Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wednesday Farmers Markets

Tomorrow marks the return of Wednesday farmers markets. It'll be a bit before wednesday evenings come back though.

Billy Bragg Wanted

Ben has been hyping the Water Street Seed Bomb. As a fan of seed bombing, or just throwing things in general, it would be great to chuck dirt clods with Billy Bragg. Mark Maynard wants you to post this around Ann Arbor, and I want you to as well. Get the PDF here. Check out more information again about the seed bombing here. Learn a little sumthin sumthin about May Day.

Here is a song from Billy Bragg's collaboration with Wilco. They were crafting Woody Guthrie songs. Can't go wrong.

It's dangerous to travel on the Diag alone...

Here, take this sword! There's something nice about Zelda based chalk graffiti.

Category: American Women Novelists

A lot of digital ink has been spilled in the past week about the banishment of American novelists of the female persuasion from the Wikipedia category "American Novelists" to the category "American Women Novelists." (These pages are in a great deal of flux right now.) The virtual re-ordering plucks at a very real, very old, very familiar chord in literature, encapsulated by Joyce Carol Oates's tweet: "All (male) writers are writers; a (woman) writer is a woman writer." The reorganization would also leave us with a Wikipedia--that first step to every research project, that democratic knowledge fountain, that approximate frame for our universe--that defines "American Novelist" as "white male." "How did this happen?" asks "The New York Review of Books." As with all major national trends, it started in Detroit:
It turns out that a single editor brought on the crisis: a thirty-two-year-old student of history named John Pack Lambert, enrolled at Wayne State University and living in the Detroit suburbs. He’s a seven-year veteran of Wikipedia and something of an obsessive when it comes to categories. He creates a lot of them. Last year he briefly created Category: American people of African-American descent. Then he raised hackles by recreating the defunct category American “actresses,” a word that others felt belongs in the same dustbin as “poetess.”
The NYRB article is worth a read. (Friend to Damn Arbor Ed Vielmetti is the first commenter I see on the post! We're everywhere!) For purposes of enjoying good literature, I find ordering novelists by their sex about as useful as ordering food by its color. However, I am sympathetic to the cultural value of recognizing novelists who have had the extra burden of writing from any perspective that is not "white" and "male": as this latest Wikipedia kerfuffle highlights, their acceptance into the American story is a fight we're still fighting. Why categorization as an "American Woman Novelist" precludes a writer from categorization as an "American Novelist" is beyond me.

But I'm just a woman blogger.

Monday, April 29, 2013

SAES and MOLE face preliminary inquiries

We reported back in early March that taggers suspected to be SAES and MOLE had been arrested. Today The Com is reporting that two 15-year-olds have had their first court appearances for the charges last Friday. SAES will return to court on May 6th to face 15 counts of destruction of property. AAPD Detective Robin Larson believes he may still be tagging under a different moniker. I like that the Com has decided to start calling these crimes "graffiti tags" and their perpetrators "graffiti taggers."

Previously: Breaking News: SAES and MOLE arrested

Totally Awesome Fest 9

If you weren't in Ypsi this weekend, you probably missed Totally Awesome Fest 9 and your chance to take over MarkMaynard.com's blog for 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Short Film: Ann Arborland: Hipsters

An interesting local short film. Somewhat Portlandiaesque.

New Theatre project's Pookie Goes Grenading extended through May 5

The New Theatre Project announced today that the company's last-ever show has been extended for three more days next weekend. Pookie Goes Grenading is a really funny, light-hearted play that I'm sure you'll enjoy. Tickets are $15/$10.

Pookie (Luna Alexander) 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Free Percussion at Kerrytown Concert House

At the market today a percussion group was jamming. After an inquiry it was discovered that they will be performing at the Kerrytown Concert House tonight. Free music y'all.

Ann Arbor from above

Living in a town with its own airport has some very cool advantages — you can often find someone to take you up in the air and see your home from an entirely new perspective!

Ann Arbor, looking northwest from above the South U area.
The Diag is visible in the center, with Palmer Field on the right edge of the photo.

Michigan Stadium, during the construction of the new video scoreboards in 2011.

Overlooking the University's hospital complex, with downtown Ann Arbor in the background.

Ann Arbor has a surprisingly large general aviation community; several flight schools and other clubs & organizations call the Ann Arbor Airport home. And A2's aviation history dates all the way back to the early 1900s — the club I fly with (the Michigan Flyers) was donated a Wright Model B in 1915. Today, thousands of aviators take to the skies over Ann Arbor every year; the airport's two runways average 161 takeoffs & landings every day.

Departing Ann Arbor to the west at night.
The orange lights in the distance are Detroit and its suburbs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Final pre-season for Bill's Beer Garden

Holy crap, it's downright pleasant outside. It's perfect weather for outdoor drinkin'. Fortunately, Bill's Beer Garden will be open this weekend: 7-11 tonight and tomorrow; 5-9 on Sunday. Just a friendly little PSA.

Shit just got real on Missed Connections

In an incident somewhat reminiscent of January's Incident in the Fishbowl, there has been a series of heated exchanges on Ann Arbor's Missed Connections revolving around whether it's OK to honk at/yell at women who are running. Gentle readers, in case there is any confusion, the only times when it's OK to honk at someone running is if they are violating a traffic law and you might hit them, or some similar situation. The only time it's OK to yell at someone who is running is if you know them , of if they are unaware they are in immediate danger (e.g. the bridge is out, you're literally on fire, you're being pursued by a pack of rabid bears). I suspect you already knew that tough.

Here is the original post:

Guy who honked at me - w4m - 23 (A2)
Do it again and I will shoot out your windshield, motherfucker.

Your harassment is not welcome.

That goes for all of you.

Here's the response:

re: Guy who honked at me
Stop wearing next to nothing and jogging down busy roads. Whore.


Here are the remainder of the posts in the exchange. I'll just post links and titles, because you can basically get the gist.
3. Re: re: re: guy who honked at me - m4w (A2)

4. Re: re: re: re: guy who honked at me - m4w (A2) - w4m

5. Guy who honked at me. (Hate and discontent ) This post is noteworthy. It seems to be the guy who posted number 3. It's in response to number 4. He first re-posts all of response number 4. Then copy edits it making some minor grammatical changes. Finally he posts a third version where he adds his own parenthetical rebuttals. This is the true mark of a great argument on the internet. Remember, if you don't agree with something someone said on the internet, don't try to make a convincing counter argument, just correct their spelling and grammar.

6. RE: Guy who honked at me -To the OP This one contains the choice line "On a side note, anybody who runs down the busiest road in town (I know it's not you), wants to be seen. I don't care how much the other poster protests, it's the truth. Man or women wearing next to no clothes on Huron, Main, or any other busy road (at rush hour) wants everybody to see them." As someone who runs outside, I just don't think that's true. If you want to run more than a mile, at some point you will have to cross a busy road. Just my two cents.

7. RE: Guy that honked - m4w (State of Zen) Based on his extensive usage of ALL CAPS, I think it's safe to assume this guy was not posting from a state of Zen.

8. RE: promoting the rape culture - ww4w

9. Girl who i honked at - m4w - 23 (A2) Here the poster asks all beauties on Missed Connections if they care to chat.

10. RE: Guy who honked at me - w4m - 23 (A2) - w4m

11. re: guy who honked/thoughts on misogyny (not rants and raves?) This is a really great cap to the whole exchange. Here the poster essentially blames the existence of misogyny on women overreacting to getting cat-called and honked at. I mean wow.

So, in closing I'd just like to emphatically say: no, it's not honk at/holler at women who are jogging/running/walking outside, or in general. It can make people feel unwelcome and unsafe. We all have the right to feel safe and respected in our public spaces. Gentle readers of the male persuasion, I know you aren't the ones who are doing the hollering/honking, but as men, dudes, dude-bros and dude-brahs, some responsibility falls on us to help educate our bros about gender violence and rape culture.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Urban Foraging

NPR's website recently posted this article, about an Urban Foraging website called Falling Fruit. I checked out the website, and it seems like someone got a start on including all of the edible goodies that can be found walking around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. It can be publicly altered, like Wikipedia, and so I am posting it here, in hopes that readers will add delicious things as we come into spring and summer. On a similar note, Seattle recently announced a food forest that will be open to anyone. It sounds like something Ann Arbor would embrace.

St. Vincent de Paul Fundraiser

St. Vincent de Paul, like Kiwanis and Salvation Army, gets most of their moola by storefront. Tonight there is an opportunity to support them in another manner. If you go to Big Boy in the evening time, portions of your meal price will be donated to SVDP.

Seed Bomb Water Street May 1st

MarkMaynard.com has procured the supplies necessary to begin building seed bombs. On May 1st, at 5:00 pm, the bombs will be deployed with catapults. I'm going, are you?

Image stolen from MarkMaynard.com

AA Among Most Well-Read?

Amazon.com has quantified what many in Ann Arbor already suspected (we read a lot). It turns out Florida does too. That could be an elderly influence, because it's probably not Rick Scott's. Here's the top ten, you can find the rest here.

  1. Alexandria, Va
  2. Knoxville, Tenn.
  3. Miami, Fla. 
  4. Cambridge, Mass. 
  5. Orlando, Fla. 
  7. Berkeley, Calif. 
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Columbia, S.C.
  10. Pittsburgh, Penn.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Milk Carton Kids coming to the Ark on April 29th

Indie folk duo, the Milk Carton Kids, will be playing at the Ark on Monday, April 29th. They are returning to Ann Arbor to promote their new album, Ash & Clay. Here's why I really like the Milk Carton Kids: 1) you can download their first two albums, Prologue and Retrospect, for free from their website. 2) They have a song called Michigan and I'm a sucker for anything mentioning the Mitten State. Check it out:

The Milk Carton Kids - Michigan : Audiotree Live from Audiotree Live on Vimeo.

Alright, that's a little gloomy, but heck, it's a gloomy kind of day. I do really like it when artists give access to a wide range of their music so you can be an informed consumer when you decide to buy their albums and/or concert tickets.

Tickets for Monday's show are $15. And considering the rapid upward trajectory of the Milk Carton Kids, it's unlikely you'll be able to see them at this price point for much longer.

Hot new look for summer: wandering wizard

This cloak and staff combination is summer's hottest new look. You an top it off expertly like this guy here by sitting in a tree on the Diag to practice your conjuring.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BroJo Last Weekend

Brother Joscephus and the Love Revoution came to the Ark last weekend, and they really did it well.
The fact that the Ark is mostly seated has often been frustrating in the past. It doesn't lend itself easily to foot tapping, head nodding, and dancing. Through the beginning of BroJo I was getting antsy, as the gospel influenced funk had struck me. It had struck one of the volunteers as well. Slowing dancing down the stairs, with a white napkin in hand, was the elderly woman promoting the ark. People quickly got out of their seats and started dancing.  It was really quite amazing. This will be my last plug for them, until the next time they are in town.

BroJo Facebook Photo

In bloom: trout lily

This season's hottest place to see spring ephemeral wild flowers is Eberwhite Woods. Seriously, that place is is completely filled with trout lily (Erythronium americanum). These little guys, who get their common name from their mottled leaves, are just starting to bloom. I'd really recommend checking them out, the hillsides are covered with them:

More stickers

Spotted another street sticker yesterday. Are we witnessing a stickering revolution in Ann Arbor? Only time will tell.

Previously: Bonjour

Summer bike racks are up

A sure sign of the changing seasons: the temporary bike racks have been placed in downtown.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Prototype (alternative-fuel?) Jeep on Liberty

Parked along Liberty early this afternoon was a prototype Jeep.

Around southeastern Michigan, prototype cars aren't an unusual sighting — drive along the freeways around Detroit for a day and you're bound to see several, with fire extinguishers and red kill switches prominent on the dashboard — but something unique hacked into the rear of this one caught our eye:

Is this a prototype alternative-fuel Jeep? I'm not familiar with alternatively-fueled vehicles, but that looks quite similar to this natural-gas-fueled Honda Civic's fueling port. Are we going to see natural gas or LPG Jeeps in 2015?

Zombie apocalypse at SPH tomorrow

Tomorrow, the School of Public Health is hosting a (mock) zombie apocalypse based on the CDC's zombie-themed disaster preparedness scenario. Unfortunately, participation is limited to 100 volunteers and they have already capped out. Also, unlike real zombie apocalypses, this one has tons of rules:

Zombie Rules (Yes, there are rules, even for the Undead)

Zombies must be pre-registered and attend orientation (registration is closed, please attend the orientation session you signed up for, or come to one of the other sessions)
Zombies must assemble before the event in room 1680
Zombies must wear the official Apocalypse T-shirt throughout the event
Zombies may wear make-up if they choose, as long as it does not drip or flake off, or create any residue or mess within the school
Zombies may NOT bring weapons, facsimiles of weapons, or simulated weapons, including guns, knives, stabbing implements or any other potential weapon-like items
You may wear specified items as part of your costume - these will be discussed at the mandatory orientation sessions
Zombies may NOT menace, threaten or make person-to-person contact with individual participants, observers or visitors (a little slow-motion chasing is fine. But please do not induce screaming among the chase-ees).
Any zombie-to-zombie contact must be explicitly agreed upon in advance and must not appear violent. We are not actually trying to scare people.
Zombie noises are acceptable, within a reasonable volume. And we all know that zombies lurch around and wave their arms. Can't help that.
Zombie dancing is encouraged.
Participation must remain within the pre-determined areas ONLY. This includes Rooms 1680, 1690 and the atrium of SPH 1, lobby and balcony area.

I wonder if the no weapons rule excludes Nerf Guns, which are clearly toys.

Celebrate Earth Day with Veg Week

Ann Arbor's first annual Veg Week kicks off today at 7:00 PM at Downtown Home & Garden. The Mayor and former Detroit Piston, John Salley, will be speaking and there will be lots of great vegetarian food.

New graffiti method

I guess this could also be a vintage throwback graffiti method: painting a piece of wood and nailing it to a wooden pole. I wonder if we'll be seeing more bits of skateboards nailed to telephone poles with "king bird" written on them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pookie goes Grenading at the New Theatre Project

Pookie is a high school freshman living in suburban New Jersey. She desperately wants to reach people with her art: a screenplay/play in which she saves the town from an evil doughnut shop owner who has been kidnaping Albanian war orphans and baking them into his pastries. They hyperactive Pookie (played by Luna Alexander) spends most of the time terrorizing her school, her guidance counselor (Dan Johnson), and her best friend, Dynamo (Chris Jakob). After Pookie gets sent to jail for burning down the auditorium while rehearsing her one woman show, things start to get a little crazy.

Inspired by Pookie's art, Benny (Artun Kircali), the stupid-beautiful gay quarterback breaks Pookie out of jail. Together with the reluctant Dynamo, they kidnap Mr. “Rags” Ragonesse, their guidance counselor. Now all they have to do is avoid the cops and convince Pookie's nemesis, Greta van Susteren (Emily Roll), to join their cause. She is, after all, the best theater techie in the Tri-State Area.

Pookie goes Grenading is a great comedy. It even has a play-within-a-play, so you know it has to be pretty awesome. It's light, but does a good job capturing the emotional hyperactivity and irrationality of youth. It doesn't take itself too seriously: there are a lot of wonderful jokes about how only losers attempt to find careers in the theater. EJ and I especially liked Dan Johnson's performance as the Guidance Counselor Mr. Ragonesse--He was wonderfully frazzled and annoyed with his kidnappers.

If you've been meaning to check out a show at the New Theatre Project, you should definitely check out Pookie goes Grenading. It's the company's last show and it's a wonderful swan song. It's really funny and crass, but without being too crass. Considering the week we had last week, sometimes it's nice to get a chance to escape the troubles of the real world for an hour or so. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students and industry. You also get a free doughnut (Pookie is obsessed with doughnuts). The play runs Thursday through Sunday at 8pm until April 28th. Go see it, you will be glad you did.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Brojo at the Ark

Tonight, a great act from the folk festival will be performing at the Ark. It starts at eight and tickets can be bought online or in person. I am mobile right now or you readers would get a plethora of videos to illustrate how great Brother Jo's sound is.

Construction at the old Borders Building

Looks like they are starting to put some new windows into the old Borders Building. Does anyone know when they are going to start having new tenants?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Matt Shlian on Sesame Street

Local paper god Matthew Shlian has been elevated to another level of cool. Above is a video of him exploring "sculpture" with children. If you have more time, extend your knowledge of what paper can do by watching these.

A tour of the Ann Arbor T-shirt Company factory

One of my favorite parts of Sesame Street was when they would show how things got made in factories.


Are we starting to see the beginning of a street sticker revolution in Ann Arbor? Maybe.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

AggroCrag: Art and Design Senior Show

At the end of every episode of Nickelodeon's Guts the contestants would climb the Aggrocrag. It was a terrifying mass of color and metal, that didn't look safe enough for kids. That was part of the appeal. The seniors of the art school have named their senior exhibit after this mountain, probably referring to their experience this year planning for their final student show. Some students have already exhibited their work through animations early today but the rest of the exhibits have receptions starting friday. 

Friday night there are several receptions, starting with one at the Matthei Botanical gardens at four thirty and lasting till seven. Campus receptions will start at six and be held at three locations, two galleries at the art school on North, and also at the Work gallery on state. 

Saturday night there will be receptions at night, at several locations. The Science Library, Literati Bookstore, the Ann Arbor Art Center and the Yellow Barn all will be hosting events. 

Pookie goes Grenading at the New Theatre Project

All good things must come to an end. It's with a heavy heart, I inform you that the New Theatre Project's current production will be its last. Fortunately, it sounds like they will be going out on a high note with a production of JC Lee's Pookie Goes Grenading:

Pookie and her teenage gang of high school misfits are determined to make their movie a reality - even if it takes blowing up police stations, burning down their auditorium and kidnapping their guidance counselor to make it happen. Once they become the center of a national terrorist manhunt, there’s no telling how far they’ll go in the name of art.

The show officially opens tomorrow, but there is a special pay-what-you-can performance tonight at 8 pm. Pookie Goes Grenading runs Thursday-Sunday, April 18-28. Tickets are $15 or $10 students and industry, and shows are at 8pm.

Did we witness a Citizen's Filibuster at Monday's City Council Meeting?

Ann Arbor's City Charter does not allow for a citizen's filibuster (as far as I know). Nevertheless, at Monday's city council meeting we witnessed something like a collective citizen's filibuster: 45 people spoke at the public hearing for the proposed changes to the DDA and 51 people spoke at the public hearing for the 413 E Huron site plan approval. In the end, the city council postponed votes on both these controversial issues and ended the meeting at 3 am.

H/T @Vielmetti

'Fidelio' at the Detroit Opera House

Political intrigue, false imprisonment, marital devotion, cross-dressing, a kick-ass lady--Beethoven knows how to do a night at the opera. Fidelio, which opened last Saturday at the Detroit Opera House, closes on April 21.

Here is Christine Goerke on her role as Leonora/Fidelio and on "Abscheulicher," her stand-out piece in the first act:

For me, the show really kills it in the second act, when we start hearing from Florestan (John Mac Master), Leonora's long-suffering husband being held as a political prisoner. Beethoven is a terrible schmaltz, and the sustained epic feeling of every. single. note. between Leonora and Florestan really lets that schmaltziness shine. I also loved that Leonora is the lion, the schemer, the hunter, the hero, and Florestan is her flower, her prize, the person who needs saving. Alternatively, the opera could be interpreted as an elaborate call to prison reform.

In his opening remarks, Michigan Opera Theatre Director David DiChiera noted that Detroit has not seen Fidelio in about 30 years, and he suggested that it would be about that long until the less popular opera returns. This isn't Boheme, people. (I'm paraphrasing him here.) Get yourself to the theater.

Next: Aida closes the season in May!

Hot new look for spring: Tandem Bike

Nothing says, "I'm having fun with my bestie" like a tandem bike.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

D'Mongo and Gosling

Larry D'Mongo, owner of hipster darling D'Mongo's Speakeasy in downtown Detroit, will be lighting up the big screen in Ryan Gosling's upcoming film "How to Catch a Monster." From MLive:
"He asked me if I wanted to be in the movie, and I told him yes," said Mongo, who has been offered one of "two or three parts." "I didn't ask him; he asked me! 
"I told him I've had acting experience, but it was mostly during times when I was trying to get out of trouble with the police."
Apparently Gosling is a loyal fan of the bar when he's in metro Detroit. Here's a Gosling sing-along at D'Mongo's a few years ago:

Dogs of the Diag

There are dogs on the Diag right now. You can pet them. They are super nice. The dogs are there as part of the Dogs on the Diag event sponsored by PAWS of Ann Arbor. There is also a man dressed as a fire dog:

Letters to Damn Arbor: Electronic Music Nights?

From time to time, readers send emails into Damn Arbor asking for information about Ann Arbor. And sometimes, I don't know the answer. I am going to start crowd sourcing these questions to you, gentle readers. You might not know it, but you are what makes Damn Arbor so great. Here's the most recent letter;
I just moved back after a couple of years away. I used to go to drum and bass nights on Thursdays a couple of years ago in the basement of Ashley’s, but I don’t think they do it anymore. Do you guys know of any fun electronic music nights happening in the area? Thanks, and keep on with the blog!
So how about it? Where are the best electronic music nights these days?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy takes on Ann Arbor

I know we're a little late to the White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy meme, but I couldn't resist sharing this one. Thanks EJ.

Happy baseball (movie) season!

On my way to work on Opening Day a few weeks ago, I saw a woman puke on the sidewalk in downtown Detroit at 7:30 a.m. For a more auspicious beginning to baseball season, check out John U. Bacon's story on UM Law grad Branch Rickey (who graduated '11, but not my '11) and his relationship with Jackie Robinson.
But if you didn't look closely you would never predict Rickey, an erudite and professorial Michigan Law School graduate, would be the one to pursue the "Great Experiment" any more than you'd predict Robinson would be the best candidate to carry it out. 
Like Robinson, there was more to Rickey than met the eye. Politically, he was ultra-conservative. Topping Rickey's list of social evils were Franklin Roosevelt, communism, and welfare. But he believed in fairness above all and often performed pro bono legal work for African-American defendants he felt had been wrongly accused. This predisposition was a product of both his education and his religious background. It was a trait that would resonate throughout Rickey's dealings in both business and baseball.

Bicycle Bandit

Saw this note on a bike while I was leaving ABC last night. Is this true? Do the police ticket bikes locked to trees? Also, how do they connect the bikes to the owners?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Letters to Damn Arbor: Political Cartoon

We've never really received a letter to the editor before, so imagine my surprise when our inbox had the above cartoon from Peter Zetlin in it this morning. It's also a great chance for me to remind you all about our City Council Viewing Party tonight at ABC.

The views expressed in Letters to Damn Arbor represent the views of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Damn Arbor, our authors and/or lackeys.

Street stencil

Maybe I'm getting too old for this, but I can't make out what that second word is supposed to be.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In bloom: American hazelnut

Despite the snow (and graupel), all other signs point towards an impending spring. Case in point: the American hazelnuts (Corylus americana) are now in bloom. Here you can see how both the male and female flowers are adapted for wind pollination. On the left of the picture you can see the long male catkins. They are designed to distribute lots of pollen in the wind. On the extreme right side of the branch is the female flower. All you can see are the bright pink stigma which are very exposed to any pollen that might be blowing in on the wind.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Trouble for SELMA

The Chronicle is reporting that SELMA Cafe has been sent a notice of zoning violation by the city. The Food System Economic Partnership, a non-profit associated with SEMLA is also severing ties and has frozen its assets.

The city of Ann Arbor has sent a notice of zoning violation to the popular Selma Cafe, a weekly home-based breakfast gathering that raises money for local farmers and farming activities. The group has also received notice that the nonprofit Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP) has decided to end its fiscal sponsorship of Selma Cafe, citing “significant violations” of the terms in a memorandum of understanding between the two entities. The FSEP board voted to make the move in late March.
You can read more on the Chronicle. Could this be the end of SELMA?

Photo by Sean Munson

Big Lebowski Fan?

Looks like someone has taken their Big Lebowski fandom a little too far.

This incredible vine is brought to you by @ajseek91 who says the car is currently at Catherine and State.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring DIY Fest Rescheduled

The Spring DIY Fest that was supposed to be tomorrow has been rescheduled to Sunday May 19th. The Free Skool had to take into consideration the shitty weather that is expected tomorrow. I repeat the DIY Fest has been rescheduled.

This Must be the Band Last Night

 Last night I was able to make it over to the Blind Pig for one of the sets of This Must be the Band. The joint was packed with cool new wave kids. Actually the kids weren't new wave, but who can tell these days. I saw a lot of really great dance moves on the floor, bopping heads and shaking hips. I didn't really realize how nice it is to have a cover band experience, especially with a band I couldn't see ever live. While the band focuses on Talking Head covers, they really infused their own sound into the classics. The video below doesn't do it justice, to capture the funk that the band melds. My friend described it a nice way. If the Talking Heads had continued playing the same songs on tour, he thinks they'd have evolved them in a manner similar to what we heard last night. I recommend checking the band out next time they roll through town.

I didn't edit or film this video, it was created by someone I don't know. All videos after the jump are just Talking Heads covers I pulled off of youtube, because I spent a lot of time looking at Talking Heads covers on youtube.

TIF Capture and the City Council Viewing Party

get yo valuation
excess appreciation
divertin' yo taxation
location declaration
robust conversation full of fulsome aggravation
TIF Capture Rap by Eli Neiburger

This is just a shameless promotion for our City Council Viewing Party on Monday night at ABC's Tap Room. You should come because it's a great place to learn more about local politics and because it's happy hour all Monday at ABC. The City Council will be making decisions on two controversial issues: the 413 E Huron project and the DDA's TIF Capture methodology.

So come on by and say "hi." The election season is just around the corner and it is each citizen's duty to be informed about the issues and candidates.

The Arena: here to stay

Saw this last Friday during FoolMoon. Probably in reference to the City Council's objection to their liquor license renewal because of a failure to pay almost $9,000 in back takes and fines. You can read more on the Chronicle.

The graying of Ann Arbor

In an Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview on MarkMaynard.com, Newcombe Clark talks about the demographic shift we're experiencing in Washtenaw County:
...over the last 30 years, the overall population of Washtenaw doubled, the same demographic balance wasn’t maintained. The net result is that a town that was once balanced, if not dominated (at least from a voting block and commercial market standpoint) by the young, is now overweighed towards the old. Many towns in America have similar demographics today. And, it’s worth noting, none of these towns are doing well today. There’s quite a bit of research on why this is, but most of it boils down to this – cities with lots of young people, who have lots of extra time to work and money to spend, tend to do better.

Growth… and frankly, in America today, if you’re not growing, you’re suffering… has been shown to be only possible with lots of young people of working age and ambition. Technology, being borderless, isn’t a driving factor economically. It’s pure math – when you’re young, you can be more mobile, and you can more easily move to cities that give you the opportunities you require. You take your money and your labor with you to these places. Other demographic groups, with less disposable means, tend to benefit from this migration if it goes towards them. They tend to suffer as it flows elsewhere.

I’m not advocating replacing any older citizen with someone who’s been around the sun less. I’m saying, however, there are consequences for all ages if so little of your total population is 20 to 35 years old.

Based on the projections from SEMCOG, which you can see below, these trends are expected to continue through 2040:

I realize this is part of a greater national trend, but I can't help but wonder what the impacts of this will be. What are the causes of this trend? It seems like despite the presence of the U of M, we are unable to retain young adults in the community. Are there too few jobs and too little sunshine? Are there too few affordable housing options?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saltine Cracker to attend U of M?

There have been murmurs among university students on the interweb about a controversial high school student. Suzy Lee Weiss, published racist, sought to attend an Ivy League school but her lack of "two moms" really put her at an academic disadvantage. Her "struggles" mirror the "tribulations" of Abigail Fisher, another salty rejected girl. In an interview with the Today show, posted above, Weiss tries to support her deluded piece of "satire" and also hints at coming to Michigan. Here is how some university students responded to that news on youtube:
There is some significance to the timing of her coughed implication to attend Michigan. The Supreme Court decided a couple weeks back to look at the University's Affirmative Action case in October. If her name fades away now, it might be dug up again in the fall to show how hard it is to be white in America. Only time will tell if her rejection from the "Harvard of the East" will lead her to the "Harvard of the West." 

Brighton MA at The Ark tonight

Chicago based indie rockers Brighton MA will be playing The Ark tonight. They have recently been touring with Cursive's Tim Kasher, but tonight they will be playing with another group from Chicago, Stolen Silver.

This Must be the Band

David Byrne is coming to Ann Arbor in July, to perform with St. Vincent. However, for Talking Heads devotees, that show might seem too far off,  be too costly or too tangential from Byrne's New Wave roots. Tonight, Live Music Alliance is presenting a Talking Heads Tribute. Come down to the Blind Pig at nine to speak in tongues. You can buy tickets here, for ten dollars.  And to get you into the mood, The Talking Heads:

Stay classy Varsity Building

If you've been in the State and Liberty area, or walked on the Diag lately, you may have noticed some stenciling advertising the Varsity Building. Apparently, whoever was in charge of that little operation also thought it would be cool to stencil a sycamore on the Diag.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

City Council Viewing Party this Monday

Greetings gentle readers, our last City Council Viewing Party at ABC was such a hoot that we've decided to do it again. So this Monday, April 15th, come on down to ABC and say hi. I hear rumor that @juliewbee is revising her hit Ann Arbor City Council Bingo boards to include "TIF Capture." In addition to DDA financing the city council will also be addressing approval of the sight plan for the controversial 413 E Huron high rise. It should be an exciting meeting. Last time we had a really great cross section of the community come. I hope we have even more folks this time. If you'd like, you can RSVP for the event through Facebook, though we understand if that's not your thing. I guess what I'm saying is that regardless of your feelings on Facebook, you should stop by because 1) it's happy hour all day and 2) it's a great way to get more informed about local politics and make new friends.

Student Political Party

The Mixed Use Party is a newly formed local political party comprising mainly U of M students. It looks like they mainly take issue with some parts of the city's zoning codes that they feel are unfair to co-ops, sororities and fraternities. According to this article in the Daily, they are planning on fielding candidates for all city council seats this fall save for the Fighting Fifth. Looks like we're in for an extra exciting city council election this fall.

Hat tip: @localinannarbor

Central Provisions at Braun Court tonight: burrata salad!!

In their words, "I know its rainy but I wouldn't miss this salad if I were you."

I think they're right! 327 Braun Court from 6 PM to midnight. Click here to learn more and see the full menu below:

Free Skool DIY Fest

Free Skool 

The Ann Arbor Free Skool is holding a spring DIY Fest. Now the theme is food, which is a good choice on their part. Everyone likes food, everyone eats food, that's common knowledge. The DIY fest can help provide Ann Arbor with some uncommon knowledge, through the workshops, skill shares and demonstrations planned. Like the poster above mentions, there is music throughout the whole thing by  peoples like Charlie Slick. It'll be starting a 4PM on saturday, at Mark's Carts and Bill's Beer Garden.