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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955;

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



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Stir It Up

Playing the 47s

Romney — weirdness you can count on

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Playing the dozens is a traditional African-American game in which the participants try to cleverly insult each other. The game generally ends when one insult is so good that the opponent is either left speechless or any rejoinder is so lame by comparison he may as well keep his mouth shut ... or when one participant becomes so pissed-off by the insult hurled his way that he forgets he's engaged in verbal jocularity and starts smacking his opponent around with his fists.

The thing about the dozens is you can take any feature of a person and blow it up to incredible proportions that defy sensibility — as in "yo' mama's feet are so big she wears boxcars for slippers."

It's similar to the kind of thing that political campaigns indulge in when the other side commits some slight faux pas and it becomes magnified to the grossest proportions. From where I sit it looks like the right-wing of the Republican Party has become expert at playing a particularly cutthroat, high-stakes version of the dozens. Their most vicious attack is stretching the fact that Obama's father is Kenyan to the conclusion that our president is not American — he's not one of us. The claims that he's a Muslim and a socialist are not far behind. They have taken it so far that it's way more than playing the dozens. They're playing the 47s.

It's those kind of people that candidate Mitt Romney was playing to when he made the now infamous "47 percent" comments at a high-end fundraiser this past spring. Romney described 47 percent of Americans as people who "are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims." Concluding that the 47 percent won't vote for him in any case, he went on to say, "my job is not to worry about those people."

Romney has since claimed that he is concerned about 100 percent of Americans, but I put more belief in what he said behind closed doors when he thought the camera was not rolling than what he said to the media while playing damage control after the comments became public. Come on, he first stood by the sentiment while admitting it was inelegantly stated. So from now on the number 47 will be permanently attached to Romney in my mind. He's Romney47, sort of like we have Bush 41 and Bush 43 — except the 47 has nothing to do with where he falls in the line of presidents. That's a line I hope he never gets to stand in.

Maybe the reason he was attracted to that number is because he was born in '47 (that's 1947 to you pikers — at least you're a piker in relation to the kind of investments Romney47 makes). That was the Chinese Year of the Pig, and Romney47 has been no less than piggish in creating the Obama advantage in support from women. The "binders full of women" comment from the second debate has played nearly as badly as if he'd said he has a little black book full of women. Not only did he blow the question about women's pay equity by not answering it, he probably blew any chance to garner more significant support from women. 

The alien spacecraft crash that supposedly took place at Roswell, N.M., was in 1947. While the government disputes that this ever happened, I'm starting to wonder about the coincidence of Romney47's birth and the crash happening so close together. Is he an alien? The guy doesn't appear very comfortable in his human body and he seems to have a problem telling the difference between people and corporations ("my friend"). On top of that he doesn't seem to know that cars don't go in elevators and dogs don't ride on top of cars. Sometimes things happen at the same time by coincidence, sometimes not. Romney47 brags that no one has asked him for his birth certificate. Well I'm asking. Could it be that he's actually a space alien?

The AK-47 assault rifle first went into production in the Soviet Union in 1947, and by the 1980s it was the most famous weapon of choice for American gangbangers. The National Rifle Association, which defends the right of any addled person to buy the assault weapon of their choice, has endorsed Romeny47. The candidate himself has flipped and flopped like a fish out of water on the gun control issue, but he's certainly shown that he's not ready to stand up to a strong lobby like the one wielded by the NRA.

And this final coincidence is that the World Bank began operating in 1947. Romney47 is a World Bank kind of guy; at least he banks around the world. Could it be that his arrival in 1947 was an alien plot to take over the world economy?

Not all 47s are bad. Bo Diddley rocked out on "Who Do You Love" with the lyric, "I walked 47 miles of barbed wire." But the song still touched Romney47's life because that is what his dog Seamus was howling when Romney threw him on the car roof for a vacation trip back in 1983.

Romney47 is willing to stretch the truth, and even go so far as to fib, in order to attain his goals. He's given a nod to the extremist Birthers, who seem to actually believe what they say. The problem is that Romney47 has taken so many different positions on the same issue that it's hard to know what he really believes. Health care reform is good, and then it's bad. Planned Parenthood is good, then it's bad. Romney47 wants to be president so bad, he's willing to court the Tea Party. Oops, that's no exaggeration. It's true.

By the way, when Romney47 sings the song "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" he never goes below 47. It's a long song and he can't be bothered concerning himself with what those people do with their beer. They probably got it on some kind of government program.

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