On Letterman’s Stage

David Letterman is retiring next year but performances like this serve as a reminder of his show’s ability to attract the best and brightest to his stage. Joseph Arthur delivers a moving rendition of Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side with help from Peter Buck and Mike Mills. It’s another performance in a long line of remarkable performances over the past 35 years associated with Letterman.

From the legendary 1984 Bob Dylan appearance with members of the Plugz to Warren Zevon’s farewell in 2002, Letterman’s show was always the smart choice for hip performers and fans alike.

May Stephen Colbert continue the rich tradition.

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Mustang Wendy’s | Harbor Springs, Michigan

Love ->Building on Fire, was the first piece of music released commercially by the Talking Heads back in 1977. It remains one of my favorite Heads tunes – hopeful, bouncy and oddly idealistic for David Byrne. It’s the song that came into my mind during a recent visit to Mustang Wendy’s, a new-ish breakfast and lunch spot in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Continue Reading →

Plath’s Meats | Michigan

It’s been awhile! Here’s a post from the old blog originally published 5 years ago that seems apt for another winter day.

Little known outside of Michigan, Plath’s is a multi generation family owned artisan meat smoking operation based in Rogers City.   Plath’s smokes whitefish, various cuts of pork and cures their own bacon and hams.  Their products blow away anything produced by Dearborn, Nueske’s and other more well known smoked meat purveyors.  This year they’re celebrating their 101st anniversary. Continue Reading →

Rainbow Trout Quandry

—Warning—
This post details a deep dive into obsessive gourmand territory.

Up here in northern Michigan we’ve hit what is commonly known as the shoulder season. The vibrant colored leaves of Fall are quickly piling up outside and the winds are beginning to bite. We’re about a month away from welcoming tourists and skiers back up north for the festive holiday period. These days, if I don’t hop in my car and make the 20 minute drive to Petoskey, I risk not seeing another human being all-day-long.

Time is life’s ultimate luxury item. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with some of it lately and what better way to enjoy some of that time than immersing yourself in a two day Rainbow Trout pickling project? Continue Reading →

Siren Hall | Elk Rapids, MI

I must have something for Auto Repair garages that have been converted into restaurants. After a fantastic 3 day sojurn near Beulah, Michigan, my trip north to Petoskey included a requisite stop at Burritt’s market in Traverse City before jumping on US 31 north along Grand Traverse Bay. Lunch seemed to be a good idea as I approached the hamlet of Elk Rapids.
Continue Reading →

A Logan Square Quest

There was an amusing article [Link] recently in the Chicago Reader outlining the history of hipster neighborhoods in Chicago. Somewhat controversial in nature and open for debate, the online article garnered an inordinate amount of derision as well as positive acknowledgment from many readers.

The latest hip neighborhood on the cusp is Logan Square, home to newly opened artisanal cocktail bars, gastro pubs and wine bars. Some may argue that Logan Square is now too popular and too gentrified to truly be deemed a hipster haven.  Continue Reading →

Adventureland

Adventureland owes a tip of the hat to Caddyshack, Risky Business, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and other ‘coming of age’ genre movies.  The film takes place circa 1987 when our hero, a brainy high school graduate, learns his parents aren’t going to bankroll his way into an Ivy League School.   Oh, and that summer before college train trek adventure through Europe is also off.  Continue Reading →

Yacht Rock’s Top 5 Hits

Decades ago there was a time when FM radio was king. The internet was still a dream and record stores turned a brisk business on every town corner in America. People of a certain age may recall a golden period between roughly 1976 and 1984 when the airwaves sparkled with finely crafted pop songs hellbent for number one on any given week. A group of artists came to be known collectively as the patrons of Yacht Rock. These artists docked a remarkable fleet of number one hits during that period.  Continue Reading →

This Lonely Morning | Best Coast

There she goes again. Bethany Cosentino has written another perfect pop song. Those familiar with Best Coast know the blueprint by now – fuzzed up surf rock guitars, a Ringo-esque back beat and Beth’s emotionally direct lyrics. Throw in a bit of the Ronettes with a dash of Brian Wilson and repeat. Continue Reading →

Nick Lowe | The Ark, Ann Arbor

“Despite a Government shutdown, the Syrian crisis and the end of summer, the Ark sails merrily along after 48 years,” quipped Nick Lowe Tuesday night after his first number. With his shock of white hair, black horn rimmed glasses and natty English trousers, Lowe resembled an English Lit professor moonlighting off campus instead of the guy who used to be known as the Jesus of Cool. Continue Reading →