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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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Savage Love

Daniel Bergner and Chris Savage fill in for Dan Savage

Safe Words and Negative Descriptors

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Dear readers: Two excellent writers stepped in to answer the Savage Love Letter of the Day while I was on vacation, and I wanted to share two of their responses in the column this week. (The SLLOTD appears daily — cough, cough — on Slog, The Stranger’s blog, and is blasted out to folks who have the Savage Love app.)

First up is Daniel Bergner. He’s the award-winning author of four books of nonfiction. His newest book is What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, which Salon said “should be read by every woman on earth.”

Q:

 I came out as gay during my marriage five years ago. (I’m a woman who doesn’t like the word “lesbian.”) I want to be in relationships with women, get married, etc., but I haven’t dated since my divorce. But I’m ready to start. I started on Craigslist in the w4w section and then moved to the m4w section, looking to fulfill a pegging fantasy. In working up the courage to respond to one guy’s ad — and then e-mailing a total stranger that I was masturbating — I thought of asking for my own fantasy: intruder sex with a stranger. I asked if we could first “meet” without meeting: go to a coffee shop, sit across the room from each other, and flirt via text. If that went well, I wanted him to follow me to my place (stalk me), break in, rough me up a little, fuck me, and leave. That was too intense for him. Which is fine. There are other guys. I don’t consider this a rape fantasy. I amnot turned on by rape. I’ve been raped, and it was the worst experience of my life. This is consensual sex. I don’t want to meet directly because I want him to remain a stranger. I want to be safe. I’ll have a safe word. I would also like to discuss this with my therapist, who I’ve been seeing for years, because I was sexually abused by my father, my cousin, and my mom’s boyfriend. I feel so hung up all the time by the fear of being raped that it has restricted my ability to enjoy anything. Maybe by doing this I can face that fear and no longer be controlled by it. I’m also completely turned on by it. My questions: Can I do this safely? Is this healthy? Am I still a gay girl if I fulfill some kinky fantasies with men? —Not Wanting Rape

A:

 So you haven’t talked to your therapist about this but you’re reaching out for advice online, you’re declaring yourself a gay woman but you’re starting your post-divorce erotic life hunting for sex with men, you’d like that sex to commence with a “meeting” that is a nonmeeting, and you want to be stalked, roughed up a bit, and fucked by an intruder in a way that bears only a minimal (and constructive) relationship to your having been raped and, before that, sexually abused by an assault squad of family members. Since your letter is full of paradox, can I tell you something paradoxical? Your fantasies are utterly hot and are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but they scream out Slow down and seek serious counsel!

Do you see the pattern, NWR? Everything you want, everything you lust for, is at the same time somehow avoided or semi-denied? And it’s not that you’re unwise about yourself. You do draw connections. Father, cousin, mom’s boyfriend performed some work on the core of your psyche, where eros lives, and probably laid down some of the wiring for your current yearnings. This does not mean your fantasies are weird (rape fantasies — I’m going to call them that — are among the most common sexual scenarios women imagine while masturbating or having sex), but it does mean you’ve got some deeper thinking to do before you take real risks. Because what I’m sensing is searing heat, a swirl of confusion, and a deluded hope that you can reliably control the forces you’re about to unleash. “I have a safe word.” Not necessarily, NWR. Words aren’t always going to be heeded by total strangers you’ve only glimpsed and texted and asked to get rough with you.

I am sounding like a prude and a killjoy. I’m not. I’m pretty sure you can pull off some version of what you wish — with a measure of safety — when you’re thinking a little more clearly. I’m all for seizing ecstasy in the present while exorcising the horrors of your past. I’m just saying, know thyself a tad better. When you’re thinking more clearly, you’ll be a better judge of the right not-rapist, one who will respect your script.

As for your last question — “Am I still a gay girl?” — let go of categories. Our human complexity outdoes the divides. If you’re turned on by both genders — and almost every bit of research I’ve encountered over the last eight years of writing about desire suggests that women often are — count yourself lucky. Your options are enviably wide. —Daniel Bergner

Chris Savage is Michigan’s most widely read progressive political blogger. Rachel Maddow calls Chris’s blog — Eclectablog.com — “the indispensable Michigan politics source.”

Q:

 I am a 21-year-old straight male. I am in love but miserable. My girlfriend has a bad temper and is extremely needy. She is rude to my 7-year-old brother and gets angry when I spend time with him. She won’t allow me to see family or other friends because I have to spend all of my free time with her. Sometimes she hits me when she’s angry. She reads all my texts, but when I ask to read hers, she won’t let me. The problem is, I love her. She says she can’t live without me, and I’m worried that if I break up with her, she’ll do something drastic. What can I do? Please help! —Manipulated Man

A:

 Let’s take a look at a few of the descriptors you used for this hideous person you say you’re in love with: bad temper, needy, rude, angry, violent. Based on your description, I’d throw in manipulative and controlling too. Where are all the positive words people in love normally use? In other words, why do you love her? Because the person you have described is decidedly unlovable.

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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.
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