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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 […]

    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 / 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.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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A day in the life

DPD's daily crime report shines a light on the city's violent side

Photo: , License: N/A

Winthrop Street, where a man died on a stranger's front lawn.

At least he could talk if he wanted to. The man found lying in the grass an hour later could not. His gunshot wound left him bleeding to death on someone's lawn on Winthrop near Greenfield and Eight Mile, in a still-solid neighborhood, with well-kept homes and few vacant houses. Someone heard the shots, saw a motionless man lying unresponsive, called the police at 5:15 a.m., and a 30-year-old man's life ended in total mystery. The brief signs off with the chorus of the crime reports: "Suspect: unknown and armed."


By 6:11 a.m. the sun had risen. But it was barely daylight yet when a 19-year-old was walking down Seven Mile near Cliff Street west of Van Dyke at 7 a.m., past a panorama of life in his neighborhood. Past the Pick and Save Supermarket, now closed for good. Past the Wilder Branch of the Detroit Public Library, now closed often due to shortened summer hours and ever-dwindling funds. Past Bellagio Beer and Wine, open much of the time. And past the Second Holy Temple C.O.G.I.C corner church, open for Sunday services in a few hours. He heard the snap of a gunshot, felt a sharp pain and found himself headed to the hospital and added to this year's growing tally of non-fatal shootings. "Suspect: unknown and armed," the report again says, almost as if with a sigh.

In the height of the heat, at about 2 p.m., a man about 25 years old walked into a chain auto parts store, pulled out a gun and robbed the 30-year-old man behind the counter not only of the store's receipts, but the low-wage counter employee's belongings as well. Here were two similar men in the same neighborhood, roughly the same age, both likely without much money, but split by a life-defining divide — one choosing to work for his money, the other choosing to steal from those who do.

Crime reports given out by the police generally refrain from naming a store that's been robbed, lest word get out that the place is an easy mark. So it's unclear if the man who asked to use the restroom at 5:30 p.m. at an unnamed store on Greenfield south of Fenkell was at the Super M Market, which also houses a Dollar Plus, or Golden Pizza 2, with its $2.99 three-piece whole wing special, but the man emerging from the bathroom returned the hospitality shown him by not only robbing the place at gunpoint, but also taking the friendly 50-year-old female employee's money and the keys to her 2006 Cadillac STS.

An hour later, on Seven Mile Road near John R, at an unnamed business in a location where the only retail business is a dollar store, a suspect pretended he wanted to buy something, then pulled out his gun and demanded the cash from a store that makes money a dollar or two at a time. The 23-year-old clerk complied. Four days later, another gunman with another description would enter the same store and rob another employee the exact same way. 

And yet again, as another young man stood on another city street, a car pulled up and fired at him. This time it was at 7:30 p.m, on St. Mary's Street just north of McNichols. The 18-year-old was hit and was taken to the hospital. To get a sense of what side of crazy this neighborhood is on, just days later a pit bull was found dead on the same street, the Michigan Humane Society announced, with a rope around its neck and gang graffiti spray-painted on its body. A reward was offered for information. On the dog, not the young man.

The night's crime tally wound down as a 34-year-old man stood outside on the city's southwest side, where Chopin Street dead-ends against the weedy I-94 service drive. A man he knew came up and settled a simmering argument with a point-blank gunshot that wounded but did not kill his friend. The gunman then darted back out to Michigan Avenue and vanished somewhere along the always-bustling main drag. This time, though, suspect known.

Finally, midnight rolled around, marking an end to the long day but also the beginning of another one that would bring its own round of shootings and robberies and assaults. By the end of the week, at least 48 people would be shot in the city, padding the city's ongoing reputation for hair-trigger violence. Five would die, including the two men killed separately that early Sunday morning, one dying as his wounded friends sat with him in a car, the other spending his last moments alone on someone's front lawn, both deaths reduced to crime briefs that end in the same, helpless way.

Suspect unknown, and armed.


Detroitblogger John is John Carlisle, who scours the Motor city for its stories. Send comments to

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