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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    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.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

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

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    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

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

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

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    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

Metro Times' Staff: First and Best Concerts

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

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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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