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  • 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.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup 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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