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  • 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.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

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  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Best of Detroit 2013

Public Square - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for Metro Detroit

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Best New Job for Bill Schuette


Not a receptionist just anywhere, mind you. We think the state’s attorney general needs to go to work in a clinic that specializes in writing recommendations for prospective medical marijuana patients. That way, he would spend his days seeing the wide variety of truly suffering people who aren’t looking to get their party on, as BS surely believes, but rather just want some relief from their suffering. It would provide the sort of enlightenment that would make the state’s foremost anti-marijuana crusader see just how wrong-headed his attitudes are. At the very least, come 2014, we all need to make sure that Schuette is forced into a job-hunting mode.


Best Place to Turn If You’re Busted for Pot

Cannabis Counsel

2930 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit


As the name suggests, this Detroit-based law firm specializes in marijuana-related cases. In recent years, they’ve been very active in the area of medical marijuana, representing patients, caregivers, clubs, collectives, dispensaries and others.  With attorney Matt Abel at the helm, it’s not just a business, it is a crusade. That’s reflected in the fact that Abel is also executive director of Michigan NORML, so the firm’s offices serve as a spearhead of the pro-marijuana movement in the state.


Best Thing to Look Forward to When Democracy Returns to Detroit

Council Election

by District

If there is still a Detroit City Council come November 2014, there’s going to be a real opportunity for voters to shake up things on that body in a big way. Because of changes made in the new City Charter, seven council members will be elected by district, and two will be elected the old way, at-large. Aside from preventing council members from being clustered in the tonier parts of the city, the move could open up the field to a whole new batch of contenders, especially those people who have labored away at the grass-roots level, establishing credibility and trust with their neighbors, instead of relying on name recognition. What’s more, council members elected by district will be responsible for certain areas of the city in a way at-large council people never were.


Best Longtime Attempt at Racial Healing

Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion

525 New Center One, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit


The good folks at the Michigan Roundtable nonprofit have been working to overcome racism and discrimination since 1941. Crossing racial, religious, ethnic and cultural boundaries, they bring together community leaders and regular citizens from all areas of life in an attempt to help us all understand the perspectives of others. And then they look for ways to break down barriers and build unity. It is a beautiful thing. If you want to get involved to the organization’s website and check out the upcoming gatherings and ongoing projects, or just give them a call. They would love to hear from you — all of you.


Best Example of a Local Politician With True Populist Grit

Rashida Tlaib

The Democratic state representative from southwest Detroit first earned our admiration when she stood up to bridge baron Manuel “Matty” Moroun. Ever since, we’ve only seen her come down on the right side (which would be the lefty side) of the important issues facing Detroit, the metro region and the state. She’s also fiercely protective of her constituents’ interests. And she’s willing to lay everything on the line. Literally. There’s no better proof of that than the sit-down protest she led last year, blocking traffic along Fort Street as she and about 30 others showed their opposition to the planned closing of Southwestern High School. We love that sort of fighting spirit. The mainstream media has been pimping mayoral candidate Mike Duggan by repeatedly asking, “Is Detroit ready for a white mayor?” Here’s an even better question, “Is Detroit ready for a Muslim woman to be its mayor.” The answer should be a resounding yes, and we know just the person to fill the bill.


Best Law to Strike Down

Emergency Manager

Oh, wait. We already did that, by a vote of 52 percent to 48 percent. But with Rick Snyder in the governor’s office and Republicans controlling both houses of the state Legislature, a lot of good it did. Just ask the people of Detroit how well the democratic process is working these days.


Best Emergency Manager for Detroit

Jesus of Nazareth

Why does the Son of God get our nod for the EM job? Given the intractable problems facing the city — too much debt, too much infrastructure to support, and not nearly enough people living in the city or local businesses providing taxes to pay for it all — it might just take a miracle will be able to save Detroit from bankruptcy. Absent the appointment of a loaves and fishes miracle-worker like JC, the fear is that whoever becomes EM is going to slash and burn, selling off irreplaceable public assets before seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, leaving the city even poorer in the long run. Instead, we need an EM who will toss those damn moneychangers from the civic temple known as City Hall.


Best Thing to Not Publicly Subsidize

New Hockey Arena

We love our Red Wings, but if billionaire Mike Ilitch and the rest of his clan want a new venue for their hockey team to play in, well, they can afford to pay for the whole thing themselves.  They’ve got all that Little Caesar’s dough, and if that’s not enough, Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino, a place that mints money. Throw in all those Foxtown properties (which, like the publicly subsidized home of the Tigers, Ilitch also owns, and will benefit greatly from having a new hockey arena in the neighborhood) and its pretty clear: they have a hell of a lot more disposable cash than Detroit.

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