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  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race

    If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.

    The post Poll shows Bob Ficano behind in Wayne County Executive race appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • A Mad Decent Mixtape

    Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others.  Listen to it here. 

    The post A Mad Decent Mixtape appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders

    Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.

    The post Tangent Gallery to host Breaking Borders appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space 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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