Most Read
  • 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 Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

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

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now

    The schedule for Blowout 17, taking place Wednesday April 30 to Saturday May 3 in Hamtramck, Detroit and Ferndale, is available to see now. Visit to see the schedule and plan your festival. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Blowout 2014 schedule available to view now appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s

    The Trash Brats hardly ever play live anymore, so each show feels like an event. Wandering around Small’s in Hamtramck late Saturday night, there’s a near-carnival atmosphere in the air. The Brats were never supposed to be taken seriously, but years on-and-off the radar have given the band the gift of respect born out of longevity. We’re not being dismissive at all. In fact, no amount of kooky faces from guitarist Ricky Rat and bassist Toni Romeo can hide the fact that these boys can play and the band writes killer bubblegum sleaze-rock tunes. The fact that the venue was packed compared to, say, a recent show by internationally known punk icons Sylvain Sylvain and Glen Matlock (which you would think would attract a similar audience) is testament to the fact that, in Detroit, the Trash Brats command a certain reverence. Before the Trash Brats took to the stage, local punks The Dives kicked off the night with a set of sincere, energetic and well-performed, if standard, punk rock. No frills (besides frontman Ron McPherson’s dapper suit), the band features members of the Junk Monkeys, the Black Mollies and the Joint Chiefs, and it drives through a set of catchy, […]

    The post City Slang: Trash Brats get sleazy at Small’s appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art

    By: Ayana Bryant-Weekes The Red Bull House of Art, a multidisciplinary and collaborative art project, relieves the stress of financial limitation or lack of tools and space so budding artists can manifest their creative dreams right here in Detroit. Six artists are selected for a three-month residency where they are provided individual studio space and materials, allowing their artistic concepts to flow freely. At the end of each residency is an unveiling and public display at the Red Bull House of Art Gallery. As show curator Matt Eaton told us in a 2013 interview, “The selection process for the current crop of artists was just the same as every round. The goal is not to find the hippest, coolest artists (though I think they are all very cool), but to find the people who may not typically have a voice.” This year, for the first time, Red Bull House of Art will showcase more than just Detroit artists. National artists from across the country in a special artist-in-residency program will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a much broader audience, and bring a national art stage to the Motor City. Since opening, 54 Detroit-based artists have been given the […]

    The post Cycle 7 opens at the Red Bull House of Art appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email


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.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus