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    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

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    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

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    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

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    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

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    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women 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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