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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 […]

    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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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Politics & Prejudices

Ban all guns, now

Nobody needs to have a handgun in America — period

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Nobody needs to have a handgun in America.

Nobody needs to have guns in their home, period.

That should be the starting point for any discussion about gun control in our insanely murderous society.

Any other position is equivalent to arguing, as "moderates" did in the 1850s, that we ought to slowly phase out slavery, that even though everybody "knew" Negroes were clearly inferior to whites, slavery no longer made sense.

Slavery was never right. Nor is putting weapons of mass destruction where any person can effortlessly get them.

Someday, if these United States ever happen to approach something close to civilization, we will look back on those now defending the right to carry concealed weapons much as we today regard Nazi "theoreticians" like Joseph Goebbels.

Nobody, apart from the police, needs to walk around with guns. What about guns for target shooters and hunters? Fine. Long as they keep them locked away at the club or lodge.

Nobody needs guns in their homes. When the entire story surrounding the Connecticut elementary school massacre is sorted out, many will blame the mother of the shooter.

She knew her son was emotionally disturbed, and yet apparently kept a collection of deadly, high-powered weapons in her house. Last Friday, Sonny went off like a rabid pit bull.

First he killed Mommy, and then went to the local elementary school, where he was a first-grader about 1998. There he shot six adults and pumped as many as eleven shots each into the heads of 20 children who were 6 and 7 years old.

Then he killed himself.

None of this would have been possible if he hadn't had access to those guns. At most, he might have killed Mommy, or some other person, with a butcher knife.

Incidentally, I am not mentioning the killer's name. People who do these things seem to want to be famous, want to be remembered. They don't deserve to be.

We have to stop this, now. We began last year with six people dying and a congresswoman's career being ended by one sick bastard with a gun, and we are ending this year with a pile of brutally torn apart babies all because of our guns.

Stopping this will be hard. We have spent years being deluded and deluding ourselves that guns make us "safe."

Bullshit. Guns make us dead. Yes, I am sure there are a handful of people who have saved themselves because they had guns. But far more have shot Poppa by mistake.

Five years ago, according to government records, gun violence killed 3,067 American children and teens. Japan, which has more than a third of our population, had 47.

Forty-seven gun deaths of all ages, that is. 

Year after year, we've listened to the paranoid fantasies from the gun nuts. They need their guns to defend themselves, they hint darkly, against some political conspiracy. Right. If the Navy Seals ever did arrive to take you out, your pistol would be worthless. We've been held hostage too long by the National Rifle Association, which columnist Michael Tomasky correctly calls the National More Dead Children Association.

Far too many Americans still cling neurotically to the instruments of death. They were still scrubbing the brains off the walls of Sandy Hook school when I got a message from a lunatic named Scot Beaton.

Beaton, a former Rochester Hills councilman, knows what the problem was: The teachers were really to blame because they weren't armed to the teeth themselves!

His solution: Give 'em training and give 'em guns "and allow those educators with concealed pistol licenses to bring their gun to school." That's really brilliant, though I don't know why this wimp wants to stop there. Every one of those slaughtered children should have been issued a Glock.

By not arming their babies, their parents must be terribly unfit in Beaton's eyes. Well, anyone who wants to make this nation Afghanistan has to admire Scot Beaton, though a far better solution would be to send him there.

This would-be suburban Sun Tzu also quoted another homicide enabler, one Steve Dulan, the lawyer for something laughingly called the "Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners" who said, "If you have pistol-free zones they are actually mass murder empowerment zones."

Funny, I never thought of a maternity ward that way. Do we really want to live in a country these creatures would create?

Well, we are about to find out what our governor thinks. In the dying days of a lame-duck legislative session mostly devoted to screwing the workers, the wingnuts in the Legislature also passed a law that would allow those permitted to carry concealed weapons to take them into elementary schools. Plus sports arenas and churches, synagogues and mosques. Supposedly, this is to make people safer.

Police and other trained law enforcement experts don't agree. They don't want vigilantes blasting away. They know that means far more dead innocents than bad guys.

Now, the question is: Will Gov. Rick Snyder, former alleged moderate, sign this legislation? By the time you read this column, you may know the answer.

Last week, with the brains and blood of a score of children still coating the walls of their classrooms, our governor said the massacre gave him "serious pause" and made him wonder if allowing people to take guns into classrooms is "appropriate."

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