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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

20110427_best-deals_01.jpg

Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Showtime Clothing's Dan Tartarian at the mercy of the Derby Girls.

The Real Deals - Readers' Choice

Our readers pick what's top when it comes to shops

Best Indie Women's Clothing in Wayne County
Best Indie Men's Clothing in Wayne County

Showtime
5708 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-875-9280; showtimedetroit.com

Whether it's clothes, shoes, jewelry or accessories, this Midtown mainstay provides something funky, classic, sexy, one-of-a-kind or style-making for your wardrobe. Accommodating tastes from punk to rock, funk to rap and whatever other sound Motown shoppers seek, Showtime can outfit customers for daytime and nighttime escapades. Mounds of color, sparkle, texture and the requisite black beg you to paw through them in this place.

 

Best Indie Women's Clothing in Oakland County
Best Indie Men's Clothing in Oakland County

Incognito
323 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-548-2980; incognitoinc.com

As any fashion conscious it-girl (or -guy!) knows, Incognito has been dressing southeast Michigan's hip and cool for decades. The inventory is inspired by the now-classic style of killer sounds — think 1980s punk rock England — but updated for 21st century trends. Incognito may not have "office casual," but who cares? The store helps you project a "life is badass and so am I" attitude, whether you wear those flashy boots or bod-hugging mini every day or just on special outings.

 

Best Indie Women's Clothing in Macomb County
Best Indie Men's Clothing in Macomb County

Kohl's
kohls.com

When convenience, wide selection of quality clothes, and economical prices matter, Kohl's fits the bill. Whether it's flouncy spring dresses, fun ties, staples like jeans and dress slacks or basics like socks and underwear, this department store offers it. And then, it has everything to complete you: perfume, purses, sports teamwear, pajamas and watches. All without breaking the budget.

 

Best Indie Women's Clothing in Washtenaw County - Tie

Orchid Lane
419 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-6446; orchidlaneonline.net

Poshh
535 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9600; poshh.com

The fashionistas of Washtenaw never choose style over substance, instead opting for both, as with these two A2 boutiques. For 25 years, the family-owned Orchid Lane has worked at establishing a global fair trade community. The clothing, jewelry and housewares inventory reflects the mission: ethnic print skirts and scarves coupled with stylish cocktail dresses and handcrafted natural gemstone jewelry, for example. The decade-old Poshh features well-established designers, but also introduces new creative stylists too. Along with the racks of special-occasion dresses, you'll also find plenty of jeans and T-shirts for everyday dress-up.

 

Best Vintage Clothing in Wayne County

V-Male Detroit Vintage
23902 Van Born Rd., Dearborn Heights; 313-VINTAGE; v-maledetroitvintage.com

This small shop offers racks jam-packed with vintage gems from the '50s through the '70s — poodle skirts, tie-dyed jumpsuits, frilly formals, western shirts — you name it, they've probably got it. V-Male is also a favorite stop of Detroit's burlesque beauties thanks to its collection of new and vintage lingerie, from fishnet stockings and leopard-print bras to gold girdles and ruffled panties. Costume jewelry, hair accessories, pinup art, hair pomades, tiki mugs and footwear also line the shelves — inventory is updated often, so frequent visits are a must.

 

Best Vintage Clothing in Oakland County

Lost & Found
510 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-548-6154; lostandfoundvintage.com

This downtown Royal Oak store has become a bit of a pilgrimage destination for hardcore vintage shoppers. But newcomers to such stylings should not be shy. The three floors of clothing, saved from even more decades, offer organization that even a first-timer can navigate. Consider it a treasure hunt, searching for a dress or scarf from a bygone era that you can then resurrect on modern-day southeast Michigan streets. If you still feel lost, rely on the incredibly savvy and helpful staff to find you the perfect piece. The price range ensures that you can spend as little as you'd like on everyday duds or as much as you can blow on some high fashion treat.

 

Best Thrift Shop
Best Vintage Clothing in Macomb County

Salvation Army
salvationarmyusa.org

It's the breadth and the depth that make the Salvation Army a perpetual readers' pick in this category. In the past, the numerous locations have been recognized for the endless variety of merchandise, including household goods, toys and electronics. But this year, the vintage clothes get special notice. With some of the best prices in the resale market, the Salvation Army is a dependable shopping destination whether you're looking for something specific or browsing for what bargain you might score. Plus, profits from the stores fund the agency's rehab centers and residential housing facilities.

 

Best Vintage Clothing in Washtenaw County

The Getup Vintage
215 S. State St. Ann Arbor; 734-327-4300; thegetup.com

If the mod, super graphic-style font of the store's name doesn't give it away, a peek at the merchandise will. The Getup has decades of duds, mostly one-of-a-kind items, so buy it when you see it. The owner's passion for fashion is evidenced by the high quality of the threads spread throughout the store, and her frequent pilgrimages to find the perfect garments results in a constantly new and exciting selection. It may be easier to find that perfect wardrobe addition once you find the store: head in Mr. Greek's and up the stairs to the Getup.

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