In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy. And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]
This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang
Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang
Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]
“Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]
In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]
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The March Divide: 'Music for Television'
We’ve learned a few things from February’s Music for Film LP and Music for Television EP, the first two releases by Jared Putnam’s The March Divide...
Islands & Tigers: 'Failed Attempts'
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Surfer Blood: 'Pythons'
Three years after Surfer Blood took the indie-rock world by pleasant surprise with their wonderful debut, Astro Coast, the Floridian foursome is back with a more...
Wavves: 'Afraid of Heights'
From his days making shit-caked beach-gaze virtually by himself, Wavves’ Nathan Williams — who now records and tours with Jacob Cooper and Stephen Pope...
Justin Timberlake: 'The 20/20 Experience'
Whatever the reasons for and results of his seven-year musical hiatus, Justin Timberlake’s return is an exultant record that delivers on the promise of...
Lonely Horse celebrates EP release
San Antonio's Lonely Horse is a two-piece tribe comprised of Nick Long and Travis Hild. They make dark folk-rock which crackles with bluesy riffs...
David Bowie: 'The Next Day '
In the 10 years since David Bowie’s last release, 2003’s Reality, he has faced some documented and rumored health issues that left many of us...
The Offbeats: 'F' (EP)
The San Antonio four-piece The Offbeats — comprised of brothers Bryan, Colin, and Sean Foster along with guitarist Eric Romasanta — play a...
The March Divide: 'Music for Film'
Music for Films, the debut album from San Antonio's Jared Putnam (formerly of The Conversation) and company, leaves the listener lost in the anticipation of...
Something Fiction: 'Mycology (EP)'
Young Saytown head-trippers Something Fiction are back with an EP of new songs and remixes from 2011's patient and contemplative Botany EP. While each song...
The Rosedale Highs: 'Go Down'
Rosedale Highs sound as if your favorite '90s pop-punk band and your favorite '60s garage-pop group had a child who spent far too much time with Elvis Costello. On...
Pink: 'The Truth About Love'
Pink gets credit here for sticking to her guns — after all, she's always been a chameleon in style and a damaged postmodern romantic in content. But it is worth...
Matchbox 20: 'North'
I'll make this as quick and painless as possible. First of all, Matchbox 20 still exists (yes, the “push you around” guys). Secondly, they have a new record and...
Animal Collective: 'Centipede Hz'
Fierce and fiery, alien and nostalgic in one gasp, Animal Collective's ninth album is an amalgamation of the most gratifying idiosyncrasies and musical themes from...
Yeasayer: 'Fragrant World'
With their third album, Brooklyn's Yeasayer prove once again that they have no interest in artistic stillness. Picking up — in part — where 2010's Odd Blood...
Andrew Espinola: 'Into the Drink' EP
Newly transplanted from Austin to San Antonio, singer-songwriter Andrew Espinola makes direct and refreshing songs that are best classified as alt-country or...
Local band to watch: Last Nighters
A remarkably cohesive whole with parts born in disparate locales, Last Nighters is a San Antonio band with a far more fully realized sound that you'd expect from a...
Last Nighters: 'Animal Room'
Animal Room, the debut LP by San Antonio’s Last Nighters, plays like something of a concise history of modern Southern indie music. From blues to pop to country...
The Very Best: 'MTMTMK'
The marriage of London-based production/DJ duo Radioclit and Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya, The Very Best has yielded both deeply soulful and...
Bad Breaks: 'Bad Breaks'
Bad Breaks really captures my attention at the moment of transition into "Seppuku," the album's second (and best) song. It's a jarring transition that reminds me to...
Nas: 'Life is Good'
Though universally considered one of the greats, Nas has worked, to some extent, in the shadow of Biggie and 2Pac since his rapturous emergence in 1994.
Marcus Rubio: 'None of the Birds: Songs 2009-2011'
Even as local music gadfly Marcus Rubio's latest album satisfies my longing for pre-2000s Bright Eyes, it ranges across a breathtakingly broad spectrum of musical flavors. Neurotic songs about...
Dirty Projectors: 'Swing Lo Magellan'
As subtly disorienting an experience as Swing Lo Magellan is, it represents a move to center by indie rock’s most unflinchingly avant-garde outfit.
Chris Maddin: 'The Tiago Splitters'
Chris Maddin's backing band on this album, for whom it is named, is something of a Saytown super-group. The most important thing we get, however, from...
Something Fiction: 'Botany' EP
Thanks to their amorphous explorations of genre and musical color, Something Fiction is a difficult group to pin down, placing themselves willfully and...
Dent May: 'Do Things'
In a recent complaint from his twitter account (@dentmay), Dent May unwittingly summed up his new album’s character: “Call me chillwave one more time and...
Dent May will Do Things to you
Born in Mississippi and now back to bloom where he was planted, Dent May’s aesthetics and attitude are carefree and colorful in a uniquely southern way.
Marissa Nadler: 'The Sister'
Very few contemporary artists, or listeners for that matter, have the patience for music like Marissa Nadler's languid and heartbreaking folk. The music seems...
Live & Local: Vincent Vega
Though the line-up was all-around swell for the Rock Your Socks Off Festival at The Korova last Friday night...
Jack White: 'Blunderbuss'
For those who think of Jack White as a rock god turned eccentric music mogul peddling odd (and awful) one-off collaborative singles from a gaudy yellow...
The Mars Volta: 'Noctourniquet'
The Mars Volta is back. Back from a three-year hiatus, back from the bad Ouija trip of two albums too full of concept, and back to where they left off with...
Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory
In Attack on Memory, Dylan Baldi (recording as Cloud Nothings) has made his most refreshing — even prescient — work. From blistering yet beautifully trance-inducing opener...
Atlas Sound: Parallax
There is an eye of the storm quality that attends this album, like other Atlas Sound outings before it...