Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin interviews Martin Torgoff, author of "Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs"

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March 7, 2017

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From the author of the acclaimed Can't Find My Way Home comes the gripping story of the rise of early drug culture in America.

With an intricate storyline that unites engaging characters and themes and reads like a novel, Bop Apocalypse details the rise of early drug culture in America by weaving together the disparate elements that formed this new and revolutionary segment of the American social fabric.

Drawing upon his rich decades of writing experience, master storyteller Martin Torgoff connects the birth of jazz in New Orleans, the first drug laws, Louis Armstrong, Mezz Mezzrow, Harry Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, swing, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, the Savoy Ballroom, Reefer Madness, Charlie Parker, the birth of bebop, the rise of the Beat Generation, and the coming of heroin to Harlem. Aficionados of jazz, the Beats, counterculture, and drug history will all find much to enjoy here, with a cast of characters that includes vivid and memorable depictions of Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Herbert Huncke, Terry Southern, and countless others.

Bop Apocalypse is also a living history that teaches us much about the conflicts and questions surrounding drugs today, casting many contemporary issues in a new light by connecting them back to the events of this transformative era. At a time when marijuana legalization is rapidly becoming a reality, it takes us back to the advent of marijuana prohibition, when the templates of modern drug law, policy, and culture were first established, along with the concomitant racial stereotypes. As a new opioid epidemic sweeps through white working- and middle-class communities, it brings us back to when heroin first arrived on the streets of Harlem in the 1940s. And as we debate and grapple with the gross racial disparities of mass incarceration, it puts into sharp and provocative focus the racism at the very roots of our drug war.

Having spent a lifetime at the nexus of drugs and music, Torgoff reveals material never before disclosed and offers new insights, crafting and contextualizing Bop Apocalypse into a truly novel contribution to our understanding of jazz, race, literature, drug culture, and American social and cultural history.

Martin’s interview with Martin Torgoff was originally recorded March 7, 2017.

Length: 00:36:50
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


 

Culinary Historian Andrew Coe Discusses His Book: "A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression"

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May 21, 2017 at Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

The giddy optimism of post-World War I America came crashing down during the Depression, which radically altered eating habits, as author Andrew Coe describes in his new cultural history A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression. This book, coauthored with Jane Ziegelman, was awarded the 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Award for nonfiction.

Despite President Herbert Hoover’s 1931 claim that “nobody is actually starving,” Americans, in cities and rural areas alike, existed on subsistence diets and the effects of vitamin deficiencies were felt long into the war years.

A Square Meal is an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced-the Great Depression-and how it transformed America's culinary culture. Join us for a stimulating learning opportunity about this historic upheaval and the shifting role of governmental aid in response.

Andrew Coe is a writer and independent scholar specializing in culinary history. He and his wife, Jane Ziegelman, are co-authors of "A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression." His ground-breaking Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States was a finalist for a James Beard award and named one of the best food books of the year by the Financial Times. He has written books, articles, and blog posts on everything from the ancient history of foie gras to the secret criminal past of chocolate egg creams to where to buy the tastiest bread in New York City. He has appeared in documentaries such as the National Geographic Channel's "Eat: The Story of Food" and "The Search for General Tso." He and his wife live Brooklyn with their two children.

Length: 00:41:13
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library
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James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner Andrew Coe Discusses His Book: "A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression"


 

#30 Ann Arbor Stories: The Embassy Hotel

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April 27, 2017

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aas-embassy_hotel.mp328 MBAudio

If you've seen the Embassy Hotel since 1951, you'll know it doesn't look like anything special. It's wrapped in dull grey siding and the signs on the side of the building are old, and its clientele probably wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms at too many other Ann Arbor hotels. But the Embassy is special. It's been a haven for people down on their luck since the Great Depression. It survived when so many other hotels in that area didn't. And it was once blessed by His Holiness, Baba Hardev Singh Ji. Take some time to get to know this historic diamond in the rough.

Music by Hollow & Akimbo

Parental Listener Warning: This episode contains brief references to prostitution, the Great Depression, and the problem of homelessness in America.

See photos of the Embassy Hotel building and learn more in the AADL Old News archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:11:40
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#29 Ann Arbor Stories: Public Animal No. 1

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April 13, 2017

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Dozens of cities tried - hundreds of lawmen failed. Ann Arbor was the only place in the world that could cage punk rock’s most anarchic, violent and revolting personality. Think Iggy Pop crossed with Charles Manson - the crossed with Charles Manson - the voice of Randy Macho Man Savage with enough of a connection with serial killer John Wayne Gacy to develop a father-son bond. Public animal number one. The man, the infamous legend: GG Allin.

Music by GG Allin.

Parental Listener Warning:This episode is definitely rated R and is not suitable for most people, let alone little ones. It contains swear words (even the big ones) and contains references to poo, throwing poo, eating poo, violence, torture, drug use, blood, suicide, and Peoria, Illinois.

Learn more about this story in the AADL Old News archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:18:49
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to Ed Ward about The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963.

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February 7, 2017

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Ed Ward covers the first half of the history of rock & roll in this sweeping and definitive narrative: from the 1920s, when the music of rambling medicine shows mingled with the songs of vaudeville and minstrel acts to create the very early sounds of country and rhythm and blues, to the rise of the first independent record labels post-World War II, and concluding in December 1963, just as an immense change in the airwaves took hold and the Beatles prepared for their first American tour. The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1 shines a light on the far corners of the genre to reveal the stories behind the hugely influential artists who changed the musical landscape forever.

In this first volume of a two-part series, Ward shares his endless depth of knowledge and through engrossing storytelling hops seamlessly from Memphis to Chicago, Detroit, England, New York, and everywhere in between. He covers the trajectories of the big name acts like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and Ray Charles, while also filling in gaps of knowledge and celebrating forgotten heroes such as the Burnette brothers, the “5” Royales, and Marion Keisker, Sam Phillips’s assistant, who played an integral part in launching Elvis’s career.

For all music lovers and rock & roll fans, Ward spins story after story of some of the most unforgettable and groundbreaking moments in rock history, introducing us along the way to the musicians, DJs, record executives, and producers who were at the forefront of the genre and had a hand in creating the music we all know and love today.

The interview was originally recorded on February 7, 2017.

Length: 00:21:55
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


 

#28 Ann Arbor Stories: The Blind Pig

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March 30, 2017

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aas_blind_pig.mp342 MBAudio

On February 23, 2017, Swisher Commercial listed the Blind Pig and 8-Ball Saloon for sale. 6,970 square feet, two stories, two half baths, no bedrooms, and no list price. Best offer only. Liquor license included. The origins of the building, the Blind Pig and how this isn't the first time Ann Arbor has freaked out about the future of the Pig.

Music by Lightning Love.

Parental Listener Warning: This episode contains references to alcohol, topless go-go dancers, Soundgarden, and blues music.

Learn more about this story in the AADL Old News archives.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:13:23
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

#27 Ann Arbor Stories: The Torch Murders

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March 16, 2017

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In the pre-dawn hours in August 1931, a farmer in Ypsilanti reported a car on fire at the edge of his property. When police and firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames, they found a grisly scene that shocked the state. Four bodies, burned nearly beyond recognition, were found inside the vehicle, which was intentionally set on fire.

They called them the Torch Murders, and the entire story—from the crime itself to the manhunt that apprehended the killers to the insane criminal proceedings, would forever change law enforcement and the justice system in the state.

For more on the the Torch Murders, visit oldnews.aadl.org.

Contains explicit content.
Length: 00:17:33
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to author Mark Ribowsky about Hank: The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams.

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January 26, 2017

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After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of twenty-nine, Hank Williams -- a frail, flawed man who had become country music's first real star --- instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights with simple songs of despair, depression, and tainted love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become in death a template for the rock generation to follow. Six decades later, Mark Ribowsky now weaves together the first fully realized biography of Hank Williams in a generation. Examining his music while also re-creating days and nights choked in booze and desperation, Ribowsky traces the miraculous rise of this music legend from the dirt roads of rural Alabama to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and finally to a sad, lonely end on New Year's Day, 1953. The result is an original work that promises to uncover the real Hank beneath the myths that have long enshrouded his legacy.

The interview was recorded on January 26, 2017.

Length: 00:25:42
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


 

#26 Ann Arbor Stories: Henry Ford's Enforcer

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March 2, 2017

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The most powerful person ever to live in Ann Arbor was Harry Bennett—Henry Ford's right hand man, union buster and general enforcer. Bennett lived behind the walls of Bennett's Castle at 5668 Geddes Road, where he ran the Ford Motor Company security division by fear and intimidation. He employed murderers, gangsters, and bad men of all types, and he was a signature away from becoming the president of Ford so many years ago. This is his story.

Music by Chris Bathgate

Length: 00:20:57
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC


 

Smell and Tell: Serge Lutens: Collaboration in Luxury Fragrance Design

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November 16, 2016 at Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Michelle Krell Kydd, trained nose in flavors and fragrance and editor of Glass Petal Smoke, tells the story of noted perfumer Serge Lutens and the iconic scents he has developed. Kydd offers a guided tour of Lutens' start and rise to prominence in the luxury perfume world, his long-running partnership with Christopher Sheldrake, and his catalog of 50+ distinctive scents.

Length: 00:40:19
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library
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Smell and Tell: Serge Lutens: Collaboration in Luxury Fragrance Design


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