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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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INSIDE JOB

Sexual appliances aren’t just mainstream, they’re hard to keep up with!

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Leaf Vibes

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We Vibe

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Hello Touch

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Vegan Lubes

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Stainless Steel Dildo

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X1 Orgasmatron

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Glass Dildo

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Throw away your trench coat, wipe the crust from your eye, and come out of that dank basement — sex toys have gone mainstream. No longer do we need to schlep to the seedy parts of town and slink into poorly lit, windowless pits to find sexual stimulation enhancements. Sex toy development has gone way beyond the edible underwear, expressionless blow-up dolls and French ticklers of yesteryear. How much tickling do the French really need anyhow? We’ve moved beyond the gag gifts of bachelor and bachelorette parties and onto high-tech gadgets you might actually want to use.

While the Internet may be destroying brick-and-mortar bookstores, its wrecking ball has yet to dent the walls of the new sex-toy shop. Stores like Lover’s Lane, Babeland and Early to Bed provide a friendly staff that offers information and encouragement to people of all genders, orientations and experience levels who want to explore their sexuality. There are testers of lubes and oils available for comparing slipperiness, taste and scents. Toys can be handled, to better evaluate feel and vibration intensity levels. You can’t do that on the Internet. All of these stores do have shops online, for those who are still a little too shy or who live too far away to make it into the shop. But don’t fret small-towners, if Howell, (population 9,500) can get its own Lover’s Lane (which just opened two months ago) then there’s hope for your sleepy town too.

In this brave new world of mainstream sex toys, some clear trends are starting to emerge. Women are becoming empowered and taking charge of their sexuality, men are seeking sleaze-free, sex-positive stores, couples are shopping together, and people are looking for earth- and body-conscious products.

Eco-friendly toys are not just about a healthy planet. Keeping toxic chemicals out of your body is probably a good idea, but, until recently, most toys were made from some pretty nasty, cancer-causing stuff. Jasmine Portofino, founder of Earth Erotics, thinks this trend will only continue to grow.  “I started Earth Erotics in 2007,” she says, “and, since then, I have watched dozens of body-safe and environmentally conscious adult products come onto the market.” Eco-friendly sex toys are made from high-quality nontoxic materials and are often vegan-friendly.

Get yourself off without fucking the Earth

Leaf Vibes

What could be greener than a vibrator shaped like a leaf? Sex-toy company Leaf Vibes makes a variety of toys with spring-fresh foliage designs. These toys don’t just replicate nature, they help sustain it. With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, piles of spent batteries will no longer litter the floor around your bed. Leaf Vibes are also Phthalate-free, great for keeping your naughty bits cancer-free.

Glass dildos

Glass? Yes, glass. It is a naturally occurring recyclable material that is manufactured without heavy chemicals or solvents. Glass toys are made from borosilicate glass (the same stuff as your Pyrex baking pan) and can withstand the thermal stresses of the most enthusiastic user. The glass of these toys is usually hand-blown into beautiful designs that are easy to clean and can last a lifetime. Pass ’em down to the grandkids!

Stainless steel dildos

Stainless steel toys are made from the same grade of metal as medical equipment. If it’s safe enough to replace a hip, it’s probably safe enough to put in an orifice. It can be cleaned with soap and water or boiled for sterilization, keeping harsh chemical cleaners out of the drains and out of your body.

All-natural vegan lubes

Have you ever read the ingredients list on a bottle of lube? Hydroxyethylcellulose, chlorhexidine methylparaben, sodium hydroxide. What the hell is that stuff? Do you really want to slather it all over your most intimate areas? Another common ingredient lurking in many tubes of lube are animal byproducts, which, if you’re vegan, is kind of a big deal. Here’s where all-natural vegan lubes ride to the rescue. These certified organic lubes are paraben-, glycerin- and petroleum-free.

We asked around at a number of stores, and every person we talked to mentioned Fifty Shades of Grey, the book famous for introducing housewives to BDSM. Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed says of the book, “People’s interest in kink got piqued, and we are still seeing new comers trying out some fresh tricks.”

S&M lite

Handcuff and whips and ball-gags — oh, my!

Not sure where to even begin with all the crazy BDSM accoutrements? Try a bondage beginner’s kit. Most online retailers, such as Babeland, Early to Bed, and Muf.com, offer a variety of kits that include things like cuffs, blindfolds, and riding crops to get you started, some even include the book as a sort of guide.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Take a gander at the book that started this suburban BDSM trend. You can pretty much pick it up anywhere, even at the drugstore, next to paperback mystery novels and Sudoku puzzle packs. The book takes a lot of flak for being poorly written. It’s on par with any other dime-store romance novel. How well it’s written isn’t important anyway; what’s important is, it got women who had previously been too shy to ask for what they wanted in the bedroom, to finally ask for it.

Sex toys are often thought of as something we use all by our lonesome, and they are, but more often they are being used with others. Megan, store manager at Lover’s Lane in Howell, describes her client base as “mostly couples.”

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