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  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

Treme and the sounds of revival

Lifeblood of New Orleans rejuvenates with its music

Photo: Photo by Paul Schraldi, HBO, License: N/A

Photo by Paul Schraldi, HBO


In 2004, I crashed on my cousin Frank's couch for a week at his home on St. Philip Street in New Orleans. This was a year before Hurricane Katrina, and gentrification was taking root in the neighborhood. Contractors were busy converting duplex "shotgun" houses into single homes, in most cases converting the two three-room flats into a six-room configuration more attractive to middle-class buyers. 

Frank had a bicycle that I used to get around town that week. One evening I borrowed the bike and headed down St. Philip in the direction of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and all that. After a couple of blocks the streetscape took a downturn. The houses were ragged and groups of people I assumed to be drug dealers stood on corners. I paid little attention to them and headed on my way.

Later, on returning to my cousin's house, he was livid. He said that had I gone in any other direction it would have been OK — that I had gone into a dangerous neighborhood and could have been killed. As it turned out I had gone into Treme.

The Treme neighborhood is now familiar to millions of non-New Orleanians due to the popular HBO program named for it. Treme, which follows a diverse group of people as they attempt to recover and put their lives back together after the devastating Katrina, is going into its third season. As part of the buildup to this season the concert tour "A Night in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans" stops Friday at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. The lineup — Rebirth Brass Band, Donald Harrison Jr., Glen David Andrews, James "12" Andrews, Dr. Michael White and Cyril Neville — presents a wide swath of New Orleans music. Most of the performers on tour have appeared in the TV show. 

Trombonist Glen Andrews is one musician whose life changed profoundly after the flood. He kicked a drug habit and became a community leader fighting to save the traditional New Orleans neighborhoods. He was raised in Treme and found himself living in a trailer in the aftermath of the flood. He sees resilience in the people there. 

"I saw the citizens of New Orleans rebuild this city brick by brick," says Andrews. "We will never let our culture die. If we let New Orleans die it's like France losing Paris. The reason I am who I am is old cats. I've been paying traditional jazz all my life and coming from the Treme neighborhood I got to know that music."

Andrews was 25 when Katrina hit. He'd been a street musician and a sideman for much of his life, but living through the disaster taught him he needed to change his ways. In addition to being a compelling speaker and a leader of political demonstrations, he focused on the brass band and traditional music that he'd grown up with. Andrews now leads his band in weekly shows at Preservation Hall in New Orleans and on tours worldwide. I had to schedule my phone interview with him around his time on the set of Treme.

"The show helps New Orleans," says Andrews. "The city is still thriving with culture. When people come to New Orleans, instead of staying in the French Quarter, now they want to go to Treme. It's the best thing that could happen to us and musicians and me as a representative of that neighborhood. The show exposes me to 5 to 10 million people every week."

But Andrews sees the downside of his hometown too. "New Orleans is back, but we have a lot of problems, crime problems."

He likens some New Orleans issues to things going on in Detroit. He was in Michigan recently and saw news about people stealing copper wire from light poles. He also heard about plans to downsize Detroit and stop services to some parts of the city. That's like parts of New Orleans, he says, "They have no plans for these places to come back."

Some of those negatives weigh on the mind of clarinetist Dr. Michael White, too. "I'm just trying to get my head around why 10 people got shot last night," he told me. He got the number wrong, 16 people were shot and two killed in five different incidents in New Orleans the Night of Oct. 31. We didn't get that on Halloween night here, but it sounds like the kind of news we wake up to from time to time.

White is probably the most pure traditionalist among the "Night in Treme" performers. The Rebirth Brass Band mixes their sound with funk and hip hop. Saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. is a modern jazz player, although he weaves in traditional black Indian music and has collaborated with hip-hop artists. Trumpeter James "12" Andrews (brother of Trombone Shorty and cousin to Glen David Andrews) is a protégé of the singer-songwriter-producer Allen Toussaint (author of "Southern Nights," "Working in a Coalmine," etc.). Singer-percussionist Cyril Neville comes from the legendary Meters funk band and his R&B classic family group. White, 57, came up playing music mostly with the older generation. 

"I played with more than three-dozen guys born before 1910, guys who played with Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton," he says.

His new compositions maintain the style and flavor of music that was made a century ago. "I been here all my life," he says. "I saw the last days of the traditional style brass bands that we're out in the community playing church parades, social club parades and funerals. ... The culture of New Orleans is like a big head of lettuce. You have to peel back each layer. New Orleans culture is not one thing but a mixture of many things. I still don't have it figured out yet." 

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