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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; tangentgallery.com.

    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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2012 Best of Detroit

Nutritional Value - Reader's Choice

Reader's choice for dining in Metro Detroit

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15, Oakland County

Kalamata Greek Grill

3149 Crooks Rd., Troy; 248-643-2600; 

kalamatagreek.com

Kalamata's counter staff stays busy preparing generously portioned fresh Greek dishes. The menu includes Greek favorites — spinach pie, lemon rice soup, gyros and Greek lasagna — all for no more than $10. House-grilled pitas are available with most dishes.

Best Restaurant to

Spend Less Than $15, 

Macomb County

Seeburger's Cheeseburgers

71 N. Main St., Mt. Clemens; 586-468-4200; seeburgerscheeseburgers.com

Owner Todd loves to talk burgers at this counter service restaurant. The sliders are especially tasty, served three in a basket, and topped with caramelized onions and cheese. But there's more to Seeburger's than just burgers; they also offer meat-filled Italian panini or a generous antipasto salad. They also have a full-service Stroh's ice cream counter, where you can order cream puffs, malts and sundaes.

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15, Washtenaw County

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

551 S. Division St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-4590

You better order your burger just right; the menu asks you to read it properly before ordering. Yes, the staff at Blimpy Burger loves to poke fun at the customers, but it's all in good fun — and their fresh-ground burgers are worth it. Sloppy, tender and with more than 30 toppings and buns to choose from ... imagine how long it'll take you to eat through the possibilities.

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50, Oakland County

Union Woodshop

18 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-625-5660;    unionwoodshop.com

This retro-style barbeque restaurant serves mouthwatering smoked and slow-cooked ribs, pulled pork and chicken. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven, and there are also unique vegetarian options, such as the sweet potato burrito. Don't miss the mac and cheese: It's made with sharp cheddar, Parmesan and béchamel in a crunchy crust.

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50, 

Washtenaw County

Best Barbecue, 

Washtenaw County

Red Rock Downtown Barbecue

207 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-340-2381; redrockypsi.com

Freshly opened, Red Rock is a cozy barbecue joint decorated with an exposed brick and wood interior. They serve up the classics: brisket sandwiches, tender ribs, creamy mac and cheese, and more. They also offer a nice beer selection to go with your 'cue.

Best Italian Cuisine, Wayne County

Roma Café

3401 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-2253; romacafe.com

Detroit's oldest Italian restaurant serves up classic Italian dishes, including gnocchi, veal Parmesan, polenta and lasagna topped with a thick, rich tomato sauce. There is a full bar with a wide-ranging wine list. For dessert, we recommend a crisp cannoli studded with bits of chocolate and filled with sweetened, whipped ricotta cheese.

Best Italian Cuisine, Oakland County

Best Italian Cuisine, Macomb County

Andiamo

7096 E. 14 Mile Rd. Warren; 586-268-3200 

42705 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-348-3838;  

see andiamoitalia.com for more locations

The Andiamo mini-chain serves traditional Italian fare in an intimate setting that caters to both romantic couples and families. They serve such house-made favorites as spaghetti, lasagna and gnocchi, as well as more creative items, such as vitello con insalata portabella, a free-raised veal rib-eye steak in a portabella mushroom slaw served atop a bed of balsamic-braised Swiss chard. 

Best Italian Cuisine, Washtenaw County

Palio

347 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-930-6100;  paliorestaurant.com

This rustic Italian restaurant serves generously portioned Tuscan dishes, such as spaghetti Bolognese, with rich flavors of veal, pork, porcini mushrooms, fresh rosemary and more. Except thick soups, country breads, and grilled meats and fish.

Best French Cuisine

Le Petit Zinc

1055 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-963-2805; lepetitzincdetroit.com

Le Petit Zinc is a casual and bright little restaurant that offers delicious sweet to savory crêpes, goat cheese, ratatouille and more French-inspired cuisine. The garden patio is a lovely spot to dine al fresco on a nice summer day.

Best Greek Cuisine

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