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    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.

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    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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    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

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    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

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    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

Garage Rocker Jimmy Ohio Returns to Detroit

Jimmy Ohio reforms the Ultimate Lovers.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


On Friday, San Fran veteran proto-punk band the Flamin’ Groovies is playing the Magic Stick. That, in and of itself, should result in much rejoicing. However, add much-traveled garage rocker Jimmy Ohio to the bill (plus the Sights) and the mass load-blowing can begin.

Originally from Detroit, Ohio has played with bands in New York and Chicago as well as locally. For the last five years, he was living in New York City before returning from exile to the Motor City and hooking up with some local noisemakers. 

“Jeff Meier, who plays guitar, said, ‘Jimmy, you need a band,’” Ohio explains. “I said, ‘Yeah, why do you think I’m doing this solo stuff?’ We got together and we were trying to think of who to play drums. We came up with Deb Agolli, who’s an amazing drummer. She hadn’t played in years; she was playing with Outrageous Cherry and those guys a long time ago. She kinda told us she was sitting around waiting for someone to ask her. It’s her first band in years. We’re all together and digging it.”

Years earlier, Ohio was part of two-piece Chicago-based band called the Camera Club. Following that Chicago stint, and returning to Detroit, he formed the first version of the Ultimate Lovers. That band was together between 1999 and 2003. 

“I played with Matt Blake in a two-piece called Misty,” Ohio says. “I did some solo stuff and then moved to New York where I got a backing band together, and just went under Jimmy Ohio. I played some really good shows out there. I did a European tour, flew back here and recorded an EP with Danny Kroha, recorded in a little church in Hamtramck.”

Having disappeared and returned a couple of times, Ohio is in a better position to assess the differences between the Detroit scene then and now.

“I think it’s much cooler than it was in the early 2000s,” he says. “There was a lot of ego in Detroit as it was getting more attention; it was just lame. I tried to stay out of it as much as possible. It’s cooled down now and people are just back to wanting to rock. There’s a new guard of kids who sound a little more pop-oriented. It’s taken a new direction. It’s not all cookie-cutter.”

That’s an interesting perspective, considering that nostalgia-tinted goggles blind so many musicians. Countless artists think back with longing to a time when they were young and driven by adrenaline, enjoying memories of easy late nights, and maybe some disposable income. Not Ohio. It is in this new, pop-laden musical landscape that the man has assembled this new version of the Ultimate Lovers.

“It’s a different lineup,” he says. “We do some of the songs from the original Ultimate Lovers, but it’s kind of a return to the genre of garage rock. Misty was harder, more awkward music. The solo stuff was a little different in some ways — more orchestrated. This is a return to that kind of raw garage sound.”

While Meier is the Flamin’ Groovies fan in the band, Ohio says we can expect “magic” and “a whole lot of love” from the Ultimate Lovers set. Oh, and panties too. 

“We’ve got these panties that we sell,” he says. “They have my face on the crotch and then Jeff and Deb on each cheek. We went to Canada and man, they sold out like crazy. I’m getting all these photos of girls in their underwear. It’s a wonderful and amazing thing.”

Jimmy Ohio & the Ultimate Lovers plays the Magic Stick with the Flamin’ Groovies and the Sights on Friday, Nov. 8, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.

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