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  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list 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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