Roll.

Smashing Pumpkins new free album

This week I heard on Detroit's new rock radio station, 93.9 The River, that the Smashing Pumpkins were releasing a new record called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.  The album is to be released one track at a time on their website,, where you can listen to and download each song.  

Today I visited their site and downloaded "A Song for a Son" which I think is the first song they have released.  The song sounds like a mix of Wilco type music and Pumpkins type lyrics and or course the unmistakable voice of Billy Corgan.  It may be that the music sounds different because Corgan is the only original member of the iconic alternative rock band that formed in 1988.  Guitarist James Iha, bassist D'arcy Wretzky, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain have all, at some point in time and for various reasons, left the band.  I think D'arcy may have even committed suicide?  

"Astral Planes" will be the second track released on their website but you can catch a live version of it at the Smashing Pimpkins myspace page.  It's a heavier track that "A Song for a Son" and sounds more like their old garagey/punk stuff.  I think the woman's voice backing Corgan up belong to Reyes (bass).  It's interesting that all their bass players have been female.  I wonder if Corgan does this on purpose.

The new line up, as presented on the bands myspace page, is Billy Corgan on lead vocals and guitar, Ginger Reyes on bass, Mike Byrne on drums and Jeff Schroeder on guitar.  Although I wasn't a huge fan of the Smashing Pimpkins back in the day, I did love "Today" and the whole Meloncholy and the Infinite Sadness double disc.  I am eagerly awaiting the rest of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope as it is released and would definitely go see this new line up in concert.  I think Corgan, although he is a notorious control freak in the studio, is a musical master of creativity.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Break is over... no BB guns

Welcome back all to regular life.  Hopefully you all got your fair share of Christmas food like ham, turkey, duck or ... Alaskan King Crab legs.  I know I did.  But there was one thing that I didn't get to do this holiday season and that is watch the Christmas Story movie marathon that is usually on during the couple days before Christmas.


Not that it ruined my holiday but I was a little disappointed that Ralphie, Randy, Schwartz and Flick weren't around to usher in my Christmas morning.  I also missed the classic bully fight against Stuc Farkas and Grover Dill.  I don't know if the marathon was on and I just missed it or if the Bumpus' dogs got into the TV studio and pulled the plug on the marathon.  Either way it wasn't Christmas without seeing Ralphie in a pink bunny costume and finally get his Red Ryder BB gun.  But oh well... he probably would have shot his eye out.

There is a lot of info on the movie at this Wikipedia site which I will no doubt read later but here it is for you.  For the official cast check out the imdb site for the movie here.