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  • City Slang: Diana Ross to open Freedom Hill season

    Motown legend Diana Ross will open up the Freedom Hill season on Friday, June 13. “We’re thrilled to have one of the greatest Motown singers of all time, Diana Ross, open our facility this season,” said Tom Celani, Owner of Luna Hillside, LLC. “We continue to bring big name talent to our venue and know fans will have a memorable time at this concert and throughout the 2014 season. A press release reads, “Born and raised in Detroit, Ross rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the renowned vocal group The Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown’s most successful act and is to this day America’s most successful vocal group. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts with a career total of 70 hit singles and sold more than 100 million records worldwide with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist.” Tickets go on sale Friday, April 25 at 10 a.m. Reserved tickets are $39.50, and there are a […]

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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.



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Cover Story

Escape from New York

Why 'network' there when you can meet people in Detroit?

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Related Content

What makes a comedian tick? Writer Cornelius A. Fortune asks five local comedians — Simply Shanell, J Chris Newberg, Michael McDaniel, Mike Green and David Dyer— for some help putting funny business in perspective.

These two words are the cornerstone of improv: "Yes, And." Your scene partner introduces a premise, and you build upon that premise. You "yes, and" it. So, whenever I meet someone new or run into someone I haven't seen in years, the recent past comes up and this exchange inevitably happens:

Them: "You lived in New York and wrote and performed comedy?"

Me: "Yes, and I moved back to Detroit a couple years ago."

This is when they break that all-important rule. That's when they negate the premise. They can't believe this new information I've added to our scene. "Nobody would leave New York City!"

"Why?" they ask incredulously. Why would you leave New York City? There're a number of reasons. Mainly, the three Rs: rent, rats, and (an all too steady diet of) Ramen. However, these aren't the reasons I left. To my 24-year-old brain, that was part of being an artist, man! That was living the dream!

No, I came back simply because I love Detroit. I came back because there's a thriving creative community here. I can write and produce comedy here because I love it. It's not a means to an end here. Would I like a nice, fat check for my comedy? Sure, if you're writing them ... but I don't need it. I don't sing for my supper here. I was a machine. I was too busy writing to enjoy writing. I was doing comedy, yet I had the blood pressure of a day trader. 

Allow me to paint a picture of what an average day was like. I'd get up in the morning and go to whatever office temp job I had that week. Being an office temp isn't difficult, but it's a job and it's time-consuming. It had its benefits: Nice, free copiers to print slick, hi-res flyers for the show. Desk phones to make sure the talent I booked was actually going to show up for the show. Then, gentle reader, after the day of clerical work was through, I had to go perform in a show (or rehearse for a show, depending on the night). 

No time to go home to Brooklyn and change, of course. The best way to describe this, if you've never been to New York City: Let's say you work in Midtown Detroit and you have an event in Corktown, but you live in Ferndale. You're probably just going to switch into your event clothes at work, which is what I did. After a show, I'd come home and write. Write long into the night. Then get up and do it all over again. Naturally, if you work in any artistic field, you want to stay busy. But if there's one thing NYC taught me, it's that there's a fine line between being busy and grinding away.

And, oh, the networking. I don't network anymore. I meet people who happen to have similar interests, similar artistic goals, and if I'm lucky, a similar sensibility. 

Tim Kay, of Go Comedy put it like this: "We are forging new territory and being exactly what we want to be. The fact that Detroit isn't a 'hot spot' for comedy makes it all the more rebellious." My thinking is the second car of the same train. Detroit comedy is punk rock. Detroit comedy doesn't ask permission, it asks forgiveness. There's no set hierarchy. There's just a talented community of people doing what they love. Just a couple months ago, I saw a show in a building that used to be a furrier. You had to walk through the old, metal safe door to get to the performance space. That wouldn't happen in New York. There's not enough space, and the rents are too high. We have tons of space here, which can be seen as a negative, sure. It's also a big positive, because, as they say, all the world's a stage. We're Greenwich Village in the '60s — so get in on the ground floor. 

Now this isn't about raising Detroit up by knocking New York down. New York is great. I had incredible experiences there. I made great friends there. The Ghostbusters, Cosmo Kramer and the Cloverfield monster live there. But here's the thing: Detroit is great too. Robocop, Axel Foley and Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor live here! They're both great arts towns, great comedy towns. It's never either/or. It's Yes, And.

Devon Coleman subverted the comedy writer stereotype by leaving New York and returning to college, specifically to Henry Ford Community College. He is currently a Metro Times promotions intern.

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