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  • 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 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.

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Savage Love

Built that way?

Pantsuits, Gay Strip Clubs, cubic zirconia, and shut the fuck up

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A programming note:  I hosted a live taping of the Savage Lovecastin Seattle on Valentine’s Day, and it went great — thanks to all who came (especially to the five boys who left with butt plugs in their butts) — but i made the mistake of having a drink or five afterward, and i’m so fucking hungover right now that i shouldn’t be sitting upright, much less giving advice. But deadlines are deadlines. So here we go …

Q: I’m a 31-year-old genderqueer in Brooklyn with a large family on Long Island. My only sister got engaged 48 hours ago, and she’s moving fast on planning the wedding. I have two questions.

No. 1 question: I texted my sister the only date I wasn’t available in the next two years, which is Columbus Day weekend 2013. I have my 10-year college reunion, which I’ve been organizing. My sister texted me back that they picked this Columbus Day weekend for the wedding even though they have no idea if the places they want will be booked up. It quickly came out that they didn’t check with anyone about potential conflicts. She wants me to be the maid of honor, and I’m not sure what to do. She’s really upset with me. Columbus Day weekend is of no significance to them (it’s not the anniversary of the date they met or anything), and I can’t reschedule the reunion.

No. 2 question: I was born female but do not identify that way. I’m genderqueer and do not look like a girl. I have not worn a dress in 10 years and feel like I’m in drag in one. In the past, my sister said she would consider putting me in a pantsuit-ish kind of thing at her wedding, which would be great, but I am worried that now I’m rocking the boat too much with this Columbus Day thing and I don’t know if I should just leave it alone. My girlfriend, who is very pretty and feminine, said if I had to wear a dress, she’d go in a suit and bow tie.

Dan, help! If for some reason my sister can’t get her weekend, it will be because they’re rushing and everything is booked, but I have already caused trouble! Is it worth it to fight for the pantsuit thing, or should I just leave it alone and do what she wants? —Thank You So Much

A: No. 1 answer: If your sister didn’t check with anyone — not members of her immediate family, not members of her bridal party — about potential conflicts, then your sister should’ve anticipated that some of the folks wouldn’t be able to attend. Folks who aren’t getting married have lives and commitments of their own, which means they can have conflicts, and your sister could’ve worked around those conflicts if she had cared to ask about them. But she didn’t care to ask, because she seems to be one of those brides-to-be who think an engagement ring on her finger puts her ass at the center of the universe. Here’s hoping your sister can’t get the venue she wants and has to reschedule. If that doesn’t happen, TYSM, tell your sister you’ll be with her in spirit and send a gift.

No. 2 answer: The fact that your sister has been engaged for 48 hours and is already furious with her maid-of-honor-elect is a bad sign. You’ll be doing yourself, both families and your sister a service if you stand up to her now. A little pushback now will either prevent your sister from going Bridezilla or get you dropped from the wedding party. You literally can’t lose. So tell your sister now that you’re delighted to be her maid of honor, if scheduling allows, and that you look forward to shopping for a pantsuit that matches her dress and the dresses of her bridal party. If she tells you that you have to wear a dress to be her maid of honor, TYSM, then it’s clear that the dress is more important to your sister than the person wearing it, and you should tell her to find someone else to model it at her wedding.

 

Q: A gay friend of mine is getting married in Seattle, and we’re hoping to throw him a most excellent bachelor party. However, as a straight dude, I’m fairly clueless about gay strip clubs in the Seattle area. Can you please recommend one or two good ones? —Straight Best Man

A: There are no gay strip clubs in Seattle, SBM, I’m sorry to say. You can blame the Washington State Liquor Control Board for that sad fact. Adults in Seattle can look at naked people or they can have a drink, but they can’t have a drink while looking at naked people. While there’s enough demand for naked ladies in Seattle to make non-booze-servin’ straight strip clubs economically viable, there isn’t enough demand for naked boys to make gay strip clubs economically viable. (And people have tried.) There is, however, a great gay strip club in Portland, Ore., called Silverado. If gay strippers are a must, plan a road trip as well as a bachelor party.

 

Q: My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married, and I am incredibly excited about marrying this awesome dude. My problem is that my ideal engagement ring is something that looks nice but is cheap. Seriously, a $50 ring would be perfect. I don’t want something expensive because 1) it’ll make me paranoid about losing it or having it stolen, and 2) I’d rather use the money for something else, like a house. However, my guy wants to spend about a grand on an engagement and wedding ring set. Given his income, this is far from an outrageous expense, but I’d still rather have my $50 cubic zirconia. I’ve talked with him about this, and we joke about how the stereotypical roles are reversed here, with me being the one who wants to go cheap and him wanting something more. But he’s holding fast. Any ideas how I might be able to get my way and make him see that he’s my prize, not the jewelry? —Not A Ring Girl

A: The difference between the engagement ring you’d prefer and the ring set your fiance wants to buy — $950 — ain’t nothin’, NARG, but it’s not enough to buy a fucking house. I could see digging in your heels if your fiance wanted to spend 20 grand on a ring, as that kind of money would go a long way toward a down payment; I could see going to war if he was planning to go into debt to buy you a rock. But learning to pick your battles is the secret to a happy, successful marriage, NARG, and the difference between a $50 ring and a far from outrageous $1,000 ring set isn’t worth fighting about. You want to make him see that he’s your prize? Let him have his way on this.

 

Q: My brother and his new wife had a three-way with a male hotel receptionist while on their honeymoon. I don’t have a problem with three-ways in theory, but I think it’s wrong to have one on your fucking honeymoon. I was their best man. What am I supposed to do now? —Disgusted Big Bro

A: You’re supposed to shut the fuck up and mind your own business — now and always.

 

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

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