News & Views » Columns

Getting pumped and snug

PUMP PEOPLE

The soul-reverberating lounge-swing-blues of Bonne Temps Roulle lures me periodically to the Town Pump on Thursday nights, where I am sometimes so enraptured that I throw caution to the wind and can be seen cutting the proverbial rug (no cameras, please). Guinness in hand, I’m set for a night of musical and atmospheric bliss.

An added bonus is the great people congregating on Thursdays. Let’s start off with one Frank Zieger III, Tony & Tina’s "Dominic," an actor we will no doubt lose to Hollywood early in the new millennium. I will retain, however, the memory of his rousing dance this week atop the Pump’s bar. Are you moonlighting at Danny’s, Frank?

Antoine McKay of Second City’s main stage graced my table with his considerably charming presence, revealing himself to be a warmly down-to-earth fellow beneath his multifaceted facade. In addition to sharing some great philosophy on life and art, he tipped me off to his upcoming show with Marc Warzecha and Marc Evan Jackson, "Two Skinny White Guys and a Cool Ass Brother," opening Oct. 26. I wanted to ask him more about the show, but I haven’t seen him since he went off to get me a drink.

Finding drinks was not a problem at Gerry McAvoy’s table. McAvoy, a featured improviser at The Cabinet, proved to be my imbibing equal and a very funny guy, indeed (read: sarcastic).

Though a bit under the weather, McAvoy provided ongoing entertainment with his natural gift for nonstop one-liners. (If I could remember any of them, I would be the life of the next party, too!) He drew an appreciative crowd including Natalie Wochele and Eric J. Walper. Thanks for the free show, Gerry; and, hey, get some sleep!

JUST BAG IT

I foolishly attempted to adhere to some semblance of a schedule over the weekend, trying once again, I guess, to prove that I am capable of such things. I’m not.

Planning to check out FACE, I started at the Magic Bag for their CD release party Friday night. Overzealous, I arrived about three drinks too early. Seeing a good opportunity to pop in on old pals Jeff Sloan and Bart, I walked the block to Club Bart, Ferndale’s best-kept secret.

I should have known, now that Sloan has created, in Club Bart, Ferndale’s answer to the Gold Dollar, that I’d be sucked in by some uniquely brilliant band. I was – The Articles. If, at your next party, you slipped in their infectious Jamaican jazz grooves, people would definitely think you knew something they didn’t. And they’d be right.

Best of the aesthetically pleasing cool cats was drummer Dan Margulis’s face onstage, a rapturous show in itself. Dutifully tearing myself away and returning to the Bag, I had standing-room-only options of this square inch of floor or that square inch of floor. FACE obviously has quite a following, and I would have loved to find out why, but the ovenlike conditions freaked me out and I went back to Bart’s.

SATURDAY SNUG

Want to experience Detroit’s tremendous art community, but you’re intimidated because you don’t even know what "medium" means, let alone what you’d wear to an opening?

Aaron Timlin’s detroit contemporary galleries are the place to start. In your favorite threads, head down to the "Actual Size" exhibit that opened Saturday night at the Snug Gallery in Traffic Jam & Snug Restaurant. Timlin invited 42 artists to create roughly postcard-sized works, resulting in a unified viewing experience that won’t overwhelm the untrained eye.

Chris Turner, Ed Sykes and Graem White were among the participating artists milling about. The crowd was cozy and quiet, small groupings huddled over cocktails, and Timlin always on hand, willing to answer questions in layman’s terms.

Several pieces sold in the first two hours. Web designer Jonathan Hoard told me over cheese cubes that he was considering snatching up Paul Snyder’s painting "Girl."

Speaking of cheese, snackage included an array of fruit, the best chocolate chip cookies that’ve ever melted in my mouth, and three types of cheese – mysteriously, none yellow.

WHERE'S THE LOVE?

Ah, fall. Sundays cuddled on the couch watching football. Crunchy leaves underfoot on long walks. Holidays around the corner, bubbling up suppressed longings for shared love. What’s that you say? You’re stocking up on adult beverages just to stomach those sickeningly smitten couples so blissfully unaware of your solitary nights alone with the TV?

No more, I say! Spend this fall curled up with a partner who, without you, will remain in a small, steel cage, desperately begging for love. Go to the Animal Welfare Society’s pet adoption this Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Classic Pet Supply, 12 Mile and Schoenherr in Warren. It’s the big day for puppies and kittens hoping against hope that they’ll be going home and not back to … well, let’s just not let that happen.

JUST IN

Midnight minx Niagara tells me she’s busy whipping up fresh pieces (after selling out in D.C.) for her Oct. 23 C-Pop opening; you might want to dress for this one.

And ohmigod – Hemigod got a bad rap in my last column. I wrongly accused them of being a pain in the ass; they’ve since proven themselves to be professionals of the highest regard. I suck. They rock.

comment