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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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The Gift Guide

Motor City seasonal

For Christ's sake, support your local mom & pop

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Handbags and other fabric goodies by Dang Argyle at D.I.Ypsi.

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Collectible snowflake ornaments from Pewabic.


In the consumerist orgy of the holiday season, it's important not to let the cries of "shop local" fall on ears deafened by endless demands and brains dulled by to-do lists, fiscal worries and yuletide cocktails. Patronizing indie businesses keeps more bucks in the local economy than visiting big-box retailers, and preserves the distinct, local character of neighborhoods and cities. In the past few years, the shop-local movement has steadily gained momentum — evidenced this year by the first Small Business Saturday, a counterpart to the traditional Black Friday mall madness. Spearheaded by American Express OPEN, AMEX's small-business unit, and supported by more than a dozen organizations, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Yelp, Small Business Saturday aims to get shoppers packing the mom-and-pops and spending locally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And in metro Detroit, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that — cherished local institutions, brand-new storefronts, gallery gift markets and community events all provide plenty of ways to keep your dollars in Detroit. Here's our annual shop local suggestions, just to get you started.


Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-822-0954; pewabicstore.org

The signature ceramics fired at this Detroit institution date back to 1903, when Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded what is now Michigan's only historic pottery. Pewabic's annual Earthy Treasures Holiday Show provides both newcomers and aficionados a prime opportunity to visit the pottery's quaint, cottage-like shop on Jefferson and peruse Pewabic's ceramic ornaments, vases and tiles decorated with images of animals, plants, geometric patterns, the Detroit skyline and more. Tiles can be snagged for as little as $13.95, while vases can approach the $200 mark. Along with Pewabic's signature items, works in a range of styles and prices by ceramics artists both local and national are displayed. For the 2010 holiday, the pottery introduced a number of special pieces, including a snowflake trivet, a six-pointed star tile and a series of collectible snowflake ornaments — priced to give at $18 each or $50 for the set of three. Slip one on a bottle of wine to jazz up a hostess gift or give it to the person you have to buy for but know nothing about (a brother's girlfriend, a picky mother-in-law) — if they know Pewabic, they'll appreciate the gesture. If they don't, explaining the local significance of the pottery will keep the conversation rolling.

Paint Creek Center for the Arts
407 Pine St., Rochester; 248-651-4110; pccart.org

Paint Creek's annual gift gallery features handmade gifts and artwork by artists from throughout the state. Items come in a variety of styles — for the traditionalists, there are hand-blown glass ornaments by George Bochnig and wood bowls by Jim Fuller. For those more prone to whimsy, check out wooden rattles by Sandra Westley, or the plush animals created from distinct fabric and patterns by Cassandra Schoneck. Other goodies up for grabs include jewelry, holiday decorations, toys, wood block prints, scarves, purses, ceramic items, handcrafted paper goods and more. Gifts come in a variety of prices; for a truly big-ticket item, consider signing up the amateur artist in your life for one of the center's classes, which cover everything from clay and painting to digital photography and collage, ranging in price from $100 to $190 for nonmembers. More than just an exhibition space, Paint Creek is truly a community arts center, offering studio classes for all age levels, hosting summer art camps for kids and spearheading a number of community arts initiatives, including Rochester's annual Art & Apples Festival.

GifteD: A Holiday Boutique
99 Monroe St., Detroit

If one-stop shopping has been your excuse for fighting crowds of frenzied shoppers at the mall, this pop-up shop will make you bite your tongue. Located in one of the Compuware building's retail spaces, GifteD has collected a range of Detroit retailers into one convenient spot. It's a boon for downtown workers, who can now take a short lunch-hour jaunt to holiday shop instead of spending their after-work hours waiting in lines and scouring parking lots for empty spaces. Open Fridays through Christmas Eve, GifteD features artwork courtesy of Re:View Contemporary Gallery, bikes and biking gear from Wheelhouse Detroit, and home and office supplies from Bureau of Urban Living. Others setting up temporary shop at GifteD include Leopold's Books, City Bird, Motor City Sewing and downtown clothing stores DSE@Grand and Rags. Onsite services such as dog training from Canine to Five, massage from Re:new Detroit and tailoring from Motor City Sewing are also available.

D.I.Ypsi
Dec. 11, at the Savoy, 23 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; diypsi.com

Metro Detroiters are no strangers to the bar-based craft fair — there are old stalwarts such as Bar Bazaar and Rock 'n' Rummage, there's Handmade Detroit's stellar Detroit Urban Craft Fair, there's the relatively new It's a Craft Thing fairs and there's Ypsi's always kickass Shadow Art Fair. And now there's D.I.Ypsi. This one-day handmade spectacular features 29 local vendors slinging everything from clothing and jewelry to paper products and sculptures. The Ypsi artists behind the event — Cre Fuller, Sherri Green Carroll and Marcy Davy — hope to connect shoppers with indie artists they may otherwise be unfamiliar with, as well as to highlight downtown Ypsilanti as a holiday shopping destination. Highlights of the fair include bags, wallets and other items made from reclaimed fabric by Dang Argyle; cheeky greeting cards and stationery (one card reads "You put the ass in asshole." Enough said) from Junkmail Greetings; shirts, hoodies and bags sporting an outline of our great state, by Great Lakes Shirts; jewelry carved from reclaimed hardwoods by Four Chamber Forge; and beautiful handmade scarves by Ion(a)rt. Along with the local gifts, the family-friendly D.I.Ypsi will also feature local eats, free admission and of course, a full bar.

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