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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 new 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 new 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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Divine inspiration

How one woman's visions transformed a corner of the city

Photo: , License: N/A

Bringing the iconic stories of the Bible to a forsaken building on the east side of Detroit.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Kathina Carey, with sign painter Leon Goodin in the background, stands by the apartment building that she made into her canvas.

"Everybody that makes a wish in there I tell them, 'Remember, you're sending a blessing out to Jesus, and if you want your blessing to come true like everybody else's, you can't go in that pond and touch nothing. When you go take that money out you're stealing someone's blessing, and the more you steal out of that pond the more God gonna whoop you.' And it's been less thieves taking money out of that pond now."

As the neighborhood came alive again, and the drabness gave way to color bursting out from flowerbeds and paintings, neighbors started showing up to help. "I was running out of money and I told the Lord, 'I ain't gonna stop, but I need some help,' and God started sending people gradually. Sometimes one come and dig a hole, sometimes one cut the grass." 

And sometimes people give her money. She has no job, but instead relies, she says, on God to give her what she calls "financial blessings." She gets enough money here and there to buy a new tool or two sometimes, or paint for the art project, or replacements for the lawn mowers and tillers that people keep stealing from her yard. She's also bought two empty houses on the block from the city. Of course, she just turned them over to others who had no place of their own to stay. 

But she might need one of them soon for herself. "That's actually the one I'm trying to move in now because the people has taken over this one," she says, standing in her front yard, pointing to an old red house across the field.

That apartment building sat abandoned for years. It's a three-level, multi-unit shell with all its windows gone and its doors pried open. Carey watched every day as the junkies went inside to shoot up and nod out, as the hookers took their dates in there, as the homeless spent their nights in there. It lingered in the neighborhood like a tumor, sapping the strength of everything around it. Then the visions were given to her.

First thing she did, she says, was board up the windows herself. "It cost me $700 cash to do all the boards. I went to Home Depot and got 'em. I still got every receipt." Those boards would be her canvases.

She can draw a little, but she couldn't match the splendor of the religious imagery in her mind. That's when, she says, God brought her Leon the painter. 

Well, a prostitute did, actually. "This young lady that works on Mack, she dates guys on Mack. He brought her to my house to get her something to eat. I went to bed at night, the Lord said, 'That's who you're gonna get because he's going to work with you side by side and he ain't gonna hold you up.'"

Leon Goodin has been a sign painter for years, putting colorfully stenciled ads on the brick walls of mom-and-pop shops all over the city. A few days later, Carey approached him as he stood by his work truck and said with sheer certitude, "Mr. Leon, I got an ongoing project that I'm going to need your help with." 

For some reason he was drawn to this woman and her inspired, idealistic personality. She even got him to start attending church regularly for the first time in years, as she has with other neighbors. She doesn't proselytize so much as present a serene hopefulness in the midst of the misery around her that draws her neighbors to her like moths to a light.

But Goodin, like many of Carey's friends, worries about her boundless generosity. "She's too nice," the 61-year-old painter says. "People are trying to tell her that. But if someone asks for something, if she has it she gives it to them. People be trying to tell her, 'Don't give everything away like that!'"

At first, Carey paid Goodin for his help, but as the project grew in time and scope, she wasn't able to cover the cost. And he began skipping paying jobs to instead continue this work.

"Mr. Leon didn't accept no money no more, so I have to sometimes just push the money on him," Carey says." It's only enough to get gas and paint, but basically Mr. Leon has been doing the painting for nothing. He works for me in between his jobs, and sometimes he don't go on his jobs."

The first painting went up on the side of the building facing McClellan. It shows Lucifer as he's thrown out of heaven in a burst of pastel colors. Alongside him are comet-like spheres containing fellow fallen angels being cast out of paradise. It depicts what she sees as the root cause of the bad things in the neighborhood. 

"There was so much happening around here," she says. "The women was getting stabbed on Mack. The prostitutes didn't have nowhere to stay or eat or none of that. I put that up because I couldn't understand why things was going so bad, and the first thing that came to mind was Lucifer."

The second is of Carey herself as an angel with a horn to her lips, with the caption "Kat Trumpeting Jesus." Then came images of Noah in his ark, John the Baptist in the river, Jesus in the manger, Moses on the mountain; all the iconic stories from the Bible that would be instantly recognizable, even by those who haven't thought about these tales since they were children. It was her way of confronting the chaos of the neighborhood with reminders of fundamental spiritual concepts. And to some degree, it worked. 

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