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  • 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 Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

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  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

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Best of Detroit 2013

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for dining in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Best Makeover

Santorini Estiatorio

501 Monroe St., Detroit


Pan-global fusion joint Mosaic closed its doors for three months of remodeling to reopen as Santorini Estiatorio. It’s the first new Greek restaurant in Greektown in a long time, and it makes a wonderful addition. The new look is rustic island, and the stylish blown glass droplets above the bar (the only design elements from Mosaic that remain) fit perfectly with the new theme, as do the large paintings of serene ocean views done by local artist Blake Carmichael. Wicker lampshades that resemble fishing baskets hang from the ceiling, and the dining room is separated from the bar by what looks like the hull of a boat. It makes for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere perfect for enjoying wonderful Greek cuisine.


Best Menu Makeover

The Emory

22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale


With its distinctive design, friendly staff, good beer selection, and attractive twenty- and thirtysomething clientele, the Emory has been a favorite haunt for Ferndale locals since it opened in 2006. However, apart from the burger night special on Tuesdays, the venue has always seemed more of a destination for the bar scene than for dining. We may see that change in 2013, as the Emory has recently rolled out a rebooted menu. The burgers remain, of course, but they’ve added a pork & sage burger with apple slaw and a cilantro lime salmon burger to its traditional lineup. Numerous other tweaks have been made, but perhaps the most exciting update is the addition of sausages from Detroit’s Corridor Sausage Co. Make a difficult choice between the Vietnamese chicken, turkey red mole and garlic & juniper brat, all served on a freshly baked roll from Hermann’s and each with different complimentary garnishes, or come back often and try all three; this is bar food to get excited about.


Best Building Repurposed as a Restaurant

Vinsetta Garage

27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley


Before you even get past the door at Vinsetta Garage, you’ll notice details of the building’s past life incorporated into its new incarnation as a hip, mid-priced restaurant. The original neon sign and gas pumps remain out front; old lamps and service orders adorn the waiting area. Although the restaurant’s design was much-hyped and well-executed, we’re happy to say the joint is more than just a pretty face. The quality of both the food and service more than matches the effort surrounding the building’s redesign — in fact, they were qualified to win Best Pizza in a Non-Pizzeria for their excellent wood-oven pies.



Best Bar in a Restaurant

London Chop House

155 W. Congress St., Detroit


Since the London Chop House dusted itself off and reopened for business after two-plus decades, the restaurant’s buzz has centered on the “time warp” classic steakhouse ambiance of dim lights and well-polished wood. However, if $100-per-person tabs are not part of your everyday dining budget, you can still experience what all the fuss is about with a visit to the LCH bar. Nestled between the dining room and the dessert lounge, the bustling bar offers a chance to soak up the über-traditional midcentury steakhouse vibe while rubbing elbows with a blend of local businesspeople, WSU staff and out-of-towners. Cordial, genteel bartenders serve generous pours of top-shelf liquor, including an appropriately good selection of Scotch.


Best Restaurant for Ordering One of Everything

Green Dot Stables

2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit


There aren’t many non-fast-food restaurants where the majority of menu items are a) $3 or less, and b) worth ordering, let alone pretty outstanding. So when you go to the Green Dot, don’t hold back; bring a couple friends and order one of everything. How could you live with yourself knowing that you passed up the Coney Dog slider with venison chili, the Korean slider with peanut butter and kimchi, or (heaven forbid) the Mystery Meat? While you’re at it, order a side of the excellent skinny fries and a $3 specialty cocktail or two to wash it all down.


Best Budget Gourmet

St. Cece’s Pub

1426 Bagley St., Detroit


No higher praise than this: top-notch food on what chef Adam Verville calls “a working man’s budget.” At this lovely pub with a stone fireplace and house-infused spirits, you find influences from all over: Mediterranean to the Carolinas, France to Japan. The recipes show Verville cares about his offerings, like walnut squash cakes over crisp kale and rainbow trout with polenta and pomegranate seeds. A burger with caper aioli, roasted beet salad with shaved fennel — it’s all very tony, and yet the highest-priced item is $13; most dishes are less than $10. Saturday and Sunday brunches are almost as affordable.


Best Addition to Ferndale Dining Scene

Local Kitchen and Bar

344 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale


When Rick Halberg, long one of Detroit’s favorite chefs, set out to plan his latest venture, he chose Ferndale, a hip, bustling, tight-knit community. The stated goal of Rick and his business partner, Brian Siegel, was, “to be the kitchen table of our community; a notably comfortable place where friends gather regularly for exceptional everyday food, drink and camaraderie.” Thus was born Local Kitchen and Bar, which has fulfilled that goal, serving “well crafted-comfort,” both food and atmosphere, drawing crowds for the combination. The restaurant offers a 16-seat bar and a communal table for large parties or for strangers to share space, food and camaraderie. The menu is at once simple and innovative, with an emphasis on local, sustainable foods. There’s everything from burgers and steak to fried green tomatoes and fried chicken, with such sides as mac and cheese with candied bacon, brisket sliders and Sicilian meatballs. For vegetarians there’s a variety of salads, crostini and panini and a black bean burrito. The wine list is affordable and there are a couple-dozen beer choices on offer. Save room for Rick’s signature brownie or a seasonal cobbler.

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