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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


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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