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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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Politics & Prejudices

Prince Fielder and the poor folks

Poverty slams poor kids; he gets $214 million; we're one sick society

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Last week the Michigan League for Human Services released its yearly report on the status of children in this state.

Not surprisingly, the report, called the Kids Count Data Book, was depressing as hell. Most of what attention the study received in the media focused on the news that child abuse in the state jumped by 34 percent as the recession deepened and worsened.

That, and the fact that nearly half the kids in the state now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. To poverty experts, both things were about as surprising as learning that people in primitive areas tend to die of thirst when there is a major drought.

Naturally, we've taken precautions in this country to assure a steady water supply, at least enough to keep people alive. But making sure our kids are well-fed and protected — well, that would be socialism! Only commies would want to go that far.

The thing that haunted me most about this report, however, was neither of those two statistics, but the finding that "too many children suffer from dental decay and pain that cause difficulty chewing, concentrating, sleeping and swallowing."

Worse, "more than one in four third-graders in Michigan have untreated dental disease." Call me a commie all you want, but when I read that I would gleefully have given an abscessed tooth to — and withheld painkillers from — every right-wing moron who voted to take away support from 29,000 poor children last year.

There wasn't too much anyone could say to challenge the truth of the Kids Count Data Book findings. The Michigan League for Human Services is a rigorously nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that has been around for almost a century.

This particular study was financed by a prestigious group of foundations that range from Annie E. Casey to the Skillman and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Had the Kids Count findings received widespread attention in the media, it could conceivably have made a difference.

Even some who would spit on poor adults might have a problem with third graders, poor and hungry through no fault of their own, crying because of infected teeth. But not to worry.

The Kids Count report actually got little press, because there was far bigger and more significant news that day: The Detroit Tigers announced they were signing a 27-year-old baseball player named Prince Fielder to a nine-year contract for $214 million.

Yes, you read that right. Almost a quarter of a billion dollars for a heavy-set player who cannot run or field especially well, but who hits a lot of home runs. Wait a minute; forget that.

Can you really imagine, in any sane universe, paying that much money to a single baseball player, even if he sold all the tickets himself, batted .750, and painted the stadium at night?

Consider this: If you made $214,000 a year, which is more than the vast majority of us, it would take 1,000 years for you to make as much money as Prince will make over nine years.

Looked at another way, he will make about $65,000 a day, seven days a week, that whole time. Far as I can tell, thousands and thousands of us think that is wonderful. Think that is wonderful, in a world where we are cutting little kids off any cash assistance, and where they are being abused by desperate and unemployed parents.

We seem to think that is appropriate in a state where little kids can't learn because their teeth hurt too much; where two out of every five children depend on Medicaid for medical care, and where our politicians are doing their best to cut that too.

We think it appropriate to pay a ballplayer approximately 50 times the salary of the president of the United States in a place where almost 1 million normal jobs have disappeared over the last decade.

We think it is fine for Fielder to be paid several times what the state will save this year by eliminating the last shards of the safety net keeping tens of thousands of kids from hunger.

Fielder's salary, by the way, is almost twice the amount the Legislature and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm saved by breaking their promise to kids who had been assured by the state they would receive a Michigan Promise college scholarship. 

Now I can just see the little basement righties rushing to their blogs to say how outrageous my comments are. Why, how can that horrible socialist compare public money to private riches!

Mike Ilitch earned those hundreds of millions by selling cheap pizza to the masses. Nobody has the right to tell him how to spend it.

Some may even suggest that I am attempting to stir up — gasp — class warfare! Well, I won't bother to deny it. Every time our supercautious president dares to suggest that a billionaire ought to pay as high a percentage of his income in taxes as, say, his secretary, the little acolytes of bloated fools like Rush Limbaugh bleat "class warfare."

Well, guess what. I am an enormous baseball fan, and think many players in the old days, like Al Kaline, were badly underpaid.

But I know that a society that cheers paying Prince Fielder hundreds of millions of dollars and lets little kids go hungry is a society run by really sick fucks. And if that's class warfare, let's make the most of it. 

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