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September 17, 2009 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-17

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3B - Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

3B - Thursday, September17, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Bimbos and douches
and assholes. Oh my!

r

SAADI AND UP HILL PRODUCTIONS

Laith al-Saadi and Jill Jack were two of the many artists showcased at this summer's Sonic Lunch series

A satisfying Lunch

Local concert series just
capped off a successful
summer of music
By MIKE KUNTZ
Daily Arts Writer
Everyone loves food, music and free
stuff. It's a rare happening when a local
event combines all three, even more so
in an inviting, engaging and communal
way. Sonic Lunch, a free concert series
in downtown Ann Arbor, did just this
over the past summer - and with tre-
mendous results.
Held every Thursday afternoon from
the first week in June to the second week
of September in Liberty Plaza (the park
at the corner of Liberty and Division),
the event brought together an assorted
mix of local music and cuisine. Perform-
ers played on a stage in the middle of the
park while local restaurants set up shop
in the square.
Musicians ranged from veteran per-
formers to up-and-coming locals. The
Sonic Lunch lineup this year included
The Macpodz, The Ragbirds, Jill Jack,
Tumbao Bravo, Laith al-Saadi, Shout
Sister Shout and several others.
The concert series's genesis began
three years ago as the brainchild of
local entrepreneurs and music aficio-
nados Hal Davis and Michael Cole, who
sought to make an informal music series
with an emphasis on local culture. After
gaining corporate sponsorship and rec-
ognition from Bank of Ann Arbor, the
Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce and
local radio station 107one, the event
known as Sonic Lunch was born.
"It's like a Concert in the Park series
- something you might see anywhere,"
said Erin Zindle, lead singer, songwrit-
er and multi-instrumentalist of The
Ragbirds. "But in a town as culturally
vibrant as Ann Arbor, it makes for some-
thing completely different."
The Ragbirds, originally from Ann
Arbor, play a blend of traditional and
contemporary folk with a Celtic lean.
They have strong ties to the local com-
munity - the record release for their-
newest album, Finally Almost Ready, is
scheduled at the Blind Pig on Sept. 25.
"There's a very wide spectrum of
bands here, and you can really see it
at an event like Sonic Lunch," Zindle
explained. The event paired The Rag-
I. '.

birds with acts like experimental rock-
ers The Macpodz, which made for an
eclectic mix of local music from all
tastes and persuasions over the course
of the summer.
The Ragbirds have been playing at
the event since it began, and have seen
the stylistic breadth of the performers,
as well as their own audience, grow
steadily each time.
"Sometimes as much as a couple hun-
dred people will show up," she contin-
ued. "People bring lawn chairs, and kids
are always dancing around the park. Of
course, I'm sure having free food helps,
too."
Local restaurants and food chains
were involved with Sonic Lunch in a
major way, offering giveaways, T-shirts
and gift certificates each week. Pass-
ers-by were often just as enticed by the
music, which was audible from blocks
away, as they were by the food. Magnet-
ic emcee and local DJ Martin Bandyke,
was also part of the mix.
Bandyke is most commonly recog-
nized as the morningDJ on Ann Arbor's
107one and for his weekly eclectic music
program Fine Tunings. It's his wealth
of music knowledge and genuine inter-
est in the local scene, however, that
make him endearing to so many. Sonic
Lunch employed his charisma and deep
roots in the local scene to introduce this
year's performances, adding further
color to an event already ringing with
local flair.
Bandyke also had a central role in
choosing this summer's lineup, a task
few in the area are more qualified to do.
His fostering of bands like The Ragbirds
and The Macpodz from early on in their
careers made them easy picks for the
event, showing just how close-knit and
supportive the Ann Arbor musical com-
munity can be.
Kari Fedewa, the marketing offi-
cer for the Bank of Ann Arbor and the
event's title sponsor explained just how
crucial Bandyke's role was in creating
a comfortable atmosphere for both the
audience and performers.
"He's kind of a local legend around
here, between the radio and his involve-
ment with local music," she said. "We
were lucky to have him this year."
Fedewa and other event organizers
made a big push with social network-
ing for this summer's series, offering
updates through Facebook, MySpace
and Twitter. She was glad to see audi-

ences increase as a result.
"I was surprised that people some-
times drove an hour or two to come this
year," she said. "The social network-
ing sites made a huge difference. We're
always learning how to best get the
word out to everybody."
Plagued by rain over the course of
the summer, several events had to be
rescheduled, pushing the series into
September. Michigan folk troubadour
Jill Jack was the last artist to play, clos-
ing out the series on Sept. 10. Despite
the rain, this summer's series was
markedly more attended than in previ-
ous years.
"The attendance was up, particularly
in the beginning," Fedewa explained. "A
rain-out in the second week maybe hurt
momentum a little bit, but audiences
were still pretty strong throughout the
summer."
While social networking and radio
plugs certainly spearheaded the mar-
keting campaigns for the event, getting
the word out on the street was just as
much of a focus for Sonic Lunch's orga-
nizers. With ad posters taped to tele-
phone poles and coffee shop bulletin
boards throughout the city as well as
local sidewalk chalk artists stenciling
"Sonic Lunch" logos up and down Lib-
erty, Sonic Lunch is certainly aiming to
make its presence known.
Fedewa foresees the event grow-
ing even more in the future, and next
summer she aims to attract even big-
ger names and audiences. This time
around, the social networking sites are
still being used to gather feedback from
Lunch-goers this past summer, and the
sites are open to taking suggestions for
next summer's performers.
When asked if Sonic Lunch is at a
disadvantage because its smaller venue
can't cater to more high-profile artists
and an increasing audience, Fedewa
didn't seem too concerned. After a
summer of great music, great food and
enthusiastic audiences, she shouldn't
be.
"Its central spot between State and
Main is really an ideal location," she
said. "I think we're going to be staying
here for a while."
And hopefully they will be. The Sonic
Lunch series was an unquestionable
success this summer, and those in Ann
Arbor in the summer of 2010 should
have an even juicier series to look for-
ward to.

J fyParis Hilton's quest for her BFF isn't
satisfying your craving for celebrity-
centered "reality" tube trash, don't
fret. There's a whole
lot more where that
came from. Jessica
Simpson - recent Tony
Romo dumpee, Razzie- S
nominated actress and
occasional country
singer - is reportedly L
going to rebound from SASHA
her recent breakup with RESENDE
yet another vapid real-
ity vehicle.
The show, tentatively titled "The Price
of Beauty," will air on VH and will follow
Simpson as she explores the world to gain
a deeper understanding of what beauty
means across different cultures. It's a cute
idea, especially consideringthe fact that
Simpson has recently been trashed by the
tabloids for her supposed weight gain.
Hopefully the renowned ditz will wow her
audience with a new slew of catch phrases
philosophizing on the origins of canned
tuna.
If JSimp is a little too clean-cut for your
tastes, then you may be interested in the
show that famed Hollywood trainwreck
Lindsay Lohan is supposedly hawking.
UK's Mirror recently reported that LiLo
is approaching Britney Spears's manager
with hopes to sell the concept for a real-
ity TV show that will, in the words of the
source who leaked the item, "encapsulate
her trials and tribulations as she gets back
on her feet and actually becomes a work-
ing actress again." Good luck with that,
LiLo. Hopefully L.A.'s rehab centers have
lax camera crew restrictions after she
comes down with another case of extreme
"exhaustion."
Speaking of actresses everyone loves
to hate (or hates to love, depending on
personal preference), Megan Fox - the
famed Hollywood intellectual known for
such gems as "If you eat Chinese food,
your farts come out like Chinese food. If
you eat Mexican food, your farts come
out like Mexican food," - is back spewing
vapid word-vomit across glossy maga-
zines. Now that she's successfully proven
her "talents" as a demonic high school sex
vixen in Diablo Cody's upcoming "Jenni-
fer's Body" - as opposed to her standard
role as mere non-demonic high school
sex vixen - Fox thinks it's time to shit all
over director Michael Bay and his "Trans-
formers" empire, which helped place the
silicone siren on the nation's radar in the
first place.
In a recent interview, Fox referred to
Bay as "Hitler," and went on to ridicule
the director by saying that when "he's not
in director mode, I kind of really enjoy
his personality because he's so awkward,
so hopelessly awkward. He has no social
skills at all." First of all, LOL. It makes far
too much sense that the creator of such
epic blockbusters as "Pearl Harbor" and
"Armageddon" would have next to no
social skills.
In response to Fox's hilarious allega-
tions, a group of three "Transformers"
crew members - who, let's admit it, were
probably comprised of Bay himself, along
with a lowly production assistant or two
- published a public hate letter to Fox on
Bay's own website, thus igniting a classic
flame war between a big-mouthed Hol-
lywood bimbo and a nerd squad of film
techies.
Say what you will about Fox's propen-
sity for feedingridiculous quotes to the
press and her self-conscious attempts
to mold herself into America's Next Big
Sex Symbol, but she never ceases to bea

delightful spectacle. It isn't hard tocome
out on top when you're up against the
nerdy director of big-budget, no-brain
summer fanfare.
Speaking of pointless-yet-entertaining
online disputes, Twitter is slowlyturn-
ing into celebritards' primary haunt for
airing their personal grievances. Who
cares whether or not Twitter is actually
relevant? Celebrities are just happy there
is finally a platform that accommodates
their narcissism by allowing them to proj-
ect well-crafted beads of wisdom into 140
characters or less.
The latest high-profile bitch fight
comes courtesy of the much-hated King
of Celebrity Trash Talk Perez Hilton, who
managed to royally piss off Demi Moore
by linking to photos via Twitter of Moore's
15-year-old daughter Tallulah Willis
wearing a revealing top while out party-
ing. Hilton accused Moore of being an
inept mother, while Moore tweeted back
accusing Hilton of hawking child porn.
Regardless of who came out looking better
in the skirmish (because there truly are no
winners in a Twitter tussle), one thing is
clear: We have entered a brave new world
of celebrity ego battles. Prepare for this to
become a regular occurrence.
Of course, anysynopsis of the world
of celebrity pseudo-drama would be
incomplete without a proper salute to the
King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. In
the days and weeks following Jackson's
early demise, an awful lot of ugliness has
emerged about Jackson's personal demons
and his family's non-existent integrity.
Let me just say that if you need to pay a
doctor $150,000 per month to illegally
inject you with a powerful anesthetic to
sleep at night, then I honestly feel for your
Celebrities want to
speak their minds. If
oniy they had them.
tortured soul and the terrible pain from
which you were trying to escape.
To keep from ending on a downer, let's
turn our attention to something every-
body has been buzzing about lately: VMAs
drama! Even if you outgrew your taste for
MTV-approved award ceremonies, you
only needed to monitor your Facebook
status or Twitter feed to come away with
a few key points. One: Kanye's a douche.
Two: Gaga's insane. Three: Beyonce is
a hero. After Kanye West succeeded in
stroking his overly engorged ego by steal-
ing the mic from teenage country singer
Taylor Swift as she accepted her award for
Best Female Video, West proceeded to blog
a booze-tinged half-assed apology.
Unfortunately, he hasn't learned to
turn off the caps key on his MacBook
Air since his last drunken outburst fol-
lowing his controversial 2008 Bonnaroo
performance. Kanye clearly laments his
poor decision: "I WILL APOLOGIZE TO
TAYLOR 2MRW. WELCOME TO THE
REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA
BOOOOO ME BUT I'M A FAN OF REAL
POP CULTURE!!! NO DISRESPECT BUT
WE WATCHIN' THE SHOW AT THE
CRIB RIGHT NOW CAUSE ...WELL YOU
KNOW!!!!"
Oh, celebrities. How you never cease to
keep me entertained.
Resende likes to write her columns
in all caps. Tell her why she shouldn't
at sresende@umich.edu.

YARR, IF YE BE THE SPECIFIC KIND O' LAND-
LUBBER THAT ALSO BE A THEATER-LUBBER,
WRITE FOR.FINE ARTS, MATEY!
For an application,
E-mail battlebots@umich.edu

A

"PLEEZ FORGIVE MEll IT'SjIlARD BEING DA BEST ARTIST(OF ALLTYME!!!!!! MUST RI

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