Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Culture...Detroit Style

This past weekend, Ian's soccer team played Midwest Regional League games in Michigan. Michele remained back home in Dublin, so as not to miss Nathan's football game. Traveling with Ian and I were two of his teammates, Alec and Rajat. Therefore, this was very much a guys weekend...full of farting and lots of general bathroom humor. Unfortunately, the Sparta team didn't fare too well, but I thought that Ian, Alec, and Rajat played exceptionally well against some of the best competition in the nation.

After the final soccer game of the weekend, the boys were hungry and dejected. Since we were near Detroit (one of the more colorful cities in the U.S.A.), I decided it was a good time to treat the boys to a little cultural diversity lesson. So, we headed for Detroit's Greektown...which happens to be the location of one of my favorite restaurants anywhere -
Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen Cafe.
To add to the experience, we parked at the Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors. From there, we took the Detroit People Mover, or DPM....an often broken monorail system which was working on this particular day. Since Ian was representing his 'hood (Ohio), and being very much the "gangsta," he seemed to relish breaking many of the laws in Detroit. See if you can find a few broken rules/laws in the photos.... what a rebel.
As soon as we got off of the People Mover at the Greektown station, we were greeted by some of the locals. This group of quirky individuals included a rapper named "Shadow Klan," who claimed to be the next big rap artist to hail from Detroit. He seemed to be a very nice guy, who just happened to reek of a certain herbal substance. He told us that his raps were clean, and that the boys would like his CD because he rhymed about "the cosmic universe, evolution, UFO's, and science." Politely, I told him that we were on our way to lunch, but if we saw him on the street afterward, we would surely stop and talk with him again.
Our lunch at Fishbones was awesome. The place was just as I had remembered it. Although, it's location in Greektown seemed a little grittier than the mental image I had stored in my memory. The boys surprised me with their orders of crab cakes, calamari, gumbo, etc. Since we were in GREEKtown, I ordered the Saganaki...you know, the flaming greek cheese stuff. OPA!! The kids thought this was pretty cool.
After lunch, as we walked out the door and back onto the street, we were greeted by none other than our new friend, Shadow Klan. Since it seemed like fate (or maybe he was stalking us), I asked him how much his CD cost. He told us, "whatever you want to give me, man." I gave him $5. By the look in his eye, this might have been generous. Anyway, I thought we could listen to his CD on the long drive home. Back on the street, we stopped to watch a blind blues guitarist, who sang a song in which the only lyrics were, "the power of God," sung over, and over, and over, and over...then we listened to a street performer who played an ancient saxophone. He was actually quite good. We also watched an artist doing portraits in chalk. We all agreed that he was extremely talented. We entered a couple of the local shops, which were all selling little Greek trinkets. The Greek national soccer team jerseys were the only items which really interested the kids. Finally, as we were walking back to the DPM station, I was stopped by an incredibly skinny, toothless, female crackhead / meth addict who excitedly asked me something like, "BARGLE NAWDEL ZOUUS?" I decided that the cultural diversity lesson was over, and it was probably a good time to leave Detroit.
So, we hopped back on the DPM, got back to the car, and popped in the new Shadow Klan CD. After about 20 seconds of confused silence, the car was filled with the heartiest laughter I have ever heard. Let's just say that while I have no doubt that Shadow Klan works hard at his craft, he is not a favorite among 14 year old boys from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. He wasn't kidding though, he does rap about "the cosmic universe, evolution, UFO's, and science." Still, you can get an eye-watering laugh from the boys, just by mentioning Track 4 - Monkeys. Nathan was smart enough to do a google search of our new friend, and learned that this rap style is called trip hop...remember the reference to that herbal substance smell?
It was a day we'll not soon forget. However, I will think twice the next time I plan a "cultural experience."
strange, synthesized, organ music plays, while a man gutturally raps the line, "we come from monkeys"...followed by uncontrollable laughter [repeat for 3½ hours or 210 miles, whichever comes first]


Diane said...

ok...so I have A LOT to comment about concerning this post, Ken...but I am now laughing too hard to make any sense.
What memories you made!

Michelle said...

Whad up, 313!!?? Ok, so WHERE can I find Shadow Klan's music? I HAVE to hear this. (Speaking of music, nice selections on your playlist.) "BARGLE NAWDEL ZOUUS?"...really? HILARIOUS! It's even more fummy when you say it out loud.

Ken said...

Here's a link to my man Shadow Klan


My favorites here are Track 4 {Defecation] and Track 5 [Here Comes].

As for BARGLE NAWDEL ZOUUS, I stole that line from a Weird Al Yankovic video...but it really did sound something like that!

Jack Attack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

FuMMy? :) I listened and I hear a Grammy comin' on!