Nas is Illmatic
The Nas: Time Is Illmatic Tour stopped at the Fillmore Detroit. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Nas' classic debut album and partly to promote the release of the new documentary about the album, Time Is Illmatic. The film shows the background from which Nas came and how that influenced his debut record. Director, One9, described it as, "It's about more than just hip-hop. It's socioeconomic." After the film ended, the screen vanished into the rafters revealing a DJ booth and a riser on the stage. Nasty Nas took the stage, breaking into "N.Y. State of Mind," changing the lyrics just a little bit to "Detroit state of mind." Nas brought his brother, Jungle, out to introduce him to the crowd. As he was one of the most entertaining components of the film, he was greeted with applause. Nas then told a story of how Jungle chased him with a knife when he was 9-years-old. Jungle simply replied, "He was bullying me." During the final notes of "It Ain't Hard to Tell," Nas proclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes Illmatic." He then brought out One9 and Erik Parker to thank them for their work in producing the documentary.
DDays spent an inordinate amount of time at the Royal Oak Farmers Market this weekend where we sampled both the best in vodka and seasonal craft beers. Friday night saw the inaugural Vodka Rox where we spotted the likes of On the Rocks' Kathy Vargo, Our/Detroit's Sara Aldridge,
The Oakland Press' Paul Biondi, Nick Haddad (aka DJ Captn 20) and Thomas Magee's Erik Olson. Saturday night we ventured in for Oktoberfest, a celebration of all things seasonal. Between games of Hammer-Schlagen we spotted Detroit BBQ Company's Tim Idzikowski and Griffin Claw's Julie Pete.
Comet & "Terry-oke"
We dropped by the Comet Bar in downtown Detroit on Saturday night for the last-ever "Terry-oke" the soon-to-be-lost watering hole's famous karaoke session. The dive will close for good, likely due to a new Detroit Red Wings arena that will encompass the southern Cass Corridor — including Comet. Drinks were flowing, and everyone was having a good time. And then, right around the time a pair belted out a beautiful rendition of The Everly Brothers classic "Let It Be Me," it hit us: It really is unfortunate to lose this kind of place. Nestled along the corridor at 128 Henry, Comet was a diverse, welcoming establishment that, likely no matter whom you ask, has always been a good time for patrons. Few places offered as much character. We're told Wednesday is the bar's last night open. Drop by and bid adieu.
Comedy is a Weird Job
There are not many stand-up comics in the game today that can fill Royal Oak Music Theatre, but Hannibal Buress accomplished as much on Saturday. DDays and the rest of the house was cracking up from first joke to last. It is clear why Buress has Louis CK and Chris Rock praising him - the man slays. It helped that his opener, fellow Chicagoan Dave Helem, was the perfect blend of wit and lowbrow to start the evening off right. Buress will undoubtedly continue his rise through the stand-up ranks with his unique deliver and subtle absurdism. He's a modern day Mitch Hedberg.
Art in Hamtown
As the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival wound down, DDays meandered into Popps Packing, the Hamtramck studio-gallery-living space run by husband-and-wife team Faina Lerman and Graem Whyte. We took in a performance by Lac la Belle and washed down some hot tater tots with a can of Pabst. At sundown, somebody got news of a rumored P-Funk show at some space on Oakland we'd never heard of. It wasn't the Detroit Fortress, but it was right around there. A group rushed off to the venue, since it was just two miles away, while we joined the breeze-shooters and beer-drinkers around the fire. We chatted at length with such artists as Chris Zagacki, Bryant Tillman, and James H. Dozier, minimalist composer James Cornish, and saw, for a brief moment, artist Mary Fortuna and critic and academic Vince Carducci. It seemed like just an hour had passed when some very excited people returned from the P-Funk concert, which, it turned out, was the real thing. Damn.