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  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture Feature

Labor Day Festivals Guide

As Labor Day weekend approaches, MT has compiled a definitive list for a memorable last hurrah.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


 

8.31; Budweiser Rock Stage

Howling Diablos (9:45 p.m.)

With Tino Gross’ Howling Diablos, you know exactly what you’re going to get — smooth blues and Gross’ likeable, gruff vocals. It’ll get funky, so wear your dance pants.

 

9.1; Main Stage

Kaleido (5 p.m.)

Kaleido have made sure all the boxes have been checked for some potential mainstream success. Image, quirky pop rock tunes, being seen in the right places, etc. Now they have to keep working hard — and cross their fingers.

 

Ty Stone (6:30 p.m.)

One of the city’s great gifts, Stone has a voice to seduce angels (and they don’t even have genitals). The man can write an alt-country song — and his band is killer. Mainstream success? Pah! You’ve always got Detroit, sir.

 

9.1; Soaring Eagle Stage

Ryan Dillaha & the

Miracle Men (2:15 p.m.)

One of Detroit’s best-kept secrets, Dillaha is a majestic songwriter who disguises epic tunes with subtle, gorgeous musicianship.

 

9.1; Ford 89X Stage

Bill Grogan’s Goat (2:15 p.m.)

Celtic rock, but not Celtic punk; forget the Dropkick Murphys, these guys take a progressive rock approach to classics like “Danny Boy,” as well as their originals. Still, joy-filled and stomp-heavy though.

 

9.1; Budweiser Rock Stage

The Ruiners (6:30 p.m.)

Still one of the best live bands in Detroit, the Ruiners also now have a bunch of great tunes thanks to a killer second album. Fingers crossed that Rick Ruiner will light his pants on fire.

 

Amy Gore & Her Valentines (8 p.m.)

Rock chicks singing about cars and partying, power-pop style? Count us in. Mind you, Gore can write a sweet ballad too.

 

Jennifer Westwood (9:45 p.m.)

Detroit’s own country princess, Westwood and her band have been slogging away for a few years and are finally making some headway. Go see.

 

9.2; Main Stage

Sponge (6:45 p.m.)

Vinnie Dombroski’s Sponge was up there with Detroit’s biggest exports in the ’90s. The sales might not be as grand nowadays, but the most recent songs are just as powerful — the perfect festival band.

 

9.2; Soaring Eagle Stage

Dutch Pink (5:30 p.m.)

Hard-rocking alt-blues band with awesome, interchangeable male/female vocals and guitar work that will make your ears melt, but in a good way.

 

The Orbitsuns (8:30 p.m.)

Vinnie Dombroski is playing the main stage with Sponge, but he’s always happy to drag out his cow-punk band and dust off his Stetson. Josie Wales ain’t got nothin’ on these outlaws.

 

9.2; Ford 89X Stage

Electric Graffiti (12:45 p.m.)

Fresh-faced female pop-rockers with youth and talent on their side. Catchy tunes, blessed with sunshine melodies, and some genuine heartfelt emotion.

 

Citizen Zero (8:15 p.m.)

Yup, we used to hate the music produced by this fresh-faced metal outfit. But then they went and surprised the hell out of us by hitting their stride with an awesome second album. Now we like them, so check them out.

 

9.2; Budweiser Rock Stage

The Muggs (6:30 p.m.)

Former reality stars — turned blues-rock vets — the Muggs will skin you alive with their sludgy tunes and then roll you in salt. It’ll hurt, but it will be worth it.

 

10th Annual

Panic in Hamtramck

 

8.29; Painted Lady

Heroes & Villains, Salted, Platinum Selection, Chatoyant (9 p.m.-2 a.m.)

It’s an eclectic first night at this year’s Panic. Expect Detroit Psych from Heroes & Villains, proggy psych pop from Michigan’s own Platinum Selection and acid-jazz freakouts from Detroit-based Chatoyant.      As always, Panic organizer Timmy Vulgar throws in an out-of-town act; this year it’s a band from Austin, Texas, called Salted — and they will thrill the house with its no-wave sounds

 

8.30; Painted Lady

Wolf Eyes, F’ke Blood, Obnox, Anguish (9 p.m.-2 a.m.)

Bring those earplugs: This show features the face-melting sounds of Michigan noise kings Wolf Eyes; Detroit proto metal from Anguish; a heavy punk duo from Cleveland called Obnox; and a performance from Detroit no-wavers F’ke Blood — marking the release of their new LP.

 

8.31; Chiipss Skate Shop

Stale Fish, Party Plates,

Drunk Dom & the Roaches (6-9 p.m.)

An early evening, free show, takes over the half-pipe in the back of Chiipss, the skate shop that touched down in Hamtramck a year ago. The “ramp jam” bill includes Detroit skate-rockers Stale Fish, heavy stoner punk from Party Plates and “Detroit scum country” from Drunk Dom & the Roaches.

 

8.31; Painted Lady

Cheater Slicks, Richard Papiercuts, Circus Boy, Eroders (9 p.m.-2 a.m.)

Finishing up the fest big, the last night’s bill features Cheater Slicks, a band that’s a garage punk legend from Columbus, Ohio, as well as New York weirdo punks Richard Papiercuts, a performance by the awesome Motor City punk ’n’ rollers Circus Boy, and Detroit punk garage from the Eroders.

 

Michigan State Fair, Novi

 

8.31; Entertainment Tent

Marshall Crenshaw and the

Bottle Rockets (8:45 p.m.)

Without a doubt, it’s worth journeying to Novi for the State Fair just to see Marshall Crenshaw. The man could fart a pop-rock classic if he were so inclined — so talented is every inch of his existence. Seriously, there are few better songwriters alive. If you haven’t seen him yet, you should.

 

Michigan Renaissance Festival

 

Ongoing throughout festival

Roane

As one might expect from this festival, these lovely lassies sing olde timee music using trad instruments and gorgeous harmonies. Expect sea shanties and Celtic tunes about days of old — when knights were bold and shit like that.

 

Tartanic

Not one set of bagpipes but two.

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