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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.



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Toast skirts keep you warm, looking cool

Skirting with fame.

Photo: Courtesy photo., License: N/A

Courtesy photo.

Vivian George is a singer-songwriter who splits her time between Canada and Detroit. She also works behind the scenes on TV and film sets, and she has a company called Toast that specializes in making fashionable apparel that keeps the wearer toasty warm — perfect for those who spend a lot of time outside, but still want to look good … like news and sports reporters, for example.

“The skirts are Polyfill this year, so they’re less expensive and they’re water-resistant,” George says. “They’ll keep you warm, and they’re very slimming. That’s primarily what I have coming out, but I do have something called bum sweaters. They’re little hipster scarves for your butt. You wear them like a skirt, but they’re made out of old sweaters. I’ve been wearing prototypes for a number of years, but now they’re actually in production.”

Bum Sweaters — what a name — but it’s the “Love You Long Johns” that really have George excited. “Those are exciting because they have a four-way stretch,” she says. “It’s made from bamboo, so it has antimicrobial properties, which means it doesn’t hold onto moisture and actually pulls moisture away from you. [Bamboo] has an anti-fungal compound that grows in the plant. It makes perfect long underwear because you don’t get swamp-butt,” George explains. “They’re a huge hit with the bartenders in the Cass Corridor. They keep the heat down in those places, and they heat up when it gets busy and they’re running behind the bar. They don’t overheat you when you get hot, but they keep you warm when you’re cold.”

George says she scaled down her company intentionally by removing her product line from retail stores, which, she says, has worked to her benefit. By selling direct to consumers, she both avoids the middleman markup and waiting for remittance from stores. 

“I sell at wholesale prices because of the way the Internet has allowed people to sell direct to the public,” she says. “My company is actually stronger than it was when I was in retail … when I didn’t get paid for two years — or ever. It’s a delight to deal with customers one-on-one.”

Recently, she gained a fan in Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. “Jimmy Kimmel had Erin Andrews on the other night, and she was complaining that she does all these college games and the Super Bowl [was] going to be in New Jersey,” George says. “She [was] concerned that she’s going to be super-cold the whole time.”

Sensing an opportunity, the entrepreneur reached out to the reporter and offered to outfit Andrews for the game so she would remain toasty. 

For those curious to touch and feel George’s products, the Park Bar will be selling the Toast Skirts, and Third Street Saloon will have her Love You Long Johns. For a gander at them, see her website, George has a few new ideas coming soon too. 

“I really want to make muffs, the old-fashioned muffs,” she says. “It’s all about getting the right size and portability. The design is still being tinkered with.”

For more information on the Toast line, see

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