Most Read
  • 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 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.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Best of Detroit 2011


Photo: Marvin Shaouni


Spend the Night - Staff Picks

From upscale cocktails to dives to rawk 'n' roll, our fave nocturnal haunts


Best Dive Bar

The Painted Lady
2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck, 313-874-2991;

Do you remember what bars used to be like? Dusty, dirty, dark places where shifty characters gave you the fish-eye as you walked in? Places where any decent person would about-face and walk out? Where illicit behavior was warranted and winked at? Don't remember? Then you should stay as far away from the Painted Lady as possible. But if you want to join the ranks of the down and out, the losers, the screamers, the whiskey-soaked crowd mulling over failed dreams and washing the bullshit down, you couldn't do better than this venerable Hamtramck watering hole. Best of all are the oddball groups of crust punks, hipsters and, heck, even full-on Zen Buddhists who seem to enjoy crashing the fun. No yuppies allowed. Use the side door.


Best Low-Key Bar Night

Tuesdays in the Forest at the Loving Touch
22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3696

For the last few years, champion bar manager and community energizer Carey Gustafson has invited musicians, music writers and certain music scenesters to haul their music collection to the Loving Touch — your best bet to find a drunk musician any day of the week — and play DJ in "the forest" for a night. The thing is, no matter who's designing the night's playlist, the atmosphere is perfectly rounded out by conversations that swell mostly around music — good music — by chatty folk into what they're talking about.


Best Way To Have Concert-Quality Sound In Your Home

Pay musicians to play there

Andrew Rothman gives concerts under the banner of the Detroit Groove Society with his wife, Diane, in their West Bloomfield home; Danilo Perez, Cedar Walton, Michael Weiss are a few of the 20 or so artists they've presented in the last six or seven years. He shared a few pieces of advice for the prospective home-concert promoter when we contacted him the other day. He's a jazz fan, but the advice works regardless of genre. First, realize "the Internet is always your friend" for contacting artists. Second, figure out who is already booked to perform in the area so that their major travel is already paid for; the idea of staying in town an extra day to play in a relaxed enviroment for an attentive audience may be enticing for an affordable fee. The Rothmans charge $40 for adults, $15 for students, and get 35-45 attendees per concert, which more or less breaks even other than food and refreshments for the party. The most important thing, he said, is to remember it's a labor of love. Get on DGS e-mail list by contacting


Best Fire Guild

Detroit Fire Guild

OK, so there aren't any other "fire guilds," but that doesn't mean this troupe of outlaw circus and fire performers hasn't earned this honor. Rising from the ashes of the former Fire Fabulon group, this group of 20 to 30 Burning Man alums has been playing everywhere from Theatre Bizarre to Hustler Club, surprising people everywhere they go. Lately, they've upped their game, putting on the Winter Ball at the Crofoot's Eagle Theater in Pontiac, a full-on circus with fire dancers, gypsies, clowns and pagan revelry. Don't miss their upcoming show at the Crofoot (9 p.m. on April 30), The Fires of Beltane, a pagan-themed springtime spectacular with trapeze acts and a "human sacrifice." Their goal is to create an immersive experience where the audience wonders where the hell they are, or may even join the out-of-control fun.


Best Place to Understand What "garage-ist theater" Means

Planet Ant
2357 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-365-4948

Despite Hamtown's dire fiscal straits, the local amateur theater has managed to stay afloat with eye-widening spirit and plenty of blue-collar sweat equity. Kudos to them for that, to be sure, considering the local failure rate of indie enterprises. Located on Caniff — which is, you'll note, Hamtramck's Broadway — where it's still kinda Detroit, the theater's like any other art that manages to thrive in the city; it's gritty and hard-won, but this one's blessed with performers who trade in authenticity. Besides, what are the options?


Best Old Speakeasy

Tom's Tavern
10093 W. Seven Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-862-9768

Founder Tom Lucas bought the building in 1928, when Prohibition was law, and when Seven Mile was a dirt road. An astonishing 83 years later, Tom's survives, despite problems. In the last 10 years they've dealt with failed city lighting, a half-dozen break-ins, stolen power hookups, cut gas and water lines and, a few years ago, a car crash that caved in the front of the tavern and killed a woman on the sidewalk. 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 attracted interesting people, and celeb news anchor Bill Bonds and pizza baron Mike Ilitch have been past patrons and supporters. Owner Ron Gurdjian, who purchased the place from Lucas in 2001, has overseen some radical effort to keep the building safe, and says, after almost a decade of work, it's "almost ready for bad weather." Open mostly on weekends, it's most crowded around Babe Ruth's birthday, when the walls are decked out with Ruth-related quotes and history.


Best Karaoke

Auto Tune Karaoke

Every Monday night at the Majestic Complex's Garden Bowl and Thursday nights at the River Place Bar, karaoke innovator Adam Pressley hosts Auto Tune Karaoke, where, as he puts it, "We can all be just like Kanye!" Kanye's too cool to have this much fun. The thrills here are cheap and true. Take your best shot at MJ, ABBA or Morris Day, all natural fits for the Auto-Tune treatment — hey, just like radio stars! — or digitize your voice to create playful contrasts and redo Bobby Brown, Björk or the Beatles.

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