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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

Why to be paranoid

Mulenga Harangua feels the pain of his people

I was at a wedding where I expected to see my old pal Mulenga Harangua. He wasn't at the wedding, so I swung by his house so we could chew the fat for a while. Mulenga always has something interesting to say. He's been squatting in an abandoned house on the west side since his girlfriend tossed him out. (I think it was after he maxed out her credit cards buying clothes in the effort to become a bigwig sexy Detroit man.) He actually fixed the place up with mostly scavenged material. It looks better than most of the homes on the block. There's a big vegetable garden in the back yard and herbs growing in the front.

I wandered past the chives, which had produced some lovely white blossoms, and climbed the creaky stairs onto the porch. The place was dark but I knocked anyhow. After not getting a response I gave the door a couple of good bangs. I saw the blinds flicker and a few moments later I heard a series of snaps as he undid the locks. When the door swung open there stood Mulenga with a dark-blue blanket over his head and shoulders like a hooded cape.

"Hi," he rasped, "come on in." He sounded like Darth Vader on a bad day. His skin was gray and sagging on his face. He turned and shuffled slowly back into the darkness of his catacombs.

"Mulenga, what's the matter? You look like death warmed over twice."

He made a few more guttural noises as he walked away from me.


When we entered his living room, decorated with various pieces of scavenged furniture, he turned to me. "I'm feeling the pain of my people."

"The pain of your people, isn't that more of a metaphorical or psychological pain? You look like you had a run-in with Ndamukong Suh last night."

"I'm talking about real physical pain. My joints are all messed up. I can hardly move."

I've got arthritis in my neck and have suffered a few bouts of gout in my feet, so I've got some sympathy for folks who suffer joint pain. "When did this all start?"

"It started when I was back in high school."

"Sports injuries?"

"No, it was beatings from my teachers. My parents sent me to a Catholic school back when corporal punishment was in vogue. There were only a few brothers in the school and I stood out like a black bean in the grits. I was catching it all the time. While in high school I was hit with a baseball bat, a hockey stick, a rubber whip and fists. And that was from the teachers. I was flat-out punched in the face one time, knocked me off of my seat and busted a brand new pair of glasses."

"I find that a little hard to believe."

"Believe it, man. Obama's talking about it. Education Week magazine says that Obama is making racial differences in school discipline a high priority. It's about time. This guy, Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, said that students of color are 'receiving different and harsher disciplinary punishments than whites for the same or similar infractions.'"

I hadn't heard about that, but it seemed to ring true. That pretty much seems to be the case when it comes to the criminal justice system. That's why you get longer sentences for crack cocaine, which is associated with minorities, than for similar amounts of powder cocaine, more associated with whites. That's pretty much the case in all kinds of crime. The Sentencing Project, a national organization working for a fair and effective criminal justice system, has put out reports on the subject.

"I believe you, Mulenga, but we've got to get you to a doctor. You don't look good at all."

"I've been to doctors over the years but they haven't done much for me. For some reason they see my black face and suddenly I'm making things up. I got proof." He pointed to some papers resting on an old milk crate. I looked them over and was blown away by what I saw. According to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a couple of years ago, blacks and Hispanics are under-treated and under-medicated for pain. A more recently published study conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found that blacks and Hispanics were prescribed fewer pain medications than whites, and that women were given weaker pain medications than men. In addition, a study published earlier this year in the Journal of the National Medical Association showed that black men were more likely than white men to suffer chronic pain. It went on and on.

One study published in the Sept. 24 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine reported that "black Americans and Hispanics who show up at emergency rooms with chest pain are less likely than whites to get the care they need, despite displaying the same symptoms."

"Wow, Mulenga, I guess you are feeling the pain of your people and there's nothing metaphorical about it. I guess this shows that just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean that nobody is out to get you. No wonder so many brothers medicate themselves with alcohol, not that I'm an expert on this or anything."

Mulenga swelled up with the verification of his complaints. It's not often that I agree wholeheartedly with his musings. He seemed to get taller and the blanket slipped off his head, though he still held it about his shoulders.

"And another thing," he said, getting on a roll, "this whole thing with the mortgage crisis. Princeton University did a study showing that blacks were more likely to be offered subprime loans over whites who had similar financial situations. They said that the foreclosure crisis had racial dimensions from the 'point of origination to the point of foreclosure.'"

"Wow, where are you getting all this information?"


"But you don't have a computer, or electricity," I glanced around the shadowy environs.

"I use computers at the public library. You've got to use the resources at hand. That's how I found out that black women have suffered more than others under the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. They've been discharged under that policy at three times the rate at which they serve in the military."

"Whoa, Mulenga, you're covering a lot of ground here. Besides, I thought you weren't a fan of the military or gays.'

'Well, I'm not usually, but I have a niece who is a lesbian in the Army. I generally don't cotton to that stuff but my niece is different. She's family."

"Nice double standard you have going there." Mulenga slumped a little in his cape. I decided to change the subject. "You got some kind of stove here for cooking?"

"Got a little propane stove for camping back there."

"Tell you what, I see you still have some vegetables growing back there. I'll pick some and make you a good pot of soup. That'll make you feel better."

"All right, I got some chickens in the shed back there. I'll get one of those and we'll have a feast. You know, I'm starting to feel a little better."

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