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  • Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark

    Oh, the irony — initially criticized as Marxist propaganda when Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted them for the Detroit Institute of Arts in the early 1930s, Detroit Industry has now been designated as a a national landmark. The announcement was made Wednesday, according to the Detroit News by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The designation does not change the ownership status of the murals or grant any new protections or rights, leaving its place among the rest of the DIA’s art in possible bankruptcy negotiations in question. The work is considered the best of Rivera’s work in the United States (another mural Rivera had done in New York was destroyed by orders of Nelson Rockefeller). Rivera himself regarded Detroit Industries paintings as his finest work. In the midst of the McCarthy era, the DIA posted this sign outside the court: Rivera’s politics and his publicity seeking are detestable. But let’s get the record straight on what he did here. He came from Mexico to Detroit, thought our mass production industries and our technology wonderful and very exciting, painted them as one of the great achievements of the twentieth century. This came […]

    The post Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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? […]

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Best of Detroit 2013

Spend the Night - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for nightlife in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Best Rock Club

Magic Stick

4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit

313-833-9700; www.majesticdetroit.com

Predictable, maybe, but there are still few better places to watch a rock show in metro Detroit than the Magic Stick. When the place is packed and the crowd is moving, you can practically feel the concern from the people at the Garden Bowl below. Dripping with stories as well as actual sweat, when you consider that the Majestic Theater is connected as well, this complex has all bases covered and it remains a vital part of Detroit’s music scene.

 

Best Up and Coming Rock ’n’ Roll Hangout

The New Dodge Lounge

8850 Joseph Campau St., Hamtramck

313-874-5963

facebook.com/newdodgelounge

Ham-town still has plenty of great music venues but, after the Belmont transformed itself into a sports bar, the city has been crying out for a hipster hangout — the sort of place that you can go to at the weekend without looking at who’s playing, and be in with a good shout of seeing some awesome local bands as well as the occasional decent out-of-towner. The New Dodge is fast becoming that place. There are still a few longtime regulars hanging onto the bar, but that only adds to the charm of the place. There’s a soundman who knows that he’s doing, and the food is great too. What more do you want?

 

Best Beer Selection in a Venue

The Berkley Front

3087 12 Mile Rd., Berkley

248-547-3331

facebook.com/theberkleyfront

You can’t just go to the Berkley Front to see some indie rock show and ask for a beer. You have to scour through the veritable atlas of taps and bottles in front of you, taking into account the time of year and how much you ate. There’s a science to buying a drink here, but it’s a science worth spending time getting to know (unlike Physics and shit like that). If you can’t decide, work your way down the menu.

 

Best Place to Feel a Part of Detroit’s Hip-Hop History

St. Andrew’s Hall - The Shelter

431 E. Congress St., Detroit

313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroit.com

It’s one of the first questions that music-loving visitors to Detroit of a certain age will ask: where is that place that Eminem battles in 8 Mile. St. Andrew’s Hall and the downstairs Shelter aren’t museums yet, and they host as many punk and metal shows as anything else, but the walls are dripping with stories, not all of them fit for print, and it’s hard not to get caught up in that when entering the building.

 

 

 

Best Venue to Buy a Record Between Bands

PJ’s Lager House

1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit

313-961-4668; www.pjslagerhouse.com

The Lager House has been putting on consistent and dazzling shows for years now, but you really have to hand it to PJ for knowing how to expand his business. An impressive menu was recently added, and you can climb the stairs down to the basement and browse through a cool little vinyl store. Brilliant! If you don’t want to watch basketball on mute while the middle band is setting up, go buy some old Creedence Clearwater Revival.

 

Best Place to See Somebody Who Used to Be Famous Play

Callahan’s

2105 S. Boulevard, Auburn Hills

248-858-9508; www.atcallahans.com

Commander Cody, Mitch Ryder, Wishbone Ash, the Look – the stage at Callahan’s has them all fairly regularly. If a band’s name is synonymous with history, heritage and nostalgia, then this place will welcome it with open arms. Not that that is a bad thing at all. On the contrary, Detroit music lovers appreciate the past as much as the present and will always love and respect old heroes. Callahan’s isn’t so much a rest home as that big, final hurrah!

 

Best Place to Chill Out While Watching Music

The New Way

23130 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-541-9870

With two big rooms, one fitted with a wall of big TVs, plus a cool stage, a pool table and some super-funny DJs, the New Way isn’t really the place to go dance but it’s the perfect venue to watch a band with your feet up on a chair while eating fries and drinking a beer, one eye on the Red Wings. There’s also something refreshingly old-school about the fact that the waitresses will offer table service, even if there are five customers in the whole building.

 

Best Venue-Slash-Movie Theater

The Magic Bag

22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale

248-544-3030; www.themagicbag.com

This place is immaculate. The very front section offers standing room only for those of us who prefer to get tired feet watching music, but there is plenty of seating for those of a more mature vintage. The Bag hosts everything from veteran rockers to comedians to local music showcases, but it is the Brew and View nights, when you can watch a fairly new movie while enjoying an alcoholic beverage, that makes the place unique.

 

Best Last-Call Bar in Hamtramck

The Painted Lady

2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991

Well, for starters, it’s really the best dive bar in metro Detroit, although owner Andy Dow insists on calling it a “cocktail lounge.” (“It says so on the front of the building in neon!” he protests.) And it does have a pretty darn good booze selection, and a few competent bartenders, such as Evan Bradish, who mix it up. And the locals who populate the place are the salt of the earth. And, sure, it’ll get taken over by metal kids, punks, and the occasional noisy show promoted by Wednesday night bartender and taquerista Timmy Vulgar. But sometimes you’ll sit there all night and it’s quiet. Just you and the jukebox and the bartender, unless somebody puts on a movie. For hours, it will be just like this. And then, at 12:30 a.m., just when the bartender is thinking about closing early, the door will burst open with people rushing in for last call from every other bar in town. For a brief hour, it will be the coolest place in town, until everybody coordinates the afterparty and the crowd drifts off into the night.

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