Most Read
  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email


Pit stop

Rewriting the rep of Detroit's unofficial city dog

Photo: Photo: Detroitblogger John, License: N/A

Photo: Detroitblogger John

Michael Hodges with his champion pit bull Pow.

To prove this, Smith walks up to Pow, who's vigorously chewing a slab of salted rawhide hanging from a chain. He grabs the dog's jowls, pats his face, smothers his snout. But the dog's whole being remains focused on that rawhide. "It's not even my dog, and he's not aggressive, as you can see," he says, still tugging at the dog's ears.

Smith, like everyone here, has a ready defense of the breed, their counterargument to the complaints they've all heard. It's obvious they've given these speeches many times before.

"It's just like guns don't kill people, people kill people," Smith says. "Look at the dog as a gun. His loyalty lies to his master, so he's gonna do whatever his master wants him to do. If his master wants him to fight, he'll fight. It's just a matter if he'll continue to fight. But he will fight."

In walks Angela Maddox with her pit bull. "China, come with your momma," the diminutive 43-year-old says in a baby-talk voice. She found her dog four years ago when a woman pulled up to a nearby abandoned house, got out and threw a wriggling trash bag inside the open door. "I thought it was a child," Maddox says, "so I ran over there to try to retrieve the trash bag, and she backed up on me and tried to run me over." She raised the puppy she found in that bag.

Maddox has gotten two more pit bulls since. They complement the cameras she's got set up to watch her house's perimeter. She lives alone, and a dog with a scary reputation makes for great security in the inner city.

"They're very protective," Maddox says. "They guard the house. If you treat them with respect and take care of them and don't train them to fight they'll be good dogs."

Maddox is the other side of the coin. Her dogs don't compete. They're not famous in the pit bull contest circuit. She's just someone vulnerable who feels safe with them around, a doting owner who treats her dogs like they're her protective children.

"I never had kids and I feel I have a lot of love to give," she says. "I just love them."

When Hodges
was growing up, the popular guys in the neighborhood fought their pit bulls.

"I first seen it when I was young," he says. "I was like, 'Oh, this is cool' because I grew up in an area where all the older guys doing it had the fancy cars, had all the money, so I'm like, 'I want to do it! I want to do it!'"

Dog fighting is the ever-present undertone to their hobby, the unvoiced accusation they see in people's stares. But every one of them here is adamant that the illegal sport is wrong.

"I do know a few who do it," Hodges says, "but that's what they do. Like you might know somebody that sells drugs."

Tilford says he can spot the dog fighters as soon as they walk in his store. "They come in here and ask certain questions," he says. He refuses to serve them. "And certain bloodlines are known as fighting bloodlines." The fighting dogs are covered in scars. That's the giveaway.

"If I find out somebody fights dogs I instantly distance myself from them," Smith shouts. "We want nothing to do with them. Somebody comes in here and we got any suspicions of any kind of illegal activity, if they walk in here with a dog with scars, he's gettin' up out of here."

Once Hodges grew older and got his own pit bull, any allure dog fighting might have held for him vanished. You can see it in the way he gently scolds Pow for pissing on the store's floor, how he scoops him up off the ground and holds him like a baby, the way he breaks into a boyish smile as the dog in his arms blissfully kicks its paws and licks his owner's face.

There are no scars on his dog. There aren't any on the other dogs milling around here. Most, in fact, have the lustrous sheen of a pampered pet. Even Pow the champion, who can pull a car's worth of weight.

Pow embodies the paradox of the breed, the contradiction between whether these dogs are pets or protectors, dangerous or misunderstood. It's the contrast between these guys' pride in their dog's toughness and the way someone like Hodges snuggles his like they're fuzzy babies.

For these men here training them to be champions, for the woman raising a dog left to die in a bag, pit bulls combine all those opposites. That's the allure of these dogs, they say, the thing that's unique about them. It's why they'll defend them to anyone who speaks badly of them. This is their chosen breed.

"There's a whole movement against them," Tilford says, as a video of a weight pull plays on the TV while his pit bull Sledgehammer sits quietly at his feet. "But there's a whole movement with them, too."

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus