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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 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.

  • 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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Fall Arts Issue

Designing Detroit

Expectations and revelations from the inaugural Detroit Design Week

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Mind the Gap aims to connect Detroit's in-between spaces

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Street art is the name of the game in the alley at the TAP Gallery

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notebook doodles come alive via Whimsical Wheatpaste

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) has been working hard behind the scenes organizing, qualifying and quantifying Detroit's robust yet splintered design community. 

Led by Matt Clayson (who was, before DC3, legal coordinator and promotion manager at the Michigan-based online promotion campaign group ePrize), the DC3 team was instrumental in helping coordinate and produce the Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference this April, which saw a few thousand artists and creatives convene in an attempt to better understand post-industrial cities — such as us, Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh — in transition. 

Then, in mid-July, the center announced its creative ventures program, in which 13 businesses were enrolled in an incubator and acceleration curriculum as ventures-in-residence at the DC3 campus, inside the Alfred A. Taubman building, home to much of the College for Creative Studies operations. The creative venture residents include fashion, graphic and interior designers, programmers, and an array of multimedia artists. 

(When Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen — the king of crowd-sourcing — visited Detroit, he held court at the DC3.)

For its third and perhaps most ambitious act of the year, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center will produce a weeklong Design Festival, a citywide celebration featuring a series of "happenings," installations, exhibits, workshops, fashion shows, film screenings, panel discussions, performances, parties and competitions. 

That week, Sept. 21-28, the DC3 will set the city abuzz with design engagements from New Center to downtown, Eastern Market to Woodbridge. 

We sat down inside the highly designed confines of the DC3's headquarters with Clayson, festival director Melinda Anderson and project coordinator Jakki Kirouac to get the 411 on the DC3 and this ambitious design throwdown.

Metro Times: Why does Detroit need a Design Festival?

Matt Clayson: It's important to begin to change the dialogue about the role of design and design-arts community in Detroit and the role they play in transforming the city's economy. Detroit has a higher concentration of industrial and commercial designers in the workforce than any other region in the country. Their work is taken for granted. It's time to expose that work beyond the community of creative practitioners.

MT: Is this weeklong affair the culmination of the work DC3 has done in the past year? What was the genesis for this event?

Clayson: As part of our initial framework in creating the Detroit Creative Corridor Center we talked with many practitioners within the creative community and asked them what kind of gaps needed to be filled, and what needs were not being met in the current landscape. We found there wasn't a real organic opportunity to connect a lot of what's happened and raise that in an authentic way to noncreative audiences. Design capitals all over the world have user-generated design festivals to feature the breadth of their design community. It's a global practice with a Detroit spin.

Melinda Anderson: We'd originally only planned for 15 or 20 events, but we left it up to the designers to dictate what the event would be, and, after a series of info sessions and work sessions, we're now looking at more than 60 events. Fashion design shows, furniture exhibitions, as well as design charrettes and competitions. It's refreshing. 

MT: Where in the city is this festival taking place? As far as timing and geography is concerned, what was the strategy?

Clayson: From a strategic perspective, the beauty of the festival is that it's driven by the community. There were 60-plus design projects pledged from around the city, and more than 20 venues. Melinda and project coordinator Jakki Kirouac worked hard to match the right events with the right venues. Then we began to cluster different activities on different days in different areas, from the North End to downtown. 

Anderson: Timing was very calculated. Detroit Fashion Week starts at the top of the week and the festival's span also shares time with Detroit Restaurant Week. We're not taking away time or attention from these other events; we actually proposed to collaborate with them and expose our audience to one another. There was excitement and energy for the most part. 

MT: On the website, I saw several city organizations got involved — who was maybe the most surprising co-collaborator?

Jakki Kirouac: Michigan State's been really great. They're relatively new to midtown but they've been great at opening some doors for us, encouraged us to book their venue on days they weren't typically open and — of course, this can't be the case with all venues — they even said they'd incur all necessary costs. 

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