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  • 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; tangentgallery.com.

    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.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com 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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Stir It Up

Crystal balling

Larry offers and early look at November

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It might seem a little early to cast our attention at the fall election in Detroit. After all there is plenty of drama in Washington, D.C., with the recently completed fiscal cliff negotiations, and the upcoming debt ceiling and gun control fights heating up. Right here in Detroit we’re still wondering if there will be an emergency manager or bankruptcy or both in the near future that will render whoever is elected less significant for the duration of the ordeal.

Political consultant Ron Scott — who is not currently working for any candidate but says he has given advice to several possible candidates for various offices — says, “I think that people are going to run anyway. Their resolve is to maintain as much democratic control of the city as they can. Basically they want a Detroit that is independent and the emergency financial manager law will bring greater resolve to fight for that. For example, many people ran for the school board although they were in court trying to see who will be in control. That’s going to happen in the mayoral race regardless of the emergency financial manager. The enmity to Gov. Snyder is so strong in the city that people will run.”

I’m particularly interested in seeing how our first vote for City Council members by district in nearly a century plays out. Whoever is running will have to file qualifying petitions with the city Department of Elections by noon on May 14. So while it may seem early, anybody who really wants to run has to be putting together an operation right now. Generally there are nearly 150 primary candidates for the nine-seat council, but with the new district system I’m curious how it will impact the number of candidates and the kinds of candidates who decide to run.

As it stands now there will be significant turnover in who is on council, and that’s after a pretty big turnover in the last election. Kwame Kenyatta has already said that he will not run this year, while Brenda Jones has already picked up her packet from the Department of Elections for the next election. I called four council members to ask how the district system is impacting how they expect to run, or not run, their campaigns. The only one who called me back was JoAnn Watson, to say that she had nothing to say on the subject at this time. So I’m curious.

District-wise, a few sitting members would have to face each other if they all run again. Brenda Jones and President Pro Tem Gary Brown both live in the 2nd District on the north end. Saunteel Jenkins and Charles Pugh are both in the 5th District in the central south side of town. Watson and Ken Cockrel Jr. live in the 6th District covering the southwest part of town. James Tate is in the 1st District on the far northwest side with no other sitting council members, as is Andre Spivey in the 4th District covering much of the lower east side. Kenyatta lives in the 4th, although, as I’ve said, he isn’t running. Two districts, the 3rd on the northeast side and the 7th on the west side, have no sitting council members.

“It’s too early to determine whether districts are going to change things,” Scott says. “Incumbents will still have access to large fundraising opportunities. … Detroit voters have fooled me, but the ability to get information out and have name recognition and so forth with districts will have an impact. This time around, a number of the incumbents are not going to run. In those districts where they are not going to run, we will see if money or program will actually decide the race. There will be a lot more popular democracy; there will be a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise think about running that will. That will be both good and bad. We’ll see if voters look at their program and not just their personality. For far too long in Detroit, people have been looking at the personality side and not the program the person is proposing.”

I have a feeling that a lot of people who belong to a large church or community group will consider a run for council. One significant organization could be the base that helps win an election for a newly minted politician. Or one significant issue for a community could catapult someone onto council. I haven’t digested the Detroit Future Strategic Plan; it’s hundreds of pages long and was three years in the making, but there have to be numerous issues for neighborhoods in there that could make or break a nascent politician who wants to champion or oppose how it works.

Or it could be one entity with a lot of money that makes the difference with a possible City Council member.

“I don’t underestimate the framework of corruption,” Scott says. “An organization that has a lot of money can dump it on a candidate.”

In addition to the seven district races, there are two citywide council seats that will be in contention to make things just a little bit more complex. It will take some gumption for candidates who believe they can win a district to decide they want take the chance on winning across the city. That may be one of the things keeping current members of council from tipping their hand as they eye each other to see who is running in their district and who is running citywide. The common idea would be those who got the most votes in the last election, Pugh and Brown, have the political capital for that, although Pugh has declared that he won’t seek a second term on the council. At the same time having garnered the most votes for City Council could embolden a candidate to decide to go for the mayoral office. Political observers have considered Pugh and Brown to have such ambitions. Not to mention Jenkins, who earned the third most votes in 2009. Cockrel was in fourth place, and actually sat in the mayor’s seat for several months replacing Kwame Kilpatrick when Kilpatrick left office before Cockrel lost to Dave Bing. He’s been reported saying he is keeping all options open.

Cockrel’s choice may impact Watson’s decision on whether to run or not. The same goes for Jenkins. Jones hasn’t waited to see what Brown will do; she’s the only incumbent who is openly running for re-election at this point. And we still don’t know who is going to come out of the woodwork from the neighborhoods.

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