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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Music

The major Detroit players in all the key genres

Top of the Tops

Photo: Courtesy photo., License: N/A

Courtesy photo.

Battlecross, pictured here in full-on metal mode.


Indie

Jamaican Queens

Jamaican Queens pile on heavy rap beats, low-woozy-bass bursts, trundling 808 Rolands and cascades of spacey synth samples. Describing the JQ sound with his bandmate Adam Pressley, JQ-co-founder, guitarist, beat experimenter and producer Ryan Spencer tellingly repeats the phrase: “Fuck with it.” (Jeff Milo)

Also: George Morris, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Julian Paaige, Flint Eastwood

Punk

Easy Action

The most recent band featuring Negative Approach frontman John Brannon, Easy Action is a far more straightforward rock ’n’ roll band in the classic Motor City sense than either the pummeling, primitive hardcore of NA or the brooding art-noise of the Laughing Hyenas. Guitarist Harold Richardson agrees. “It’s a rock ’n’ roll band,” Richardson says. “If you’re familiar with Detroit rock, it’s pretty much that. It’s named after the Alice Cooper record.”

Also: Glitter Trash, Wilson, Nice Hooves, the Meatmen

Metal

Battlecross

This Detroit power metal five-piece, consisting of guitarists Hiran Deraniyagala and Tony Asta, vocalist Kyle Gunther, bassist Don Slater and drummer Michael Kreger, formed in 2004 — though they didn’t really start finding their metal feet until 2007. Getting on Metal Blade, a label with a big reputation, certainly hasn’t hurt Battlecross. The Canton-based band has seen its reputation blossom, thanks to a series of big tours and a high-profile release of Pursuit of Honor. The following album, War of Will, saw them shift up another gear. 

Also: Axe Ripper, Black Dahlia Murder, Hazardhead, HafLife

Blues

Jimmy McCarty

Let us all praise Jim McCarty. Since the ’60s, his respective band tenures — Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, the Buddy Miles Express, Cactus, the Rockets, Mystery Train — have borne the twin marks of diligence and class. Among a certain generation of heavy-rock fans, he remains one of America’s most esteemed musicians. It’s telling, though, and more than a little bit vexing, that among the Motor City’s contemporary garage-punk scenesters who’ve elevated his peers Ron Asheton and Fred “Sonic” Smith to godhood, McCarty is a prophet without honor — and he remains a performing mainstay locally. (Fred Mills)

Also: Alberta Adams, the Muggs, Andre Williams, Thornetta Davis

Jazz

Hot Club of Detroit

With a nod to Django Reinhardt, the Hot Club of Detroit plays gypsy-flavored jazz while capturing the spirit of downtown Detroit. “A lot of bands that model themselves after the Hot Club of France are now working with drummers or percussion of some sort,” says HCOD rhythm guitarist Paul Brady. “We never have. And by doing that it forces us to think creatively about what we can do without it.” Fair enough.

Also: Dave Bennett, Sean Dobbins Organ Quartet, Detroit Pleasure Society

R&B

Kem

Kem is one of those rare musicians whose music really is a reflection of his life, whose melodies are just as much healing medicine to him as they are ear candy to you. Once faced with homelessness and addiction, Kem made music his crutch, then his cross. Then he offered it to us. “Throughout my life,” he says, “throughout my addiction, music was the only thing constant. I could absorb myself in that. When singing, you let all your inhibitions to the side. You’re in the groove.” (Khary Kimani Turner)

Also: Bettye LaVette, Melvin Davis, the Wrong Numbers, (a current version of) the Four Tops

Rap

Danny Brown

We here at MT headquarters have always loved Brown — his transparent raps of sex and streets, his dope self-parodies and skinny jeans, his bad teeth and brilliant rhymes, his cheap beats and can’t-turn-away comic allure. Dude’s a total original. The jovial rapper immediately gives an impression of a kid who’s used to things going his way. He’s a riot in person, and it’s all wrapped up neatly when he flashes his trademark, tooth-deficient grin. He’s got confidence, a sense of self-satisfaction, to spare. One thing is certain: He’s not afraid to take career chances, and things do, inevitably, so far, work out in his favor. (MT Staff)

Also: Slum Village, Mae Day, Passalacqua, Cold Men Young

Electronica

Matt Clarke

Clarke has been DJing for 17 years, since he was 17 years old. And he’s been involved in dubstep since 2005. He describes the music as, “typically, 140 beats per minute. It has a kick on the one and a snare on the nine. It’s heavy, bass-influenced and that’s pretty much the limitations to the genre. That’s what defines it. It came out of UK garage, and drum & bass. Everything comes from UK house and techno. It’s just one of the new offshoots of electronic music, focusing on that bass.” Dubstep in the Motor City is building a sizable following because of guys like Clarke and artists such as Serax, Calico, Laceration Selekta and Item9. 

Also: Carjack, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, Jeff Mills

Pop

Electric Graffiti

These 15-year-old girls, who claim to be influenced by the Beatles and the Stones, though they also love Coldplay and Muse, say they often struggle to get gigs because bookers don’t always take them seriously. While that is kind of understandable, it’s a problem they likely won’t have for long. Word is getting out that they have the quirkiest pop show in town and, hey, if they have to play a few libraries and parks first, so be it.

Also: Lightning Love, Pewter Cub, Lettercamp, Duane the Brand New Dog

Country

Whitey Morgan & the 78’s

Strictly speaking, Morgan and his boys are from Flint, but they play all over the Detroit area. Morgan belts out songs in a voice from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line, and his band’s outlaw country sound is beautifully rugged. Detroit, long a destination for northbound Southerners, can produce a band that’s all-country, but in a very Detroit way.

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