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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Flickr user Terry Johnston/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Sharp-eyed viewers of the recently-concluded Summer Olympics might have noticed that American swimmers Matt Greves and Ryan Lochte both have tattoos of the Olympic rings on their biceps. 

They’re not the only athletes to do that, but is it legal? Can you decide to express your love for your Harley-Davidson by inking the company’s logo on your body?

Courtesy of Eugene Rogers

 

If you fancy yourself a lyricist, it's time to sharpen your pencil and start writing. 

The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club is on the hunt. They're seeking lyrics for an original new "Michigan song."

The song will be premiered next April, marking U of M's bicentennial. 

Courtesy of Lester Monts

Michigan boasts an exceptionally rich mix of folk, ethnic and immigrant music, and it goes back centuries.

Music professor Lester Monts wanted to capture that rich tapestry, so he spearheaded the Michigan Musical Heritage Project.

The project has three distinct goals: to create a full documentary, a video archive, and a University of Michigan course – all about Michigan’s music.

“We’re such a musical mosaic in this state that so many different immigrant groups, ethnic groups, folk groups have moved into the state and many of them have maintained or compartmentalized much of their music and culture,” Monts said. “But others have sort of fused together in such a way that they have created something very new.”

Jerry Coyne owns Q 100.3 in Grayling and hosts music in the afternoons.
Peter Payette

These days, most rock and roll radio stations play a limited number of songs. 

They play those over and over again.

That's because audience research has become so high-tech that stations know exactly what songs attract the most listeners.

The owners of a station in Grayling say classic rock is worn out.

So they launched a counter-offensive and are breaking all the rules about how to run a radio station in the 21st century. 

We try to keep our language pretty clean here at That’s What They Say, but sometimes things just slip out.

Like when we’re explaining the difference between “they’re”, “their,” and “there” for what feels like the millionth time.

Or when we see "for all intensive purposes" in print, and the writer isn't trying to be ironic.

Sometimes it happens when we stub a toe and it really, really hurts.

In any case, for those of us guilty of occasionally uttering words that would make a sailor blush, the phrase “pardon my French” is a go-to apology.

An illustration from the book "Learning, Recycling and Becoming Little Heroes" by Gale Glover.
Gale Glover

There are several people who have been called heroes in uncovering the Flint water crisis. You’ve heard those voices many times on this station. But a new book -- a children’s book -- makes the argument that kids are the heroes, because Flint kids have had to learn new ways to eat, drink, and live their lives.

The title of Gale Glover’s book is Learning, Recycling, and Becoming Little Heroes.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We've been thinking about the kind of people you might like to meet. We talk with a lot of authors, musicians, politicians and policy wonks. But, what about artisans.? They're the people who use their hands and hearts to build things that we use.

The next stop in our “Artisans of Michigan” series is Zimnicki Guitars in Allen Park, Michigan.

Flickr user roger4336/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This is an extra-good week to be a beer drinker in Michigan.

Stroh’s Bohemian-style Pilsner came back this week, and it’s made in Detroit.

It will be on tap at 72 bars all over Michigan on Friday.

(To find out where click here.)

Frances Stroh of the Stroh beer family joined us to talk about the big return of the Pilsner beer that won a ribbon at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Michigan Bookmark is a series that features Michigan authors reviewing Michigan books. Find more reviews here.

I first encountered the work of the poet Tyehimba Jess back in 2014, when he returned to Detroit to speak to a group of writers at Inside Out Literary Arts. His second poetry collection, Olio, had not yet been published. But that afternoon he shared some of his work, and I remember leaving the room with the conviction that I had just witnessed pure poetic genius.

"Wanda & Winky" was illustrated by Susan VanDeventer
Susan VanDeventer Warner

In April 2005, the Detroit Zoo made history.

It moved its last two elephants, Winky and Wanda, to a sanctuary in warm-weather California. 

That made Detroit the very first zoo in the nation to give up its elephants for humane reasons. 

Now retired Walled Lake teacher Linda McLean has written a children's book telling the story of Winky and Wanda, and in doing so, educating youngsters about how elephants live while in captivity. 

Dancers of all styles from all over the world will be in Detroit this weekend for the Detroit Dance City Festival.
ARTLAB J

It's all about dance, creativity, and art: the Detroit Dance City Festival returns this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Performances, workshops, networking are offered at six different locations for dancers of all ages. The goal of the third annual event is to bring local, national and international dancers and choreographers together in Detroit.

It’s the kind of thing that can divide a nation.

Or, at the very least, it’s the kind of thing that can bring a perfect date between two grammar nerds to a screeching halt.

Picture it. You’re midway through what has been a nearly perfect first date. Conversation has been interesting, awkward lulls have been minimal and basic hygiene expectations have been met.

Then, somewhere between entrees and dessert, the word "alleged" comes up in conversation.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre as it passed Detroit on July 13.
Mark McClelland

If you're in Detroit this weekend, don't worry, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, that's a Viking ship at the Detroit Yacht Club.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre has been visiting North America after it sailed from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, and then through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes.

Many Tiki establishments serve cocktails in Tiki mugs like these.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Test Pilot

1-1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum

3/4 oz white rum

1/2 oz orange liqueur

1/2 oz lime juice

1/2 oz

falernum

1 dash Angostura bitters

6 drops

Pernod

Garnish: whatever you want, but make it awesome! Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with a big scoop of crushed ice. Shake and pour into a tiki mug, old-fashioned glass or wide brandy snifter without straining. Top with additional crushed ice (if desired) and garnish.

Wikimedia user Infrogmation / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Time for a little wordplay.

We asked you to send us phrases or terms that you find a little strange so we could have University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan try to track down where they started.

Courtesy of American Girl

This weekend, American Girl unveils its newest doll. Her name is Melody Ellison., and she’s from 1960's Detroit.

Flickr user George Makris/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There have been plenty of Americans winning gold at the Rio Olympics.

And each gold medal win by a Yank means you'll hear the Star Spangled Banner during the medal ceremony.

Some have noticed that there's something about the version of the anthem being used in Rio that's just a little bit ... off.

But what is it?

Courtesy of The Heidelberg Project

Detroit’s Heidelberg Project will undergo a transformation after 30 years of bringing art to the city’s East Side.

Founder Tyree Guyton is calling the new project “Heidelberg 3.0.”

Peter Williams

The "N-word" probably gets you thinking about the racial epithet that's been used for centuries like a club against black people. Renowned painter Peter Williams has turned that version upside-down and inside-out.

He's created an African-American superhero: N-Word.

Stateside 8.15.2016

Aug 15, 2016

 

Today on Stateside, experts question and praise the 14-year I-75 highway reconstruction project, which begins today, and, we hear from a painter who's created a superhero called "the N-Word".

In John Smolens’ riveting new novel, Wolf's Mouth, the action begins in 1944, in Camp Au Train, a lumber camp near Munising, Michigan. But it’s not a typical lumber camp. It’s a Prisoner Of War camp, one of the many in Michigan during World War II. 

The prisoners are mostly Germans, with a smattering of other nationalities.

But even in an American-run POW camp, the Nazis secretly hold the reins, meting out a cruel justice to anyone who disobeys Kommandant Vogel, a man known for vengeance and violence.  

Yet one Italian soldier, Francesco Verdi, dares to defy Vogel.  It’s a choice that will have repercussions for the rest of his life.  He also happens to be the narrator of Wolf's Mouth.

Did you own a talking car in the 1980s?

The Chrysler New Yorker was one of a handful of models in the mid-80s to feature an electronic voice alert system.

We're guessing it launched more than a few Knight Rider fantasies.

The car would remind you to fasten your seatbelt or to replenish your wiper fluid. It would let you know if your lights were on or if your engine was overheating. All in a robotic monotone.

The 25-foot statue inspired by the photograph "V-J Day in Times Square" is on display in New York City. The statue will be on display in Royal Oak until the end of the year.
Carl Deal / MichiganWW2Memorial.org

On Monday, Aug. 15, Americans across the country will celebrate the 71st anniversary of V-J Day, victory over Japan.

August 15, 1945 was a massive celebration, and one of the most famous photographs from that day -- or of any day in our country's history -- is "V-J Day in Times Square," which was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt. The photo shows a sailor and a nurse sharing a celebratory kiss in Times Square. 

A 25-foot statue commemorating the kiss is currently on display at Memorial Park in Royal Oak until the end of the year. The massive bronze statue is the centerpiece of the event "Kissing the War Goodbye," when the public is encouraged to show up, dressed as sailors and nurses, to recreate the kiss.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We live in a throw-away society. Things are made cheaply and when we’re finished with them, we toss them out. That goes for furniture too. People put couches out on the curb. In college towns such as Ann Arbor, at the end of the academic year, there are lots of couches at the curb. 

We used to re-upholster furniture. In fact, some people still do. And in this installment in our series, “Artisans of Michigan” we visit an upholsterer.

Pam Rossi's new book collects her conversations with musicians on her radio show Over Easy.
Flickr user Ministerio TIC Colombia / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

Pam Rossi has produced and hosted Over Easy on Detroit classic rock station WCSX for the last 12 years. The show brings local, national and international musicians into the studio to talk and perform.

Now, she’s sharing those great conversations with great musicians in her book, Conversations with Pam Rossi.

Marilyn Monroe
Flickr user METROPOLITIAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The headlines were huge and screaming on April 21 this year: Prince, found dead in an elevator in his home.

Cause of death? An opioid overdose.

 

And before that, there was June 25, 2009. More screaming headlines: Michael Jackson died from an overdose of propofol, which helped him sleep, and anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines.

 

The headlines from 54 years ago told the same sad tale: film star Marilyn Monroe found dead in her Hollywood home.

The cause? An overdose of prescription drugs.

There sits the dictionary.  

A forgotten volume, alone on its rickety pedestal with nothing but a shabby jacket to protect it from dust and shelf ware.

All the dictionary ever wanted was to serve you.

Think about that time you were cramming for the vocabulary portion of your SAT and just couldn’t make sense of “legerdemain.” Who was there to offer not only a sentence for context but also a language of origin?

This wreckage of a World War II plane was pulled from the bottom of Lake Michigan.
Courtesy of John Davies

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, America was pulled into World War II. But, the military needed -- among other things -- pilots. In particular, the U.S. needed pilots who could land and take off from aircraft carriers. But the carriers the U.S. had at the time were desperately needed in the theater of war.

So, how to train the pilots?

That’s the subject of a new documentary Heroes On Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan.

Allan Barnes
Courtesy of Tate McBroom

Allan Barnes, Detroit jazz multi-instrumentalist and founding member of The Blackbyrds, has died. He was 66.

Detroit drummer and Gorilla Funk Mob co-founder Tate McBroom played with Barnes for almost 10 years. 

Listen above, as McBroom shares insights and perspectives on Barnes' musically diverse career.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There was outrage over reports that a farmer near Traverse City was required to dump tart cherries. You can read about the reasons here and listen to a Stateside interview with Bridge Magazine reporter Ron French about dumping cherries when it happened in 2014 here.

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