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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

A flash of Mulenga

As usual my pal Mulenga Harangua didn't answer the door when I tapped on it. I couldn't even peek in because a couple of boards covered up where the window used to be. I heard some noise from the back of the house, so I went around, and there he was enjoying some late-season sun and lounging on a duct tape-wrapped lounge chair that he had scavenged from somewhere. He wore a pair of blue skivvies and an old, gray football helmet. Flesh bulged out all around the tight briefs. 

"Hey, Mulenga, wake up."

His eyes opened slowly and he scanned his surroundings before focusing on me. A smile drifted across his face as he arched his back and stretched like an oversized, self-satisfied feline.

"Hey, baby, what's happening?" he said in his high, slightly nasal tone. "Good thing it's you. I wouldn't want anybody else to catch me like this."

"What's with the getup? Are you auditioning for that Full Monty calendar?"


"The Full Monty calendar — some guys who belong to the Unitarian Church in Framingham, Mass., published a calendar with 12 of the church's oldest men, ages 64 to 87, posing nude, although their nasty parts were covered up, as a fundraiser. The 87-year-old retired minister said the 'older, aging body has its own elegance.'"

"Hmm, elegance," Mulenga said, standing up and doing a little twirl to show off his assets. "I need to get in line for that one. They could use a little of the Harangua vibe. I bet they don't have any brothas on that calendar do they?"

"Well, mmmm, they all seem to be white guys, but I don't think you're old enough to run with that crowd. And one of the pictures has a guy with a banjo covering up his crucial parts. I don't think it's your kind of thing."

"Banjo! That's why they needed me on that, so they could represent the banjo properly."

"What do you know about banjos?  Nobody plays them except a bunch of bluegrass and country music players."

"See, they done pulled the wool over your eyes just like everybody else. The banjo is an African instrument." Mulenga twitched his fingers around as though picking the air banjo. "Well, not quite African. The first banjos were made by enslaved Africans in America as facsimiles of stringed instruments they played back home. They got a display about that over at the Carr Center in Harmonie Park. That's to inform wrong-headed brothas like you who don't know your own history and let whitey co-opt it."

"OK, so I don't know twang about banjos. But what's with your getup? It's a little racy."

"It's for a couple of things. One, it's in solidarity with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the guy they call the underwear bomber."

"I call him the panty bomber."

"Whatever you call him, the young brotha needs some solidarity. Ain't nobody standing with him. Especially that jury they got — 12 white people, three sistas and an Indian woman. Not one black man up there. Whatever happened to a jury of your peers? The one Nigerian woman among prospective jurors was dismissed."

"I'm not sure these people aren't reflective of the community or if that rule even applies to foreign combatants. The kid is Nigerian."

"Well, he's getting railroaded. Based on what I've heard, the kid ain't thinking straight and doesn't understand the legal system. Somebody filled his head with a bunch of crap."

"That may have been Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Queda guy they killed with a drone attack in Yemen a bit ago."

Mulenga tapped his helmet. "That's a good reason to wear protective headgear. You never know when explosives are going to rain out of the sky on you."

"And it's good protection for when I decide to smack you upside your hard head. But really, why are you wearing it. That helmet can't be comfortable."

"Well I found it lying in the alley the other day. Since the Lions are doing so well this year I thought I show a little Lions pride and wear it."

"It doesn't have a Lions logo on it."

"But it's football. I don't care what it's got on it. You should have seen all the people out there for the Monday night game. I wandered through the crowd and made a little money humming that 'are you ready for some football' song on a comb and paper kazoo I made."

"You know that song got kicked off 'Monday Night Football' because Hank Jr. compared President Obama to Hitler."

"Yep, and ESPN has every right in the world to have whoever they want on their broadcast. At the same time, Hank was way out there on that one, but he has a right to his opinion. I ain't mad at him. I think somebody should ask him in what way exactly Obama is like Hitler. I think the ensuing conversation would put that shit to rest pretty quickly. I mean, killing 6 million people is incomparable. It puts you in a class all to yourself."

"I can't believe you're defending the panty bomber in one breath and Hank Jr. in the next. That seems incongruous."

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