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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 […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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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Road tips from MT’s motorcycling intern

Highway to the danger zone.

Photo: Photo by Eli Ruhf, License: N/A

Photo by Eli Ruhf


Summertime is once again upon us, which means a lot of drivers are opting for two wheels rather than four. What a lot of Michigan drivers take for granted is that there are no motorcycles on the road for four or five months out of the year, depending on how bad our winter is. In that short time, drivers seem to completely forget how to share the road with motorcyclists. On the other hand, bikers perhaps become a bit eager at the beginning of the riding season and forget that they have to ride defensively. When bikers put their bikes away for the winter, they tend to spend that entire time pining for the chance to mount their “steel horse.” 

However, the stakes of riding a motorcycle are high. There are things both drivers and riders need to know in order to keep each other safe. 

The necessary skills are taught in safety courses. However, as with any other skill, practice makes perfect. There is no better way to learn how to ride than to actually ride. The golden rule of motorcyclists is to ride within your skill level. If you’re shaking like a scared puppy getting onto 696, you probably have no business merging into freeway traffic. 

Perhaps the most valuable set of skills a motorcyclist can possess is riding defensively. Avoid tailgating; you shouldn’t be able to read the Braille bumper sticker on the car in front of you. Prepare to react quickly, especially at intersections, where 70 percent of collisions occur. Riding defensively is mostly reflexive, which develops with practice. 

It may dramatically damage your street cred, but simply obeying the laws is a very easy way to keep everyone on the road safe. Obey road signs and speed limits. Avoid white-lining, the tactic popular with “One percenters,” where the biker maneuvers between traffic, riding on the white lane markers. Regardless of the rider’s skill level, a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic can be terrifying to drivers. 

Beyond skill level, proper protective gear and clothing should be worn by riders and their passengers. Take the weather into consideration. If it looks like rain, maybe leave the bike at home, or wear something that does not absorb moisture. Aside from riding within your skill level, wearing a helmet is the safest thing you can do. In Michigan, motorcyclists have the choice to wear a helmet or not. Unless the rider is younger than 21, has less than $20,000 in first-party medical benefits, or has not held an endorsement for at least two years or passed an approved safety course, he or she must wear a helmet by law.

In addition to all the precautions bikers must take, drivers are equally responsible for promoting safety on the road. Despite the temptation, everybody should avoid distractions. It could be an incoming text message vibrating your phone or an 8-year-old screaming in the back because they dropped a chicken nugget under the seat, but while behind the wheel, your sole responsibility is driving safely.

Keeping sufficient distance is as important for drivers as it is bikers. Obviously, a motorcycle lacks external protection and stability. So, if a person on a motorcycle gets rear-ended, chances are it will end in injury. One thing that most drivers do not realize is that motorcyclists do not necessarily need to apply the brakes in order to slow down. Riders can downshift, or simply roll off the throttle and neither of which will engage the brake lights. Thus, drivers behind the motorcycle have no warning that they are slowing down.

In the warmer months, drivers must become more aware that motorcycles are on the road. This means conditioning yourself to look for bikes. Pay more attention to your surroundings while changing lanes and at intersections. Because of their size, it’s easy for motorcycles to be obstructed by another vehicle, buildings or shrubbery or get lost in a blind spot. It’s also important to listen for bikes. While it’s true that loud pipes save lives, it’s hard to hear them over a blaring stereo.

Whether you’re riding a motorcycle or driving a car, it’s important to remember that you’re sharing the road with other human beings. Despite the surprisingly resilient stigma, not every person on a motorcycle is affiliated with the Vigilantes or Highwaymen. It’s too easy for us to look at the person in the vehicle next to us as though they have no identity, or at best, a stereotype. All riders on the road share the same goal: reaching their destination safely.  

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