The Magic Stick threw itself into a joyous mood Thursday night as Thrive & Jive proceeded to keep memories alive and also bring some much needed attention to the Pink Fund. There was a nice representative mix from the city's art and culture crowd with Anne Hage, Angel Busque, Robert Thibodeau, and Carolyn Striho seen either near, on, or off the center stage. We also want to thank Ms. Striho for introducing us to Claus Baedenbrock, who was filming the show as part of an upcoming French/German documentary about the history of Detroit music.
Shortly after leaving the Russell Open House on Saturday, we arrived at MOCAD for the Otto Buj film Primordial Ties. No popcorn, but delicious crepes prepared by Toria were enjoyed prior to the screening by audience members Gwen Joy, Leela Gupta, Leon Johnson, Leander Johnson, and John Monaghan. We're happy to report also that Mr. Buj's movie – an intriguing twist on the Pygmalion myth – will be a contender at several national film festivals.
A Whole Century's Worth
Friday night D-Days went to the opening show of Titanic – The Musical at the Baldwin Theatre. This year is the 100th anniversary of the tragic fate that befell Titanic. Obviously everyone knows how the story of the once-thought "unsinkable ship" ends, unless you've been living under a rock or maybe are a cast member of Jersey Shore. Even with the tragic ending the Stagecrafters seamlessly and emotionally capture a heart-wrenching musical portrayal that manages to rise to the surface and enchant the audience with a stunning performance.
Packed With Detroit Muscle
At the beginning of his show at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Bruce Springsteen promised D-Days and the rest of the crowd that our backs, feet and sexual organs would be sore by the end of the night, and he meant it. Springsteen continued to prove himself the spryest 62-year-old in rock 'n' roll, tearing through a non-stop three-hour set with unflagging energy. The Boss kicked out some new tunes like "Wrecking Ball," classics like "Born To Run," and some great deep cuts including "Incident On 57th Street" (a live rarity). And most importantly, referencing a 2009 Detroit show at which he mistakenly greeted us as "Ohio," Springsteen correctly identified us as Detroit before reassuring us that "I know where the fuck I am!" We forgive you, Bruce. Just don't ever do it again.
The Birthday Stimulus
Last week's Stimulus event at Grasshopper was a very special one, indeed. Alvin R., creator of Stimulus, celebrated his birthday in the proper fashion – lots of good drinks and great music from Coyote Cuts. The night started off earlier than usual, with Rob Lloyd and Stepwild getting started at 9 p.m. They were followed by a birthday set from Jeremy Poling, then lots and lots of funky/jackin' house from Hugh Cleal and Wattie Green until close.
Wild + Crazy
It's always a good time when Lucero comes to town, and they have a long and storied past at the Magic Stick. So their sold-out show last Friday night (which also happened to be their 14th anniversary as a band) sure was a doozy. The amount of beer consumed was completely mind-blowing, and the guys kept the crowd – full of die-hard fans – moving the whole time. Their unique twang-rock sound had everyone crowd-surfing and pounding shots of whiskey. (Also, ladies, if you're a fan of gnarly dudes, this was practically a frickin' beard and tattoo expo!) Enjoying the show with us were Mark Heggie, Angie Yaldoo, Jessica Knapik, Sadie Quagliotto, Brian Nawrocki, Rex Barnowski and our good pal Ramona Shureb (who's about 14 months pregnant – have that baby already!).
The X-Games It's Not
Excision brought his larger-than-life festivities to the Fillmore last Saturday. To say that the lights and soundsystem were blinding and deafening would be not doing it justice. And the crowd? To say it was worked into a rabid frenzy would be like saying Jaws was a large goldfish (you should have seen the neon-adorned, sweat-soaked audience by the end of the night). Next time this dude comes through town, you'd better be there – because our eyes are still light-sensitive and our ears are still ringing. Excision obviously knows how to rock the Motor City! (And for the record, it was probably his after-party at the Works that contributed most to Sunday's hangover.)
Detroit Does Detroit
Cover-act blowout Detroit x Detroit returned to the Magic Stick for its second year Saturday, with 15 Detroit bands performing in character as 15 other Detroit bands. There were hits and misses among the lineup, but best in show goes to the Kickstand Band for its explosive turn as the Amino Acids. Creepy masks, a theremin and a wild performance with a good old-fashioned guitar smashing sealed the deal. The Ughs rocked out as the Fags, the Vatican's George Morris brilliantly channeled Alice Cooper and Mick Bassett nailed the White Stripes (nice rack on Meg, aka Anthony Kanakri). | RDW