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Bill Ewald's take on pop culture.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

One of the best albums of 2012 that didn’t make the Grammys’ cut was Metric’s “Synthetica.” Its best song is “Youth Without Youth,” driven by pounding drum and fuzzy bass guitar rhythms over harmonious waves of vocal intensity that build to a relentless crescendo. Another album fronted by a woman is Little Jackie’s “The Stoop,” which came out in 2008 and is still fresh today. Best cut is “28 Butts” a hip-hop delight seasoned with lush melodic soul riffs. * * * Check out “The Following” on Fox, 9 p.m. Mondays for over-the-top serial killings, that, in just the first three episodes, total more than all the murders shown on “CSI” and “Criminal Minds” during their entire seasons. Actor Kevin plays a former FBI agent who hunts down followers of a serial killer played by James Purefo.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bruno Mars

From There’s Nothing New Under the Sun Dept.: Bruno Mars’ single “It Will Rain” reminds one of Rod Stewart’s voice and the music from Danny Elfman’s “Edward Scissorhands” movie soundtrack. It’s a mix of Stewart’s raspy voice and the dark, haunting strings and choir of Elfman’s music.


Monday, September 19, 2011



Sarah Michelle Gellar is back this TV season in “Ringer,” a norish soap, but viewers expecting Buffy will be somewhat disappointed. She plays Bridget a recovering alcoholic-stripper-prostitute who takes the place of her rich socialite twin sister Siobhan. It’s a character who is almost as depressing as her  role disguised as the waitress “Anne” in the third season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” over 10 years ago, who descended into the Netherworld  to rescue lost teenagers.
However, Bridget shows flashes of Buffy’s resilience that include her surprising ability to beat off a would-be assassin and shooting him with a gun she managed to wrestle away from an FBI agent.
Without “Buffy” director Joss Whedon’s guidance, Gellar looks a bit lost her in her new role, but her character  becomes more likeable in the second episode. There are plenty of loose ends in the pilot to fill out plots for most of the 13 episodes scheduled this season. For now, instead of more Buffy, viewers get noir fluffy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two documentaries

Cindy Sherman
A couple of well-made documentaries released on DVD are "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," which examines more than a year in the life of the brassy 77-year-old comedienne, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, and "Guest of Cindy Sherman," directed by Tom Donahue and Paul Hasegawa-Overacker, which details the 5-year relationship of the recluse, post-pop art sensation Sherman with Hasegawa-Overacker, host of a cable TV public access show "Gallery Beat."

The Rivers documentary is laced with her R-rated jokes and obervations as the directors trace her ups and downs (mostly downs) during the 14 months leading up to a minor triumph with her appearance on "The Celebrity Apprentice" TV show. Rivers, who claims she is an actor acting as a comedienne, is portrayed as a narcissistic workaholic on a relentless quest for fame and fortune.

Joan Rivers headlines the DMC Guild fundraiser at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom on 14 Mile Road, west of Van Dyke in Warren. For tickets, visit
While the "Guest of Cindy Sherman" details her relationship with H-O, who gradually disappears in the shadow of the world famous artist, the most interesting part of the film is the rare peek into Sherman's unique work that features Sherman's photographs of herself dressed in often outlandish costumes in somewhat disturbing portraits, many of which are now worth millions of dollars.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

DriveTime Radio News

If you are tired of screaming divas and pseudo-rappers and you don’t want to pay for it, there are still a few radio stations in the Detroit area playing new music.
Check out WPHS (89.1 FM), a Warren Consolidated School student radio station that broadcasts alternate and new music from noon to 9 p.m. or later each weekday in the limited area of mid Macomb County down to Eight Mile Road and sometimes farther.
When you cross Eight Mile, switch over to the Windsor University Radio station CJAM (99.1 FM) for a greater variety of new, alternative, jazz, funk and ethnic music throughout the week. You can listen to this station all the way through Detroit and farther, including Canada, of course.
Speaking of Canada, you can listen to CBC Radio 2 (89.9 FM) anywhere in our area. Best new music can be heard from 3:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.
And don’t forget Essential Music with Ann Delisi at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays on WDET-FM (101.9) Wayne State University radio. Rob Reinhart follows with his Essential Music program, 2-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Adele has the No. 1 single in the iTunes Top 10 list.
Listening to Adele’s rendition of “Rolling in the Deep,” her rough-around-the-edges style of singing reminds one of the writer John Cheever, who wrote with a certain ease but would occasionally appear to stumble and give the impression that he’s not quite going to make it work out the way he wanted to. This often elicits the feeling from readers that they could write just as well or better. But, of course, they can’t. Both experiences are similar to watching a magician who appears to be struggling while completing his final trick just to draw in his audience so that it is set up to be completely amazed when he finally pulls it off with a totally unbelievable flourish. Adele always pulls it off. No one can do it better, not even her fellow Brit Duffy.