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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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Best of Detroit 2012

Real Deal - Reader's Choice

Reader's choice of retail in Metro Detroit

The Getup is the go-to spot for mid-century mod style mavens. Its vast selection zeroes in on the '40s through the '70s, but if go-go boots, bellbottoms and mini-dresses aren't your thing, pieces from Victorian times up through the '80s can be plucked from the store's bursting racks. The owner's keen eye is evidenced by the stock of immaculately cared-for, premium-quality garments. Affordable prices, frequent sales, a continually updated inventory, and an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff just add to the Getup's perpetual appeal.

Best Indie Men's Clothing, Washtenaw County

Bivouac

336 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-6207; bivouacannarbor.com

For more than 40 years, Bivouac has supplied stylish hikers and campers with both top-notch gear and high-end fashions. While it seems like an odd combo, the formula has obviously worked — the shop occupies three storefronts and multiple floors, laying claim to passionately loyal customers whose devotion borders on fanaticism. For gear snobs, there's a wide selection of well-known brands, such as North Face and Patagonia, alongside smaller names. For style-savvy men, there's a vast selection of clothing by big-name designers, from Lacoste polos to 7 For All Mankind denim. Most of the items don't come cheap, but this is a case where you get what you pay for — and Bivouac will match any competitor's prices.

Best Place to Buy Jeans

Old Navy

See oldnavy.gap.com for dozens of locations

Whether you're looking for skinny or boot-cut, straight-leg or flare, Old Navy has your denim. Most jeans average about $30 a pair, but some dip as low as $15 or $20. Choose between dark and faded, distressed and clean-cut, or get a pair of each. You can shop in-store for the perfect fit or order online if you've already found your fit and want another pair in pastel or black. Unlike affordable jeans at other establishments, our readers love that Old Navy's jeans hold up as the wardrobe staples they are, resisting loss of shape and bagging out.

Best Place to Buy Shoes

DSW

dsw.com

A vast expanse of tantalizing designer footwear at reduced prices makes DSW an obvious stop for shoe lovers. Whether you're searching out the perfect pair of strappy heels, the latest summer sandals or even a pair of practical tennies, DSW is bound to have it. The wide selection represents brands as diverse as Reebok and Gucci, Converse and Via Spiga, in men's, women's and kid's styles. Check out the discount rack for even better deals on all variety of flashy kicks.

Best Eyewear Boutique

SEE

160 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-723-1900

308 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-622-8056; 

more locations at seeeyewear.com

SEE's concept is inspired in its design and flawless in its execution: Use the best eyewear designers operating in Europe, hunting out obscure gems and talented up-and-comers; relentlessly review their prototypes and reject anything that's too pedestrian; stock shops with the most exciting frames, made exclusively for SEE. The result? Stores full of truly one-of-a-kind glasses that are chic, functional and miraculously affordable.

Best Indie Lingerie Shop

Harp's

265 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-642-2555; harps-lingerie.com

At Harp's, it's all about the fit. With 65 years of experience in the lingerie biz, this downtown Birmingham shop can outfit any lady with the lingerie that perfectly holds it up, sucks it in, smoothes it out or turns it on. The store offers a wide variety of fun and functional intimate apparel of the finest European and American brands. Customer service and personal consultations are the hallmarks of Harp's, ensuring that no customer should ever have to wear an ill-fitting bra again.

Best Nail Salon

 

Best Makeup Studio

ROUGE Makeup & Nail Studio

23341 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248- 439-6010; rougemakeupandnails.com

At ROUGE, the traditional salon approach of harsh beauty treatments built around toxic chemicals is a complete unknown. Instead, pampering comes courtesy of all-natural cosmetics and vegan and organic skincare and nail products. After all, it just makes sense that manis, pedis and makeovers shouldn't just make you look good, but also be good for you. And if sea salt scrubs, organic ginger oil and colorful, chemical-free eye shadows don't sound good to you, you don't deserve the indulgence. ROUGE offers services that range from full-on luxury to quick touch-ups. Make-up application lessons, girl's night out parties and other services are also available.

Best Flea Market

Dixieland

2045 Dixie Hwy., Waterford; 248-338-3220; dixielandfleamkt.com

More than 250 vendors populate Dixieland, a perpetual readers' fave. A true hodgepodge of merch is available for wannabe pickers, including instruments, antiques, collectibles, retro memorabilia, western wear, comics, coins, household goods, clothes — the things you need and the things you don't, but can't live without. Dixieland is open Fridays through Sundays; check the website for a calendar of upcoming special events.

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