Most Read
  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Cover Story

Back to Au Sable

Freshwater traveling among the salts of the earth

Photo: , License: N/A

Interestingly, we did canoe by the home of the old-timer from the bar. He had been watching for us, and rushed out onto his property to wave. That was nice.

Finally, all four of us unloaded at Cathedral Pines, a beat-up campsite up a rugged slope. We had to huff our stuff up and across a field, and, after a day of canoeing, we were whipped. We ate and didn't talk much, drank beer, conserved our firewood, and stomped on june bugs until we passed out.

Dow left in his canoe to get back to running the bar before we took off on our longest canoe leg of the trip: 13 miles. The wind was almost entirely at our backs. A few times, it was so straight and strong to my back I secured my paddle and just spread my jacket open for a push. It was unreal.

It was a daylong trip, and we passed quite a few guys fly-fishing in shallow water at high noon. Now I wonder: Are they insane? They do realize that they're fishing at the wrong time of day, don't they? Unfazed by that, they just stand there in the shallows and throw hooks at canoeists, vacant smiles on their faces. The river rules say you're supposed to respect them, but how do you respect a man who's fishing at the wrong hour? That's like trying to fly a kite when there's no wind.

And then some party kids took "our" campsite. The campsites nearest the river are supposed to be reserved for canoe campers, but these folks were already there when we clambered up the hill, and started lying to us about there being no other campsites, or not enough fire rings for the eight people they wanted to bring. We asked one of them where he was from and he said, "Nowhere." What dicks. They quickly set up a tent to hold the spot and drove off to pick up the rest of their friends. We briefly discussed peeing on the tent, or perhaps taking a dump in it. 

If that sounds juvenile, remember, this was around 5 p.m. Friday on Memorial Day weekend. The livery would want to close early and maybe couldn't pick us up if we hit the end of the line, and there was no camping allowed there. We decided to chance it on one last campsite being available at the last camping stop left before the end. Cherry chugged ahead and found the place. A convocation of eagles soared above us, auguring well. Cherry humped a cooler up to the nearest campsite and set it atop a picnic table, claiming the spot. About five minutes later, a steady stream of cars started probing the road. We had just narrowly got our camp.

Plus we were running low on wood. As luck would have it, we saw a truck drive by with wooden sides on the bed hand-painted with "Firewood for Sale." We gave a shout, and the truck driver backed in and started chucking off the biggest pile of wood for just $10. His name was Raymond, and he'd just bought the truck for $150. Now he was making some money selling wood to campers. 

That evening, we ate well and had a large fire. Raymond's wood burned very well. Unfortunately, we were running out of water. Cherry had a filter pump, so we pumped cooler water into gallon jugs for drinking. Even with the filter, though, I thought the cooler water tasted faintly of meat, so we added some orange Tang. For good measure, not wanting to get sick on meat water, we added a generous measure of vodka. We began to call this drink "the Astrotini." But as even this water ran low, we kicked ourselves, wishing we had asked good old Raymond to come back and take us to the store for more supplies. 

The next day, we were delighted when we saw his $150 truck pull up again. 

"I thought you guys might want a ride to the store. I'm just dropping off my daughter, but I'll come back and give you a ride if you want."

We said we'd love a lift to the store, and high-fived after he drove away. Fournier said he'd go and, after much feverish discussion, I think our shopping list was: more ice, water, beer, liquor, smokes, chips and baby wipes. 

You know, just the essentials — when basking in nature.

Michael Jackman is associate editor of Metro Times. Send comments to

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus