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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 […]

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  • 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 / 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.

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Stir It Up

Free Obama now

Mulenga Harangua knows the prez is tied up in the basement at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

I was browsing the stacks at my local public library when I heard a hissing sound. I looked around at the people sitting at tables reading. There in a back corner I saw Mulenga Harangua waving his arm from behind a gigantic book that obscured most of his body. I went over and took a seat at his table.

"I see you finally showed up," Mulenga admonished me as though I were late for an appointment.

"I didn't know that we had plans together."

"I've been sitting in here all day for a couple of weeks waiting for you to show up," Mulenga said. "I wanted to talk to you but didn't want to take the chance of coming to your house. You've been writing about me in that column of yours. I speak too much truth, so I know that the powers that be are looking for me. I needed to run into you on the sly. I know you read books all the time, so I knew you would show up here sooner or later."

"Well I have been using our public libraries ever since I learned to read when I was 6 or 7," I said.

"I've been using them ever since I learned to read when I was 28. That's when I realized the man wanted me to be ignorant, so I fought the power and learned how to read. Learning how to read is like a stick in the eye of the oppressor. It makes it that much harder to fool us. " Mulenga stretched and twisted his head around until his neck cracked. The noise cut through the air like a gunshot. The folks sitting nearby bobbed their heads like they were ducking bullets. When no more shots rang out they returned to their reading as though nothing had happened.

"Well, you got that right," I said. "Sorry that I didn't get over here sooner. I didn't know I had an appointment."

"That's OK. It's actually been pretty nice. They have air conditioning and water and clean restrooms. All the comforts I could ask for as hot as it has been this summer. And I get to use a computer once in a while."

"So what did you want to see me about?" I asked.

"It's about Obama."

"What? Have you gotten on the bandwagon with Cornel West and Tavis Smiley going around on their poverty tour ripping the president? It's not like he doesn't have enough trouble with those Tea Party people barking at him about every little thing he does. What's that West called him, the 'black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs?' They want to call him names when it is West and Smiley who want to be the black oligarchs telling everybody what to think. Had the nerve to come around here talking shit when they didn't lift a finger to help any poor people in Detroit."

"No. I'm afraid it's much worse than that," he said.

"I know things are bad. Black unemployment nationally is 17 percent, closer to 50 percent in Detroit. People getting foreclosed out of their houses left and right, black people killing each other left and right. I'd like to get to the bottom of that."

 "I did. That's what I'm trying to tell you," Mulenga said. "I got a scoop that's gonna win you a Pulitzer Prize if it doesn't get you killed first."


"They got the real Obama tied up in the basement of the White House."

"Who are they?" I asked.

"Them oligarchs you was talking about. You know the cabal that really rules the world. When Obama got elected talking about change and hope, they grabbed him the minute he moved into the White House. We have been seeing a body double for the president, like in that movie Dave where the president has a stroke and the guy who looks like him takes over. Except in this case I think it's the guy from Saturday Night Live who is impersonating him. Everybody thinks that's Obama caving in to the right when it's not him at all." 

"And you think West and Smiley are in on this?" I asked.

"Most definitely. Can't you see from the grin on Cornel's face that he's performing for massa? I was out there last week when they showed up in Detroit at the Young Municipal Center. There they were, carrying on and trying to rabble-rouse. I've always known that I could make a lot of money by masquerading as a black conservative; look what it did for Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas. Colin Powell was in on it too before they went too far and he had to cut that shit loose. West and Smiley have lined up for their share. They're masquerading as black liberals in service to the conservative cause. It's a brilliant move but I see right through them."

"So is that what West meant when he said that Obama is not a 'free black man'?" I asked. "I was kind of wondering about that." 

"He was just covering his backside. On the one hand he called Obama a slave as a put-down. But if it ever comes out that Obama has been kidnapped, he can jump up and claim that's what he was trying to tell us. Those two want their bread buttered on both sides." Mulenga pretended he was spreading butter on the book in front of him. "They're probably getting their checks directly from them Koch brothers who bought up all those Republican governors who are attacking the unions."

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