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  • 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 PlanetAnt.com. 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.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Playing it safe

Know the basics when it comes to HIV, withdrawal and needle play

Q: I'm a young heteroflexible guy who has been a "sugar baby" for a handful of wealthy older guys. I love it! I get money, I have fun being with them, and the guys seem to like having me around. The problem is that I just got with a new guy who is really great except for one thing: He is HIV-positive. He says that his doctors predict he won't have a shortened life span and may not even have any symptoms that would make his life uncomfortable. I like the fact that he told me, and I am open to being with him sexually even though I am HIV-negative and want to stay that way.

He is very submissive — he wants to be used and abused sexually, physically and mentally. My question is, what kinds of sex acts are OK to do with this guy? I read on one site that him rimming me is fine, and on another that him giving me a blow job with a condom is safe too. But I can't find a site that specifically explains which sex acts are safe and which ones aren't when one person is positive and one person is negative. —Help In Virginia

A: It's pretty simple, HIV: Sex acts that expose you to his semen or blood are definitely unsafe, and sex acts that expose him to your semen or blood are mostly safe. Rimming you, blowing you (even without a condom), getting fucked by you (with a condom) — are all very low-risk for HIV transmission. If he's on a drug regimen and his viral load is undetectable, HIV, your already-low risks of being exposed while, say, accepting a blow job (and a check) are even lower. The risks aren't nonexistent — all sex acts carry some degree of risk — but if the risks were any closer to nonexistent, they'd be sitting on nonexistent's lap.

And bear this in mind: Odds are good that some of the other guys you've babied for — some of your previous daddies — were HIV-positive and either didn't know or didn't have the decency to disclose. This guy's willingness to disclose is evidence not just of his honesty and decency, HIV, but of his respect for you and his commitment to keeping you safe. This guy is less likely to ask you to engage in sex acts that are higher-risk or unsafe than a guy who isn't aware that he's positive or is actively hiding the fact that he's positive. And his interest in being "used and abused" creates lots of hot safe-sex-play options — letting him beat off while he licks your boots or jerking him off while he's tied to the bed with your jock in his mouth are no-risk sexual activities that he's likely to enjoy immensely.


Q:
I'm a 24-year-old straight guy. I've been with my girl for three years, and things are great — great sex life, great communication, etc. We have lots of sex — but for the last year or so, she has not been on birth control and we have not been using condoms. We're not against the idea of a child, but we aren't currently going for it. I was always told that pulling out was a 100 percent ineffective method of birth control. So my question is, I guess, could there be something wrong with one of us? How could we have unprotected sex for a year without getting her pregnant? We both really want children eventually and are worried it might not happen. —Sent From My iPhone

A: Withdrawal is a much more effective birth control method than most sex advisers are comfortable acknowledging. But facts are facts: A comprehensive study conducted by researchers at the Guttmacher Institute found that withdrawal was almost as effective a birth control option as condoms. ("Better Than Nothing or Savvy Risk-Reduction Practice? The Importance of Withdrawal," Contraception, June 2009.)

"If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year," the authors of the study wrote. That compares pretty favorably with the 2 percent of straight couples who will become pregnant using condoms perfectly over the course of a year.

In the real world, of course, very few people do anything perfectly. When you take mistakes, leaks and broken condoms into account, researchers estimate that 17 percent of straight couples who rely on condoms will become pregnant in any given year. Not all withdrawers use withdrawal perfectly, either — amazingly enough, some guys get distracted and forget to pull out as their orgasms approach — but the research shows that just 18 percent of straight couples who use withdrawal will get pregnant in any given year.

So odds are good that you're not infertile, SFMi, just lucky.


Q:
I'm a young lesbian. I recently met a girl who's cute, and I think we're likely to have sex soon. The thing is, she confided in me that she's participated in needle play in dungeon-party situations. I'm not someone who is turned off by kinkiness just 'cause it's kinky, but it seems like even "safe" needle play is a recipe for STI transmission — unless you're playing with trained medical professionals. She says she gets tested regularly, but still, would it be really risky for me to sleep with her? —Enthusiastic Reader

A: Every time I've watched needle play in a dungeon-party situation — watched with my hands clamped over my eyes, peeking through the small spaces between my fingers — no one was being stuck with rusty needles by dirty-handed brutes. All the public needle-play scenes I've witnessed were ostentatiously sterile affairs: These kinksters, some of whom were trained medical professionals, made a big show of using alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, latex gloves and clean sharps. I think it's fair to ask this girl for more information about her blood and needle experiences, about the safety precautions that her partners took, and about how recently she was tested. But rest assured, ER, that the most effective STI transmission routes involve sticking dicks in people in completely vanilla situations, not clean needles in dungeon-party situations.

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