NEW INK, OLD STORY
Detroit is fast becoming the DIY publishing capital of the Midwest. I can't seem to walk out of a downtown bar or restaurant without skipping over yet another complimentary ink-smearing monthly publication devoted to documenting the local "scene."
Usually, this means a piece about the Heidelberg Project, a few stories about the techno crowd (both above and below ground) and some additional sundry arts coverage and listings. Don't get me wrong. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
The latest is yet another magazine published in the suburbs that incorporates the word "Detroit" into its title. Unlike, however, a certain glossy oversized Royal Oak-based monthly with "Detroit" in its title, this mag is not geared for the Oakland County-Grosse Pointe social power axis.
What caught my eye was that the editor of this new upstart is none other than former Western Herald scrivener David Livingstone. If memory serves me correctly, this chap played bass in a Kalamazoo-based band called Coagulated Child, as well as for several incarnations of the God Bullies. I recall seeing Coagulated Child open up for the misbegotten Misfits byproduct called Samhain, one Hallow's Eve circa 1986. 'Twas an interesting show to say the least -- maybe it wasn't Halloween, but it seemed like it.
Anyway, forging their own brand of indie-punk street cred, or perhaps trying to impress the headliners, the Coagulated Children at times banged on some iron bed springs with a hammer and also smashed a little PlaySkool turntable. For the grand finale, they sliced up some frozen roadkill (I believe it was opossum) and crucified a Holly Farms fryer on stage (now that got me thinking). For their encore, the venue management handed the band a broom and dustpan. I can't believe I finally got a chance to use that story.
SEE DICK SELL
Let the eyeglass wars begin. The fashionable battlefield of Birmingham played host last Thursday night to the opening party for SEE (Selective Eyewear Elements), the latest entry in the upscale eyeware sweepstakes.
To bring lower prices than its crosstown rival Shades, SEE directly sources its frames from factories in Italy and France.
The party was yet another benefit for the Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation, and featured live music by Jill Jack, food by Dick O'Dow's and a fall fashion preview by local designer Stacy Lauwers. Lori Bizer and Kevin McKenna from 93.9 (smooth rock?) the River were also on hand.
The benefit will be a monthlong event, as the store is selling raffle tickets for $10 apiece, with prizes such as a trip for two to Boyne, Whitney gift certificates and such.
Bonus fact: SEE is owned by moonwalking eyeglass huckster and DOC panjandrum Richard Golden, who was not in attendance.
ET TU, BRUTUS?
Speaking of value, how about the new, friendly, quality-conscious folks at Little Caesar's? After shucking off their old ad campaign and bringing in a new agency, the "company company" decided to take a new tack and emphasize quality over "pizza pizza"-style value.
It's interesting how their public image, however, bears an inverse relation to their internal corporate affairs. While emphasizing "quality quality" to the outside world, the company recently laid off 100 people on its inside world, including, curiously enough, a big chunk of the Quality Assurance Department at their franchisee distribution unit. No word on whether anyone was muttering the catchphrase "cheapsa skatesa" on the way out.
HANDS ACROSS THE CUP
Still in a charitable mood? The Detroit Musicians Fund will host a benefit this Friday in Ferndale from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Entitled "A Show of Hands," the event will be held at both the xhedos and Gotham City coffee houses, and will benefit 3-year-old Joshua Stewart who has cerebral palsy. Benefit performers include mussels-bound artists from the "Live at the Cadieux Cafe" CD, including Scott Campbell, Mike Dorn, Leah Jacobs, Mike Nolan and many others. Admission for this all-ages event is $3 per venue or $4 for both. Call 248-398-7430 for more info.
CALLING PETER PARKER
Next time you're in downtown Detroit, keep your eyes peeled for a human fly or two. Last Saturday, the Cacophony Society pranksters and daredevils made their second downtown Detroit Spiderman expedition of the past two months, this time rappelling 20 floors down the side of an abandoned building. No word on whether Doctor Octopus was present. Anyone interested in catching (or suggesting) the next project should meet at Honest John's on October 29 at 7 p.m. or contact email@example.com.
Just about every downtown nightcrawler whose name has graced this column in the past year was at the State Theatre on Sunday night for the annual Camel/KBA Marketing Bartender's Ball.
Supping at the trough of some surprisingly tasty vittles and free drinks, the bartenders and some of their loyal customers mingled and mashed through the theater.
The featured live act was the Roots, which the most recent issue of Rolling Stone declared to be the "best live band in hip-hop." Quite a coup there, and many in attendance were pacing themselves for the long haul, eagerly pointing to the after-hours after-party a mile or so up Woodward at Better Days. Although public recognition usually means the death knell for any after-hours locale, this one has already shown up in Spin magazine, so I guess the cat's outta the bag. See you at sunup.