American Pie redux: Grand Rapids Lip Dub Edition

Grand Rapids Lip Dub – Rosa Parks Circle, photo by Gary Syrba

Tina Jones couldn’t believe I didn’t share the groundbreaking Grand Rapids Lip Dub of American Pie yesterday and neither could I! It was filmed in May of 2011 for Experience Grand Rapids by Scott Erickson Films and produced & directed by Rob Bliss. The YouTube page thanks a bunch of people involved and dedicates it to the late Roger Ebert, who loved movies and even named the GR LipDub “The Greatest Music Video Ever Made.” Rob (who is the musician on stage in the photo above) writes:

The Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22nd, 2011 with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.

 

If you know Grand Rapids and the people who were making it vibrant in 2011 – many who continue today – you’ll definitely see some friends. In any case – what fun!!

View the photo bigger and see more in Gary’s In the City (Grand Rapids) slideshow.

Imported from Detroit … and from old media

Imported from Detroit by NightFox Photography

Imported from Detroit, photo by Cory Smith/NightFox Photography

I flagged today’s photo a while back as one to feature on Michigan in Pictures. Cory shared it in 2010 with the tagline of the very successful Chrysler ad “Imported from Detroit”. You may remember that ad featured Detroit’s own Eminem along with scenes of the city at work. This morning I shared “Anthem of Us” directed by Stephen McGee. It’s a powerful short film about Detroit featuring hip hop artist Big Sean talking about his city along with beautiful footage of the Motor City at work.

The film is presented by Bedrock, a commercial real estate company focusing on the Midwest’s urban cores, and we will likely see more and more features like this as brands forsake traditional and increasingly ineffective media channels for direct, social media connection with their audiences. I want to stress that it doesn’t seem at all like a re-hash or rip-off of the Chrysler ad, and in my opinion it does a better job of capturing the city as it goes about its business.

View Cory’s photo bigger, see more in his HDR Photography slideshow, and also check out his work at nightfoxphoto.com.

…and here’s that Imported from Detroit commercial just in case you were wanting it.

Above Frankfort Harbor

Above Frankfort Harbor

Frankfort Harbor, photo by Julie

My friend Enrico of Traverse Today and his sons shared a great aerial video from Frankfort the other day:

Julie took this stunning shot last Saturday. View her photo bigger and see more in her Drone shots slideshow.

Lots more from Frankfort on Michigan in Pictures.

#TBT: Winter Comes to Michigan

1930s Michigan Snowplow

1930s Snowplow, via Michigan Highway Department (now MDOT)

The Michigan Department of Transportation shared this awesome newsreel from the 1930s featuring all kinds of winter fun including ski jumping. Their predecessor, the Michigan Highway Department also used the video to talk up Michigan’s road system and winter road maintenance.

It was discovered by Nancy and Barbara Sleeper of Newberry, daughters of former Luce County Road Commission superintendent Sanborn Sleeper, and it’s super awesome!

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

SS Edmund Fitzgerald Underway

SS Edmund Fitzgerald Underway, photo via Wikimedia Commons

I went and bought all of the old newspapers, got everything in chronological order, and went ahead and did it because I already had a melody in my mind. It was from an old Irish dirge that I heard when I was about three and a half years old. I think it was one of the first pieces of music that registered to me as being a piece of music. That’s where the melody comes from, from an old Irish folk song.
~Gordon Lightfoot on The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

40 years ago today, Michigan’s most remembered shipwreck took place. A big part of this is certainly Gordon Lightfoot’s signature ballad The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The song – familiar to almost every Michigander – seems to memorialize more than simply the 29 men who perished in that horrible storm. There is certainly no better video of this song than this one crafted by Joseph Fulton featuring footage of the Fitz that you’ve probably never seen. It starts out with Walter Cronkite’s Harry Reasoner’s news report from November 11, 1975 and just gets better from there – definitely worth your time!

mLive has an article about how & why Gordon Lightfoot wrote ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ that you should check out. It includes a nice little video where he shares how he’s edited the live lyrics to reflect what’s been learned about the sinking of the ship. They got Lightfoot’s account of  the writing of the song from the songwriter’s Ask Me Anything on Reddit, an interesting look inside of the mind of a thoughtful and talented songwriter.

I made some minor corrections to today’s photo to get the colors a little closer to those of the Fitz. View it big as the Fitz and see more at Edmund Fitzgerald images at Wikmedia.

There more ships and more shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures.

Continue reading The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Testament of a Fisherman

Testament of a Fisherman by Aaron Peterson

Testament of a Fisherman, photo by Aaron Peterson Photography

My friend Aaron Peterson shared this on Facebook last night. It’s built around the words of one my very favorite writers, Michigander John Voelker (aka Robert Traver). I hope you enjoy it – Aaron writes:

Please enjoy this new video I did for Travel Marquette.

In 1964 Ishpeming native John Voelker published his essay “Testament of a Fisherman” summarizing in just 200 words the power of rivers and the solace one finds in trout fishing. When I came to Marquette in 2001 I didn’t have much, but I had a fly rod and a library card. In the library I found the words of John Voelker, and on the rivers of the Upper Peninsula I found a purpose. To be able to do this project and adapt Voelker’s words, with permission from his family, was very important to me on many different levels.

A lot has changed in the 50 years since he wrote this, but the health of our water, wild fish and time spent away from phones and crowds is more important than ever. Enjoy, share, then get the hell off your computer and get in the woods. Maybe to Marquette, because they paid the bill for this inspiration smile emoticon Thanks to Fly Fishing Michigan’s U.P. Nick from Ore Dock Brewing Company and all those who fight for the sanctity of our water. –AP

(the video is beautiful – view it full screen if you can!)

View Aaron’s photo bigger on Facebook and follow his page for the latest. Definitely check out his website too. He has some crazy photos of the U.P.’s incredible adventure offerings!

Radiance

Northern Lights by Shawn Malone

Radiance, photo by Shawn Malone/Lake Superior Photo

Run, don’t walk to watch Shawn’s latest video Radiance. It’s another eye-popping look at the aurora borealis featuring her photos set to “The Opening” from the forthcoming Album: “FOUND” by David Helpling/Jon Jenkins.

Speaking of northern lights, it looks like we have a 25% chance of the aurora over the next 3 days according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Speaking of Shawn’s video, after you watch it be sure to check out North Country Dreamland, the 2013 Smithsonian In Motion Video Contest Viewer’s Choice award winner!