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  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Coming out online

When your closeted friend hits you up online, it’s time for a pat on the back

Coming out online

Q:

 I'm a 21-year-old gay male. My friend "Marcelo" is friends with "Chad." Everyone who meets Chad assumes he's gay. Never had a girlfriend, a dance major, dyes his hair blond/green/purple, got up at 2 a.m. to watch Kate marry William — I could go on. Over four years at college, this situation has gone from funny to sad as we realize he may never come out and could pull a Marcus Bachmann and live a miserable life with a miserable wife. Last night, Marcelo was on Grindr and got a message from a guy who turned out to be Chad! Chad sent a face pic, Marcelo sent a faceless one back, they chatted. It turns out that Chad is experienced enough to know his homosex likes and dislikes and carry on a detailed conversation about them with a guy on Grindr. Should we say something to Chad? Would letting him know he's been outed be the best course of action? Should we have a gayvention? —Closet Case Confusion

 

A:

 Chad hasn't "been outed," CCC, Chad outed himself.

Before Al Gore invented the Internet and ruined everything for everyone forever, a college-age closet case had to work up the nerve to visit the campus gay bar if he wanted some dick. (Or visit the cruisey bathroom in the undergraduate library, but let's leave that one alone for now.) The closet case knew he was running a risk by showing his face in the campus gay bar — even the gay bar three towns over — but going to the bar was the only way to get some dick. So the pre-Grindr college-age closet case would slip into a gay bar and, after pounding shots in a wildly successful effort to self-medicte against his inhibitions, wind up shirtless on the dance floor making out with some random dude.

There was a code of conduct for friends of closet cases when I was in college — which was, I'm sorry to say, just a couple of years before Grindr came along (cough, cough) — and a section that dealt with dance-floor make-out sessions: If you saw a guy who told you he was straight in class on Friday morning making out with some random dude on the dance floor of the campus gay bar on Friday night (or in the gay bar three towns over), you had a right — no, you had a responsibility — to tap him on the shoulder, smile, and say, "Welcome out, dude."

And if you had engaged in a little subterfuge — if you, say, ducked behind a post when you saw the closet case come in so he wouldn't spot you and flee the gay bar pre-shots and -shirtless-make-out session — that was an understandable impulse and forgivable sin.

What Chad is doing on Grindr — sending out face pics, chatting about his homosex preferences — is the Grindr-era equivalent of making out with a random dude on the dance floor of a campus gay bar. What Marcelo did was the Grindr-era equivalent of ducking behind a post. And now Marcelo has a right — no, a responsibility — to tap Chad on the shoulder and, without any sense of malice or triumph, say, "Welcome out, Chad."

 

Q:

 I'm an 18-year-old male who is weird in the way of a bit of crossdressing and pegging. My girlfriend endorses these interests, and I love her for that. Recently, a hot 22-year-old gay guy told me he was interested. I tried to tell him I was in a relationship, but we kissed. It sucked ass. His stubble hurt, he used too much tongue, and I got nothing out of it. Do I tell my girlfriend? I worry that telling will make her worry, and the worry will cause distrust, and that distrust will ruin a great three-year run. —Now Over Transient Bisexual Interests

 

A:

 First, after reading your letter, NOTBI, I was left wondering what would've gone down (you perhaps?) if the gay dude you made out with — after you tried so very, very hard to tell him you were in a relationship — didn't have a rough beard and use too much tongue.

Second, a girlfriend who endorses your interest in crossdressing and pegging is a girlfriend who might have endorsed your interest in a boy-on-boy make-out session. (Particularly if she could watch.) If you'd had the decency to ask for her permission, NOTBI, you wouldn't now be in the position of having to ask for her forgiveness.

Third, I think you should discuss this with your girlfriend, but I don't think you must. You're 18, you're not married, you (briefly) kissed a boy, and you didn't like it. If you think coming clean would destroy your relationship and you're sure it's never going to happen again, stuff this one up your memory hole.

Fourth, if you do talk with your girlfriend, NOTBI, you might not wanna emphasize the beard and tongue details. Not unless you want your girlfriend wondering the same thing I did after reading your letter: Maybe if it had been a different guy, with a different tongue, a lot more than his tongue would've wound up in your mouth.

 

Q:

 I (middle-aged, married, straight guy) recently attended a boring business conference where I ran into an old friend (middle-aged, married, straight guy). He came to my room for a moment, noticed a camera on a small tripod on the desk, and asked what I was shooting. Emboldened by a few beers, I told him about my hotel room routine: shoot myself naked and masturbating then upload pics to an amateur exhibitionist website. Since I had shared my little secret, he shared his: He gets naked in hotel rooms and masturbates while spanking himself with his belt. You can see where this is going. I whacked his ass while he took photos of me. There was no sucking or fucking — no physical contact at all — but his Catholic guilt came out afterward, and he started going on about how he had just had gay sex and cheated on his wife. To me, it was masturbation with a few toys (camera, belt, and, OK, person). So here's the question: Did we have gay sex and cheat on our wives? Or was this just a wank with a few toys? —Spank And Wank

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