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  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit MtBlowout.com to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

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When sex comes a little too close to home

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Q:

 This is a touchy and gross subject. I am a 17-year-old girl growing up in an adoptive family in Australia. I was sexually abused by my birth family, and I think it really fucked up my sexuality. The only thing that gets me off is the idea of people absolutely destroying their lives for an orgasm. I started with mild S&M stories and then moved on to grosser stuff like murder (stories and online images), pedo (stories only), and lately I've been thinking about my (adoptive) parents. The thing is, it doesn't have to be a particular category. As long as it's the most vile thing I can think of, it will get me off. There isn't a pattern as far as gender, age or relationship to the people I am fantasizing about; it just has to be horrible, the kind of thing that would destroy you in real life. These fantasies alone are scary enough, but because they are literally the only things that get me off, I can't even really tell if I'm attracted to boys or girls or none of the above. I'm scared to talk to a counselor about this because I don't want to freak my parents out. I mean, I've got my quirks, but overall I seem like a pretty healthy kid, and I try not to worry them. I don't expect you to solve this problem via your column, but do you have any ideas for how I could get help with this without messing up my family? —Not Over Painful Experiences


A:

 Sane people can have extreme or violent sexual fantasies, NOPE, and extreme or violent sexual fantasies do not make sane people crazy. (Let's call them EVSFs for short, shall we?)

But you need to talk to a shrink — not because you're hopelessly damaged or the only person out there with EVSFs, but because you're troubled by your fantasies. And that's understandable. It's difficult to have EVSFs — or to find a healthy way to incorporate EVSFs into your sex life, or to figure out how to dial EVSFs way the fuck back if there's no healthy way to incorporate them into your sex life — when your erotic imagination is constantly dragging you to new and more disturbing places. And while most people's fantasies are relatively fixed, i.e., certain types of people or scenarios turn them on, your erotic imagination seems to be on the hunt for new "wrong" thoughts, images, stimuli and scenarios. You need to seize control of your sexuality, and you'll need help doing that, or your sense of estrangement from your sexuality will only continue to grow.

That said, NOPE, you could be seeing causation where there is only coincidence. There are a lot of people out there who didn't suffer the kind of abuse you did — or any kind of abuse at all — but who nevertheless have EVSFs. Some people with troubling fantasies or interests have found relief with low-dose antidepressants; some folks with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been helped by novel programs that incorporate MDMA, aka ecstasy, into their treatment plans. You could be suffering from PTSD, considering your history.

A good therapist — one with whom you are completely honest — may be able to help you reshape and redirect your fantasies in the direction of still-intense, less-wrong, not-constantly-escalating stimuli that give you the "wrongness" charge you need without nuking your mental health or your life. (Stay away from all pedo porn sites, NOPE, even "stories only" porn. Please.) And a good sex therapist can help you draw a clear distinction between your adult sexuality — whatever form it takes — and your history of sexual abuse. (I shared your letter with a sex researcher I trust, and she urged me to urge you to insist on seeing a reputable therapist who does sex therapy specifically, as they're less likely to be sex-negative and therefore less likely to react with prudish or panicked judgments when you disclose your EVSFs.)

Considering the abuse you suffered at the hands of your family of origin, NOPE, I trust that your adoptive parents are aware that you may need professional help throughout your life and that your asking for help is a good sign about 1) you as a person and 2) them as parents. At your very first appointment, ask your shrink to confirm that your sessions are confidential. If for some reason your shrink tells you he or she can't offer you complete confidentiality (which they can and, in most places, are required to do by law, unless you're a danger to yourself or others), thank the nice shrink for his or her time and ask your parents to make you an appointment to see a different shrink.

Please get help — not because you are or may be kinky, NOPE, but because you're struggling with doubt, you're confused about your sexual orientation, and you're rightly worried about the way your erotic imagination keeps upping the "wrongness" ante. And remember: Not all counselors or shrinks are created equal. If you don't like or click with the first one you see, tell your parents you want to see someone else.


Q:

 I am gay and I have a brother who's gay. The problem is, he is very much into humiliation. He exposes himself online and allows his online "masters" to have control over his pictures and videos. I found his pictures recently, and the embarrassment and humiliation were a huge turn-on for him. (In real life, we've never shown any interest sexually in each other whatsoever. But when he asked if I had any naked pictures, I told him I did and sent some to him, and somehow that was a bit of a turn-on, I must admit.) On to the real problem: Soon, my brother told me that he felt really guilty, cleaned up his hard drive, deleted all his pics and mine and asked me to do the same, and swore off playing online. But I found evidence that he's resumed this habit. This has been a pattern for him, he says, and he insists he was somehow damaged in childhood. I told him I see him as my kinky brother and that he might be happier if he could just accept himself. But I don't think he should quit his "addiction" cold turkey, as it hasn't worked in the past. —Bro Of Kinky Bro

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