2 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
4 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Vol. 37 | Issue 08 | Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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6 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
U P FRONT
We received the following handwritten letter in response to the cover art for our Nov. 5 issue, â€œGirlfriend Materialâ€?:
U 8 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
OK, now what?
Michigan’s Democratic leaders on how to fix the party by Tom Perkins The 2016 election appeared to be a real opportunity for Democrats. The Republican Party nominated a volatile, cartoonish, hate-filled blowhard who gave many in his own party the creeps, but extremists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis celebrated him. It was a chance to deliver a coup de grace to a seemingly deranged and out-of-touch GOP. A defeat would’ve fractured it for years, and perhaps inflicted permanent damage. Instead, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and party leadership at the national level missed a slam dunk. Looking back, it’s still difficult to wrap one’s head around the top of the party’s ineptitude and hubris, even if outside forces also factored in. At the state level, the show didn’t have a much happier ending. Democrats’ fortunes in the Michigan House of Representatives races were tied to Clinton as state leaders hoped to flip nine seats to reclaim a majority. Instead, the election ended with a zero seat net gain, and Republicans still run the state House with a 63-47 majority. So how do Michigan Dems fix the party and regain power in the state? Several Democratic leaders offered prescriptions to MT. Their hopes are partially tied to the national party, which is debating internally whether to move in a more progressive direction, or try again with the establishment brand that voters rejected. Some are even floating former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s name to lead the Democratic National Committee, though it’s difficult to understand why anyone would want a Clinton surrogate in that role after the 2016 nightmare. Regardless, all is not as bad as it seems in Michigan. As MT previously reported, state Democrats received more votes than Republicans in the House races, but the districts are so gerrymandered that Republicans continue holding a huge advantage. The only way to fix the problem is for voters to approve a ballot initiative in 2018 calling for the establishment of an independent election commission.
In the meantime, we are playing by the rules that are in place, not the rules that are fair, and the only way to win back power is to overcome the built in disadvantage. Those who spoke with the MT offered some variation of the same ideas: The Democratic Party must improve its messaging while developing stronger policies that benefit the middle and working classes, thus re-establishing itself as the party that will fix a system that’s rigged to favor the wealthy. Like others, state Rep. Adam Zemke, whose district includes Ann Arbor, says there are positive signs around the
Of course, the person previously doing the talking was master orator Barack Obama, while Clinton was about as inspiring as a dead moth. And while Obama masterfully delivered the message, some of his policies fell short. Democrats held a super majority following the 2008 election, but bankers got bailed out instead of punished. The Dodd-Frank Act, designed to keep Wall Street in check, lacked real punch. And even though the economy is improved, wages only recently began to return to pre-recession levels. Dems’ general support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership also doesn’t make manufacturing employees feel more secure. Words start to lack sincerity when the policies aren’t doing what the message promises. Thus, the Dems would be wise to develop stronger policies, says Lonnie Scott, director of Progress Michigan, a nonpartisan, progressive think tank. “Actions speak much louder than
Hillary Clinton’s campaign and party leadership at the national level missed a slam dunk. Looking back, it’s still difficult to wrap one’s head around the top of the party’s ineptitude and hubris, even if outside forces also factored in. economy, but personal income and the feeling of security remain a clear concern. “As James Carville told us in the 1990s: ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ That’s what this election was. But it’s about people’s personal economy,” he says, adding that there are still few people who are better off now than they were pre-recession. Zemke and state Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon say Dems’ policies are generally helping the working class, but the messaging is lacking. “It’s all about how we’re speaking toward people at the bottom of the economic ladder. Neither party has done enough to address their problems,” Dillon says. “We need a recalibration of our message. What is it about the things that we’re saying that’s not resonating with many voters?”
10 Nov. 30- Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
words, and after the recession happened, for example … none of those big bankers went jail,” he says. “We’ve got to get back to our progressive roots and policies that show people that we are going to stand and fight for them. I think the results were a shock to a lot of people, but it should not have been a big shock in Michigan. A large population of working people got left behind in an economy that doesn’t work for them, and this needs to be the party that is going to stand for those people.” Mark Brewer, a former Michigan Democratic Party chair, echoed the sentiment. “Not to take anything away from Obama, but certain parts of populations in Michigan have seen a tremendous decline in income,” he says. “Michigan used to be one of the wealthiest states,
and now it’s middling at best.” Brewer also noted that Michigan holds some of the nation’s laxest ethics and campaign finance laws. Big business and the state’s political class are taking advantage of that, contributing to a feeling that the system aids the powerful. It would do Democrats well to “become the party reform” and campaign on that idea, Brewer says. “Both Sanders and Trump tapped into the tremendous dissatisfaction with the dysfunction of government, and the feeling that the system is rigged for people with money and means who get excessive benefits. Democrats need to be the party that addresses and fixes that,” he says. One of the few who warned that Trump’s ideas were resonating here was Rep. Debbie Dingell, who wrote about her frustrations with the party’s neglect of Michigan voters in a November Washington Post op-ed. During the election’s final months, Clinton chose not to campaign in the more working-class Downriver section of Dingell’s district. Sanders stopped there 10 times during the primary and took the state, and his surprise victory should’ve served as a warning to the Clinton campaign. That lack of attention left some feeling ignored, Dingell says, and she is now calling for more inclusivity. That means blacks, whites, women, men, poor, middle class, working class, students, and all others get a seat at the table. “We need to understand what people are afraid of, what they’re worried about, and address that in our agenda,” she says. If there’s a silver lining in receiving a frying pan to the face, it’s reform. The Democratic brand grew stale, its leaders grew lazy, its ideas were watered down, and it was rejected. The loss is a catalyst, though the short-term pain, and four years of Trump fucking with our psyche, will be difficult. “This is a process that’s really important, and it’s really unfortunate that it has to happen in such a critical election with someone as really dangerous and unstable as Donald Trump becoming president,” Dillon says. “But we’ll work through this with some lessons learned, then come back stronger.”
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
The voters rejected Trump by Jack Lessenberry
Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize! — Joe Hill, awaiting the firing squad, 1915 Look at these figures and tell me with a straight face that the American people chose Donald Trump to be their president: Hillary Clinton: 63,541,056 48.0% Donald Trump: 61,864,015 46.7% Other candidates: 7,034,595 5.3 % Clinton clearly actually was the candidate we most wanted to be our next chief executive — despite all the unexpected blue-collar and rural voters who showed up in droves in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, and — yes — Michigan. The working-class white revolt really happened. Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses certainly hurt her, as did the FBI’s clumsy and hugely inappropriate handling of the email investigation. But forget all that. Had our system honored the choice of the American people, she would now be seen as the clear winner. Never forget this: Many more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton. Probably at least 2 million more. The final count will be even more lopsided than the figures above show. As I write this, there are still many uncounted absentee and mail-in ballots, almost all of them in heavily Democratic areas. She won by far more votes than John F. Kennedy did, or Richard Nixon in 1968. But Trump had his votes where they mattered, and as has been the case throughout American history, some people are more equal than others. This, however, is especially outrageous. There’s only been one other case since 1888 where the Electoral College didn’t pick the winner of the popular vote, and that was in 2000, when Al Gore ran half a million votes ahead of George W. Bush. There, of course, the winner would have won the electoral vote if it hadn’t been for Florida’s outrageous “butterfly ballots” and a partisan U.S. Supreme Court. This time, however, is a total anomaly. We have never had a case
in our history where there was such a huge gap between the popular will and the vestigial Electoral College. Nor have we ever had a nominee or a President-elect like Donald John Trump, who knows nothing about government and frankly couldn’t give a damn. He also has the petulance of a thwarted 11-year-old, except his is far more laughable. After the cast of Hamilton made an eloquent plea to Vice Presidentelect Mike Pence for tolerance and to “work to uphold our American values,” Trump shot off a series of tweets saying the musical was “highly overrated” and that the actors couldn’t even memorize their lines, and demanding an apology. (Pence, to his credit, said neither the cast’s comments nor the audience’s boos bothered him.) But bizarrely, his boss, a man who has scared so many minorities, threatened mass deportations, and encouraged bullying, said the theater should also be “a safe and special place,” words Trump would probably jeer if applied, say, to a facility to protect undocumented children. We’ve got less than two months before the leadership of our nation is passed from an elegant grown-up to perhaps the most repellent case of arrested development on the planet. So what do we do? There are those who piously say that Trump “deserves a chance.” But nobody can claim that after he named the notorious bigot and hate-monger Stephen Bannon chief strategist and senior counselor on Nov. 13. That was followed by the appointment of Muslim-hating Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, and whack job conspiracy theorist Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA. Flynn has said fear of Islam is rational; Pompeo thinks we need to hold more foreign suspects longer, and create a gigantic new spy database that coordinates phone records with “publicly available financial and lifestyle information.” We’re really in trouble, and it’s just beginning. Again, so what do we do? Well, here’s what not to do: waste
14 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
time trying to persuade the 306 electors Trump won to do their patriotic duty and cast their electoral votes on Dec. 19 for Hillary Clinton instead. Trump won their states squarely, if not entirely fairly. The people the GOP selects as electors are not persuadable folks off the street. They are longtime dedicated Republican activists. In most cases it is illegal for them to switch, and in any event nothing could persuade 38 of them to vote for Hillary Clinton. Many people are giving money to organizations either threatened by Trump and his allies, such as Planned Parenthood, or who will fight him — such as the American Civil Liberties Union. By all means do that. But throwing money isn’t enough. We need, for one thing, somebody to create a pressure group to lobby for fair, bipartisan redistricting in this state and other states. We need to challenge what seems certain to be a flirtation with fascism at every turn, and stiffen the spines of congressional Democrats. Getting a Constitutional amendment to get rid of the Electoral College would be a good idea, but seems almost impossibly hard. It would take approval by two-thirds of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states. Instead, get states to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a group of states that vow to cast all their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote, as soon as enough states join to reach the magic number of 270. They’re at 165 now, and if we could get Michigan to ratify, that would make 191. Meanwhile, do work to educate young people about what is really going on. Within a year and a half, all those gungho Trump supporters will realize those jobs aren’t coming back from Mexico. Democrats need to have a plan and an appealing program in place then. They need to find a way of really reaching these people, which Bill could do and Hillary could not. We also will have to fight the erosion of our democracy and our nation, in a million ways, pretty much every day. This will involve speaking up, fighting them.
If they establish a Muslim registry, I intend to register as one immediately, and so should you. Finally — take them seriously, but don’t be afraid to poke fun at Cap’n Combover and his ship of fools. We already know he can’t tolerate being laughed at. The old civil rights song had it about right: I know the one thing we did right/was the day we started to fight. Keep your eyes on the prize: Hold on! Remembering a hero A few days ago, I stood in the Rosa Parks chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit to pay tribute to Margaret Radulovich Fishman, who played a small role in the downfall of the demagogue Joe McCarthy in the early 1950s. Margaret died Nov. 15 at 91, after spending a lifetime crusading for civil rights and economic justice in Detroit. She was warm, loving, tireless, and never sought any credit for herself. In 1953, she appeared on Edward R. Murrow’s famous program See It Now, to defend her brother, Milo Radulovich, against claims that he was a security risk because of her politics. “Since when can a man be judged by the alleged activities of a member of his family?” she asked. Her brother was vindicated, and that show emboldened Murrow to take on and help destroy McCarthy the next year, though it took the nation years to recover. When I saw Margaret last Christmas, she told me that she feared that since Sept. 11, a climate of fear had been growing in this country that reminded her of McCarthyism. She had been very ill for some weeks, and family members told me she never knew how the election turned out. I’m thankful for that.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
Going undercover by Larry Gabriel
I was all set to rake up the leaves that had finally fallen from the trees late this fall. When I opened my garage door, there was Mulenga Harangua skulking in the shadows. “Mulenga, what are you doing in my garage?” I asked. “Hanging out,” he said. “But why are you hanging out in my garage?” “Did you expect to find me here?” he asked, and continued talking. “I’m trying to be where nobody expects me to be. Like one of those martial arts fighters. Now you see me, now you don’t. I’m mostly trying to not be seen right now while I figure out this post-election world.” “Well I can see you now, so you may as well come out,” I said. When Mulenga stepped out into the sunlight, I saw he was growing a beard. Not one of those neatly trimmed affairs. This was a ragged, unkempt thing with a couple of thin spots where the hair was uncooperative. “Mulenga, what’s with the beard?” I asked. “And where is your blonde wig? You told me that you’d be going undercover with it if Donald Trump won the election.” “Well I was planning to do that but then you told everybody about it,” he complained. “How can I hide behind the blonde wig when everybody knows I’m wearing a blonde wig?” “Oops, sorry about that,” I said. “But what’s with this beard action? That’s not going to help you assimilate.” “It’s my Fidel Castro tribute beard,” he said. “Now that Castro is gone I figure somebody’s got to rock the beard for him. There is going to be all kinds of re-evaluation and retelling of his story. I’m trying to hold onto him.” “So you’re trying to be undercover by assuming the most recognizable attribute of a Latino communist, the thorn in the side of America this past half century?” “Well yeah,” Mulenga said. “I don’t think I have much to worry about.
16 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
Nobody is worried about communists anymore. They’re all worried about Muslims. Remember when Afghanistan was at war with Russia and we supported Afghanistan? Well we switched sides.” I grabbed my rake and couple of yard waste bags. Most of the leaves in my yard came from my neighbor’s tree, but now they’re my responsibility. So it goes. “So you’re not afraid of being taken for a Latino?” I asked. “I mean there has been a lot of talk about deporting Mexicans and all.” “But nobody is talking about a registry for Latinos the way they are for Muslims,” Mulenga pointed out. “And while they’re talking about sending the undocumented away, they’re not talking about blocking immigration from Latino countries the way they talk about Muslims. I’ll take my chances. I’m thinking about changing my name to Manuel.” “I guess Muslims are the bottom of the barrel these days,” I said, making creepy music by scraping the tines of my rake across the driveway. “It’s hard to say,” Mulenga said. “There are plenty of us near the bottom of that proverbial barrel. I’d say that Native Americans are usually near the bottom most of the time. Just look at what’s going on at Standing Rock where they are protecting the earth against that oil pipeline. From the beginning of this country, the Indians have been screwed left
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
‘That whole “make America great again” line was a callout to make America the 1950s television fantasy that never was … It was a call for America to be white again after eight years of a black president.’ and right. The government makes agreements that certain areas are Indian land, but when folks figure out there is money to be made on that land, things change.” Mulenga held a bag open while I tossed the leaves in. “Well at least we live in a metro area,” I said after a few minutes. “We don’t live out in rural Trumpland.” “That doesn’t mean much,” Mulenga said. “What do you mean?” I replied. “Didn’t Trump win because the Democrats failed to connect to the rural working class people?” “That seems to be the prevailing notion, but I don’t think that’s the entire story,” Mulenga said. “Exit polls show that 63 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women voted for Trump.” “But those were the poorly educated, rural, low-income people,” I protested. “Wrong, wrong, wrong,” admonished Mulenga. “First of all, rural people were only 17 percent of the electorate this year. More low-income people voted for Hillary Clinton. More high-income people voted for Trump. The average Trump voter makes about $70 grand a year. It was white people period who voted for Trump. He called out the white voters and they came through for him. They want to protect that income.” “Oh,” it took a minute for that to settle in for me. I had swallowed the conventional line about the recent vote. “That whole ‘make America great again’ line was a callout to make America the 1950s television fantasy that never was,” Mulenga said. “It was a call to pretend that people who aren’t white Christians don’t matter. And the people who responded to that are right here among us. It was a call for America to be white again
Nov. 30-Dec. 30-Dec. 6, 6, 2016 2016 || metrotimes.com metrotimes.com 18 Nov.
after eight years of a black president.” “So you think that beard is going to help?” I said. “It’s kind of the preCastro era we’re reaching for here with that great America — the one that benefitted from all that diversity but wouldn’t admit it.” “Man I’m just trying to do something, anything, to get through another day in one piece,” Mulenga said, eyeing some of the last few vegetables still alive in my garden. “I see you’re eating with your eyes,” I said. “Take what you want. But you can’t live in my garage, especially with that beard. People be coming around telling me they spotted the abominable snowman back here.” “Make America bearded again; maybe that should be my mantra,” Mulenga smiled. “Maybe we’d all get along better if we just had a little more hair.” “I don’t think the skinheads are going to go for that,” I said. “Come on, help me get these bags of leaves out to the curb.” Illiterate state The state of Michigan argues that literacy is not a fundamental right for Detroit schoolchildren in opposing a lawsuit calling for a constitutional right to literacy in the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the students by the Public Counsel, a national public interest law firm. The state response to the suit explains an awful lot about what’s been happening to public schools around here the past couple of decades. While they argue about whether literacy is a right, after the amount of tax dollars that go into the education system, it should surely be a mandated outcome.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
Art | Dance | Comedy | Eat | Theater
SATURDAY, 12/3 The First Of His Kind: The Roland W. Hayes Story @ Music Hall
Roland W. Hayes probably isn’t a name that conjures up memories of history or social studies classes, but the man had a huge impact on history, nonetheless. He was a groundbreaking lyric tenor who broke through class and race boundaries left and right throughout his musical career. He interpreted European art songs and also created a repertoire of classic Negro spirituals — he was so good he could fill both Carnegie Hall and the New York Symphony Hall in Boston three times a season. This stage show will tell a tremendous story.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; musichall.org; 313887-8500; tickets are $30 to $50.
n Roland W. Hayes
Deeper Dive: Bite of the Amazon
Detroit Urban Craft Fair
Merry & Bright: Holiday Lights Tour
@ Masonic Temple
@ Belle Isle Aquarium
Belle Isle’s Albert Kahn-designed aquarium is one of the most magical places in the city, but it always seems to need some work. It is 112 years old, after all. Sometimes the beautiful blue-green glass ceiling tiles need replacing, other times outdated tanks need updating. Whatever work needs done, the Belle Isle Conservancy manages to craft an exciting event to raise funds all the while ensuring people enjoy this precious gem. This evening of fundraising comes with a special guest of honor: the red-bellied piranha of the Amazon River. Guests will get up close and personal with the beautiful fish plus hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
Starts at 8 p.m.; 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit; belleisleconservancy.org; 313-8215428; tickets are $40 for general admission and $100 for VIP.
@ MGM Grand Event Center
@ Grand Trunk Pub
You’ve already bought every toy in the toy store. You’ve outstayed your welcome at Macy’s — it’s time to get some shopping done somewhere other than the mall, and the Detroit Urban Craft Fair is the place to do it. You’ll have access to over 100 local and national makers and crafters, and they’ve all curated the best of the wares to make finishing your Christmas shopping a breeze. In the past we’ve bought jewelry, stuffed animals, food products, coffee, and more. Check out their website before heading out to get an idea of who and what will be available.
Runs 6-9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday; 500 Temple St., Detroit; detroiturbancraftfair. com; tickets are $10 on Friday night and $1 on Saturday and Sunday.
20 Nov. 30-Dec. 6 2016 | metrotimes.com
Silver bells! It’s Christmastime in the city! Take a ride on a bus packed with family, friends, and fellow Detroiters and get a gander at all the beautiful holiday lights on display around the city. The tour travels through Campus Martius, the historic Boston-Edison district, Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights, and the Wayne County Lightfest, so you’re getting plenty of sparkly bang for those 50 bucks. The price of admission includes a toasty warm ride on the bus, plus admission to Wild Lights and Lightfest, plus snacks, hot drinks, and special prizes. It’s BYOB, and there will also be an ugly sweater contest.
Tour runs from 5:30-10:30 p.m.; 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; thedetroitbus.com; tickets are $50.
Joel McHale is the funniest guy in the world — if you’re asking Joel McHale anyway. He’s also got super douchey hair and we’re guessing he regularly gets mistaken for Scott Disick. OK, that’s enough Joel McHale bashing for now. C’mon guys, let’s be civil. He’s known for being the host of E! Network’s The Soup, and he’s co-hosted Live! With Kelly a couple times too. He’s been in movies with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, just to give you an idea of how big a star this guy is. We’re guessing he’ll make a lot of jokes that only white people will get.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 1777 Third St., Detroit; mgmgranddetroit. com; 877.888.2121; tickets are $60.
Art | Dance | Comedy | Eat | Theater
SATURDAY, 12/3 Noel Night @ Midtown Detroit
We gotta hand it to Midtown, they sure know how to inspire people to indulge in an outdoor Christmas celebration even when the temperature is subzero. This year they’ll have all the typical accountremal (institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Public Library, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the like will be open and free of charge during this celebration), plus free entertainment by the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Tartan Terrors, Breathe Owl Breathe, Little Wings, Lac La Belle, Bill Harris, Slavic Soul Party, and Hudson Vagabond Puppets. There will also be horse-drawn carriages, carolers, shopping, and various out activities to entertain the entire family.
Runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Midtown, Detroit; free.
n Noel Night
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical
Twas A Girl’s Night Before Christmas the Musical
@ The Eastern
@ Fox Theatre
When you’re done shopping at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair (or before you head over, up to you), pop on over to the Lodge, where even more local vendors will be selling their crafty wares. Their vendor list includes names like Detroit Rose Candle, Rebel Nell, Old White House, Detroit Bicycle Co., Sharklion, McClary Bros., and others. It will be a much smaller shopping experience than its competitor at the Masonic Temple, but it’s still worthwhile if you’re looking to pick up some unique gifts to stash under your tree. Plus, it’s free!
Runs 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday; 3434 Russell St., Detroit; entry is free.
@ City Theatre
Baby boomers and millennials alike get a warm, fuzzy feeling when Burl Ives begins to retell the tale of a certain red-nosed reindeer. The 1964 made-forTV movie has long been considered a classic, and like all classics it’s now been bastardized by a touring musical. At least all the integral characters — Rudolph, Clarice, Donner, Comet, Hermey the elf, and Yukon Cornelius — made it into the stage show. As for those warm, fuzzy feelings? Well, they must have been miscast.
Shows start at 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; 313471-3200 tickets are $25, $37, $45, and $60.
Remember a couple years ago when Olympia Entertainment and City Theatre brought you a cheeky little musical about five friends who spend a night on the town? Well, the women of Girls Night the Musical are back and this time they’re getting through the holiday season together, one glass of wine at a time. They’ll be singing classic holiday tunes like “Santa Baby” and “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” pop classics like “Lady Marmalade” and “Stayin’ Alive,” and new songs like “I Will Survive (the Holidays).”
Shows start at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with 3 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday; 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; 313-4713465; tickets are $38.
@ Garden Theater
Get a heaping helping of Detroit’s upand-coming culinary scene as well as established dining institutions at Metro Times’ inaugural tasting event. Flavor will feature samples from restaurants like Rock City Eatery, Jim Brady’s Detroit, Detroit Dog Co., Detroit BBQ Co., Louisiana Creole Gumbo, El Charro, A Serendipity Cakery, Mr. B’s Pub, Coach Insignia, and more. Plus, there will be cocktails!
Runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; 3929 Woodward Ave., Detroit; metrotimestickets.com; tickets are $30 for general admission, $40 with parking.
| Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
A political climate With Republicans in power, adequately addressing global warming looks grim by Alastair Bland
n Illustration by Serene Lusano
22 Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016 | metrotimes.com
If President-elect Donald Trump actually believes all the warnings he issued during the election about the threats of immigration, he should be talking about ways to slow global warming as well. Rising sea level, caused by the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, will likely displace tens of millions of people in the decades ahead, and many may come to North America as refugees. Climate change will cause a suite of other problems for future generations to tackle, and it’s arguably the most pressing issue of our time. Last December, world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss strategies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and scientists at every corner of the globe confirm that humans are facing a crisis. However, climate change is being nearly ignored by U.S. politicians and lawmakers. It was not discussed in depth at all during this election cycle’s televised presidential debates. And, when climate change does break the surface of public discussion, it polarizes Americans like almost no other political issue. Some conservatives, including Trump, still deny there’s even a problem. “We are in this bizarre political state in which most of the Republican Party still thinks it has to pretend that climate change is not real,” says Jonathan F.P. Rose, a New York City developer and author of the recently released The Well-Tempered City, which explores in part how low-cost green development can mitigate the impacts of rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns. Rose says progress cannot be made in drafting effective climate strategies until national leaders agree there’s an issue. “We have such strong scientific evidence,” he says. “We can disagree on how we’re going to solve the problems, but I would hope we could move toward an agreement on the basic facts.” That such a serious planetwide crisis
has become a divide across the U.S. political battlefield “is a tragedy” to Peter Kalmus, an earth scientist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology who agreed to be interviewed for this story on his own behalf (not on behalf of NASA, JPL, or Caltech). Kalmus says climate change is happening whether politicians want to talk about it or not. “CO2 molecules and infrared photons don’t give a crap about politics, whether you’re liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat or anything else,” Kalmus says. Slowing climate change will be essential, since adapting to all its impacts may be impossible. Governments must strive for greater resource efficiency, shift to renewable energy and transition from conventional to more sustainable agricultural practices. America’s leaders must also implement a carbon pricing system, climate activists say, that places a financial burden on fossil fuel producers and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. But there may be little to zero hope that such a system will be installed at the federal level as Trump prepares to move into the White House. Trump has actually threatened to reverse any commitments the United States agreed to in Paris. According to reports, Trump has even selected a wellknown skeptic of climate change, Myron Ebell, to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell is the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Steve Valk, communications director for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, says the results of the presidential election come as a discouraging setback in the campaign to slow emissions and global warming. “There’s no doubt that the steep hill we’ve been climbing just became a sheer cliff,” he says. “But cliffs are scalable.”
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
F EATURE Valk says the American public must demand that Congress implement carbon pricing. He says the government is not likely to face and attack climate change unless voters force them to. “The solution is going to have to come from the people,” he says. “Our politicians have shown that they’re just not ready to implement a solution on their own.” After Paris There is no question Earth is warming rapidly, and already this upward temperature trend is having impacts. It is disrupting agriculture. Glacial water sources are vanishing. Storms and droughts are becoming more severe. Altered winds and ocean currents are impacting marine ecosystems. So is ocean acidification, another outcome of carbon dioxide emissions. The sea is rising and eventually will swamp large coastal regions and islands. As many as 200 million people could be displaced by 2050. For several years in a row now, each year has been warmer than any year prior in recorded temperature records, and by 2100 it may be too hot for people to
feature recently, almost 200 nations agreed to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, extremely potent but short-lived greenhouse gases emitted by refrigerators and air conditioners, and reduce the emissions from the shipping and aviation industries. But in the wake of such promising international progress, and as 2016 draws to a close as the third record warm year in a row, many climate activists are disconcerted both by U.S. leaders’ recent silence on the issue and by the outcome of the presidential election. Mark Sabbatini, editor of the newspaper Icepeople in Svalbard, Norway, says shortsighted political scheming has pushed climate change action to the back burner. He wants to see politicians start listening to scientists. “But industry folks donate money and scientists get shoved aside in the interest of profits and re-election,” says Sabbatini, who recently had to evacuate his apartment as unprecedented temperatures thawed out the entire region’s permafrost, threatening to collapse buildings. Short-term goals and immediate
‘CO2 molecules and infrared photons don’t give a crap about politics, whether you’re liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat or anything else.’ permanently live in the Persian Gulf. World leaders and climate activists made groundbreaking progress toward slowing these effects at the Paris climate conference. In Paris, leaders from 195 countries drafted a plan of action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and steer the planet off its predicted course of warming. The pact, which addresses energy, transportation, industries and agriculture — and which asks leaders to regularly upgrade their climate policies — is intended to keep the planet from warming by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit between pre-industrial years and the end of this century. Scientists have forecasted that an average global increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit will have devastating consequences for humanity. The United States pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent from 2005 levels within a decade. China, Japan, and nations of the European Union made similar promises. More
financial concerns distract leaders from making meaningful policy advances on climate. “In Congress, they look two years ahead,” Sabbatini says. “In the Senate, they look six years ahead. In the White House, they look four years ahead.” The 300 nationwide chapters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby are calling on local governments and chambers of commerce across the country to voice support for a revenue-neutral carbon fee. The hope is that leaders in Congress will hear the demands of the people. This carbon fee would impose a charge on producers of oil, natural gas, and coal. As a direct result, all products and services that depend on or directly utilize those fossil fuels would cost more for consumers, who would be incentivized to buy less. Food shipped in from far away would cost more than locally grown alternatives. Gas for heating, electricity generated by oil and coal, and driving a car would become more expensive.
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The state of affairs How climate change is shaping Michigan
In the United States, the effects of climate change vary by state. In California, for example, climate change is believed to be exacerbating the region’s current drought. But in Michigan, the trend is for the weather to become both warmer and wetter. That’s according to Jeffrey A. Andresen, a professor of geography at Michigan State University, who also serves as a state climatologist. “There are parts of the U.S. that have warmed significantly more than here,” he says. “There are even some parts of the U.S. where it’s a little bit cooler on average than it’s been in the past. But by and large, in most of the country — and most of the world — areas have warmed, especially over the last several decades.” According to Andresen, Michigan and the Great Lakes region have seen an increase in temperatures of nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1980s, and some projections predict it could increase to up to 7 degrees by the end of the century. Most of this increased temperature, Andresen says, comes in the cooler seasons — winter and spring, and at night. However, it is the precipitation in the Midwest that has seen a more extreme change, with a 10-15 percent increase since the 1930s. “Much of the upper Midwest is wetter than it has been, and that is something that is fairly significant climatologically,” Andresen says. “You could argue perhaps that our [precipitation] now it’s the wettest we’ve been in our historical record. We have about 150 years of records here, at least of weather and climate records. Right now, we’re certainly at the top of anything that’s been observed over that time frame.” In the Great Lakes region, that combination of higher temperatures and more rainfall has led to an increase in microcystin, a toxic blue-green algae bloom that caused a three-day water ban
in southeast Michigan and Toledo in 2014. Since the heavy rainfall arrives at the beginning of spring, crops will not benefit from the increased precipitation. As far as emissions go, in 2013, Michigan generated 160 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution — ranking it at No. 9, behind Louisiana and above New York. In global terms, the United States’ 324 million residents generate more carbon dioxide from fossil fuels than every other nation except for China. Even all the nations of the European Union emit just 60 percent as much CO2 as Americans do — despite outnumbering Americans by almost 200 million. But Michigan has begun taking action to address its energy consumption. According to 2014’s U.S. National Climate Assessment, in Michigan, renewable energy generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources increased more than 100 percent since President Barack Obama took office. The administration has supported tens of thousands of renewable energy projects throughout the country, including 202 in Michigan — generating enough energy to power more than 100,000 homes and helping Michigan met its goal of generating 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015. Like everyone else, Andresen is waiting to see what the new administration will bring to climate change policy in Michigan and the rest of the world. “It’s a very complex problem and challenge for us. That said, there are certainly examples of success in the past, and it’s going to require leadership,” he says. “Ultimately, there will be difficult choices to make, unquestionably. But somebody has to lead us through that process. And that isn’t an easy thing to do.” — Lee DeVito
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
F EATURE “Bicycling would become more attractive, and so would electric cars and home appliances that use less energy,” says Kalmus, an advocate of the revenueneutral carbon fee. Promoting this fee system is essentially the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s entire focus. “This would be the most important step we take toward addressing climate change,” Valk says. By the carbon fee system, the revenue from fossil fuel producers would be evenly distributed by the collecting agencies among the public, perhaps via a tax credit. Recycling the dividends back into society would make it a fair system, Valk says, since poorer people, who tend to use less energy than wealthier people to begin with and are therefore less to blame for climate change, would come out ahead. The system would also place a tariff on incoming goods from nations without a carbon fee. This would keep U.S. industries from moving overseas and maybe even prompt other nations to set their own price on carbon. But there’s a problem with the revenue-neutral carbon fee, according to other climate activists: It doesn’t support social programs that may be aimed at reducing society’s carbon footprint. “It will put no money into programs that serve disadvantaged communities who, for example, might not be able to afford weatherizing their home and lowering their energy bill, or afford an electric vehicle or a solar panel,” says Renata Brillinger, executive director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network. “It doesn’t give anything to public schools for making the buildings more energy efficient, and it wouldn’t give any money to farmers’ incentive programs for soil building.” Brillinger’s organization is advocating for farmers to adopt practices that actively draw carbon out of the atmosphere, like planting trees and maintaining ground cover to prevent erosion. Funding, she says, is needed to support such farmers, who may go through transitional periods of reduced yields and increased costs. California’s cap-and-trade system sets up an ample revenue stream for this purpose that a revenue-neutral system does not, Brillinger says. But Valk says establishing a carbon pricing system must take into account the notorious reluctance of conservatives in Congress. “You aren’t going to get a single Republican in Congress to support
feature legislation unless it’s revenue-neutral,” he says. “Any policy is useless if you can’t pass it in Congress.” Sequestering the farm In Washington, D.C., the nation’s leaders continue tussling over popular issues like immigration, taxes, health care, abortion, guns, and foreign affairs. Climate change activists wish they would be thinking more about soil. That’s because stopping greenhouse gas emissions alone will not stop climate change. The carbon dioxide emitted through centuries of industrial activity will continue to drive warming unless it is removed from the air and put somewhere. “There are only three places carbon can go,” Brillinger says. “It can go into the atmosphere, where we don’t want it, into the ocean, where we also don’t want it because it causes acidification, or into soil and woody plants where we do want it. Carbon is the backbone of all forests and is a critical nutrient of soil.”
carbon enters waterways, creating carbonic acid — the direct culprit of ocean acidification. Researchers have estimated that unsustainable farming practices have caused as much as 80 percent of the world’s soil carbon to turn into carbon dioxide. By carbon farming, those who produce the world’s food can simultaneously turn their land into precious carbon sinks. The basic tenets of carbon farming include growing trees as windbreaks and focusing on perennial crops, like fruit trees and certain specialty grain varieties, which demand less tilling and disturbance of the soil. Eric Toensmeier, a senior fellow with the climate advocacy group Project Drawdown and the author of The Carbon Farming Solution, says many other countries are far ahead of the United States in both recognizing the importance of soil as a place to store carbon and funding programs that help conventional farmers shift toward carbon farming practices. France, for
‘We are in this bizarre political state in which most of the Republican Party still thinks it has to pretend that climate change is not real.’ But most of Earth’s soil carbon has been lost to the atmosphere, causing a spike in atmospheric carbon. In the 1700s, Earth’s atmosphere contained less than 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide, according to scientists. Now, we are at more than 400 and counting. Climate experts generally agree the atmospheric carbon level must be reduced to 350 or less if we are to keep at bay the most disastrous possible impacts of warming. This is why farmers and the soil they work will be so important in mitigating climate change. By employing certain practices and abandoning other ones, farmers and ranchers can turn acreage into valuable carbon sinks — a general agricultural approach often referred to as “carbon farming.” Conventional agriculture practices tend to emit carbon dioxide. Regular tilling of the soil, for example, causes soil carbon to bond with oxygen and float away as carbon dioxide. Tilling also causes erosion, as do deforestation and overgrazing. With erosion, soil
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instance, initiated a sophisticated program in 2011 that calls for increasing soil carbon worldwide by 0.4 percent every year. Healthy soil can contain 10 percent carbon or more, and France’s program has the potential over time to decelerate the increase in atmospheric carbon levels. Toensmeier is optimistic about the progress being made in the United States too. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds programs that support environmentally friendly farming practices that protect watersheds or enhance wildlife habitat, largely through planting perennial grasses and trees. “And it turns out a lot of the practices they’re paying farmers to do to protect water quality or slow erosion also happen to sequester carbon,” Toensmeier says. He says it appears obvious that the federal government is establishing a system by which they will eventually pay farmers directly to sequester carbon. Such a direct face-off with climate change, however, may be a few years
away still. Climate activists may even need to wait until 2021. “First we need a president who acknowledges that climate change exists,” Toensmeier says. National politics and city reform Climate reform advocates still talk about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fiery attack on fracking as a source of global warming during the primary debate in May with Hillary Clinton. “If we don’t get our act together, this planet could be 5 to 10 degrees warmer by the end of this century,” Sanders said then. “Cataclysmic problems for this planet. This is a national crisis.” Sanders was not exaggerating. Earth has already warmed by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and it’s getting hotter. Even with the advances made in Paris, the world remains on track to be 6.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by 2100 than it was in pre-industrial times, according to a United Nations emissions report released in early November. The authors of another paper published in January in the journal Nature predicted temperatures will rise as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. In light of the scientific consensus, conservatives’ denial of climate change looks childish at best and dangerous at worst. In low-lying Florida, so vulnerable to the rising sea, an unofficial policy from its Republican leadership has effectively muzzled state employees from even mentioning “climate change” and “global warming” in official reports and communications. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz suggested NASA focus its research less on climate change and more on space exploration, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Most frightening of all, maybe, is the incoming U.S. president’s stance on the matter: Trump tweeted in 2012 that global warming is a Chinese hoax. In January 2014, during a brief spell of cold weather, he tweeted, “Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?” While most of the rest of the world remains poised to advance emissions reductions goals, Trump is aiming in a different direction. The Trump-Pence website vows to “unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.” His webpage concerning energy goals only mentions reducing emissions once, and it makes no mention of climate change or renewable energy. While meaningful action at the
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
A call to action
Six things leaders must prioritize to address climate change Impose a price on carbon This could occur in several ways. The revenue-neutral carbon fee has a great backbone of advocacy support. It would charge fossil fuel producers at the first point of sale, and the revenue would be distributed among the public. Prices of goods and services dependent on fossil fuels would go up, while people who buy less of those products and therefore contribute less to climate change would come out ahead. The revenue-neutral system’s one flaw, by some opinions, is that it doesn’t provide government with a new source of revenue for funding social systems that promote renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and other climate-focused measures. A cap-andtrade system, on the other hand, would fund public agencies while creating incentive for industries to pollute less. Republicans, however, tend to oppose cap and trade because it acts much like a tax on businesses that they argue will depress the economy. Carbon farming Agriculture has been one of the greatest overall emitters of atmospheric carbon. Now, agriculture must play a role in reversing the damage done to the planet — and it’s theoretically a simple task: When plants grow, they draw carbon into their own mass and into the soil. All that a farmer needs to do is keep that carbon there. By planting longstanding trees and perennial row crops, farmers and other land managers have the power to sequester a great deal of the carbon dioxide that has been emitted into the atmosphere. In the process of slowing climate change, soils will become richer and healthier, with more natural productivity and greater water retention properties than depleted soils. Redesign our cities Urban areas are responsible for more than half of the country’s carbon footprint, by some estimates. The role of cities in driving climate change can be largely offset by turning linear material and waste streams — like water inputs — into circular loops that recycle precious resources. Jonathan F. P. Rose, author of The Well-Tempered City, says 98 percent of material resources that enter a city
leave again, mostly as waste, within six months. Improving the energy efficiency of buildings would be one significant way to reduce a city’s carbon footprint. Upgrading transit systems and making streets more compatible with zeroemission transportation, like walking and riding a bicycle, would also cut emissions. Shift to renewable energy This is a big one that has to be tackled, and it will mean fighting the powerful petroleum lobby. Generating electricity produces 30 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, the single largest source by sector in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, Donald Trump has promised to revive the U.S. coal industry and tap into domestic reserves of natural gas and oil — quite the opposite of developing renewable energy technology. Strive for low- to zero-emission transportation Driving your car — one of the most symbolic expressions of American freedom — contributes significantly to climate change. Transport accounts for 26 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. More than half of this total comes from private vehicles. Airplanes, ships, and trains produce most of the rest. Against the will of the petroleum industry, national leaders must continue pressing for more efficient vehicles, as well as electric ones powered by clean electricity. Make homes more efficient A single pilot light produces about a half ton of carbon dioxide per year, according to Peter Kalmus, author of the forthcoming book Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution. That is just one example of how households contribute to climate change. According to the EPA, commercial and residential spaces produce 12 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In his book, Kalmus discusses how and why he took simple but meaningful action that reduced his carbon dioxide emissions from about 20 tons per year to just two.
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— Alastair Bland
federal level is probably years away, at the local level, progress is coming — even in communities led by Republicans, according to Rose. That, he says, is because local politicians face a level of accountability from which national leaders are often shielded. “At the city level, mayors have to deliver real results,” Rose says. “They have to protect their residents and make wise investments on behalf of their residents. The residents see what they’re doing and hold them accountable.” Restructuring and modifying our cities, which are responsible for about half of America’s carbon footprint, “will be critical toward dealing with climate change,” Rose says.
reduce his carbon footprint. Since 2010 he has cut his own emissions by a factor of 10 — from 20 tons per year to just 2, by his own estimates. This personal transformation is the subject of his forthcoming book, Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution, due out in 2017. Kalmus rides a bike most places, eats mostly locally grown food, raises some of it in his own yard, has stopped eating meat and — one of the most important changes — has all but quit flying places. He hopes to serve as a model and help spark a transition to an economy that does not depend on constant growth, as ours currently does. One day, he believes, it will be socially unacceptable
In light of the scientific consensus, conservatives’ denial of climate change looks childish at best and dangerous at worst. “On the coast, we’ll have sea level rise,” he says. “Inland, we’ll have flooding and heat waves. Heat waves cause more deaths than hurricanes.” Simply integrating nature into city infrastructure is a low-cost but effective means for countering the changes that are coming, Rose says. Many cities, for example, are planting thousands of street trees. Trees draw in atmospheric carbon as they grow and, through shade and evaporative cooling effects, can significantly reduce surface temperatures by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit in some circumstances, Rose says. Laws and policies that take aim at reduced emissions targets can be very efficient tools for generating change across entire communities. However, Kalmus says it’s important that individuals also reduce their own emissions through voluntary behavior changes, rather than simply waiting for change to come from leaders and lawmakers. “If you care about climate change, it will make you happier,” he says. “It makes you feel like you’re pioneering a new way to live. For others, you’re the person who is showing the path and making them realize it’s not as crazy as it seems.” Kalmus, who lives in Altadena, California, with his wife and two sons, has radically overhauled his lifestyle to
to burn fossil fuel, just as it’s become shunned to waste water in droughtdried California. The oil industry will eventually become obsolete. “We need to transition to an economy that doesn’t depend on unending growth,” Kalmus says. Unless we slow our carbon emissions and our population growth now, depletion of resources, he warns, will catch up with us. “We need to shift to a steady-state economy and a steady-state population,” he says. “Fossil-fueled civilization cannot continue forever.” Though Americans will soon have as president a man who is essentially advocating for climate change, Valk, at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, expects time — and warming — to shift voter perspectives. “As more and more people are personally affected by climate change, like those recently flooded out in Louisiana and North Carolina, people of all political persuasions will see that acting on climate change is not a matter of partisan preferences, but a matter of survival,” he says. This article was commissioned by Letterstothefuture.org.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
47 Watson St., Detroit 313-262-6534 greyghostdetroit.com Accessible Open: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday brunch. Late night burger menu till midnight weekdays, 1 a.m. weekends Starters $10-$15, entrées $18-$55, sides $4-$8
Steak and s’mores
Hipster steakhouse delivers experience that’s casual but expensive by Jane Slaughter n Fried bologna waffle. Photo by Sarah Rahal. The Grey Ghost calls itself both a cocktail bar and a neighborhood steakhouse. Riding the trend back toward meat, it’s so popular that you should call days ahead if you want a normal dinner-time reservation. If you have to settle for 8:45 p.m., all the more reason to sit at the bar and enjoy your wait. And the restaurant’s dual description is fair warning of what’s in store: There are 20 named cocktails but only 10 choices of wine — and the wine, at $12, costs more than many of the drinks. Management’s idea is clearly to steer you toward the playful concoctions. When you read the long lists of ingredients, don’t you like to imagine the happy road the mixologists took to devising the final products? Also, do you think they use spit jars? I didn’t order the top-of-the-line cuts of beef at Grey Ghost, because they cost $55 and $47, respectively. Choosing elsewhere, I found the dishes inventive and tasty, with a bit too much reliance on sugar as a crowd-pleaser. Pescatarian companions complained about too few options — all three vegetable sides are meat-accessorized, for example — but what do you expect from a self-described steakhouse? Strict vegetarians, if invited, should beg off. The place is stylish, with floor-length
windows and a heated patio that was still operating into November. A big mural of the Grey Ghost, a legendary Prohibitionera rumrunner, seems out of place — he looks like Long John Silver. The vibe is casual but expensive, as every newcomer in this category is striving for these days. Sound levels are high, with a frenetic music list. Having to shout was my biggest demerit for the Grey Ghost — but with popularity comes noise. The menu is divided not into starters and mains but into cured (such as charcuterie), raw (oysters, tuna, steak tartare), not meat (one fish dish and one each of soup, salad, and pasta), meat (lamb sausage and quail as well as beef) and sides. A great big flatiron steak was cooked rare with buttery mashed potatoes and a pastrami-style sauce, which seems like it could have overwhelmed the beef, but didn’t. No toughness there. Luscious pork belly was shreddy underneath with a succulent crisp crust, a fresh apple slaw an ideal accompaniment. Not so an egg roll wrapper filled with hot Thousand Island dressing. In my opinion Thousand Island is always a mistake, but hot? Chefs John Vermiglio and Joe Giacomino make several similar stabs at incorporating downscale ingredients into
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their dishes. Fried bologna with a waffle. Peanut butter ice cream with grape jelly. A chocolate-graham-cracker-marshmallow dessert that, Vermiglio says, unites the molten chocolate cake of the ‘80s with a s’more. A cheeseburger. Fine if that’s how you want to spend your dining dollar, but I’m going with the grown-up dishes. Like butternut squash cut paper-thin, with matching apple slices and a side of cumin-scented green mole — now there’s a dish with some complexity. Or rich, winy, chewy trumpet mushrooms with bacon jam. Or a piece of ocean trout served sushi-rare. These were dishes where the kitchen showed what it could do. A cauliflower soup came from the kitchen reeking of Taleggio (think Limburger), but this is a cheese whose aroma is stronger than its bite. The thick soup is rich nearly to a fault. A salad of gem lettuce (looks like the tightly furled inner leaves of a head of romaine) came with a “brioche” — I would have called it a fritter — and a poached egg nestled in the center. I like the current fad of throwing an egg onto anything; Vermiglio and Giacomino do it to their cheeseburger too. A bowl of al dente Brussels sprouts was big enough to share, with chicken skin for extra flavor and a hint of sweet-
ness I would have left out. I didn’t try the shishito peppers with candied oxtail, because the dish sounded, again, like gilding the lily: shishitos are sweet anyway and oxtail is richness all on its own, no need to pander. At dessert time, when you want sweet, a red kuri squash pie does the trick, with lots of fluted flaky crust and scads of whipped cream. The PB&J sundae was interesting to try once, with a truly vibrant Concord jelly slip-sliding down the throat. The drinks menu encourages a whynot? spirit, boasting a kitchen-sink’s worth of fixings. Non-liquor ingredients include aloe, walnut, cinnamon, sweet potato, black pepper, and sesame oil. I trusted my server and got the “Trust Fall”: tequila, white vermouth, fennel, honey, vanilla, orange, lemon, and cocoa. A companion’s “Grandma’s Garden” was heavy on cucumber, obscuring the delicate elderflowers of St. Germain. And the day after the presidential election, adventurous spirit crushed for the moment, I sought comfort in hot buttered rum with cider and cinnamon. It didn’t cure what ailed me, but it was a start.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
n Louisiana Creole Gumbo photo by Serena Maria Daniels
Louisiana Creole Gumbo expands by Serena Maria Daniels Detroiters have long been fans of Louisiana Creole Gumbo on the edge of Eastern Market. Now, a second location has opened on the city’s northwest side and more growth is on the way for the eatery. We stopped in to check out the new space last week during a grand opening party, with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan helping to cut the Marti Gras-beaded ribbon. Co-owner Joseph Spencer also announced plans to launch two food trucks to expand the eatery even further. The expansion comes in part after the restaurant won $100,000 from the New Economy Initiative’s NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth challenge and also
funding from Motor City Match. The new spot is primarily for takeout (though there is some high-top seating available), but is brightly and somewhat modernly designed in a pale yellow and green color scheme and a mural of its signature gator mascot on one wall. Among the specialties on the menu (first created by original founder Joseph Stafford in 1970 when he opened Luzianne Creole Gumbo in 1970), obviously, is the gumbo. We dug into the premium seafood gumbo, which came with a generous helping of fresh-tasting extra-large sautéed shrimp, oysters, lump crab, and rice. We found the original
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red beans and rice, ground beef, and creamy mac ‘n cheese to all be drool-worthy. Duggan tells us he’s been known to lunch at the Gratiot location with members of City Council, and recently sampled the catfish and gumbo when he came to check out the new outpost. “I can say I had more than my share,” Duggan says. Duggan’s endorsement of Louisiana Creole Gumbo is one issue we can agree on and we look forward to seeing more of its famous Cajun cuisine. The new location is at 13505 W. Seven Mile Rd. The original spot is at 2051 Gratiot Ave.
Who’s your Pappy? You might expect the exceedingly popular Pappy Van Winkle in pricey speakeasies like Sugar House, or the whiskey lounge at Townhouse Detroit — not a neighborhood beer-and-ashot joint in Hamtramck. But somehow the Painted Lady Lounge has managed to finagle not one, but five bottles of the stuff, including the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, 12 Year Special Reserve, and the 15, 20, and 23 Year Family Reserves. The coveted bourbons made their way into the bar earlier this week, with the 10 and 12 Years first to go on sale (1.5-ounce pours go for $20 and $25, respectively). We’ve seen Pappy available else-
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
n Hummus, Aamer Javed/Flickr
us sick, it’s comforting to know that around here, we can at least be shielded from bad hummus. This is obviously just a sampling of spots that sell great take-home hummus. Share with us your favorites in the comments, on Facebook, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
where in metro Detroit, but for more dough. Earlier this year, for example, Ale Mary’s Beer Hall in Royal Oak expanded its booze offerings with the addition of a whiskey list that included several PVW reserves available in 1- to 2-ounce pours (ranging from $35/$65 for 10 Year to $65/$120 for Family Reserve Rye). The Van Winkle name evokes frenzy among its most devoted fans, so the Lady’s scoring it is considered a relatively big win. Aficionados have been known to schmooze liquor store owners to be added to waiting lists, enter raffles, and have even fallen victim of counterfeit Pappy scams, according to NBC News — all for a chance at nabbing the limited number of bottles that are released every year. Now all loyal Pappy followers have to do is brave the raucous Painted Lady for a taste. The Painted Lady is at 2930 Jacob St. Sabra-Proof You may have heard by now that the FDA recently issued a voluntary recall on some varieties of Sabra hummus because of fears over potential listeria contamination. Other parts of the country may be reeling over this recall, which includes containers with a “best before” date up through Jan. 23, 2017, but we’ve lucked out in metro Detroit, thanks to an abundance of Middle Eastern eateries and grocery stores. When we’re dining out, we love the range in how the hummus is prepared, from the classics at places like Royal Kabob in Hamtramck, Al Ameer in Dearborn, or Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale, to the more unusual, like Zingerman’s spinach variety or the black-eyed peas version at Detroit Vegan Soul.
For the snacker who might otherwise feel inclined to pick up a tub and bag of baby carrots on the way home, we are also in no short supply of delicious (and fresh!) store-bought hummus. To find out some popular gems, we surveyed some locals, who unsurprisingly pointed us toward the Dearborn and Hamtramck areas for inspiration. In Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, Super Greenland Market is a great place to start. The supermarket chain’s five locations are known for Wild Wednesdays discounts on produce, halal meats, and hot deli, plus its ample supply of hummus. Busy lunchgoers also swear by New Yasmeen Bakery (13900 Warren Ave., Dearborn), where in addition to freshbaked pita, meat pies, and healthy salads, diners can grab a to-go serving of the chickpea mash. In nearby Redford Township, Beirut Bakery (257 Schoolcraft) is a longtime staple, with its popular hot and cold halal deli, featuring not just hummus, but also baba ghanoush, and a few labna and garlic dips. One friend noted that this spot also has a fantastic raw kibbeh on Fridays. Headed over in Hamtramck, AlHaramine (3306 Caniff St.) has your fix for bulk Middle Eastern and Asian spices, European groceries, mountains of fresh produce, and a plentiful olive garden where you can pick just about as much hummus as you can handle. Similarly, Holbrook Market (3201 Holbrook St.) also has a decent olive bar with hummus, plus a hot deli where you can pick up a box of chicken and rice and other prepare foods. So you see, even in a world increasingly affected by overly processed junk food that can literally make
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‘Bottomless’ crackdown We just emerged from a long weekend filled with overindulgence, not least of which the inevitable postThanksgiving brunch plans. For many of you, on top of the eggs Benedict, chocolate chip short stakes, and welldone hash browns, brunch also calls for bottomless mimosas. Turns out, according to a report from BLAC Detroit, getting served that endless river of cheap bubbly and OJ is illegal. Under Michigan state law, “alcoholic beverages can only be served in an ‘unlimited’ quantity if the establishment is holding a private event at a specific date and time and local law enforcement is aware of said event,” the BLAC story says. That means all those times you drunkenly posted selfies of you and your BFF gulping down round after round of mimosas, bellinis, Bloody Marys, etc. at X restaurant could cost said establishment fines and endless inconvenience from inspectors. We’ll admit, we too may have played a hand at exposing these notquite-legal activities, what with our handy roundups of best places to go for bottomless brunch libations.
bites But before you damn us to hell for our snitching, consider a business’ rationale in offering bottomless mimosas. First of all, enforcement of this rule is pretty low on the priority list for License and Regulatory Affairs officials. After all, they’re busy chasing after party stores that sell to minors and fielding other complaints. Second, there’s an economic benefit for bars and restaurants to promote such deals, a plus that very well could outweigh the negative. The Atlantic ran a story a few years ago that looked at the boozy refill game. Aside from peer pressure and the emotional attraction customers get from scoring “free” drinks, restaurants are also banking off all the food you buy with your mimosa (you do tend to get the munchies after drinking), as well as the repeat business you’ll give them next time you’re wondering, “Hey, where should we go for brunch?” If you think about it, it’s kind of like that super-secret pop-up in the abandoned warehouse you were invited to or the dive bar that just might let you smoke indoors (OK, yuck, smoking inside stinks!). None are exactly legit, but still worth the risk to some spots. And in these times when Detroit is still on the cusp of total gentrification, bending the rules still seems only natural.
n Bottomless mimosa, The Bosco Jay N./Yelp
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
Side Dish: Adam Merkel, Howell’s wonder chef by Serena Maria Daniels
Adam Merkel is on a mission to put Howell on the foodie map. Sure, the area has its share of corn fields and farms, but it’s also got an up-andcoming downtown, with a number of eateries — both old and new — that are helping to make the Livingston County burg a bit of a dining destination. Merkel is the chef-owner of longtime restaurant Diamond’s Steak & Seafood (which he plans to relocate to a larger space in the former Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern building), the recently opened Silver Pig, and is working on opening a modern Italian place to be called Cello Ristorante. When he’s not playing booster of downtown Howell, he’s marveling at the progress that Detroit’s dining scene has made. Read on to see how Merkel manages to juggle it all.
Metro Times: What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did? Adam Merkel: That I value our employees more than I do customers. Happy workers make for happy guests. It’s that simple. MT: What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Merkel: Howard Stern. That’s my sole entertainment for the day on the drives to and from work. Love him. MT: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Merkel: It would be to be able to fly … how badass would that be? MT: What is the most positive thing in food or drink that you’ve noticed in Detroit over the past year? Merkel: Growing up in and around Detroit my entire life, there was a time where I questioned whether I would ever see the vibrancy of Detroit’s food scene like it is now, let alone in my entire lifetime. Proud to say Detroit is on our short list of next locations.
n Courtesy Adam Merkel.
MT: Who is your Detroit food crush? Merkel: Andy Hollyday. Hands down. Selden [Standard] was a game changer for Detroit, and still is. I’ve got mad respect for Andy. MT: Who’s the one person to watch right now in the Detroit dining scene? Merkel: Kate Williams. So talented. Can’t wait to see what she does with her new spot. MT: Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Merkel: Butter. It’s smooth, has great flavor, and makes just about everything around it better. MT: If you weren’t working in the restaurant business, what would you be doing? Merkel: Whatever I’d be doing, I would be trying to finagle my way
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back INTO the restaurant business. It’s what I was born to do. It’s an obsession. Maybe I should get that checked out.
MT: Name an ingredient never allowed in your kitchen. Merkel: We don’t allow bought sauces or pretty much anything that we don’t make from scratch. That’s just who we are. MT: What is your after-work hangout? Merkel: It sounds boring, but usually my living room, smashing a bottle of wine while reading a gazillion guest comment cards, working on new menus, or any of the other 10 million things our team decides to take on for that week. When I’m not at work or home, I usually like to hit up any of the Roberts Restaurant Group spots … They’re open an hour later than normal
restaurant hours, it’s quiet, and it is always solid for food and drinks.
MT: What’s your food or beverage guilty pleasure? Merkel: Sometime after midnight, I find myself killing a box of mac ‘n’ cheese. I always doctor it up and love it, but I’ve usually drunk so much wine by then I forgot what the hell I did to it to make it taste so good. Until next time. MT: What would be your last meal on Earth? Merkel: Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. They can pick — it’s all incredibly amazing. In my opinion, the best restaurant in the universe. They do EVERYTHING right, start to finish.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
E AT Exit through the gift shop
Chef Rob Lee elevates museum fare with Super Happy Sushi at Café 78 by Adam Woodhead Surrounded by Detroit’s most forwardthinking art collection at MOCAD, the minds behind Café 78’s new concept Super Happy Sushi have taken a rather appropriate approach to museum food. The standard cappuccinos, croissants, and pre-packaged sandwiches are nowhere in sight. In their place, diners can now expect to see truly firstrate food and drink menu courtesy of chef Rob Lee, and the management team that brought us local favorites Wright and Co., Sugarhouse, and the Peterboro. Chef Lee brings two decades of experience to the role, including significant training as a sushi chef in a more traditional setting. But the process of developing his skill set was not simply laid at his feet. “Sushi chef hated me,” he says. “I looked him in the eyes. Apparently
you’re not supposed to look them in the eyes.” “He made me cry in the walk-in like once or twice.” Lee says. ”If you’re a cook, and you don’t cry in the walk-in, you’re not going to be a chef. You’re just going to be a cook.” Lee emerged from the experience a chef in his own right, with a unique sense of balance and respect for tradition. Super Happy rolls like the All That And a Bag Of Chips — coated in Better Made Potato Chips — display the menu’s signature combination of more traditional flavors with unconventional ingredients. “My whole goal is to take Japanese ingredients, and to prepare them for the American palate,” he says. The new Super Happy Sushi menu also features brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu offers a select num-
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food focus ber of rolls, along with Lee’s characteristically atypical dishes like the waffle with grilled eel, avocado, and sesame. The Minoru fried rice is prepared Pilipino style, which Lee explains is distinct from Chinese or Thai fried rice in one major respect: “There’s more fish sauce. It’s a little more funky. It has a lot of garlic.” Managing group The Detroit Optimist Society is known for a meticulous and thoughtfully crafted drinks menu, and Super Happy Sushi is no exception. Manager Nick Chapman suggests pairing Perrin Brewing Company’s No Problems with their Californication roll and extra wasabi. The Session IPA’s body is light enough as to not overpower delicate fish, while the beer’s hops have enough bite to compete with the heat of the wasabi. For Optimist
Society partner Dave Kwiatkowski the winning formula is uncomplicated. “Sushi doesn’t have to be serious,” he says. “You need to respect the ingredients, you need to honor the technique, but it can be fun too.”
n Photo by Tiffany Le.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
n Nick Speed with Michael Castelaz, two of the main forces behind the film project ‘Glazed.’ Courtesy photo.
Glazed and confused
A Detoiter in film school in NYC crowdsources a ’90s Detroit hip-hop stoner comedy by Mike McGonigal We get a lot of emails, and when one from last week directed us toward something called Glazed: A Columbia University thesis film we were all about to click away when we saw the tag line: “A ’90s-era coming-of-age film about two Detroit teens doing stupid things for stupid reasons, with Talib Kweli, Ro Spit, and Nick Speed.” When people are smart enough to advertise what they’re doing as “stupid,” that’s a far better sign than the reverse. And while we’ve all donated to Kickstarter campaigns that never took off, that’s already a stellar group to start with, right there: Speed is great, and Kweli? Damn. Michael Castelaz, the writer-director of Glazed, said in his email pitch that “in the ’90s, the city of Detroit nurtured a handful of legendary hip-hop artists from Eminem to J Dilla; we’re making
a movie about a pair of kids standing in their shadows,” he says. “The story is inspired by an episode from my youth when my best friend, Nick Speed, and I had to get a bag of weed for DJ House Shoes in exchange for a couple of records.” Speed will contribute original music and serve as an executive producer. Emcee and DJ Ro Spit will play the DJ character, inspired by House Shoes. And legendary hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will contribute a voice-over to the movie. We reached out to Castelaz via email. To find out more and donate to the fundraiser, which ends on Thursday, Dec. 8, visit facebook.com/glazedthemovie.
Metro Times: How did you first come up with the idea to take this story and turn it into a film?
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Michael Castelaz: The events that inspired the film took place in 1999, while Nick Speed and I were students at Henry Ford Community College. I knew back then that it was a funny story, and had even written a version of it in a creative writing class. Over the years it just became one of those things you tell people about when you want to embarrass Nick, or just make someone laugh. I’ve been a film student at Columbia University for almost five years now, and at a certain point, I realized that my taste, my perspective, and my sense of humor were being crushed by the weight of my education. Going back to this story was like rediscovering where I come from. It’s also just fun to be nostalgic about being 18 again.
MT: For those who don’t know, tell us about DJ House Shoes. Castelaz: DJ House Shoes has always been a champion for Detroit hip-hop, and Detroit artists in general. I met him when I was still in high school and first discovering the rich hip-hop scene in Detroit. At the time, I was trying to write a biopic about the iconic rap group Gang Starr. When I told House Shoes about it, he invited me over to his place to just hang out, listen to records, and bounce ideas off of him. He was the DJ at Saint Andrews Hall on Fridays, and had a reputation for being a little raw with people, but at the same time, he was taking Nick Speed under his wing and showing him how to make beats, and doing anything he could to help out other artists.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
M USIC MT: What was your experience in the hip-hop scene at that time like? Castelaz:Ienteredthehip-hopscene knowing almost no one, so for a while, I was an awkward kid in the corner trying to make friends. Elzhi and Baatin from Slum Village were some of the first people who I got to know, and they opened a lot of doors for me to become fully immersed in the scene. It was an exciting time because J Dilla was attracting attention from artists like Common and the Roots, while Eminem was the most popular rapper in the world. Because of them, it felt like everyone had a chance to make it, and everyone around me was making amazing music. And since I wasn’t a rapper or beatmaker, I was really just a fan — I just stood there enjoying everything that was happening. After a few years, some of the conflicts that were simmering beneath the surface started to manifest themselves, and things started to fall apart. MT: How did you get Talib Kweli into this? Castelaz:Afterwritingacoupledrafts of the script, I decided that I would shoot it in a more exaggerated, stylized way, and that I would add details and flourishes that were allusions to hip-hip iconography. Adding a voice-over became a tonal and thematic device more than a narrative one, and I knew that it had to be a recognizable rapper for it to work. Talib was my first choice. His discography speaks for itself, he became popular in the era that our movie is set, and he’s got a distinct voice. Nick Speed had worked with him in the past. He put us in touch and we worked out the details. But Talib is on record saying that Detroit has the best rappers, and I think he has a lot of love for the city. He’s also out there supporting Jessica Care Moore and Stephanie Christian by putting out their music through his company, Javotti Media, while also continuing to support the J Dilla Foundation. So I think that this story’s connection to this city, this music, and that era contributed to his decision. MT: What are your Kickstarter goals, and what’s the coolest thing you are offering? Castelaz: Our primary goal with Kickstarter is to make the bare minimum budget to shoot the film, which is $17,000. Promoting the campaign is ultimately promoting the film, so our hope is that there will be enough interest in what we’re doing that we’ll have some opportunities to exhibit the movie for audiences. When
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feature we were planning the Kickstarter, the thing I was most excited about was the unreleased music from Nick Speed. I’ve been friends with this guy for half my life, the whole time playing these amazing songs that not many people have heard. So we’re giving away one of those songs, “Big City,” to anyone who pledges $5 or more. If we make our goal, we’re offering a collection of unreleased songs featuring other emcees like Elzhi and T Calmese. Speed is one of these artists who likes to tinker with his work for years and just keeps making stuff without any particular project in mind. Having an excuse to finally get some of this stuff out to the world is just an added bonus for me.
MT: Are there any existing films you can explicitly think of as inspiration for yours? Castelaz:Myintrepidproducer,Jorge Alfaro, likes to describe Glazed as being Superbad but with hip-hop kids and weed instead of Jonah Hill and booze. I think that’s accurate to a degree, except I hope that our movie comes off as a little more earnest than that one. Amelie and Scott Pilgrim have been points of reference as I build my shot list. And even though it wasn’t really an influence, I think Dope is a comparison that’s going to be inescapable. MT: How do people see other work you’ve done? Castelaz: At Columbia, I’m a screenwriting concentrate, so most of my experience has been limited to writing. I’ve directed a few music videos, including one for Elzhi from his Elmatic project. Although, the work I’ve done prior to film school will be vastly different from what I’ll be doing with Glazed. MT: What really excites you about this project? Castelaz: The thing I’m most excited about this movie is the chance to shoot in Detroit. Having worked on projects in New York, a city with a pretty cynical population, for the past few years, the enthusiasm we’ve received from folks in Detroit has been unbelievable. I’ve reconnected with old friends from college and people I knew in high school, and it’s as if we never lost touch. Even the new friends I’ve made feel like I’ve known them for years, so it feels really good to be home.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
Beats and pieces
A new music column about dance and electronic music by Rai Skotarczyk
Being that this is my first installment for this column, I wanted to introduce the vision I have for it, and then cross my fingers this vision jives with readers. When Metro Times approached me about covering “electronic music,” my head swam with ways in which to do this. After all, electronic music is an extremely broad category. For the past seven years, I’ve covered electronic music for one of the most popular blogs, Indieshuff le. com. My ears sift daily through such a wide and wonderful variety. I’ve come to love all of it, in all its forms. I’m no purist when it comes to genre conventions. That said, it’s
important to pay massive respect to the bare bones of a few categories: techno and house. These two genres are where we get out roots. We’re also possibly the most informed city by way of electronic music — the classic styles and the new styles — and that’s just what I hope to bring to this column: a tastefully catered spectrum of electronic music, both locally made and from afar. The idea is that DJs and regular listeners alike should all find something to love here. I’ll do my best to intrigue you enough with words alone so that you’re compelled to search and discover these releases for yourself.
Artist: DJ 3000/Mazepa Title: Until It’s Gone/MOIA LP Location: Detroit Genre: Techno First on the list, we’re going local, with a bold and fervent release from Motech. Label owner and legend DJ 3000 splits the record with Mazepa, a raw, new talent with a keen sense for what makes techno great. DJ 3000’s dark and rolling “Until It’s Gone” and fatalistic “Delray” complement Mazepa’s atmospheric “Anathema,” and give breath to the exotic undertones of the standout tech house rumble of “Moja.” It’s a solid release that’s available on vinyl and digital via Motech. Artist: Citizenn Title: Feelings EP Location: London Genre: Techno Citizenn was one of the first producers I latched on to as far as my own electronic exploration went (except that back then, the U.K. native only used one “n”). Along with his name, his style has also developed. It’s deeper, darker, and ice cold. The Feelings EP then seems an interesting dichotomy for what
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it is, seemingly lacking of. “Story So Far” and “Feelings” are highly urban developments suitable for damp basement parties and dark room warehouse gatherings. The remix from Harvard Bass rounds out the release with a stripped down, bassheavy edit of “Story So Far.” Caution applies — this release is hard techno, i.e.: it’s not for the casual listener. Feelings is out this week from Kaluki Musik. Artist: Sam Weston Title: Never Been In Love EP Location: Sydney Genre: House There’s nothing I love more than warm, classic house. Australian native Sam Weston might be a bit rough around the edges, but his latest release is nothing to scoff at. Melodic chords jump their way through “Never Been in Love Pt II” like an overly excited kid losing their shit over that first crush. And then like taking a deep breath, Weston reels it in with tasty vocal stabs and minimal exotica sounds in “Never Been in Love Pt III.” The 12-inch vinyl is out this week, and it’s released digitally on Dec. 2 via Soothsayer.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
Artist: Ama Lou Title: TBC LP Location: London Genre: Future R&B, Future bass Ama Lou’s music is a great example of where avant-garde pop electronic is headed. Wherever it’s going, it’s safe to say it’s future oriented. Ama Lou is a righteous artist whose work refuses to be boxed in. At 18, one imagines she’s still got a whole lot more up her sleeve. Her video for “TBC” premiered via I-D magazine and has been making waves based on cool factor alone. But it’s the whole package that hits “TBC” home. The music is like minimal U.K. bass: subtle, yet lush sounds strengthened by a poignant lyrical message which references minority issues as well as standing together, fighting against stagnant social norms. With only 294 followers on Soundcloud, you’re getting in on the ground f loor with this one. Artist: Various Title: Madhouse Records 2016 Location: Worldwide Genre: Deep house Rounding out the column this month, we have a compilation from
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one of my favorite labels, a concern that’s been waving the f lag for soulful house since 1992, Kerri Chandler and Mel Medalie’s aptly titled imprint, Madhouse records. The honey smooth grooves of The Mekanism’s “Sweet Monday” will add a bit of sugar to any day of the week. You’ll be buzzing with good vibes in no time. Voyuer’s “Rain Away” hits you low in the throat, makes you feel like the secret to life is a smooth glass of scotch and a tailor-made suit. Making good on the remix tip, Copyright adds a fresh spin to Tony Lionni’s track “Take Me With” and Rachel Fraser’s vocals add just enough swing to have you swaying to the rolling house beat. The release is a highly sophisticated party for the earlobes. The compilation drops Dec. 16 via Madhouse (of course) so put it on your Christmas list. If you have a demo or release you’d like me to check out, send it to email@example.com.
THURSDAY, DEC. 1
A WILHELM SCREAM LA ARMADA/ BRAIDEDVEINS YOUNG HUNGER 8 P.M. DOORS / TIX AT THE DOOR
FRIDAY, DEC. 2
INDUSTRIAL IS NOT DEAD
DJS ELEKTROSONIK AND AARON HINGST COLD WAVE, EDM, INDUSTRIAL AND MORE 9 P.M. DOORS / NO COVER BEFORE 10 P.M.
SATURDAY, DEC. 3
SNAKEOUT / SUBOURBON SON 8 P.M. DOORS / TIX AT THE DOOR
THURSDAY. DEC. 8
COMEDY SHOWCASE 8 P.M. DOORS / 9 P.M. SHOW -----------------------------------------------------------------------
FRIDAY, DEC. 9
JESSE DAYTON, GALLOWS BOUND AND DEAR JOHN TRACTOR 8 P.M. DOORS / TIX AT THE DOOR
SATURDAY, DEC. 10
9 P.M. DOORS / NO COVER BEFORE 10 P.M.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
This week’s suggested musical events by MT Staff
SATURDAY, 12/3 Eroders/The Lipschitz/ Primitiv Parts @ The Painted Lady Lounge
Eroders is one of the city’s coolest garage/kitchen rock bands. Listen to “The Land Of” or “Doctor Says” and you’ll hear how great this band is. It’s music to jump around to, blare in your house or car, and it’s music that you definitely want to see performed live. The Lipschitz — Rachael Boswell and Daniel Brady Lynch — hail from Savannah, Georgia, and they have made a pretty excellent EP out of Pillow Face. Detroit’s best garage-ish/goth-ish rock band Primitiv Parts will also perform. Songs like “So Dark” and “CCW” show how spooky and groovy the all-girl band can be. The show is at 9 p.m.; 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; facebook.com/ ThePaintedLadyLounge; Tickets are $5.
n Audra Courtesy photo. n Kubat. Eroders. Courtesy photo.
The S.O.S. Band and Midnight Star
Enter the Haggis
@ The Ark
@ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Since 1995, Enter the Haggis have led the charge among Celtic folk rock bands, delighting fans with their memorable performances, inspired songwriting, musical proficiency, and high quality recordings. The Toronto-based band has released eight acclaimed studio albums, the most recent debuting at No. 9 on the Billboard Heatseekers charts.
Easily the best white rapper to come out of Pittsburgh, Mac Miller has been making waves since his first mixtape, But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy, came out in 2007, when he was only 15 years old. Now Miller has released 10 solo mixtapes, and his fourth studio album, The Divine Feminine, came out in September. From working with fellow Pennsylvanian Wiz Khalifa to the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff, Miller has made his fair share of friends in the industry and is getting more famous as the days go by.
@ Sound Board Detroit
Take your time (do it right) when you’re buying tickets to see the S.O.S. Band. One of the most influential and talented electro-funk bands to come out of the 1980s, The S.O.S. Band is sure to be a treat to see live. They’ll be joined by Midnight Star, another fantastically vibrant ’80s funk band, and if disco was your thing back in the day, you probably remember their second album, Standing Together, which reached No. 54 on the R&B chart. The show is going to be a dance party, so go get your groove on.
Show starts at 8 p.m.; 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; soundboarddetroit.com. Tickets are $35-$50.
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Starts at 7:30 p.m.; 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-763-8587; $20.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com; Tickets are $34 in advance, start at $40 at the door.
WEDNESDAY, 12/7 Lizzo @ El Club
n Lizzo. Courtesy photo.
Tiny Moving Parts
@ The Loving Touch
@The Token Lounge
@The Magic Bag
The most emo Minnesotans you’ll ever hear, Tiny Moving Parts will be in Detroit soon, and you can bet your bottom dollar that all of the cool kids will be at the show. They’ve toured with the Front-Bottoms, the Wonder Years, Modern Baseball and more, and their latest album, Celebrate, has been a massive success among fans of the genre since the release in May. Members of the trio Dylan Mattheisen, William Chevalier, and Matthew Chevalier are an actual family, which is important to them. The three have bonded over music since their junior high days of angsting to Blink-182, and they have only improved since then.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 22634 Woodward Ave., Detroit; thelovingtouchferndale.com; Tickets are $13.
Hed PE, one of the pioneering bands of raprock, or “G-Rock” as they refer to it (gangsta rap and rock), has never ceased to be shocking and cutting edge. Since their 1994 formation in Huntington Beach, California, the band has garnered attention from the punk and metal scenes, as well as from the hardcore rap scene, and have put out nine studio albums. They’re inherently political, and that’s something that their music definitely doesn’t shy away from, to say the least. In the current lineup, the only founding member left is singer Jared Gomes, but the band still is as passionate as ever, and the show will definitely be lively.
Show starts at 7 p.m.; 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; thetokenlounge. com.
Even if you’re not sure who Peter Yorn is, you know who he is. He’s opened for R.E.M., Foo Fighters, Sunny Day Real Estate, Weezer, and even the Dixie Chicks. Plus, he released an album (Break Up) with Scarlett Johansson in 2009. Since his 2001 debut album Musicforthemorningafter (“Life on a Chain” is a really good song) Yorn has stayed active in alt-rock scene, and released his sixth studio album, Arranging Time, this year. He’s a mainstay for alternative fans worldwide, and his work has only gotten better with time.
Doors at 8 p.m.; 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; themagicbag.com; Tickets are $29.50.
She’s not even 30 and she’s been a founding member of not one, but four indie hip-hop groups. You might have seen Lizzo, a transplant from Houston to Minneapolis, on Full Frontal With Samantha Bee the day after the presidential election. She performed a comforting rendition of “Lift Every Voice” and the sassy, girl-anthem “Good As Hell.” Since starting her career in music back in 2011, she’s released two solo albums (Lizzobangers, Big Grrrl Small World) and her Coconut Oil EP, which just came out this year. Both of her albums have gained critical acclaim, including with Time, Spin, and The Guardian. Coconut Oil is definitely her best work so far, with great tracks like “Scuse Me,” which is another pretty rad feminist anthem, and “Worship Me,” which is a playful dance song (and feels a little bit like if the s.o. in Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” had recorded a song).
Show starts at 8 p.m.; 4114 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; elclubdetroit.com; Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
The roads to Detroit
Culture Lab Detroit shines a light on the work of outstanding immigrant artists by Sarah Rose Sharp As millions of people living in the United States hold our breath in the face of a president-elect who seems hell-bent on waging war on immigrants, a series of recent events orchestrated by Culture Lab Detroit proved themselves to be exceptionally timely. “Culture Lab Detroit’s 2016 theme is ‘Walls,’” Culture Lab Detroit founder Jane Schulak says. “Participants in this year’s programs are all connected by their interest in reconsidering the structures which define our lives.” This was certainly the case at “Art and the immigrant experience,” a panel discussion featuring performers and artists Migguel Anggelo, Kia Arriaga, Rola Nashef, and Chido Johnson, and moderated by Gracie Xavier, director of corporate and economic development strategy at Global Detroit. “We chose panelists whose work specifically addresses the immigrant identity, and the challenges of living between two cultural worlds,” Schulak says. “This is more important today than it was even a week ago. It was n Courtesy particularly interesting to discuss the evolution of voting privileges for immigrants following this election. I think overall we found that we all have a deep connection to our cultural roots, but also evolve as members of the community we surround ourselves with. “No matter what our background, we ultimately share the same human experience.” The panel, which took place earlier this month, was packed to standing room, and underscored the ways in which immigrants have an experience that is both unique and universal. Coming to the United States from Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico (as did Kia Arriaga) is radically different than having roots in Nyadiri, Zimbabwe (as does Chido Johnson) or being born in Lebanon (as was Rola Nashef)
— and yet each of these artist-immigrants can find some common ground in terms of art’s power to assist in bridging the divide between their native and adopted homelands. “The panel was interesting,” Johnsonsays. “We all accepted that being from immigrant cultures as artists, we automatically felt we had roles to represent cultural context beyond our own individual expressions.” “One of the particular challenges we
the same challenges and issues. It was also refreshing to see how others based their success in hard work and never giving up. I think having a discussion with others is a way to empathize and feel that you are not alone facing those issues and the success stories are definitely an example of how to work towards our own goals.” Filmmaker Rola Nashef’s award-winning feature, Detroit Unleaded, is the first Arab-American romantic comedy portraying second-generation Arab characters
photo. face as immigrants and artists is having to face cultural shock and having to find our voice in a different culture, and keep that voice alive and strong,” Arriaga says. “For some of us, that voice should stay true to our values and traditions in order to communicate our ideas. In my case this is critical. It took me a while to decide that what I do is my real voice — in this case, Aztek culture and Ofrenda installations.” Arriaga takes an active role in education around misappropriations in her own culture; some of her artistic influences manifest in her work as an Aztek dancer and member of the Aztek group Kalpulli Tlahuikayotl. “I did feel participating in the panel was refreshing,” Arriaga says. “I often forget there’s more immigrant artists who face
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specific to Detroit and Dearborn. During the panel, she touched on the struggles she confronted in trying to represent her culture through a love story when expectations were trying to push her to sensationalize her culture within media negative stereotypes — in a sense, her political stance is to be nonpolitical. “Arab-Americans are often forced into identity politics,” Nashef says. “In my work, I wanted to present characters completely outside the context of religion, nationality, and political affiliation therefor making room for interpersonal conflicts, friendship, and love.” Johnson, by contrast, is overtly political. Much of his visual art, collaborative projects — which includes his role as cofounder for the Zimbabwe Cultural Center
in Detroit — and teaching is directly influenced by his activist upbringing and firsthand witness to Zimbabwe’s political climate. “Considering our Trump state, as a cultural practitioner, we should not weaken our [artistic and political] goals by changing them, but rather we may need to become more militant in how we accomplish them,” Johnson says. “We can’t dumb down our goals, our work is too important.” The final panelist, Brooklyn, New York-based, Venezuelan-born performer Migguel Anggelo, followed his panel appearance with a performance of his acclaimed show “Another Son of Venezuela” at the Detroit Institute of Arts recently as part of the museum’s Friday Night Live! Anggelo, backed by his diverse and energetic band the Immigrants, combined personal storytelling, performance of original works and snippets of covers, and high-energy song and dance numbers to create a kind of sonic collage on the theme on immigrant identity. Like all of the artists on the panel, Anggelo demonstrated that immigrant narratives can be joyous and vibrant celebrations of life — even life that includes struggle and uncertainty. Kudos to Culture Lab, for an ambitious season of scaling walls, and some timely food for thought in tumultuous times. On the subject of immigrant experience, Johnson says that aside from Native Americans, all U.S. residents are immigrants. “We have to embrace and accept that,” he says. “The so-called ‘other’ is ourselves. Immigrant artists have taken the role to represent ‘other’ spaces. The more we all do that, the more we blur the lines that divide our many nations.”
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
savagelove by Dan Savage
My boyfriend of almost two years is wonderful, and we have had very few issues. But there is one thing that has almost been a deal breaker. He fiddles with his penis almost constantly — in front of me and in front of our roommates. I’ve confronted him about it a number of times. He said he should be able to fiddle with his dick in every room of the house if he wants to and he should feel comfortable doing so. I told him that he is being “comfortable” at the expense of the comfort of those around him. We’ve had a number of confrontations about this, and he does it a lot less, but he still does it. If he doesn’t stop when I tell him to, I just leave the room. My question to you: Is this behavior unacceptable or am I being unreasonable? — Frustrated With The Fiddling
Until a few weeks ago, I would have said that neo-Nazis sieg-heiling around Washington, D.C., was unacceptable and any elected official or pundit who didn’t immediately condemn neo-Nazis would be finished politically and professionally. But it turns out that neo-Nazism is just another example of IOIYAR — “it’s OK if you’re a Republican” — and relativism reigns. In other words: “Unacceptable” is a relative concept, FWTF, not an objective one. That said, FWTF, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable: Fiddling with your dick in every room of the house is inconsiderate and childish. It sounds like you’re doing a good job of socializing your boyfriend — better late than never — and I would encourage you to keep it up.
I’m a straight man in a mostly healthy marriage. Our sex life is average, which I understand is better than some people can hope for, and we communicate well. For example, I felt comfortable admitting to my wife a few weeks ago that I would like more blowjobs. She in turn felt comfortable admitting to me that she would prefer if I showered more often. So we made a deal: I would shower every day and she would blow me twice a month. But the first month came and went with no blowjobs in sight. I’ve showered every single day. Should I bring this up to her? — Bathe Longer Or Withhold Sex
Your wife doesn’t wanna suck your cock, BLOWS, squeaky clean or stinky cheese. I would recommend outsourcing non-birthday blowjobs — if your wife is OK with that, BLOWS, which she won’t be.
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I’m a mid-30s bi woman in an incredible poly marriage with a bi guy. A few months ago, I learned that one of my closest friends (also poly) has a crush on me. I also have always had a crush on him. My crushfriend needed to ask his other partners how they felt about him being involved with me. Three months have gone by, and he’s not yet told me how his other partners feel. One of those partners is under a lot of stress — not the best time to bring up potential new partners to her — but my friend has dated other people in the past three months. I think if he really wanted to do something with me, he would have asked by now. I know you can’t ask someone to give you closure. I’ve also got a shit ton of pride that prevents me from asking him directly how he feels. Should I just move on? — Confused And Pathetic
I am a queer trans woman in my mid20s, and I am in a monogamous relationship with a queer cis woman. We have been dating for about three months now. We have had an absolutely amazing sex life since day one, except for one caveat: She has never in her life had an orgasm. For most of the time she has been sexually active, she has felt ambivalent about getting off. It has only been in the past month that she has started feeling a “sexual awakening,” as she calls it. We have been making progress, but she has been having issues with getting caught up in her head when I am pleasuring her. This has been causing dysphoric feelings for her. We have had a few discussions about what we can do about the situation, but we are feeling lost. We know there isn’t going to be a quick fix, but what do we do about this? — Confused And Nervous Truly Can’t Overcome Much Exasperation
A I’ve been in a long-term relationship with the girl I’m going to marry. While I’ve had a few relationships in the past, she has had only one other relationship before me, who also happened to be her only other sexual companion. My girlfriend is very vanilla in the bedroom, which is fine for me, but the issue is that currently the only way for her to have an orgasm is to grind (dry hump) on my boxer shorts until she climaxes. This obviously causes her a little bit of embarrassment, along with some heavy rug burn on both of our ends. My question for you: Is there any toy or something that may help with this? — Girlfriend Dryly Humping
Pot and sex toys — they might not help, but they couldn’t hurt.
I’m a woman with a small build who has never had children. During sex, my current partner frequently says, “Squeeze your pussy,” as in he expects me to do Kegel exercises during sex (and hold it), which I will not do because it’s not pleasurable for me to tense up like that during sex. He doesn’t have the biggest or the smallest dick I have ever had, and I have never had this comment before. I have actually been told many times how “good and tight” I feel. We both enjoy anal, so we tried that. Same request: “Squeeze.” I have no abnormalities. I’m not sure if there is a work-around for this, other than doing Kegels every minute of my life. Help! — Sex Partner’s Annoying Requests
You have two options: You can tell your current sex partner you aren’t going to “squeeze” his dick with your pussy or your ass, as the sensation isn’t pleasurable for you, or can you lie to him. Tell him you’re squeezing your pussy/ass — you’re squeezing so hard — without actually squeezing your pussy/ass. Odds are good he’ll notice a difference even if you’re not doing anything differently, SPAR, so great is the power of suggestion.
I had to write after reading your recent Savage Love Letter of the Day from a woman who spotted a friend’s husband on Tinder and didn’t know whether she should say something to her friend. My (single and tindering) friend has been mistaken for his identical (married and non-tindering) twin brother more than once on the app. They live in Seattle and Los Angeles, and so most people in their lives don’t realize they have a twin. My friend has freaked out his sister-in-law’s friends by popping up on their Tinder feed. It came out after the sister-in-law posted a photo of the twins together on social media and multiple people expressed extreme relief that her husband was not a cheater but an identical twin! — Deluded Acquaintances Needed Answers
Thanks for sharing, DANA!
On the Lovecast, Dan chats with the kinksters from the NoSafeWord podcast: savagelovecast.com.
C firstname.lastname@example.org L@fakedansavage
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
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Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016
C ULTURE ARIES (March 21- April 20):
You’ve got the world on a string. If this is hard to believe it’s because someone forgot to tell you that it’s OK to be, and do, and have, anything you want. For once, your past isn’t about to reflect on your future. Things are either coming together in a big way, or you’re hoping and praying that they will. The idea that everything is at stake makes you wonder if you’re big, or clear, or pure enough to hold space for it all. No one can do this but you, so what’s it going to be? When it’s all or nothing there is only one choice; don’t diminish yourself by thinking that you can’t handle this. TAURUS (April 21 -May 20):
You tend to fixate on things and it gets in your way. Don’t make this more intense than it really is. Part of your problem is imaginary. For some reason you wish you had more of a voice in this situation. If that’s how it feels, the whole matter of finding your voice is the main issue. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself where it went, and you might follow that up with questions that pertain to what makes it so hard for you to speak your truth. Others are receptive and more open minded than you realize. Take a chance. There’s plenty of room for the truth here. Let it set you free. GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
Before you know it, a tidal wave of obligations will have you by the short hairs. When life gets like this, the best you can do is deal with it and find enough time to sleep in between whatever’s expected of you. It won’t be this way forever, and it may not be as bad as I am making it sound. The message seems to be about taking care of business and finding a way to fall in love with the idea of staying on top of it all. Tests will arrive in the form of relatives, authority figures, or demands that force you to review the need to please and what it does for you in the long run.
CANCER (June 21-July 20):
You have finally figured out that life goes better when you do one thing at a time. It’s not as if you can’t handle everything, but the “all at once” routine only works when you’re fully enlightened. Knowing enough to keep yourself on track has involved eliminating a lot of mindless social interaction. You don’t have time for it; and you’re noticing that you feel a hell of a lot better when you take care of yourself first. For the next few weeks, knowing this will serve you well and keep you from running to the rescue when the usual suspects need your help.
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horoscopes by Cal Garrison LEO (July 21-Aug. 20):
The spotlight keeps moving around from one issue to another. It’s never just one thing. In your world the kaleidoscope is much more intense than it is for the rest of us. The need to keep rearranging the scenery is being fueled by the craving for change. For some of you this is creating too much upheaval. Things that you are totally unprepared for will combine with the arrival of someone who hasn’t shown their face in a long time, to show you that order is born out of chaos, and to tell you that the next best thing is about to show up in the form of a surprise. VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 20):
Don’t expect people to reciprocate. It’s crazy to assume that they care. You won’t be able to get through to them because this is your business not theirs. For many of you the idea of being betrayed, or undermined by those who seemed as if they were incapable of deceit is part of the lesson. If you are aware of yourself you understand that it’s time for things to change. If you’ve lived long enough you know that change often manifests as difficulty, but it always makes things better. Don’t waste your time trying to resurrect this. You have too much going on to get flattened by it. LIBRA (Sept. 21-Oct. 20):
You don’t know how this is going to work but you’re clear that you have to take the chance. A little gun shy from a few rounds of “fiscal” difficulties, and SOL in the confidence department, you have to find a way to go for it one more time. If it’s any comfort to you, there’s a lot more support for your success than you’ve had in a dog’s age. As much as there are no guarantees, the one thing you do have is enough sense to see that you can’t keep running around in circles and you aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to take a flying leap. What have you got to lose? SCORPIO (Oct. 21-Nov. 20):
You have so much good stuff lining up it’s time to be ready for anything. The relationship arena is totally fascinating, so is the relationship to your work. Many of you are in the midst of breaking free from tight situations; some of you have already broken free. The idea that there is another opportunity ready to change the way things stand is a huge item. God knows how all of this is looking to you, but it looks like fun to me. Your task may be to lose the need to grip anything too tightly. Don’t project your pictures onto a situation that has “miracle” written all over it.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 21-Dec. 20):
You could be totally fed up, wondering where your life went. The desire to escape is strong. Going back to the source would help. That could mean many things. A retreat? A trip to the ocean? A vision quest, totally out of time? Give yourself permission to get off the boat long enough to find your way, or find a reason to keep going. Family stuff is bound to be up. There are issues that haven’t been settled that will require more patience and time on your part. If you feel a little restless, within a certain amount of surface calm, everything is on tenterhooks. CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 20):
Something’s changing but it’s not time yet. You either need a little more external support or you’re thinking you’d be better off giving it up and going for broke. It’d be easier for you to glide through this transition if you didn’t take the drastic approach. And unless you’re being guided by your inner truth, you’d be nuts to let your instincts get you into a deeper hole. Something’s going to come along and lift you out of this. It could be a relative but it’s more likely that it’s someone who cares, and just happens to notice that you could use a little help. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 20):
Don’t over anticipate the difficulty in this situation; there is always a way out. If your habit of bringing everything to the table has you going too far, doing too much, feeling overly obligated, or in a stranglehold with standards that are way too high, you will lessen your chances of turning whatever you’re dealing with into a miracle. There’s nothing wrong with being present and accounted for, and it’s great that you have all the right stuff. At the same time, there’s something to be said for knowing enough to open the windows and allow a little magic to enter the picture. PISCES (Feb. 21-March 20):
Opportunities to break out and take a chance on something totally different have enticed you into thinking that they are the answer to your prayers. As exciting as it seems, you are wise enough to see that a) others are involved in all of your choices and b) part of you is hard pressed to venture too far afield. Caught between what’s dancing on the horizon and the reality of what’s right in front of you, try to see yourself playing both roles before you decide who you want to be. You may find out that staying put feels a whole lot better than going for whatever’s behind the curtain.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2016