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  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

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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 New Reason to Join a Gym

Love's Pies
Eastern Market Shed 2

Stumble upon Love's and you won't find a phone number, website or Facebook page. There's no fancy packaging, slogan or suave marketing guru vying for your hard-earned dollars either. All there is are small, custard pies, sold four at a time. And they're to-die-for. Perhaps the best kept secret (not for long) in Eastern Market, these silky and sweet pies blend classic Southern technique with French finesse. The Chess Pie and sweet potato custard pies transcend expectations. Taste it to believe it.

 

Best High-End Audio

David Michael Audio
4341 Delemere Court, Royal Oak; 866-961-4423

Get this out of the way first: DMA wins this award every year for good reason: There's no better place in southeastern Michigan to buy the world's best-sounding stereos. More, its shop owners, David Kasab and Jeffrey Block, are not audio snobs. They are, in fact, two rather amiable gents whose childhood music obsessions turned into an adult belief that everyone who cares about music should be able to hear it as it was intended to sound by its creators. The shop carries the world's most killer handmade brands from this country and the U.K., such as Harbeth Pass Labs, Esoteric, Bel Canto, Nordost and more. And whether you're in a high tax bracket or saddled with pocketbook problems, the DMA guys can work with most any budget to assemble a killer two-channel stereo that will see you rediscover your whole music collection. Sound matters and music is important, why devalue and short-change it?

 

Best Record Store on the West Side

Dearborn Music
22000 Michigan Ave, Dearborn; 313-561-1000

No, music on hardcopy is not dead. Nor will it die. Music on vinyl or disc is simply a paradigm that's shifting over to those who care about music enough to not want to trivialize it with sonic reducer MP3s and unsexy computer files on barely imaginable clouds. Some like to own. Some like to hold. Some like to collect. Some like records scattered around them as they lay around listening on the bedroom floor. At Dearborn Music you can count more than 50,000 titles in stock, including up-to-the-minute imports from Europe, Japan and elsewhere, and a whole room (with listening stations) for blues and jazz freaks. There's another area for classical heads, and a sunken room for Rock 'n' roll and R&B, and so on. DM's expanding vinyl section includes thousands of new (including 180-gram pressings) and used, and one can't skip DVDs, Blu-rays, pop culture trinkets and assorted ephemera. This well-run, organized shop has lasted more than 50 years in these parts.

 

Best Record Store on the East Side

Melodies and Memories
23013 S. Gratiot Ave., Eastpointe; 586-774-8480

OK, there ain't a store like this anywhere. It's also, strangely, one of the more overlooked ones in this part of the country. Don't get started on the Motown history here, it's so rich you'll sometimes even run into an old Motown artist — or his sister — shopping here. It's Eminem's favorite record store in Michigan, and he says so. You'll find the Midwest's largest selection of boxed sets. It's a digger's dream and you can peruse tens of thousands on LP, tens of thousands more on CD, cassette, 8-track and 78, from country, rock 'n' roll, jazz, blues, avant-garde, gospel and so on. It takes whole rooms to house the shop's selections — a couple even for its dance titles alone, another for its classic and pop rock, one for its jazz and R&B, one for its kraut rock, punk, techno and used, and another room for its blues and soundtracks. It often has three stereos going at once, playing different music in different rooms. The place is huge and doubles as a lovely altar to pop culture and music from every decade.

 

Best Strictly Used Record Store

Record Collector
327 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-548-9888

Back when the Record Collector was located at Grand River and Lahser in Detroit, it was the only area record shop that'd carry albums by punk rock racists Skrewdriver. Why? Because they thought it humorous to see supremacists having to 1) cross Eight Mile into Detroit and 2) purchase it from the owner's sole employee, an African-American, who also thought it funny. That's the kind of place RC is — erected with a refreshing shortage of self-seriousness — and one of many reasons why we dig it. It's also beautifully ramshackle, it employs local indie band members, it isn't self-consciously hip; it just, well, is. It doesn't have to try. And its thousands and thousands of titles are wide and varied and all pre-owned, from punk rock underground to new age modern classical to Midwestern Disco funk to rare modal jazz to all the country, pop and rock 'n' roll shit you can swallow. Let's all lift a toast because this RC celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year.

 

Best Record Store for In-Store Performances and to Buy New Detroit Music

UHF
512 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-545-5955; uhfmusic.com

In the last decade, Royal Oak hasn't had much to crow about cool-factor wise. It's become your basic open-air mall. In recent years, the opening of a vintage clothier, sushi lounge, contemporary lowbrow gallery, crêpe joint, beer corner store and vinyl art shop have helped to bring back some true funk to this bursting burb, but did little to make up for the closing of at least three record stores.

But all hail the opening of UHF records! In-store performances, tons of hip merch — posters, bumper stickers and nickel-size buttons — and bulging bins of vinyl, and lots of it local, has us frequenting this joint and upholding its fuck-the-odds philosophy.

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