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

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    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

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    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

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    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Smoky treats

Low-and-slow barbecue has become a burning passion throughout metro Detroit. Look out for part 2 next week.

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Bad Brad’s BBQ 35611 Green St., New Baltimore; 586-716-9977; badbradsbbq.net: A relatively recent entry into metro Detroit’s barbecue category, Bad Brad’s motto is “From our smoker to your plate,” summing up their intention to give diners the best barbecue possible. They start every day at 5 a.m., cooking beef brisket and pork shoulder in fruit wood and hickory smoke as long as 14 hours. Get a taste of the meat in one of their many cleverly named sandwiches (all $8.50) or choose among sliced or chopped brisket, pulled pork or chicken, or pork sausage. You can also go “whole hog” with a half ($15) or a full ($24.50) slab of St. Louis-style ribs. Also, the clever wall illustrations by Detroit artist Jerome Ferretti don’t hurt either.

 

Bert’s Marketplace 2727 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030: On summer Saturdays, Eastern Market seems to be bursting at every seam. Stalls and sheds overflow with colorful produce as merchants set up shop along Russell Street. And Bert’s is not only a great place to sit and do some Eastern Market people-watching — you can also enjoy some serious barbecue. (You also get a front seat to some of the most unusual karaoke performances ever!) In keeping with Bert’s bare-bones, working-class atmosphere, their food is more down-home than much of the soul food you find in restaurants, which has often been upgraded from its humble origins. The menu runs from catfish to ’cue, and on warm market days when the grillmasters are in full view outside, you’ll be able to see before you buy!

 

Blue Tractor 207 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-4095; bluetractor.net: Looking the part is important for any restaurant, and Blue Tractor does it well. Decorated in wood and rough metalwork, it exudes the feel of a big, rustic barn, ideally suited for serving up barbecue to 100 close friends. A long bar stretches across one wall, the establishment’s house-brewed beers listed next to its respectable bourbon selection. Their Bumper Crop IPA isn’t burdened with too much hoppiness and will wash down a plate of ribs pretty damn well. The menu is full of down-home fixings, and inventive specials year-round keep switching it up. And the barbecue? It’s mostly slow-cooked proteins that get a douse of rub or sauce during final grilling, and includes baby-back ribs, Carolina pulled pork, barbecue “beer can” chicken, and even some more interesting-sounding choices, such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf, apricot-mustard turkey and smoked barbecue duck. The spare ribs stand out for being extraordinarily moist. On the side dish front, Blue Tractor’s baked beans will take many diners back to childhood: Nicely spiced and a bit sweet, they taste just like the beans served at family picnics and dinners across southeast Michigan every summer. Newly expanded.

 

Bo’s Smokehouse 51 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-338-6200; With three separate levels occupying almost 12,000 square feet, Bo’s Brewery & Bistro offers patrons full bar service, billiards and more. As many as 40 people can sit at the bar and enjoy such Michigan craft beers as Bell’s and King’s, followed by special desserts every week. And over the last few years, they’ve upped their barbecue game, expanding their selections of smokehouse pork and beef. With six to eight microbrews made on the site at any given time, it’s ideal to visit Bo’s during happy hour.

 

Hoggers 2959 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-548-2400; hoggersbbq.com; This little spot specializes mostly in carryout orders, but also has some space for folks to dine in. Enjoy an order of baby-back ribs, slow-roasted, grilled and basted in the joint’s signature sauce, four pieces for $7.69, or as much as a full slab for $22.69. There’s also barbecued chicken, shredded chicken and a wide variety of meaty sandwiches. Or get the “feast” of four meats and two large sides for $24.99.

 

Lazybones Smokehouse 27475 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-775-7427; and 43203 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-247-7427; lazybonessmokehouse.net; Our readers say this is the best barbecue joint in Macomb County. Why? Because this east side spot has sandwiches starting around $8 and $18.99 for a slab of ribs. Lazybones boasts Black Angus beef, Grade-A fresh pork, and Amish country chickens, done broasted, pit-smoked or grill-ready for pick-up. And for those who want to throw a home party without running the grill, Lazybones has party pans big enough to hold 100 ribs or the equivalent in pulled pork — with the Super Bowl coming up, this is a good one to keep in mind. But note well — if you expect Lazybones ribs to be the sauce-soaked, fall-off-the-bone sort that rules in Detroit and southeastern Michigan, you may be disappointed. But free your mind — these are the dry-rubbed, mopped and slow-smoked ribs that give ol’ boys fits down yonder, and there’s no good reason to restrict yourself to one style of barbecue.

 

Lockhart’s BBQ 202 E. Third St., Royal Oak; 248-584-4227; lockhartsbbq.com: Lockhart’s, named after a town reputed to be the barbecue capital of Texas, is a handsomely retrofitted space on the high-ceilinged first floor of an old bank building. The stainless-steel open kitchen turns out reasonably priced, hefty portions. The main courses, served authentically on paper in metal trays and with a white bread sopper, involve brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausage, chicken and ham — and combinations thereof — all smoked ever so slowly over local white oak and hickory. One can sample most of the meats in the “special” combo of brisket, 1/4 rack of ribs, sausage and pulled pork. Or if that mix is intimidating, a half-chicken and ribs or brisket and pulled pork are less daunting combos. The full bar has a selection of Michigan beers, perfect with the ‘cue. Aside from the renditions of smoked meats, Lockhart’s serves sandwiches, fried catfish, smoked salmon and smoked chicken salad.

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