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The Gayest Generation Ep. 8 - Stephanie Byers

Wed, 09/15/2021 - 3:48pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ older adults speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Their stories make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we speak with Kansas State Congresswoman Stephanie Byers. We learn about what it’s like to be one of first openly transgender people elected to a State Legislature, growing up as a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and what it means to live life authentically.

AADL is excited to announce that you can listen to this episode, or any episode of The Gayest Generation, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube!

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2021: Martin interviews Jonathan Taplin, author of The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 1:27pm

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2021: Martin interviews Jonathan Taplin, author of The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life.

Jonathan Taplin’s extraordinary journey has put him at the crest of every major cultural wave in the past half century: he was tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band in the ’60s, producer of major films in the ’70s, an executive at Merrill Lynch in the ’80s, creator of the Internet’s first video-on-demand service in the ’90s, and a cultural critic and author writing about technology in the new millennium. His is a lifetime marked not only by good timing but by impeccable instincts―from the folk scene to Woodstock, Hollywood’s rebellious film movement, and beyond. Taplin is not just a witness but a lifelong producer, the right-hand man to some of the greatest talents of both pop culture and the underground.

With cameos by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Martin Scorsese, and countless other icons, The Magic Years is both a rock memoir and a work of cultural criticism from a key player who watched a nation turn from idealism to nihilism. Taplin offers a clear-eyed roadmap of how we got here and makes a convincing case for art’s power to deliver us from “passionless detachment” and rekindle our humanism.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 7 - Annise Parker

Mon, 08/23/2021 - 3:45pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ older adults speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we hear from CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and former Mayor of Houston, TX Annise Parker. We learn about how she overcame immense adolescent anxiety, what an average day looks like for the mayor of a major American city and the unexpected kindnesses that led Mayor Parker to where she is today.

AADL is excited to announce that you can listen to this episode, or any episode of The Gayest Generation, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube!

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for August 2021: Martin interviews Richard Thompson, author of Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967 – 1975.

Wed, 08/11/2021 - 2:26pm

In this moving and immersive memoir, Richard Thompson, the brilliant and beloved music legend, recreates the spirit of the 1960s, where he found, and then lost, and then found his way again.

Known for his brilliant songwriting, his extraordinary guitar playing, and his haunting voice, Thompson is considered one of the top twenty guitarists of all time, in the songwriting pantheon alongside Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Randy Newman. Now, in his long-awaited memoir, the British folk musician takes us back to the late 1960s, a period of great change and creativity—both for him and for the world at large.

Thompson packed more than a lifetime of experiences into his late teens and twenties. During the pivotal years of 1967 to 1975, just as he was discovering his passion for music, he formed the band Fairport Convention with some schoolmates and helped establish the genre of British folk rock. That led to a heady period of songwriting and massive tours, where Thompson was on the road both in the UK and the US, and where he crossed paths with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. But those eight years were also marked by change, upheaval, and tragedy. Then, at the height of the band’s popularity, Thompson left to form a duo act with his wife Linda. And as he writes revealingly here, his discovery and ultimate embrace of Sufism dramatically reshaped his approach to music—and of course everything else.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for July 2021: Martin interviews Glenn Frankel, author of Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic.

Fri, 07/23/2021 - 10:02am

Director John Schlesinger’s Darling was nominated for five Academy Awards, and introduced the world to the transcendently talented Julie Christie. Suddenly the toast of Hollywood, Schlesinger used his newfound clout to film an expensive, Panavision adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd. Expectations were huge, making the movie’s complete critical and commercial failure even more devastating, and Schlesinger suddenly found himself persona non grata in the Hollywood circles he had hoped to conquer.

Given his recent travails, Schlesinger’s next project seemed doubly daring, bordering on foolish. James Leo Herlihy’s novel Midnight Cowboy, about a Texas hustler trying to survive on the mean streets of 1960’s New York, was dark and transgressive.

His decision to film it began one of the unlikelier convergences in cinematic history, centered around a city that seemed, at first glance, as unwelcoming as Herlihy’s novel itself.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 6 - Annie Wolock

Mon, 06/07/2021 - 12:04pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we hear from Ann Arbor's own Annie Wolock. We learn what is was like growing up Jewish in Detroit, Ann Arbor's forgotten Disco scene, and we remember Michigan Womyn's Music Festivals. Due to adult language, listener discretion is advised. 

AADL is excited to announce that you can listen to this episode, or any episode of The Gayest Generation, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube!

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for June 2021: Martin interviews Scott Eyman, author of Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise.

Fri, 06/04/2021 - 1:08pm

Film historian and acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographer Scott Eyman has written the definitive, “captivating” (Associated Press) biography of Hollywood legend Cary Grant, one of the most accomplished—and beloved—actors of his generation, who remains as popular as ever today.

Born Archibald Leach in 1904, he came to America as a teenaged acrobat to find fame and fortune, but he was always haunted by his past. His father was a feckless alcoholic, and his mother was committed to an asylum when Archie was eleven years old. He believed her to be dead until he was informed she was alive when he was thirty-one years old. Because of this experience Grant would have difficulty forming close attachments throughout his life. He married five times and had numerous affairs.

Despite a remarkable degree of success, Grant remained deeply conflicted about his past, his present, his basic identity, and even the public that worshipped him in movies such as Gunga Din, Notorious, and North by Northwest.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for May 2021: Martin interviews Harvey Ovshinsky, author of Scratching the Surface: Adventures in Storytelling.

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 10:21am

Scratching the Surface: Adventures in Storytelling is a deeply personal and intimate memoir told through the lens of Harvey Ovshinsky's lifetime of adventures as an urban enthusiast. He was only seventeen when he started The Fifth Estate, one of the country's oldest underground newspapers. Five years later, he became one of the country's youngest news directors in commercial radio at WABX-FM, Detroit's notorious progressive rock station. Both jobs placed Ovshinsky directly in the bullseye of the nation's tumultuous counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. When he became a documentary director, Ovshinsky's dispatches from his hometown were awarded broadcasting's highest honors, including a national Emmy, a Peabody, and the American Film Institute's Robert M. Bennett Award for Excellence.

But this memoir is more than a boastful trip down memory lane. It also doubles as a survival guide and an instruction manual that speaks not only to the nature of and need for storytelling but also and equally important, the pivotal role the twin powers of endurance and resilience play in the creative process. You don't have to be a writer, an artist, or even especially creative to take the plunge, Ovshinsky reminds his readers. "You just have to feel strongly about something or have something you need to get off your chest. And then find the courage to scratch your own surface and share your good stuff with others."

Martin’s interview with Harvey Ovshinsky was recorded on March 10, 2021.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for April 2021: Martin interviews Michael Hurtt, co-author of Mind Over Matter: The Myths and Mysteries of Detroit’s Fortune Records.

Mon, 04/05/2021 - 8:50am

The wife and husband team of Devora and Jack Brown formed Fortune Records in 1946. Much like Sam Phillips did with Sun Records in Memphis, the fiercely independent Browns did everything in-house in Detroit.

The now legendary label self-recorded and released stacks of brilliant records. From its early days of pressing big-band and polka records, through its transition into R&B, blues, gospel, rockabilly and country, Fortune laid the groundwork for Motown and other more prominent Detroit imprints. While its releases sputtered out by the early ‘70s, and the company completely folded in the 1980s, record collectors from across the globe still seek out Fortune’s impressive and wildly eclectic discography of vinyl.

A hefty new book, Mind Over Matter: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records, by Michael Hurtt and the late Billy Miller, chronicles the entire history of this blue-collar label and humble storefront studio. Over 576 pages, this deluxe, full-color hardcover tome is essential for anyone interested in obscure but astounding records.

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Nerd Nite #72 - Exploring Nonconformity Through Graphic Novels

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 3:16pm

I used to think that comics were about stereotypical heroes who saved the day in spandex and capes. Then I discovered graphic novels, a more “niche” category of comic books that often defy traditional storytelling and explore unique perspectives: From quirky girls who hunt monsters at summer camp to badass lady-warriors who defend their castle with care and compassion, rather than with violence. I want to highlight some of these stories that rebel in their nonconformity, and how we can embody that in our everyday lives.

About Julie Cruz: Julie Cruz has lived in Ann Arbor for 8 years, but is a New Yorker at heart. Even though she has only visited twice. You may have seen her speeding past you on the street on her lime-green racing bike, flower-patterned leggings, and bright yellow backpack. She makes her living as a UX designer for a local startup, and does some writing on the side. Follow her on Twitter at @julieoncruise or check out her work at bit.ly/juliecruz.