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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 2011

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Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Derby Girls get impatient with Frederick Amady at Iridescence in the MotorCity Casino Hotel. It's a past staff pick as "best place to blow your casino winnings" (not that you need to strike it rich to dine there, our critics noted).

Nutritional Value - Readers' Choice

Our readers pick the best places to scarf, nosh, tipple and dine

 

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Macomb County

Oasis Mediterranean
5709 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-619-7551; oasiscuisine.com

When it comes to an inexpensive place to fill up on Middle Eastern food, Oasis got the nod for Macomb. It may have to do with the relatively meat-intensive menu, filled with chicken, beef and lamb preparations, though rice-and-lentils mujadara will appeal to veg-heads. A variety of booths can accommodate small groups of diners, or tables can seat groups as large as 20.

 

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $15 in Washtenaw County

Beezy's
12 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; 734-485-9625; beezyscafe.com

Simple, honest food: That's what the sign promises at Beezy's in Ypsilanti. Oddly, a simple but delicious sandwich seems almost novel in a world populated with both an abundance of chain restaurants and expensive foodie hotspots. But when someone at Beezy's calls you to the counter to pick up your plate, that's exactly what you'll get — simple and honest. What's more, the staff couldn't be friendlier, a quality that serves as the center of the café's singular charm.

 

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50 in Oakland County

Bastone
419 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-544-6250; bastone.net

The concept is Belgian brewpub and the atmosphere is totally unpretentious, quirky and interesting. Belgian food is heavily influenced by Germany and France, and some of Bastone's menu items are quintessentially Belgian, such as moule (mussels), and twice-fried Belgian frites served with mayonnaise. Desserts are spectacular.

 

Best Restaurant to Spend Less Than $50 in Washtenaw County

Zingerman's
422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 888-636-8162; zingermans.com

Perhaps it's the name-recognition of the Zingerman's empire, which includes the deli, the bakehouse and more. But what likely put it over the edge for Washtenaw readers is Zingerman's Roadhouse. The roadhouse presents "unusually good American food" in a setting that harks back to the day when weary travelers could recharge with a comforting meal by the roadside; and it's a sprawling place with a semi-open kitchen, full bar, two dining rooms and —in good weather — outdoor seating.

 

Best Italian Cuisine in Wayne County

Roma Cafe
3401 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-5940; romacafe.com

Roma is a treasured Eastern Market hideaway. The lighting is low, conveying an atmosphere of intimacy. And the food is overflowing with rich and rare flavor, particularly the seafood, such as the sizable frog legs and the shrimp and scallops sautée (its overall flavor is augmented by a white wine sauce). All of the pastas come complete with especially savory and attention-demanding sauces. And it's all served by formally attired staff.

 

Best Italian Cuisine in Washtenaw County

Gratzi
326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-6387; gratzirestaurant.com

At the almost-25-year-old Gratzi, they've established a crowd-pleasing bastion of (mostly) northern Italian cuisine. Housed inside the old Orpheum Theatre, a Depression-era movie palace, it's a fittingly rich setting for the rich Italian delights on offer here, as well as the lengthy wine list and ethereal desserts.

 

Best French Cuisine

Le Petit Zinc
1055 Trumbull Ave., Detroit, 313-963-2805; lepetitzincdetroit.com

Named after the French slang term for a local bar, Le Petit Zinc distinguishes itself by being Detroit's local Parisian cafe. And Paris-like it is: To cite just a few examples, there is an outdoor eating section in the back that is great for days made sublime by a glowing sun and gentle breeze, and the water is served in large untagged glass bottles. The coffee is aesthetically marvelous and the food is fresh and delicious (especially the crêpe specials).

 

Best Greek Cuisine

Pegasus
558 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-6800; pegasustavernas.com

Serving authentic Greek recipes prepared with the freshest ingredients, the dishes have a unique flavor and romance. Classic Greek country cooking blends such simple ingredients as vegetables, grains and cheeses with fragrant herbs and spices to create wholesome, delectable meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. And Pegasus is particularly adept at cooking their meats. One can tell that the lamb has been slow-cooked for hours on end by the ease with which it falls from the bone; your knife may go completely unused.

 

Best Eastern European Cuisine

Polish Village Cafe
2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-874-5726; polishvillagecafe.com

Digging into a big plate at Hamtramck's Polish Village Café might have you suppose you're eating food prepared by somebody's Polish mother. That's because, essentially, you are. During peak dining hours there's a steady flow of waiting customers first lining up at the bar and sometimes winding up the stairs and out the door. Most entrées run around a trifling $8. Don't forget to order Poland's famous beer Zywiec along with your meal to truly enhance your Polish experience. Cash only.

 

Best Mexican Cuisine in Wayne County

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