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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face 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