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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Dan helps an autistic dude pick up social cues

Hookup shook up.

Photo: Illustration by Lee DeVito., License: N/A

Illustration by Lee DeVito.


Q: I’m a 21-year-old straight male, and I’m mildly autistic. This means that I have difficulty picking up on social cues. I’ve learned to manage my disability in most areas of my life, but I’ve recently become concerned about how it pertains to hooking up. My approach to hooking up is how I imagine most other people’s must be: find someone who I can have a flowing conversation with, attempt to flirt with them, and then awkwardly make a move. But a few weeks ago at a party, I was flirting with a girl when I suddenly realized that she was wasted. I had suspected that she was tipsy like myself, but I didn’t understand how far gone she was until she invited me outside and was unable to keep her balance while walking. What followed was a horrifyingly surreal exchange where I struggled to leave, she kept insisting that she wasn’t drunk, and all the while she kept pressing against me. By the time I got away, she was angry, people were staring, and I had history’s most shameful erection. Prior to that night, I thought I could tell when someone was too drunk. I’d been certain about the agency of everyone I slept with. Now I have doubts about myself. Severe intoxication renders a person incapable of giving consent, and taking advantage of someone that impaired is the same as rape in my mind. Am I a rapist? Was it wrong for me to participate in hookup culture as I struggle to read social signals? —Moral Blue Screen Of Death

A: If your description of events is accurate, MBSOD, that shameful erection of yours — which was nowhere close to being history’s most shameful erection (that distinction belongs to the erections on the Catholic priest who raped the most kids) — was an innocent, unconscious, physiological response to some highly awkward and clearly unwelcome bodily contact. Just because your dick got hard doesn’t mean you were enjoying yourself. Again, if your recap is accurate: You were struggling to leave, and this drunk wouldn’t stop pressing her body against yours? You were the victim, not the perp.

As for other women you’ve hooked up with at or after parties …

The line between buzzed enough to go for it and too drunk to consent can be fuzzy and subjective. Some people argue that one drink renders a person incapable of consenting to sex. By that standard, nearly all of us — male and female and SOPATGS* — are guilty of raping scores of people. (By that standard, millions of sexual encounters are simultaneous rapes, i.e., two tipsy, buzzed, or drunk people having sex that neither party was capable of consenting to.) But sensible people recognize that alcohol functions as a social lubricant and an effective way to overcome social or sexual inhibitions, and that it’s possible for two people (or more!) to have consensual sex after a drink or two or even three.

You say you have difficulty picking up on social cues, and you’re now worried that you may have misread a previous hookup’s ability to consent. I’m sorry to say that it’s possible you hooked up with a girl who was completely shitfaced but, unlike that drunk girl at the party, was not giving off too-shitfaced-to-consent cues that you could pick up on. Since you can’t go back in time and unfuck all the buzzed/tipsy/drunk girls with whom you’ve already hooked up, MBSOD, you can only resolve to be more cautious going forward.

If drunkenness is one of those social cues that you have a hard time reading, MBSOD, you’re going to have to ask a friend for his or her read on the girl you met, or — better still — you’re going to stick to dance-floor make-out sessions at parties and reserve getting naked for sober or soberer second or third dates. And when you do decide to really go for it, you’re going to err on the side of making active, ongoing, explicit requests for consent, i.e., you’re not going to “make moves,” awkward or otherwise, you’re going ask questions (“I’d really like to kiss you — that OK?”) and keep asking questions (“OK, I got the condoms out — you still wanna fuck?”)

Q: My best friend is in a relationship with a great guy who is a loving father to their kids. There are no issues in their relationship other than this: zero sex in 10-plus years. She is desperate. She is in contact with a former lover who is not the LTR type. She wants to hook up with her ex. Is she required to disclose? If so, what do you recommend she say? Or does 10-plus years of sexlessness constitute a free pass? —Her Best Friend

A: Ten years without sex frees your friend from an obligation to disclose, HBF, but for your friend’s peace of mind — and for butt cover should the affair be discovered — she should sit her husband down and say something like this: “I love you and I want to stay married to you forever. We both know that sex has never been an important part of our connection or our marriage. If you should ever seize an opportunity to get it elsewhere, I trust you’ll be considerate and discreet and leave me in the dark. I promise to do the same.”

Q: I’m a 23-year-old gay male who was diagnosed four years ago with ADHD. The prescription that I’ve been taking has completely turned my life around. Within the course of my first batch of pills, I began to notice drastic changes. From the evaporation of my paralyzing academic anxiety to the willpower to practice better hygiene, medicated me has control over my actions. A side effect of this medication is a drastically increased libido. While I’ve always had kinky tastes in porn, it is only while on Dexedrine that I go on Recon and look for men to tie me up and dominate me. I’ve only ever pursued kink experiences under the influence of legal amphetamines. My confusion comes in the interpretation of these facts. Part of me feels like I should be wary of my kinky self, because “sober” me wouldn’t make the same sexual choices. The other part just wants to say “fuck it” and embrace my kinks, because the same high that makes me kinky also made it possible for me to graduate from college and practice good personal hygiene. Are my concerns valid? —Aroused Distractible Dominated

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