Most Read
  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Stir It Up

Mulenga's blues riff

"Maybe they don’t like democracry if they have to share it"

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

One thing my pal Mulenga Harangua and I always enjoy is a good walk. Something about walking together makes the talking so much more enjoyable. I don't know why, but ideas and words seem so much more vibrant when combined with moving feet. 

We met over in Rivertown where the Soup Kitchen Saloon used to be. I saw blues stars there like Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, but the place is shuttered now. One time my cousin came into town with Harry Connick Jr.'s big band and after their show all the guys wanted to go to the Soup Kitchen. They had heard that was the place to go in Detroit. Not anymore. It shut down in the 1990s when Mayor Dennis Archer was trying to create a casino district in the area. 

Mulenga was waiting in the lot across the street from the old storefront as I approached for a meander around the neighborhood. The temperate winter weather had encouraged us to plan the walk but as it turned out, the day we went out there was snow flying down near the river. When he saw me he pulled a harmonica out from under his layers of clothing and blew a couple of notes.

"So, you're playing the harp now?"

"Well, I just know 'Home on the Range,' but the Republicans who came to hear Mitt Romney's speech at Ford Field seemed to like it. I played it over and over and collected almost $30 out there last week. There weren't very many of them, but two different guys gave me $10. They seem to like music even if it's off-key. I saw that news clip of Romney singing 'America the Beautiful' down in Florida."

"This has got to be one of the singingest election cycles I've ever seen. First you had Herman Cain out there singing 'Amazing Grace' to the melody of 'Danny Boy.' Then you had Obama out there channeling Al Green. Then he was out there singing the blues with B.B. King and Mick Jagger."

"At least he was smart enough not to sing the whole song either time." Mulenga blew a couple of tentative notes on the harp. It sounded like he was trying to find "Sweet Home Chicago," but he got lost on the way.

"Well, I'll be glad when the primary is over and I don't have to hear all the commercials. They'll be back when the general election kicks in but at least we get a break now."

"We get a break on the commercials for a while, but those Republicans don't seem to be giving a break to anyone who isn't a heterosexual white man."

"What do you mean?" We reached the river, and I leaned on the Riverwalk railing and watched the water flow past. 

"Well, it seems like every week at least one of them does or says something offensive to somebody. Like when they had the panel on birth control and the only people on it were men. It's a no-brainer that if you are going to have a panel on birth control, women should be involved. Even I know that. Then in Virginia they had that vaginal probe bill. It was defeated, but that certainly didn't make them look good to even propose it."

"A useless sonogram to attack women who are already in an emotionally tough situation, it wasn't a smart move." I gazed at a freighter working its way down the river. 

"Then there's the gay marriage issue. When the California appeals court struck down the gay marriage ban, Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum couldn't wait to condemn the ruling. You'd think they were running for pope."

"Careful now," I said. "You don't want to upset the Catholics, though Santorum is doing his best to get them riled up."

"Then, last week they had that debate in Arizona where they all piled on the illegal immigration issue. It sounded like they were ready to break out the trowels and start laying bricks to secure the border."

"So you want to let the illegal immigrants just flow across the border?" I asked.

"I don't know what to do about that. It's just that nobody invited the Europeans over and here they are. And I've got to think that there are enough Hispanic voters in the southwest that it's better not to alienate them." 

Mulenga brought the harmonica up to his mouth again. He pursed his lips to blow but fumbled the instrument and it fell into the river.

"Shit! Well, that's over. I was just getting into it."

"Don't worry. I'll get you another one. But tell me more about the Republicans and how they're putting so much hate out there."

"Well, we already know how they've been slamming black people, particularly President Obama, calling him the welfare president and all. You wrote about that in your column a few weeks ago."

"Yep, thanks for paying attention to it."

"I did more than that. I'm spreading the word. It would be even better if I had an address and could vote."

"That will take some doing, but it looks like you understand what's going on out here. So let's add it up here. Republicans are slamming women, gays, Hispanics and blacks. It looks like the Asians are getting off the hook."

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus