'Dotten' the eyes

Jul 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

On Saturday, July 11, the Wonder Twins found themselves surrounded by ceramic monkey pots, purses made from old Roxy Music albums, BMX bikers jumping ramps, and such cool bands as Frontier Ruckus. Were they at a fair in some namby-pamby liberal place like Ann Arbor? Nope. They were in Wyandotte, bitch!

When I first heard that Wyandotte had an art festival with live music, I was a little skeptical.

D'Anne: I wasn't. I was all, "Let's go to the Wyandotte Street Art Festival. I love art fairs!" And you were all, "You are so old."

Laura: Well, when I think "Wyandotte" I don't think "hip." I expected the Wyandotte art fair to include things like coat racks made of deer antlers, an airbrush booth and "oldies" cover bands.

D'Anne: And it did not disappoint on those fronts. By the way, I think the airbrushed T-shirt you had made with Morrissey's name surrounded by pink hearts was very, um, unique.

Laura: At least mine didn't say, "Mustache Rides: 50 Cents."

D'Anne: That was a mix-up. Somewhere, there's a guy walking around with a shirt that says, "I'm not gay but my girlfriend is."

Laura: Is it wrong that although we were going to see art and music, the thing I was most excited about was kettle corn?

D'Anne: I don't think so, especially since it was the only food item at the fair that wasn't fried. Fried Food was a juried category at the fair, I'm pretty sure. 

Laura: They should have had a free cholesterol-check booth.

D'Anne: Most of the booths there were your typical soaps, potpourri and Kountry Kraft stuff. There were some exceptions, though. Like that vendor who made purses out of old record album covers.

Laura: Yeah, they used full-size LP jackets to make bags and 45 jackets for little clutch purses. They even had little wallets. I saw Queen, Elvis Costello, Michael Jackson, of course. If there'd been a Morrissey one, I would have bought it.

D'Anne: Then there were the monkey pot guys. They were awesome.

Laura: You were totally flirting with them.

D'Anne: I was not flirting. One, I'm married. Two, I'm gay. Three, they were more than 10 years younger than me. But they were adorable ... and twins to boot!

Laura: You're a dirty pervert.

D'Anne: I think I just very clearly set up parameters indicating that I am no such thing. But I would like to give a shout out to Kurt and Kyle at GrowAmazons.com. Call me.

Laura: Anyway, most of the cool stuff was in the 'dotte Arts Project section.

D'Anne: That's where we saw the Rise Above BMX Team jumping ramps and doing stunts.

Laura: Appropriately, they were doing their tricks to the song "Safety Dance."

D'Anne: That song has never made any sense to me.

Laura: Then you're no friend of mine.

D'Anne: Of course, the real pull for us was the music. The 'dAP stage had a really amazing lineup over the four-day festival.

Laura: I wish we could have seen more of it. But Saturday evening's lineup of Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful, Frontier Ruckus and Dan Miller was a sure bet.

D'Anne: I liked Misty Lyn a lot.

Laura: Even if Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful sounds like the name of a burlesque troupe.

D'Anne: You wish.

Laura: Well, that is the reason I went to see them for the first time earlier than this, but, incidentally, I do like their music.

D'Anne: She has a great voice. It's hard to believe she had a sinus infection!

Laura: It isn't hard to believe, since at one point she said, "I'm getting snot everywhere." I'm not sure she meant to say that into the microphone.

D'Anne: Well, she's got a way with the sexy stage talk.

Laura: Misty Lyn reminds me of a country-tinged Bettie Serveert. But I'm sure that reference will be lost on the children.

D'Anne: It seemed like no one was watching the performance, but I counted and there were over 50 people gathered to watch toward the end of her set. Everyone was just spread apart, taking cover in the shade.

Laura: For a little stage at an outdoor festival with so much wind, I was impressed with the overall sound. The sound guy did a really nice job. 

D'Anne: He did. Misty Lyn kept saying how much she loved the wind. She must not have talked to the folks who had their tents blown over. Like the smoothie tent. Their lids blew all over the street so they had to trash them all.

Laura: They could have just used them anyway. No one would have known the difference.

D'Anne: Remind me to call the health department should you ever go into the food business.

Laura: I will.

D'Anne: I've wanted to see Frontier Ruckus for a long time. I think their album, The Orion Songbook, is really good. It was on my best of 2008 list last year.

Laura: I was excited to see them as well.

D'Anne: The grass around the stage was really wet from the storm that morning. I was afraid everyone would get electrocuted. The bassist didn't have any shoes on, which worried me. He would have been one of the first to go.

Laura: Thankfully, no one was electrocuted. And the band played really well. My favorite was the guy [Zachary Nichols] who played the trumpet, the melodica, the little sousaphone thing and the saw.

D'Anne: The saw is not an instrument you'd want to play without pants on.

Laura: I hadn't thought of that. My favorite song they did was "Rosemont Street" because it's about the street in Detroit where singer Matthew Milia said his mom grew up.

D'Anne: I love their lyrics and their themes of small towns and sad bastardness.

Laura: Well, you obviously weren't alone, as people were gathered around the stage clamoring to buy their CDs.

D'Anne: Sad that they only brought five of them to sell. I, of course, already own it. And you promised them you were going to buy it on vinyl. Now it's in print — so you have to.

Laura: Yes, I would have bought it then and there but I had already blown all my money on kettle corn.

D'Anne: I think the coolest part of the 'dAP stage was that everything was powered by wind and solar energy. Or at least I think that's what was going on.

Laura: The wind turbine and the solar power attached to the trailer next to the stage leads me to believe that was the case.

D'Anne: Though I'm pretty sure Dan Miller's set was powered by the stripes on his suit.

Laura: That was a pretty awesome suit. Burgundy pinstripes made him look even taller.

D'Anne: He's a rock 'n' roll giant.

Laura: By the time he started playing, there were more than 100 people gathered around the stage. And I saw three different people with Blanche T-shirts on.

D'Anne: Mr. Miller's got a following in Wyandotte, for sure. Although I think a few folks thought they were watching Lyle Lovett.

Laura: It's possible, but the crowd got really excited when he said, "This next one's an old Goober & the Peas song."

D'Anne: I definitely vote for Dan Miller and the two guys backing him up for "Sharpest Dressed" musicians.

Laura: They were all wearing old-timey suits. Like Al Capone's party band.

D'Anne: Except their guitar cases actually had guitars in them.

Laura: They were really good — which wiped out my initial disappointment that the headliner was the guy from Blanche, and not, in fact, Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls.

D'Anne: An easy mistake to make. If you're an idiot. ...

Laura: Well, with Bea Arthur's passing, meeting Rue McClanahan is something I could settle for.

D'Anne: Wow. I'm sure she'd be really humbled to hear that. She'd probably thank you for being a friend.

Laura: Exactly. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to now throw a party and invite everyone I know.

D'Anne: Well, you will see the biggest gift will be from me — because I totally bought you that antler coat rack you had your eye on at the art fair.

Laura: Perfect.

D'Anne and Laura are music critics for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]