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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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Sports

Miracles Can Happen

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Paws, the Detroit Tigers mascot, pays a visit to the kids of the Miracle League.

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The city of Southfield boasts one of the only barrier-free baseball diamonds in Metro Detroit.

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Miracle League founder & president, Steve Peck.


When a writer works for an alternative media outlet such as this rag, we have plenty of opportunity to be biting, caustic, satirical and droll; excited from time to time and disgusted in-between. However, every now and again something lands on our desks to which the only appropriate response is sit back, catch a breath and applaud. That, good readers, is the Miracle League of Michigan.

For those unfamiliar with this stellar nonprofit, The Miracle League is a charitable organization that provides children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league. As described on the MichiganMiracle.org website, “There is something about playing the game of baseball that lights up youngsters’ eyes, but for children facing physical and mental challenges, that opportunity can often be a difficult first step. The Miracle League gives these children the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and enjoy playing the game of baseball in its purest form.”

The people at the Miracle League sent over a DVD of a game; it is something that you have to see. The season begins next month and this writer fully intends to take in a game or two. The mental and physical challenges these young participants face range in severity, but you only have to see the smiles on their faces to know that when these kids take the field, those challenges are all but forgotten.

I know … it all sounds a touch hokey, but it’s true. Baseball, it seems, is the great leveler. Of course, the Miracle League isn’t about winning and losing, standings and stats. It’s about a young man called Dylan who can’t walk but still rounds second base; or Jennifer who has Down Syndrome but a ton of

self-esteem — thanks to the league. Maybe young  Kaliegh can’t hear, but she knows her teammates are cheering.

The Miracle League was founded in 2004 with two teams and 25 kids. Nine years later and there are 300 participants, all of whom would be excluded from Little League due to their disabilities. Thankfully, that is no longer an issue. There’s nothing like seeing these kids sliding in for a homer; or watching a girl, robbed of sight, connecting bat to ball and heading toward first base. Miracles indeed.

Dawn Daniels knows. She is a mother of seven children, four of whom are on the Miracle League roster. “John is 13,” Daniels says. “He helps to volunteer at the Miracle League. Marah-Lynn is 11 and she plays on the team. She has autism and hearing loss. Keegan is 10 and he plays. He has multiple conditions including a congenital brain abnormality. Luke is 8 and he does not have any significant conditions. He helps volunteer. Quintin is 7 and he has a congenital brain abnormality and Asperger’s. Ruth is 5 and she has a congenital brain abnormality and hearing loss. Our youngest child is 2 and his name is Caleb. He is a future Miracle League player because he has a congenital brain abnormality. You have to be 4 to play on the league so not yet, but he will.”

Daniels says that the Miracle League offers her children a chance to be successful at something they would otherwise not have an opportunity to experience. “It gives them a chance to be the hero and to know the feeling of getting a hit, running the bases and scoring a run,” she says. “We all take that for granted as children, most of us even if it was in our own backyard got a chance to do that. For children with special needs, they can’t necessarily do that in a traditional format but Miracle League allows them that. There are no outs and everybody gets a hit, so everybody has a chance to feel that sensation. It’s absolutely amazing. There’s nothing like seeing your child’s face when they get a hit, and that joy that they experience is passed on to the parents, and the volunteers too.”

It’s not just on the field that the league makes a difference, either. Daniels says the confidence her children experience is greatly affected by the experiences of playing on a team and receiving the cheers of the crowd.

“Knowing that they’ve succeeded in something, it doesn’t end when Miracle League ends,” she says. “They have that confidence knowing that they’re successful in something. My daughter was very withdrawn before the league, now people say that she can’t possibly have autism because she’s too social. They get their buddies. People cheer them on, and there’s something about that. We’re expected to cheer them on, but when somebody else does it there’s something magical about that.”

Obviously, this is more than a sports story. The Miracle League is about improving the quality of life of children — something everyone can get behind. They need volunteers, so if you can spare the time and are open to something truly remarkable, visit michiganmiracle.org.

 

Brett Callwood is a staff writer for Metro Times. Send comments to bcallwood@metrotimes.com.

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We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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