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  • 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.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Cover Story

Metro Times' Staff: First and Best Concerts

For the 2013 Music Issue, the Metro Times staff looks back on their first and favorite concerts.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

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Yara Beydoun (editorial intern)
First: Green Day
The first concert I went to was Green Day. I was still going through that “fuck the man” punk-rock phase in middle school. I, undeniably, showed up to the concert in ripped jeans, a crop top and freshly dyed purple hair. Although I can’t say it’s still my mission to find Billie Joe Armstrong and marry him (and I still can’t think about my previous fashion choices without cringing), seeing Green Day for my first concert experience was pretty sweet. I rocked out with other wannabe-rebellious teens and successfully avoided my first mosh pit.

Best: Detroit Electronic Music Festival
My favorite concert experience is actually a music festival — the Detroit Electronic Music Festival to be exact. Along with the amazingly talented DJs and my eagerness to support anything “Detroit,” my favorite thing about this festival is the people. People from all types of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures coming together to share their love of the same music. Seeing this diversity in the crowd the first time I went was sublime. I still try to go back every year.

Jeff Milo (freelance music writer)
First: Suicide Machines
It was my 14th birthday and I was learning about mosh pits. Trial by fire, thrown to the wolves, good luck, kiddo! Local ska-punk revivalists the Suicide Machines were having their release show for their Battle Hymns album at St. Andrew’s Hall. Terror and joy, panic and celebration, it’s all knotted up in that undulating riot at the edge of the stage. I made it through three songs, albeit, by SM standards that’s barely eight minutes, but still — it gave me my sea legs!

Best: Of Montreal
It was 2004, and Of Montreal was still “underground” enough to play the Blind Pig (Ann Arbor). There was no light show, no drum machine, just a band of wonderful weirdos playing exuberant pop anthems, British-Invasion-tinged, richly lyrical ballads flourished with a silly panache and psychotic whimsy. It helped being in the “front row” during their 10-minute-long skit, going like a slow-motion ballet of aliens wobbling through the crowd, incorporating us into their fun freakshow to an unbroken Moog’s drone.

Lee DeVito (freelance writer)
First: The White Stripes
The first show I remember was the White Stripes at the Masonic Temple in 2003. I was 17. I remember it well because of how precious it was: Rock bands usually don’t play the Masonic, and I’ve never been to a show since where I was treated to projections of old Betty Boop cartoons between sets. In their press photos, the band walked the line between dorky and reverent in peppermint-colored country regalia (still the most punk rock thing I have ever seen), and a bunch of the audience showed up in their own costumes.

Best: Jack White
The best gig I’ve ever seen was Jack White in a packed country bar at SXSW. His solo album was not yet released but he played songs from his entire career, reimagining scrappy White Stripes songs with two different full bands, including a backup soul singer. It was unexpected and bizarre … and it sounded amazing. I went alone and later found out the woman I geeked out with all night was drummer (and Scott Pilgrim actress) Tennessee Thomas. 

Tyler Martin (editorial intern)
First: Brian Culbertson
My music snobbery really began the summer of 2008, when I saw Brian Culbertson at Chene Park. I bragged to my friends that my first concert was a jazz concert, imagining there was a secret society of cosmopolitan Detroiters who only had time for cocktails and the exclusive smooth jazz sounds of a musician whose piano riffs made the city fall to its knees. When Culbertson stepped on stage, those pretensions fell away. His ’90s frosted tips, slim-fitting jeans and Converse sneakers challenged the expert notes pouring from his fingertips like a spell. Right then, I had this classic realization that, “We’re all here to see this guy, he’s blowing us away, and nothing else matters.”

Best: Big Gigantic
I’ll admit my concert experience is limited to about four bands, but the Big Gigantic show at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh stands out as a wild memory. The venue was at a former Catholic church, and while waiting outside to get in, my college buddies got glitter bombed in the face by a local high school girl possessed by the party spirit. Surrounded by people who reeked suspiciously of marijuana and who grinded together through the opening act, my buds and I created our own safe circle where we pretended to know the bass drops and flopped wildly like Sesame Street puppets. Danceable electro-jazz tunes combined with a raw, youthful energy made this concert explode with a unique vivacity.   

Ashley Fagan (editorial intern)
First: Dunno
The first major show I went to was at Skelletones in Grand Rapids, now closed. I honestly can’t tell you who I went to see. There were four of us in the freezing cold and snow; we stood in line for the door. It was wall-to-wall, obviously over capacity. We were quickly sweat-soaked and music pounding in our ears, the crowd in absolute mayhem over the bands. You couldn’t have fallen down if you tried, with the surge of the crowd pushing toward the stage. It was much more of an environmental experience for me that night than anything else.

Best: The Garden Gnomes
One of my favorite shows was in the basement of my brother’s house on Thanksgiving night a few years ago. Our friends had put together a band called the Garden Gnomes, mostly playing covers of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Allman Brothers Band, and more, occasionally playing originals like “I Hate My Job” and crowd favorite “Poo Poo Monster.” A lot of us worked at a pizza joint together, hence the first song’s title. The second you’d have to hear it and know our group of friends. We sang our hearts out that night. Good times, good people. They go by Carp & the Boom Booms now and they have a ferociously loyal following around Muskegon.

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