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  • 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.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

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Savage Love

Starting out right

Learning the relationship ropes with a little help from Dan

Q:

 I'm a 17-year-old girl and, in most aspects, I'm confident with myself, my identity and my body. Earlier this year, I met a girl. She had some serious drama at home and needed to get out of her house, so I let her stay at mine. Things went a lot further than I was ready for. I had just had my first kiss the month before and I didn't feel like our relationship was ready for sex, but I went along with it because she never gave me a chance to slow things down or say no.

My feelings for her are gone; she is attractive, but we don't connect. But she has feelings for me. How can I get her to understand, or at least respect, how I feel if she doesn't understand why this was a big deal for me? —Growing Older Youth


A:

 There's a movement in sex-ed circles to replace the old opt-out consent mantra, "No means no," with a new, improved opt-in consent mantra, "Yes means yes." YMY says it's not good enough to wait for the other person to stop the action with a "no," which many people — particularly young people, particularly young girl people — have a hard time doing. You have to get a "yes."

But the kind of person who doesn't give you a chance to say "no," GOY, is unlikely to solicit a "yes." Which is why we all need to advocate for ourselves in the moment.

And you failed to do that, GOY — you failed to advocate for yourself in the moment.

I don't say that to make you feel bad or to shift the blame onto your shoulders, GOY, I say it because we've all been there. Most confident, sexually active adults can point to an early experience that went too far, too fast, a sexual encounter that left us feeling the way you did after you had sex with this girl. And it's possible to walk away from an experience like that — one that left you feeling shitty and powerless — feeling empowered to advocate for yourself in uncomfortable sexual situations in the future, GOY, provided you learn the right lesson.

Here's the wrong lesson: "I'm a total fuck-up who can't speak up for myself when I'm having sex, so I'd better not have sex again. Ever." That's bullshit, GOY, and what's worse, that kind of thinking can make a person more vulnerable the next time she winds up in bed with an insensitive jerk. Here's the right lesson: "I don't have to wait for someone to give me a 'chance' to say no. I can and will say no whenever I want to. I'm not going to let this happen to me again because I never want to feel this way again. Ever."

As for the girl, GOY, tell her straight up that you don't have feelings for her. And tell her why: Things went too far, too fast, and the sex ruined it for you. Don't sugarcoat things to avoid hurting her feelings, GOY, because she's got a lesson to learn too. Hers goes like this: "I didn't ask the person I was with — someone I really liked — if she was cool with what we were doing, and I totally fucked myself out of what could've been a really great relationship. I'm not going to do that to anyone again. Ever."


Q:

 I'm a 16-year-old bisexual guy. I have been in a long-distance relationship since September. My girlfriend — let's call her "Selena" — and I have a good relationship, but, both of us being bisexual, we have discussed the possibility of having relationships with same-gender partners on the side. I recently attended my city's LGBTQ prom. There, I met a 17-year-old guy who I found somewhat attractive. I gave him my number, and he has been texting me often, which makes me feel both uncomfortable and enthralled.

Some of the texts that "Dave" has sent me were sexual in nature. He lives very close to where I do. I am a virgin — both genders considered — and the idea of sex right now makes me uneasy. But I am interested. Still, sex scares me at this point, and I don't think I'm ready. As such, this afternoon, I told Dave that I felt we were moving too fast. He agreed.

I suppose I have two questions:

1) I am worried about the outcome should I tell Selena about my "crush." I feel inhibited. How do I bring it up?

2) How can I have a good relationship with Dave in a nonsexual way? I like him a lot, but is friendship too much to ask since he is sexually active and I am not? —Not Agreeable Intervals

P.S. — My apologies if this problem is a bit juvenile.


A:

 Your answers, in order:

1) Openly, honestly, directly and without hesitation.

It might help if you remind yourself — again and again — that while the stakes may feel high right now, NAI, they're actually quite low. It sounds like your relationship with Selena has allowed you to explore the emotional and social aspects of dating without any sexual pressures or expectations. And that's been good for you, NAI, and you'll be bummed when your relationship with Selena ends. But you shouldn't be too bummed: There just aren't a lot of adults out there who are still dating — or who are married to — the folks they were dating in high school. (There are some, of course, just as there are some 90-year-old pack-a-day smokers.) So your relationship with Selena is most likely destined to end at some point. And if a conversation about Dave prompts Selena to end things, well, your relationship with Selena was destined to end at some point, right?

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