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  • 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.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

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  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks 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?"

"What?"

"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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