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  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ 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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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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