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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 […]

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  • 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 / 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.

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The Dirty Show turns 14

Fucking art!

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Male burlesque performers might polarize popular opinion, but Vile is OK with that. Such is the appeal of the Dirty Show in 2013 that Vile is happy to tell you not to come back if implied homosexuality makes you uncomfortable. “At the Dirty Show, the stage at least is getting more polysexual,” he says. “The gayer, the better. If people don’t like it, then they don’t come and the crowd’s better. We have DeAngela Show Shannon, who’s this 6-foot, 6-inch transsexual with these huge, watermelon-size knockers. She walks on stage, dresses outrageously and is almost terrifying in her aggressiveness. She’s a local too.”

That’s the spirit of the Dirty Show right there. Vile and his crew don’t pander to anyone. If you don’t like the erotically charged art, fuck off to another gallery. In this economy, with other curators desperately trying to widen their appeal and pull people in, you have to admire that mentality. “If people don’t come back, it just leaves more room for people who are more fun,” Vile says. “Tickets are going better than ever. This is the first year that we’re raising prices in years. This is the 14th year. For the 15th year, all stops will be pulled out. We’re so big now. We do sell out, and then we let people in at 7 p.m. We don’t lower our price. We don’t want a second crowd to deal with, especially later at night when people are drunk. We’re really protective of this art. We can’t let this exhibition turn into a dance. It’s not wallpaper, it’s art. We want people to do what you do at an art opening, which is just talk and mingle. I’ve heard of people who have met their spouses at the Dirty Show. We’re 53 percent female friends on Facebook, to 47 percent male.”

The Dirty Show isn’t the first celebration of erotica ever to be held in Detroit, but it’s certainly the biggest and, unlike other events, it manages to maintain dignity and not transform into a big swingers fest by the night’s end. Vile says the reason for that is simple: “We don’t have dancing. People do more with mind power and conversation. We don’t have dance DJs and a band when every other venue open that night will have that. I celebrate the sleaziness. It’s so tongue-in-cheek, people can laugh at it. People have gotten a little overexcited at the Dirty Show though. It’s like, ‘I’m sorry ma’am, you have to take that cock out of your mouth.’ The swingers have some sort of orgy Winnebago parked outside.”

As long as you keep the fucking to the car, everyone’s happy.

 With life-sized horse threesomes, Playboy illustrators and the Golden Girls all blessing Dirty Show 14, this year’s event seems a million miles away from the first Dirty Show, which took place in a room above the offices of the now-defunct Orbit magazine. “Too many people showed up, for the size of it,” Vile says. “The next year we made it two nights, and then we had two nights of too many people showing up. Then we moved, and too many people showed up to that. We moved to the Museum of New Art, and that’s the show where we really sensed a big change. We weren’t prepared for it. We were just trying to get donations for the beer and wine, and we were giving the wine away. We realized we didn’t have to let people in for free and we started selling tickets. It took us the longest time to learn to prepare for what we got the year before. It was always bigger.”

Such is the success of the Dirty Show that Vile is always looking for new ways to expand it, whether that be holding an additional event halfway between the big shows, or taking it on the road to other cities. A Dirty Tour is still a possibility but, after canceling last year’s Dirty Show 13.5, the half-year show is off the table. “When we look back, the half-year show has always been way less than the Valentine’s show,” Vile says. “Everything was going wrong last year and we realized that, if people went, they would say that the Dirty Show is not so great. If we can’t do a better job, or at least equal to what we did the year before, then we shouldn’t be doing it. We’ll never do the half-year show again. We’re trying to find the right spot in L.A. to do it this year. Somebody in Chicago called me and it looks like we’ll be doing Chicago really fast. Bigger than the Orbit office shows, but starting out more like that, just with way more international connections. There are very few in the world of erotic arts that we haven’t had at the show.”

That’s the Dirty Show, then. If you haven’t been before, please treat yourself this year. Take your significant other if you have one, or fly solo. It’s unusual, bizarre and wacky fun, but there really is nothing to fear.

“People walk away with little bits and pieces that they then talk about at work,”  Vile says. “That’s how we get our crowd. I also have a theory that erotica is like punk rock was. It’s kind of underground, but it’s becoming more and more accepted. There’s a buzz for it. I think in the future, every major city will have its Dirty Show.

One can dream.

The Dirty Show takes place Feb. 8-16 at Bert’s Warehouse; 2739 Russell St., Detroit;; tickets are $25.

Brett Callwood writes for Metro Times. Send comments to

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