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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Detroit can mean many things. Technically, it is the largest city in Michigan, that fabled, troubled — and lately, heavily documented — metropolis of more than 700,000. For news writers, it can mean Detroit’s big auto companies. Call it “Motown” and it conjures memories of the city’s musical heyday. But for many in southeastern Michigan, it’s our region, spilling out from the ancient river settlement (founded way back in 1701) to the bluffs of Mount Clemens to the parklands of northern Oakland County to the shop-lined streets of Ann Arbor to the blue-collar towns downriver. The area sprawls over more than 1,200 square miles, encompasses four counties and more than 3 million people. It’s anything but monolithic, and offers so much to do and see that even locals sometimes forget what’s in their own back yard. For this year’s Annual Manual, our handy “user’s guide” to the Motor City, we decided to go in a different direction than we typically do. Instead of 10,000 pages of listings, we wanted to make something that we hope is actually kind of fun. We’ve got paper dolls wearing the coolest threads you can find locally, our (non-FDA approved) Detroit Food Pyramid, a primer on touring Detroit’s ruins, advice for clueless male shoppers, a Detroit mixtape, the lowdown on under-the-radar theaters, info on locally-crafted brews and much, much more. Yes, for plenty of people, “Detroit” is just a punch line. But whether you’re a new resident, a visitor or just a local yokel looking for the bigger picture, the more you learn about our region, the more it demands your grudging admiration. With that in mind, we offer you this peek under the hood.

Flip through a virtual edition of the 2014 Annual Manual, or peruse the articles below.


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Annual events in metro Detroit

Annual events in metro Detroit

Attractions: Your guide to annual events, festivals and attractions. By Detroit Metro Times staff 2/25/2014
Your guide to Detroit\'s ruins

Your guide to Detroit's ruins

Attractions: Urban explorer Seph Lawless give tips for anyone crazy enough to follow his footsteps. By Lee DeVito 2/25/2014
Detroit food trendometer

Detroit food trendometer

Eat: A look at Detroit dining, where it’s been, and where we’d like to see it go. By Michael Jackman 2/25/2014
Detroit barbecue\'s choice cuts

Detroit barbecue's choice cuts

Eat: From its authentic past to its red-hot present. By Michael Jackman 2/25/2014
The Detroit food pyramid

The Detroit food pyramid

Eat: How to eat like a real Detroiter. By Michael jackman 2/25/2014
The Detroit mixtape

The Detroit mixtape

Music: Music for the Motor City. By Brett Callwood 2/25/2014
Motor City Fives: Record shops worth a closer look

Motor City Fives: Record shops worth a closer look

Music: Spin-friendly. By Brett Callwood 2/25/2014
Motor City Fives: Top tribute bands

Motor City Fives: Top tribute bands

Music: Where to find the next big thing to the real thing on local stages. By Brett Callwood 2/25/2014
The major Detroit players in all the key genres

The major Detroit players in all the key genres

Music: Top of the Tops By Brett Callwood 2/25/2014
Elektricity\'s Amir Daiza knows how to run a club

Elektricity's Amir Daiza knows how to run a club

Music: Elektrifying Detroit. By Brett Callwood 2/25/2014
The best of the craft beverage movement

The best of the craft beverage movement

Drink: Drink me. By Johnny Drop 2/25/2014
The Detroit drinking matrix

The Detroit drinking matrix

Drink: A bar for every purpose under heaven. By Michael Jackman 2/25/2014
Guide to outdoor art in Detroit

Guide to outdoor art in Detroit

Arts: There are plenty of alternative places to see great art in Detroit. By Lee DeVito 2/26/2014
Your guide to art galleries

Your guide to art galleries

Arts: An art gallery scatter graph. By Lee DeVito 2/26/2014
Artistic annual events in metro Detroit

Artistic annual events in metro Detroit

Arts: Fair game. By Detroit Metro Times staff 2/26/2014
Guide to Detroit\'s other theaters

Guide to Detroit's other theaters

Arts: Forget Broadway. By Detroit Metro Times staff 2/26/2014
Toast skirts keep you warm, looking cool

Toast skirts keep you warm, looking cool

Shopping: Skirting with fame. By Brett Callwood 2/26/2014
The crafty cop

The crafty cop

Shopping: Former Detroit cop finds his crafty side. By Brett Callwood 2/26/2014
Suprieur Brand T-shirts recall Michigan\'s yesteryear

Suprieur Brand T-shirts recall Michigan's yesteryear

Shopping: Michigan to a 'T.' By Michael Jackman 2/26/2014
Five shopping tips for the clueless dude

Five shopping tips for the clueless dude

Shopping: Make her smile. By Michael Jackman 2/26/2014
Bitchin\' Detroit threads

Bitchin' Detroit threads

Shopping: Help keep you flossin'. By Tyler Martin 2/26/2014
Treat yo\'self!

Treat yo'self!

Shopping: 8 ways to pamper yourself in Detroit. By Tyler Martin 2/26/2014