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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

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Photo: Marvin Shaouni

The Real Deals - Staff Picks

Our staff counters with our own favorite places to plunk own them bones

Best Rocktitude

Showtime Clothing's Dan Tartarian
5708 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-875-9280

When Dan Tartarian opens his shop's doors, he doesn't wait long to see his first customer stroll in. Said customer's usually a musician or is in some way tied to the city's music community, or is a kind of sartorial strutter into a particular scene, or it's likely they've known Tartarian for years and play into his penchant for shootin' the shit.

Coming up on 22 years in business, Tartarian's approach to being a clothier follows the old adage about ailment and doctors; as long as one exists we'll need the other. As long as there's a thriving music scene, there's a need for Showtime. The shop carries staples, with hats, shoes, pants, T-shirts, buttonups, motorcycle jackets, trench coats and even guitars. And, it's the only place where you can buy a mandolin, a set of handcuffs, killer miniskirts, a Nashville button-up, a gas mask, a riding crop, a head-to-toe Kiss brand Gene Simmons outfit, and a Made in Detroit zip-up and creepers. It's as if Tartarian raided closets of Janis, Hendrix, Trent Reznor, Stone Temple Pilots, Rancid, Slade and Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles. Guitar cords, picks, strings and slides are in close vicinity to rolling papers and incense. Tartarian knows his client.

Many of his visitors — from, say, your average customer to Crud to the Contours — often arrive ready to talk Detroit. See, Tartarian's a concerned citizen, an old school Cass Corridor guy — a Detroiter through and through. He sees, for example, the recent Midtown rebranding and subsequent efforts to commercialize the cultural district, where his shop is located, as an attack on the neighborhood.

What's the difference between Cass Corridor neighborhood and Midtown, you ask?

"We lost our blind pig customers, guys with cash in their pockets. The guys who ran numbers would come in here, the mob guys, the motorcycle gangs, they'd all come in," Tartarian says.

From the '70s to the '90s, Detroit's underworld helped support this clothier. "They're pushing the motorcycle gangs farther and father out of the city. They all had money from illegal enterprises, but they had money. Unlike the casinos, who are the guys running numbers now, don't put the money they make back on the streets. I'd rather have the guy on the street running his private, neighborhood enterprise than greedy big business."

Tartarian sees the positives of rejuvenation, but says "At what cost? Fuck Whole Foods. Fuck Trader Joe's."

And don't get him started on the "hipsters."

Actually, do, but bring him a coffee and a CD of something local that you're listening to.

"I've seen and dressed a lot of bands, a lot that've been able to break out of here," Tartarian says. "There's been Trash Brats, Sponge, Kid Rock, Eminem and ICP. There's Sista Otis and Brothers Groove, Ty Stone, The Sights, Doop and the Inside Outlaws, and Whitey Morgan." Sponge's Vinnie Dombrowski is probably his fave.

"I like music, so I'm always out seeing bands." he says. "My social life is my business life. What can I say? I'm hands-on."

A perennial MT Best-of winner, Dan Tartarian's Showtime Clothing is a Detroit cultural hub; there's no other place like it. - Travis R Wright

 

Best Way to Get Free Culture

Museum Adventure Pass
detroitadventurepass.org

Available at more than 200 libraries in nine southeast Michigan counties, the passes grant patrons free admission to dozens of museums and other cultural institutions. Use your library card to check one out for a week. They're available on a first-come, first-served basis, using a library card, and allow two or four people entry on each pass, depending on the location. Sponsored by Macy's, the passes are in their fourth season. We'd suggest you make a small donation during your visit.

 

Best Wedding/Event Planner

Adrienne Nutter, Fandangle Event Designs
Grosse Pointe Park; 313-566-9221; fandangleevents.com

From 300-guest weddings to corporate gigs to small retirement parties, Fandangle's proprietor Adrienne Nutter makes them all special for those lucky enough to attend. If brides, grooms and other party hosts are looking for a personalized event, Fandangle is up for the challenge — as big or as intimate as the clients want. Nutter, who has a degree in art history and is a bit of a font-phile, coordinates graphic design elements and color schemes in printed materials from the Save-the-Date to the Thank-You cards. Ordering online is easy, but who wants what everyone else had? One of Nutter's clever favorites: elements that are multi-use. Think wedding favors that double as seating cards, centerpieces that double as favors. Saves money and impresses guests with the creativity factor.

 

Best Unique Wedding Venue

Model T-Plex
461 Piquette St., Detroit; tplex.org

Formally known as the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, the T-Plex brings that perfect blend of Detroit grittiness and automotive history assembled with a creative approach to modern entrepreneurialism. Where else would a largely intact factory be rented out for formal parties? A Motor City original for a Motor City event, that's what the T-Plex can be. And don't worry, with the right designs it can be plenty elegant. Located in the New Center area, the building maintains its red brick exterior, albeit with modern graffiti on some walls. Inside, it's a step back in time with original fixtures, firewalls and flooring. Various Model T's and other early 20th century Ford models are on display. Anyone can rent strolling swans; who can have vintage cars?

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