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  • Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark

    Oh, the irony — initially criticized as Marxist propaganda when Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted them for the Detroit Institute of Arts in the early 1930s, Detroit Industry has now been designated as a a national landmark. The announcement was made Wednesday, according to the Detroit News by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The designation does not change the ownership status of the murals or grant any new protections or rights, leaving its place among the rest of the DIA’s art in possible bankruptcy negotiations in question. The work is considered the best of Rivera’s work in the United States (another mural Rivera had done in New York was destroyed by orders of Nelson Rockefeller). Rivera himself regarded Detroit Industries paintings as his finest work. In the midst of the McCarthy era, the DIA posted this sign outside the court: Rivera’s politics and his publicity seeking are detestable. But let’s get the record straight on what he did here. He came from Mexico to Detroit, thought our mass production industries and our technology wonderful and very exciting, painted them as one of the great achievements of the twentieth century. This came […]

    The post Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

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  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

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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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