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  • 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.



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Dunwell Dry Goods opens in Hamtramck, Beck rocks the Fox

The word on the street

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Log Cabin Day

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Well done, Dunwell

On Friday night, DDAYS swung by the grand opening of Dunwell Dry Goods, Hamtramck’s one-stop shop for all your screenprinting, skateboarding, and assorted retail needs. A reconfiguration of the existing shops Chiipss and the Barber Shoppe, Dunwell features a gallery space, full screenprinting services, a mini ramp to practice your skateboard tricks on, and assorted retail, including offerings from SMPLFD. We spotted plenty of Detroit’s young artists in the crowd, including owners Andrew Davis and Patrick Miller, Jon Dones and Ash Nowak of DJ duo Haute 2 Death, and Molly Soda, checking out sets by Twine Time, Ritual Howls, and Coyote Clean Up. Being a hot, sticky Detroit summer evening, partygoers spilled out into the alley in the back to drink beer and eat hot dogs, but Hamtramck’s finest soon drove by and put an end to that. (DDAYS drunkenly considered testing our skateboarding skills on the ramp, but wisely chickened out.)

Where it’s at …

The historic Fox Theatre was the place to be Saturday night. Alternative indie ’90s rocker Beck returned to Detroit, touring in support of his newly released 12th studio album Morning Phase. Fans were excited to see Beck, but also excited and curious to see the opening band the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, fronted by John Lennon’s son Sean Lennon and his girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. This duo just released its first album, Midnight Sun, in April, and this evening was going to be their first Detroit show. Unfortunately, they got held up crossing the U.S.-Canadian border and missed the show! After the disappointing news, we were happy to learn that Beck would be performing a special two-set show, with a short intermission. The first set acoustically and the second set plugged in and ready to rock! Fans were treated to some new and deep rare cuts on the opening 10-song set. After the intermission, folks were hyped and ready to get down! Beck really came alive when singing his big hit “Devil’s Haircut” and things really got funky with “Loser.” We love his unique voice, those quirky little dance moves, and his great fashion sense. Of course, Beck was wearing his signature black fedora hat, and we saw dozens of fans wearing them too. Beck mentioned many times how much he loves the D! He also mentioned that his first show here was at the Detroit Science Center. He then asked, “Who’s from the Science Center?” Many fans raised their hands in the air, and we chuckled, wondering if he was joking and maybe this was just a secret reference to his Scientology brothers and sisters here in the D. Whatever the case, Detroit was treated to a unique, amazing 26-song set list, and Beck closed it out with his big hit “Where It’s At.”

A lot of people for Palmer Park

DDAYS strolled into Palmer Park for the fourth annual Log Cabin Day on Sunday and enjoyed a wholesome bout of old-timey activities, the likes of which included square dancing, bonnet-making, military drills, and (our favorite) ice cream-eating. We toured Sen. and Mrs. Palmer’s historic log cabin, which was built for the lady along with a man-made lake named after Mrs. Palmer’s mother. While the cabin is in need of many repairs, the history available within was astounding. Hopefully the nonprofit organization known for keeping up both the park and the cabin, The People for Palmer Park, will be able to raise the needed $1 million to completely restore the cabin. 

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