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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face 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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