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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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Best of Detroit 2013

Spend the Night - Reader's Choice

Reader's choice for nightlife in Metro Detroit

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Best Bar for Under 30s

The Loving Touch

22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3644

It has been a huge year for the Loving Touch, that room next to the WAB that used to be a seedy massage place, happy endings guaranteed. The place has grown into one of the most happening rooms on the music scene thanks to some tremendous shows, many of them free, very cool bar staff and an overall unique and friendly vibe. The bands are right there in your face, and that adds to the ambience. When it’s all done, your ending is still happy, just in a different way.

 

Best Bar to Hook Up With Someone

Boogie Fever

22901 Woodward Ave., Ferndale

248-541-1600; boogiefevercafe.com

Boogie Fever is Ferndale’s Mecca of salacious cougars, meandering sugar daddies and armies of bachelorettes equipped with dildos, inflatable penises and pink tiaras. The neon lit dance floor and the bellowing tunes of yesteryear, help troves of drunken lady trains and crooning men to start snagging the night’s fun. What better mix can you ask for when you’re looking for that hook-up?

 

Best Dive Bar in Wayne County

Old Miami

3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830

The collage of worn military unit patches behind the bar will be the first thing to catch your eye when you take a seat in Old Miami. The great prices and conversations will catch you next, tickling the right senses and making you feel like the “dive” isn’t preparing you for a crash landing. If you go past the stage, which typically holds Detroit’s up and coming indie artists, and go outside, you’ll see the spacious back yard, stylized for the type of lounging that’s usually saved for summer bon fires and late night rendezvous.

 

Best Bartender

Patrick Tierney at Gusoline Alley

Best Dive Bar in Oakland County

Best Jukebox

Best Bottled Beer Selection in a Bar

Gusoline Alley

309 S. Center St., Royal Oak

248-545-2235

The casual nightwalker, tiptoeing on the edge of Royal Oak’s downtown, might stumble their way into Gusoline Alley and become enthralled by its walls of motor city memorabilia and great music from an unrivaled, legendary jukebox that has everything from cherry jazz hits from Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck to rebel country from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. It’s those things, along with decent drinks that range from local brews to ones of the Bavarian kind, that have brought Gusoline back on this list. Add in the exceptional bathroom graffiti and Bartender Patrick Tierney’s sideburns and you have dive bar that not many in Oakland can compete with.

 

Best Dive Bar in Macomb County

Club FT

26061 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-772-6750

You know those places where the bartender is condescending, the music is too loud and you get gouged $5 for a Pabst? That’s totally not Club FT. For affordable drinks and quick service, this place is a friendly little oasis.

 

Best Dive Bar in Washtenaw County

The 8 Ball Saloon

208 S. First St., Ann Arbor

734-996-8555; blindpigmusic.com

Pleasantly divey little joint just downstairs from the Blind Pig, sort of resembles a Washtenaw County version of the Painted Lady. Just goes to show you that Washtenaw County ain’t all yuppies.

 

Best Honky-Tonk Bar

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill

4698 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills

248-454-8629; countrybarmi.com

At this high-energy country club, you can find live music, “whiskey girls,” even drink out of a real Mason jar, but the menu is surprisingly long and varied for a honky-tonk.

 

Best Irish Pub

Dick O Dow’s

160 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham

248-642-1135; dickodowspub.com

For the past 17 years, Dick O’Dow’s has been Birmingham’s most popular unpretentious watering hole. Created by the late Dick O’Connor, Peter Dow and Mitch Black in the central shopping district on Maple, the dimly lit pub, graced with simple wooden tables and chairs, faded wall murals from the Book of Kells, agricultural paraphernalia and a wide variety of Irish kitsch, is a surprisingly accurate re-creation of a rural local where you can get a pint of plain.

 

Best Bar for Karaoke in Wayne County

Comet Bar

128 Henry St., Detroit; 313-963-6763

Only in the fevered imagination of the giddiest developer could this stretch of Henry Street be called “Midtown.” Across the street from the “murder mart,” behind a door that sits askew the street, is one of the coolest little dive bars in town, with generous pours of whiskey, and one or two nights a week of “Terry-oke,” usually Fridays and Saturdays, call for details.

 

Best Bar for Karaoke in Oakland County

THREE WAY TIE

On the Rocks

28167 John R Rd., Madison Heights

248-548-8023; otrbar.com

 

The Stop Spot

1309 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-548-7771

 

Warrilow’s

2140 Hilton Rd., Ferndale; 248-545-5861

It really doesn’t matter where you are. When the lights are low and the music moves you, as you stare into the teleprompter, you might be miles away, deep in the past or staring right into your beloved’s eye for a serenade. One thing’s for certain: Oakland County loves karaoke.

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