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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for October 2019: Martin interviews C.M. Kushins, author of Nothing's Bad Luck: The Lives of Warren Zevon.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 1:07pm

As is the case with so many musicians, the life of Warren Zevon was blessed with talent and opportunity yet also beset by tragedy and setbacks. Raised mostly by his mother with an occasional cameo from his gangster father, Warren had an affinity and talent for music at an early age. Taking to the piano and guitar almost instantly, he began imitating and soon creating songs at every opportunity. After an impromptu performance in the right place at the right time, a record deal landed on the lap of a teenager who was eager to set out on his own and make a name for himself. But of course, where fame is concerned, things are never quite so simple.

Drawing on original interviews with those closest to Zevon, including Crystal Zevon, Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, and Merle Ginsberg, Nothing's Bad Luck tells the story of one of rock's greatest talents. Journalist C.M. Kushins not only examines Zevon's troubled personal life and sophisticated, ever-changing musical style, but emphasizes the moments in which the two are inseparable, and ultimately paints Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

In Nothing's Bad Luck, Kushins at last gives Warren Zevon the serious, in-depth biographical treatment he deserves, making the life of this complex subject accessible to fans old and new for the very first time.

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Author Event | Paul Vachon Discusses "Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline"

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:27pm

Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820's, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.

Martin Bandyke hosts author Paul Vachon as he discusses and shows images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2019: Martin interviews Carey Cranston, President of the American Writers Museum.

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:18am

The American Writers Museum opened in downtown Chicago in May 2017, and its mission is to celebrate the enduring influence of American writers on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.

American writing is distinctive, diverse, and comes in many forms from across the nations. As the only museum devoted to American writers and their works, AWM connects visitors with their favorite authors and writings from more than five centuries, while inspiring the discovery of new works of every type – poetry, lyrics, speeches, drama, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and more.

The authors and works presented by the Museum are not meant to be a definitive list of who is the greatest or most influential. Instead, the museum presents authors and works as part of a continuum that will grow and change.

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Author Event | Vanishing Ann Arbor

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 9:00am

What restaurant did Car & Driver magazine rank as one of the best places for ribs?
When did we finally get a professional fire department? 
What was special about the downtown Denny's franchise?
Which longtime business got a Centennial Award even though it wasn't quite 100 years old? 
And who exactly was the man whose name is still inscribed at Fourth Avenue and Ann Streets?!

Join Vanishing Ann Arbor authors Patti Smith and Britain Woodman as they take you on a tour of our city’s past, from Bach & Abel’s dry goods store to Aunt Agatha’s bookstore. Learn about the history of public schools in Ann Arbor beginning with the log cabin built at the corner of Main and Ann Streets, through the ward schools, and to Ann Arbor High. Find out how folks passed time in the 1880s, from ice skating to bowling to socials. Trace the history of bookstores from Wahr’s and Sheehan’s to Common Language and the Wooden Spoon. Walk the streets with school principal Mary Clark, philanthropist Elizabeth Dean, and publisher Alvin Chase.

Come along to reminisce about the places you remember—Maude’s, Fiegel’s, Drake’s—and learn about the places you don’t.

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Nerd Nite #65 - 10 Things you Need to Know about Language

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:29pm

You speak a language, so you know everything about how language works, right? Wrong! In this talk, Emily covers the Top 10 things most people don’t know about language. In doing so, she dispels several common myths and reveals some fascinating facts about the systems we use every day to communicate with each other. If you’ve ever wondered how many languages there are in the world, why language death is on the rise, where grammar comes from, or how it is that kids learn language so effortlessly – this talk is for you! Or, if you simply find yourself in need of a few high-quality conversation starters for your upcoming work party, this talk will prepare you to explain what exactly the Bilingual Advantage is, why British accents sound smart, how whistled languages work, whether Spanglish is a language, which high-profile court case was a glaring example of linguistic discrimination, and why English spelling is such a mess.

About Emily Rae Sabo:

By day, I’m a researcher and PhD student of Linguistics at The University of Michigan. By night, I’m a local standup comedian at dive bars near you. In my work as a linguist, I compare how monolingual and bilingual listeners respond to various types of lexical ambiguity and speech errors in order to investigate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie language processing as well as the social priming that modulates how people perceive Spanish-accented English in the U.S. today.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for August 2019: Martin talks to David Maraniss about A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father.

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 2:05pm

In a riveting book with powerful resonance today, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss captures the pervasive fear and paranoia that gripped America during the Red Scare of the 1950s through the chilling yet affirming story of his family’s ordeal, from blacklisting to vindication.

Elliott Maraniss, David’s father, a WWII veteran who had commanded an all-black company in the Pacific, was spied on by the FBI, named as a communist by an informant, called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, fired from his newspaper job, and blacklisted for five years. Yet he never lost faith in America and emerged on the other side with his family and optimism intact.

In a sweeping drama that moves from the Depression and Spanish Civil War to the HUAC hearings and end of the McCarthy era, Maraniss weaves his father’s story through the lives of his inquisitors and defenders as they struggle with the vital twentieth-century issues of race, fascism, communism, and first amendment freedoms. A Good American Family powerfully evokes the political dysfunctions of the 1950s while underscoring what it really means to be an American. It is an unsparing yet moving tribute from a brilliant writer to his father and the family he protected in dangerous times.

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A2CAF 2019 - Author Spotlight: Lucy Knisley

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 8:53am

A2CAF Special Guest Lucy Knisley (Relish: My Life in the KitchenKid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos) discusses her career in comics with Gina Gagliano (Random House Graphic).

 

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Author Event | Elizabeth George

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:47am

Best-selling mystery author Elizabeth George discusses her newest book in the Lynley series, The Punishment She Deserves. Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are forced to confront the past as they try to solve a crime that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of a quiet, historic medieval town in England. George's novel is a page-turner and a deeply complex story about the lies we tell, the lies we believe, and the redemption we need.

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty psychological suspense novels, four young adult novels, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, two Edgar nominations, and both France’s and Germany’s first prize for crime fiction, as well as several other prestigious prizes. 

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Author Event | Llama Destroys the World

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 12:32pm

Meet Llama, the next great picture-book megastar, who has most definitely driven a bus and who loves tacos way more than you.

He also loves cake, and that’s where our story begins.

On Monday, Llama discovers a pile of cake, which he promptly eats.
On Tuesday, Llama squeezes into his dancing pants, which he promptly rips.

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Shockwaves from Stonewall: Gay Liberation in Michigan

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm

In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement.  Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.

Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University.  He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University.  His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia.  He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.