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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;

    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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The best laid plans

How two porn stars turned celebrity homewrecking into celebrity branding

Photo: , License: N/A

Joslyn James and Michelle McGee, living larger after Tiger and Jesse James

Photo: , License: N/A

The Super Bowl is an American institution. It's the one day of the year where Americans come together and focus on common loves: Golf, tattoos, pole dancing and porn. What? You thought football, commercials and halftime shows? Not if you spend your Super Bowl weekend at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, where two of America's most infamous bad girls will be on hand to make every touchdown that much more literal.

Joslyn James and Michelle "Bombshell" McGee are part of a new breed of celebrity. They're famous for sleeping with married dudes. Obviously this kind of name-brand notoriety isn't totally new — Monica Lewinsky, the most famous mistress in recent times, took her tumble with President Clinton in the late '90s. Did scandal ultimately make her famous? Yes — she had a good run of it: book deals, interviews, Jenny Craig ads, a handbag line. But she knew she was riding out scandal, not using it as a platform from which to launch her brand. James and McGee see their scandalous endeavors as a jumping-off point from which all possibilities are open. Between that mind-set and our nation's current "the worse you are, the more famous we'll make you" star-branding policy, there couldn't be a better time for these two women to come hopping out of the beds of those whose shame will bring them fame. This isn't a statement of judgment, this is just acceptance of the current cultural climate. Don't pretend you don't know.

It's easy to put on appearances of disapproval and then purchase, for instance, Joslyn James' The 11th Hole DVD, the Tiger Woods scenario in a no-holes-barred satire, in the privacy of your own home. Because, let's face it: there are two things you love, golf and buying porn on the Internet in the middle of the night.

This interviewer spoke to James briefly regarding her upcoming trek to Motown for Super Bowl weekend (during which she'll do a feature dance wearing a Masters jacket to a song that was written about her affair with Tiger Woods). Knowing she's probably bombarded with Tiger-related questions and not wanting to tread such tired ground, the topic was purposely avoided. The interview was all of one minute in before she brought him up herself.

Metro Times: Have you ever been to Detroit before?

Joslyn James: I was in Lansing not that long ago. ... He used to fly me out there when he had tournaments. ...

MT: "He" meaning Tiger Woods, right?

James: Yes.

So it seems she's perfectly willing to go there. There's no better evidence than The 11th Hole, which tells the story of their affair in intimate detail, complete with graphic text message action. "I made it in May of last year when things were still raw and fresh ... I had a good crew and cast that I hand picked myself, so even though it was hard and emotional, it made it a lot easier." Porno as immersion therapy perhaps?

For a woman who claims that she and Woods sometimes had sex "four or five times a day," it's no shock that she's got stamina and is wasting no time in 2011. "This is going to be a big year for me. I'm working on three different reality shows, I'm building a cosmetics line [Shameless by Joslyn James], designing a line of shirts, the company T.I.T.S. [Two in the Shirt]. I'm also doing a signature line of glass sex toys with the company Dildo Dr. [part of proceeds from each purchase will even go to charity]." That's a lot of brand-building in a short time period. Joslyn James, no matter what heights she may aspire to, will always be most known for her affair with Tiger Woods. But the point is, you can bet your 9 iron she's gonna aspire. And we're gonna cheer her along, aspire along with her. Because this is America.

Not to be outdone
, Michelle McGee calls herself "the world's most notorious mistress." Before you complain that her affair with Jesse James just doesn't seem to rank as high as Bill Clinton or Tiger Woods, just remember that McGee's affair hurt Sandra Bullock. America's sweetheart. Now that's notoriety. Note that McGee has posed with Nazi regalia (she denies she's a racist), and she is tatted from head to toe.

"I don't put that much thought and energy into my tattoos — I go with what looks cool. On one of my shins I have Buddy Christ from the movie Dogma, on the other, I have Hello Kitty getting decapitated." Unlike James, McGee says she keeps it a little more straightforward. "I have a certain look — lots of people come to see me specifically because of the tattoos, so I keep my look simple and basic. Usually fetish — leather and vinyl." This might be the first time a woman has referred to her look as "basic" and "simple" without meaning "sweatpants" and "hoodie." Speaking of hoodie, she's also building her brand with a clothing line — Sin for Sale. You may have seen her most popular shirt — it says "Filthy Whore" across the front. If that one is too tame for you, you can always go with the more straightforward "Evil Cunt." McGee's last visit to Detroit was not so great: "We got stuck in Detroit during that huge blizzard back in December. We were totally stuck in the airport!" But she seems a lot more optimistic about this coming trip. Asked about favorite Detroit music, she said she loves Eminem. "Tell him I said he's hot [wink-wink]. Come to the show!"

Joslyn James and Michelle "Bombshell" McGee will be performing at the Super Bowl Weekend Extravaganza at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, 980 John A. Papalas Dr., Lincoln Park; 313-388-8400. Doors open 7 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 5, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6. No cover until 7 p.m.

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