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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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readers picks

Real Deal - Reader's Choice

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

Best Place to Buy Detroit Products

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Pure Detroit 4/25/2012
Best Jewelry Store

Best Jewelry Store

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: The Diamond Vault of Troy 4/25/2012

Best Gift Shop, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Pure Detroit 4/25/2012

Best Gift Shop, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Catching Fireflies 4/25/2012

Best Gift Shop, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: The Rocket 4/25/2012

Best Jewelry Repair

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Miner's Den 4/25/2012

Best Florist

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Blumz 4/25/2012

Best Indie Hardware Shop in the Suburbs

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Frentz & Sons 4/25/2012

Best Indie Hardware Shop in Detroit

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Busy Bee 4/25/2012

Best Bicycle Shop in the Suburbs

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop 4/25/2012

Best Bicycle Shop in Detroit

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: The Hub 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy Skates/Skateboard/etc

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Modern Skate & Surf 4/25/2012

Best Place for Audio Gear

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Guitar Center 4/25/2012

Best Store for Musical Instruments

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Guitar Center 4/25/2012

Best Indie Record Store, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Dearborn Music 4/25/2012

Best Indie Record Store, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: UHF 4/25/2012

Best Indie Record Store, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Melodies & Memories 4/25/2012

Best Indie Record Store, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Encore Records 4/25/2012

Best Grow Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Cultivation Station 4/25/2012

Best Wine Selection in a Store, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Plum Market 4/25/2012

Best Beer Selection in a Store, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: The Beer Depot 4/25/2012

Best Wine Selection in a Store, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Champane's Wine Cellars 4/25/2012

Best Beer Selection in a Store, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Champane's Wine Cellars 4/25/2012

Best Wine Selection in a Store, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Holiday Market 4/25/2012

Best Beer Selection in a Store, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Holiday Market 4/25/2012

Best Wine Selection in a Store, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Merchant's Fine Wine 4/25/2012

Best Beer Selection in a Store, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Merchant's Fine Wine 4/25/2012

Best Indie Health Food Store

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Natural Food Patch 4/25/2012

Best Independent Grocery Store, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Arbor Farms 4/25/2012

Best Independent Grocery Store, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Nino Salvaggio 4/25/2012

Best Independent Grocery Store, Oakland

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Western Market 4/25/2012

Best Independent Grocery Store, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Honey Bee La Colmena 4/25/2012

Best Motorcycle Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Motor City Harley-Davidson 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy a Car, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Varsity Ford 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy a Car, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Tie between Dorian Ford and Jeffrey Auto 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy a Car, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy a Car, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Jack Demmer 4/25/2012

Best Place for Car Audio Equipment

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Mickey Shorr 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy a Mattress

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Art Van Furniture 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy Home Accessories

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Bed, Bath & Beyond 4/25/2012

Best Indie Furniture Store

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Tie between Leon & Lulu's and Bright Ideas 4/25/2012

Best Place to Sell Your Gold

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Tapper's Gold Exchange 4/25/2012

Best Video Selection

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Thomas Video & DVD 4/25/2012

Best Indie Bookstore in the Suburbs

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Book Beat 4/25/2012

John K. King Used and Rare Books

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Tiny Ninja 4/25/2012

Best Comic Book Shop, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Vault of Midnight 4/25/2012

Best Comic Book Shop, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Comix Corner 4/25/2012

Best Comic Book Shop, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Detroit Comics 4/25/2012

Best Comic Book Shop, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Green Brain 4/25/2012

Best Michigan Product

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Better Made 4/25/2012

Best Head Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: B.D.T. Pipe and Tobacco 4/25/2012

Best Tobacco/Smoke Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Smoker's Outlet 4/25/2012

Best Body-Piercing Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Signature Tattoo 4/25/2012

Best Tattoo Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Eternal Tattoos 4/25/2012

Best Adult Novelty Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Noir Leather 4/25/2012

Best African-American Hair Salon

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Textures by Nefertiti 4/25/2012

Best Hair Salon, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Douglas J. Aveda Institute 4/25/2012

Best Hair Salon, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: London Calling 4/25/2012

Best Hair Salon, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Flip 4/25/2012

Best Hair Salon, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Curl Up & Die 4/25/2012

Best Antique Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: DuMouchelles 4/25/2012

Best Flea Market

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Dixieland 4/25/2012

Best Makeup Studio

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: ROUGE Makeup & Nail Studio 4/25/2012

Best Nail Salon

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: ROUGE Makeup & Nail Studio 4/25/2012

Best Indie Lingerie Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Harp's 4/25/2012

Best Eyewear Boutique

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: SEE 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy Shoes

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: DSW 4/25/2012

Best Place to Buy Jeans

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Old Navy 4/25/2012

Best Indie Men's Clothing, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Bivouac 4/25/2012

Best Vintage Clothing, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: The Getup Vintage 4/25/2012

Best Vintage Clothing, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Lost & Found 4/25/2012

Best Vintage Clothing, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Rachel's Place 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Washtenaw County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Tied between Orchid Lane and Mix 4/25/2012

Best Thrift Shop

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Salvation Army 4/25/2012

Best Vintage Clothing, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Salvation Army 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Macomb County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Salvation Army 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Incognito 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Oakland County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Incognito 4/25/2012

Best Indie Men's Clothing, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Showtime 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Wayne County

Real Deal - Readers' Pick: Showtime 4/25/2012
staff picks

Real Deal - Staff Picks

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

Best Place to Get Wedding Photos that Pop

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Stereoghost 4/25/2012

Best Detroit Gift Destination

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Tulani Rose in the Spiral Collective 4/25/2012

Best Place for Kitchen Supplies

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Advanced Restaurant Services 4/25/2012

Best Place to Shop, Cook & Stay

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Honor & Folly 4/25/2012

Best Place to Put Up Visitors on the Cheap

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Hostel Detroit 4/25/2012

Best Place to Shop in Color

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Scout 4/25/2012

Best Retro Store with Retro Soundtrack

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Regeneration 4/25/2012

Best Retail Change Over

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Nest 4/25/2012

Best Way to Soap up Your Skin

Real Deal - Staff Pick: DressGreen 4/25/2012

Best Place to Outfit

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Hosiery with Style 4/25/2012

Best New Boutique

Real Deal - Staff Pick: The Peacock Room 4/25/2012

Best New Detroit Retail Addition

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Detroit Farm and Garden 4/25/2012

Best Place to Rent a Costume

Real Deal - Staff Pick: The Parade Company 4/25/2012

Best Place to Pretend You Live in Portland

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Rustbelt Market 4/25/2012

Best Indie Women's Clothing, Macomb County

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Salvation Army 4/25/2012

Best Folks to Get Out that Damn Spot

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Chet's Cleaning 4/25/2012

Best Audio Store

Real Deal - Staff Pick: David Michael Audio 4/25/2012

Best Place to Record Shop on Foot

Real Deal - Staff Pick: Hamtramck 4/25/2012

Best Century-Old Business Reborn Under a New Name

Real Deal - Staff Pick: R. Hirt Jr.'s retail store 4/25/2012