Showing posts with label ryan schirmang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ryan schirmang. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ring Them Bells

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats, waiting to hear how the Astro Coffee talent show turned out. Since I was gabbing about it so much.

Well it turned out to be crazy fun!  Like, actual crazy.  First of all, you have to see this hall to believe it.  It was super conveniently located just off I-94 at Central and if you blink you miss it, it's that tiny and nondescript.  The inside, however, was anything but nondescript.  I don't have many photos from the night, but this shot of the stage should give you a good idea:

OK, so could it be more perfect?  No way.

Anticipation was palpable as the crowd, an eclectic and electric jumble of Detroiters-about-town, got their beer buzz on and watched the karaoke warm-up.  Sometimes I am not sure if naming names veers into gossip blog territory, so I think it is easier to describe the crowd in general terms.  Folks from many factions showed up to give support, but if you have to break it down it pretty much was hipsters and gays.

As you might expect, there were karaoke highlights even before the talent show began. Event masterplanner and Remains of the D blogger Ryan Schirmang hit a high note while hitting the high notes in the Rolling Stones' "Miss You."  ACLU Power Puff Roland Leggett and man-about-town Stephan performed a dazzling "Proud Mary" to a rapt audience.  Also the guy who runs the karaoke sang a bunch of long songs (Don't you always laugh when they do that?  "OK we have time for two more songs, so I'll be doing Rapper's Delight."  God bless 'em.)

But the main event was of course the Talent Show.  And what an impressive display of talent!  Phil Cooley and Jeff Anderson (in ninja garb) kicked it off with a spooky rendition of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" accompanied on the Casio keyboard.  Dave Mancini's talent was supposed to be drinking a pitcher of beer in ten seconds, but it turned out to be the boot-and-rally.  Good job Dave!!

There was more playing and singing (who did that cool rendition of "Bang Bang"?), and I can't really remember too many other acts before it was my turn on account of the nerves.  Then I got to perform my little song and dance, just me and my tambourine and this Liza showstopper

In a gay one-two punch, I was followed by the comedy stylings of Robert M. Nelson, who had the crowd roaring (the gays had tears of laughter running down their faces by the end, although one straight fella told me it was the filthiest act he's ever heard.)  Good job Robert!!

I was super happy that blog reader Miss Cindy Elmwood decided to come to the event and perform too!  She straddled the queer/hipster divide by performing NOT ONLY a song by the Magnetic Fields but also Lady Gaga on the Casio!  Music really does make the people come together!  And all with that fabulous wig - good job Cindy!!

After the show a bunch of the guys who work at Supino's set up their instruments and their band was awesome, everyone was dancing!  Good job Pizzateers!!

When the winners were announced it should come as no surprise that the gays swept the awards.  Hipster irony may be entertaining at the bar, but the gays really know how to razzle-dazzle!  And we take our performing seriously.

Third place went to Robert M. Nelson for his comedy (I told him he didn't have enough jokes to ironically not laugh at).  Second place went to Roland for his karaoke Proud Mary (he didn't even officially enter the talent show and he still beat Robert, it was that great!).  And first place went to me, naturally, for my amazing talent of a complete lack of shame!  Good job Supergay!!

Realistically, I think my win was a thanks for the great job I did of reeling in the queers. So I really want to take a second to thank all the gays for turning out in such large numbers, and giving the event an unexpected element that really helped make the evening a gigantic and entertaining success!

And congrats to the whole event committee for creating the most fantastic benefit I've been to in forever.  I hope thousands of dollars were raised and Astro Coffee will be caffeinating even sooner because of it.  And to the tremendous crowd who paid good money to watch an admittedly crazy show.  And to all the people who pull together to make the city a better place.

Good job Detroit!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Catching Up

New years are good for many kinds of starting over; climbing back on the wagon, going back to the gym, jump-starting long-postponed projects.  Resolutions are really about as useful as a post-it on the fridge - one luxury, or possibly burden, of getting older is accepting that a broken promise to yourself only matters as much as you want it to - but sometimes even post-its are handy.

I remembered I had a blog the other day, so I figured writing on here again could be one of my resolutions.  Last year was a rough year for everyone and I was no exception.  The awful distraction of desperate work really monopolized my creative energies and I just didn't have any drive to write.  Plus Facebook is fun, so I dabbled in that just a bit.

I also thought that I'd run out of things to say, at least regarding gay life in Detroit.  I wasn't looking for my people anymore, a decent "downtown" gay scene had evolved, I was actually getting invited to the occasional gay house party, and against all odds I'd met and started dating someone.  I'd assimilated.

But I've missed writing, and I feel like my writing chops aren't quite what they used to be due to lack of practice.  And there are still plenty of things going on that may not be specifically gay or lesbian but might benefit from a gay viewpoint.  And I still like trying to find cool shit first. So I'm going to try to start up again.

The Detroit Auto Show is going on this week. I heard that Daimler was putting all their people up at the Book Cadillac so on Monday a friend and I went to watch for Germans and enjoy the Roast cocktail hour. If you have not experienced the Roast cocktail hour I highly recommend it, it's an outstanding value. We ran into Dave Mancini, the genius behind Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market, and we had a great time talking about Detroit crazy and future possibilities and foodie stuff. It's funny, but that Roast really does attract a crowd of what I would describe as indy downtowners, the kind of people who support their friends businesses but you don't expect to find at a place like Roast. But Roast has street cred despite its tony digs.

Germans indeed showed up, by the way, along with a bunch of other euro types.  They're all so cute in their auto foreignness.

Great people-watching all over town this week actually.  I headed from Roast up to Atlas to enjoy a half-priced Monday Martini to kill a little time before meeting a friend. It was jumping, I'm sure partially due to the Designer's Party taking place across the street at the Bankle Building. I ran into more friends at the Atlas bar who convinced me to go over to the party with them, and it was great and not platters full of cocaine like the rumors have led me to believe about Bankle parties. Which is good because I like to stay away from that scene, I can only manage one vice at a time.

The Designer Party was a total sausage fest.  There are like *no* women around for auto show week, it's nuts. Break that glass ceiling, babycakes.  Lots of familiar faces though, so that was highly entertaining.  Having attended parties where Camilo and company were co-presenters, I'd seen the furniture and the cars and the costumes/fashions and the art before, but it's nice for the new people to see it all I suppose, and somewhat comforting to revel in the familiar, especially with all the upheaval around town this past year.

Lady Gaga rolled into town yesterday, and being a lazy and last-minute kind of person I never even bothered to try and get tickets.  Jesus loves me though, and I got a text at 4:30 saying "your free tickets will be at will call." What? I know! It's a mary-cle!  But that's how I roll.

It was interesting to go to a show at Joe Louis Arena, I hadn't been in forever.  Walking up and down the steps of death was a particular thrill.  It was kind of appropriate, I thought, seeing Lady Gaga - the heir apparent to the Madonna pop throne, some say - in the same venue where I saw the Virgin Tour back in 1902. The crowd was of course TRAGIC and FABULOUS. Half the crowd looked like they were on their way to Fierce Hot Mess. The other half doesn't even merit description.

That's a lot of gay.

Of course the place was gayer than Ikea on Superbowl Sunday. If anyone tried to use that Grindr app in that place I think their iPhone would have exploded.  The show was really great and frankly a lot more than I expected. It was a little visually noisy with all these giant LCD panels in the background and probably would have come off better if the show had stayed at the Fox, but that girl puts on a spectacular spectacular. It might be because she doesn't have to stop and close her eyes and concentrate to hold a single note for four seconds a la Madonna, so she can concentrate on being a freak bitch. Or it might be just because she says "Detroit" a thousand times and everyone cheers every time.  Every time, seriously.

By the way, did you hear the parody of "Poker Face" done by the Westboro Baptist Church?  You know, the people who brought you the "God Hates Fags" protest sensation?  It's laughably bad, especially because I'm pretty sure Lady Gaga doesn't care if you say she has a "whore-ish face." Of course I listen to this all the time, cuz of my love for the laughably bad.

There have been a few changes in the Detroit blog world, and I was thinking that my links section should better reflect a broader scope for the blog, so I'll be changing up shortly.  In the meantime, a few noteworthy changes.

Toby Barlow and Phil Cooley, with some help from our buddy Ryan Shirmang (who was objectified on this very blog a while back) have launched a blog called Remains of the D that will highlight the multiple cool side projects they invent to promote and develop the good things in Detroit. I have already learned several things about Detroit I didn't know on the blog, such as the fact that there will be a charcuterie shop in the Cass Corridor this year, and that coffee pro Dai Hughes will be opening up Astro Coffee Company in the Slows BarBQ strip of Michigan Avenue.  The "Twelve Young Versions of Twenty-Ten" entry is a nice one, and we've got our gays representing on that list so right on!

Fabulists in the audience have used the link to Planet Fabulon before, and probably already know the site has gone bye-bye. The good news is that the author has launched a new platform to bring a slightly altered vision of over-the-top fabulous at Chateau Thombeau. Breathe a sigh of relief and dive in.

OK, I think we're caught up. Have a great day.
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