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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Last Blasts of Summer


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

Why you need to see 'em: Indie R&B or straight groove-pop, your call. 


Deep See Sound System 

Friday, 4:30 p.m., Mirepoix Cooking School International Stage 

Eric Hoegemeyer can do and play most anything. He has played drums with Crud and the recently reformed Charm Farm, he has fronted a band (Gold Cash Gold), he works as a producer and engineer at Royal Oak's Rustbelt Studios in, and he also has this little project — an electro-dub-reggae thing called Deep See Sound System. 

Why you need to see 'em: You'll feel bass rumble deep inside your kidneys. 


The Infatuations 

Sunday, 8 p.m., Ford Focus 

Alternative Stage 

The Infatuations shouldn't be as good as they are. Hairy white guys playing soul?

Oh, hell no. But, somehow, they are on the less hyperbolic side of fantastic. Is it the super-catchy mid-'70s-y soul-disco tunes? Part of it. There's also merrily self-effacing about this crew, which is Caleb Gutierrez (vocals), Lacy Baby (vocals), Christian Draheim (guitar), Jeff Lee (drums), the Wolf (bass), Chris Polite (guitar), Bobby Myers (percussion), Nick Behnan (guitar). 

Why you need to see 'em: Because Earth, Wind & Fire ain't playing. Plus, there's a dude named the Wolf.


Hamtramck Labor Day Festival

Two stages, Three days, 

Downtown Hamtramck 


Mexican Knives 

Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Casmere Stage

It's a "weird kind-of psyche/gospel" guitarist-singer Zachary Weedon reluctantly surmises, "but I don't wanna term it that yet, that's just what I've been listening to." A half-dozen shows in, this group (with guitarist-singer Loretta Lucas, drummer Beren Elkine-Huett, and bassist Billy Lennox) has already started growing away from its initial sound — an almost-off-the-hinges surf-punk shimmy and rattled-up guitar pop — and into a bit sparser, soulful and atmospheric realms. 

Why you need to see 'em: Well, 'cause they're probably winking at later VU, Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Staple Singers. 


Danny & the Darleans 

Saturday, 4 p.m., Caniff Stage

The Danny in this band is, of course, Señor Kroha, he of the Gories, the Readies and the Demolition Doll Rods, an attitudinal bluesman wrapped up in punk rock. Or maybe it's the other way around? Anyway, the dude's a sick and tasteful guitar player who evokes rare and raw bluesmen, such as Doctor Ross. And Kroha can blow some alright harp too. The Darleans are bassist Colleen Burke (who may or may not have learned bass to be in this band) and the savvy drummer (and total mensch) Richie Wohlfeil. 

Why you need to see 'em: Post "garage" boom Detroit blues-rock done in the least douchiest way possible. 


Pewter Cub 

Saturday, 1 p.m., Caniff Stage

Drifty, dreamy shoegaze, surfer- skateboarder indie-rock, shadowy hybrids of brit-pop and even dashes of new wave: Suffice it to say, Pewter Cub brews an effervescent blend — pouring enough fuzz and echo for the psyche-pop klatch, enough radiant, heart-wringing vocals for the wallflower romantics and enough angular hooks for the post-punkers. All of that, deftly strung together by a mere trio (Regan Patrick Lorie (vocals, bass, keys, guitar), Scott Sandford (guitar, bass). Dave Jennings (drums). Swoon your head and heart simultaneously. 


The Sugarcoats 

Sunday, 8 p.m., Casemere Stage

What evolved from an accordion, acoustic guitar and inebriated inspirado between longtime-collaborators Corey Weedon (vocals, guitar) and Todd McNulty (drums) has gone through some lineup shifts, some strange hybrids of punkified Stones struts, and has aged nicely into a healthy amalgam of styles that doesn't stray too from the duo's punk roots (Lee Marvin Computer Arm). It's all bolstered now by guitar hero Joey Mazzola (guitar) and Neal Simms (bass). "One song will be a gritty blues stomper, then a fast punk song, then another will sound like," McNulty pauses, "I dunno, Wire, or something." 

Why you need to see 'em: Mazzola's in the band and because we say so.


The Contours 

Monday, 5:30 p.m., Caniff Stage 

OK, so there are couple of different versions of the Contours gigging the cruise ship circuit. This version, with early Contour Sylvester Potts, (as well as Kim Green, Darrell Nunlee and Tony Womack) might or might not be better than the others. What's important is that, if the Hamtown sun's out, those Motown classics will be as welcome as a beer at Paychecks or some yummy goo from the Polish bakery. I mean, c'mon, it's not as if they're all set to release a great new album anyway.

Why you need to see 'em: Because it's the Contours and, unless Aretha shows up, this will be the best soul heard all weekend.


Panic in Hamtramck

One venue, three days, a dozen (more or less) gnarly bands


The Johnny Ill Band

Thursday, Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991

Led by Johnny Ill (aka John Garcia, this paper's fill-in proofreader) on guitar and vocals, the band's evolving lineup now comprises Chris Campbell (Terrible Twos) on drums, Pete Steffy (the Beekeepers) on keys, Paul Derochie (once of Fontana) on guitar, and Matt Larson on bass. Don't expect a wild stage show; instead, the band's energy gets channeled into a straight-up sound. And that power comes through on their new 7-inch on X! Records.

Why you need to see 'em: The band's variety of stripped-down garage rock has been pleasing dive bar audiences for years, earning comparisons to the Modern Lovers and Pavement, perhaps due to Ill's amusing throw-away lyrics, which hold the hard-rockin' together with a certain naïve charm — for those who are really listening.


SROS Lords

Friday, Painted Lady, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991

Every picture of this band — Jamie Cherry (drums), Phil Dworzecki (bass), Al Adams (keyboard), Morgan Blank (guitar, vocals) on their Facebook profile sees them all sweat-soaked like a group of alcoholic tree-trimmers. There are a couple reasons for this: One, they are very sweaty dudes. Two, they play every show like they've a shotgun pointed at the back of their heads. It's like synth-stoner-noise. We're not quite sure what SROS stands for, but let's take a shot in the dark: Suck Rancid Old Socks? Nah — too easy. 

Why you need to see 'em: Because they sweat. 

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