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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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How Dally in the Alley helps keeps that Corridor spirit alive

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Every fall, this block's back stairs are prime viewing seats.

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The Dally's live music (top) often packs in throngs on Forest (above).

A spliff's toss from the Wayne State University campus, Detroit's Cass Corridor has been one of the city's more turbulent, influential and creative neighborhoods. It was the home to all sorts of activist rock freaks in the '60s and '70s. Back in the day, the Corridor was a haven for writers, painters, sculptors and photographers. Black, white, gay, whatever. Just as long as you were on the level and bringing the funk. Joni Mitchell lived in the Corridor for a few years. In 1967, when Detroit set itself on fire, the Corridor survived. And in late '80s, when crack swept through the neighborhood like a contagion, many stood their ground and kept the boho spirit going. Just a few square miles, the Corridor maintained an international rep for the sheer number of auto thefts and carjackings throughout the '80s and '90s. 

Then, slowly, things started getting better. Retail shops, restaurants, bars, music venues, and cafés sprang up.

In the face of the robust effort to rejuvenate the area in the last five years, including a rebranding of the area that encompasses the Corridor as Midtown, we have to ask: What does a Wayne State incoming freshman know about the complex and resilient funk of the Corridor? 

It seems that some want "the Corridor" to go the way of Forest Arms apartments or old Cass Tech high. That is to say, up in flames or recklessly dismantled. 

Neither of those fates will be and we need only point to the Corridor's annual music, arts and culture festival Dally in the Alley for proof.

Celebrating its 34th year this weekend, Dally is said to have been born when a group of neighbors thought it'd be great to get a bunch of beer, throw a few bands together, and party. They thought, "Hey, maybe we should ask all our other neighbors if they're into the idea, and if they are maybe they'll throw in for beer and bands." The neighborhood dug the idea. In 1977, a community group, which called itself the North Cass Community Union, threw the inaugural Dally. And, this Saturday, more than 10,000 people will attend it.

Felix Sirls, 64, moved to the Forest Arms Apartments (undergoing rehab after a decimating fire a few winters ago) in 1999. "I could hear the noise and the music from my window. I could not believe this was happening at my doorstep," he says of his first Dally experience. 

"I wasn't here for the first Dally, but every year is a first Dally for me. It seems to be ageless and timeless. The spirit of joy, fun and people sharing fills the air. There is a freedom of spirit that seems to feed off the eccentric nature of the Dally."

He asked around and got involved the next year. Since then, Sirls has served as vendor chair for Dally. But this will be his last.

This year marks a passing of the torch, so to speak. A younger collection of Detroiters, one that's helped organize Dally for the last few years, have had the keys handed over to them. 

"I think new ways need to be tried, new directions discussed, then implemented," Sirls says. 

Along with co-festival directors Cass Higden, and Jenny Calhoun, Dally spokesman Adriel Thorton represents the new class of Dalliers. 

"We're still young, but everyone involved in Dally was connected to this area when it was only known as the Cass Corridor. And we do so with pride," he says.

Each is intent on infusing this year's festival with some fresh energy. "I know some people think Dally's just about a bunch of middle-aged people throwing a block party," Calhoun says. "It's really not." 

Fresh to Dally this year is a series of public art installations curated and partially created by artist Lauren Smith. There's also the much-anticipated resurgence of a music stage dedicated solely to electronic music. 

The concept was carefully thought out, with consideration as to the placement, size, and decibel output coming from the stage, as well as who would be performing on it. "There are so many types of electronic music — dance friendly four-four, dubstep, ambient — we wanted to give listeners the opportunity to hear multiple kinds throughout the day," Thorton says. "A real experience. What's hot about Dally is that people who aren't even counterculture can come be a part of it for a day, whether they know it or not."


The 34th Dally in the Alley is Saturday (and Sunday, kind of) Sept. 10; the festival happens between Second and Third avenues, and Hancock and Forest Street. Music performers include Will Sessions, Phantasmagoria, DJ Minx, Dethlab, The Octopus, The Hounds Below, Kelly Jean Caldwell, I Crime, and lots more. For info, go to 

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