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  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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. The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

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

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Feature

Jeffrey Ross is ready to 'experiment' on Detroiters

Loving the burn - Grilling the Roastmaster general on a comic tradition revived

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Jeffrey Ross is very nice guy who makes his living saying very mean things. A veteran of 20-plus years of slugging it out in the comedy clubs, Ross has dramatically raised his profile in recent years by reviving the musty old tradition of roasts, where celebrities are skewered right to their faces. Once the boozy purview of cigar-smoking oldsters and Rat Packers like Dean Martin, the "it's all in good fun" yet harsh roast format has become popular with today's edgiest comedy stars, in part because it lets them swing below the belt with full force. Nobody does it better than the smart-mouthed Ross, who holds the prestigious crown of "Roastmaster General" at the N.Y. Friar's Club, and has been the anchor of many Comedy Central Roasts of everyone from Flavor Flav to William Shatner to Donald Trump. He's bringing his act to the Magic Bag, and will roast the holy heck out of any audience member brave or foolish enough to volunteer for the hot seat.

 

Metro Times: Were you a comedy nerd? One of those kids that stayed up to watch The Tonight Show and take notes on the comics?

 

Jeff Ross: No. I didn't even know what that was. I remember sitting on the top of the stairs and hearing guys like Don Rickles and Buddy Hackett on with Johnny Carson. As far as knowing what that was; I would hear my parents laughing, and I think it sort of sunk into my brain a bit. I wasn't until later with the rockstar comedians like Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, the Blues Brothers, and Cheech and Chong that I really knew what true stand-up was

 

MT: Because you're so often associated with the Friar's Club and roasts, people think of you with older comics, like you sniff Freddie Roman's jock or something.

 

Ross: I have smelled Freddie Roman's jock and it's wonderful.

 

MT: Did you get to know Milton Berle?

 

Ross: I got to spend quite a bit of time with Uncle Milty, and he was a very sweet man.

 

MT: Really? Because I've heard rumors that he could be a little testy.

 

Ross: He was a very nice guy; it was his penis that would get a little testy. If you recall, his penis was the size of a tree trunk.

 

MT: Well, there was no room in the pants so it got a little grouchy.

 

Ross: It probably got uncomfortable. I didn't see the testy side; I saw a very sweet endearing comedian who lived a long life and was very willing to share his knowledge and his material, and he turned me on to cigars right before Christmas one year. Which made me very happy. And he was always willing to share a chopped liver sandwich with a young, struggling comedian.

 

MT: People kind of goof on Milton, but you can't really ask for more longevity in a career; that's impressive for any comic,

 

Ross: It seems comedians last to forty-five or ninety-five; there's not much in-between. We lose them really young or really old.

 

MT: Hopefully you'll get to do more roasts than funerals soon; it's been a tough run lately.

 

Ross: It's been pretty crazy. I just got back from New York, our good buddy Patrice O'Neal passed away. It was a tough one.

 

MT: And Greg Giraldo and Mike Destefano; it's been rough. It seems you crash and burn early or you're Joan Rivers and you go forever.

 

Ross: You just sort of have to make every show count; you have to make your life worthwhile. That's the key.

 

MT: What keeps you fired up and interested, and coming to places like Detroit?

 

Ross: It's about enjoying the process. When I get to Detroit — which is a city I've been asked to play many times; I'm finally coming — I have a feeling it will remind me of my early New Jersey audiences, where everybody has a thick skin and a good sense of humor

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