Arts & Culture

Stateside
4:31 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

How yoga studios can impact the cultural landscape of a city

Practicing the warrior pose.
Tomas Sobek Flickr

Back in the 1990s, we began to see coffee shops pop up in cities all around Michigan — Starbucks, Caribou, Biggby.

Now, a similar trend is happening with yoga studios, here in Michigan and nationwide.

As the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton put it:

“To track the economic transformation of Washington, here's a simple rule: Follow the yoga mats.”

How do yoga studios change the cultural landscape of a city? Are these changes positive or are long-time residents being kept away from the table?

Read more
Stateside
4:30 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Royal Oak's Pete Wurdock has a new collection of short stories

Royal Oak writer Pete Wurdock has just published his fourth book. It's a collection of short stories, all of them set in Northern Michigan.

 The collection is entitled "Bending Water and Stories Nearby" and it's as interesting to hear what it took for Pete to get this stories written as it is to actually read these 14 stories. Pete Wurdock joined us in the studio. *Listen to the audio above. 

Stateside
4:52 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Canadian photographer finds art in Detroit's decaying buildings

A photo from Jarmin's Detroit exhibit.
Philip Jarmin Facebook

Anyone who has spent time driving around the city of Detroit has seen ruined buildings. They can be found just about everywhere within the city limits.

Among those decaying buildings can be found some of the finest examples of early 20th century architecture, the kinds of buildings that remind us that Detroit was once known as the “Paris of the Midwest.”

Canadian photographer Philip Jarmain first discovered these disintegrating beauties while he was a student at the University of Windsor. And ever since 2010, Philip Jarmain has been documenting these vanishing early 20th century buildings.

Twenty of his fine art prints were recently on exhibit at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, with interest in these large format architectural photographs certainly fueled by the headlines surrounding Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

The exhibit was called American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit.

Philip Jarmain joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Icky words and why people hate them

There is one word that lots of people hate—moist. What makes this an icky word?

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about icky words and why we dislike them.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why people detest the term moistMoist-haters often claim the problem is the way the word sounds, yet they don’t have the same reaction to similar sounding words like foist. The sexual connotation of moist probably adds to the discomfort the term creates.

In the spring of 2012, the New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog ran a contest that allowed participants to vote for a word to drop from the English language. As expected, about 1 in 10 people voted to throw out moist.

Read more
Arts & Culture
4:31 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Want history, architecture and beheadings? Try Detroit's haunted bike tour

Outside Wheelhouse Detroit.
Mercedes Meija Michigan Radio

Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike shop right next to the Renaissance Center, puts on all sorts of guided bike tours through the city — tours of churches, urban agriculture, and painted murals. But for those looking for something, well, a little more creepy, the shop also offers a haunted bike tour that takes brave riders through cemeteries, ghostly spots, and long-gone homes with a murderous past.

The ride takes you to the cozy, produce-filled confines of Eastern Market down to St. Aubin Street, which, as the tour guides will tell you, was once a hot spot for the Purple Gang, a gang of bootleggers and hijackers who ran booze from Canada to Detroit. The gang, which got its start when Michigan banned alcohol in 1917, remained active up until the early 1930s.

Read more
Stateside
3:09 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

New MSU exhibit presents hundreds of Alan Lomax Michigan folksongs

Alan Lomax
Wikipedia

 Famed folklorist Alan Lomax prowled through Michigan on his legendary 10 year cross-country trip, collecting American folk music for the Library of Congress. In that collection is a lively reel by a fiddler named Patrick Bonner recorded on Beaver Island, Michigan in 1938.

Now, Alan Lomax’s hundreds of Michigan recordings are being presented in a traveling exhibition from Michigan State University. It’s called Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression.

Read more
Stateside
10:15 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The history of Halloween in Michigan

Flickr user Terry.Tyson Flickr

 You drive around most neighborhoods these days and there is absolutely no doubt we love Halloween.

Once upon a time, you carved a pumpkin, popped in a candle and put it on your porch to greet trick or treaters.

Now, homes are decked out with giant webs and big spiders, ghouls and witches, and don't forget the lights. Halloween is now second only to Christmas for consumer spending.

Just when and where did this all begin? And how far back does Halloween go here in Michigan?

We turn to historian and contributor to the Detroit News Bill Loomis for the answers. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:06 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Michigan author publishes new collection of short stories

Donald Lystra
Facebook

Short stories are in the spotlight in the literary world after Canadian writer Alice Munro recently won the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature. She's widely considered to be the "master of the short story."

The Michigan writer Donald Lystra is just out with his collection of short stories called "Something That Feels Like Truth."

Donald Lystra is an engineer who turned to writing later in life. His debut novel "Season of Water and Ice" won the Midwest Book Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award.

Donald Lystra joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Father-daughter duo embark on new adventure — starting a band

Emily and San Slomovits
Arbor Web Arbor Web

An interview with San and Emily Slomovits.

Traditional wisdom has it that kids aren’t especially into their parents’ music.

But that’s not the case for Sandor and Emily Slomovits of Ann Arbor. Just this year Emily released an album with her father San, “Innocent When You Dream.”

The daughter-dad duo has been making the rounds, sharing the stage at venues like The Ark in Ann Arbor.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:00 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

The surprising history of the restaurant menu

A table at a restaurant.
user Biodun themedicalhealthplus.com

The surprising history of the restaurant menu

We've started noticing something when we've been going out to eat.

These days, instead of handing out a menu in the traditional plastic-coated paper, some restaurants are handing us iPads.

Chili's Grill and Bar has been testing tablets that allow diners to order their drinks, desserts and pay the bill without having to flag down a waiter. It's been so successful in the 180 or so test restaurants that the company plans to install tablet menus at most of its 1,266 restaurants in the United States.

In Ann Arbor, the Real Seafood Company recently began using tablet menus.

And that got us wondering about menus and going out to eat. What does the way a society eats at restaurants say about us?

Listen to full interview above.

Stateside
5:10 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Midtown Detroit woman is turning graffiti into jewelry

These pendants were made from Detroit graffiti.
Facebook

"Defiant jewelry with a purpose!"

That's the slogan for a unique jewelry business that launched in the Midtown area of Detroit.

It's called Rebel Nell.

The goal? To turn actual pieces of graffiti found on the ground into jewelry. The company is hiring disadvantaged women, hoping to give them a hand-up from poverty and dependence.

Amy Peterson is a co-founder of Rebel Nell. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:26 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Efforts to save the histotric Willow Run bomber plant continue

The Wilow Run Factory was built in 5 months, and at the height of production during WWII, it was producing one B-24 bomber every hour.
U.S. Army Signal Corps

The Yankee Air Museum has been given more time as it tries to save part of an historic factory.

The former Willow Run Bomber plant in Ypsilanti is where Rosie the Riveter built B-24s during World War Two.

Dennis Norton is Chairman of the Yankee Air Museum, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun October 27, 2013

The changing meanings of 'nice' and 'silly'

Sometimes saying something or someone is nice is not a compliment.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the words nice and silly, and how their meanings have changed over time.

Although the word nice tends to be a compliment today, this wasn’t true during the 14th century. Originally, nice was borrowed from French, meaning silly or foolish. Years later, nice meant dissolute or extravagant in dress. From there, the word went on to mean finely dressed or precise about looks. And then, precise about looks changed to precise about reputation.

As time goes on, nice meant something like  to have a refined taste. From here, the positive connotations continued with the idea of being cultured, respectable and agreeable. Finally, after this confusing history, nice remains a term of approval today.  

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:15 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

ArtPod talks fashion, fat, and freaky art

One of the burlesque dancers at Theatre Bizarre.
Kate Wells Michigan Radio

At ArtPod, we love a good party. 

If that party also happens to be a jaw-dropping, massive immersive art experience (and did we mention semi-naked people?) with more than 2,000 attendees, some 350 performers, and crazy burlesque, then we really love it.

So grab a cocktail and let us take you inside Theatre Bizarre, the annual masquerade in Detroit's Masonic Temple that draws thousands of people and global attention each year.  

Read more
Stateside
3:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

The Gay Christian Network's founder spreads his message to Michigan

Justin Lee
Wikipedia

"Let's agree to disagree, and then find ways to be witnesses for Christ together."

That is the message of the Gay Christian Network, which calls itself the nation's "largest interdenominational LGBT Christian organization."

The founder of the Gay Christian Network is Justin Lee. He's in West Michigan this week, one of the most "religiously conservative" areas of the state. Last night he spoke at Calvin College and this Friday he will speak at the "Room For All" National Conference at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

Justin Lee joined us on Wednesday today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
3:59 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

What's the 'fat bias,' and do we see it in Michigan?

Melissa McCarthy on the cover of Elle.
Elle Magazine. Elle

An interview with Amanda Levitt.

There was a bit of a stir recently when Elle Magazine came out with its annual "Women in Hollywood” issue.

Four covers were shot with four different stars: Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Penelope Cruz and Melissa McCarthy.

Witherspoon wore a fitted black dress, Woodley wore a swimsuit and Cruz recently gave birth to her second baby, so hers was a close-up face shot. Curvy, full-figured McCarthy was swathed and bundled up in a big coat.

That led to criticism that McCarthy was covered up because she's full-figured — though it should be noted that Melissa McCarthy herself said she was glad to be a part of the cover.

But it does raise the issue of society's attitudes toward overweight or obese people.

35% of the population of Michigan is considered to be overweight, so it’s an issue that affects many in our state.

Is there a bias towards fat people that would not be tolerated elsewhere?

Joining us is Amanda Levitt, a graduate student at Wayne State University. Levitt writes the blog Fat Body Politics.

Listen to the full interview above.

Culture
11:58 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Part of Willow Run bomber plant will be open to the public Saturday

The Wilow Run Factory was built in 5 months, and at the height of production during WWII, it was producing one B-24 bomber every hour.
U.S. Army Signal Corps

A group organized by the Yankee Air Museum has been trying to save part of the historic bomber plant from demolition.

The group says it has raised $5.25 million and needs to $2.75 million more by November 1 to meet the goal.

As part of their "Save the Bomber Plant" campaign, Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press reports that part of the bomber plant will be open to the public this Saturday.

It's a chance for the  public to see the plant one last time before demolition begins.

Read more
Stateside
4:02 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

The University of Michigan was selected for the 'Gershwin Initiative'

George Gershwin
Flickr user hto2008 Flickr

That's George Gershwin himself at the piano, playing his 1924 composition "Rhapsody in Blue."

As important as George Gershwin and his brother Ira are to the history of American music, there has never been a definitive edition of their joint body of work.

That is about to change.

The entire music world sat up and took great notice of the announcement that the Gershwin family and the University of Michigan have formed a partnership called "The Gershwin Initiative" that will ultimately bring Gershwin's music to students and audiences around the world.

Mark Clague is Associate Professor of Musicology at the U of M School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and he will be the editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
10:45 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Sex, art and carnies: Detroit's Theatre Bizarre

Walking into Theatre Bizarre, this guy is there to greet you.
Kate Wells Michigan Radio

Whips and punk rock and burlesque. It's better with sound.

This past weekend, more than 2,000 people in Detroit attended the annual, one-night-only masquerade called Theatre Bizarre.

The event transforms the city’s Masonic Temple into a dream world of S&M, punk rock, grandmothers in leather and carnival sideshows.

Read more
That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Veni, vidi, vici: How Latin can help students conquer the SAT

The verbal section of the SAT focuses on English words, but studying Latin and Greek can help students prepare for the test.

On this edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor of English Anne Curzan discuss the origins of academic language in English.

Before the Renaissance, English was considered a rude and unworthy language compared to Latin and French. However, when perceptions of English changed the language needed to adapt.

“People decided English could and should be used for registers like scientific writing, medical writing and high literature,” Curzan explains. To handle these academic registers, English borrowed words from Latin and Greek.  

Read more

Pages