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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

Top 10s of '10

Notable releases, shows and more put the year in relief

Photo: , License: N/A

Photo: , License: N/A

7. Rhythm Corps, Arts, Beats & Eats, Sept. 4: The hair may be a little smaller than it was in their '80s prime, but the Rhythm Corps were still able to put in a set of nostalgia-fueled joy on the main stage of Arts, Beat & Eats this year.

8. Goober & the Peas, Ferndale DIY Festival, Sept. 17: Yet another reunion show, but who can deny the fun that will inevitably be had at a Goober show. Goober will prance, gurn and high-kick through the whole thing, and they turned a mid-September evening in Ferndale into a hoedown.

9. The Ruiners, Paycheck's, April 10: The Ruiners are undeniably one of the best live bands in Detroit, and they proved that over and over again this year. This Paychecks show in April was just one of the good ones.

10. Pink Lightning, the Belmont, Aug. 27: Pink Lightning is definitely going to be one of the bands to watch for 2011, thanks in no small part to live performances like this one. There's a Gogol Bordello-ish, gypsy feel to their frenetic punk rock that turns every one of their shows into a party. Keep an eye out for them.


Brett Calwood: Best albums

1. Electric 6, Zodiac (Metropolis): Dick Valentine and his Electric 6 are getting pretty damned good at this songwriting business, and this year's Zodiac is simply flawless. The cover of the Spinners' "The Rubberband Man" is spectacular, but it's no better than their original stuff. Take a bow, boys.

2. Eminem, Recovery (Shady): Not only does Eminem admit that his last two albums were below par, he admits it in the form of rap on his new album. That takes some balls, but then nobody ever accused Slim of having tiny testes. Thankfully, Recovery sees the rapper back to his best.

3. The Brought Low, Third Record (Small Stone): As ever, Detroit's own Small Stone records released some great albums this year, including releases by Sasquatch and Solace. The Brought Low top the pile though, with an album that straddles the line between hairy stoner rock and dirty blues.

4. Slash, Slash (EMI): Slash packed his debut solo album with guests, from Fergie to Ozzy, and while the results are mixed, the good songs outweigh the average. He gets extra marks for including Detroiters, Iggy Pop and Kid Rock, on the two best songs.

5. Gogol Bordello, Trans-Continental Hustle (Columbia / DMZ): These gypsy punks continued to spread the gospel of their stomp-heavy party music this year, and their latest album delivers the goods in fine style. Not many bands make the accordion sound cool, but these raggedy-assed, moustachioed crazies do.

6. Deftones, Diamond Eyes (Warner / Reprise): Forget the term "nu-metal."The Deftones left that behind years ago (even if the likes of Korn didn't). Rather, Chino and his crew have continued to evolve and put out challenging, hard-hitting and emotional (as opposed to "emo") metal albums like this one.

7. Tracy Kash Thomas, Sound Truth (Cytra): Local lass Tracy Kash Thomas was like a breath of fresh air when she unleashed this gem of an album earlier this year. Honest, heart-wrenching and very real, Sound Truth hasn't been heard by nearly enough people. It might not change your life, but it'll add some perspective.

8. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (Merge): There's really little left to be said about the Arcade Fire that millions of hipsters haven't already said. However, this time it's safe to believe the hype. The Suburbs might not be as good as the previous two albums, but it is still inspiring enough to make this list.

9. Ratt, Infestation (Roadrunner / Loud & Proud): On the contrary, few hipsters are talking about Ratt and that's OK with Ratt fans. Infestation came out of the blue after years of average solo releases and on-again-off-again reunions, but against all odds, it's a beauty. Who saw that coming?

10. Switchblade Justice, Let's Destroy The World Tonight (Real Punk Radio): Right at the tail-end of the year, these local rockabilly-inspired punks smashed one out of the park. Switchblade Justice is part Misfits, part Social D, and all class. Best of all, they play out a lot all over town so you can catch them at a venue near you soon.


Bill Holdship

1 Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (Merge): It's not often that rock grandiosity equals genuine rock grandeur — but Win Butler and crew managed to deliver the "art"-rock goods for the third time in a row with a concept album (what a concept!), assuring their place in music history as one of the finest bands of the new millennium. Spend a little time with this and the hooks are there, be they reminiscent of the Velvets, Yoko Ono or a Bizarro World Raspberries. In spades.

2. MGMT, Congratulations (Columbia): Overnight sensations throw caution to the wind and deliver a psychedelic bubblegum masterpiece that immediately takes a place on rock's rich tapestry. The title track sounds like what might have happened if Brian Wilson and Robbie Robertson had fronted the Band together, following that excursion to England with Mr. Dylan.

3. Bruce Springsteen, The Promise (Columbia): These songs just aren't outtakes from Springsteen's best album, which, of course, means one of rock's all-time greatest albums. They actually constitute a terrific "new" double album on its own terms, the missing link between Darkness and The River and probably better than the latter. The optional Darkness box set, which includes this two-disc set among its treasures, is pretty damn terrific as well.

4. Roky Erickson with Okkervill River, True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti-): Welcome to his nightmare. With the help of album producer and backup bandleader Will Sheff, the psychedelic rock pioneer has crafted the closest he'll probably ever get to an autobiography on his first new album in 14 years. Harrowing in the memory of the demons that plagued him but equally life-affirming in the redemption he's found via love and family, not to mention Buddy Holly riffs and the Byrds-meets-BOC minor-chord glory of "Goodbye Sweet Dreams.

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