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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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I love dildos in my butt, but I’m leery of putting them in my vagina

Q:

 I'm 26, straight and male. I consider myself a socially progressive person, have been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues since high school, and was president of my college Gay-Straight Alliance. Here's my issue: I fully support the trans community. I have numerous friends in varying states of transition and I'm 100 percent behind them. But in my own dating life, I wouldn't feel comfortable dating or having sex with a woman who had at one point in her life been a man. I realize I wouldn't be fucking a dude, but it's a mental hurdle I can't clear. All my LGBTQA friends — be they trans, gay, bi — call me a transphobe, because if I were truly on their side, if I truly "understood," then sex with a MTF straight woman would be no different than sex with a cisgender straight woman. Do I have the right to not feel comfortable with the idea (or reality) of having sex with these women and still consider myself a supporter of the trans community? Are my friends being unreasonable by judging me against their schema of appropriate sexuality? Or am I a hypocrite? —Fears Real Activism Undermined [by] Dick

 

A:

 "He's not transphobic — not in my book," says Kate Bornstein, author, performer, "advocate for teens, freaks and other outlaws" and herself a trans woman. "One more thing he's not is straight. Sex-positive, supportive of trans folk and heterosexual? Cool! He's a queer heterosexual — and some of my best friends are queer heterosexuals."

As for your specific issue — you're not attracted to trans women — Bornstein says that by itself isn't evidence of transphobia.

"A queer heterosexual is just as entitled to the fulfillment of their sex and gender desires as anyone else," says Bornstein. "Sometimes those desires depend on the nature of their lover's body. Well, trans people have bodies that are different than cis people's bodies. We're two (or more) mints in one — a physical blend that attracts a lot of people. FRAUD just doesn't happen to be one of them. The fact that he's sensitive to that blending of genders in our bodies does not make him transphobic."

What can you do about it?

"Go have good sex with cis women," says Bornstein. (Don't know what "cis" means in this context? See: tinyurl.com/cisdefine.)

Whatever else you do, FRAUD, Bornstein wants you to stop identifying as straight.

"He's part of our queer tribe," she says. "And who knows? One day, he might meet the right trans person."

And who knows? One day, your cranky LGBTQA friends might accept who you are just as you've accepted them. Make an effort to use "attracted to cis women" in place of "wouldn't feel comfortable dating" trans women, and you'll hasten that day's arrival.

Kate Bornstein's new memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Beacon Press), will be published in the spring. Follow her on Twitter @katebornstein. (Follow me @fakedansavage.)

 

Q:

 I'm a 26-year-old guy in a polyamorous relationship. As this is my first kick at the poly can, I wasn't dying to tell my family, "Hey, I'm dating a married woman!" However, through the magic of Facebook, my brother found out that the girl I'm seeing has a husband. Once I was "busted," I discussed the situation with my sister-in-law. The issue is that my GF and her husband have a 10-year-old son. This isn't an issue for me, but my brother has compared the poly community to drug addicts and stated that CPS should remove my girlfriend's child from her home, etc. My brother and his wife are now threatening to cut me out of their lives — as well as their children's lives, whom I care for a great deal — if I don't dump the girlfriend. Thoughts? —Forced To Pick

 

A:

 Right off the top of my head: Your brother is a shit-smeared asshole, your sister-in-law is an ass-smeared shithole, and they'd be doing you a huge favor if they cut you out of their lives.

Pick the GF, FTP. That might mean you won't see your nieces or nephews for a while, which would be sad for you and bad for those kids (children with crazy, controlling parents need to spend quality time with saner family members). But if you dump your girlfriend at their insistence — if you fail to stand up to them — you will have established a dangerous precedent: Your love life isn't yours to manage, it's theirs, and all your future partners will be subject to their batshittery and scrutiny and, if they disapprove of any future girlfriends (concurrent or subsequent), they will attempt to exercise the veto power you ceded to them during this conflict.

Your brother and sister-in-law are bullies, FTP, and you've got to defend yourself. So long as your GF and her husband aren't doing anything inappropriate in front of their son and they're not placing unfair burdens on their son (they don't expect him to keep secrets, if they're not out about being poly; they don't expect him to be out about his parents being poly, if they are out and he's not comfortable sharing that info with his friends), you need to come to their defense too. And you might want to consult a lawyer now, just in case your brother and sister-in-law call CPS.

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