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  • 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.

  • 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.

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Savage Love

Spare us normals

If you have a low sex drive, please choose an equally unhorny partner

Q: I read your column every week, mostly out of abstract interest. My thoughts reading your advice are usually some variation on, "Wow, that's a lot of work to do, just to have a sex life." So reading you, I came to the conclusion that I was asexual. I liked this conclusion, as it was a sexual identity that made sense for me.

Then I joined an asexual community. I soon realized that I was unlike those people too. It turns out that they have no sexual attractions either way, whereas I comfortably identify as a straight male. I look when a pretty girl walks past (much to the chagrin of an asexual I dated for a short time), I like to kiss, and I enjoy some genital contact — but I'm in the mood for penetration very rarely. Asexuals seemed to be turned off by physical intimacy.

I soon realized that asexual was the wrong label for me. In reality, what I am is minimally sexual.

Here's the question: How do normally sexual persons feel about being with someone who can perform but doesn't particularly want to? I know that being in a relationship means making compromises, but will a normally sexual person accept a partner who is able to have sex but does not wish to for certain reasons, e.g., a lack of confidence or stamina. Can a person please a partner without pleasing said partner in the euphemistic sense? —Not Sexual, Not Asexual

A: It should come as no shock to someone who reads my column every week — or any other advice column — that there are lots of people out there who want to be in relationships but don't particularly want to have sex. We don't usually hear directly from these "minimally sexual" types. Instead, we hear from their maximally unhappy partners, i.e., the "normally sexual persons" who find themselves unhappily married to or otherwise stuck with minimally sexual persons.

With all the minimally sexuals out there making normally sexuals miserable, NSNA, it should be obvious to all regular readers that there's not exactly a shortage of people who aren't interested in sex. With that being the case, why would you even contemplate inflicting yourself on a normally sexual person? Why not go find another minimally sexual person? You'll be doing your minimally sexual self a favor, you'll be doing your future minimally sexual partner a favor, and you'll be doing all normally sexual persons everywhere a favor by removing two minimals — you and your future partner — from the dating pool.

Unless you're more interested in sex than you let on, NSNA, and you find the idea of a normally sexual partner appealing because a normal might be able to help you build your confidence and learn to enjoy sex. I certainly hope you're not another asexual or minimally sexual person who wants a normally sexual partner because you take a perverse pleasure in depriving someone else of sex, constantly rejecting that person's advances, and ultimately destroying their confidence.


Q:
I'm a 22-year-old queer chick who came out only a couple years ago. Right when I was starting to talk honestly with my friends about my sexuality, I met a girl with whom I got along great. Fairly quickly, we both realized that she wanted the relationship to go further — she says this was the first time she had ever been attracted to another girl. I was not at all attracted to her, so I said something about being too unstable myself in the coming-out process to date someone who's also just coming out. It worked, she dropped it, and we have since become extremely close friends. She began identifying openly as bi, and identifies me as the reason.

Here's the problem: Yesterday, out of the blue, she told me that she still really likes me and thinks we should be together. Dan, this girl is really important to me, but I am still not at all physically attracted to her. Am I a totally superficial a-hole? What can I tell her that won't ruin this friendship? How can I make it clear that I don't feel the same way without giving the actual reason? —Can't We Just Be Friends

A: "I'm too unstable in the coming-out process to date someone who's also just coming out," is a baby-dyke variation on, "I'm just not ready for a relationship right now." Unfortunately, CWJBF, not everyone on the receiving end of that white lie is smart enough to realize that their white liar actually means "I'm not interested in being in a relationship with you and I never will be."

This poor girl waited until you were further along in the coming-out process to ask you out again because she was foolish enough to believe you when you blamed bad timing. Now you're going to have to tell her the truth — yes, you're going to have to give her the actual reason — and the hurt is going to be worse when she realizes what a fool she was to wait.

Apologize for not being direct when she first asked you out. Tell her you love her as a friend but you're not attracted to her sexually or romantically and never will be. Leveling with her won't make you an a-hole, CWJBF, but it could cost you this friendship.


Confidential to the University of Maryland:
I was supposed to speak on your campus last Thursday night, but God had other plans. I was at the Cornerstone Bar when the blizzard really started slamming and power lines started catching fire and all hell broke loose. The evening's most distressing development: The bar had to stop serving once the power went out.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to coming back to your campus — the Savage Love Live event is being rescheduled and may take place this week — and, when I return, I'd really like to meet the person responsible for some graffiti I spotted in the men's room at the Cornerstone: "Don't Raw Dog a Random."

That has to be the most effective peer-to-peer safer-sex message I've ever read while taking a piss in Maryland. It did take me a second to work out exactly what it meant, as I'm old, so here's a quick translation for other olds: "Don't raw dog a random" means "For heaven's sake, don't engage in unprotected vaginal intercourse — don't have sex without a condom — with a woman you've only just met, particularly if you met her in this drinking establishment. Bro."

It's not a fail-safe strategy for avoiding sexually transmitted infections — people can get very specific STIs from completely nonrandom sex partners — but the number of STIs could be cut dramatically if all male college students everywhere refrained from raw-dogging those lovely lady randoms and vice versa. (I realize that "random" is not gendered ... but if you saw this bar, you would know that an exclusively heterosexual clientele can be safely assumed. A straight boy wrote that message, and he was addressing other straight boys, and "random" refers to female pickups, not male pickups.)

I want to add that I was particularly impressed by the use of the word "random" in place of, say, "bitch," "slut," "whore" or any of the other sexist, hostile, demeaning terms that college-town-bathroom-stall-graffitiing types typically use in place of "woman," "female," or "young lady coed." Well done, DIY safe-sex educator!

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