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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” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but 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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Cover Story

The party at the end of the world

From Burning man to Detroit in time for the rapture

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: Photo: Travis R. Wright, License: N/A

Photo: Travis R. Wright

In the dragon's mouth: Artist Ryan C. Doyle

Doyle watched for a moment, remarking, "They're a good crew."

But on this day, after dangerous stunts without any injuries, and after burning whole half palettes all night without harm, Doyle becomes a casualty. Bitten by a spooked dog, he breaks two fingers and picks up nine stitches, as well as a few hours at Detroit Receiving Hospital. For a while, it seems Doyle won't be able to go pick up "The Regurgitator" from Newark, N.J., and the irony is literally painful.

Waiting for the end of the world

Doyle's hand has healed up, and the trip to pick up the pulse jet is back on track. But things get more complicated on Sunday, when Canilao and Bartlett spend a night in jail after participating in a community revitalization project. Despite their energetic efforts to clean up the city — with a view toward providing children's art programs similar to those they were already doing in the Bay Area — the two take a break after 16 hours of neighborhood cleanup and visit an abandoned school building — considering perhaps buying it for future projects — when they're arrested by DPS security. They are released Monday morning after a local attorney intercedes on their behalf. Unfortunately, charges of entering without owners' permission may be pending, and it's ironic, given the twosome's sincere attitude and dedication to improving the city. For the moment, though, it seems it was just a minor roadblock on the way to Saturday's party.

Because, despite their urban spelunking, the goal for this confederation of artists is to create a serious art space, where Doyle and crew can make work for international shows while taking a few apprentices under their wing. He says he's open to other volunteers to come in and work on art projects, so he can tour with the dragon and show it while having a crew run shop as an art studio and workshop. Much like the way he learned laboring for other artists, he's trying to pass on knowledge about welding, forming, cutting and shaping metal safely. At the new artist hostelry, he hopes artists can come, stay a month, and do a show. He's following in the footsteps of others, such as Flynn, who left San Francisco eight years ago to came back to Detroit, buy a building, and work as a machinist-fabricator-artist.

Doyle just says he's been lucky. Coming up as unconventional, anti-capitalist, anti-sellout type of artist, he never had a business plan, especially in art school, feeling the pressure to keep his art pure. He's never applied for grants, and instead would just send a proposal to someone he met at a party. Through it all, his setup was grassroots via his travels.

It just evolved, leaving him free from day jobs, able to work part time and focus on his fantastic whims. Of the DIY ethic, Doyle says, "I don't want to say, 'Fake it till you make it,' but you can try it and fail and keep it up until you succeed. Don't say you can't do it. It's easy to learn from other people."

Rapture, Detroitus' studio-warming party and art show will feature "Gon-KiRin," "The Regurgitator," Andrew H. Shirley and William Thomas Porter's "Fuck Bike," videos of the radioactive carnival ride and installations and performances from Monica Canilao, Wolfgang Paperchase, Franco and Eva Mattes, as well as performances from bands Apetechnology, Tornado and Smoke Signal, as well as local DJs Jerry P., Black Lid and DJ Dirty Finger from Brooklyn. In the back of the Russell Industrial Center, on Clay Street at the railroad tracks, exhibition and barbecue at 7 p.m., bands and DJs at 9 p.m.; $5 admission.

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