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  • 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 […]

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  • Passalacqua debut dark new 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 […]

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  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

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  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

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  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

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Summer Guide 2012

Summer Highlights

The top picks of events this summer

Photo: Justin Rose, License: N/A

Justin Rose


Scott Gwinnell Dectet

June 14

The pianist-bandleader-arranger salutes one of Detroit's cultural wellsprings in his new release The Cass Corridor Project, forthcoming on Mack Avenue records. This is part of the 25th annual Music on the Plaza series, a presentation of the Grosse Pointe Village Association, every Thursday through Aug. 2 at the corner of Kercheval and St. Clair (or, in the case of rain, at Maire Elementary School, two blocks west at 740 Cadieux). Later acts include Alvin Waddles, Johnnie Bassett, Ron Kischuk's Masters of Music — with Shahida Nurullah. See for the full list. (And if you miss Gwinnell's ensemble here, their dance card includes Cliff Bell's on June 16 and several other nights through the summer.)

Jazzin' on Jefferson

June 15-16

Jazzin' on Jefferson began as a spirited initiative to unite Detroit's lower east side, celebrating its vibrant history with a weekend full of music and food. Now in its ninth year, the outdoor fest features 30 jazz, blues and soul acts including Johnnie Bassett, Chris Codish, the Rootsologists, Gigi Mack and urban youth orchestra Urban Stringz II.  In an interesting twist, the fest is going to forego traditional carnival fare, instead featuring local entrepreneurs from FoodLab Detroit selling fresh, healthy creations. Also new this year, late night pop-up jazz joints will open inside empty storefronts after the fest closes, letting festival-goers keep the party going while getting a sneak peak inside some historic buildings. The free fest happens on Jefferson Avenue between Marlborough and Ashland streets in Detroit; see for more info.

200 Years

June 20

A musical collaboration between Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Elisa Ambrogio of Magik Markers, 200 years relies primarily on acoustic guitars and vocals to create quietly mesmerizing music. The hushed tunes are occasionally supplemented with hints of electronic guitars, accordion and pipe organ, but for the most part, the power of the music lies in its delicate minimalism. Ambrogio's soft vocals demonstrate the beauty and power that can be found in gentleness, and her quiet voice and the lush imagery of her lyrics serves as a perfect counterpoint to Chasny's guitar. 200 Years released its self-titled debut last year; the duo perform in support of it at the Destroy Compound, 5984 Lincoln, Detroit; with Dead Machines, M.U.G. House Unit and DJ Mike Connelly.

Detroit River Days Festival

June 22-24

The Sixth Annual Detroit River Days Festival is especially boisterous this year, with more than 75 street performers and musical acts taking over the Detroit RiverWalk for the three-day event. The lineup includes national acts Kansas, Boys II Men and the Whispers, as well as a wide range of local talent, from Ty Stone and Thornetta Davis to the Howling Diablos, Luis Resto and the Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Orchestra. But the music is just the soundtrack to the party of buskers, which includes magicians, fire artists, circus performers and break dancers. A 5K run, tall ships, poochapalooza pet walk, kids' activities, carnival rides, jet ski demos and riverboat tours are also on the agenda; see for more info. The fest closes just in time for the annual Target Fireworks, which light up the sky Monday, June 25.

"Images" from Detroit's Cass Corridor

June 23

It's a great time for a 101 course on the last half-century of Detroit art. Kathryn Brackett Luchs and Shaun Bangert's film is hyped as "a tense visual montage combining original silent footage with new information and bringing to light the mood and art of the time." The time discussed is the '60s and '70s, when Cass Corridor artists were setting the stage for much of the Detroit art that would follow. Included in the film are such artists as John Egner, Steve Foust, Michael Luchs, Nancy Mitchnick, Gordon Newton, Ellen Phelan, Paul Schwarz and Robert Sestok. Just so happens that some of those artists are on display a block away at the N'Namdi Center in the show Menage a Detroit: Three Generations of Expressionist Art in Detroit 1970-2012, with Cass Corridor artists like Sestok and Newton in the first generation. Some of the figures of the film and Menage overlap again with Jim Pallas' amazing exhibit of 16 portraits Art Giants in Detroit, also the N'Namdi Center. "Images" is a one-night, free-admission event at 8 p.m. on June 23, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (with a soundtrack by the late Mick Vranich), at 4454 Woodward, Detroit; 313-832-6622. Menage and Giants show through July 21 at N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700. Jim Pallas gives an artist talk about his work at 6 p.m. on June 21 at the N'Namdi Center.

Cinema Barbecue

June 23

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