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

Posts tagged ‘Cinematic Titanic’

Pure Michigan Tweet-Up Part IV

As promised, here is the final chapter in my riveting travel saga. Even though India Arie is a 21st century artist, she was born in the 70’s so I decided it counts! Plus I have a total girl crush on her. I picked the song “Little Things” because I want to talk about a couple of little things that made me smile in Michigan.

I am absent minded. Again, it is part of my charm. I’ve never burnt anything down or blown anything up with my forgetfulness but I did once take off on a road trip without any shoes. That should give you some idea of just how “charming” I am. One thing I almost never seem to forget is my camera. I have lugged it to nearly every nerd gathering I’ve been to for the past 2-3 years and I have yet to snap a single photo. A couple other people have snapped pics on my camera for me (usually with disatrous results) but I haven’t taken one… until now. Were they photos of the fantastic friends I met along the way? Why no of course not! Were they photos of the stars of the fantastic show I saw? Don’t be silly. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you the two photos that I, the right Reverend (yes, really a reverend) Beautiful O. Mind, took during the Detroit Tweet-up:

First up, this beauty from the night table in my hotel room:

It’s a No-Smoking ashtray. That’s right, a No-Smoking  ASHTRAY! It just… I can’t… huh?


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Riddle: What kind of garden is still fragrant and beautiful in February in Michigan?

I bought two ridiculously expensive truffles and savored them a nibble at a time all the way home.  I am now of the opinion that all of life’s journeys should end with expensive chocolate. Look for my self help book with the same title out next Fall.

Pure Michigan Tweet-Up Report Part III

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.”

Another Opening Another Show

Part 3: The Show

Long story short: After a fantastic dinner we all went to see Cinematic Titanic! After the show everyone went back to the hotel, got properly hammered, and had a blast. Everyone except me. I went to bed sober and hours before anyone else because apparently I am 80 years old and Amish.

Cinematic Titanic is a spoken word comedy show so, of course, I had to go with this video:

We got seated just as the show was starting and saw that Gruber, their usual opening act, was missing from the line up. But the rest of the crew ably handled the warm up of course. We had hilarious comedy from Frank along with this beautiful song of Christmas cheer:

We had great music from Josh, readings from Trace and Mary Jo from Trace’s book “Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children” and magic from Joel! Then this happened which got everyone excited:

Then the movie started. It was called “Rattlers” and it was pretty terrible as one might expect but the gang made it hilarious. I thought the riffers were a bit quiet in some places but where they were joking they were firing on all four cylinders!

After the show came the meet and greet. Joel was first in line and he recognized me right away. I go to a lot of  these shows so that’s not surprising. Then Trace who told me how my daughter’s comment about his book made his day and how he might like to use it for promos. I thought that was cool. Then J Elvis who I forgot to tell that I enjoyed his song! Then Mary Jo asked me about my adoption (how the heck she knew I have no idea but how cool is that??).

Last in line was Frank who looks like he’s been losing weight. I wonder if that man ever has a bad hair day. I bet he just wakes up in the morning looking all coiffed and perfect like that. Anyway I asked him about his dad. Frank’s father was a journalist and he rubbed elbows with some very powerful people so I asked Frank if his dad had ever shared stories. The answer was no. Frank says his dad was pretty sick when he (Frank) was a kid so not much into sharing. Seems to me Frank’s dad’s life would make one hell of a great book though I forgot to mention that to Frank. Ah well, it’s something to talk about next time.

I think I was the only one bright eyed and bushy tailed for the brunch on Sunday morning. The rest of us were a bit bleery eyed and green around the gills. Some of us didn’t make it at all. Still it was a great capper to a really fun weekend with friends. I can’t wait until next time!

Ann Arbor Trip Report

Top 5 Reasons Why My Fateful Trip To The CT Show Sucked:

1. I forgot my shoes. I don’t mean I forgot to bring that perfect pair to match my outfit. I mean I left my home completely unshod. There were no shoes in my luggage, in my car, or on my person. No shoes people, NONE! (There actually is a semi logical explanation but I think I’ll just present the goofy facts and let the reader come up with her/his own wild story.)

2. The rental place was two hours late getting me my car. Well actually an hour and forty-five minutes since I spent fifteen of those minutes buying a freakin’ pair of shoes.

3. I had to spend the whole trip hunting for radio stations because the “Sounds Of Detroit” CD box set I bought was full of badly recorded live versions and bizarre remixes. Techno “Tears Of A Clown?” Ew!

4. Outside of rush hour and outside of Chicago, I ran into a traffic jam that ran into two states! Do you know what was at the end of it? Can you guess? Three freakin’ orange cones and one flashing light. That was it. Gah! Why can’t people just GO?!

5. Stupid late car plus stupid long traffic jam made me completely miss the Friday night dinner with all my CT show friends. There was great conversation and laughter and gooey fistfuls of Stilton cheese and I wasn’t there!

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Top 10 Reasons Why The CT Show Was Awesome:

1. I did finally catch up with and hug all of my CT show buddies! The Titans put on a hell of a funny show, no doubt about it. But what keeps me coming back again and again are the friends I make at these shows. Nerds are so cool!

2. The opening act:
-Gruber’s lip syncing shadow puppets!
-Mary Jo reads teh Wikipedia like no one can
-Trace Beaulieu, DVD super model deserves a Vulcan high five!
-Anatomical geography lessons from Gruber. Show us Florida!
-Intros from Joel mean it’s time to start the show!

3. “East Meets Watts” live hurt me with funny. I have the hilarious DVD but it was double awesome live! I love that the way the riffs keep changing slightly to stay topical. They also added MST callbacks to pander to us like we like it. “Rock climbing Joel. Rock climbing.”

4. The audience was awesome! If it wasn’t sold out it was pretty darn full and they came ready to laugh. It was also the most diverse crowd I’d ever seen at a CT show. I rarely see kids at these things but there were quite a few at the early show. I noticed that the riffs were a bit more “family friendly” at the early show this time around too. I don’t know whose idea that was but I liked it.

5. Mid-show visits with friends. It was a big full theater which is happy news for Titans! But it also meant us two show ticket holders were only allowed to go through the receiving line once. But I didn’t feel the least bit deprived. I got some extra signatures on my CT fan shirt and I got to gab with some of the warmest, funniest, friendliest people you’re ever likely to meet and I get to call them friends. I am a lucky woman.

6. The second show opening act.
-The Clown Song and WADD radio. Gruber and Josh really do have excellent
singing voices.
-“Convoluted Man” killed! I love it when that happens.
-Gruber raps to Al Stewart’s “The Year Of The Cat.” I love you Gruber.
That is all.

7. “The Oozing Skull” hurt me with funny. I loved the riff changes they made. It was my second favorite movie of the evening but I was still cracking up through the whole thing. No more “family friendly” at this show. It was grown-up time and I liked that very much too!

8. Post show chatting with Gruber. I got to take two pics with him. He wanted one more with us fake laughing which would have been awesome but unfortunately I think the time just got away from us. Ah well, there’s always the November show if he’s still interested in that sort of thing. Apparently you never know with Gruber!

9. Post show chatting with Titans!
-I lamented to Josh that I still had no photographic evidence that I’d ever met any of them.
-I made Frank laugh! Well okay it was a courtesy chuckle. My comment wasn’t that funny. But still! He has a great smile and I like that I made it happen.
-Mary Jo thanked me for coming to the show. She was gracious as always
-Brief but nice chat with both Trace and Joel about my town and its TV stations and the now defunct Time Museum.
-These guys are all absolutely awesome and I can’t emphasize that enough!

10. Closing down the joint yammering with friends. We stood around gabbing so long that the autograph line finally ended. I accosted the poor tired Titans as they were leaving and finally, on the 5th try, I have a picture of myself with the whole CT gang! It’s glaucoma blurry but by God everyone is visible so it’s posted on Facebook! It took us a further hour to say “goodbye” to each other outside the theater but we finally did manage to call it a night!
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(If you know me at all you knew there’d be tap dancing before this post was over.)

Top 3 Reasons My Friends Rock:

1. They will make a tired, hungry house guest an egg sandwich at 3 am when she didn’t have any dinner plus stay up and chat plus supply sacks full of snacks for the long road trip home. Yummy!

2. They share their home with 6 gorgeous PUMA sized kitties. Many of them were gracious enough to allow me to scratch their ears and bellies. There’s nothing like the seal of approval from the real owners of the house.

3. Reconnecting with warm, wonderful friends and cementing bonds forged during another fantastic trip to another CT show. (Don’tcha love it when stuff comes full circle?)

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Top 1 Reason I’m Glad I Stayed For Breakfast The Next Day:

1. Not even the constant shower of poop from angry squirrels could dampen the great time with all my fabulous friends. Thanks for a fun post-birthday celebration guys!

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