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    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

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    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Cover Story

Feel the Music

Just because they’re deaf doesn’t mean their world is without music

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Getting his name out there was a challenge. Forbes was used to people telling him no.

“There is prejudice out there,” Forbes says. “People have told me my entire life that I was not going to make it in the music industry, and that only fueled the fire even more. I didn’t sit back and listen to ‘No, no you can’t, Sean, it’s not going to happen. You need to continue college and get a 9-to-5 job.’ I really had to make this happen for myself.”

Forbes’ big break came when he bumped into Joel Martin, Eminem’s publisher, at the Detroit Music Awards. They exchanged emails, and Forbes eventually found himself in Martin’s studio.

“He had a video of myself signing two Eminem songs, ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ and ‘Lose Yourself,’ Forbes says. “I went over to the studio and Eminem was sitting there with his engineers and his producers. They loved it.”

Martin decided to hire Forbes as an intern at the studio. He helped put Forbes on the map after watching his music video “I’m Deaf,” a song Forbes verbally raps while performing in ASL. Cartoonish lyrics dance across the screen while he rhymes, another visual aspect that makes the music more entertaining for the deaf and hard of hearing. His lyrics are witty and play on his deafness: “I’d rather not hear, rather not listen, I’m the perfect imperfection, never restricted.”

“Just from that one song, I signed a record deal,” Forbes says.

Although Forbes considers himself a musician rather than a rapper, his current projects focus strictly on rap and hip-hop.

“The bass and the drums are the rhythm track of any song,” Forbes says. “With the guitar and singing you have melodies, but to me it’s all about the backbeat. Those are the true things you can feel. The guitar and the piano usually get lost in the mix with me.”

Since he got his start, Forbes has written more than 30 songs and put out six music videos. His recent video “Let’s Mambo” features award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, the first deaf actress to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role.

“I have met everybody from Ted Nugent to Alice Cooper to Bob Seger. All the important people that have come out of Detroit,” Forbes says. “I met Stevie Wonder at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Being a deaf musician and meeting a blind musician, it was crazy. Growing up, a lot of the Funk Brothers who were on backing tracks for Motown used to come over to my house. I was talking about all these people with Stevie and I could tell by the look on his face that he was blown away by everything that I knew.”

Forbes continues to make new music and perform live for packed crowds across the country.  He was a featured cast member of  Motor City Rising, a documentary series focusing on the struggles and accomplishments of a group of Detroit artists and creatives, which ran June 1-15 on Ovation TV.

“Music is not something that is heard. It is something that is felt,”

says Forbes. “Music is for everybody.”

A small studio on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale houses the Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), a nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Forbes and Joel Martin. D-PAN’s goal is to make music more accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing. Its website, D-PAN.com, provides music videos by deaf performers from around the nation.

Music videos are produced in the studio via a green screen. Performers sign along to popular songs, such as John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change,” and most recently, a video featuring children who are deaf and hard of hearing signing to the White Stripes’ “We Are Going to Be Friends.” There are also several artists that create their own music.

One of artists featured on D-PAN is Nyke Prince, a drummer and songwriter from Los Angeles. She works as a successful model, and is the assistant to celebrity stylist Ken Paves.

Prince was born hearing and became deaf as a kid. She has been a dancer since the age of 3, mainly ballet and hip hop.

“When I would take a dance class, they would actually count out the rhythms,” says Prince, who communicates through a signed video service. “I have a hearing aid, and that’s helped a lot. I’ve always been motivated. I’ve taken speech classes, and they explained the music.”

Later, Prince decided she wanted to learn an instrument. She became interested in the drums.

“I play rock ’n’ roll, because it’s loud,” Prince says. “I try to play drums without the hearing aid. I can feel the vibrations in my chest and I put my feet on the ground and feel the vibrations. There are times I will have to use my hearing aids, like if I’m doing a performance at a live venue. I always look around to make sure that everything works out, and that it’s in sync. It’s not easy.”

Prince eventually met and dated Gil Sharone, the drummer from Stolen Babies. Sharone began to teach Prince how to better hone her skills.

“We did a one-on-one session for about three years,” Prince says. “He was willing to write notes and speak very clearly. That’s why I chose him as a teacher. He was willing to take the time compared to other tutors. Actually, he told me that there are a lot of deaf players that play music that we are not even aware of. Famous pianists, drummers, and so forth … they all have hearing loss.”

Even though Sharone is hearing, Prince insists there were no communication barriers.

“I’ve always made sure hearing people I date know some sign,” Prince says. “I typically date hearing people because the deaf community is very small — you’re always dating someone’s ex.”

Prince has a cochlear implant, a device she says is controversial in the deaf community. This is because the listening device requires major surgery, which can cause complications such as dizziness or tinnitus, to more extreme side effects such as meningitis or seizures. Also, some members of the deaf community believe that the device takes away the identity of a deaf person from deaf culture.

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