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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Prince and popper

A would-be Detroit gospel star seeks his own purple reign

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Prince: “You can’t stop what God has for me.”

When in Vegas, it’s the norm to see Elvis, Dolly and Michael Jackson look-alikes. As a matter of fact, Elvis can even marry you at certain wedding chapels. However, in Detroit, there aren’t many people walking around in ode to a celebrity. But we do have Prince. At UDetroit, Motor City Casino and Bert’s Warehouse in Eastern Market, where the karaoke is as popular as the flowers, fruits and vegetables, Prince entertains with the flair of … the Artist.

As he jumps on tables to the sounds of “Kiss” and “Purple Rain,” the crowd roars — and, like any entertainer, he drinks it all in. So who is this guy who looks, acts, walks and talks like Prince? He’s Prince St. Paul, and he is Prince all day long. Not just on Friday night or Saturday mornings or weekends.

It’s 9 a.m. when we meet at a midtown coffee shop where people are working, studying and munching on bagels. Most of the coffee sippers have a relaxed aura around them, but not Prince St. Paul. He is in full Prince mode. “This is everyday, baby,” he says. His hair is coifed, his makeup is fierce, his mustache is immaculate and his clothes are purple, right and tight. And on some days the back of the pants have windows … yes, you can actually see his butt. Prince designs all of his celebrity couture and everything has a splash of purple or blings with sequins and shine or better yet diamonds and pearls.

Prince St. Paul even has the infamous “Prince shriek” down to a science. As he demonstrates his vocal prowess — still in the coffee shop — people glance up from their cappuccinos and computers, look at him from head to toe and stare intently with curiosity and interest. “Is that Prince?” is what their eyes say.

However, nine months ago, Prince St. Paul wasn’t Prince. He was simply Paul Jack William Hall, a would-be gospel singer trying to spread the word of Jesus and, of course, acquire money and fame. He had a self-produced album available on iTunes, Hot and Poppin’ for Jesus. But, nothing was poppin’ for Paul. Nothing, that is, until a chance encounter with R&B singer and radio personality Keith Washington, who happened to be at the Signature Grill Nightclub when St. Paul was performing gospel songs from his album. Washington pulled him to the side and encouraged him to do a Prince act. “He said, ‘Man, you look, talk, you even walk like Prince. I know him and I’m telling you that you should do Prince,’” St. Paul recalls.

“I wasn’t even dressed like Prince at the time, and Keith said that,” he said. He laughs as he remembers that Washington said, “Man, get you a guitar and get that money.”

St. Paul gave it some thought. The gospel CD wasn’t gaining any traction, and he had been praying for some direction regarding his career. And every month of pushing the CD meant that he also was getting a month older. At the age of 49, St. Paul is five years younger than Prince is right now and almost twice the age of Prince when he released Purple Rain at the age of 26.

So, St. Paul looked in the mirror and saw what Washington saw: Prince. In addition to the physical similarities he also plays three instruments, the keytar, drums and keyboard.

He says the next time he stepped on stage, dressed liked the Artist and singing like the Artist, people went crazy … the total opposite of the people who sat and listened out of politeness to his gospel music.

Prince describes it as people screaming, pulling and almost fainting — just as if they’ve actually seen the original Prince.

Washington also remembers meeting St. Paul before he became Prince. He said that when he and a friend suggested the Prince act to St. Paul, he expressed doubt. But the next time he saw St. Paul, he was all decked out as Prince. “He really puts his heart in the performance that he gives, he has the wardrobe and people love taking pictures with him, like in Vegas,” Washington says.

His friend, Big Daddy Boo Bear, who has been in Vegas performing as Barry White for the last 13 years, says that Prince has what it takes to succeed. “He’s very exciting, he has the character down, and adds his own personality to it,” Boo Bear says. “And he’s doing it the right way, because the guys like him too, they are not offended or intimidated.”

Prince says that his fan base crosses all groups and his favorite song understandably is “Baby I’m a Star.” “I sing these songs because that is what they want,” Prince says. “Prince has been such an inspiration in my life and the movie Purple Rain told me you can’t be afraid to be you.”

Prince says that his popularity as a singer, artist and entertainer has quadrupled since Washington pointed him in a new direction. He said that clubgoers get excited when he walks through the door. Entertainers that are already performing, for instance at a casino, tell the managers not to let him through the door because he distracts from their acts. Prince said that he has been denied entry to several clubs several times.

“I’ve been told not to come back to a nightclub if I wouldn’t perform for free,” he said. “That’s when I knew I had something. It comes naturally: The look, voice, his ideas, walk. You never know how I’m coming.”

Prince said that his journey to becoming Prince was rocky, and he’s glad that Washington saw what he didn’t even know existed, and basically turned his life around.

Pushing 50, St. Paul realizes that life can be short. That’s the same age at which his biological father committed suicide more than 30 years ago.

Prince has two sisters, and all three were removed from their home and placed in foster care when he was about 5. He was adopted at the age of 11, and said his early years were turbulent, with lots of fighting. But he knew that there was something bigger waiting for him. Besides, he could sing and he could dress and he could even style hair. At one point, he says, the great Aretha Franklin was a client.

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