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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” Also, “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” Because you can have the runs, you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Summer Guide 2012

Summer Highlights

The top picks of events this summer

Photo: Justin Rose, License: N/A

Justin Rose


There's a shadow over a festival that was to have included Detroit saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey as a poet and musician, but there'll be a special tribute to him as the show goes on. Bey was to be part of the Fifth Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue, billed this year as the "Detroit Jazz City Edition," featuring Marion Hayden, James Carter, Sheila Jordan, Regina Carter, Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Amp Fiddler, Dennis Coffey, A. Spencer Barefield, Joan Belgrave and TBA surprises. That's the big attraction on Saturday at Orchestra Hall. Also in the mix, pipa virtuoso (it's a Chinese lute) Wu Man and cellist Eric Jacobsen with the DSO, George Clinton and P-Funk, Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra, Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits. Mainly at Orchestra Hall. Full details at concertofcolors.com.

Porter Robinson

July 13

This electronic music prodigy scored his first big hit with "Say My Name" before he even graduated high school, packing dance floors at clubs he was barely old enough to frequent. Now 19-years-old, the Chapel Hill, NC-based DJ has toured with the likes of Tiësto and Skrillex and earned the commendation of Deadmau5, notoriously picky about endorsing any fellow artists. Robinson mastered his distinct electro house sound while attending high school in a city without much of an electronic scene to speak of — the first time he saw a DJ perform was at a party where he was also on the lineup. The EDM wunderkind wraps up his first headlining tour in metro Detroit at Elektricity, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-599-2212.

Michigan Elvisfest

July 13-14

The annual Michigan Elvisfest offers some of the most entertaining evidence of the King's undying legacy. Beginning in 2000, it's now the largest tribute concert in North America, attracting thousands each year with its lineup of professional tribute artists and reverently rocking atmosphere. In addition to a massive set of rock 'n' roll tunes, this two-day event also features a classic car show and a special gospel hour, not to mention plenty of beer, food and Elvis memorabilia. Attendees can also share a solemn moment at a candlelight vigil commemorating the 33rd anniversary of Presley's death. This spectacle of burnin' love goes down inYpsilanti's Riverside Park, 515 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti. Dressing the part is encouraged; mielvistfest.org for info.

Michigan Jazz Festival

July 15

No details on the lineup at press time, but the 19th festival is a go. Expect a cross section of what the local jazz scene has to offer, about 150 musicians in nearly 30 overlapping combos and big bands on a half-dozen stages. It all takes place at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Road, Livonia; michiganjazzfestival.homestead.com.

Beach House

Beach House

July 18

The Baltimore duo of guitarist-keyboardist Alex Scally and singer-organist Victoria Legrand debuted in 2006 with a self-titled disc of blurry, ethereal dream-pop that instantly made waves in indie music circles thanks to Legrand's hushed, almost somber vocals and Scally's careful instrumentation. Their rep was bolstered even further with 2008's Devotion, which saw Beach House raising its emotive languor to cinematic heights. The upward swing continued with 2010's, Teen Dream and this year's Bloom, a beautiful and shining showcase of the music's understated majesty. With Wild Nothing at 8 p.m. at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; $18 advance.

Elzhi

July 21

Detroit's own Elzhi (aka Jason Powers) accomplished something special in 2011: He remixed Nas' Illmatic — one of the most revered hip-hop albums of all time — into Elmatic, a stunning re-imagining that combined his adoration for the original with fresh invention. Critics were love-struck. It didn't hurt that he was already one of the most respected emcees around, serving on the front lines during Detroit rap battles in the '90s, touring as a member of Slum Village in the '00s, and releasing solo mixtapes that are now underground classics. He's an intelligent word-twister, delivering complicated rhyme schemes with bold clarity. Elzhi is currently on a world tour in support of a new album set to release this fall. Doors at 8 p.m. at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit, 313-961-8961; $10.

Figment

July 21-22

This interactive art festival returns to Detroit for a second year, expanding to two days of no-cost arty fun on Belle Isle. The goal of the volunteer-run event is to provide the community with a free and accessible art experience, with emphasis on works that involve audience participation and blur the lines between creator and spectator. A wide range of art is expected, from music, performance and games to sculpture, site-specific installations and workshops. Last year's projects included everything from interactive storytelling and screenprinting to dance workshops and even the painting of an ice cream truck. FIGMENT was founded in New York in 2007 and now takes place in multiple cities across the country. In Detroit, the fest happens from noon to 6 p.m. on Belle Isle in Detroit; for a map of artworks and schedule of events, visit detroit.figmentproject.org.

Maker Faire

July 28-29

This celebration and showcase of DIY inventiveness has become one of the most anticipated events of the summer, bringing hundreds of exhibitors, demos and workshops to the grounds of the Henry Ford for two days of mind-bending innovation. Attendees can learn how to fix, make, alter and customize everything from kites and bikes to tools and appliances; participate in musical performances and biology projects; and check out arts, crafts, local foodie offerings, student projects, robotics and much more. At the Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; makerfairedetroit.com.

August

Searching for Sugarman

August 3

The career of Detroiter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez begins with his late-'60s discovery in a local bar by producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore. Two trippy Dylanesque discs went nowhere as "Rodriguez" sank into obscurity. Improbably, bootlegs of the debut, Cold Facts, became massively popular anti-establishment anthems in apartheid-era South Africa; meanwhile rumors of an onstage suicide and other fictions shrouded the singer in mystery. Two South African fans set out on a years-long quest to find the stranger-than-rumor truth, and, equally unlikely, their journey is now the centerpiece of a film that won Sundance raves: "mixes detective work with the tale of the bewildering and poignant resurrection." The soundtrack Searching for Sugarman (Light in the Attic/Legacy) drops July 24, just before the film's Detroit debut at the Main Art in Royal Oak.

Childish Gambino

August 3

Comedy whiz kid, actor, Internet sensation, TV star, rapper — Donald Glover's rapidly rising career has many facets. Between TV shows and stand-up gigs, his hip-hop persona Childish Gambino has released several mixtapes featuring foul-mouthed rhymes over indie rock samples, as well as Camp, his debut LP released last year. His rhymes are packed full of pop culture references, but that doesn't detract from the intimate references to his own insecurities. He approaches his own trials and tribulations with humor and honesty, demonstrating a lyrical prowess that proves his foray into music is no joke. At the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5451; tickets start at $25.


Corpus Illuminata II

August 10-11

Corpus Illuminata: An Anatomic Interpretation offers a multifaceted artistic exploration of anatomy, biology, medicine and the human form. Along with anatomy-inspired artworks by an array of international artists, the show also features a display of rare Victorian-era medical equipment and scientific oddities, and demonstrations and lectures on a variety of medical topics. Now in its second year, the event has added a bazaar for the sale and trading of medical antiquities and related items, as well as an auction of particularly obscure and juicy items. Corpus Illuminata takes place from 6 p.m. to midnight both nights at Hastings Street Ballroom, 715 E. Milwaukee St., Detroit; further info at corpusilluminata.org.

Bonnie Raitt with special guest Mavis Staples

August 16

Pops Staples' most talented daughter has been in rare form in recent years, with a crack band that understands what it is to play fervently in support of the star attraction (and echo Pops' eerie guitar tremolo). We suspect that her repertoire is going to keep some of the tunes she worked up for last year's Jeff Tweedy-produced You Are Not Alone. And we can't help to wonder whether she'll join headliner Bonnie Raitt's group for a tune or two (or vice versa). Vocalist and slide guitarist extraordinaire Raitt, like Staples, has been at the top of her game of late.

The Wiyos

August 18

This Brooklyn-based outfit explores the complete range of roots music, from Western swing and old-time country to ragtime and Tin Pan Alley. And while the appropriation of vintage American sounds has become something of a tired fad, the Wiyos' seamless integration of so many styles, combined with their superb musicianship, songwriting and boundless energy, make them something wholly new (yes, new!). Their most recent disc, Twist, is an adventurous Americana opus loosely based on The Wizard of Oz, with tunes sure to benefit from the group's notorious energetic live treatment. At New Center Park, 2998 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; free; newcenterpark.com.

Lamb of God

August 22

Preaching the gospel of real American death metal since the late '90s, Virginia's Lamb of God relies on the standbys of the genre to create their mind-crushing sound — thunderous drumming, smoking riffs and relentless screaming. The raw intensity of their sound is unmatched, although tour mates Dethklok, the virtual band that stars in Adult Swim's Metalocalpyse, come pretty close. Joined by French metal outfit Gojira, the show promises to be the most extreme event of the summer, not to be missed by any self-respecting metalhead. At Compuware Arena, 14900 Beck Rd., Plymouth; 877-271-1280; compuwarearena.com.

Kathy Kosins

August 24

The singer keeps busy on the road with her hometown-area stops too infrequent. This one celebrates her latest disc, To the Ladies of Cool (Resonance), which salutes 1950s jazz stars Anita O'Day, June Christy, Chris Connor and Julie London not by echoing their styles (let alone their mannerisms) but by squeezing Kosin's rather more expressionistic vocals into the cooler trappings these forerunners favored. A flattering fit, and she pulls it off (evoking Frank O'Hara's comparison of good poetry to snug jeans). And while Kosins delivers some of the four songbirds' better-known tunes, she'll also wow you with lesser-known works that sound like they should have been hits. At 8 p.m., Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2999; kerrytownconcerthouse.com. 

Detroit Jazz Festival

August 31-September 5

The Detroit International Jazz Festival is back for its 33rd year. They're marketing themselves to the extended national (and international) jazz community. This year the festival veers toward the hardcore with nary a feint to blues, rock or world fusion to be heard. But the schedule is chock full of the biggest names in jazz: Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, the Chick Corea-Gary Burton team, Wynton Marsalis and Joe Lovano, for instance. Pat Metheny is here, but even he's with one of his jazz-focused lineups (Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez and Ben Williams). Another big change this year is an emphasis on big productions behind local musicians. Charlie Gabriel gets feted for his 80th birthday in addition to his gig with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Marcus Belgrave is featured with an all-star ensemble of comrades and mentees (Curtis Fuller, Kenny Garrett, Geri Allen, Marion Hayden, and Louis Hayes).

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