28 years ago in Metro Times: Hugh Grady's headline reads, "The fact that Dallas is the highest rated television program in the country probably suggests more about the state of the American psyche than any of us care to know. ..." It had been two year's since the infamous "Who Shot J.R." episode, and Grady posits that "American television is giving us formula writing, bad acting and hugely profitable cheap thrills, which, however, are taking American popular culture in new directions and providing a unique window into the emerging consciousness of the Reagan era and perhaps the '80s as a whole." We can only wonder what Grady would say upon seeing the finale of Lost and American Idol battle it out in the ratings early last week. What was happening: The WDET Motor City Bluegrass Festival at Meadowbrook, the Temptations at the Fisher Theatre and the Beach Boys played three nights at Pine Knob.
16 years ago in Metro Times: Mitch Ryder tells Stewart Francke, "A shouter is what they call me," as he talks about his career and life, looking back on his early fame. "The irony in Ryder's secondhand self-description comes both from time's indifferent march and his own often-tortured progress: That is to say Mitch Ryder ain't Mitch Ryder anymore. Not the one we know. Hasn't been for some time ... The tendency today is to reduce Ryder & the Detroit Wheels to kinetic period pieces. Even astute rock critics have distilled Ryder's contribution to just a pair of exuberantly conceived Little Richard medleys." True words. What was happening: Ryder & the Wheels at Skinny's, Tripping Daisy at St. Andrew's Hall, and Second City's latest show "Kevorkian Unplugged."
6 years ago in Metro Times: Brian Smith, Nate Cavalieri and illustrator Mark Dancey set out on the daunting task of tracing a century of musical stylings of Detroit with a massive, 100-year musical family tree of the Motor City. "Forget, for one second, the neon names of Ted Nugent, Motown, the MC5 and Jack White. Think about all the shoulders that those names — and all of us — stand on each day ... Like Sippie Wallace. ... [Or] a guy like Scott Morgan, who formed Ann Arbor's underrated garage band, the Rationals. ... These are the iceberg tips that led to an unimaginable world beneath the surface." To see the sprawling musical family tree see our website and search "A Century of Sound" to download it. What was happening: Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, James Brown at Freedom Hill and Rush at DTE.