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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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College Guide 2012

Want to survive college?

One grad's advice: Join a band, get out of town

I am declaring war on "The College Experience."

No, I am not talking in the vein of Rick Santorum, who apparently hates the idea of giving every child the opportunity to attend college. (You may recall this past May at a Tea Party rally in Troy, the then-presidential hopeful hurled an onslaught of words toward President Barack Obama, calling him "a snob" for "wanting everyone to go to college.")

See, I like college — big fan of learning over here. But, as a recent graduate, I can say I have some underlying concerns with the full-time experience of being sequestered in the halls of academia. I feel there is something intuitively wrong with an incoming student mainlining the socially accepted reasoning for going to college: the secure career.

I sweated it out behind the pages of books I would never care to read again, but I made sure to find time to breathe fresh air that wasn't tainted by the worries of a passing grade. We are here to learn, and the added help a degree offers in landing a job later on in life is the extra bonus. It is certainly not life or death, though.

Moreover, college is supposed to be "the best time of your life," right? Right?

A 2009 survey from the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment found that one of every four students will feel so depressed they'll find it hard to function; 47 percent will experience overwhelming anxiety, and a whopping 84 percent will feel overwhelmed by everything they have to do.

And there is no better place to examine in fine detail the overwhelming sensation of the college experience than a university library during finals week, or, more appropriately, Hell Week.

Students pounding books, notes and PowerPoint presentations can be seen fending off fears of failure by studying the night away while flying high on cup after cup of coffee and, in some cases. Adderall. Giving students a good head start on life? Hmmm?

Where's the time-of-your-life fun? Is there indeed still value in attending college? The Washington Monthly recently reported on a poll that found 41 percent of Americans find college to not carry as much value as it did 20 years ago. The cost is going up and more are finding less worth in the process.

So, is college the beautiful last hurrah that bridges the gap between high school and becoming an adult? Or is it a glorified, extended version of high school — one that still subjects a student to exams, projects and a boatload of homework all in the name of a piece of paper and a boost to your résumé.


The Exorcist.

It is not as unreasonable as it seems, even considering the potential costs of a short jaunt and the procrastination of schoolwork. (If anybody were to tally how much time they spend avoiding their studies on a daily basis, well, that should be the least of concerns.)

One good example was before the start of fall 2011 semester: I went camping in the Upper Peninsula with a friend for a week. I slept on the shores of Lake Superior, hiked through Pictured Rocks Lakeshore and saw the Lake in the Clouds of the Porcupine Mountains. The cost of renting campsites, food and gas was somewhere around $300.

This summer, a band I play guitar in toured the West Coast — my first time seeing that part of the United States — for 24 days. Gas was covered by what we made at the shows, we stayed at houses, camped and slept in the van, eliminating any lodging costs. So I had to personally account for food and anything else I may have wanted to do: Again, it was roughly $300 to do so.

The point?  I'm trying to say it's necessary to get away, away from the constraints of daily life. Experience the real world in order to better prepare for life after school and to actually enjoy learning if you do want to attend college.

Want something small-scale? A day trip to Chicago or Cincinnati make for a much more memorable time than racking up an impressive bar tab. (Gather a party of four and a reliable vehicle; you'll be looking at maybe $30-$40 depending on your spending habits.) 

Each time, as soon as I got back in the grind, though, the same exasperated feelings would return, and I'd be eager to flesh out the next set of travel plans. I've found nothing resolves stress better than being absolutely removed from it.

I fail to understand how universities can make the case they appropriately prepare their student body for the realities of life with such a consistently strenuous undertaking.

With a full-time class schedule and workload, I've developed an ability to juggle and appropriately budget my expenses — a necessary trait for survival later on in life — but, at many points, I've completely lacked a feeling that what I was doing was truly beneficial and worthwhile.

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