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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 new 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 new 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 […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 real corporate choice for VP

If corporations are Mitt Romney's peeps, why not pick one as his running mate?

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While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slogs through the long hot summer, much of the speculation is on whom he will chose as his running mate. He'd have a hard time doing any worse than John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin in 2008 (she is depicted as painfully disconnected from then-current events in the HBO movie Game Change based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin).

Maybe Romney should heed the words of Republican strategist Ed Rollins in making his choice. Last week Rollins complained that the GOP — let me paraphrase here — is too old, too white and too fat. He urged party members to do a better job of engaging Latino and African-American voters. I guess Romney didn't get that memo before he went to the NAACP convention seeking boos. However, he could improve his standing with the civil rights crowd — and help his problem with the ladies — by selecting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. She's not white, not fat, not that old and the right-wing crowd loves her.

But word is that Condi is not that big on the idea. 

Who else is out there? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't help on the white and fat tip. Youthful Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, would help on the Latino front. However, for some reason the now-Catholic Rubio attended a Mormon church for several years and the conservative crowd probably doesn't want to double down on the Church of Latter-Day Saints, given evangelical suspicions about how it relates to their Christianity.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who wields his budget cuts like the sweeping scythe of the Grim Reaper, would probably help deliver the conservative base. But the guy looks like Frankenstein without the knobs in his neck. Romney probably doesn't want anyone stiffer looking and scarier than himself stumping around the country.

When asked back in April if he would consider Rick Santorum, who dogged him from the right during the primary season, Romney declared, "Everybody is on my list. I'm not taking anybody off the list, alright?" 

But he may have dropped a clue about his real plan for a vice president in one of his most famous quotes of the campaign. Remember: He said, "Corporations are people, my friend." Well he should pick one of his people as a running mate. It would be the ultimate public-private partnership. My first thought is he should renew his romance with Bain Capital. But he's been running away from that relationship lately. 

Indeed, the latest question is when exactly that marriage broke up in the first place. Was it 1999, as Romney claims? Or was it 2002, when his name finally came off the corporate papers? Bain doesn't even have a cool logo some model could stick on his head and strut around like a college sports mascot. And there would be the inevitable questions of how many foreign bank accounts Bain has and how many jobs it's off-shored. No, having Bain on the ticket would be the equivalent of Obama taking the Rev. Wright out on the stump. Romney will have to kick that corporation under the bus for the moment.

Although Romney was born in Detroit (we heard of his high jinks assaulting a long-haired student while attending Cranbrook), I get the feeling that none of our local auto companies would make the short list for veep. Once upon a time it was believed that what was good for GM was good for America. But now that GM has lowered itself to openly taking government welfare, it has become a second-class citizen. The same thing goes for Chrysler (I guess Chrysler is American now that Daimler has dumped it). Although Ford Motor Company didn't declare bankruptcy and take a handout like the other two, still the sting of Romney's "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" column in the New York Times lingers. Besides, the auto companies would just bring along their union friends, and I don't think Romney is really a union kind of guy.

What about McDonald's? It has those golden arches that seem to beckon you to a land of enchantment and wonder. Maybe they could slip a little something into the hamburgers to make folks feel just a little bit more right-wing. On the other hand, the toys in the Happy Meal look a little too much like the "free stuff" Romney decried while speaking to the NAACP. And Ronald McDonald too closely resembles Joe Biden in a clown suit. I could imagine a vice-presidential debate with those two honking horns at each other, popping out of boxes and making balloon animals. 

I thought about Geico, but Martin the gecko has a decidedly Cockney accent that wouldn't play well with the birthers. The same goes for British Petroleum. It may have oiled up the Gulf of Mexico and gotten away with it in true American corporate fashion, but we're not ready to return to any union with the Brits unless they kneel and kiss Romney's ring, build a giant wall so you can't see France from their shores and promise to give up soccer for good old American football. And William and Kate have to spend at least half their time stateside.

ExxonMobil is a real American corporation. We've got their oil from the Valdez spread all around Alaska to prove it. Then again maybe Romney doesn't want to play up the whole Alaska thing. It didn't work out so good for the last Republican presidential candidate. 

Wal-Mart might be the best choice. It seems to stand for most of the same things that Romney stands for. The Walton family members are among the richest in the country, yet their employees are among the lowest paid and most badly treated — the perfect metaphor for the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. Wal-Mart doesn't stand for union organizing, and most of us are going to need their cheap prices after Romney gets through with the country. On the other hand, why should the Waltons take a pay cut and have to spend their time hobnobbing with mere politicians?

Wait a minute! It just occurred to me. There's no reason to seek any of these other corporations to be Romney's running mate. There's a corporation that has shown its toughness, its stamina, its willingness to take on the Democrats in a no-holds-barred struggle to the end. It's Koch Industries. David and Charles Koch could give us a two-headed vice president that would be content to stand behind the scenes and pull the strings. Besides, no other corporation has a better edge: The Kochs already own the Republican Party. 

 

Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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