Trending
Most Read
  • 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.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Comedian Bill Burr brings his prickly energy to Royal Oak

Anger is an energy

Photo: Koury Angelo, License: N/A

Koury Angelo

Bill Burr brings the laughs without funny hats or smashed watermelons.


Every Monday morning, legions of devoted, bleary-eyed fans listen to the ranting and ravings of an angry, youngish man with a thick Boston accent — and we don’t just mean the homeless guy down by the bus stop. The irritated man in question is comedian Bill Burr, who all by his lonesome, produces the very popular “Monday Morning Podcast,” when he’s not otherwise busy touring, acting, writing new material or sitting in with XM radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony. Burr’s podcast is a concentrated jolt of the kind of abrasive, annoyed everyman observational humor he has been honing on the road for the last two decades, and a jolt of his finely tuned snark in the early morn works almost as well as a stiff cup of coffee. We caught up with Burr recently to discuss the craft of comedy, conspiracies, and the little annoying daily things that inspire his act.

 

MT: Are you finding it easier to build an audience these days?

Bill Burr: Well, you don’t need to please everybody — just enough to fill a theater.

 

MT: Podcasting is the perfect tool for that, in that you can pull in your own audience in a way that didn’t really exist six years ago.

 Burr: Yeah, and podcasting is really just like standup; in order for it to work you’ve got to climb the ladder of it, you know? Whatever you’re doing, if you do it well, like people will find you. You don’t need a catchphrase or a silly hat or anything.

 

MT: Well, a silly hat can’t hurt.

 Burr: Silly hats are tremendous. A silly hat or a catchphrase and I could have cut out maybe 80 percent of the hell gigs I’ve done in my career.

 

MT: I was in a comedy club recently and they actually still had the “Gallagher 2” headshot up.

 Burr: That whole thing led to a lawsuit, didn’t it? That was really interesting; people went out to the club thinking Gallagher wrote a new hour of material, they didn’t realize it was his brother.

 

MT: You do a one-man podcast for the most part. How did that come about?

 Burr: That came about just out of sheer laziness. I don’t want to book guests: “Come to my place, I can come to where you’re at.”

I’d have to build a studio, and get assistants and all that shit. I don’t want to do any of that. Turn it on, press record and hope it comes out alright.

 

MT: I heard you bitching about your digital recorder on the show, that it was too much for you.

 Burr: Yeah, I can’t figure out how to get the fucking pod formatted in the stupid thing. I still can’t, it’s a problem.

 

MT: You don’t need to be sound proofing a room or anything like that …

 Burr: No, I don’t have the patience for new technology. I really don’t. It takes me forever to learn the last version, and now they come out with something new. I don’t find that it makes my life easier. For all the advantages of a podcast, compared to all the time I spend trying to figure out why my printer is on pause, or downloading new software, or my fucking laptop is now considered out of date because it’s three years old, and I have to drop a couple grand on a new one. It’s a time sponge.

 

MT: It is. Now you spend half your time constantly updating apps on your   phone …

 Burr: Then those take up space, your phone gets slow, and you have to throw out your phone, and it ends up in the fucking ocean. It’s stupid. I think the sweet spot was right after we cured polio to right before AIDS — actually right before herpes, that was the time.

 

MT: And landline phones worked just fine. If the phone rang you picked it up.

 Burr: You didn’t have to screen your calls! You just left the house!

 

MT: You’re friends with Joe Rogan. Do you ever find yourself going down some of those wild conspiracy rabbit holes?

 Burr: I really find it odd that somebody can get killed over a pair of sneakers, and everybody can believe that, but somebody gets killed working for a corporation, and that’s crazy? “A corporation wouldn’t kill somebody.” Really? Yeah? Where do they draw the line, breaking into the water supply?

 

MT: Horsemeat in burgers

 Burr: Yeah, right. Throwing salmon in a petri dish or whatever the fuck it is that they’re doing, they have absolutely no conscience whatsoever. These are people that try to influence politicians to prolong wars so they can make more money. You think they wouldn’t whack one guy?

 

MT: Sure.

 Burr: The funny thing is, conspiracy theory has gotten lumped into, like, moronic thought. It’s become synonymous with that, like, if you believe conspiracies then you think the moon is made out of cheese. Look, I don’t pretend to know what’s going on, but I know it’s not what they’re telling me, but I will entertain somebody’s theory more than I will watching the goddamn news, unless it’s just traffic and weather. Look, this country got founded on conspiracies; we conspired to kick the fucking British out of this country; if we didn’t have that original conspiracy, this country wouldn’t exist.

 

MT: That’s a very solid point.

 Burr: It’s about being skeptical. Maybe I’ve just been in this business too long and have seen that things are rarely what you think they are.

 

MT: You’ve got a style where you sort of tear into things; does it make it easier to write new stuff about things that annoy you?

 Burr: Well, I wish it were that easy. If I just walked around and went “Apples. Alright what about apples make me mad.” I’d like to think that my anger is legitimate, though it’s definitely misdirected. I don’t like that I get pissed off as much as I do, I don’t like that I get frustrated, but it works for me in comedy because people can relate to it, you know?

 

Bill Burr appears at 6 and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.

 

Corey Hall  writes for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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