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  • 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 […]

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

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

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  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks 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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