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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark 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 project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space 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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