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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 bcallwood@metrotimes.com. 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 […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

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

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 MtBlowout.com to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 […]

    The post Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art 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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