Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

What’s that? You say you’re looking for a band to satisfy all your jazzy, bluesy, soft-rock needs? Look no further than Steely Dan, the gnarly band with the naughty name. I chose “Peg” to introduce the show portion of my report because of its references to pictures, names in lights, big debuts, and favorite foreign movies. Also, I really like the song.

I try to catch the good folks at Cinematic Titanic (CT) whenever they come through the midwest because they are hilarious! Also, all my favorite nerd buddies tend to gather there so it’s totally win-win! For those unfamiliar with CT, some of the folks from the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 have reunited to mock terrible movies in a live show. Yes, it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.

The warm-up showcases the individual talents of the performers. Mary Jo Pehl opened the festivities with some stand up then Frank Conniff came out and did some more comedy. They seem to have given Frank a bit more stage time for his stand-up act this year which is great. He was always funny but I definitely prefer this slightly longer set (I think ‘set’ is the right word). Next came the very funny Trace Beaulieu reading selected poems from his new book “Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children.” Follow the link to pick up a copy! Then came J Elvis Weinstein doing his fantastic Elvis Costello impersonation. Next came Joel Hodgson (he of little web presence) who did a fabulous magic trick! Finally J Elvis and Joel wound up the opener with a sing along of the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” theme song which was, of course, a real crowd pleaser. The best part about the opening act was the fact that they let folks record it! You can watch the opener for the second show on YouTube.

The stinky movies of the evening were “Alien Factor” and “Rattlers.” I’d seen the both before but they always change the jokes up a bit to make things more topical or replace jokes that didn’t work. They get funnier every time you see them. The second look at “Rattlers” was especially helpful because the first time I saw it I think there must have been something wrong with either the copy of the film or the projector because large sections of the movie were completely black. This time I could see the whole thing in all its crappy glory!

After each movie the Cinematic Titans do a meet and greet for the fans. You can shake hands and get stuff signed and take pictures with the cast. I’ve been to so many of these shows they know me by name. I had planned to go through the receiving line twice. Once just to say ‘Hi” then again to ask a couple of questions. I wanted to ask Frank how he became a jazz fan and I also wanted to know what got Joel interested in magic. I went through the line after the first show and said my howdy but, unfortunately, I was cross-eyed tired by the end of the second movie so I didn’t feel up to standing in the line twice. Instead I spent the rest of my energy gabbing more with the fantabulous crowd I came with. I even got to talk with the dear and charming RAD, hubby to Mary Jo. None of us wanted the evening to end but I was getting too tired to stand and I still had a short drive back to the hotel. We all reluctantly said goodnight and thus ended our fantastic Detroit Tweet-up adventure. But wait! There’s more! Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion modestly titled “Tweet-up: The Journey Home.”

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