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Arts and culture

Apparently, "in and of itself” is the source of some concern about redundancy. This phrase wasn’t actually on our radar until a listener brought it up at our most recent Grammar Night event.

The listener wanted to know whether the phrase is redundant. Why would you need to say “in and of itself” when you could just say “in itself”?


Johan Larsson / Creative Commons

Stateside for Friday, June 28, 2019

 

Today on Stateside, we're featuring an episode from our friends at the Mismatch podcast, as well as a few of our favorite segments from the past year.

When someone asks you to “take a listen,” it’s usually meant as a friendly invitation. But not everyone wants to take a listen.

Several listeners have asked us about this phrase, including one who wanted to know whether it’s grammatically correct.


Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are out with their latest album "Paper Castle.”

Stateside’s Mercedes Mejia says the band is a staple of live music in Michigan. In fact the band will be performing a circuit She spoke with vocalist Joe Herlter about how the band quit their day jobs to make music full-time, plus his obsession with rainbows.

The stories in Lisa Lenzo’s new collection are placed primarily, although not exclusively, in Detroit. It’s a Detroit just before the recent gentrifications, and a city with vibrant friendships among neighbors, of people who take walks at night to get some air, who are cautious but unafraid. And these are often stories about caregivers, both the official ones who provide care for a living, but more often about those among us who take care of our neighbors and our families because that is what people do. That is the demand of love. 

Courtesy: Pewabic

The famous pottery, Pewabic, has been doing much the same thing it has done since the very early part of the 20th century, and using some of the same equipment and molds for its tiles and pottery.

"Pewabic was founded in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry (later named Mary Chase Perry Stratton) who was an artist and became really well known as a China painter. She would paint, overglaze enamels on French China and would teach about it and write about it," explained Steve McBride, Executive Director of Pewabic.

Consonant sounds like "sh" and "th" and "ch" have a reasonably secure place in our language. You’ll find them at the beginning, middle and end of many English words.

These consonants will likely never know the struggle that plagues the "zh” sound.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

With summer finally arriving, let’s look at a great new summer drink.

“This is a twist on a classic cocktail called the Bee’s Knees, but we’re going to put some beer into it and make it a Beer’s Knees,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said.

Katie Raymond / / Michigan Radio

Sitting amongst a collection of thousands of beads that date back as far as the 1700s is Olayami Dabls. He's the owner of Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum, a space at the corner of Grand River and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit that he created "for his community to understand the immense power of their African heritage."  

Razi Jafri

What exactly is a "halal metropolis"?

According to Razi Jafri, it's "a region in which Muslims can live freely, practice their faith, contribute to society, with all of their creative and entrepreneurial and all kinds of skills that they have." And he says that Detroit, and Southeast Michigan more broadly, fall squarely into that category. 

Etienne Charles playing a trumpet
Courtesy of Etienne Charles

 

Carnival is a vibrant, musically-rich celebration that happens before the start of Lent. It’s celebrated across the globe, bringing out the most unique aspects of many cultures and traditions.

Jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles, who teaches at Michigan State University, celebrates the festival in a new album titled Carnival: The Sound of a People. Charles says this album gave him the opportunity to explore the history of Carnival in his native Trinidad.

Violinist Maureen Choi holding her bow and instrument
Courtesy of Maureen Choi

Violinist Maureen Choi is a Michigander making international waves. Her band the Maureen Choi Quartet fuses a blend of styles to create a sound that some describe as "Spanish chamber jazz."

But Choi doesn’t like putting her work into a box. She describes her compositions as a blend of Western classical music, jazz, music from the Spanish diaspora, and Western chamber music concepts.

Pronouns are on the front burner of language change at the moment. As such, we get a lot of questions about them.

For example, a listener recently asked if you should say, "They are going to the store," or "They is going to the store," when referring to one person.


A picture from jessica Care moore's choreo-poem "Salt City.
Abby O. Photography

 

jessica Care moore is an award-winning poet and activist who grew up in Detroit. This week, she returns to her hometown to debut a unique performance combining her own history, a Detroit techno soundtrack, and dance. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

April Wagner is a glass blower. She has a line of art under her name, but she also makes beautiful and useful things under the Epiphany Glass name. I asked her to describe her work for someone who has never seen it.

With the recent 75th anniversary of D-Day, we're thinking a lot about the military heroes of World War Two. Rachel Clark of the Michigan History Center joins us to share the story of G.I. Joe, a pigeon and highly-decorated war hero who got through World War II and lived out his retirement at the Detroit Zoo.

 

David Hornibrook grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where he worked for many years as a caregiver and nonprofit administrator. Now, he's added "published poet" to his resume with the recent release of his debut poetry collection, Night ManualStateside's book reviewer John Freeman tells us how Hornibrook brings empathy and imagination into his writing in this debut collection.

The word “pique” recently piqued the interest of one of our listeners.

Colin Williams wrote to us after seeing the phrase, "As the president's pique became increasingly evident..." in a New York Times article.

Williams says: “I’ve heard that something can 'pique your interest,' but the noun version is definitely new and different to me.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Cheers! team received a request from a listener. Bruce Schermerhorn asked whether Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings could come up with a cocktail using something from Faygo that would be nice for sipping while on his pontoon boat this summer.

Ludmilla Joaquina Valentina Buyo / Public Domain

One of the perks of living on the east side of Michigan is that you can occasionally tune into radio stations across the border in Windsor. A recent piece from the CBC tells the story of how Elton John’s hit song “Bennie and the Jets” may owe part of its popularity to one of those stations and its Detroit audience. 

Blue Bird Inn sign and building
Nephilim Art Studios / Courtesy of Detroit Sound Conservancy

Some of jazz's most iconic musicians have graced the stage at the Blue Bird Inn on Detroit’s West Side. But the once popular bar at 5021 Tireman has stood empty for more than a decade. Now, there’s an effort to restore the historic venue for a new era.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Lansing public library branches will be offering curbside pickup starting Monday.

Scott Duimstra is the executive director of the Capitol Area District Library.  

The Rio Grande is certainly a grand river. But not everyone thinks it's grand enough to be called "river" twice, as in the Rio Grande River.

In case you're not up on your Spanish, saying “Rio Grande River” is redundant, since "rio" means "river." This phrase falls into one big category of place names that contain a word or phrase borrowed into English from another language.


Courtesy: Rick Hale, Clockwork

Clockwright's Rick Hale is making clocks unlike any you’ve seen before. It’s a piece of sculpture in motion made of Michigan hardwoods.

Grammarians sometimes worry about whether you can count the things to which a noun refers.

And no, we're not talking about "less" and "fewer."

Have you ever heard of the "needs washed" construction? That's when the verb "need" is followed by a past participle like "washed" or "fixed" without "to be." For example, "That dish needs washed."

Two listeners recently wrote to us about this. One says she started to hear it when she moved to Michigan and the other after moving to northwest Ohio.

Both say it's driving them crazy.

There have been a lot of studies of "needs washed" as a regional feature in American English. While the epicenter seems to be western Pennsylvania, particularly Pittsburgh, it can also be found in portions of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia.

Blue Lake Pass by Maya Lin undulating sculptures of tan particleboard
G.R. Christmas / Courtesy of Pace Gallery

The artist and architect Maya Lin is best known for her work designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Lin designed that monument in 1981 when she was still a college senior. Since then, she’s gone on to design numerous buildings, sculptures, and landscape installations around the world.

Lester Graham

It’s sad when the bottle is nearly empty. That’s what Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found when she visited a friend’s house for a party and the bottle of Ann Arbor Distilling Company's new Absinthe Violette was almost gone.

“What have you done to go through that much absinthe?” she asked. The reply was they had been making Necromancers. 

Robert Jones and Matt Wotruba
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The Reverend Robert Jones and Matt Watroba first met while hosting back-to-back music shows at a public radio station in Detroit.  

That chance encounter bloomed into a friendship rooted in a mutual love for acoustic roots music that's still going strong more than 30 years later.

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