Archive for the Detroit Category

Detroit

Posted in Baseball, Detroit, Photos with tags , , on August 5, 2010 by trapperKeeper

I only had a chance to spend a little time in Detroit when I went back to Michigan to link up with family.  Stopping at the grounds of old Tiger Stadium, I was saddened to see that only a flag pole and the decaying field remain.  A place that once brought me great joy despite the fact the Tigers were a terrible franchise through the 1990s is now a vacant lot surrounded by a fence.  At least, I have the memories, of Cecil’s moon shot homer that landed on the roof and Mickey Tettleton’s batting stance, meeting Ernie Harwell and the long, old-school pee troughs.  In the big picture, Tiger Stadium was just another crumbling building with a rich legacy, only one among many in a city prosperity has forgotten.  This past weekend, I actually felt like I was back in Detroit for a few hours while attending some music in an outdoor park ensconced in the warmth only brick can bring.  That was about as funky as I’ve seen Seattle.  Detroit, I miss your architecture and funky spirit, but you’ll always have a place in my heart no matter where I may be.

Detroit Soul (Take Me Home)

Posted in Detroit, Funk, Music on May 13, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Moodymann is a dope techno/house producer from Detroit.  I have a live set of his from the 2007 DEMF that elevates the mind and soothes the soul on a chilly humpday.  Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets, who lets loose some deep thoughts on Axiom Funk’s Funkcronomicon, brings his blunt yet soulful perspective on the mic.

The set start off with a political vibe due to the use of Gil Scott Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit.”  Mixing some classic funk hits, including William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful,” used by Ludacris among others, among some of his own tracks, he brings in one of the finest Brides of Funkenstein songs “Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy.”  Prince protege, Andre Cymone’s “The Dance Electric” follows before the set finished with the Strikers, a group I recently discovered a few weeks ago, soul disco classic “Body Music” complete with its’ thumping bassline.

kdj38lp_moodymanhttp://www.mediafire.com/download.php?qlldmm5mgyq

Good Morning Sunshine

Posted in Detroit, Funk, Music on April 3, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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The weather in Seattle recently has been brutal.  Cold and gray for most of the past few weeks, including some snow late last night, it finally has broken at least for a few days.  Any reprieve from the cruel  is extremely welcome.  The grooves of Carl Carlton’s 4 (1981) are apt to improve a mood regardless of weather, but 4 sounds exceptionally wonderful sustained sunlight.  Carl, a Detroit native, sounds like Stevie Wonder at times.  The whole record has a steppin’ vibe too it.  Many of the licks seemed familiar to me, but I can’t currently place them.  Look out for the addictive groove of “She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked).”  You can read more about Carl and the unique story behind his discovery at http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:g9fpxqt5ldke~T1.  I even kind of have my midi controller working.  Now if only an employer would get back to me.

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Ooh, what rippling muscles

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zwwwz1mdnw0

Track Listing:

1. Sexy Lady – Carl Carlton, McGloiry, Michael
2. Let Me Love You ‘Til the Morning Comes – Carl Carlton, Carlton, Carl
3. Don’t You Wanna Make Love – Carl Carlton, Lattimore, E.
4. This Feeling’s Rated X-Tra
5. She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)
6. I’ve Got That Boogie Fever
7. I Think It’s Gonna Be Alright – Carl Carlton, McGloiry, Michael
8. Fighting in the Name of Love

King Kwame’s Texts (Who Wants Wendy’s? I’m Buying)

Posted in Detroit, humor, politics on March 25, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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After reading and taking notes on the first 170 pages of Kwame’s texts, I realized I have no current interest in spending time on Kwame’s texts.  Here are notes on the first 170 pages, which ranged from boring to dumbfounding to hilarious.  Kwame loves to write in capital letters.  At times I left his capital sentences.  Other times,  I typed them normally. Here are a few other things Kwame is fond of, in no particular order: women, sex, vacation, Wendy’s, using cheesy pop culture references to express of love.  Here are things he doesn’t like: rules, needling press, other men with his women, people with knowledge of his shenanigans, and possibly white people (at least the ones not part of his corrupt empire).  Before going onto the texts let me say one thing.  Detroit please don’t re-elect him mayor in the future.  You would think the stench off Kwame would be strong enough to end his political career, but he still has supporters, extreme confidence, and a sense of destiny/entitlement.

A text from Carlita, Kwame’s wife, on June 12, 2002 is of importance to government corruption watchdogs.  Kwame was notoriously corrupt and abused his power in many ways, including securing a vehicle for his wife using Detroit city funds.

6/12/02 Carlita Kilpatrick (Kwame’s wife): Any word on my Navigator?

The same day KK got this text from an unknown person, who appears to work for Ford based on their awilli67@ford.com and I assume is female.  Unless Kwame had a side thing for men.  Her text (Ebony KK): “I left you a voice message. So nice to know you’re thinking about me,” elicited this response from Kwame: “Can’t get you out of my system! Don’t want to either. Have a wonderful day.”

Many of Kwame and Beatty texts are about their relationship, including the sexual side.  There are blacked out sections of the texts, at least the ones I have read so far.  Some of the blacked-out parts are people’s contact information.  Other sections may have been blacked out due to sexual explicitness.  Although, other sexual oriented texts are left untouched.  A brief warning, from this point on there will be explicit, sexual and otherwise, language.  And now back to the story.  For example.  This one from June 2002:

beatty

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Sexting (The Progress of Technology)

Posted in Detroit, humor, politics on March 14, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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Sexting, or sex texting for those not down with the latest lingo, has swept across the country.  I even saw a Dr. Phil episode about it, which means it has went totally mainstream, which means there should be members of Congress busted over sexting soon enough.  Dr. Phil’s episode focused on teens and their sexting habits.  My friend made a insightful remark about how sexting is just the latest way for adults to be titillated by teenage sexuality.  They guard their talk in seriousness, and to be fair there is some degree of concern.  Still, much of the hoopla around is probably due to the erotic factor.

Obviously, sexting is a result of the technology breakthrough.  Before cell phones, sexting was impossible.  People had to rely on phone sex.  Before phone sex, there were erotic letters and perhaps erotic telegrams and morse code messages.  Bluetooth is just a revolutionary phase of phone sex, totally hands free without having to use the speaker phone function.  Who knows what the future of communicated sex? Perhaps, sex packets will free humanity.

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Dreams of Cecil at Bat (Crack!)

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Pistons on March 9, 2009 by trapperKeeper

tigerstadium_se_corner

I was looking at the Detroit Tigers’ homegrown talent vs. Detroit Tigers’ acquired talent on http://sullybaseball.blogspot.com/2009/03/detroit-tigers-all-time-home-grown-team.html.  I have always enjoyed lists, particularly sports lists, and engaged in hypothetical all-time match-ups, often around my sports cards, while staring out the window of long vacation car rides.  Seeing Sully’s list, I misted up at the video of Mags’ home run. The Tigers were my first professional sports love, so their success was especially sweet that year after years after crappy mediocrity.  My parents actually had to miss the game in 1984 when the Tigers clinched the pennant due to my birth.  The Tigers are in my blood.

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Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday! Dance Sir Nose, Dance Sucka

Posted in Detroit, Funk, Music, P-Funk on February 23, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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On the heels of the massive Piston post, I am going to take the easy way out today and post another live P-Funk performance.  Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday!  This one is also from 1978, and has a few of the same songs as the Atlanta set, but the groove was always a bit different each time.  Recorded allegedly on January 1st, some of the cuts are rough, but otherwise the recording is clean-sounding with quality encoding.

Opening with “Funkentelechy,” a jam that easily allowed for George to play it loose.  “Skeet” gets some love on this version.  Hitting jazzy, but fuzzy licks, Skeet dances all over.  Near the end GC addresses Skeet asking how his funk is.  “Skeet” funks back hard before Kidd Funkadelic comes screaming over the top.  The kick drum holds it all down.  This version of “Funkentelechy” is the heaviest I’ve heard.  The vocal part at the end is another new P-Funk element for me.

Introducing “Cosmic Slop” to a tremendous crowd roar from the adopted hometown crowd, shredding guitars make a memorable “Cosmic Slop.”  The horns are really low on the latter half of the song.  It could just be the recording, or could be intentionally mixed that way.  You can still hear the blasts clearly at the end though.

“Maggot Brain” was a staple of the P-Funk live set.  This version is different than other versions due to the hard-hitting drums and the organ during the intro.  It wouldn’t be “Maggot Brain” without wailing, gnashing guitars.  Cut short, it dramatically shifts to the end of the soloing on the start of the “Mothership Connection” track.

GC again asks the crowd to raise their hands on “Mothership Connection.”  Guitars are again emphasized as GC prompts them to double and triple it up.  The jam into “swing down” has some dirty lurching bass.  The “Mothership” to “swing down” transition is one of my favorites.  Horns blare, announcing the arrival of the Funk.

Maintaining the dirty bass “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” arrives in fine style.  Slowing it down before building it back up, the band hits a jazzy pocket and maintains.  Glen was gone, so Skeet takes the lead on calling down the Mothership.  The horns during GC’s part are a different arrangement than I’m used to.  This one is chopped before the peak hits and the Mothership drops.

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http://www.divshare.com/download/6637851-d9c

Busting out the “Flash Light,” Sir Nose is once again defeated by the funk channeled through Bernie’s synthetic divining rod.  You can sense this one is one is going to get real dirty.  The vocals are energetic and strong, which they need to be to compete with the sonic chaos going on around it.  I wish I had video of this so I could watch Nose dance around on stage.

Here is the track listing.

Funkentelechy (16:31)
Cosmic Slop (7:35)
Maggot Brain (7:27)
Mothership Connection (8:15)
Swing Low Sweet Chariot (8:08)
Flash Light (10:50)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for rice dream?

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Rise to the Top: Exposing the F(l)akers & Being Thankful for the Human Victory Cigar

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, humor, life, Pistons on February 23, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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As the Pistons’ season falls into further disarray there is no time better than the present to wax poetically about the past. As William DeVaughn sang, “just be thankful for what you got.” And there were plenty of moments from 2003-2004 to be appreciative for as Joe D realized the same level of success as a GM as he had as a player with a team built similarly to the original Bad Boys. Ferocious defensive intensity, a strong bench, good chemistry, and just enough scoring, made the faithful hopeful for a better chance to reach the finals.

Few had expected the Pistons’ to beat the Nets. A pattern runs through basketball history of champions failing before succeeding. The original Bad Boys had to battle and lose to the Celtics and Showtime Lakers. Jordan’s Bulls took lumps at the hands of the Bad Boys. Likewise, Detroit had to take some lumps before getting over the hump. Still, the way the Pistons lost to the Nets was disheartening. Having home court advantage, it was safe to count on the Pistons stretching the series to five or six games. As I stated previously, the Pistons’ weaknesses, specifically the lack of a small forward and explosive scoring, were exposed by the Nets. Tayshaun had gotten a few starts that series and looked like a potential solution to the small forward problem.  Would he also be the answer to the Pistons’ offensive woes?  Certainly, replacing Michael Curry with Prince would provide an immediate boost to the offense, but how much of one?

Fortunately, the Pistons were in a good position to address their roster issues, having two first round draft picks, including the second overall pick, thanks to Joe D’s skills. Carmelo Anthony was talked about for logical reasons. The Pistons needed to upgrade the SF position.  Even more, they needed a scorer for the moments the offense grew stagnant. Melo would have filled both roles while Prince could have still have gotten significant playing time.

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However, Darko, aka “the human victory cigar” was in the draft. Some commentators and fans seem to forget that Darko was the consensus #2 pick. He was an athletic 7-footer, who could run like a deer, showed decent passing, shot blocking, and shooting ability. Certainly, he was raw at age 17, but the potential within his package was too much too pass up. He was projected as the second pick on every team’s draft board. In short, Darko fooled more than just Joe D and the Pistons with his bouncy gait, length and love of Europop.

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Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday, Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Posted in Detroit, humor, Music, P-Funk on February 16, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday. In honor of the late, great funky president James Brown, today’s P-Funk post will honor James Brown emphasis on the One. James Brown’s obsession with the one had a major impact on the development of funk.  In 1970, James Brown’s band pulled a sit down strike over wages daring James to blink.  Unfortunately for them, the Funky President flew in the Pacesetters, a band Bootsy had formed in 1968 with his brother, Phelps or “Catfish,” Frank “Cash” Waddy, and Philippe Wynne.  Wynne followed the Pacesetters to James Brown and later  joined up with P-Funk empire in 1979.

Bootsy and his crew grew tired of the rigidity of Brown’s system, so they quit in 1971.  Bootsy was playing in Detroit when he was introduced to George Clinton.  Bootsy loved the freedom George offered, and they formed a partnership.  He brought along Catfish and Frank Waddy.  All three contributed to 1972’s America Eats Its’ Young.  Waddy didn’t stick around for much longer.  Nor did Bootsy and Catfish, who took the horn section with them.  They then began touring as  Funkadelic as well, leading to a legal solution that kind of remedied the situation.  Bootsy and Catfish were back in the P-Funk fold by 1974.  It is no coincidence the golden age of Parliament Funkadelic was to follow.  In 1975, they got Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and a few other members of James Brown band to join up with P-Funk.  The stage was set for the coming of the Mothership.

Today’s post will focus on one of my favorite Parliament albums, The Motor Booty Affair.  Released in 1978, Bootsy, Catfish, and the Horny horns were all involved and the One is heavily emphasized sonically and lyrically.  One of Parliament’s best albums, George and the boys take the Mothership underwater.  It lacks the grime, but makes up for it with liquid funk provided by Bootsy and Bernie.  Bootsy’s bass takes the bottom while Bernie fills everywhere with stylings.  Mr. Wiggles are Rumpofsteelskin are introduced, while Sir Nose D’ Void of Funk and the Clones make appearances.  Rumpofsteelskin is an ally of Sir Nose.  Haters, coming to wreck the party.  Thankfully, Starchild shows up to save the day.

An immense cast of funkateers contributed to this album.  Check below to see who was credited with what.  A huge addition to the P-Funk army for Motor Booty was Rodney “Skeet” Curtis, a bassist who brought the jazz stylings.  Junie, Bootsy, and Bernie’s footprints are massive as well.

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Opening the album, we are introduced to”Mr. Wiggles,” a disc jockey, capable of “molecules of wetness like an eel through seeweed,” taking us on a fantastic voyage.  This song has a killer jazz bass line. Listen closely to the opening spoken words, they are beautiful and full of wisdom even if they appear to be gibberish.  George as Mr. Wiggles, and his ladies, bionic slithering idiots, drop in.  Like royalty, they are welcomed with horns.  The rhythm guitar is killer.  Bernie and the Horny Horns come in shortly after and the underwater marathon is on.

The Worm

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Lucid Memories of the Piston’s Past Decade, Pt. 1: The Building of a Champion

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, humor, Pistons on February 14, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Don't Mess w/ the Fro

The shorter abstract has become a much longer entity, so it is being broken up into parts. Here is part one, which focuses on the the rise of the new Bad Boys. They weren’t as dirty as the originals, but both versions were an unconventionally built teams who stressed a commitment to rugged defense.

Entering the new millennium, the Pistons were coming off a semi-successful, strike-shortened, season. Finishing at 29-21, good for 3rd place in the Central, they received a 5th seed and match-up against Mt. Mutumbo’s Atlanta Hawks. Taking them to a do or-die 5th game in the first round was as far as the talent-challenged Pistons could go. The team was appeared to be solid, coming in at 10th and 9th respectively at offensive and defensive efficiency. However, the roster had a few good players, and was atrocious if you look twelve deep.

Lacking a real post presence, point guard, and bench, the Pistons were a limited team. If it weren’t for the skill of Grant Hill, I can’t imagine the carnage in the loss column. Explosive, rounded, gentlemanly, and extremely gifted, Grant only lacked a consistent outside jump shot, which was something he was working on. Unfortunately, injuries had to prematurely limit his abilities. One of the better players in the league, he was surrounded by a soon to retire Joe Dumars, Bison Dele, Jerry Stackhouse, and not much else. Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams was a scrappy, energetic bench player who could rebound well came off the bench and is worth a mention, but otherwise most of the bench consisted of never beens.

The 1999-2000 season, under coach Alvin Gentry and then interim George Gervin, saw the return of Detroit-area native and one of my favorite Piston players, Terry “T-Three” Mills, who made the second most amount of threes while shooting a respectable 39% from long range during the season. This was during a time where it was less common for big men to shoot threes. The impact of European migration had not yet approached full realization. I remember Sam Perkins and Bill Laimbeer being other big men long range shooters, although in a different way than Dirk.

The lack of a true big man, especially on the defensive end, was again a problem. This situation wasn’t really remedied until Ben Wallace came in. Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele, was a solid offensive player, but even he was gone after the 1998-1999 season. Becoming a swingman dominated team, Hill and Stackhouse put up numbers; however, the lack of big men contributed glaringly to the porous defense and rebounding. Ending the season at 42-40, they earned a 7th round playoff seed against the Heat, whose big men were too much, and were promptly swept.

Who picked out this color scheme?

Who picked out this color scheme?

At one point during the season, Grant Hill was out for a bit and Jud Buechler actually started five games at SF. Grant was going to be a free agent after the season, so he was traded after the playoff loss to Miami to Orlando for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Unfortunately for Grant, and the Magic, the ankle injury he had sustained and played through during the playoffs was more serious than initially thought. The trade, engineered by Joe Dumars, worked out well for the Pistons though. Ben Wallace blossomed into a dominant defensive player and leader. Joe had been brought in as the President of Basketball Operations right after the postseason. He wasted no time building a team in his image.

George Gervin, who had replaced Gentry as head coach during the previous season, retained the position for the 2000-2001. He did not fare well as the team finished 30-52. Sporting the not so fearsome PG trio of Chucky Atkins, Dana Baros, and local hero Mateen Cleaves, the team lacked a game plan capable of masking the limitations of the roster. Cleaves was Joe Dumars first first-round pick. To be fair the team needed a PG, although it was clear Cleaves was not going to the be answer and was a hometown hero. Joe grabbed another Big Ten player, Brian “The Janitor” Cardinal, who turned out to be a serviceable, albeit extremely overpaid, bench player, in the second round.

“Big Nasty” Corliss Williamson was brought over from Toronto for Jerome Williams. I remember Corliss and Scotty Thurman running Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” defense to the Final Four. He was a pretty efficient low-post scorer off the bench, who would bang and could draw some fouls. Although, he was too small to guard most players he was matched up against in the post.  He would win the Sixth Man of the Year, being an important member of the dynamic bench unit, dubbed the “Alternatorz” by Jon Barry.

Jerry Stackhouse really went off, averaging 29.8 ppg, with the extra shots provided by Grant Hill’s departure. Sadly, he also led the team in assists with 5.1 ppg. Free throws and offense were never Ben Wallace’s professional forte, but his rebounding and defensive provided an encouraging piece to build around. Averaging over 13 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks a game, he was able to change the game dramatically while doing almost nothing on offense.

During the off-season, Mateen Cleaves, drafted more as a publicity move, was traded for Jon Barry, who provided some long-range shooting and fire. Joe was fashioning a scrappy, defensive minded ball-club built on the model of the original Bad Boys. Jud Buechler was exchanged for Cliff Robinson. Buechler was a solid athlete, and a real good volleyball player apparently, but didn’t bring many skills to the basketball court. “Uncle” Cliffy was known for his headband, perimeter offensive game, and solid defense.

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