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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


Alternative Stage 

MT cover-girl Neals is making a bit of a name in no small part due to her strangely sultry blues voice that's as raw and authentic as it is honest and powerful. She's handily bridging the idea of a blues chanteuse, the classy, sexy singer, to a genre that seems to be overrun with style-over-substance singers. Neals will likely light up Labor Day.

Why you need to see her: Because husky crooners don't come along like this very often. Her band includes horns and Sunny Payton, the Four Tops' Lawrence Payton's daughter. 

 

Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful 

Monday, 5 p.m.; Soaring Eagle Stage

This Ypsi quintet established itself as one of the more dynamic delegates of that area's folk community with its '09 debut, the chilly, cathartic and achingly autumnal For the Dead. That richly dressed album (purring pedal-steel, sighing violins and chirping banjos) never bogged down in overly rootsy contrivances and supported the leading lady's warm, breathy vocals. 

Why you need to see 'em: Well, for one, Matt Jones plays with them. Also, they're electrified by a less melancholic muse as of late, which translates better live. So the group — Misty Lyn Bergeron (vocals, guitar), Ryan Gimpert (guitar), Jim Roll (bass), Jones (drums), Carol Gray (strings) — won't go breaking your heart; nay, this is just fun, classy folk rock. 

 

The Handgrenades 

Friday, 3 p.m., the Budweiser Rocks Stage

Over the past year or so, these young dudes have grown from a fairly standard indie-rock outfit into a brilliant live band. Tunes just fly from their guts,but their real gift is their complicated but ear-sugary harmonies. Three of four band members are songwriters, and there's always a gaggle of screaming girls at their shows. 

Why you need to see 'em: Frankly, the Handgrenades — Andrew Pawelski (vocals, guitar, bass), Tom Pawelski (vocals, guitar, bass), Nick Chevillet (vocals, guitar, bass), Joby Kaslowski (drums) — are a perfect fest band. 

 

Billy Brandt & Sarana Verlin 

Friday, 11 a.m., Made in Detroit Stage 

This duo were fantastic during Don Was' Detroit revue at this year's Concert of Colors. Brandt is a great guitarist, Verlin's a jaw-droppingly sweet fiddler. They don't play folk exactly, and they don't play rock 'n' roll either. Folk-rock isn't right. But that's the ballpark.

Why you need to see 'em: Because the fiddle is terrible thing to waste!

 

Phantasmagoria 

Friday, 2 p.m., Ford Stage

Are you ready for the country, computer-popsters? Though they set an intricately wrought techno-y groove, when you dig into the vocals you'll discover the heart of these click-clattered, feedback-flumed nocturnes. See, they've a reverence for the outdoors, capturing similar vibes as Eno or Boards of Canada; they can oddly blur the electronic with the earthy.

Why you need to see 'em:Rising stars, to be sure. And curious newcomers may chance upon Christopher Jarvis (synth, sampler, guitar, vocals) and Lianna Vanicelli (vocals, percussion) still bandying their unique Neil Young cover 

 

Howling Diablos 

Saturday, 9:30 p.m., the Budweiser Rocks Stage

Tino and his funky rock 'n' roll combo are on the top of their game right now. God bless 'em, 'cause these lovable bastards have punched their times cards enough. It's that never-say-quit 'tude that has seen them through some tough times. Now they're getting rewarded, and their new "Mr. Right Now" single is getting mad love.

Why you need to see 'em: Tino Gross (vocals), John Evans (sax), Mo Hollis (bass), Erik Gustafson (guitar), Johnny Bee (drums), Jimmie Bones (keys) can strut like motherfuckers. Because nobody screams "Detroit" like these Howlers. 

 

House Phone 

Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Bud Light Stage

A distinctive lead vocal needs the proper backing. James Link isn't some arena-rocking yowler, or a wispy folk weaver; nah, his creakily crooned falsetto can scat and soar, making it a fine match for the quartet of jazz-trained musicians, which include drummer Steve Boegehold, guitarist Matt Callaway, keysman Taylor Pierson and bassist Jeff Cuny.

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