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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Opening Day Issue

The team's team

Ever wonder who supports your Tigers? Now you can collect them all!

Photo: MT Photos: Casey O'Neil, License: N/A

MT Photos: Casey O'Neil

2011 Opening Day Issue

Manager Jim Leyland, the coaching staff and the players have to worry about the hitting, catching and throwing.

The Tigers front office staff has to worry about everything else.

Players' contracts, the shade and thickness of the grass on the playing field, what Tigers clothes fans can buy, what souvenir giveaways they get at certain games, whether the first aid stations are staffed, and if ushers are all in their proper places, for just a few of the thousands of possible examples.

At Metro Times, we leave the Opening Day on-the-field features and analysis to the sportswriting experts — and instead bring you a glimpse of the team that makes the rest of the magic happen, juggling countless operations that all make Opening Day the unofficial Detroit holiday it is.

Mike Smith, Director, Baseball Operations
10th Detroit Opening Day

Previous teams:
Florida Marlins and Peninsula Pilots, a college summer league team.

Job duties:
Arbitration, contracts, work with scouts, statistical work, trade work, Major League Baseball rules and regulations, MLB drug testing, assisting with negotiations and finances.

What that means:
"I'm helping build a baseball team."

Equivalent position on the diamond or dugout:
Bench coach

Training for current position:
Undergraduate degree in geology and geophysics with a concentration in the atmosphere and oceans.


Heather Nabozny, Head Groundskeeper
13th Detroit Opening Day

Minor League affiliation:
West Michigan White Caps for five years.

Job duties:
To make the grass grow to Major League Baseball-worthy standards, to ensure the infield is covered in inclement weather, to keep the dugout, the bullpens and the umpires' tunnel clean.

Six full-time seasonal workers, a pool of 45 that rotates for game days.

Recent "injuries":
Increase in special events held on field and the sulfur pellets that ignite the post-game fireworks and then fall on the field and burn out the grass.

Comerica Park field conditions compared to Tiger Stadium:
"From an agronomic standpoint, it's a lot healthier for the grass. We have good air movement here, we don't have too many problems with shading. At Tiger Stadium the walls were really high and it stayed cold in there until June, then it stayed hot until September. ... At Comerica Park, we typically don't have to use any colorant for the turf because it gets warm nice and early in the spring."


Janine Kurpiel, Retail Director, Sportservice, Comerica Park
2nd Detroit Opening Day

Minor League Experience:
Four years with Minor League independent team in Gary, Ind., three years with Philadelphia's Triple-A team.

Reporting time on Opening Day:
4 a.m.

Job duties:
Buying Tigers merchandise for sale at the park, working with designers for new products.

Best seller of the 2010 season:
The Tiger Claw; new in green for this year.

Best prospect for 2011:
The toaster that lightly burns a "D" on the bread

Likely fan favorite for 2011:
The new 6,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Comerica Park.


Eli Bayless, Director of Promotions and In-Game Entertainment
10th Detroit Opening Day

Current duties:
"All the fun and games that fans experience at the ballpark." Music, scoreboard content, national anthem performances, ceremonial first pitches, gate giveaways and Paws, the mascot.

Previous team:
San Francisco Giants

Biggest competition:
"Ourselves." Fans can watch games on high-def TV or online, which is much cheaper than being at Comerica Park. "We need people to leave saying, 'That was so much more than a ballgame. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait to come back.'"

2011 forecast:
31 giveaways, 17 special events, 16 post-game fireworks shows.


Mike Healy, Vice President, Park Operations
7th Detroit Opening Day

Baseball Metaphor for Job:
Clean-up hitter

Facilities, HVAC, tradesworkers, grounds crew, ushers, first aid, security; upward of 800 employees during the playing season.

His season:

Other Positions:
Vice president of civic relations and event logistics at Olympia Entertainment.

Pre-game ritual:
Supervises walk-throughs of Comerica Park starting nine days before the home opener. Makes sure plumbing works, lights come on, seats are intact, bunting is hung, carpet is cleaned, beer signs are properly installed and other tasks most of the fans probably, unfortunately, won't think about twice.


Rofeal Daniels, Event Operations Manager
9th Detroit Opening Day

Current duties:
Oversee ushers, organize rides and games, other crowd-pleasing aspects of Comerica Park.

Previous position:
Crowd management and general security for Detroit Tigers.

Favorite part of job:
"Just coming to the ballpark every day."

Does he ever see action:
"You've got to check on your staff, and it just so happens my staff is out near the field."

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