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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955;

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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The Detroit drinking matrix

A bar for every purpose under heaven.

Photo: Photo via Lindsey G, Flickr Creative Commons, License: N/A

Photo via Lindsey G, Flickr Creative Commons


Divey: When it comes to dive bars with music, Hamtramck is the place. They pack them in for punk and other niche metal shows at New Dodge, the Painted Lady and especially at Small’s, where you can catch local and international acts.

Quirky: One of the more unusual spots in the city is Udetroit Café, in Detroit’s old Harmonie Park, where you can watch live groups strut their stuff. An impressive string of residencies at Detroit’s Northern Lights Lounge make that a popular spot some nights too.

Upscale: Not only is historic Baker’s the oldest continuously operating jazz venue in the world, it also hosts terrific live bands. But it also has a bar that one national magazine declared among the best in the country, with its stylish piano keyboard design.

Posh: The gloriously art deco splendor of Cliff Bell’s recalls the 1930s, smacking of a more sensuous era, when patrons haunted such smoky little cabarets with relish. With their nattily attired staff and live jazz, it’s easy to get lost in the illusion of Detroit’s bustling past.


Divey: Take a date to a dive bar? Well, when the dive bar is in swanky Royal Oak, as Gusoline Alley is, she’ll know you’re unpretentious and enjoy having fun. Between the jukebox, the pinball machines and the busy weekend crowd, Gus’ is a terrific refuge from (and antidote to) Royal Oak’s overheated dining scene.

Quirky: This neighborhood biergarten known as the Berkley Front always has several local brews to choose from, matched up against a genuine selection of German and Belgian ones. The bar also features an uncarbonated pull, which draws cellar-temperature beer into a glass without all the CO2. The bar gets busy, but the booths provide intimacy.

Upscale: Detroit’s Majestic Café is right in the heart of the Majestic entertainment complex. With the theater in the back, the Magic Stick upstairs, the pizza place to the side and Detroit’s oldest bowling alley in the back, the café and bar of the café make a great place to meet, with choices for an entertaining evening all around you.

Posh: The 24 Grille is a beige-and-brown oasis decked out in leather and wood, with cushioned stools and benches all set off with low-key lighting from creative fixtures. The mood is set by the artistic illumination, which includes ribbons of Swarovski crystal. They decorate the bar and play well against the restaurant’s dark, sexy tones.


Divey: Voted by our readers the Best Bar to Hook Up With Someone, Ferndale’s Boogie Fever is Ferndale’s mecca of salacious cougars, meandering sugar daddies and armies of bachelorettes. The neon lit dance floor and the bellowing tunes of yesteryear, help troves of drunken lady trains and crooning men to start snagging the night’s fun. It’s not too divey, but … divey enough.

Quirky: When BlackFinn opened five years ago, our readers named it Best Pick-Up Bar. There were always so many miniskirts and shiny-shirts waiting in the freezing cold in a line on a Thursday night, we knew it wasn’t the fish and chips packing the nightly crowds in. As of March 2014, the joint reopens with a new interior design and an updated menu. But the main draw should be the same.

Upscale: When it opened more than a decade ago, Ferndale’s the Bosco was like that one club with frosted glass and a stylish bar that looked straight out of Brooklyn. On some nights, the place is packed with good-looking twenty- and thirtysomethings mingling in front of the marble-backed bar, spilling out onto the enclosed patio area. Now the Bosco is a classic in the midst of a refreshed dining scene.

Posh: If anybody at Corner Bar is slumming it, it’s the jet-setting celebrities who choose (and can afford) lodging at the plush Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, where a generation of moneyed suburbanites have staked their claim at “urban chic.” With movie theaters, upscale eateries, shops and parks within walking distance, you can get hammered with stylishly dressed people and, perhaps, a celeb or two.

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