Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Last Blasts of Summer

Soaring sounds

An 'if you like' jazz fest sampler

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Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

A festival as big and broad as the Detroit International Jazz Festival can seem intimidating and off-putting. That's especially true when the term jazz covers more terrain than ever, yet gets less media than at many times past — and in a festival that has, over the years, expanded beyond the confines of jazz. With that in mind, a few (hardly exhaustive) taste-based suggestions ...


If you like 

hip hop, soul

Then we probably don't need to tell you Common appears Monday (4:45-6 p.m., Chase Main Stage near Campus Martius) with the ensemble of former Detroiter Karriem Riggins. But the influence of hip hop is sure to show up elsewhere, perhaps in surprising forms. You might hear it with Jason Moran & the Bandwagon (Saturday, 8-9:15 p.m., Mack Avenue Waterfront Stage) or the Vijay Iyer Trio (Sunday, 9:15-10:30 p.m., Waterfront Stage). They're led by two of the most lauded 40-and-under pianists, both daring experimenters, who've covered the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and M.I.A., respectively. Meanwhile the soul-to-R&B spectrum ranges from old school (Chuck Jackson, better known for his Bacharach-penned hit, "Any Day Now," than the Motown connection touted now, Saturday, 6:15-7:30 p.m., Main Stage) to new (Rahsaan Patterson, Sunday, 3:45-5 p.m., Main Stage).  


If you like 'The Girl from Ipanema'

A fest promo line this year is "We bring you the world," which includes lots of Brazil. There's vocalist Luciana Souza and guitarist Romero Lubambo (Saturday, 1:45-3 p.m., Absopure Pyramid Stage) a team that knows its Jobim (who co-wrote "The Girl") and delves deeply and into the bossa-samba repertoire, and connects it to the Great American Songbook and Souza's originals. In a similar vein Sunday: singer Vinicius Cantuária (6:30-7:30 p.m., Pyramid Stage) and Ivan Lins (9:30-10:45 p.m., Main Stage). Lins' "Love Dance" and "The Island" rank close behind "The Girl" in the bossa hall of fame. But Brazilian sounds suffuse jazz. For instance, Israeli clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen (Sunday, 4:45-6 p.m., Pyramid Stage) is known for her sambas, and makes a medley of the Black Orpheus theme and Louis Armstrong's "Struttin' With Some Barbecue."


If you like blues and B-3s

Johnnie Bassett & the Blues Insurgents team up with Detroit's No. 1 beltin' mama, Thornetta Davis (Sunday, 2:15-3:15 p.m., Main Stage). And does the funky organ trio tradition belong more to jazz or to R&B? Back-to-back Saturday Pyramid performances are set for Gerard Gibbs & (the return of) ORGANized Crime (7:15-8:15 p.m.) and the Tony Monaco Trio (9-10:30 p.m.). Overlapping on Saturday 8-9 p.m. at the Main Stage, there's the B-3-driven Deacon Jones Blues Revue, featuring 11-year-old Detroit guitar prodigy "Guitar Ray" Goren. 


If you like to bop

Former Detroiter Curtis Fuller, on trombone, leads his sextet at the Pyramid on Saturday (3:15-4:45 p.m.), followed by Toots Thielemans with Kenny Werner (5:45-7 p.m.); not to pigeonhole anyone, but you'd expect some bop roots to show strongly. Your best bet for Charlie Parkeresque shows of chromatic velocity may be Cuban saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera and his quintet (Sunday, 7:30-8:45 p.m., Waterfront Stage), even if the trappings are heavily Afro-Cuban. (In that vein of Latin jazz, don't miss Sunday's shows by Los Gatos, at 6-7 p.m., and Sammy Figueroa & the Latin Jazz Explosion, at 7:30-9 p.m., both on the Main Stage.)


If you like outer space ...

Then the must-see is the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, swinging and caterwauling, simultaneously saluting Fletcher Henderson and the ionosphere (Saturday, 7-8:15 p.m., Carhartt Amphitheater Stage). But there's more between hard bop and the space place, including the Grammy-laden octet of bassist Dave Holland, which follows the Arkestra at the Amphitheater at 9:15 p.m. Also in their own orbits, you'll find the Jeff "Tain" Watts 4 and the Joe Lovano Us Five (back-to-back, Amphitheater Stage on Sunday (7:45 and 9:30 p.m.).


If you like World Music

You can barely throw a dart at the schedule without hitting some foreign connection, whether birth (Azerbaijanian pianist Amina Figarova or the Brit bassist Dave Holland) or aesthetic inspiration (Vijay Iyer and the Dave Sharp Seven taking cues from the music of India). In the vital African-connection category don't miss Beninise Angelique Kidjo (saluting South African Miriam Makeba in the "Sing the Truth" program, Friday, 8:45-10 p.m., Main Stage) and homecoming violinist Regina Carter & Reverse Thread (Sunday, 4-5:15 p.m., Waterfront Stage). 


If you want to give the drummer some 

Artist-in-residence Jeff "Tain" Watts (longtime Marsalis clan collaborator) drums with his own group and with the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra. But he's part of a bang-up opening night (Friday, 7-8:15 p.m., Main Stage) with his drum club: vibesman Joe Locke, bassist Robert Hurst and fellow percussionists Susie Ibarra, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Tony Pedro Martinez and (biggest surprise) Tony (longtime Fela Kuti trapsman) Allen.



See full festival schedule at

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