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  • 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 bcallwood@metrotimes.com. 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 buildingdetroit.org, 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.

  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit MtBlowout.com to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

    The post Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Q:

Straight male here. I took a writing course and some of us students created a writing group. We meet and workshop the things we’ve been working on. One of the guys in the group is gay and a while ago he confessed he had very strong feelings for me.

I didn’t have a problem with this, but I told him that I wasn’t into guys. The other day, he sent me an email telling me there was something he wanted to discuss. We met for dinner and he told me that despite the fact that I claimed to be straight, he felt like I had been sending him messages to indicate my interest in him.

He said this was cruel and he felt like I was teasing him. When I asked him for examples, he told me when we had originally been in class together, he noticed I had started to dress like him and this was sometimes a way closeted men showed interest in other men.

He mentioned one week he had worn a red sweater and the following week I had worn a red T-shirt. He also said he felt like the stories I had been workshopping in our group were secretly about him.

I admit I’m not the stereotypical straight guy — I have good taste in shoes and I like art — but I know what I’m into and who I want to get naked with. I never showed any interest in this guy, never led him on; this entire thing has taken place purely in his head.

I told him all this and now he says he is hurt and doesn’t want to see me at the group. He suggested that we share the group, alternating meetings, but I refused. We’re both adults who should have the emotional maturity to handle this. Am I being too harsh?

— Pulled Into Drama

A:

 Closeted gay men don’t use colored T-shirts to send messages to out gay men. They use Craigslist.

Look, PID, Jeffrey Dahmer — aka the Milwaukee Cannibal — ate a friend of mine. By which I mean to say: Some gay people are insane. I’m not saying you’re in danger of being drugged, raped, butchered and eaten by this guy from your writing group. But the guy is — if your account is accurate — more than a little unpleasant … and a whole lot batshit.

Confide in some friends in your writing group about what’s going on and be prepared to leave the group and/or form a breakaway group if Mr. Red Sweater continues to detect clues in your wardrobe.

Also: Do not spend any more time alone with this guy. Someone who would accuse you of making super-secret passes at him via red T-shirts is capable of making baseless accusations about much worse.

And finally, PID, a bonus pro tip: Writers don’t need a writers’ group to write. They just need to write.

Q:

 My question is one of etiquette. My lesbian wife and I live in an apartment. The noise pollution between flats can be pretty bad. Anyone who lives in the building is aware of this and keeping noise down after certain hours is a common courtesy.

I wouldn’t play loud music, let doors slam or break out the drum kit. If any of these things happen after around 11:30 p.m. on a work night, I don’t think I’d feel any qualms about going around to whoever is being inconsiderate and asking them to keep it down; but what about noisy sex? My neighbor’s girlfriend is pretty loud during sex. If the racket were being made, say, before midnight, I could bear it. It would be gross, because I think he’s slimy and he has a terrible hipster mustache, but I wouldn’t be writing to you. I’d just cope as best I could and try to fall back asleep. But what about sex at crazy o’clock? Is it okay for us to pound on the wall and ask them to keep it down? What’s your opinion?

—  Sleepy Lesbians

A:

 I happen to agree with Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, creators of the Tony Award–winning musical Avenue Q, on the subject of apartment living, thin walls and noisy sex: “You can be as loud as the hell you want when you’re makin’ love.” Or, in this instance, your creepy neighbor with the hipster mustache and his girlfriend can be as loud as the hell they want when they’re makin’ love. But you and your wife—their annoyed neighbors—can be as loud as the hell you want when they’re making love. You can pound on the walls, SLND, make your displeasure known, scream and yell, etc.

And even if your neighbors don’t take the fucking hint and quiet the fucking the fuck down, SLND, the noise you make may bring their annoyingly loud sex to a quicker end. The females of certain species — including our own — get loud during sex, i.e., scream and yell, because it helps the males of their species climax more quickly. (Female copulatory vocalization: It is a real thing with its very own Wikipedia page. Look it up.) If his girlfriend’s vocalizations are turning your inconsiderate mustachioed hipster neighbor on, the screams of his two lesbian neighbors could push him past the point of no return.

Q:

 I was in a monogamous relationship with a woman for two years. We split up and remained platonic friends. Months later, on a drunken night, we had sex. At that point, neither of us had slept with anyone else. After sex that night, the sexual lion was out — and I slept with two others. Now my ex-girlfriend and I may get back together and she has asked the question: Have I slept with anyone else? So far I’ve managed to avoid answering; yes, we are currently sleeping together. Do I tell her?

— Blowjobs And

Rights Of Privacy

A:

 The failure to immediately answer certain questions in the negative is equal to answering in the affirmative. Examples: “Are you gay?” “Did you fuck my sister?” “Is that your butt plug?” Any attempt to avoid answering these questions — issuing a nondenial denial (“Me? Gay? Why would you think that?”), requesting an unnecessary clarification (“You mean your sister?”), stalling for time (“Can we talk about this later?”) — serves as confirmation that, yes, you are gay and/or fucking the sister and/or the owner of that butt plug.

“Have you slept with anyone else?” is right up there with “Did you gay fuck my sister with that butt plug?” Your attempt to “avoid answering” the question was the answer to the question: Yes, you fucked other people.

So unless this woman is an idiot, BAROP, you don’t need to tell her. She knows.

Find Dan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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