Four Weddings and a Funeral

Posted in Music on September 1, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

Well, not really.  It was actually one wedding, a funeral, a birthday, and two house closings.  And that was just last week.

The Mitten will be back soon.  Like when I get some furniture to sit on in my new house.  Thanks for your patience in the meantime!



ATV Riders in Michigan

Posted in Music, Sports, Video Post with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

Moving back to Michigan this year hasn’t always been easy. Without boring you with specifics, I’ll just say that the stark reality of the economy has made itself apparent in a variety of ways. But making this video has reminded me of one of the main reasons I moved back: The unassuming generosity of Michigan’s people.

I’d like to thank these specific Michiganders who made this video possible:

The Riders. I am still blown away by the generosity of Kristie, Sam, Kendall, and the two Scotts (all from Charlotte, MI). They had never met me or John, my camera guy (more on him in a moment), when we showed up to the Leota Trail on a Saturday morning. After I explained our intentions, they drove us out to two practice trails and let us shoot footage for more than an hour. All the moving shots were taken from the back of Kristie’s ATV (which she eventually let me test drive!). I’ll forever be grateful for their willingness to give up precious time from their weekend getaway to help two strangers shoot a video.

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Around The Mitten (ATM): Online TV, Ice Cream, and Spaghetti Westerns

Posted in Film, Interesting People, Music with tags , , , on July 23, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

[Editors Note:  Insert obligatory blogger apology for lack of posts.  Lots happening on the real estate front.  While I deal with that, check out these cool things other people are doing around the Mitten]

This is not my video.  But I wish it was.  When I was living in Boston, I had several conversations with friends about starting an online late-night talk show.  I thought we could invite cool bands to perform and interview comedians in front of a small audience. Though I never got around to it (add it to the list), I’m glad to see someone in Detroit has.  His name is Steve Barman and his show is called The Steve Barman Show.  Here’s Episode 6:

[Vimeo 5704261]

(HT: Motor City Rocks)

Ice Cream Man Hits Michigan.  During my time on the rock festival circuit, I got to know Matt Allen, a guy who gives out free ice cream for a living.   Continue reading

What You Should Do This Week (WYSDTW): July 13 – 19 Michigan Events

Posted in Film, Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by Quinn Strassel
Yo La Tengo Plays this Saturday in Detroit (For Free!)

Yo La Tengo Plays this Saturday in Detroit (For Free!)

Let me guess.  You’re freakin’ out about the impending chaos of summer festival season.  Sure there’s lots to do, but for every worthwhile event, there seems to be 48 worthless ones.  Don’t worry.  The Mitten is here with the first edition of WYSDTW.  You’re welcome.

Monday, July 13th

Berlin Fair:  Marne, MI

Ever been to Marne, Michigan?  Me neither.  But their Berlin Fair kicks off on Monday with beer tent that opens at 4pm and an opening night all-you-can-ride special on carnival rides for $12.  Sounds like a recipe for an amazingly dangerous Monday night.

Wednesday, July 15th

The Mindstream Project (Ann Arbor Art Fair, Wed. July 15 – Sun., July 19)

Most Ann Arborites have a love/hate relationship with the Art Fair.  Sure it’s huge and respected and brings tons of business to downtown shops. But it’s also crowded, overheated, and exhausting.  For those looking for something low-key and very cool to do, check out The Mindstream Project, where you can make your own stop motion animation.  They made this video at the A2 Summer Festival:

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Dumars Ignores The Mitten: Says “No” to Combat Basketball

Posted in Sports with tags , , , on July 8, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

No Laimbeer 9

It appears Joe Dumars has hired somebody other than Bill Laimbeer as Pistons head coach.  Though this is undoubtedly a good basketball decision (given Dumars’ overall track record), it exponentially decreases the likelihood the NBA will become a league where players wear armor and punch each other while fans throw fireballs at them.  


I guess I’ll just have to watch this video and lament what might’ve been:

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Superman Ice Cream: “A Michigan Thing”

Posted in Music on July 6, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

When Serious Eats described Superman ice cream, my favorite childhood flavor, as “a Michigan Thing,” I was both excited and reassured. Finally, I understood why I could never find it during my time on the East Coast.  A few phone calls to out-of-state friends and a quick google search provided validation that Superman ice cream is virtually unknown outside the midwest.  

But naturally, I wanted to know more. When was it invented?  Who whipped up the original recipe? What is that magical flavor combination?

As for that the last question, the Internet provides a response as varied and contradictory as the interviewees in my video (above).  I have scanned message boards and watched creepy videos featuring less-than-sober individuals attempting to isolate Superman’s flavor. The mystery remains.

Pinpointing the origins of Superman ice cream has proven to be equally elusive.  The blue appears to descend from Blue Moon, an ice cream originally made in South Haven, Michigan…or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, depending on who you believe.  But who was the first to mimic Superman’s colors by mixing the blue with the red and yellow?  

The best answer I’ve found so far comes from Jim Karnopp, owner of Ypsilanti’s Cafe Luwak, who says Continue reading

ROTHBURY: Stay Tuned (Via Live Video Feed)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on July 3, 2009 by Quinn Strassel



In my not-so-distant-past as a music blogger, I was sent from Boston to cover the ROTHBURY Festival on the west side of Michigan. Though the lineup featured mostly “jam bands” (a.k.a. bands appreciated by sweaty hippies), for which I have an admitted aversion, there were enough outliers (Black Lips, Modest Mouse, and…Snoop?!) to keep me entertained throughout. In addition to having a great time, I learned the following two lessons:

1) It turns out, most sweaty hippies are really nice people.  


2) Not all Dave Matthews Band fans are sweaty OR hippies.  In fact, some of them rank among the coolest, funniest people in the world, and if you go to their shows you might be lucky enough to meet them(!):

Me and KG (aka Kyle Gass, aka Rage Kage)

Me and KG (aka Kyle Gass, aka Rage Kage)

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