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  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Cover Story

Top 10s of '10

Notable releases, shows and more put the year in relief

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A

Brian Smith

1. Lloyd Cole, Broken Record (Tapete): Record of the year, man. Rock 'n' roll pop-folk that's full-band perfect; there's sadness, joy, pure wretched heartbreak, self-loathing, drinking and, of course, the glorious piss-takes; from "Writer's Retreat!": "When you head out to the shack in the woods, I won't be there."

2. Band of Horses, Infinite Arms (Columbia): This Southern combo rose the antiquated way: making some indie albums saddled with questionable songwriting and production choices, signing to a major label — only this time for all the right reasons. Horse hit the home-is-where-the-heart-is button and created an absolute stunner that's long on image-rich storytelling and song. Hints of Music from Big Pink, Flannery O'Connor and Levon Helm facial hair are actually welcome here.

3. The Sights, Most of What Follows is True (Alive):Well, we picked the Sights to hit huge back in '05 on their major label release. Ha! In hindsight, it's easy to see how they — well, singer Eddie Baranek — often skated by on charm. Even then, we'd never imagine the rock 'n' roll to have evolved to such lengths as it has here.

4. Bill Withers, +'Justments (Reel Music): Withers' melancholic mojo wasn't easy to sustain after such empathy-rich sides as "Grandma's Hands" and the Still Bill LP, but this 1974 album nearly matched his '71 debut masterstroke, the Booker T.-helmed Just as I Am. Dude's ability to fashion a melancholic narrative into a live-band hip-shake is still unmatched in 2010. Go to the source!

5. Nat King Cole, Love is the Thing (Analogue Productions), Hybrid SACD: It's the power and the grace of the song, of Gordon Jenkins arrangements, of Nat's pure and sometimes eerily florid tone — and to discover this 1957 knee-bender in 2010 is to show you can spend the rest of your life discovering musical beauty made long before you were born. If you have SACD capability, there'll be stardust in your room.

6. Janelle Monáe, The ArchAndroid (Bad Boy): Jesus. Saw her first on TV and lifted the jaw up off the knee. Hers is true showbiz élan, with all the ear-bending sonics, pop ironics and eyebrow-raising sexual tension to match. A huge contemporary pop album to be shamelessly adored.

7. Jamm, Jammë (Now Sounds): For every bad band that's hit pay dirt there are 100 who should've, and if you list the latter from all rock 'n' roll, Jammë and its self-titled, 10-song, John Phillips-produced debut would be perched at or near the top. No joke. It has late-'60s L.A. canyon splendor, airy and suspended on harmonies, youth beat and loud, happy-wristed guitars — there are no bad songs. The quartet, which looked beautifully Dickensian in a sort of tousled, free-love glam way, had shockingly split by the record's belated 1970 release.

8. Ray Charles, The Genius Sings the Blues (Mobile Fidelity): Kudos to the Mobile Fidelity label for killing it with this Hybrid SACD audiophile-ready mono release of the Charles' 1961 classic. Untouchable.

9. Iggy Pop and James Williamson, Kill City (Alive): This hit shelves in 1977, three years after the Stooges. James Williamson's poppy riff-a-rama and Iggy's inner-carnival barker win — Ig was still hawking his own personality, but he'd mastered the essential rock 'n' roll art of self-mockery.

10. Syl Johnson, Complete Mythology (Numero Uno): The last word on career retrospectives. Look, there's four CDs and six LPs to cover a too-often overlooked (but you've heard "Different Strokes" sampled everywhere) singer-crooner, songwriter and producer. This set features Johnson's lovely, blood-pumping soul from his work on Federal, Cha-Cha, Tmp-Ting, Special Agent, and other labels. There's also a 52-page book (coffee-table sized) with a detailed 35,000-word essay on the man. This is history.


Brett Callwood - Top live shows by local bands

1. Negative Approach, St. Andrew's Hall, July 30: They don't play together often nowadays, but when they do, you can be sure they'll crush skulls. This summer evening John Brannon proved himself to be as fierce and frightening as ever, even if the crowd has calmed down a little.

2. Marco Polio & the New Vaccines, Arts, Beats & Eats, Sept. 4: A Marco Polio show is more an experience than a concert, as any unknowing festivalgoers found out in Royal Oak this year. Steve Puwalski grabbed curious onlookers and practically forced them to dance, making AB&E feel like a real festival and not a suburban street fair.

3. Don Was' Detroit Super Session, Concert of Colors, July 17: Each year, Was ropes in a selection of new artists and veterans to play his big Detroit jam as part of the Concert of Colors and, as usual, this year's Super Session was superb. The likes of Marshall Crenshaw and Andre Williams would surely be the highlight of anyone's year.

4. The Sights, Blowout, New Dodge, March 5: The double-header of the Hard Lessons and Eddie Baranek's rejuvenated Sights promised to be one of the highlights of 2010's Blowout, and so it proved to be. The Sights were simply awesome, raising the bar almost impossibly high for the Lessons.

5. Rogue Satellites, New Way, March 20: Jaye Thomas' Rogue Satellites have seen their reputation soar in 2010, and deservedly so. Of the countless shows they played in 2010, this gig at the New Way saw attendees dancing long after the music stopped, which is always a good sign.

6. Hellmouth, St. Andrew's Hall, July 30: On the night of Negative Approach's big reunion show, Hellmouth were the youngest band on the bill. All eyes were on them to see if they were up to the task of playing with the old-school champs. Of course, they demolished.

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