City Slang: Arts, Beats & Eats on Monday

Sep 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I of City Slang decided to cycle to Arts, Beats & Eats from my Berkley home today, due to the fact that it didn’t look like rain, yet the sun wasn’t killer hot. This raised an interesting question. While we don’t condone graffiti in public places at all, who scrawled “Iggy Pop” in big orange letters on the baseball field on 11 Mile between Coolidge and Woodward? But anyway

As a huge Talking Heads fan that never got to see that band, the Tom Tom Club might be the closest I’ll get now. They were fun too, playing their own “Genius of Love” hit, plus two Talking Heads classics – “Take Me to the River” and “Psycho Killer”.

Between 5 and 6 p.m., I split my time between Carolyn Striho on the Ford Alternative stage and Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful on the Soaring Eagle Americana stage. Neither disappointed either. Striho rocked the joint with some typically raucous yet emotionally uplifting tunes, dancing around her keyboard like it was a dude with talented feet. She also told me later that she’s a big City Slang fan. Back atcha, ma’am. Lyn’s songs were less lively, but equally enjoyable and certainly as honest. Earthy and rootsy with just a dash of contemporary, Lyn is one worth keeping an eye on.

After a quick peek at the Psychedelic Furs (not great, but “Love My Way” and “Pretty in Pink” are always fun to sing along to), I dashed back to the Ford Alt stage to see the Cult Heroes. Always manic live, Hiawatha Bailey and his boys wailed out a bunch of their old faves, plus a top class rendition of the Stooges’ “Loose”. That song sums up this band too – they might not be the tightest group in the D, but their loose, raw punk will forever be welcome and honored in this town.

That just left Main Stage headliners George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic to finish things off. Predictably, the hometown hero drew one of the, if not the, biggest crowds of the weekend, and he and his band let no one down. Clinton’s hair might be a little more sedate these days, but the show is as lively, insane and musically breathtaking as ever. Every song you’d want to hear at a Clinton show was pulled out, the main man sang a little more himself than he has been known to in recent years, and the crowd went wild. What better way to round off a Detroit festival than with one of our best?

And with that it was over. I used up my last food tickets on a slice of stuffed pizza, and cycled home. Congratulations to AB&E producer Jon Witz and all of his team for putting on a superb, safe, sometimes spectacular festival. Can’t wait till next year.