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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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The fun stuff you've missed from the Savage Love application

Dear readers: Folks who have the Savage Love app get the Savage Love Letter of the Day (SLLOTD) delivered to their iPhones or Androids. This week, I'm running three recent SLLOTDs to give my print-only readers a taste of what they're missing. I'm also giving myself a bit of a break: I'm currently dashing around the country on a book tour for It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. (Order yourself a copy — or donate one to your old middle or high school — at itgetsbetter.org.) But before we get to the letters...

I want to take this opportunity to thank Savage Love readers for launching the It Gets Better Project.

My husband and I created the project in response to the suicides of several LGBT youth. The idea was to give bullied and despairing LGBT youth hope for their futures by encouraging LGBT adults to reach out to them via YouTube. (For the record: Not all LGBT youth are bullied or despairing.) The It Gets Better Project was first announced in this space. Savage Love readers jumped in to help spread the word about the project on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and Savage Love readers created the very first wave of IGBP videos. Savage Love readers are responsible for making the It Gets Better Project the international phenomenon it is today and, more importantly, for helping to save the lives of countless LGBT kids.

Whether it's taking on a bigot like Rick Santorum, coming to the defense of Constance McMillen, or jumping in to help bullied LGBT teenagers, my readers and listeners are a force to be reckoned with. Thanks for all you do.

Q: My fiance is awesome. I'm very happy we are getting married. We are in our early 30s. But ... he has tantrums. When he gets upset, he literally throws things, punches things (never me) and screams obscenities. What makes him upset? Losing his keys, being overcharged at the supermarket, missing the subway. These moments are humiliating for me. On top of that, I had an abusive father who hit me and, though my fiance would never in a million years hit or abuse me, his tantrums remind me of those childhood experiences.

I have tentatively broached the subject of therapy, but he is not interested. I don't know what to do. —Frustrated Fiancee

A: He hasn't hit you ... yet.

I'm not saying he'll definitely get around to hitting you, FF, but a man who goes apeshit when he misses the subway is likely to go apeshit on his wife sooner or later. Marriages are more stressful than commutes. And I'm sorry, but it's a disturbing sign that you're already tiptoeing around this guy ("I have tentatively broached the subject") and making excuses for him ("My fiance would never in a million years hit or abuse me").

Emergency rooms, divorce courts, and graveyards are filled with women who once said, "My fiance would never in a million years hit me."

The time for tentative broaching has passed, FF, and the time for confrontational confronting and ultimatums has arrived: He gets his ass into therapy and gets a grip on his anger issues, or the wedding is off. And this can't be about seeing a therapist once or twice to mollify you. He has to solve this problem before you pick out cake toppers. And if he won't get help, or if he can't solve this problem even with help, do not marry him.


Q:
I'm female, bi, mid-20s, into kink — bedroom-only BDSM stuff — and involved in the local kink scene in NYC. I'm not into public sex or group sex; that's just not appealing to me. One of my closest friends is having a birthday party. Most people do a bar crawl, but this friend is hosting a straight-up orgy. I don't want to be a no-show — it's her birthday! — but sitting around fully dressed, trying to make small talk with someone while a fisting scene is taking place two feet away? Awkward. I thought about going for the first half, while people are drinking, and leaving before it turns into an orgy. But what excuse could I give to bail? —Wallflower At The Orgy

A: How about the truth?

If you're mature enough to be a part of NYC's kink scene, you're mature enough to say this to your friend: "I love you, but orgies just aren't my thing. I'll be at your party — I wouldn't miss it! — but I'm going to quietly slip out before the first fist disappears into the first orifice."

If anyone should be able to hear that without taking offense, WATO, it's a member of an organized kink scene. All organized kinksters ask of each other is an open mind about kinks generally, thoughtfulness about consent and safety specifically, and clarity about boundaries absolutely. No one in a kink scene expects that all kinks — and group play is a kink — appeal to all kinksters equally.

So go to the party, wish your friend a happy birthday, then head for the door when you hear the snap of the first latex glove.


Q:
I am a 28-year-old woman, living in a town with a big military base. About a year ago, I noticed this really torn-up-looking guy sitting by himself in a bar. It turned out his wife had just been deployed and was going to be gone for nine months. He said he didn't think he'd make it. We wound up having sex. I moved in a few days after that. The whole thing revolved around nobody asking questions. Over time, I fell in love with him, and I thought he fell in love with me. If I thought about the future, I told myself he'd leave his wife for me.

Yesterday, he woke up and said, "It's over. She's coming home today." I was crying and crying while he kept coming up with these unbelievable lines: We had a good thing; he'd miss my love; I should try to remember the magic. Then he told me to look away so he wouldn't have to watch me crying!

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