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    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

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    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women 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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