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  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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The Gift Guide

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Suggested ways to replace your cash with gifts for the holidays

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The Gift Guide

A groundbreaking historian of topics from labor to black liberation movements, Kelley is all about context, and if ever a musician's life needed context it's Monk's. And not just the context of his fellow musicians that Monk's life requires — Dizzy and Miles, Sonny and Trane are all here, as well as promoters, producers, publicists, record execs and the like. As Kelley makes clear, Monk's achievements are virtually unimaginable but for the supportive circle of the close-knit mother-headed family he was born into, a family that expanded with his marriage to his hard-working working-class wife, Nellie. Later came the well-heeled Baroness (seriously) Pannonica de Koenigswarter, whose closeness, too, made her, for practical purposes, family as well. The Monk family gave Kelley unparalleled access, and he's rightly made the book very much about them as well.

Monk may have marched to his own drummer, but it took this village to enable him on the road to brilliance (and ultimately success), what with clashes with cops, jail time, jobless stretches, house fires, and the obstinacy of Monk himself ... and then there's the mental illness. One of Kelley's constant balancing acts is in dealing with Monk's eccentricities, press and press agents prone to magnify them (and trivialize the man), and dealing with the fact that, through much of his life, Monk was, indeed, deteriorating mentally. (Bipolar disorder seems the most likely culprit, but a clear diagnosis was never rendered.)

Casual jazz fans recognize Monk's classic — written when he was in his early 20s — "Round Midnight." Moderately serious jazz fans know Monk as the music's second great composer after the Ellington-Strayhorn team, and that the estimation rests on a mere 70-odd songs to their thousands. Monk's improvisational style was as powerful as his compositional pen, and both profoundly influenced the course of jazz. Given Monk's import, this won't be the last word on interpreting his life and art — and sometimes one wishes Kelley would give us more synthesis for the mass of details — but it seems clear that those who follow will be riffing on Kelley's research for a long, long time. Released in hardcover last year, it has now been reissued in paperback. (And the book site monkbook.com, by the way, is far more than a promotion site, and a true resource worth the time of anyone interested in Monk or the book.) —WKH

Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series
BBC

Sci-fi fans love this British TV show about a time-traveling doc and his hot companion. And it's easy to see why: plenty of in-jokes, apocalyptic storylines and mind-warping theories about busting through the time-space continuum. This six-disc set includes 13 episodes, plus extras (like outtakes) that will have geeks drooling all over their space modulators. —MG

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
by Miranda Carter
Knopf, $30, 500 pp.

Nowadays, we take the irrelevance of monarchy for granted. Miranda Carter's George, Nicholas and Wilhelm looks at pre-World War I Europe, a time of yet some influence of the English king, and the Russian and German emperors. The three were cousins, each a grandson of England's Queen Victoria. Their cover photos show (as Carter says of King George) "melancholy, direct stares and unflinchingly upright deportment." The three dabbled in diplomacy and politics, though only the temperamental Wilhelm did so willingly.
One message of the book is how ordinary people (the royals) found themselves over their heads as "superior, high-bred" royalty. And their aides fed their illusions to maintain their own positions. The mystical, withdrawn Nicholas ended up with Rasputin as a guide. George loved nearly full-time shooting of birds and stamp collecting. Hence the irrelevant monarchy.

In July 1917, George changed his German-sounding surname, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to the neutral, made-up Windsor (then enjoyed some freedom fries?). George is credited with remaking the British monarchy into a domestic, ceremonial, symbolic institution.

Carter is thorough, some have said scholarly — the book front includes four pages of the overlapping family trees of the European monarchies — but she's also modern, with knowing, flip comments on many absurdities of the royals. Details on controversies, wars and nationalism of the time maintain interest because of the personalities involved. These monarchs often co-operated and opposed each other to fulfill their desires ... to preen in military uniforms: British naval, Royal Dragoons, Scottish army duds (with kilts!). They loved 'em.

Imagine the three on the paparazzi TV show TMZ: George in his favored naval uniform and hard stare, Wilhelm, alternately cloying and conspiratorial, and Nicholas, a country bumpkin type, but with regal calm. Disbelieving comments are provoked. Rolling of eyes is assumed.

Reality hit the three with the progress and end of World War I: Nicholas killed gruesomely in 1917; Wilhelm fleeing to neutral Holland; George's face lined and bagged with care, his stare ubiquitous. Fifteen pages of minute synopsis on the start of the war explain events and connections for baffled history buffs. And, once again, we can say, "Never again."—DS

Leica D-LUX 5
Digital Camera
$799

No doubt, this is a big-ticket item. To put it in economical perspective, you could buy this classically styled yet state-of-the-art digital camera with HD video capability, or you could jump on the chance to scoop up a 1985 Chevy Celebrity wagon with 90,000 miles, new head gaskets and a relatively clean interior (well, at least you could find it on Craigslist the other day). But think about it: To the tune of 800 bones, you have an artistic tool almost 100 years in the making. Since 1913, Leica has produced innovative cameras with particularly magnificent lenses — that's a hot piece of glass. The aptly titled D-Lux is a slick digital single reflex (d-slr) camera. It's also notably compact for a camera that produces such high-quality photos. Rivaling professional DSLR cameras, the D-Lux shoots 10.1 megapixels, with an über fast f/2-3.3 DC Vario-Summicron 24 to 90 millimeter lens (equivalent to 35mm) lens, with an ISO as high as 12800. If those specs mean nothing to you, just know they're awesome enough to those in the know. The camera has also garnered high marks for a very bright, high resolution, three-inch LCD display. And if this baby weren't already sexy enough, Leica is throwing in Adobe Lightroom 3 for processing. If you got the dough, look no mo'. —TW

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