On August 10, [https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/sustainablefoodsystems/2016/03/09/march-fac…|S. Margot Finn] spoke at Literati about her new book, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1513734|Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution]. Her book argues that over the last several decades, Americans have become interested in the way they eat as a result of class anxiety born from increasing income disparity between the middle class and the very wealthy. Finn says the professional and managerial class display their class status through food choices.
While I know Ann Arbor is a food town, I was surprised to find the event was standing room only. Maybe, though, I shouldn’t have been, considering the role food takes in so many areas of daily life, from sustenance and ritual to entertainment. And I suppose it's not a stretch that a town known both for dining and a liberal slant would show up for a book about food that mentions class anxiety in the subtitle.
Michigan singer-songwriter [http://mayerlewine.com|May Erlewine] is well known for her moving songwriting and expressive voice, generally showcased in a folk-country style with a slight pop edge. In recent months, though, she’s been working with more of a retro-soul sound -- and as everyone at Thursday’s [https://www.soniclunch.com|Sonic Lunch] saw and heard, the shift in style suits her very well.
“This winter, things got so bad I decided I had to have some dance parties to get through it,” she told the crowd. And that’s what she did Thursday, with her sharp six-piece band, The Motivations, playing an hour and a quarter of irresistible, infectious grooves in a mix of Erlewine originals and soul classics.
A video projection of Dolly Parton hovers over the Encore Theatre stage. The always charming country singer/songwriter plays host to Encore’s production of 9 to 5, a Broadway musical of the hit movie 1970s comedy starring Parton, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman.
Parton teases that what we are about to see took place in 1979, a time of disco music, no internet and less enlightened thinking.
Unfortunately, last year’s presidential campaign made it clear that issues of gender equality and sexual harassment are still alive and kicking. And 9 to still gets a lot of knowing laughter about a workplace culture skewed to male privilege.
Fans of Lyle Lovett know a solo concert by the great Texas troubadour will be a reliably good time. But a show by Lovett with his Large Band, a 12-member ensemble of brilliant musicians -- well, that’s a real occasion, an event not to be missed.
The reasons for that were on full display Friday night at the Michigan Theater, as Lovett and his Large Band entertained a sold-out house for two and a half hours, exploring any number of different musical styles and evoking a full range of emotions.
“We’re [http://therecordcompany.net|The Record Company], and we play rock-n-roll,” frontman Chris Vos said in opening and closing Thursday’s [https://www.soniclunch.com|Sonic Lunch] concert. He didn’t really need to say it, since any doubts about that would have been wiped out by the raucous and energetic hour of music in between.
Thursday’s show marked the [https://twitter.com/a2pulp/status/893149776086261761|public return of Martin Bandyke], popular local DJ for WQKL (107.1-FM) and longtime Sonic Lunch MC, who is recovering from recent heart surgery. Vos dedicated the show to him before the trio launched full force into the blues rocker “On the Move” -- one of the highlights of last year’s acclaimed and Grammy-nominated debut album, [https://play.spotify.com/album/2Rqva9thIdrhXv0VKSvgt3|Give It Back to You] -- with Vos punctuating his intense vocals with some equally intense harmonica lines. That led into their latest single, “Baby I’m Broken,” which if anything ramped up the energy level even further.
[a:Jaswal, Balli Kaur.|Balli Kaur Jaswal] was named Best Young Australian Novelist by [http://www.smh.com.au/|Sydney Morning Herald] for her hardcover debut, [b:1509928|Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows]. The book is set in the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh|Sikh] community of Greater London.
A great disappointment to her Punjabi immigrant family, a "westernized" Nikki Grewa tends bar at the local pub after dropping out of law school. She is bewildered that her sister Mindi, a nurse, is willing to try arranged marriage. While at the community center to post Mindi's dating profile, she impulsively answers an ad for a creative writing teacher.
The 2017 University of Michigan Alumni Exhibition [http://stamps.umich.edu/exhibitions/detail/2017_alumni_exhibition|Ambiguities/Innuendoes? Go Fish] features an eclectic collection of alumni works that engage, in varying capacities, with the terms “ambiguity” and “innuendo.” The annual exhibition allows STAMPS alumni to show their work. This year, work represented over 70 years of alumni from 1955 to 2016. This year, the exhibition featured juror Brian Kennedy, the president, director, and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art.
The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance's “[http://www.music.umich.edu/performances_events/sgt-pepper-symposium/ind…|Summit of Creativity: A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ of 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band']" drew experts from across the country in June to examine and analyze this timeless music with an academic panache typically reserved for the likes of Shakespeare, Gilgamesh, and radioisotopes.
By contrast, U-M musicologist Walter Everett’s 46-item exhibit 50th Anniversary of the Release of 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' is tidy in comparison to the sprawling analysis bestowed on The Beatles and this record in particular. Both the band and Sgt. Pepper's are now part of the firmament in our shared cultural and intellectual history, and they are now well worthy of deep study and scrutiny. But The Beatles certainly didn’t conceive the album with all that in mind.
The [http://www.annarborwomenartists.org/blog/2017-summer-juried-exhibit.html|2017 Ann Arbor Women Artists Summer Juried Exhibit] illustrates the diverse talent in the Ann Arbor area. Though the name implies this [https://www.facebook.com/annarborwomenartists|nonprofit organization] features women artists only, by 2008 the group included 10 men. The volunteer-run organization is now open to all artists 18 and older. Today, this local art group has over 300 members. In this year’s annual AAWA Juried exhibition, 46 artists have their work on display. The works represented are executed in a variety of media, both 2D and 3D.
The raucous atmosphere of [https://www.facebook.com/events/114351525868781|The School for Sausage] is evident even before the play starts -- one of the characters plays ukulele in the middle of the stage, other characters prance about to warm up, and the director tells you that because this is commedia dell’arte and you will never see this exact play ever again.