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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture

Bringin' it back home

Motor City Pride makes a return to Detroit

Those who attended the first of many gay-pride marches in Michigan will remember Detroit as the city where it all began. And now, the patrons of the street fair known as Motor City Pride can finally and gratefully reflect on their roots and heritage — but not without some controversy among its organizers.

"This is a way for us to honor our tradition and to support the city core," says Detroit resident Michael Gregory, the director of communications for the LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan, the organizers of MCP. "The movement started here in Detroit and it is going to be both fun and positive to bring it back."

Seizing an opportunity to grow and expand, the pride celebration will be stationed in the city's spacious festival area at Hart Plaza this weekend, June 4-5, and will feature two days of musical entertainment and local vendors in support of gay pride and equality.

Of course, the event will also host the march that started the movement in 1986, right downtown on Woodward Avenue, marking the 25th anniversary for all pride festivals in the state of Michigan.

Yet why move the festival now, after it has been held in Oakland County for nearly 18 years?

Gregory chalks it up to the growth of the LGBT civil rights movement.

"We've definitely seen massive growth in terms of the number of people getting involved with the gay and transgender struggle for equality in Southeast Michigan," he says. "That, with the addition of more sponsors, we knew that we would eventually outgrow the space that we were in."

That would seem to be the most logical answer, considering the humble beginnings of the festival, according to Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of Kick, a nonprofit organization that offers support and faith-based educational workshops for gay African-American men within the city.

"It makes sense that it moved from a pride event that, in most recent memory, was held in a parking garage in Royal Oak, then a street festival in Ferndale and now on to this," Lipscomb says.

Yet the reactions to the migration have been varied — and controversial.

While some see the Hart Plaza event as a chance to move the gay civil rights initiative forward, others feel that the organizers have turned their backs on the community that hosted them for almost all of its existence.

Take, for example, Craig Covey, former mayor of Ferndale, the current Oakland County commissioner, a key organizer for the 1986 event and the state's first openly gay elected official.

In response to the move, Covey and members of the Ferndale LGBT community plan to host their own separate pride event, one day before the Equality Michigan-hosted festival.

Turning up the heat, the LGBT newsmagazine Between The Lines published an editorial in March calling Covey's tactics "possessive" and "divisive," to which Covey issued a counter-counter response in a post on his blog, Covey's Corner.

Stressing that the newly coined Ferndale Pride was only a means to offer other options to the community, Covey wrote on his blog that he "really didn't understand why the magazine was so upset in the first place," seeing as how it is located in Livonia.

However, these kinds of changes have been going on since Michigan's pride celebrations were created, giving credence to BTL's statement that "no one person owns pride."

This type of friction is just a natural part of any change, Gregory explains.

"With something like this that has been going on for many years, especially with so much forward momentum towards growth, these things just happen," he says.

As that date looms closer, Covey has admittedly buried the hatchet with MCP and BTL.

"We have integrated fully with Motor City Pride, and we are offering shuttles back and forth between our two cities for the events," Covey says, assuring that any dispute between the two is now old news.

For Lipscomb, the infighting was just mere futility compared to the positive response to the move and the overall message that any pride event brings.

"I know that I am in the minority when it comes to my story of stepping out," he says, recalling the support from his family and friends when came out at the age of 15. "For other people, the experience has not been pleasant.

But this is what these events are for, Lipscomb says.

"For one or two days, out of 365 of them, you can enjoy yourself and who you are without discrimination," he says. "Detroit already has a long history of welcoming its gay residents, and having it at Hart Plaza only increases the visibility of our cause."

For more information on Motor City Pride and the calendar of the festival's activities, visit motorcitypride.org.

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