with video: Tonight at Top of the Park: family rock, Drivin' Sideways, 'Hugo' and more
Tonight is Day 9 of Top of the Park, the popular, free (donations welcome) outdoor happening featuring music, movies, kicking back, running into friends, and a variety of other attractions.
Each day in cooperation with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival—which presents Top of the Park as well as main-stage ticketed events—AnnArbor.com is publishing a rundown of the night's happenings. Here's an overview of tonight's schedule, followed by a more detailed look at the events and attractions:
5-8 p.m. - KidZone
5 p.m. - Retreat: Bollywood Indian Dance Class
5 p.m. - Jeannie B! & the Jelly Beans - roots music for families
6 p.m. - Ratboy Jr. - family rock
8 p.m. - Drivin' Sideways - country rock
10 p.m. - Movie: "Hugo"
Chicago children’s performer and Parent's Choice Award winner Jeannie B delivers an upbeat live show filled with dancing, sing-alongs and interactive. Backed by the Jellybeans, their sound is Americana roots music—a mixture of bluegrass, country, blues, and rock 'n' roll.
Performing since: 2002 started performing children's music, but have been performing music since 1977
Home base: Chicago
Style of music: Rockin' music for families
Members: Jeanie B! (Bratschie), vocals and guitar. On this gig, drummer is Ryan Patrick Murphy, bass is Joey Bonansinga.
Band name backstory: Jeanie B! is the singer/songwriter for the band and needed a name for the band that would sound fun and fit the genre when she first got started. All the band members are sweet guys so it works.
Day jobs: Jeanie B! is a full-time children's entertainer and also teaches music in the Chicago area. She also has a handful of faithful guitar students. Ryan (drummer) is a professional lighting designer for such bands as Andrew Bird and Leonard Cohen. He also plays drums in a number of bands in Chicago as well as touring. Joey (bass) is Jeanie's 13-year-old son who attends middle school and will be in 8th grade this fall. He plays in a jazz band, an orchestra on upright bass and has his own rock band.
Favorite road food: Whopper, hold the pickles, and Starbucks mozzarella and tomato panini
Favorite stage outfit: Jeans, cowboy boots and hat, comfortable shirt. Nothing fancy.
Musical hero: Neil Young was Jeanie's earliest influence and you can hear it in her music.
Ratboy Jr. is a rocking duo for all ages from the Hudson Valley in New York State. Performing since: 2009 Home base: New Paltz, NY Style of music: Some say family music or kindie music; we say we are a band for the whole fam. We play music that everyone can rock out to. Members: Tim Sutton and Matthew Senzatimore Band name back story: Well, we have been playing as the band Ratboy for over 10 years. We were asked to play a kids show and so we decided to just add Jr. Now we are stuck with it. But the name Ratboy is from an obscure '80s movie that we both love. Day jobs: Timmy is a Media Arts School Teacher and Matty works as a bartender and booking bands. They once had jobs as a Spaceman and a Banana...true story! Favorite road food: Breakfast...that was an easy one! Favorite stage outfit: We like to wear vintage wester shirts, with vintage bowties, and new hats. We sometimes wear chickens on our heads..well every time. Musical heroes: Frank Zappa, Shel Silverstein, Ween, and Dog on Fleas Website: ratboyjr.com/fr_home.cfm Myspace: www.myspace.com/ratboyjunior Facebook: www.facebook.com/ratboyjr
Drivin' Sideways - 8 p.m.
Drivin' Sideways is “real country music” fueled by Pontiac Pete Ferguson’s alternately soulful and ornery vocals and backed by veteran local musicians guitarist George Bedard, bassist Chris G, drummer Mark Newbound, and keyboardist Jim King. Their country-based repertoire features lots of classic honky-tonk, as well as covers of everyone from Chuck Berry and Johnny Burnette to the Beatles and James Brown.
Movie: "Hugo" - 10 p.m.
Running time: 126 minutes. Rating: PG. Directed by Martin Scorsese (2011).
Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. He learned to fix clocks and other gadgets from his father and uncle, which he puts to use keeping the train station clocks running. When he discovers a secret left by his deceased father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place to call home.
The Roots Lounge, presented by AnnArbor.com
Stop by The Roots Lounge, a new feature at the festival this year, presented by AnnArbor.com. With free public WiFi available through 20/20 Communications, it’s a place where you can post, share, tweet, read or just relax, listen and enjoy. And if your smartphone or tablet runs out of juice, stop by and use the free charging station.
Tonight, it’s Ice Cream Sundays. Stop by The Roots Lounge between 6 and 10 p.m. and get a coupon for 50 cents off your purchase of Stucchi’s Ice Cream at the Top of the Park Stuchhi’s Booth, compliments of AnnArbor.com and WEMU. Sundays only while supplies last.
Retreat: Bollywood Indian Dance Class - 5-6 p.m.
"Retreat" is a series of mind-body sessions at Top of the Park. Led by experienced practitioners, all sessions are free, and take place each weekend in the gardens and courtyards surrounding the Alumni Center of Fletcher Street. This evening, a Bollywood Indian Dance Class on the Power Center lawn, with BollyFit Dance instuctor Anuja Rajendra.
KidZone - 5-8 p.m.
As described by the festival, "An interactive area for our youngest concert-goers, the Kidzone tent provides a fun and safe area for children and their parents to discover and explore a wide variety of hands-on activities with different community partners. From getting temporary tattoos, creating homemade instruments, or jamming out rock band style, KidZone offers different nightly activities for families at Top of the Park."
Top of the Park takes place in front of the Rackham Building on East Washington Street. In addition to the daily entertainment, a variety of local food vendors will also be on hand each night. For more information, see the Summer Festival website, and watch AnnArbor.com for complete coverage of festival events.
View Summer Festival Top of The Park 2012 in a larger map