Party on, fly off 

START YOUR ENGINES

This Thanksgiving eve, annually hyped as a bar night of Brobdingnagian proportions, you might consider these off-the-cuff suggestions for your weekend planning.

First, head downtown tonight, as there's nothing better than the late-night parade preview that occurs when they close off Woodward. It's much better then dragging your sorry ass out of bed in the chilly morning. Even better, it gives you an excuse to sleep in late on Thanksgiving Day -- dinner should be ready by the time you dust the cobwebs off your cerebellum.

Get a good table at the Majestic, Blue Moon or Union Street, and watch the fun whiz by. Or stroll over to the Gold Dollar and check out the tripleheader featuring The Go, Poopy Time and Fez.

Inside the Majestic Theater, the Articles, the Immigrant Suns and Spyradio will hold forth on stage.

As an added bonus, Woodward is completely closed to traffic, thereby ensuring a safe and sensible post-2 a.m. Drunken Village street dance.

Another option is Hamtramck's Lush, where the ladies of Stun Gun will put on a super-special midnight show for all their fans and bodyguards.

On Saturday night, after you've awakened from your tryptophan-induced coma, shake off that lethargy with the annual, one-night-only appearance by Detroit's own version of Hanson, Harry Chronic Jr.

That's right, the brothers Echlin will perform upstairs at Jacoby's on Saturday night, with potential guest appearances from Cheap Trick, who'll be strutting about next door for a three-night stint at St. Andrew's. One gets shivers just thinking about it.

IO DINE

Bubbling up in the polka dot wake left by the first temporary C-Pop space at 1529 Broadway is Io, an all-ages live music venue/coffee space/restaurant.

Currently open intermittently for shows, the cafe is looking to establish regular daily business hours (open early, close late). According to Io-phile Rob Moon, the menu, which will be ironed out by the end of the year, focuses on "multicultural" gourmet deli fare, centering around healthy (read: predominantly vegetarian) sandwiches and salads.

Entertainment will focus on "avant-garde, energetic, exciting music" (e.g. ambient-organic-fuxan-drum-grooves).

Io wants to sort of pick up where places like Zoot's left off, covering your basic indie elements: Space, noise, garage, math, techno/house and anything in between. For more info/booking, contact robmoon@concentric.net.

A FAREWELL TO FLIES

Ah yes, it has come to this. My long-winded and winding journey down the yellow-journalism brick road has come to a close. I'm afraid my babbling brook of insipid drivel has at long last run dry.

It is with the most heaviest of hearts that I hereby resign my Fly-strip here at the Metro Times, effective immediately. (Actually, I'm a freelancer, so there really is no strip to resign ... but never mind all that ... one needs the melodrama.)

No, this isn't another April Fool's joke. This time it's the real deal, the big kahuna, the mother of all pearls.

Parting is inevitably painful ... like an unwanted amputation. But lingering around can be even more uncomfortable and gangrenous. Thus, the muckraking rumor-mongering antics of a professional freeloader and unrepentant namedropper must at some point come to a close. I have now reached that point.

For all of you outraged readers who felt maligned, denigrated, slammed or otherwise vilified in this column, please rest assured that I meant every word of it and it was undoubtedly and undeniably true.

For all of you bands, artists, entertainers or other assorted charlatans who felt I ignored your repeated e-mails, faxes and letters requesting complimentary publicity/puffery, please be advised that although I regret the oversight ... well, to tell you the truth, I really don't care. I just can't write about everybody (and besides, I have to write about my friends first).

For all of those party planners and benefactors who plied me with free beverages and fed me delicious edibles, don't scratch my name off that list just yet. I'll still be lurking around somewhere ... just not in this particular space on a weekly basis.

For all of you thin-skinned, knee-jerk alarmist readers who have ever taken me literally, let alone oh-so-seriously, please know that this is just one sarcastic voice in the city. Take it with the proverbial grain of rock salt in your open wound, unless of course I was critiquing the Detroit city government, Royal Oak, local rock stars, or any other hapless bureaucrats or ever-present local megalomaniacs who are so deserving of a healthy dose of "constructive" criticism and pointed needling.

Thank you to the MT for the spleen-venting opportunity to babble on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, however, the powers that be have deemed that there will be no replacement Fly. Regular readers of this column (all five of you), will have to find your fix somewhere else.

I certainly won't miss any of my colleagues at the Metro Times, mainly because, due to the magical wonders of e-mail, I was hardly ever there. Thus, the bonding sessions of colorful newsroom camaraderie and ink-stained bonhomie were effectively eliminated on my end. Hell, I hardly remember what the editor looks like, except, of course, when I'm trying to pry a paycheck out of his cold clenched fist.

Regrets? I have a few ... but I can't remember them.

But more, much more than this ... I did it My Way. (Cue the bombastic music to drown out jeers and catcalls; segue into "Send in the Clowns.")

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