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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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Last Blasts of Summer

Loaded

So the city's crammed with Labor Day fests? Go see these bands.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be performing Friday, 9:15 at Arts, Beats, and Eats in Royal Oak

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Jason Stollsteimer will be performing with The Hounds Below Saturday, 5PM at Arts, Beats, and Eats in Royal Oak

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Phantasmagoria perform Friday, 2 p.m at Arts, Beats, and Eats in Royal Oak

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The Sugarcoats perform Sunday, 8PM at the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival


Its summer's end and school's still out, which can only mean it's time to freak on three non-jazz fests this weekend — Panic in Hamtramck, Hamtramck Labor Day Festival and Arts, Beats & Eats. Here we chose, with few exceptions, the killer local bands playing this weekend that you need to see. 

 

Arts, Beats & Eats

Three days, 250 bands, Royal Oak

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 

Friday, 9:15 p.m., Michigan Lottery National Stage

This show marks the band's first back-home show since impressing 10,000 fans at Lollapalooza. If you've had your nose in our pages, you'd know about the breakout year Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein are having. Almost a year to the day, these Detroit dudes, both multi-instrumentalists, were playing in front of a couple dozen tastemakers in West Coast bars. This September, with a full-time drummer, sometime horn section, and rotating skeleton choir, they're off for another national tour, with stops at Austin City Limits Music Festival and Popped Fest in Philly. Then they'll head abroad, with multiple London shows already booked and an appearance at Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik. 

Why You Need to See 'Em: Kid and Em aside, they're Detroit's biggest band at the moment, and rising. 

 

The Hounds Below 

Saturday, 5 p.m., Soaring Eagle Stage 

Jason Stollsteimer's Hounds Below has fast become his best group, and that's cool, because it's driven by songs that are at once beautiful and weirdly sentimental — but like some experience you've yet to feel. That's hard to do. See, Stollsteimer's songwriting has evolved at an eyebrow-raising rate of late, making much of his Von Bondies work sound like kids' stuff, which it probably was. More, the Hounds lineup has changed drastically; what began as a local super-group of sorts, with some hired guns, has become a proper band, including bassist Gjon Gjevalini, guitarist Skye Thrasher, drummer Brent Nagy, and keyboardist Allison Radell. 

Why you need to see 'em: Because, by next year, you'll have to be crammed in for a blurry view from a distance. 

 

Amp Fiddler

Monday, 8 p.m., Ford Alternative Stage

OK, Detroit. We're being fucked with. There's a conspiracy. Who would book Amp Fiddler at the same time as George Clinton? Amp cut his chops playing with Parliament Funkadelic. And old George has more than a few things to do with Amp's distinguished yet excitable stage presence. C'mon, that big ol' floppy hat Amp wears has P-Funk written all over it. Nonetheless, we are made to choose between the master and the disciple. But if you're perhaps looking for a smoother and sexier R&B approach, Amp is the Man. And his showmanship is among the top tier in Detroit. 

Why you need to see 'em: Dude, this world class soul-infused funk torch-carrier is a legend in the making. 

 

Kidz Klez of Michigan

Monday, 1:30 p.m., 

Mirepoix International Stage

This ensemble performance is a one of its kind in the area. For years, these kids have klezed it up hard, honing their horns on an ancient sound, one reminiscent of the Mediterranean basin yet also of the jazz born of New Orleans. It's a non-narcotic mood elevator. Its funk is subdued, but there, and the trombone slidin' bewilderment is addictive. And it's performed mainly by 13-to 18-year-old young adults. 

Why you need to see 'em: Really? When was the last time you saw a klez band? 

 

Dutch Pink 

Sunday, 5 p.m., Soaring Eagle Stage 

Think a smoke-grimed piano bar nuanced with poetic lyrics, soulful rhythms and atmospheric feedback. Dutch Pink has steadily developed a signature sound — a growled, twanged take on blue-collar blues — and further honed it into a kind of rock waltz. 

Why you need to see 'em: Because Dustin Leslie (vocals, piano, guitar), Clyde Mashinter (bass), Joel McCune (guitar) and Scottie Stone (drums) have a knack for stitching the poignancy of Americana balladry between rousing crescendos of piano and fuzzed guitars

 

Eliza Neals 

Saturday, 8 p.m., Ford Focus 

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