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    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

At least no one got hurt

Rip-offs and stick-ups abound, and we're just glad we're unhurt?

I was standing out front watering my lawn the other day when I saw Mulenga Harangua strolling up the street big as day. I was dumbfounded. Mulenga doesn't come out to my neighborhood in northwest Detroit much, and when he does he's usually sneaking. He's kind of paranoid and always seems to think somebody is out to get him. He tries not to be seen in public — at least not during the light of day.

"Hey, Mulenga, when did they let you out?"

"I'm feeling brave today. Plus I thought I'd take advantage of our public transportation and check out the happenings along Woodward Avenue. How are you doing?"

"I'm a little worried about crime out here these days."

"Did something happen?" Mulenga got that suspicious look and scanned the street with a practiced eye. He sidled toward a small tree in front of my house as if that would hide him if necessary.

"Plenty of stuff has happened. The other night the family of a girl my daughter plays with was held up at gunpoint."

"Did anybody get hurt?"

"No they're all right. What happened was the girl and another friend went roller-skating on Friday night. Her parents drove the other girl home. She lives over by Seven Mile Road and Wyoming. So they drop the girl off but linger in the driveway chatting with her mom through the car window. They noticed three young men in hoodies walking by on the sidewalk, but stopped paying attention when the guys got a couple of doors over. The next thing they knew was these guys popped up around their vehicle with guns pulled and demanding money. The lady who lives there ran into the house screaming."

"That's a good tactic, run off screaming. I've used it myself."

"Well, get this. Her husband is a Detroit Police officer. He came flying out the side door in his underwear and started shooting at the robbers. The girl in the backseat of the car lay on the floor and rolled around trying to decide which side of her body was best to leave up in case she got shot. But nobody got shot. The robbers shot back at the cop and ran away. The car had a couple of bullet holes in it. I saw them when they came by here a couple of days later. One slug went through to the inside of the car back where their son usually sits playing video games. He wasn't with them at the time."

"I guess they have to be thankful that nobody got hurt. With all those bullets flying around anything could happen." Mulenga eyed a shadowy area behind some bushes as though he'd feel safer there. "I guess if you're going to hang out chatting in somebody's driveway at night you should do it where a cop lives. And ya'll got to pay closer attention when a bunch of guys in hoodies walk by."

"It's hard for me to be instantly suspicious of a group of young men. We used to be young men walking around with our friends. But anyhow, a couple of days after the shooting incident, the girl was over here visiting my daughter. I was inside talking with her mother when some loud voices suddenly came through my living room window. When the girl heard them she panicked and scooted away from the window. Said she 'didn't want to relive' her Friday night."

"Now that's the proper amount of paranoia to have around here. Maybe she'll be like me. Be able to slip through the city without being seen."

"So you are the invisible man?"

"Pretty much, but I'm talking about Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man rather than Lon Chaney's tragic monster."

"Well, I wish I could make my car invisible."

"Why's that?"

"Somebody broke into it and ransacked it the other day."

"Did they take anything?"

"Naw, there wasn't anything in there worth taking. They even left my CDs. I guess Keb Mo and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band aren't high on the playlist for thieves these days."

Mulenga chuckled and looked around as though he were scanning for possible crime spots. "Well, I know things are tight out here. I'm surprised something like that hasn't happened already."

"It has. Last year somebody broke the lock and handle on my car breaking in, although there wasn't anything stolen. I drive a stick shift, so I guess nobody wants to steal that. But the other day, the same night they hit my car, they hit the neighbor's across the street. Just ransacked both their cars and took a cup full of change. A couple of weeks before that somebody stole the wheels off that SUV over there." I pointed with my hose and sprayed water in the street. "It was about 5 o'clock in the morning. My other neighbor over here heard them as they were packing up. He actually came out and cruised around the neighborhood to see if they were after anything else. He had a car stolen about the same time. His son had parked it over in University District. It was the second time for that one. It was stolen a couple of years ago but was recovered."

"So the police did their job."

"I don't know what they did. But my neighbor found the car himself. Several months after it was stolen he spotted it in a parking lot at a suburban strip mall. He called the police and got it back. The people who had it bought it didn't know it was stolen."

Mulenga looked around. It seemed that every house he looked at I could remember something bad happening there.

"Those folks over there had the wheels stolen off their car. That other house they took the catalytic converter off the car. Over there they were held at gunpoint in their home while it was ransacked. Then they took the woman to the ATM machine to get more money."

"Well, at least nobody got hurt."

"That's what people keep saying, and it's bothering me. Every time somebody's car gets robbed somebody says, 'Well, at least we're safe.' But it's a damn shame that we have to think we're lucky because somebody stole our stuff and we didn't get hurt. We sit locked up in our houses listening to news stories about Mayor Bing and the City Council fighting over the city budget and how many police will get cut. At least they came up with something this year. Who knows what's going to happen next time around."

Mulenga began to look panicked. "Do you mind if I slip through your back yard?"

"What for?"

"I don't think it's safe around here. I need to pull a disappearing act. Cut through the cemetery and across Palmer Park. Then I can work my way from building to building. Get back downtown where I feel safe."

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