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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Five Tips for Graduating College DEBT-FREE

The Best Ways to Stretch Your College Dollar

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I’m a 22-year-old senior in college and, in just a few months, I’ll be graduating without any student loans. Yes, you read that correctly. I haven’t taken out a single loan since I’ve been in college. I don’t come from a wealthy family, but between financial aid, scholarships and working non-stop, I’ve managed to remain debt-free all these years. I understand that many students have no choice but to take out some sort of loan, so I compiled five tips for keeping those loans as low as possible.

Fill Out FAFSA

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form is the first step for anyone who plans on attending college. By completing the form, students are considered for every type of financial aid that’s available. The FAFSA form takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and becomes available online January 1, 2014. To learn more about FAFSA, check out fafsa.ed.gov.

Apply for Scholarships

I cannot stress enough how important it is for students to apply for as many scholarships/grants as possible. Over the course of my entire college career, I’ve received no less than five or six different scholarships. Five hundred dollars here and $1,000 there can really add up. Applying for scholarship after scholarship can be a bit time-consuming, but it pays off in the end. Think about it: If you win, it’s free money you don’t have to pay back.

Some useful websites include scholarships.com, fastweb.com and mycollegedollars.com. Also, don’t forget to check with financial aid to find out what university, as well as endowed scholarships/grants are available. For those of you who don’t know, endowed scholarships are funds that are invested through the university foundation every year, and 4 percent of the money is set aside to put toward the scholarships.

Rent or Purchased Used Textbooks

It’s no secret that college bookstores are a rip off. During my first two years in college, I spent roughly $500 on textbooks each semester. I’ve now reduced that amount to about $95 each semester thanks to websites like chegg.com and half.com. These companies offer affordable textbook rentals and free return shipping at the end of the semester.

In addition to renting textbooks, I recommend buying used copies, as well as older editions — with the approval of your professor, of course. Believe it or not, I once purchased a used, older edition of a textbook for a penny on amazon.com, another great website for finding great deals on textbooks.

At the end of each semester, be sure to sell back the textbooks you no longer need — using any of the websites I mentioned earlier.

Work Overtime During the Summer

As a college student, it can be a real challenge balancing classes, work and extracurricular activities — not to mention your social life. Squeezing more hours into an already hectic schedule is often unrealistic, especially during the fall/winter semesters. That’s why many students, myself included, work extra hours during the spring/summer semesters — I normally take on anywhere from 35-40 hours per week. I use the extra money I earn to help pay a portion of the tuition for the upcoming fall semester.

Don’t Take MoreThan You Need

And last but not least, if you find yourself having to take a loan or two, don’t make the mistake of accepting all of what you’re offered right off the bat. Borrowing only what you need, and not what you’re offered, is the best way to go. Oftentimes students may not need the entire amount and could possibly receive a refund later in the semester.

Princess Gabbara is a former Metro Times editorial intern and will soon earn her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

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