The King and glitterballs


Seeing as being sprayed head-to-toe with Faygo just isn’t my idea of a good time, I decided to skip the Insane Clown Posse’s Gathering of the Juggalos convention at the Novi Expo Center. Instead, I opted for an event that still involved a lot of theatrics, silly costumes and just plain weirdness: the first-ever Elvis Festival in Ypsilanti.

The festival, held in the Historic Depot Town, involved a classic-car show, Elvis karaoke, Elvis memorabilia, food (no fried peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, however) and a whole mess of Elvis impersonators, or “Elvis tribute artists” as they prefer to be called.

Of course what would an Elvis fest be without an Elvis-ordained wedding? The brand-new Mr. and Mrs. David and Michelle Miller tied the knot in scenic Riverside Park, as impersonator ... er, tribute artist Fred Wolf sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Aw.

And no, the groom did not have blue suede shoes.

The performing Elvii were certainly diverse — in addition to fat ones and skinny ones, there was a Korean Elvis and a miniature ... er, vertically challenged tribute artist — a 6-year-old whose sideburns and sunglasses weighed almost as much as he did.

Since I’m equipped with an internal homing device for hot greaser boys, I immediately spotted Marcel Nistor, Mike Salamon and brothers Dave and Damian Ward. This group of slicked-up cuties was being bombarded with requests for photo ops by festivalgoers — so naturally, they started charging one beer per photo. Lucky for me, they gave me their best tough guy poses free of charge.

Swing dance instructors Wes Brockbank and Kat Reynolds were also on hand — this couple teaches every Sunday at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, and can often be spotted around the Detroit area tearing up the dance floor, with Reynolds being tossed about in all sorts of elaborate flips that make my head spin.


Take the gothgrrls bowling, take them bowling ... Saturday evening was the prebirthday celebration of the graphic-designing, Macintosh-loving, bass-playing Tiffany Holtzkemper. This princess of pink and punk rock is the founder of gothgrrls, an e-list devoted to girlie talk for fab chicks, both goth and nongoth.

Several of the list members came out for a bowling birthday party at the always amusingly eclectic Garden Bowl in the Majestic Complex.

Holtzkemper, on the arm of boyfriend Will Tarkington, was decked to the nines in the coolest bowling outfit ever — a poofy tulle ball gown skirt with a bustier that even matched her rented bowling shoes; the gothgrrls really know how to accessorize.

Also immaculately coordinated was vocal coach extraordinaire Elyse Reardon, and the man who can work a plaid skirt and pigtails like nobody’s business, computer geek John Carr.

Fellow computer geek Sean McKeever was also present; and impressively enough did not whip out his Palm Pilot once, at least to my knowledge.

Since I’m the world’s worst bowler, I wandered upstairs for a bit to catch the Detroit Cobras and bumped into the heartbreaker duo of Summer Thomas and Stacey Trarop, sweet and innocent-looking tattooed babes. Can’t believe everything you see, though. Later joining them was Lori Brown, who gave Thomas an unexpected accidental foot bath in Corona when she sent a bottle crashing to the floor. Good thing she had two.

By the time I returned, the gothgrrls were tuckered out and ready to go — it is rather challenging trying to bowl in hair extensions and corsets, after all. If you’re dying to join the e-list and participate in girlie gossiping, some mild boy bashing and nifty fashion tips, go to for subscription info.


What do you get when you throw together five stages of assorted musical styles, some death-defying motorcycle and skateboarding tricks, and about a million suburban white teenagers in Mohawks and phat pants?

A sunburn, a few minor injuries and the joy of experiencing the annual Warped Tour last Sunday at Pontiac’s Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater. It was hard enough trying to walk around on a ground that was virtually blanketed with empty water bottles and cups; then I tripped over sunburned and exhausted Cecilia Davis and Angela Knowlton — taking an impromptu nap on the ground — and moments later accidentally stomped on the hand of Ian Dunlap, the cutest little oi boy, and a most forgiving one at that.

After being momentarily overcome with joy upon seeing the lovable, huggable Joe Pariseau — with girlfriend Stephanie Moses — I found a nice spot to catch the Clone Defects, and later chatted up lead singer Timmy Vulgar, who was flanked by the babely duo of Cindie Collins and Ritual promoter Janelle Smith.

Immediately following were local bad girls done good Broadzilla — showing up for the set were cotton candy pink-haired Tracey Mihalchean and exotically named Destany Little.

Confronted with the swarming masses of little kids, my companion and I remarked on how old we were beginning to feel; in search of a spot to rest our weary bones, we were fortunate enough to stumble across the most entertaining spot of the festival — directly in front of the first aid tent. We watched in morbid amusement as a steady stream of bloody, beaten and bruised crowd-surfers limped in and out for ice packs and bandages — there were even a few repeat customers.

However, I was officially Warped Tour-ed out when I saw one poor young lad come literally racing into the tent, wincing in excruciating pain, clutching his nipple ring that had been half torn out — yee-ouch.

Kids these days, they’ll never learn. You tape the piercings before you go into the pit, duh.

Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Call the Loose Lips tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial