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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



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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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