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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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Fashion

Fashion Advice From the Political Sphere

Political strategist Jill Alper on how women in the public arena get people to listen rather than look

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In politics, strong female characters are a given. The question is, in a world where it’s still a question, how does a woman show both strength and femininity?

Ask Jill Alper of the consulting firm Dewey Square Group. She has served as a political strategist in a career that started at age 15, spanning all 50 states. She has had ample time to consider the evolving set of rules governing what a woman can and can’t wear if she expects to be heard, and not merely viewed.

Alper started her career as a tour guide at Beacon Hill, the Massachusetts state capital, then decided it “would be a great thing to watch them debate and make laws.” Upon learning that there were no female pages, she filed suit against then-Massachusetts Senate President William M. Bulger. 

She met with then-Gov. Michael Dukakis, was invited to volunteer on his campaign, and then went to work for his presidential campaign after graduating Boston College.

“When I got into the process, I realized that running for office wasn’t for me. I wanted to be the person behind the scenes helping people get elected,” Alper says.

Originally from Alabama, Alper has spent a lot of time in Michigan, serving as state director for Clinton in 1992, deputy campaign manager for Sen. Carl Levin in 1990, and strategist to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and to Jennifer Granholm on both of her gubernatorial campaigns. 

“I know more about Michigan than the average bear,” she says. “I married Michigan.” In 2002, Alper married Dave Katz, senior vice president at the Detroit Medical Center. 

Over the course of Alper’s career, the “rules” for how a woman dresses have shifted. “It’s not about conveying power as much as getting a clean shot at getting heard. What you’re hoping for is that they just won’t comment on styles,” Alper says.

Things to avoid — anything distracting — busy patterns, dangly earrings and fussy hairstyles.

“Colors are key,” Alper says. “Jewel tones are usually better than red, your typical power color — they’re warm. You want someone to be approachable. They [the public] see female candidates as people, not just politicians. That’s a good thing for women.”

Alper says the emphasis is on being and looking “credentialed.” It’s not about job titles, but about what a candidate has accomplished. The goal is to balance likability and strength. “You don’t put a woman in a black suit every day and turn her into a man.”

Another issue is “the wear and tear of it. You’re just so darn busy, you have to be able to move.”

In Granholm’s first campaign, she wore skirts. “It’s hard to sit. You have to wear heels. Pantsuits have become what women are wearing.” The standard now is the pantsuit with a feminine top, possibly a signature piece of jewelry, and short, manageable hair.

With offices and staff all over the country, and a busy 9-year-old to chase, Alper says she no longer wears 3-inch heels.  

“I am trying to get to a classic style in a purist sense — with some zip,” she says, adding, “Travel calls for non-wrinkle, and that’s OK with me because I always burn with the iron, getting distracted by the iPad, cell, computer and iPhone!”

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