Most Read
  • 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.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May 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 Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

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

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Summer Guide 2011

Juggalos in the mist

A retreat to the wilderness turns weird in a heartbeat

Photo: MT illustration: Justin Rose, License: N/A

MT illustration: Justin Rose

Summer Guide 2011
  • In (the) heat The psychology, anthropology and politics of the summer fling | 6/15/2011
  • Juggalos in the mist A retreat to the wilderness turns weird in a heartbeat | 6/15/2011
  • Killer prose By day, he's a Detroit business writer. On his time off, Tom Henderson is a chronicler of the sensational, the lurid | 6/15/2011
  • Feed your head Detroiter lit-lovers share their summer reads | 6/15/2011
  • Life's a beach Summer highs to look forward to | 6/15/2011

Late this winter, my Hamtramck buddies Steve Cherry and Jeffrey Fournier asked me to join them canoe-camping on the Au Sable River in northern Michigan. After long months trapped in the city, I was psyched to get away to nature. I agreed instantly, took time off work, and looked forward to our getaway longingly. Cherry had done this stretch of the Au Sable before, and was familiar with the various stops along the way where camping was free to canoeists, a kind of subsidy for the canoe liveries that dot Mio's main drag. He scheduled us to rent canoes from the Hinchman Acres canoe livery, and we drove up together in Fournier's truck the last week of May. Once there, an old-timer set us up with canoes, took our money, and scheduled us for a few days on the river.

The livery van dropped us off at a sandy river slope just outside Mio, and laid out our crafts for us. Cherry had a bunch of 3-mil contractors' bags to pack away our gear, just in case we spilled out of our canoes. He had a clever way of sealing them, pushing all the air out, then twisting the top of the bag until it was long and thin, then bending it back on itself and tying it off with thin rope. It took a while to get it right, and at least two sets of hands to do the job, but the seal was impressive. No water would get in there.

Soon we were about ready to push off into the water. A few other people were starting off ahead of us, rare travelers on this chilly, damp May afternoon. I looked over at them and saw them dressed in rain gear, despite the lack of rainfall. Cherry took out his rain poncho and put it on. Where was mine? Where was Fournier's? In our haste to pack our waterproof bags, we'd packed them away as well. Did we want to open the waterproof bags, then go through the trouble of finding our ponchos and resealing them? Nah, we were OK. It wasn't raining. We pushed off.

I'd never canoed solo before, and I must say you feel a bit more secure in your balance than you do canoeing with a partner. You know where your weight is while you move, and I didn't miss the unexpected jolts and tilts of having somebody up front. The tradeoff is that you do lose a certain amount of steering power. All the more reason to work on your J-stroke, pushing with your oar, then straightening it out for a moment like a rudder. I've heard the best canoeists seldom have to switch sides, though I switch it up a lot, especially in a current.

At some points on the Au Sable, you pass a bunch of tacky 1940s getaways, million-dollar hillside dream homes and manicured lawns, but this part of the river just outside Mio seemed wild and natural. Late May meant few bugs, but swallows darted around our watercraft to gobble what bugs there were. We even saw two bald eagles soar away from us when we disturbed them, a beautiful sight. But wildness also means there were some hazards to take seriously: fallen dead trees waiting to snag you and turn your canoe sideways, dead branches ready to take an eye out, eddies whirling you off-course and into danger. Luckily, the water was high, which meant we were less likely to founder on rocks.

Then the rain started. At first, just a gentle patter of drops, darkening the cotton of my light jacket. Then came a steadier drizzle of rain, dampening my hat, shoulders and pants. The wind picked up, turning our canoes into sails, pushing us sideways, seemingly whenever a particularly dangerous looking hazard lurked to that side. Sure, maybe once or twice the strong breeze blew at our backs, but mostly it toyed with us. I struggled with my oar to outpace it, but as some dead tree or white water came closer, I'd have to brake with my oar on the other side, saving me from danger but slowing me down. Then I'd paddle like mad to catch up with Cherry and Fournier, already far ahead.

I'm not sure when exhaustion set in. After an hour, I realized that working at a newspaper can turn you into a deskbound weakling. Fighting the wind, the current, shivering in the rain, struggling to keep up with my party, I felt my face turning grim. How long could I keep this up? Would we make it to our campsite? The way the river twisted and turned, who knew where we were?

Cherry seemed to be an expert canoeist, sliding ahead without apparent effort, warm and dry under his hat and poncho in what was now a driving rain. I caught up with Fournier, who was now, like me, soaked through entirely, his black cotton shirt sticking to his skin, his jeans dark and wet. He looked over at me with an expression that said it all: the ultimate look of hapless anguish, eyes wide, a slight rictus of the mouth, an I-am-about-to-go-into-fucking-shock face. We were in trouble unless we found land soon. We were in luck. Cherry pointed his oar ahead to our campsite, and we maneuvered our canoes in delicately.

Morale was low. On a normal canoe trip, Cherry told us, the party would simply grab a cooler and some chairs and have a few beers before even thinking of setting up, but as wet and cold as we were, we needed to take action. We humped all our gear up the hill, put the canoes on dry land, rigged up a fly where we could take shelter from the rain that now fell in a steady mist, changed into some dry clothes and ponchos, set up our tents, got a fire going, even found a dead tree to saw down for firewood. After a few hours of work, camp was built, and we were seated around a fire, Cherry splitting the dry, dead wood into chunks with a hatchet to feed the flames, our dirty, wet clothes sizzling on the metal fire ring, a small transistor radio barking out classic rock hits from "The Bear." Cherry had also brought a small grill, and we cooked up a few small steaks and wolfed them down. Food seldom tastes as good as when you're exhausted, cold, wet, hungry and in the middle of nowhere.

Though there was little conversation, there was something we vocally agreed on: At least we were away from it all. That was why we'd been looking forward so much to this trip, our getaway, our retreat from society and its ills. We had gotten up early, driven hundreds of miles, embarked on a trip with some dangers, faced some hardship, and now, on a wet and rainy afternoon somewhere on the Au Sable River, we had found our peaceful reward. We nursed our cold, adult beverages, speaking little, enjoying the calm.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus