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  • 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.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Savage Love

Gray as hell

I just had an awesome date with a hot tranny; but I'm not gay, am I?

Q: I have been married for 16 years and have three children. My marriage isn't the best, nor is the sex. I have strayed many times, and it's always been with women — I love women and I love having sex with women. However, for years I have had a fantasy about being with a transsexual. I recently paid to be with a T-girl escort. She was flipping gorgeous. She had a dick, sure, but she was the hottest fucking girl I have ever seen — absolutely gorgeous. She talked like a girl, looked like a girl, smelled like a girl, had the body of a girl — she was all girl, except for the unit. I have no interest in being with a man. Does seeing this T-girl make me gay? —Walked On The Wild Side

A: You're not gay, WOTWS, but you're not exactly straight either.

There are other points along the gay-straight continuum, WOTWS, and anyone resourceful enough to track down a flipping gorgeous T-girl should be smart enough to figure out where he falls along the gay-straight continuum. But let me end the suspense: You're a teensy, weensy bit bisexual, WOTWS, just another mostly straight dude who's into women, into cock, and into women with cocks. But you're not into dudes, not at all. Just women. And cock.

I'm going to catch hell for this, but, hey, I don't have three "Catcher" T-shirts for nothing: While you've got a touch of the bi — just a bit, mostly around your tonsils — you're not obligated to identify as bi.

An awful lot of "rounding up" and "rounding down" goes on when it comes to sexual identities. There are bi women out there who round themselves up to lesbian because they're with women or primarily attracted to women or afraid of mean lesbians who hate bi women. (Some of those mean lesbians are, predictably enough, bi themselves.) Some bi guys in gay relationships round themselves up to gay; a small number of gays and lesbians round themselves down to bi in solidarity or something; and lots of bi men and women in straight relationships round themselves down to straight. (And there are gay men and lesbians — 100 percent homos — who identify as straight. These closet cases aren't rounding up or down; they're lying.)

Backing way the hell up: Sexual identity is a combo platter. There's who you wanna do, who you are doing, and who you tell people you are. You can't control who you wanna do — sexual orientation is not a choice — but you get to choose who you wind up doing and who you tell people you are. Don't wanna have a miserable sex life? Do who you wanna do. Don't wanna be a messy closet case la Haggard, Craig and Rekers? Tell the truth about who you're doing.

It all seems so black-and-white, doesn't it? But that's because we backed way the hell up. Pull in close and you'll be able to see the gray — grays like you, WOTWS, guys who are flamboyantly, flamingly, screamingly gray.

It's because I'm a big supporter of gray rights that I'm not telling you that you're obligated to identify as bi, WOTWS, even if that is the black-and-white, backed-the-hell-up truth. But "bi" means "attracted to men and women," and you're not attracted to men at all. You're into girls who talk like girls, look like girls, smell like girls, etc., and some of the girls you're into happen to have dicks. And since trans women are women — even those trans women who've decided to keep the genitals they were born with — it's closer to your truth, if not the truth, paradoxically, to identify as straight.

My husband of 10 years has decided to end our marriage due to my occasional indulgences in alcohol and cigarettes. I do not smoke and drink every day. It is occasional. I admit that in the beginning of our courtship I did not tell him about my indulgences. I hid them from him. After we were married, I was careful not to smoke or drink when we were together. My question is, should I allow my marriage to dissolve due to our differences? I want my husband to love and accept me for the person I am, and I do not want to be controlled. —Won't Be Controlled

A: Someone who wants to be loved and accepted for the person she is, WBC, shouldn't mislead her gentleman callers.

That said, WBC, I assume your husband didn't find out about the booze and cigarettes yesterday. So the booze and cigarettes, if those are the only reasons your husband gave for wanting to end this marriage, may symbolize a larger pattern of deceit that has long troubled your husband. Or it's possible the booze and cigarettes are a face-saving dodge: Perhaps your husband is blaming the booze and cigarettes to avoid telling you some harsher truth and is thereby sparing your feelings. Or maybe there's something about himself that he would rather avoid disclosing. (Another woman? Another man? Another man and another woman?) Or maybe he's an asshole and he's blaming the booze and cigarettes in order to shift all the blame for the failure of this marriage onto your shoulders.

We can sit here speculating until your lungs turn black and dissolve inside your chest, WBC, and it's not going to change anything: Your husband doesn't need your consent to obtain a divorce.

Now, you don't say whether your husband offered to stay if you quit drinking and smoking — and if he didn't, WBC, then booze and smokes aren't the issue — but you're clearly unwilling to give up your indulgences to save your marriage, as you do not wish to be "controlled," which means that your marriage is over.

I'm a straight guy. My former roommate, also a straight guy, calls all his ex-girlfriends "fucking bitches." He went on a date with a neighbor. He told me that she was a "fucking bitch" and that she drunk-dialed him several times at 3 a.m. She told me, unprompted, that he drunk-dialed her several times at 3 a.m. after she refused to have sex with him.

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