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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, […]

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  • 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 […]

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Savage Love

Split shifts vs. love life

She’s on days, he’s on nights. How can that work

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Q:

 My younger brother and I are close. He came out of the closet last year, although it wasn't much of a surprise because everyone knew he was gay since forever. Everyone is happy he's out because it kind of takes the elephant out of the room, and our immediate and extended family are all really supportive. But for the last six to nine months or so, he's been really depressed about not ever having had a boyfriend. He's 21 and he's always talking about how he wants to find a boy to be with in a relationship — and not just for sex — but he says it's impossible for him to meet said boy.

Me being straight, the only advice I've ever been able to give him is to just try new things and that way you'll meet new people, as really that's the only advice you can give someone who's looking to meet a potential partner. My brother, however, framed his issue to me in a way I've never really thought of — which is that only a small fraction of the population is gay, and an even smaller fraction of that may be compatible with him, so meeting new people for a gay guy is actually a lot harder than it is for straight people.

He's been on the whole online dating thing for a while, but said it's really difficult to meet anyone who he feels a connection with. I've never done online dating, but I have heard the same points from others who've tried it. I asked him if he ever goes to gay bars, because that would obviously change the ratios around, but apparently it's a little insensitive for a straight guy to say that, and he said he's not really into that scene. Anyway, I just wish I could give him some good advice without being unintentionally offensive (the gay bar suggestion). I'd still like to offer him any advice I can for him to meet a guy he feels strongly about. —Seeking Advice For Family


A:

 There are 3.5 billion men on the planet.

Even if we accept the lowest educated guesstimate of the percentage of the population that's gay — 1.7 percent — that means your brother has nearly 60 million potential romantic partners to choose from worldwide; he has 2.5 million potential romantic partners in the United States alone. Other informed guesstimates of the percentage of the population that's gay are much, much higher — seven or eight times higher — so your brother's odds of finding a partner are probably much better. But let's put that 1.7 percent figure in perspective: Jews represent just 1.7 percent of the population of the United States. So even if the percentage of the population that's gay is "just" 1.7 percent, your brother has the, um, same cross to bear — and the same odds of success — as an American Jew who wants to marry another American Jew.

It sounds like your brother is going through a common if rarely discussed stage of the coming-out process: Wallow in Self Pity and Bite the Head Off Anyone Who Tries to Help. That's why he was offended by your perfectly reasonable, not at all offensive suggestion that he get out there and hit some gay bars. Yes, the bars aren't for everyone. But if you're single and want to meet people — gay or straight — you need to be moving on all fronts: online dating, hitting bars and clubs, volunteering, and just generally getting out of the fucking house.

Your brother is 21 years old and he just came out, SAFF, and his frustration is understandable. He's been watching his straight peers (and his straight brothers) hook up and fall in love since middle school and he feels anxious to make up for lost time. But he won't find that first boyfriend if he isn't willing to put himself out there — and that means giving the guys he meets online a chance, giving the bars a chance, and giving the people who are trying to help him out a break.


Q:

 My girlfriend of two and a half years and I are ready to move in together. Finally! I am so excited to take this next step, and so is she. The problem is that I work third shift four to five nights a week and she works a regular day job. I can't help but feel that we aren't going to get the full experience of living together with our work situations being what they are. I won't be waking up every morning to her saying, "Good morning, beautiful," etc. What can we do to make this a better situation and take advantage of the next step? Thanks. —The Next Step


A:

 Here's a tip, TNS: Don't spend too much time comparing your actual relationship, which will always be shaped by circumstances not fully in your control (like your work schedules), to your idealized notions about what a romantic relationship should look like. That only ensures constant disappointment. Don't get me wrong: Once you move in with your girlfriend, there will be days that begin with her rolling over and saying, "Good morning, beautiful." But there will also be days that begin with your girlfriend rolling over and farting. The trick to loving your LTR is to fully appreciate the moments that rise to the level of your romantic ideals ("Good morning, beautiful") without obsessing about those moments that disappoint (split shifts, ripped farts). Good luck!


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