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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

Spend the Night - Reader's Choice

Reader's choice for nightlife in Metro Detroit

Macomb County

TIE 

Sandbaggers Bar & Grill 

25615 Van Dyke Ave., Center Line; 586-759-5900; sandbaggersbg.com

The Alibi Bar

7266 E. Nine Mile, Warren; 586-759-3930

We don't mind a bar with a slogan. Even if it's kind of generic, that's fine as long as it's genuine. Sandbaggers is self-proclaimed place for "Good times, good food, and great friends." All that's missing, they say, "is you!" You'll find NASCAR mirrors, electric darts and flirty women in their forties at this unpretentious east side shot-and-a-beer barroom. And the Alibi is an intimate room where the booze flows and barstool storytellers belly up with their tales of misadventure. From Wednesday through Sunday, karaoke careens from the depths of the diaphragm of many a seasoned drinker with songs as familiar as the folks that frequent this joint. At some point, everyone needs a good alibi.

Best Dive Bar, 

Washtenaw County

TIE

The Tap Room

201 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-482-5320; taproomypsi.com

Alley Bar

112 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-662-8757;alleybarannarbor.com

Around in various incarnations since 1941, the Tap Room has long been a staple drink spot in Ypsilanti. Today, with Michigan unbeatable beer and drink deals that can't be beat, open-mic nights, and some fine obligatory karaoke, this bar is dimly lit, offering just enough light to play a few games of pool or shuffleboard. All in all, it's an elbow-on-the-table, anything-goes kind of joint with above-average bar food and the kind of service that invites a return. For a dive, Allwy Bar sure does carry an arsenal of top-shelf bottles, including a number full of single malt scotches. There are some notable rarities as well, such as Russell's Reserve Rye, which you might want to try in a sazerac! But what the Alley really loves pushing is the Pickleback: a shot of whiskey (preferably Jameson, they say) chased with a shot of local pickle brine. Keep your eyes out for their annual Prohibition soiree this summer.

Best Honky-Tonk Bar

Diamondback Saloon

49345 Southbound I-94 Service Drive, Belleville; 

734-699-7899; diamondbackslaoon.com

If it weren't awesome enough that this authentic country-western barroom is right off the interstate, they also offer dirt cheap beer, live music and, yes, plenty of dance lessons. There's a classic car show coming right up and word is Diamondbackers like to play games, too. Some (ahem, Foreplay Thursdays) evidently end with sloshed patrons and seductive staff baring a whole lotta skin! Hotrods, hot bods and cowboy boots? Let's kick the tires and light the fires, Cochise!

Best Irish Pub

Old Shillelagh

349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007; oldshillelagh.com

So what if actual Irish folks actually steer clear of the Old Shillelagh? Located in the heart of Greektown (isn't that so Detroit?) this bar is Irish by name and by color, and gallons of Guinness (you can order 20-ounce mugs) and barrels of Bushmills whiskey can be found here. For the full-on Irish experience, Black Mist performs upstairs every Friday and Saturday night. But if it's a game day, the Old Shillelagh is as 'Merican as it gets. 

Best Karaoke, 

Wayne County

Rockstarz Karaoke Bar & Grill

33729 Ford Rd., Garden City; 734-522-7744; 

rockstarzbar.com

If "karaoke" literally shows up in the proper name of a bar and they don't win this category, something would be painfully wrong with this world. (Not like there already isn't, but you know what we mean.) Specializing in public humiliation and private parties (bachelorette, corporate, you name it), Rockstarz Karaoke Bar is fully equipped to enhance your karaoke experience. Period. 

Best Karaoke, 

Oakland County

Sneaker's Pub & Grill

22628 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-8243 

Ferndale, once unabashedly funky, is in the throes of transition, not unlike Royal Oak's evolution (or de-evolution depending on what side you take in the Gusoline vs. Blackfinn juxtaposition) a decade ago. Cleaner, fancier, slightly more pretentious establishments keep cropping up in Ferndale. Thank the lord there are still funky joints like Sneaker's, which maintains patronage from neighborhood regulars, hipsters and war vets in need of hip replacements. Folks from the music scene pop in to belt out a kitchy tune — but so do their mothers. 

Best Karaoke, 

Macomb County