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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 […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark new project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

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    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 / gettyimages.com 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 […]

    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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 […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Sloshed 2012

Home (state) brew

Will 2013 be the year Michigan beer earns respect from the state's drinkers?

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Something wonderful has happened with Michigan beer. A gradual loosening of brewing laws has caused the craft beer industry to take off throughout the state. In just a few decades, we've seen more than 80 brewpubs and microbreweries sprout up, with more opening all the time. And, instead of competing against one another, Michigan's craft brewers seem to be coming together and helping each other, a kind of synergy seldom found in modern business.

In fact, you could argue that, in the last five years, the profile of Michigan craft beer has risen such that, nationally, many regard this as one of the top 10 beer states. From long-timers like Bell's to award-winning breweries such as Jolly Pumpkin, brewing has reached a critical mass and made North Americans sit up and take notice.

That's good news for the state's craft brewers. But when will more Michiganders notice the wealth that's in their own back yard? Judging by the statistics, only one mug in 20 poured in Michigan is of beer brewed within the state. By those measures, we lag behind others such as Washington, Oregon, California — where instate craft brewers can garner 10 percent or more of their states' markets. Is that kind of notoriety at home just around the corner?

Scott Graham of the Michigan Brewers Guild says, "I think it's a great question, and something worth thinking about. I like the analogy of a snowball: You start with a tiny ball of snow, and snow packs up around it. The bigger it gets, the faster it gets bigger. I think right now we're still at a pretty small snowball size, but when it does achieve critical mass, it could happen very quickly."

He says, "When I crunch the numbers, we're looking at a 5 percent market share for craft beer sales in Michigan, and 3.5 percent market share for Michigan craft beer in Michigan. Now, those numbers are for 2011. In 2010, those numbers were 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. And I think we're going to gain share faster and faster each year. ... One thing we included in our mission at the guild this year was the goal of achieving a 10 percent share of market in Michigan."

Achieving a growth in market share of almost 300 percent? Even as beer consumption continues to decline? It could happen. Especially if state brews keep cropping up in restaurants as they have been. One need only look at the phenomenal success of area bars that have identified themselves with local craft beer, from Detroit's Park Bar and Grand Trunk, to see it attracts a following.

And the popularity is growing. Graham says, "Just a few years ago, when we saw craft beer at restaurants or party stores in particular, it was getting in through the back door, that is to say, the chef or owner was pushing it due to some personal or emotional attachment to the product."

He points out how, increasingly, Michigan craft brews are coming in through the front door.

"Now we're seeing things like the casino serving craft beer, or prominent chains like Buffalo Wild Wings having Michigan beer on tap and offering samplers and having an educated staff. Its reach has gone from the outlets that were emotional about it into outlets that are having fun with it and seeing that it makes good business sense. And I think a lot more consumers see that."

Not only has Buffalo Wild Wings started emphasizing Michigan crafts in its Michigan restaurants, so have regional mini-chains like Claddagh. Even Applebee's — hardly a bastion of locally grown food — has jumped on the local beerwagon, serving Michigan crafts in metro Detroit restaurants.

As Graham mentions, casinos, which usually go for safe bets, are serving Michigan crafts, as seen in our chat with MGM Grand Detroit General Manager Steve Zanella (page 27) about the casino's new restaurant, Tap.

"A few years ago," Zanella says, "we had a big beer tasting, and it was amazing how many people came in. It was Atwater Brewery's October beer festival, and they came in and did a tasting at Bourbon Steak. ... It was very intriguing. ..."

Or ask Joe Hibbert, part of the team that has recently opened Palate in Milford. He notes that national chains have adopted local beers. "Those guys nationwide are starting to jump on the local bandwagon," he says. 

But he qualifies his own motives carefully, saying, "Myself, I've been drinking craft beer forever, so it doesn't take motivation for me to put good beer on tap."

Though he's a longtime fan, he's also been involved with providing food for the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, and has seen that Michigan beer can draw 4,000 people in two days. 

At Palate, Hibbert feels confident enough to not just include Michigan crafts, but to stress them, saying, "You're not going to find any of the yellow fuzzy stuff. ... People are getting more educated about beer, and we're educating them one at a time as they walk through the door. ... People just need to try it and give it a shot and people are going to love it. New Holland's Full Circle is one of the beers I usually start traditional beer drinkers off on — it's crisp, clean, and we make our fish batter with it. It's not going to bite your tongue off like Short's Brewing Company's Huma Lupa Licious, which is one of the best IPAs in the country."

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