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  • 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 bcallwood@metrotimes.com. 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 buildingdetroit.org, 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.

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Summer Guide 2011

Life's a beach

Summer highs to look forward to

Photo: , License: N/A

Ty Stone helps open the fest July 1.

Photo: , License: N/A

Macy Gray helps close the festival June 26.


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


July 14-17: Concert of Colors

Don Was' first All-Star Revue seemed like a great idea that had just barely scratched the surface in terms of possible stars. Now back for its fourth installment, it's hard to imagine the Concert of Colors without it. This year Was brings in Martha Reeves, Brothers Groove, Ivan Kral, Black Irish, Jim McCarty and Wendell Harrison, among others, and presents such pairings as Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Cobras, and Melvin Davis and the United Sounds. Also on tap this year, headliner Bettye LaVette and such world music exemplars as Latin jazz master Orlando "Maraca" Valle, East Indian jazz-soul songstress Susheela Raman and Colombian folk-jazz fusion artist Pablo Mayor's Folklore Urbano Orchestra. Others to perform include Amp Fiddler, Immigrant Suns, Audra Kubat, Hamtramck World Music Ensemble, Will Sessions, Odu Afrobeat Orchestra, belly dancers, taiko drummers and on and on. Performances will be at Orchestra Hall, as for a number of years, but also now at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Scarab Club. And it's all free! Man alive! See concertofcolors.com.


July 15-17: Jackson Hot Air Jubilee

No, the Hot Air Jubilee isn't a gathering of politicians. It is, however, an event that will bring more than 50 hot air balloons to the skies above Jackson. Especially beautiful are the balloon "night glows" that will take place Friday and Saturday evenings. In addition to the lofty bags of hot air (we promise, this isn't about politicians) there will be shows featuring arts and crafts, classic cars and wild animals. As if that's not enough fun, there'll also be antique military displays, aerial demos, live entertainment, plenty of food and much more at this free event. Ella Sharp Park, Jackson; 517-782-1515; hotairjubilee.com.


July 16: Scene Reunion Party

It was Detroit's answer to Soul Train, with Nat Morris as Don Cornelius and a crew of Detroiters putting on the dance moves and grooves. As a local show, it hardly had Soul Train's cachet to pull in celebs to chat and lip synch, but it wasn't without its star visitors. "We learned such dances like the shake, the prep, the jit, (various versions of) the Smurf. ... Lawwwwd, the Jheri curl juice lubricated the screen," reminisces former Detroiter Frederick Smith on his blog. What's billed as the first official reunion party is being held at Bert's Warehouse, 2739 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030; thescenedetroit.com.


July 17: Michigan Jazz Festival

Particularly poignant this year will be Ed Nuccilli's Plural Circle, performing without its founder conducting; the composer-arranger passed away earlier this year. The all-jazz, all-local festival is a daylong celebration of the local jazz scene with six stages running more or less throughout the day. Among the attractions: The Sean Dobbins Trio, George Benson Quartet, the Johnny Trudell Big Band, Dennis Tini Trio, Paul Keller's Michigan Jazz Suite and a series of solo piano performances, encompassing ragtime (Taslimah Bey), boogie-woogie (Bob Seeley) and players steeped in bop and beyond from Ellen Rowe to Charles Boles. At Schoolcraft Community College, 18600 Haggerty Rd., Livonia; michiganjazzfestival.homestead.com.


July 23: Midsummer Meltdown

Gathering over a dozen DJs from around the country (and world, for that matter), the Majestic and Magic Stick will be home to one helluva show this July. Burst Detroit is providing additional sound and lighting to the venues for a night of sweaty, in-your-face electronic music. Promised is a stellar light show, a pre-party barbecue, a slew of sexy go-go dancers and more than 60 subwoofers in addition to house speakers — that's right, more than 60 massive 18-inch monsters ready to melt your face and damage your ears. Featuring DJ Rozz and Chris Trip (Chicago and Milwaukee), Zoo Logic (Detroit), Dirty Talk (Minnesota and Colombia), Nice Lab (Detroit) and more. Earplugs advised. From 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the Majestic Theater and Magic Stick, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $20 before 10 p.m., $25 after; 18+.


July 28: Death Cab for Cutie

What began as a side-project for a group of wide-eyed college students has turned into one of indie rock's most successful stories. Since its debut in '98, Death Cab for Cutie has achieved relative mainstream success without losing its indie cred, gained new fans without alienating the longtime diehards, and grown and matured without losing the core of what made the band so popular in the first place — dreamy textures, catchy hooks and the heart-bursting sincerity of frontman Ben Gibbard. The group's recently released seventh disc, Codes and Keys, features a foray into keyboard-based electronics and a change from melancholia into a gently uplifting outlook. Death Cab performs in support of the release at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-6611; $30-$45.


July 29-31: Yale Bologna Fest

A friend of ours who lives in these parts jokes that, when you graduate from high school in Yale, chances are you'll either go into the service or apply at the bologna factory. The point being that, in Yale, bologna is the biggest thing in town. And their Bologna Fest is no baloney. Every year since 1989, the sleepy outstate downtown turns into a massive festival that can include everything from fireworks to outhouse races. The quirky bash draws thousands, and its highlight is the selection of the fest's Bologna King and Bologna Queen, who are then crowned and get to ride a parade float dedicated to "Bologna Royalty," courtesy of the Yale Chamber of Commerce. Expect family-friendly high jinks and, of course, food, including bologna. And where does the bologna come from? From C. Roy, Inc., a truly local operation that buys its stock from local farms. Main Street, downtown Yale; yalechamber.com.

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