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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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Horoscopes (May 14 — 20)

Your weekly readings.

Photo: Courtesy illustration., License: N/A

Courtesy illustration.

ARIES (March 21-April 20): The worst thing that can happen to someone like you is to have anyone or anything come along and “put out your light.” With that in mind, at this point you need to align yourself with people and things that allow you to shine. Stepping out is a theme; so is stepping up. To be able to walk through the next few weeks, you’ll need to detach from your ego enough to let your life force be the thing that becomes strong enough to pull you through. You’ll succeed if you’re wise enough to walk softly, and let the big stick and your miraculous abilities speak for themselves.

TAURUS (April 21-May 20): The reunion of souls that has just taken place has left you not knowing what to make of it. That’s OK; some things are beyond words. Within the framework of this beautiful connection there is room for a lot of creativity. Give yourself two weeks to take things to the next level. Don’t get too lost in the fantasy. Too many things are impinging upon your situation for you to take anything lightly. Yes, it’s good to follow your instincts, but please be clear about your motives and realize before you enter into anything that the honeymoon is a precursor to a lot of work.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You’re back in the saddle, looking at the same old issue, wondering why it never goes away. No one told us what it means to perfect the imperfection. Your gift for being right, and for always being able to dance around your issues has met its match in a situation that won’t let you dance around yourself any longer. The trickster in you thinks you’ve got it all figured out: I would invite you to guess again, my friend. The truth about what’s going on right now might be the last thing you want to see — but your life depends on getting real enough to come to terms with it.

CANCER (June 21-July 20): Now that you have your bearings, it’s pretty clear what the next move needs to be. Before you jump, look around to make sure your ass is covered. Switching horses in midstream is what this looks like; either that or you’re laying a new foundation on a wing and a prayer. What matters at this point has less to do with outer things than it does with what’s going on inside you. It takes guts to trust your instincts. If yours are still alive and kicking, you know what this is about. Pull yourself together and figure out how to ground yourself in the middle of a lightning strike!

LEO (July 21-Aug. 20): You have so much coming to a head. Lots of big decisions need to be made and they can’t be made from an emotional place. In your shoes, I don’t know what I would do — but I do know that love is the operative word, and we can only evoke it in others when we embody it in ourselves. The whole concept of sharing and giving is always part of this. Nothing will come out of your current situation if you can’t give it all you’ve got and trust that others will rise to the occasion, or not. Higher frequencies displace lower frequencies; keep your light on and this will work.

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 20): The sense that something needs to be corrected has been coming up a lot lately. The bane of your existence rests in the need to constantly look at what’s wrong. Wherever this comes from, it might work better for you to go back and deal with what makes you keep making your nearest and dearest responsible for things that they’re clueless about. If your situation doesn’t look the way you want it to, seeing what’s there will be your first clue to what your spirit is calling you to examine within yourself. It’s all good. It’s your perfect pictures that keep screwing things up.

LIBRA (Sept. 21-Oct. 20): You are going deeper into things than you ever have before. It’s blowing you away to see how much you never knew about yourself. A lot of this is showing up in your work arena. Necessity and the Mother of Invention have combined to take you into new frontiers of expression. Other issues have combined with all of this to evoke a change that has been a long time coming, one that you set in motion about seven years ago. Whatever you’re facing at this point is totally surmountable, and will take you all the way home if you just summon up the courage to deal with it.

SCORPIO (Oct. 21-Nov. 20): You have seen more than you want to see, but at least you know for sure where people are coming from. What to do next is the issue. Sometimes there is nothing to do but sit and watch everyone hang themselves. In this situation it will do no good to point out people’s weaknesses. It might be better to stand back and keep observing things from afar while you plan your escape and/or decide what needs to happen now. There’s no doubt your life is undergoing its own form of major surgery. Give yourself time to see exactly how much more of it needs to be spent here.

SAGITTARIUS: (Nov. 21-Dec. 20): You’ve had more than enough time to pull things together. What you’re looking at right now isn’t measuring up, for one reason or another. But don’t be too quick to judge. If you can’t see the beauty in what you’ve created, it’s time to renovate your point of view and find the light here. Far be it from you to be this critical; it’s not your usual style. Some part of you must have expected more, or expected something different and, here you are, left with whatever you’ve got. Happiness is all about “loving what is.” Look for what’s perfect in your situation and learn to make the best of it.

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