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  • 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 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 […]

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  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

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  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

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  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

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Culture Feature

Surviving Summer in the City

A guide for those who hate the season.

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Photo: N/A, License: N/A

For some of us, summer is our least favorite season; actually, we hate it. We hate the heat, the humidity so high it turns the air to soup. We hate all the people who come piling out of their houses to gather, drunkenly, at festivals, sporting events and outdoor concerts. They complain about how dirty the city is while breaking beer bottles on the ground, vomiting in the street and pissing in alleyways. Kids are out of school and overtake many activities that are an adult swim any other time of the year, like going to the movies. Yuk. Children. They are worse than the drunks.

So how do those of us who hate the summer survive yet another sweaty season in the city? Well, here are a few things to help ease the pain of sweat-soaked pants, sticking to your thighs.


First, it’s hot and uncomfortable and you don’t have air conditioning, so where do you go to cool off? Well, you also need to eat, so why not kill two birds with one stone: Head over to Bozek’s in Hamtramck. They don’t just have a butcher counter, they have a butcher room. It’s refrigerated. Hang out in there for a couple of hours, carefully considering each piece of meat and soak up as much refrigeration as you can.

The movies are another great way to enjoy some air-conditioning. Too bad the movies out this summer are all turds. All the chain theaters will be crawling with children anyway. Children running in the aisle, crying through important, quiet scenes, flagrantly disregarding theater rules by talking on their cell phones.

Skip the whole mess and go somewhere and see something that no child would be interested in:

THE REDFORD THEATRE has two great features playing this summer. First up, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film, Notorious. This is a black and white film, which is like kryptonite to children. The film stars Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains. It’s a gripping thriller about three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation. It’s playing at 8 p.m., July 26 and; 2 p.m. or 8 p.m., July 27.

The other great child kryptonite movie playing this summer at the Redford is The Long, Long Trailer, starring comedy duo Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The two play newlyweds who spend the $5,345 they were saving for a house on a 36-foot mobile home. This thrifty plan turns out to be a real money pit as one hilarious disaster after another befalls the them while traveling across the country. See it at 8 p.m., August 9; or at 2 p.m. or 8 p.m., August 10.

If you prefer watching movies at home on the couch whilst in your underpants, then check out these movies currently on Netflix instant watch.

The Thing (1982): Take your mind off the sweltering heat outside and hang out with a young Kurt Russell and the gang at an Antarctic research station. If it weren’t for the terrifying, shape-shifting alien woken by a Norwegian research team that goes on a murderous rampage, it would be a much cooler location than your stuffy apartment.

Summer School (1987): The only thing that could ruin summer vacation when you were a kid was the threat of summer school. The kids in this ’80s joint have the help of a movie montage to get them through the drudgery of class. Directed by Carl Reiner and starring Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley, this movie is the story of a rogue summer school teacher who plays by his own rules and gets results. He takes a group of slacker high school kids from mediocrity to average in a mere six weeks and, in the end, he gets the girl.

Need to get out after that mini movie marathon? Hop in the car and head to the Detroit Zoo for Zoomance, an after-hours, adults-only event featuring cash bars and live music. People can enjoy an adult beverage while strolling through the zoo. Being at the zoo when there are no children around is amazing! There is no longer a two-foot tall barrier of children standing between you and the enclosure wall. The lions, tigers and bears that spend most daytime trips to the zoo lounging around on rocks and napping are out and about, some even chasing squirrels and birds that are dumb enough to hang out in the enclosures. Be sure to check out the primates first. The chimpanzees make themselves a new bed out of old socks and packing material every night, it’s overwhelmingly cute. Since there is a cash bar, there will be people who overdo it and shout stupid shit at the animals, but it’s more entertaining than disruptive. Again, drunks are still better than children. You’ll have two chances to enjoy Zoomance this summer: 6-9 p.m., July 11 and August 22; tickets are $14.

After a night of drunkenly taunting animals at the zoo (I mean watching other people drunkenly taunt animals at the zoo), you’ll need to relax in some nice, cool water. You don’t want to go to a public pool, swarming with children and more urine than water. (And, frankly, the urine is one of the more sterile things in the pool.) While you don’t have enough gas money to make it out to a beach, you can scrounge up the $11.99 for an inflatable pool from Kmart. It’s probably only large enough for your butt — your l arms will hang over the edge — but that will make it easier to reach for your tasty snacks and frozen drink. It’s small enough to only take about 20 minutes to blow up and fill up.

Summer in the city is no day at the beach, but if you stay away from large rowdy crowds, anywhere children might be and find some creative ways to stay cool, you’ll make it through another sweaty season. Remember, it’s Michigan — winter is always just around the corner.


Katherine Montalto  is web editor at Metro Times. Send comments to

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

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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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