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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Best of Detroit 2011

20110427_best-main_01.jpg

Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Public Square - Staff Picks

Super people, places and things, picked by our team of critics

 

Best New Event

ART X

The $1 million and other resources that Kresge Arts in Detroit has been using to prime the pump of the tri-county arts community went public earlier this month with 40 events over five days. They showcased the work of the two eminent artists (Charles McGee and Marcus Belgrave) and 36 fellows KAID has given grants to from 2008 to 2010. It was a stunning display of the vitality of arts in this community for an audience that topped 10,000, filling spaces from MOCAD to the Science Center. The audience response raises a question of whether what was intended as a biennial event might in fact need an annual component. The year 2013 seems a long time to wait for more.

 

Best New Art Space

N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700

We started writing about this project in 2001, and last October a former auto repair shop finally celebrated a grand opening as a major addition to the city's artistic, cultural and social landscape. How big? Well, 16,000 square feet in all, including four exhibition spaces, indoor and outdoor performance spaces, an outdoor sculpture garden, and a movement/yoga center. Some of these are still in progress (the sculpture garden, for instance), and more elements, a restaurant-wine bar, notably, are to come. But the major spaces are open, and the current exhibition — New Departures and Transitions curated by Michael Stone-Richards — is the local must-see of the moment.

 

Best Way to Pretend You're Toulouse Lautrec

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School
drsketchy.com/branch/Detroit;
facebook.com/Dr.sketchysdetroit

Costumed dancers, burlesquers, circus-style performers and other unusual folks model for sketchers of all skill and professional levels, sometimes in bars with lots of booze and music keeping everyone happy, as well as informal contests and artsy prizes. It started in New York, and the Detroit branch, founded in 2006, was among the first dozen or so; there are hundreds around the world now. It's currently run by Lushes LaMoan of the Detroit Dizzy Dames troupe (Readers' Award winners for Best Burlesque Troupe), with regular third-Thursday sessions set for the Scarab Club and additional sessions elsewhere (watch the website and Facebook for details).

 

Best Rock Revisionist

jessica Care moore

Her dozen years in New York made jessica Care moore a rarity in the poetry world: a star thanks to her prominence in Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on HBO. Back in Detroit these last four years, the poet-performer-publisher keeps adding new roles to her hyphenated descriptor. She's exhibited as a visual artist (including collaborations with photographer Piper Martine Carter) and, perhaps most provocatively, she's put on two tributes to Betty Davis and other black women rockers, firing an Afro-distaff cannon at the white guys' club-of-rock canon. We're avidly waiting to hear her own debut rock album Black Tea, slated for release, "when it's finished."

 

Best Kept Secret at Metro Airport

You can get there by bus
smartbus.org

Surprise! There is mass transit from downtown Detroit to Metro Airport — but not rapid transit. For instance, 90 minutes (if it keeps to schedule) from downtown to the airport (daily), and comparable times to Fairlane, Romulus and Garden City (weekdays). Primarily servicing airport employees, these SMART lines aren't widely advertised, apparently so as to not raise unwarranted expectations among travelers. Still, given the costs and hassles of getting to the airport and parking, it could be an option (especially if you're coming home, not counting on making a flight). Stops are at the lower level, "International Arrivals" curb of the McNamara Terminal and at the far end of the arrivals curb — past the last terminal baggage claim exit door — of the North Terminal. The schedules are complex: Read closely.

 

Best Everyday Reminder of Kwame's Reign

Plastic streetlamp bases

Those pitiful plastic "shrouds" former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spent $1.2 million in tax money on were ostensibly intended to keep metal scrappers at bay, but they were a useless waste of money from the get-go. Now, if they have survived at all, many of those that remain are smashed and jagged, much more of an eyesore than what it was they were supposed to be covering. Thanks, Kwame.

 

Best Hope for Detroit

People Power

It's part of Detroit the outside world rarely sees. Varied communities — geographic, political, cultural, spiritual, intellectual — strive to make this a better place. From urban gardeners to community patrols to recycling activists, they continue despite it all. It will be these folks, and not our leaders, who will save us.

 

Best Living Example of a Long Life Well Lived

Grace Lee Boggs

At 95 years old, Grace Lee Boggs has just published The Next American Revolution, written with U-M prof Scott Kurashige. As someone who has taken part of just about every major progressive movement that occurred in the past 80 years, she continues to help show us the way forward.

 

Best Detroit Nonfiction of the Last Year

The Color of Law: Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights

An essential document of another Detroiter's long life, well lived. Authors Steve Babson, David Riddle and David Elsila retell the city's and nation's progressive struggles through the life of attorney Goodman, who died at age 90 in 1997. Legal dramas unfold in courts from the Motor City, to the Jim Crow South, to the U.S. Supreme Court, to the upstate New York courtroom where the Attica uprising defendants were tried.

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