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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 2013

Spend the Night - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for nightlife in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


 

Best Local Comedian

Jimmy Doom

Jimmy Doom, a former member of hardcore band the Almighty Lumberjacks of Death, is probably more of a poet than a comedian but let’s not mince words here — the man is fucking hilarious and he deserves his spot in the Best of. Doom has attacked everyone from John Lennon to, well, everyone but he does it with such cack-handed style and drink-addled fury that it’s impossible not to laugh like a buffoon. He’s like Sam Kinison doing the dirty with Allen Ginsberg. Thankfully, we don’t have to see that.

 

Best Venue Website

Small’s

10339 Conant St., Hamtramck

313-873-1117; www.smallsbardetroit.com

The thing about a music venue website is that you really don’t want to have to sift through pages of superfluous fluff, you want the user experience to be easy and enjoyable. Smalls’ site has all of that. It looks great, and the big forthcoming shows are right there on the front page. No surfing required. The brick wallpaper is super-cool but, judging by the Slayer and Ramones-font T-shirts that the venue offers, somebody over there knows a thing or two about design.

 

Best Bar for Characters

Cas Bar

7800 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-581-9777

No, it’s not named for Lewis Cass, or Cass Avenue. It’s named for its cross-street, Casper. The little joint, right next to the coin laundry that ate historic punk venue Graystone Hall, is usually loaded with west side characters that will warm the heart of anybody who truly appreciates a little urban grit. The bartenders are quick with humor too. One time we called and had the temerity to ask if they served cold beer. “No!” the voice on the line yelled, “We only serve hot beer!” If that doesn’t charm your pants off, we can only point you toward Applebee’s and sigh in pity.

Best Bar in Delray

Black Horse Cantina

7844 W. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-849-1495

Some of our friends pointed this place out to us, told us to just take Jefferson west out of downtown and pull into the parking lot after the railroad tracks. We had expected something like Kovac’s or the old Delray Café, but the Black Horse is different. It’s a quiet place that seems to exist outside the law, where men speak Spanish over a table of dominos, or crack balls over a few dusty pool tables. The bartender lady soon had us fumbling through our high school Spanish to order our cervezas, and one old-timer came over to talk in English about the old days of boxing. When a bar starts to feel like the setting of a William Saroyan play, we take note. We’d recommend the place highly, because you’ll feel like a guest, but we would suggest being on your very best behavior while you’re there. Cash only.

 

Best Bar Worth Saving

Tom’s Tavern

10093 W. Seven Mile Rd., Detroit

313-862-9768

No bar on the west side is as steeped in history as Tom’s. Founder Tom Lucas bought the building in 1928, back when Prohibition was the law of the land, and when Seven Mile was still a dirt road. The Purples delivered his liquor, machine guns loaded in their cars, asking, “So, Tom, anybody giving you any trouble?” Over the years, the bar has dealt with failed city lighting, break-ins, stolen power hookups, cut gas and water lines, a 1979 fire, a car crash that caved in the front of the tavern and killed a woman on the sidewalk. And then add the onerous fees for city inspections endured by the current management. How does it go on living? It’s because the tavern’s loyal patrons step into the breach whenever the bar is endangered, as volunteers and benefactors. It helps that the tavern has always had a knack for attracting interesting people, and its customers have included celebrity news anchor Bill Bonds and pizza baron Mike Ilitch. Owner Ron Gurdjian, who bought the place from Lucas in 2001, has overseen some radical effort to keep the building preserved. Call on a Friday or Saturday night to see if it’s open, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be buzzed into one of the most unusual drinking environments ever to exist. To see it to best effect, though, attend the big party they throw around Babe Ruth’s birthday (Feb. 6), when they deck out the walls with Ruth-related quotes and history.

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