Language: How We Communicate is the theme of the 10th annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, the community program that encourages reading and discussion on a different topic every year. After a lengthy selection process, beginning last summer and culminating in October, the book chosen for this year’s Reads is Daniel Tammet’s Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant, a memoir written by a man who is unique in a number of ways. Tammet is an autistic savant, who like Rain Man’s Raymond, is capable of almost inconceivable mental feats: he speaks ten languages and learned Icelandic in one week, he can perform computer-like calculations in his head, and has memorized and recited the value of pi to more than 22,000 digits. Unlike the original Rain Man, though, Tammet is living a completely independent life and has created and manages a website to teach languages. The main public event for the AA/Ypsi Reads will be held on January 19, in the Towsley Auditorium at Washtenaw Community College. Dr. Darold Treffert, a world-renowned expert on Autistic Savant Syndrome will speak via Skype. 7pm. Free. For more information, visit aaypsireads.org.
An essential way to craft a resonant piece of music is to unpack the existential pondering, the fleeting but insistent anxieties, the hard truths and easy reminders, that are swimming around up inside the head of the songwriter. The sublimity of Saline-based folk/Americana artist Monticello Van Odom‘s album is in how its spilling out all
Toledo’s future beat/psy-jazz/hybrid electro duo Heavy Color recently premiered a new music video that commemorates an inspiring musical odyssey charted by one of its songwriters back in 2015. The group formed several years ago around the collaborations of Ben Cohen and Sam Woldenberg. Their Toledo’s answer to cerebral ambient electronica acts like Four Tet, Caribou,
An elite black pianist tours the segregated south with a white roughneck chauffeur. Green Book combines two crowd-pleasing formulas—the road movie and the true story—with two stellar lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Mortensen plays Tony Lip, a white, working class second-generation Italian-American from the Bronx who works as a nightclub bouncer. Ali plays
The most recent book of Kalamazoo-native Bonnie Jo Campbell is as visceral as it is honest. A compilation of short stories, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters explores the lives and relationships of women in rural settings. With varied character perspectives, the book runs the gambit of trials and tribulations: sexual assault, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancies, neglect,