Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos — based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]
If a poll released this week is any indication of how the August 5 primary election will turn out, current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano has reason to worry, Fox 2 reports. Ficano, who’s seeking a third term, polled in fourth place — behind former Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, according to Fox 2. The poll by Strategic Solutions LLC, showed 6.7 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Ficano, which isn’t so bad: He finished ahead of County Commissioner Kevin McNamara (who came in at No. 6) and someone literally described as “a candidate not named here” (who polled at No. 5.) If you’re planning to head to the polls — which you should! — and need some input on the candidates and ballot proposals, you can read for our election coverage in this week’s Metro Times.
Mad Decent Block Party will roll through town on Saturday, August 16, bringing to town artists like Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, RiFF RAFF, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Dead. Thugli, a Canadian duo, will perform on the Toronto leg of the tour and they put together a 45 minute mix that features songs by some of the tour’s featured artists as well as a host of others. Listen to it here.
Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host a special event this Saturday, July 26 in hopes of raising money for the local faction of an international nonprofit, Burners without Borders Detroit. Breaking Borders is a one-evening-only event that will feature live music, performance, and art. Satori Circus will perform along with spoken word artist ZakAndWhatArmy. Music by Tartanic, Dixon’s Violin, and Servitor. Fire dancers, hoop performers, and acrobats will provide a certain mysticism to the ambiance as old Victorian steampunk and tribal art is shown in the main gallery. There will also be a runway fashion show and the evening will end with a dubstep rave featuring DJ Forcefeed and Dotty. Truly, there’s something for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a full service bar. The event is open to those 18 and older and IDs will be checked at the door. Admission is $25 at the door, or $20 with the donation of a canned good. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2 a.m. A 20 percent commission will be taken from all art sold at this event and donated to Burners without Borders. The Tangent Gallery is located at 715 Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com.
By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]
Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]
We received numerous responses to Ryan Felton’s May 7 cover story on the new Detroit Red Wings arena and the sweetheart deal the Ilitch organization received:
I appreciated your in-depth coverage of the hockey arena deal, but I don’t see why you had to hedge on Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s accusations of backroom dealing. “Tlaib’s assertions, to an extent, bear some truth,” you write. That double layer of qualifiers doesn’t seem warranted, given that state legislators said they spent more time dealing with feral pigs than they did digesting the implications of arena pork. When the first octopus gets tossed onto the ice at the new arena, the public will be the real suckers. —Joel Batterman, Detroit
Thanks for the article on the finagling behind the new hockey arena. It certainly is well-researched, but overlooks one key aspect: the acoustics.
Joe Louis Arena was financed, in part, via a surtax on concerts. Yet, in the planning of it, there was evidently scant attention paid to the acoustics. This would have been OK had the old Olympia Stadium been saved, which had good acoustics for a building of its size. However, it was torn down. I attended two concerts at “The Joe” — both to see Prince on his Purple Rain tour. While the show I caught in the lower bowl was bearable, the music at the show I saw while in the upper reaches was headache-inducingly atrocious.
While I have doubts that any act I’d ever want to see will play at the new arena, I still think that some serious consideration should be given for the music fans who will attend events there. Since the new arena will be even bigger than the Joe Louis Arena, I suspect that the acoustics will be even worse. —Don Handy, Mount Clemens
Reader “A.L. Cadillac” posted:
Putting aside the obvious case for development of this area and a new (hopefully better) arena for the Wings, considering the scope of the public contribution ($260 million), it is simply appalling that the city transferred $100 million worth of land for $1, and the permanently disabled first responders are getting their health care taken away. Why has someone not objected to this giveaway in the bankruptcy case and litigated it in front of Judge Rhodes and the public?
Reader “Musomi Kimanthi” posted:
The question is at what costs to the city. Taking millions of dollars of tax revenue from a bankrupt city does not make sense. Studies going back to at least 1995 have demonstrated that these big-ticket items, (stadiums and factories) have never delivered the promised benefits. Looking at Detroit specifically we were given the same line for Poletown, Chrysler Jefferson, Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, and Ford Field. Where has the city benefited? Where are all of the promised jobs and revenue? Can’t Ilitch and his supporting banks buy the land outright? And pay all of the relevant property taxes? Then it becomes a win-win.
In response to that comment, reader “Anyonebutyou” posted:
Do you actually read or are you making this stuff up? What would the Foxtown area be like without the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park and Ford Field, without millions of people coming downtown every year to spend their money in the city. Dozens of restaurants and bars have been open or are kept open, now housing, condos and apartments. None of the national studies on stadiums that you cite say that this area didn’t benefit. Also, this didn’t cost the city a dime. No loss of tax revenues. The property they transferred to the project was worth $1 million. Not a bad exchange for a $650 million project that rebuilds 35 acres of crap.
In response to “Anyonebutyou,” “Musomi Kimanthi” wrote:
The question is, sir, do you read? Again, the point is not the improvement to the given areas. The point is that the claimed benefits to the cities in terms of revenue and jobs never materialize. In fact, the cities incur more debt. Again, look at the previous developments in the city. People are making the same claims for “New Town.” … Taking more property off of the tax rolls is not a solution. I ask: Why can’t Ilitch develop the property and pay taxes?
We also received a number of responses to Jack Lessenberry’s column on John Conyers’ recent signature-gathering mishap. Reader “WWtech” posted:
Thanks, Jack, for assembling some of the congressman’s groundbreaking accomplishments for our edification. Mr. Conyers has indeed contributed much, and left an indelible mark on the political and social landscape of this country. Having said that, I, too, would rather see him retire with dignity than to remain until age, dementia, scandal or defeat taint his storied tenure.
Reader “Semnol” posted:
Honoring MLK and Rosa Parks did nothing to serve the people in his district, Jack. You can trace the decline and fall of his constituency’s surroundings to his 50-year nap while Rome burned.