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    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 project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

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    The post Passalacqua debut dark 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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Last Blasts of Summer

It's natural, bay-bee

Jazz great J.C. Heard: A reminiscence of sorts

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A

J.C. Heard, a drummer grinning.

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More about J.C. Heard
  • J.C. was with the Cab Calloway Big Band when they performed in the movie Stormy Weather. Here J.C. introduces 'Jumpin' Jive,' a feature for the band and the tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers. Watch the video here
  • See Art Kane's famous 1958 photograph and a list of the musicians in it at harlem.org
  • Rehearsals and preparations in 1988 for what was to have been the biggest show to date for J.C. Heard, his band, Detroit musical associates and guests like Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach and Ahmad Jamal. J.C. died shortly before the show, which became a memorial blowout. Check it out here

"I learned a lot from him to make me the man I am today," said tenor saxophonist Charlie Gabriel, who joined J.C. in '70 or '71 after several years working with Aretha Franklin. Now a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Gabriel took a phone call to talk about J.C. while in Chicago with the band.

Gabriel talked about energy ... charisma ... sense of time ... that J.C. carried himself "just like Ellington" ... about a great gig in Berne, Switzerland ... about the time that J.C. told off a club owner, saying it essence: It's your club, but it's my stage right now, get the fuck off. 

From J.C., he learned most importantly: "To believe in what I believe in and stand behind what I say, you know. He gave me that. He didn't back down when he knew what he wanted to do."

Szymanski, the big band musical director, now an in-demand New York musician-arranger, gives props to Marcus Belgrave and the late Herbie Williams for shaping him as a musician. "But J. was kind of my professional guru. ... He taught me all about how to run and lead a band ... how to deal with people," he said over the phone from New York the other day.

Szymanski explained how J.C. was a master at making the band feel good — like handing out the bread before the last set to get a bandstand of "happy faces" — and still demanding excellence. At the same time, J.C. could smile for the audience and yell at the band to fix a sagging tempo: "Trombones! You're playing in yesterday! Come on! Get up on it!" 

"We had really just started to hit our stride with that group. I mean, the band was killin'," Szymanski said. They'd worked with Dizzy here and looked forward to working with him outside of Detroit. They'd recorded Some of This, Some of That, a great calling-card of an indie record. They were on the verge of a local extravaganza with Diz, Max Roach, Ahmad Jamal and an all-star cast of Detroiters. When J.C. passed, the show went on as a memorial.

Szymanski said that every night, J.C. took an extended solo. And every night, he'd show something new, something unexpected: All his history, technique and imagination on one side of the musical equation would equal something new on the stage. "The whole band would go: What? What the fuck was that? Where does that come from?"

From a life of musical riches. From a guy who could emphasize the show in show business, because the artistry was a given. From a guy who traveled the world and came home to be buried with his drumsticks. From J.C, bay-bee.

 

The J.C. Heard Tribute Band led by Walt Szymanski plays Sunday from 4:30-5:30 at the Amphitheatre Stage. The band will also honor its late saxophonist Scott Petersen. Szymanski, Eric Heard and Jim Gallert present "J.C. Heard, Mr. Rhythm" at 6 p.m. the same day in the Jazz Talk Tent. 

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