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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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reader picks

Public Square - Reader's Choice

Best of Detroit 2012: Reader's choice for Metro Detroit By MT Staff 4/25/2012

Best Slogan for Metro Detroit

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Celebrating 45 years of Rebirth 4/25/2012

Best Way to Improve Downtown Ferndale

Public Square - Readers' Pick: More parking, free parking, less restrictive parking 4/25/2012

Best Way to Improve Downtown Birmingham

Public Square - Readers' Pick: More parking, free parking, less restrictive parking 4/25/2012

Best Way to Improve Downtown Royal Oak

Public Square - Readers' Pick: More parking, free parking, less restrictive parking 4/25/2012

Best Way to Improve Midtown Detroit

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Better public transit 4/25/2012

Best Way to Improve Downtown Detroit

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Better public transit 4/25/2012

Best Way for Detroit to Deal with Its Debt

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Emergency manager 4/25/2012

Best Local College

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Wayne State University 4/25/2012

Best New Player for Lions To Pick Up

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Not Tebow 4/25/2012

Best Draft Pick for Pistons

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Brandon Knight 4/25/2012

Best Piston

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Greg Monroe 4/25/2012

Best Red Wing

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Pavel Datsyuk 4/25/2012

Best Free Agent for Tigers To Pick Up

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Prince Fielder 4/25/2012

Best Local Amateur Athlete

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Tiny Ninja 4/25/2012

Best Tiger

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Justin Verlander 4/25/2012

Best Local Pro Athlete

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Justin Verlander 4/25/2012

Best Lion

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Calvin Johnson 4/25/2012

Best Local Sports Story

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Lions Make Playoffs 4/25/2012

Best Concert of 2011

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Paul McCartney at Comerica Park 4/25/2012

Best Nickname for Macomb County Exec Mark Hackel

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Hack 4/25/2012

Best Nickname for Wayne County Exec Robert Ficano

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Crook 4/25/2012

Best Nickname for Oakland County Exec Brooks Patterson

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Brooksie 4/25/2012

Best Nickname for Mayor Dave Bing

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Bingo 4/25/2012

Best Nickname for Gov. Rick Snyder

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Dick 4/25/2012

Best Candidate for President in 2012

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Barack Obama 4/25/2012

Best Radio Personality

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Craig Fahle 4/25/2012

Best Radio Morning Show

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Dave and Chuck "the Freak," 4/25/2012

Best Radio Music Show

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Ann Delisi's Essential Music 4/25/2012

Best Public Golf Course

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Rackham Golf Course 4/25/2012

Best Local Music Festival

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Movement 4/25/2012

Best Reason to Invite Me to the Metro Times Best of Detroit Party

Public Square - Readers' Pick: A few clever responses to why you should attend 4/25/2012

Best TV Morning Show Personality

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Jason Carr 4/25/2012

Best TV Newscaster

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Devin Scillian 4/25/2012

Best Frisbee Golf Park

Public Square - Staff Pick: Stony Creek Metro Park 4/25/2012

Best TV News

Public Square - Readers' Pick: FOX2 (WJBK) 4/25/2012

Best Farmers' Market, Washtenaw County

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Ann Arbor Farmers' Market 4/25/2012

Best Farmers' Market, Macomb County

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Mount Clemens Farmers' Market 4/25/2012

Best Farmers' Market, Oakland County

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Royal Oak Farmers Market 4/25/2012

Best Farmers' Market, Wayne County

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Eastern Market 4/25/2012

Best Dog Park

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Orion Oaks Couny Park 4/25/2012

Best Nature or Hiking Trail

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Kensington Metro Park 4/25/2012

Best Frisbee Golf Park

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Stony Creek Metro Park 4/25/2012

Best Place to Bike

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Stony Creek Metro Park 4/25/2012

Best Beach

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Lake St. Clair Metro Park 4/25/2012

Best Bingo Night Venue

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Drag Queen Bingo at Five15 4/25/2012

Best Alley for Altered-State Bowling

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Garden Bowl 4/25/2012

Best Bowling Alley

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Garden Bowl 4/25/2012

Best Place to See Locl Theater

Public Square - Readers' Pick: The Who Wants Cake? theater company's Ringwald Theatre 4/25/2012

Best Local Film Festival

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Ann Arbor Film Festival 4/25/2012

Best Place to See an Indie Film

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Main Art Theatre 4/25/2012

Best Place to See a Mainstream Film

Public Square - Readers' Pick: Emagine Royal Oak 4/25/2012
staff picks

Public Square - Staff Picks

Best of Detroit 2012: Our staff picks for Metro Detroit By MT Staff 4/25/2012

Best Thing About Local Right-Wing Radio

Public Square - Staff Pick: Charlie Langton's show on WXYT-AM/1270 4/25/2012

Best Detroit Asset to Protect

Public Square - Staff Pick: Water & Sewerage Department 4/25/2012

Best Vision for Mass Transit

Public Square - Staff Pick: Freshwater Railway 4/25/2012

Best Food Desert Fighters

Public Square - Staff Pick: Peaches & Greens 4/25/2012

Best Local Reality TV Stars

Public Square - Staff Pick: The Gold Family 4/25/2012

Best Change to Local Left-Wing Radio

Public Square - Staff Pick: Thom Hartmann's new time slot on WDTW/1310 AM 4/25/2012

Best Example of Journalism Shaking

Public Square - Staff Pick: WXYZ-TV's "Wayne County Confidential" series 4/25/2012

Best Inner-City Duck Farm

Public Square - Staff Pick: Laid in Detroit 4/25/2012

Best Food Desert Fighters

Public Square - Staff Pick: Peaches & Greens 4/25/2012

Best Way to Build Community with Beer

Public Square - Staff Pick: Tashmoo Biergarten 4/25/2012

Best Gardening Deal for City Residents

Public Square - Staff Pick: The Garden Resource Program 4/25/2012

Best Day to Be a Fish at the Belle Isle Aquarium

Public Square - Staff Pick: Shiver on the River 4/25/2012

Best Creative Class Mingle

Public Square - Staff Pick: Drinks x Design 4/25/2012

Best New Pro Sports Team

Public Square - Staff Pick: American Ultimate Disc League's Detroit Mechanix 4/25/2012

Best Art Idea to Steal

Public Square - Staff Pick: Lansing's Old Town Scrapfest 4/25/2012

Best Hope for the Detroit Institute of Arts

Public Square - Staff Pick: The people 4/25/2012

Best Poet for Busy People

Public Square - Staff Pick: Ken Mikolowski 4/25/2012

Best Arts Campaign

Public Square - Staff Pick: Fela! at Music Hall 4/25/2012

Best Reason We Still Have a Hoedown in Motown

Public Square - Staff Pick: Tim Roberts, program director, WYCD-FM 4/25/2012

Best Low-Power Radio Station

Public Square - Staff Pick: 1610-AM, The Station 4/25/2012