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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture

The Dirty Show turns 14

Fucking art!

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Jerryvile is one of those guys who looks like he’d just as soon kill you as talk to you. His eyes are startlingly intense and his voice as gruff as a bear gargling glass. But that’s not the real Jerry Vile; don’t tell anyone, but the Dirty Show curator-organizer is gentle and, honestly, really sweet.

It’s like somebody put an intellectual brain into a retired pro wrestler.

This year sees the 14th Annual Dirty Show take place at Bert’s Warehouse in Detroit during the week surrounding Valentine’s Day. Of course, that means that the timing is perfect for our own Lust issue, so we had a chat with Vile about this year’s show.

The Dirty Show, for the uninitiated, is an erotic art show that includes paintings, photography, sculpture, performance art and everything in-between. Everything is centered on sex (of various sorts) — the show is very much for adults only — but somehow the whole thing retains an aura of class. This is an art exhibition, not a porn convention.

This year, the centerpiece of the show is an exhibit by Puerto Rican artist Gregory De La Haba called “Equus Maximus,” which includes three dead, stuffed horses around a craps table in Vegas headdresses about to get down to a three-way. Take a minute to let that soak in…

“This thing is so big, he has to knock down a wall for his people to get this thing out,” Vile says. “We have to knock down a wall to get it in. It costs a fortune to ship, and we have to lower our numbers of people that can fit in because of the floor space it takes. We’re not a dance — we can’t put people in nut-to-butt. To me, this is an incredible piece of art and no museum could show it if they ever want to get any sort of endowments or patrons. It’s like a menage a trois, but they’re not really touching each other. They’re about to. Erections and spread legs. He sculpted the genitals.”

Getting De La Haba to bring his horse orgy to Detroit has been no easy task for Vile. “I’ve been working on him for years,” he says. “Somebody told me about it at the Dirty Show that we had in L.A. at the City Center Motel the first time we were out there around our 10th anniversary. It stopped me. Like, I couldn’t think of anything else. He didn’t know the artist’s name, so I’d keep calling him week on month. I’d Google ‘horses’ and a few swear words, and you can imagine the horrible stuff I got back.”

Vile swears that the artists didn’t pose these horses in fuck-position for shock value. “When people see it, they’re blown away,” he says. “I was blown away just hearing about it. I have probably seen as much erotic art as anybody in the world, not only through Dirty but I kind of look at different artists at other shows too. I see too much erotic art. I’m always looking for something completely different, and I always find something. This I wasn’t even looking for because it was so outside of the scope of my imagination. This made my imagination a little bigger. Why doesn’t everybody in the world know about this guy?”

Quite. At $500,000, “Equus Maximus” will have to attract the attention of some deep-pocketed people with a huge house before the artist is a household name. “Hopefully somebody will buy it,” Vile says. “We know 50 Cent can afford it. It’s a half-mill, which is a steal for what it is. You have to look at the art prices of big artists. If he becomes one of the big artists of our time, the thing will be worth multiple millions. De La Haba is an incredible painter. I see hints of Caravaggio in his strokes. He’s got a really good artistic pedigree. You can trace his paintings back to the 15th century. The person who taught him was taught by somebody else amazing, and it’s been coming down for centuries.”

So who else is at the show this year?

“There’s a very cool performance artist from New York called Coralee Lynn Rose,” Vile says. “She’ll be out for one weekend or the other. She does nothing. She holds a position forever, like for two and a half hours. That’s probably harder than lifting weights. She was here one year, and she spent the entire evening crawling across the floor of the gallery, moving ever so slowly. She travels all around the world doing stuff like this. This is her art. We’re like this big pot of honey, attracting all these erotic bees. This year, she’ll be seated at a table and she’s gonna have a headphone jack connected to a telephone. You’ll be able to pick up this telephone and hear her thoughts. That’s the gist of it.”

Bizarrely enough, one of the other big attractions this year involves the Golden Girls and, more conventionally, Playboy. “This year, we have Olivia de Berardinis,” Vile says. “She’s been doing the one-page illustration in Playboy since 2004. She’s known for her exceptional work. Playboy may not be as important as it used to be, but they still have the same standards. People get her art inked on their bodies. The other thing we have this year is ‘Golden Gals Gone Wild,’ which is Lenora Claire and a show she curated in L.A. and Miami, and these were smash shows. She got on TMZ, MTV, NBC and all of the printed publications with this stuff. It’s Bea Arthur and Betty White erotica. That’s how we got Olivia. Lenora told her that we’re not a porn convention, because Olivia doesn’t do them. I’m not a fan, but I’m surprised how many fans there are of the Golden Girls. Lenora’s first ‘Golden Gals Gone Wild’ was just before Betty White took off, and I don’t know how much it had to do with it, but she didn’t hit a nerve by accident. If Betty White didn’t blow up afterward, I wouldn’t know who she was, but I can name people who have been in TV shows I’ve never seen in my life better than I can name presidents.”

Of course, burlesque plays a big part in the Dirty Show attractions onstage. “This year, we have Roxi Dlite coming back,” Vile says. “She was Miss Exotic World a couple of years ago, which means that you’re the best burlesque dancer in the world. She can mesmerize an entire audience. During her spot, pretty much everyone there is transfixed on her. We have the Stage Door Johnnies, which are male burlesque from Chicago. These guys are so hypnotic on stage. If burlesque is truly an art, these guys are at the top of it. They move unlike anybody I’ve ever seen on stage. I can’t take my eyes off them.”

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