At the corner of Armitage Avenue and the Kennedy expressway, some only see a Volvo dealership and a neo-Georgian red brick office building, a bland dereliction of architectural duty. Though it has long been demolished, I instead see myself at 3 a.m. sitting in the corner booth at Marie’s Riptide lounge where minutes ago I’ve dropped a dime and conjured Patsy. The gifts of Willie Nelson and my bourbon-addled brain are en fuego as Cline does her glissando slide amidst a honky-tonk piano tinkle into the opening line… CRA-zeee! Shots roll from the bottle, proffered by THE Marie (Wuczynski), the bar’s snowy-bouffant-crowned namesake. Though she is geriatric, she is always game. She pours one for me, and one for her. I am, whether I like it or not, and oh, God do I, paying for both. Advertisements
You are reading this review for free on the internet. This is because, one, I’m stupid, and two, because of the perceived and real pressures of a system. While you would take great pleasure from me counting the ways of my idiocy in depth, let’s examine that system first.
You don’t really know Nikola Tesla. If you think you do, then you probably think he invented the electronic car, or he’s the front man who sang “Love Song” (LOOOVE WILL FIND A WAAAY!) in Tesla, a band that toured with Poison on their 1989 Open Up and Say… Ahh! tour. If you’re the latter, you also probably told all your friends that Poison’s blonde-locked mascara-eyed shredding-guitarist, C.C. DeVille had studied at Julliard before joining the band. Because Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet (J.K.), Wikipedia didn’t exist, and because every rose has its thorn, your friends believed you. Now that you’re a journalist, you double checked that fact and found that DeVille actually studied music theory at NYU, which, while still impressive for a hair band rocker, is not as mythical.
In Detroit, there are a pair of hundred-year-old hot dog stands known as the Lafayette, and American, “Coney Islands”. Though this is basically what they serve, they are not known as the Lafayette and American “chili dog” parlors. The alleged reason for this unconventional New York-area naming of hot dog spots located in Michigan is that the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce banned the term “hot dog” in 1913 because they feared people might assume the sausages were filled with the carcasses of cute puppies.
Aaat Laaast! You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably in the background of a jewelry commercial where some rich lady’s self-worth is confirmed by the receipt of a humongous diamond necklace. There’s the string section swell followed by the dusky croon of relief from Etta James that her lovelorn days are finally over. It is an earworm of the first order.