Arts & Culture » Culture

DDays: Gossip on Dally in the Alley, Sean Forbes, John's Carpet House, and more



Ddays On Hiatus | DDAYS took a leisurely four-day vacation in honor of Labor Day two weekends ago, but managed to hit up a concert with Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI; the Renaissance Festival; Arts, Beats & Eats; and the first-ever Dirtybird BBQ in Detroit. Jared Leto was a dream, we ran into many a pirate in Holly, we met an entrancing hula-hooper in downtown Royal Oak, and we caught sets by J. Phlip, Christian Martin, and Claude Von Stroke in the parking lot of the Masonic Temple. It was a grand weekend, indeed!

Mary is a Def Deaf Girl | DDAYS stumbled down to Ale Mary's after a hard day's work Friday night and ordered us a couple tall brewskis and a charcuterie platter. We were chatting animatedly about the week's work when who other than deaf rapper Sean Forbes sat down beside us. The musical artist was with a leggy blonde, and the two were having a hell of a time. We tried not to stare, yet we pondered this about his date: So is that a def deaf girl?

Brill Bruisers | The New Pornographers paid a visit to the Majestic on Saturday night for the first time in more than a dozen years, playing a set list chock full o' hits to an appreciative and full house. New, old, and in-between, they played nearly 20 songs — including "Brill Bruisers," "Myriad Harbour," "Twin Cinema," and "The Bleeding Heart Show" — reminiscing about friends and times in the Motor City without sounding forced or overly sentimental about playing Detroit over the years. We fondly remember seeing a stellar set by the band at the now-defunct CityFest in 2006, and it's fair to say they've only gotten better over the years. Thanks for showing Detroit a good time yet again, guys!

Dilly-Dallyin' | On Saturday, thousands of festivalgoers packed into the Cass Corridor (uh, "Midtown"?) for the 37th annual Dally in the Alley. The end-of-summer block party is, we think, a truly democratic event; a place where, say, Christian conscientious objectors can set up shop between shea butter vendors and Detroit Hustles Harder T shirts — and everyone can be drunk and merry.

One example of that cross-pollination took place at the booth for the Satanic Temple, which plans to open its first national chapter house here. DDAYS spotted its local leader Jex Blackmore calmly engaged in an intellectual debate with some passerby, who seemed to protest the idea of bringing the devil to Detroit. Later, we saw Freepster Stephen Henderson gettin' down to the sounds of the Gabriel Brass Band. And somewhere in between (or was it before? Or after?) we caught a set by the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.

Festivities were cut short when a transformer on one of the overhead electric power lines blew just before 10 p.m., prompting firefighters to evacuate thousands of drunk revelers from the area. Fortunately, no injuries were reported — but it definitely killed our buzz.

We spotted Henderson again the next day, enjoying brunch at PJ's Lager House. Dally in the Alley comes but once a year, but perhaps brunch is truly the great equalizer: where a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist can enjoy a coffee alongside some alt-weekly a-holes.

A Reason to Sing the Blues | DDays swung by John's Carpet House on the east side to check out this Sunday afternoon Detroit tradition (see our Face Time interview with organizer Albert "Big Pete" Barrow this week). The informal summertime blues jams, which counts plenty of Motown alumni as fans, has been catching the attention of city officials who want to shut it down. Apparently, the police had visited earlier that day, but said the event was permitted to resume. The police did not return during DDAYS' visit, though we did spot Detroit Bike's owner Zak Pashak ride by (on a Detroit Bikes A-frame, naturally).

A Home Run | Congratulations to Jason Roche, director and producer of Stealing Home, the award-winning documentary about the Navin Field Grounds Crew. Stealing Home has been selected for the 9th Annual Baseball Film Festival, to be held at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, Sept. 19-21, 2014. MT's very own Dave Mesrey, a founding member of the NFGC, appears in the film. — mt


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