2 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
| May 16-22, 2018
Vol. 38 | Issue 32 | May 16-22, 2018
News & Views Politics & Prejudices.............. 8 News..................................... 12
Feature How Greta Van Fleet paved their own stairway to heaven.................................. 20
Food Review: Korean Palace....... 24 Bites...................................... 26
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| May 23-29, 2018
ON SALE FRIDAY
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RODNEY CARRINGTON - MAY 20
JACKSEPTICEYE - MAY 29
6 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
REIK - MAY 24
FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS - MAY 31 WITH LUCERO AND THE MENZINGERS
on sale friday:
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sept. 12 nothing but thieves
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st. andrew’s w/ boogie, buddy, chuck stranger
w/ shaman’s harvest, otherwise, st. andrew’s the autumn kings. wrif rock girls final showcase
may 25 emmure w/ varials, loser, as we divide, st. andrew’s
- performing “closer to free” and other classic hits!
w/ fleshgod,apocalypse, aversions crown, shadow of intent
6/12 – gin wigmore 6/13 – chon w/ polyphia, tricot, ttng 6/14 – badfish - a tribute to sublime 6/14 – the steel woods @ the shelter 6/16 – famous dex 6/16 – sir the baptist @ the shelter 6/20 – sloan 6/22 – pouya w/ wifisfuneral, shakewell 6/23 – led zeppelin 2
| May 16-22, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Politics & Prejudices
Why not just pull out of NAFTA? By Jack Lessenberry
NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was never popular in Detroit. “There goes my job,” a student who was an auto worker told me when it was passed in 1994. Indeed, there are far fewer manufacturing jobs now in the United States than there were then — about 5.5 million fewer. Dan Ujczo, an international trade and customs attorney in Columbus, Ohio, told me last year that “I seldom hear NAFTA mentioned in Michigan without another word starting with ‘F’ in front of it.” (That word is not, in case you wondered, fantastic.) When he was campaigning for president, Donald Trump vowed to pull the United States out of NAFTA, the threeway free trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. “The worst trade deal in history,” he bellowed. Later, he decided to try to renegotiate NAFTA instead, threatening all the while to pull the U.S. out if he didn’t get what he wants. Trump’s anti-NAFTA stand probably made him more popular among many of the white blue-collar voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, who switched parties and gave him his upset victory in the presidential election. But now for the truth: NAFTA actually may have saved the auto industry, not destroyed it. Sure, there was short-term pain, and the Clinton Administration certainly did not level with workers about the effects the agreement would have. Some did lose jobs, although far fewer due to NAFTA alone than most people think. Robert Lawrence, a professor of government at Harvard University’s Kennedy school, has calculated that the total was probably less than 150,000. Very often, NAFTA has been blamed for jobs that would have been lost anyway, thanks to globalization. But what the trade alliance did do was create a far stronger production and assembly operation involving all three countries. “The right way to think about it is that Ford would be out of business [without NAFTA],” Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International 8 May May16-22, 23-29,2018 2018 | | metrotimes.com metrotimes.com 8
Economics, told CNN. They were saved when times got tough, he added, largely because of their operations in Mexico. That NAFTA was actually good for the auto industry may be hard for some to believe. Regardless, however — why not pull out of it now? Ford, General Motors, and the division of Fiat known as Chrysler are all doing great and making billions. But the fact is that without NAFTA, the U.S. automotive companies would face disaster. The Center for Automotive Research, known as CAR, is a nonprofit think tank devoted to highquality research of the auto industry. I’ve been reading their reports for years, and they are superb. If they have any slight bias, it is in favor of the domestic auto industry, but they are rigorously honest. Last month, CAR came out with an impressive “NAFTA Briefing” document, which was a comprehensive review of the proposals on the table and their potential impacts. The report’s main author was Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of CAR’s labor and industry group, and it was very blunt about what would happen if either NAFTA fell apart — or if the other two countries gave in to Trump’s demands: Potential disaster. You wouldn’t think the United States would offer to change NAFTA in a way that would damage our own automotive industry. But then, we’ve never had a president like Trump, who doesn’t know much, doesn’t know or care about what he doesn’t know, and
| May 16-22, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Trump’s demands probably sound pretty good to a laid-off auto worker. Unfortunately, they make no sense. follows blind instinct. Trump demanded, at the outset of the renegotiations, that the agreement’s “rules of origin” be changed to require that 50 percent of the parts in any car made in the three NAFTA countries be from America. Plus, 85 percent of the parts in those cars have to be from a NAFTA country, or no free trade. They’d have a tariff slapped on them, in other words. Currently, only 62.5 percent of any car manufactured in Mexico, the United States, or Canada must come from NAFTA countries. There’s evidently no rule about what percentage of the components have to come from the U.S. Well, Trump’s demands probably sound pretty good to a laid-off auto worker. Unfortunately, they make no sense. Over the nearly quarter-century since NAFTA was enacted, an efficient system has developed that has not only united all three countries, but has produced considerable benefits to both the corporations and the commoners. Here’s one little-known example: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of living has gone up 86 percent since NAFTA was approved. But the cost of a new vehicle has risen only seven percent. What would happen if, all of a sudden, NAFTA vehicles all had to have at least half American-made parts? Trump’s idea would blow up in our faces. “The current U.S. proposal would disrupt the market,” the CAR study said. If the goal is bringing manufacturing back to the United States and the NAFTA region, “it could have the opposite effect if the content targets are set too high or the rules are too onerous.” The likely consequences would be that “at least 46 and as many as 125 vehicle [models] would be disqualified from trade,” or rather, from tariff-free NAFTA trade. That would mean they’d have to pay a tariff that would add hundreds, and in some cases, thousands, to the price of each car. Instead of doing that, CAR thinks they may just scram to some-
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where “even further offshore with an even lower chance of there being any U.S. content in the resulting product.” But what if the United States were to just pull out of NAFTA and go our own way? Well, Henry Ford the First is dead and the time when that could have worked is long gone. “The U.S. cannot self-supply,” the CAR report noted. We can’t even build enough to meet domestic demand. In 2017, U.S. production totaled 11 million units; sales were 17.3 million. America imported 8.7 million vehicles last year and exported 2.4 million. NAFTA is a well-oiled machine. That machine isn’t perfect, of course, and the fact is that some parts of it did need to be reopened. Douglas George, Canada’s consul general in Detroit, told me recently that NAFTA has all sorts of rules about cassette tape players in cars, which of course haven’t been made for years. But there’s nothing at all about the digital economy, which essentially didn’t exist in the dial-up modem world of 1994. Lately, U.S. negotiators have shown some more of what diplomats call “creativity” on the rules of origin, and negotiators seem more encouraged about actually getting an agreement. They need to do that soon: Mexico faces presidential elections July 1, and for obvious political reasons, the ruling party wants this substantially finished by then. How this will wind up is still not clear, but it is clear that the days when nations could blandly turn tariffs on and off like a spigot are a part our recklessly romantic past. The last thing this country needs is a trade war — especially with two nations whose automotive and manufacturing economies are essentially interwoven with ours. Unless, that is, we feel we just have to experience the delights of the Great Depression for ourselves. email@example.com @metrotimes
| May 16-22, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Decision 2018
Abdul El-Sayed wants to transform Michigan by investing in people — and he’s budgeted for every cent By MT staff
Ahead of Michigan’s 2018
gubernatorial election, the Metro Times editorial staff will interview the top contenders. When Abdul El-Sayed delivered the commencement speech at his graduation from the University of Michigan in 2007, former President Bill Clinton, who took the stage after him, joked that the then-22-year-old had a future in politics. El-Sayed, a Muslim born to immigrant parents, had studied political science and biology, but opted initially for the more pragmatic career path: He became a doctor. Eight years later, after receiving a Rhodes Scholarship and studying at Oxford University in England, El-Sayed landed in the public sector, heading up Detroit’s health department at the age of 30. At the time of his 2015 appointment by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, El-Sayed was the youngest health commissioner in any major U.S. city. But his time helming the department would be short-lived. El-Sayed oversaw public health programming in Detroit for an 18-month period in which the city made headlines for shutting off water to tens of thousands of residents. He says his requests for an end to the water shutoffs went ignored, but his department never conducted a study to look into the possibly detrimental health risks of the policy, and it remains in effect today. But El-Sayed did manage to complete a study on another, less visible public health issue facing the city: a massive home demolition program that was spewing lead paint particles into the air and, as El-Sayed now tells it, “poisoning kids.” The mayor didn’t act on the health department’s data until this year, when his administration adjusted the demo schedule to mitigate the risk of lead exposure in kids. The inaction on the part of his former boss is what appears to have motivated
El-Sayed to seek to be the person in charge. At 33, he is running to be governor of the state of Michigan with the goal, he says, of “building a Michigan that is more just, more equitable, and more sustainable.” Compare his policy positions to those of Bernie Sanders, who won Michigan’s 2016 presidential primary, and El-Sayed checks all the boxes: he wants a $15 minimum wage, a universal health care system, and campaign finance reform. He also doesn’t take money from corporate donors. But El-Sayed has thought beyond how he would fare on the lefty litmus test, and his ambitious plans are carefully tailored to deal with Michigan’s complex web of problems. They begin with targeting the porous membrane between money and politics which helps produce policies that subsidize big corporations. He wants to get rid of the term limits that have left us with babysitter politicians nurtured by rightwing legislation mills. He argues for clean government, answerable to voters, not corporations. He wants more transparency, insists upon impartial redistricting (even if Democrats control the map), and demands a full repeal of Citizens United. Economically, he says the solution for Michigan isn’t to offer sweetheart deals to corporations and enforce austerity on
12 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
the poor, but to invest in the people of the state. He points to the knock-on effects of universal health care, eliminating redlining, criminal justice reform, closing funding gaps for school districts, and even free glasses. Many of the methods by which he would achieve his goals are innovative, and outlined fully in the sections below. But one solution stood out to us for its lack of political coyness, and as evidence that El-Sayed is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. When we asked the candidate how, if elected, he would wrangle a Republican-led legislature into approving policies focused on empowering people, he said that of all the Democratic candidates, he was best-positioned to mobilize citizens so lawmakers would have no other choice. “Here’s the thing, if I win this election, I will have the single biggest mandate of any governor in Michigan history,” he said. “Michigan will have gone from electing a bigot president who does not belong in office anywhere by 10,000 votes, to turning around and electing a 33-year-old Muslim-American doctor governor.” “Everybody wants to know — is there a blue wave, and who’s iconic of the blue wave? The millennial Muslim guy running for governor in Michigan,” he says. “So where do you think that’s going to
have me? CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, everywhere. Do I have the personality skills to take advantage of that? I think I do.” (Indeed, El-Sayed is extremely charismatic.) “Then I get elected governor, now I get to take that bully pulpit of the governor’s office and, I’m a bit of an activist, so we’re going to go out there in those communities and we’re going to organize. Not only that, but the ability to fundraise at the national level, being the first Muslim governor in U.S. history — it’s through the roof. So I’ll have the ability to pack money and people into those communities and basically shut down legislative offices if I want to.” Getting that far is a long-shot scenario. El-Sayed has polled in the single digits, with former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and wealthy businessman Shri Thanedar out front in the race. Prognosticators have said his name and religion would make winning Michigan an impossibility. And over the past five months, El-Sayed was dogged by questions over whether he would even be eligible to run after it was reported that he had registered to vote in New York from 2012 to 2015. The issue has since been resolved, with the state saying El-Sayed is in fact elligible. But some of those challenges may not
because we are paying for the overhead profit that was on the hospital side and on the insurance side that everybody is collecting on. Yes, we pay for it. The question becomes whether or not we are willing to stem the cost of it by paying for it in a different way.” El-Sayed says, “Rather than asking your employer and you to pay some kind of insurance company that replicates overhead with every other insurance company and takes 15 cents on the dollar so they can feel good about themselves and be rich — instead of that, what if we were to pay to a public system that shows up as a tax but that’s a tax that’s far lower than what you already pay anyway?” If the state were to implement a universal health care system, El-Sayed adds that auto insurance rates would go down because, right now, “we’re asking auto insurance to be health insurance.”
Education reform, K-12
be insurmountable. It’s still early in the race, and, according to polls, some 40 percent of Democrats have yet to decide who they support. El-Sayed’s campaign also says that polls have trouble tracking millennial support, and that the large crowds the candidate draws are a better measure of his support. El-Sayed certainly has strong support from national progressive groups and the Michigan Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus, which reportedly booed his adversary, Shri Thenadar, out of the room at the party’s endorsement convention last month. Now, El-Sayed has said he’s looking forward to going back to talking about the issues. Below, you can see where he stands on a number of them, and how he plans to effect the massive changes he says are necessary for Michigan to start properly taking care of its people.
Healthcare for all El-Sayed supports universal health care and believes Michigan could set an example by creating a single-payer system. “We already all pay for health care,” he says. “We spend 19 cents on the dollar on health care — more than any other high-income society. In fact, if we were to walk from here to across the bridge [to Canada], they’re paying 11 cents on the dollar. The reason we’re paying more is
El-Sayed says he would create a school facilities infrastructure bank to more equitably fund education across communities. Michigan districts, he says, currently have about $14 billion in facilities debt, which is financed not by the state, but by bonds backed by local property taxes. El-Sayed would ask voters to levy a statewide property tax of 4-5 mills to create a $22 billion Shared School Infrastructure Bank. $14 billion would be used to cover existing debt — which he says Michiganders are already paying for through debt service payments — while the remaining approximately $9 billion would be for facilities funding. El-Sayed says he would also reform the charter school system through a variety of measures. He would eliminate for-profit charter schools, limit the number of charter authorizers across the state and bring authorization under the purview of state Department of Education and state school board, and require that decisions about charter opening have some local agreement on behalf of the school district. He would also require that both a teacher and student be on the board of each charter school. “I understand that there are some communities who might say, ‘Hey, we want to build a charter school to provide a particular kind of education for a particular kind of kid,’” he says. “Great, that’s what they’re supposed to be. It was not supposed to be a system by which capitalbacked finance sharks could make money off of public education.” The market-based education system, he says, is “garbage.” “Just to give you an idea of how garbage it is, you have this charter school that advertises,” he says. “When they advertise they’re literally taking the funds that we’re supposed to be using for our kids
and putting it up on a billboard just to put up a picture of a kid in a polo shirt to somehow say the education the kid is getting is great, which statistically speaking it is not.” “And then what happens is because they are advertising, the public schools have to advertise too,” he says. “So all of that money is now being spent on advertising that was supposed to be spent on our kids, which makes no sense.”
Infrastructure The infrastructure bank would apply to additional sectors, including transportation, water, and energy. The transportation bank would be funded with about $1.5 billion every year until the state’s roads, which this year got a “D+” ranking from the American Society of Civil Engineers, bump their grade up to an “A.” The proposal would rely on current levels of road funding, plus an additional $600 million raised via gas and diesel taxes, tolls, and higher registration fees for large vehicles that tear up the roads. The plan would also use about $60 million in marijuana taxes, should the substance be approved for recreational use this fall. El-Sayed would fund improvements to water infrastructure by raising $600 million for his Clean Water Bank through a bond that would need voter approval.
Clean energy plan El-Sayed’s goal is to bring Michigan to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, and yes, there’s a bank for that too. Clean energy infrastructure would be constructed and operated mostly by homeowners and landowners, rather than municipalities. The focus of the Clean Energy Branch would be to mitigate investment risk (for Michiganders investing in infrastructure and investors offering loans to consumers), lower transaction costs, and ensure consumers don’t get price gouged by private lenders. It would be funded with about $100 million initially via an annual ratepayer fee of about $11 per household.
Free water access Michigan is surrounded by much of North America’s freshwater supply, and yet, our state and city governments regularly make headlines for limiting people’s access to water. El-Sayed says under his governorship, the amount of water it takes people to drink, cook, bathe, and clean would be free. Households that use more would then cover the cost by paying more per unit of water. El-Sayed would also instruct the state health department and director to conduct a study into the impact of water shutoffs. If public health risks are identified, El-Sayed says there exists a law that allows the health department and state
health commissioner to intervene “for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this state.”
Criminal justice reform “The entire system of criminal justice around petty crimes needs to be reformed,” says El-Sayed, noting that laws are often enforced unevenly, putting more people of color behind bars. “We incarcerate 11 percent more people in Michigan than the national average and our prison budget shows that. It costs about $36,000 to $40,000 a year to incarcerate somebody. It costs about $36,000 to $40,000 a year to send them to Harvard. We’ve got to think about why we’re spending so much there.” If elected, El-Sayed says he would fight to reduce sentence lengths, streamline the parole process, commute the sentences of people serving life in prison for crimes they committed as juveniles, raise the age of adult prosecution, ban the box, and implement support services for prisoners and ex-prisoners in order to help reduce recidivism.
Marijuana El-Sayed supports legalization and the expungement of the criminal records of people who’ve been convicted of marijuana-related offenses.
Limiting tax incentives for corporations Calling the Michigan Economic Development Corporation a “public piggy bank for private funders,” El-Sayed says he would retool the way the state invests in projects by wealthy developers. “The way we’ve done public-private partnerships for so long has been that private folks decide that they want a project, they get a bunch of public money, and then they keep all the benefits of it,” he says. “The way we should be doing public-private partnerships is that the state runs operations and the project and then we get private financing as investments. Sure, if you’re a financer of a big public project, can you make some money? Yes, but we know exactly what’s happening and why it’s happening and who it’s happening for.” “I don’t believe we should be subsidizing huge corporations to the tune of billions when we’re not able to invest in people. So the way that we do megacredits, the way that we entice corporations by allowing them to, in effect, eat up the taxes their workers are paying, that to me makes no sense at all,” he says. “If we’re going to give you a subsidy at all, it’s going to be tied to a job, and if you’re not providing jobs, that goes away.”
| May 16-22, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Proposed Medicaid work rules would disproportionately affect black people By Violet Ikononova
A bill that would require many of
the state’s Medicaid recipients to show they work at least 29 hours a week in order to keep their coverage comes with an exemption ostensibly designed for people who live in places devoid of employment opportunities. If you reside in a county with an unemployment rate of more than 8.5 percent, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll still be eligible for your benefits without having to fill out a bunch of burdensome paperwork and without having to find a job. But if you’re a Medicaid recipient in an urban area where unemployment is high — think Flint or Detroit — you’re out of luck. That’s because the cities are surrounded by better-off suburbs with lower unemployment rates. In Wayne County, for example, the average unemployment rate last year was just 5.4 percent; in Genesee County, it was 5.8. In the city of Detroit, meanwhile, the average unemployment rate last year was 9.3 percent. Flint’s rate was 10.4 percent. According to a data analysis by the Washington Post, the exemption would benefit white people almost exclusively. Under the bill, work-related requirements would apply to about 700,000 people — most of them being enrollees of Healthy Michigan, the Medicaid expansion program created for certain people under 64 under Obamacare. According to the Post, 23 percent of those people are African-American and 57 percent are white. And yet, the Post found that African-Americans make up just 1 percent of the total pool of people who would qualify for the underemployment exemption. By contrast, 85 percent of people who would qualify are white. Other mostly black cities with high unemployment that miss out on the exemption are Saginaw and Highland Park, according to a report by Bridge magazine. Muskegon and Mount Morris Township also have high unemployment rates and sizable black popula-
tions. We reached out to each of the 11 Republican senators behind the legislation this week in an effort to learn whether the provision was intentionally designed to discriminate against black people. Most did not return our calls or emails. The offices of Sen. Patrick Colbeck and bill sponsor Sen. Mike Shirkey said the lawmakers would not be available by our deadline. Shirkey appears to have discussed the provision with media only once, telling the Detroit News, “I mean, is it too much of an expectation to look for jobs if you happen to live in Flint, to look for a job in Genesee County? And the same argument applies to Detroit and Wayne County. How granular do you want to get?” Shirkey represents the Jackson area, so perhaps he’s unaware that Detroiters pay some of the highest car insurance rates in the country and, as a result, often don’t have cars they can legally drive to get to work. Or maybe he thinks Wayne County has a robust transit system on which those non-driving people can rely (it doesn’t). Maybe Shirkey also doesn’t know that Detroit is the most populous city in the state, with more than 670,000 people living in its 140 square miles. By contrast, there are reportedly just 300,000 people living across all of the counties that would be exempt under the bill. Arenac County, specifically, has a population of just 15,000. How granular does the senator want to get? We sure would like to hear more from Shirkey on why he crafted this proposal to help counties rather than cities. As the Washington Post pointed out, other assistance programs that come with work rules can provide exemptions for a variety of areas with high unemployment. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, reportedly allows states to apply for waivers for high-unemployment counties, cities, or Indian reservations.
14 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
JEFF SMITH, FLICKR
A Michigan House Democrat who’s a proponent of Medicaid and universal health care this week described what he sees as the real rationale behind the exemption. “They have this belief that there’s this massive group of people that are abusing the system,” Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) told Metro Times. “Quite frankly, I think if we’re going to break it down a little bit, I think much of that belief that’s held by folks is based on racism.” “And that racist aspect is so clearly reflected in this proposal. Like — it’s OK that I have Medicaid as a rural, white person, but it’s not OK that people in Detroit have Medicaid, or that people in Flint have Medicaid, because ‘they’re lazy,’ because ‘they just abuse the system.’” Regardless of the intent of the Republican lawmakers behind the proposal, two University of Michigan professors wrote in a New York Times op-ed that it appears to violate Title VI under the Civil Rights Act. Title VI prohibits recipients of federal funds from employing “methods of administration that appear neutral but have a discriminatory effect on individuals because of their race.” “Could the courts step in if Michi-
gan’s bill passes? We think so,” professors Nicholas Bagley and Eli Savit wrote in the piece published Tuesday. “Michigan needs a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services before it can move ahead with work requirements. As with most kinds of federal agency action, the decision to issue a waiver can be challenged in court, and will be invalidated if the court finds the agency’s decision ‘arbitrary.’” “It would be the height of arbitrariness — and hence unlawful — were the Department of Health and Human Services to bless a state policy that so flagrantly violates the agency’s own anti-discrimination rules.” The work rules bill has passed the Senate and is in committee in the House. Gov. Rick Snyder has indicated he’s open to instating work-related requirements for Medicaid recipients. His office said Tuesday that he’s working with Shirkey on language and would not approve the legislation in its current form. Snyder’s office would not comment specifically on the exemption for counties with high unemployment. firstname.lastname@example.org @violetikon
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| May 16-22, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS News Hits
Only medical marijuana patients can smoke CBD, state regulators say Edited by Violet Ikonomova
CBD — or cannabidiol, the
cannabis compound that can relieve your pain without making you feel high — comes from the marijuana plant and will be regulated in accordance with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, state officials say in a notice issued last Thursday. The clarification from the state’s marijuana regulatory body comes in response to confusion over the legality of CBD, which on its own does not contain the intoxicant THC. “We were getting a lot of questions regarding CBDs and what licensees can and can’t do, and do you have to be licensed to sell it or not,” says David Harns, spokesman for the Michigan Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. “We figured now was as good of a time as any to answer those questions.” The rationale behind the state’s determination that CBD is to be regulated like marijuana is based on the definitions of marijuana in the Michigan Public Health Code, the BMMR notice says. Cannabinoids, which include cannabidiol, “are most abundant in the flowering tops, resin, and leaves of the cannabis plant and are not found in parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the definition of marihuana,” the guidance says. Exclusions include the stalks of the plant. The notice also clarifies the legal uses of industrial hemp, from which CBD can be derived. “The Industrial Hemp Research Act limits industrial hemp to cultivation or research and does not authorize its sale or transfer,” the notice says. Michigan’s policy seems to differ from that of some other states. According to a High Times report published early this year, some states allow people to freely consume CBD-based products, as long as they contain less than .3 percent THC. The marijuana news publication reports Delaware allows CBD oil to contain up to 5 percent THC. The guidance from Michigan’s mari-
juana regulatory body comes a year and a half after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency determined CBD was illegal.
Immigration advocates begin 9-day walk to Lansing
Michigan immigrant rights advocates are embarking on a more than weeklong journey from Detroit to Lansing in an effort to get a court to stay the deportation of Albanian immigrant Ded Rranxburgaj. Rranxburgaj, an Albanian immigrant whose home is Southgate, has been living with his family in a Detroit church since he was targeted for deportation early this year. Rranxburgaj is the sole caretaker of his wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. The 90-mile “Pilgrimage to keep families together” began Monday morning at that church, United Central Methodist. Marchers are expected to make it to Lansing on May 22 and finish their walk at the state Capitol. There will be various stops along the way, where people impacted by deportation are expected to share their stories.
Grading the QLine The QLine, Detroit’s 3.3-mile long streetcar system, opened to much fanfare exactly a year ago last week. But in its first 365 days, the line has been beset by problems, including low
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ridership and regular stoppages due to parked cars along the track. For QLine CEO Matt Cullen, however, the street car’s performance warrants a solid “B” grade. Cullen, who is also principal of Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures, spoke with the Free Press for a story to mark the oneyear anniversary of the opening of the street car. He tells the daily his grade is based on a blending of two phases. He gives an “A” to the effort to launch the QLine, and he gives the operational side a “C+” or “B-.” According to Bridge magazine, the QLine averaged more than five stoppages per week in its first year — a result of the fact that the street car runs curbside with traffic, as opposed to in its own dedicated lane. The QLine also averaged just 2,700 daily rides from November through March. The QLine operators had previously said daily ridership goals were between 5,000 daily rides, with a goal in five years of attaining 8,000 riders per day. The streetcar also went from being free to $1.50 per pass in September. During the free period, when the weather was warmer and the street car was still a novelty, daily ridership was at 4,300. The QLine has also faced a fair share of criticism in its first year over its purpose as an economic development tool which received a good deal of public money. A report by academics found
that it ran curbside against the wishes of the community, and that the decision was made to ensure the streetcar would produce more foot traffic to help boost businesses along its route. Much of that real estate is of course owned by Dan Gilbert, who helped steer the decision-making process. The street car runs from downtown to New Center and does not directly connect to other modes of transportation. QLine officials have said they are optimistic about the next year of operations, and that some of the kinks of the system are starting to work themselves out. Wait times between rides have decreased, they say, and so have the number of drivers who double park along the tracks.
Detroit No. 1 in pedestrians killed by automobiles If you’re walking down the street in Detroit, you have a stronger chance of being killed by an automobile than in any other big American city. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bore the bad news: Nearly a quarter of the 118 people who died in car crashes in 2016 were pedestrians. That is the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in U.S. cities larger than 200,000 people. email@example.com @violetikon
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FEATURE The kids are alright How Greta Van Fleet paved their own stairway to heaven By Jerilyn Jordan
In a dimly lit lobby of Royal
Oak’s Rustbelt Studios, Greta Van Fleet drummer Danny Wagner opens a bottle of water. “They’re always late,” he says of his three bandmates, brothers Josh, Jake, and Sam Kiszka. They are in fact late by half an hour, and I have to wonder if their rock ’n’ roll antics precede them or if they had simply done their homework. At 19, Wagner is the second-youngest member of the Fleet, and only when he turns to the side does he strike any resemblance to the late John Bonham. The comparison is only apt because the young band has drawn plenty of comparisons to Led Zeppelin — but more on that in a bit. When I attempt to make small talk by addressing our age gap, Wagner attempts to calm my apparent woes. “I’ve heard that most women peak at 30,” he shrugs. “It looks like you’re doing OK for yourself.” Thanks? In terms of OK-ness, Greta Van Fleet has exceeded expectations — which for a band that has been passed the dying torch of traditional rock and has been tasked with keeping the damn thing ablaze, they seem to defy the fate prescribed to most revivalists. 2017 saw the release of the band’s first EPs, which were combined to form the eighttrack EP From the Fires. “Safari” and “Highway Tune” rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s mainstream rock charts, and all 42 dates of their first headlining tour sold out in advance. In recent months, they’ve found fans in Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber, and have been tapped to open for Guns N’ Roses in Europe this summer. Just days before our interview, the band performed with Sir Elton John at his annual Oscar viewing party. “These guys are so amazing they take my breath away,” John said of the quartet in an Instagram post. “They’re bloody amazing.” In appealing to die-hard Zep-heads with their primal 1970s transmission — at times, sounding like the best fucking Led Zeppelin karaoke anyone has ever heard, and I tell them as much — they have also successfully seduced a generation too young to have experienced the
band’s foundational source material firsthand. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and mostly blues — on the surface, the Greta Van Fleet formula does not need adjusting, just some explaining. During an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Josh rehashed a recent incident where a stash of colored pills had spilled from his pocket during a performance at a Chicago radio station. What could have been a scandalous mark against the young rocker’s reputation turned out to be one example of the band’s many glaring rock trope anomalies — the pills were fucking multivitamins. In other words, Greta Van Fleet have not watched Kenneth Anger’s film Lucifer Rising in a corner suite at the Plaza hotel alongside David Bowie with a table full of cocaine, nor have there been any reports of their tour manager pulling a gun on a Fleet Street reporter on a flight to Detroit, and certainly there have been no rumors involving a satanic ritual, a dead shark, and intercourse with a teenage girl. Instead, the band’s Instagram feed is strewn with videos of the brothers jumping barefoot into puddles, climbing out of first story windows, eating Girl Scout cookies, and leaping into clumsy backstage cartwheels — rebels with no cause for concern. Wagner has retreated to the studio, where producer Al Sutton is running some playback on what is shaping up to be the band’s debut LP. Meanwhile, I can’t help but obsess over the time and the rest of the band’s tardiness as I know the band is set to leave for Europe the following day and during a phone call with management I was told that we had to schedule the interview on a Friday at the end of a work week because the young men are supposed to be recording and are “easily distracted.” Great. Moments later, the studio door flies open and a flood of sunlight pours through behind the tornadic energy of the brothers Kiszka. Josh, sporting a traditional Indian kurta, prayer beads, and an Om pendant, picks up a stack
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Greta Van Fleet, from left: Danny Wagner and brothers Jake, Josh, and Sam Kiszka.
of papers and throws several pages in the air. “This is top secret information, what’s going on here?” he says. “This is bullshit!” Jake and Sam follow in a flurry of crosstalk and physical schtick and my introduction to Greta Van Fleet
unfolds like a comedic outtake from the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. The kids have done their homework. Though they are set to embark on a tour that will carry them through midOctober, they have not packed, nor
have they finished recording. They do not seem the least bit bothered by this. And, according to them, they have been granted free reign to do whatever the fuck they please. “You can’t rush a piece of art like
this,” Sam explains. “I mean this is a substantial piece of work and I think a lot of bands have the trouble of the label getting on them. We haven’t gotten that pressure.” “Granted, we’ve had to instill that
as the case,” Josh adds. “I think we just have a high expectation for ourselves. You know, for me as a singer and performer, I want to get the best performance, the best vocal I can possibly put down, you know —”
A train running adjacent to the studio roars by. “That has ruined a lot of recording,” he says. Josh explains that the unfinished debut is all about exploring the “multidimensionality” of the band. “People just presume that it’s a Zeppelin thing,” he says. “But I don’t think after this comes out that that is going to be as prevalent as the initial stuff. We’ve got our foot in the door now, you know?” “You are in the door,” Danny says. “You may be the door,” Jake adds. If you want to challenge Greta Van Fleet’s rock bona fides, ask about John Denver, Joni Mitchell, or Gordon Lightfoot. Or better yet, throw the name King Crimson at them and watch them light up as they fight to name their favorite overlooked psychedelic influences like Captain Beefheart or Quicksilver Messenger Service. More than Zeppelin itself, the band collectively cites Zeppelin’s influences as being integral to establishing its sound. Josh says they were “injected with the blues” early on, having grown up with records by Howlin’ Wolf, Big Bill Broonzy, Taj Mahal, Wilson Pickett, and Robert Johnson. “I think it’s really quite interesting how the beginning of the blues was really culturally created, you know?” Jake says. “It came from oppression of the black man and slavery. And it’s not to say at all that we’ve encountered anything close to the amount of pain that they have, but to be able to try and understand it being a bunch of guys from a really small town can offer a different perspective.” As cringeworthy as a bunch of white kids covering Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” might seem, Greta Van Fleet proves to be a rare exception. As one of the two covers on From the Fires (the other being Fairport Convention’s “Meet on the Ledge”), the band knows better than to dare duplicate the haunting poignancy of Cooke’s 1964 performance. Instead, their version reads more like a tribute after having given it their writhing, high-charged treatment. “We’ve never really paid attention how it’s [our music] received,” says Sam. “It’s just how we think. You know, is it done? Is it good? Is this our perfection? Is this as close as we can get? So, I think that’s what we’re mostly worried about. I don’t think we’ve actually thought about public perception until —” “Right now. Fuck!” Josh interjects. “If the album tanks we could probably give a shit, you know what I mean? It’s just
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FEATURE music. If it all ends tomorrow — “ “It’s alright,” Sam says. “We move on.” “Then we’ll find another woman in town to name our band after,” Wagner laughs. If you haven’t pieced it together, there is no one in the band named Greta Van Fleet. The name is a nod to Gretna Van Fleet, an unsuspecting, dulcimer-wielding hometown elder. (Josh says the “n” was dropped because it “flowed” better.) As for their hometown, well, it’s not Detroit Rock City. All four members hail from Frankenmuth, Mich., a Bavarian-style tourist town known for its family-style chicken dinners, indoor water parks, and Bronner’s — the world’s largest “CHRISTmas” store. In other words: a colorful road-trip rest stop and the most unlikely re-birthplace of rock ’n’ roll. The band is aware of this, and lay it on thick. “It’s like being on vacation every day of the year,” Josh jokes. “We go to school on toboggans.” “It’s like being an elf in Santa’s magic court,” Sam adds. “We build snowmen every day, ride horses. It’s a makebelieve, animated town.” Before Wagner joined in 2013, the band may or may not have performed at a Christmas formal while Sam was still in middle school — the band can’t remember the details. “Everyone was freaking out,” Josh recalls. “‘Oh my god, there’s so much skin and it’s just too loud, oh my god. What are we going to do? It’s going to blow the windows out and all the world’s going to melt! All the kids are going to be gay!’” “All the kids are going to turn communist!” Jake chimes. No one would fault Greta Van Fleet if they wanted to describe themselves as a Detroit band, even though Frankenmuth is an hour and a half north of the city. After all, the band members agree that their hometown is almost completely devoid of rock venues or a discernible music scene beyond something called “Friday Fun Night.” According to them, though, Frankenmuth is a unique place to have grown up. “I think it’s cool because if you go around and no one’s heard of your town, which happens quite often, you can share some things you’re proud of, and I’m proud to be from Frankenmuth,” Wagner says. During an interview with an Australian outlet earlier this year, Zep frontman Robert Plant gave his official endorsement to Greta Van Fleet. When
Greta Van Fleet perform at Saint Andrew’s Hall in 2017.
asked if he was excited about any rising rock ’n’ roll bands, Plant referenced “a band in Detroit” and proclaimed that Greta Van Fleet was “Led Zeppelin I,” and called Josh a “beautiful little singer.” “I hate him,” Plant jabbed with a mock-jealous snarl. There’s no question that Josh’s guttural wailing and acrobatic high tenor is what draws those exhaustive Zeppelin comparisons, but to overlook the remarkable musicianship of the band as a whole would be to dismiss all the evidence proving that they are nothing like their “Stairway to Heaven” predecessor. Sure, Jake told Rolling Stone in January that he had spent a year studying Jimmy Page so “intensely” that he “knew how he thought.” But his intuitive riffing is gnarly, and of his own design. And Sam? His restraint on the bass elevates the band’s improvisational style to sounding polished and purposeful. Heavy-footed Wagner on drums is a force, and is more akin to the likes of Carmine Apprice than Bonham. Together, the band forms a tight, well-oiled machine. And even though they draw heavily from rock’s past, they are different. “Everybody’s so mad in rock music,” Sam says when asked about contemporary rock. “Right, like telling the audience to fuck off. The kind of thing that turned me off to a lot of [modern] rock ’n’ roll is it sounded so hateful,” Josh confesses. “It didn’t make you feel good like rock
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’n’ roll does for me, you know? So, that’s kind of the thing that our music does, I think, is it doesn’t get you down. It lifts people up, all of us, like a real community.” “I think rock ’n’ roll should set your soul free,” says Sam. OK, if you’re like me, then maybe you had your doubts about the authenticity of Greta Van Fleet. How are some kids from Little Bavaria armed with guitars, a pocket full of vitamins, and access to their parents’ vinyl collection any more rock ’n’ roll than, say, Disney’s Jonas Brothers? It’s clear they’ve studied the cadence of early Beatles press conferences, mastering their conversational ping-pong (thanks, YouTube) and they’ve copped the tight, flared, and fringed costumery of their rock-god compatriots (thanks, Tumblr). When asked about staying grounded they say family is key, and they would much rather retreat into the woods than get loaded in VIP sections. If they were forced to pick a new career, they jump at the chance to call dibs on Disney World mascots (Josh likes the idea of playing Aladdin, and we all suggest Wagner would make a killer Mowgli). Greta Van Fleet has not reinvented the wheel, nor have they discovered literal fire. What they have found, however, is a formula to reintroduce the world to a genre that was allegedly dying long before these kids were even in the womb. We can scoff and say we’ve heard this before, and we have — 50 years ago. But 50 years ago you could
score ketamine in a convenient parking lot and smoke cigarettes in hospitals, and wearing a seatbelt was totally optional. Everything felt dangerous because it was dangerous. The fact that times have changed does not invalidate what Greta Van Fleet has set out to do, consciously or not — which is to reformat rock ’n’ roll to be sustainable for both the listener and the performer. It’s the “live fast, die young” rock trope that is overplayed — not white kids playing pentatonic scales. Similar to the greats before them, Greta Van Fleet is not concerned about the future, but this time it’s only because they’re making damn sure that they will be around to have one. As for what’s next, Sam admits it’s all on them. “If anything,” he says, “we’ve been given the opportunity to do something great.” “We’re just going to continue making the music we make regardless of how anybody feels about it, “Josh laughs. “I guess Led Zeppelin karaoke works pretty well.” Greta Van Fleet will perform Tuesday, May 22, Wednesday, May 23, and Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Fillmore; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5451; thefillmoredetroit.com; Tickets are currently sold out, verified resale tickets are available through ticketmaster.com. firstname.lastname@example.org @jerilynjordanc
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Oh Sam Bulgogi.
Palace intrigue By Jane Slaughter
One of the treats about eating
Korean food is the array of a half-dozen side dishes — banchan — that come with the meal. That the little plates of banchan will appear soon after you order is just assumed by the mostly Korean clientele at Korea Palace — you won’t find a reference to them on the menu. Most are vegetables such as radish, mustard greens, sprouts, or broccoli, served plain or with kimchi, with a few ringers. When we visited Korea Palace, we got some different banchan treats each night, indicating that what comes out of the kitchen is the chef’s choice. You might try asking for a bowl of steamed eggs, a bland but satisfying counterpoint to the spicier flavors that will dominate the meal. One evening we got a tasty, slippery jelly made from acorn powder; another evening we got a head of romaine. That visit also featured a little dish of peeled garlic cloves served next to a vinegary sauce. At the end of the meal one night, each diner received a little bottle of sweet-sour yogurt; on another, just a peppermint. There must be a rule about which orders are accompanied by a strong, good broth — in my parties, one diner got it once. A
more exacting customer could question the server closely about this, and might still get some surprises. The most affordable dishes to order from Korea Palace’s long menu are the familiar bi bim baps, with a crust of rice on the bottom of a super-hot, cast-iron bowl. Our seafood version was generous with the scallops, shrimp, and octopus, plus white rice, carrots, and zucchini. But the most entertaining way to go is barbecue, in which meat and scallions are flash-sauteed on a sunken stainless steel grill in the middle of your table. Turn the pieces with tongs and serve yourself. Ribeye, short ribs, or pork belly can be pre-marinated in the house barbecue sauce — or not. Thinly sliced, marinated ribeye (bulgogi) had much more flavor than marinated, deboned, and cubed short ribs, though the latter cost 35 percent more. The marinade is slightly sweet. Unmarinated pork belly is also possible, and the online menu offers roasted beef tongue. I saw larger parties who had chosen what looked like a parade of all possible proteins, which they were happily grilling in turn. From the grill I actually liked best a
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pork belly and squid “Oh Sam Bulgogi” that was not cooked at the table, though the pork’s blessed fattiness tended to get lost under the spicy red sauce. In South Korea, by the way, the bulgogi flavor is so popular that hamburger patties are marinated in the sauce (based on soy sauce) and sold at fast-food joints. With its barbecue, Korea Palace serves purple rice mixed with white — a cost-conscious measure, according to our server. Purple is probably healthier than white, with its outer coating of bran intact, and it’s certainly pretty. Soups and stews are numerous, incorporating everything from tripe to tofu, peanut butter to bean paste, and whole Cornish hen. If I’d been in the mood for sweets, I’d have ordered that hen stuffed with rice, ginseng, and dates. Instead I got black goat with vegetables and mushrooms. Served in a boiling beef broth that continued boiling for a while, the goat flavor shone through despite the other strong tastes. Black goat, I learned later, is considered a health food in Korea. Any possible medicinal effects aside, goat is always worth trying as a break from our more usual meats. Fish stews include monkfish, skate, and cod. The latter contains plenty of tofu and zucchini, and is one of the spicier offerings, enough to leave a pleasant afterburn on the lips, but not enough to be a turnoff. A crowd pleaser is chicken katsu don-
Korea Palace 34744 Dequindre Rd., Sterling Heights 586-978-0500 koreapalace.virb.com Wheelchair accessible 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday Dinners $10.95-$42.95, most under $20
buri, an adaptation of Japanese pork katsu, because who doesn’t like a battered and deep-fried crunchy chicken breast served over rice? “Kid’s Favorite!” says the website. The Palace offers the Korean traditional rice spirit soju, unfiltered rice wines, and Japanese beers. I tried a dark raspberry wine, Bohae Bokbunja, available by the bottle ($24.95 for 375 ml), and found it to be just what you would expect of raspberry wine, though the sweetness becomes less cloying as your meal proceeds. There’s also a rice wine, Sansachun, described as being made with haws (Chinese hawthorn berries) and cornstarch. I doubted the cornstarch; a few minutes of research revealed that Sansachun comes from cornus fruits, from the dogwood tree. Like goat, it’s reputed to be medicinal. email@example.com @metrotimes
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Jamaican Pot’s brown stew chicken.
Northwest Detroit’s Jamaican Pot is opening a New Center location Edited by Tom Perkins
Jamaican Pot is planning a
new location for the New Center One building in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood. Co-owner Mama Rose tells Metro Times that the restaurant will likely open the first week of July in the building’s food court. The menu will be similar to that at its small carryout spot on Eight Mile Road near Greenfield with offerings like jerk chicken, barbecue jerk, pepper steak, ox tail, and curried goat. And, of course, it’ll offer what is perhaps the best dish Mama Rose makes — fricassee chicken with veggies in a brown gravy flavored by garlic, onion, scallion, and thyme. The menu will also hold vegetarian option like the Bob Marley Stew — a jumble of red beans, butter beans, scallions,
carrots, and other root veggies soaking in an intense garlic-ginger sauce over white rice. And a new addition to the menu will be vegetarian jerk chicken. Mama Rose says she won’t offer ackee and saltfish or other seafood plates at the outset. She expects the restaurant will be too busy to prepare the dishes, but she will start making them once her crew is settled. And, as always, Jamaican Pot’s food will be made fresh each day, Mama Rose tells us. “We never pre-make anything. We come in early in the morning and we cook all the food. Even when you order your food, it’s going to take a minute because a lot of what we cook ... is cooked to order,” she says. Jamaican Pot has regularly catered in the New Center and building management invited it to take up permanent residence when management saw its popularity. Jamaican Pot is one restaurant that’s part of a small-but-mighty Jamaican food community in Northwest Detroit.
Brome opens a healthy burger shop in downtown Detroit
Brome Modern Eatery celebrated the grand opening of its new downtown Detroit location in the 607 Building on Saturday. The Dearborn-based restaurant is a
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fast-casual burger concept that focuses on healthier ingredients. Its entire menu is made from scratch, buns are baked each morning in a nearby bakery, and it only uses organic, grass-fed, non-GMO beef. Brome’s Balence Bar juice bar offers cold-pressed juices that are made from scratch, organically-sourced, and nonGMO whenever possible. At its new location, the Balence Bar will be stationed on a pedestrian bridge running between the 607 Building and the neighboring State Savings Bank building. Among the changes to the menu at the new location are five new sauces — truffle aioli, maple sriracha, garlic-cilantro, chipotle ketchup, and honey mustard — that are used for fries or substituted in any of the sandwiches and burgers. The new eatery will also offer quarterly specials specific to it, like carne asada fries — hand-cut potatoes served under flank steak that’s prepared with Mexican spices. Another is the European cookie butter milkshake made with Brome’s vanilla bean custard that’s prepared in house and blended with Guernsey milk.
Thieves steal cash, electronics from the Shimmy Shack vegan food truck Misfortune has struck the Shimmy Shack vegan food truck for a second time in under a year. Owner Debra Levantrosser says
someone broke into the truck while it was parked in the South Lyon VFW Hall parking lot and stole over $500 worth of cash and electronics. The incident comes just nine months after someone poured what appears to be antifreeze or some kind of red liquid into the truck’s gas tank in South Lyon. “This is sad and a bit frustrating,” Levantrosser says. “We are simply trying to do our part to end animal suffering and someone seems intent on breaking our spirits, which they won’t. We hope whoever committed the crime now has money for food but we really wish they hadn’t taken our things. We work very, very long hours to make the little money that we do and when people take the things we have worked hard for, it is frustrating. It feels like someone took the wind out of our sails.” Shimmy Shack is planning an Aug. 1 opening for its new brick and mortar location near Ann Arbor and Haggerty roads in Plymouth Township. The mint green, retro restaurant has an American diner feel and serves vegan and gluten-free versions of classics like burgers, coney dogs, and nachos. PETA named it one of the top five vegan food trucks in America in 2015. Anyone with information is asked to call the South Lyon Police. firstname.lastname@example.org @metrotimes
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What’s Going On
A week’s worth of things to do and places to do them By MT staff Rhiannon Giddens, Friday, May 18 at the Michigan Theater.
THURSDAY, 5/17 Pancakes and Booze art show
FRIDAY, 5/18 Rhiannon Giddens @ Michigan Theater
@ Saint Andrew’s Hall
ART If uptight galleries and classist art snobs really get your goat, we’ve got just the thing for you. Since 2009, the Pancakes and Booze Art Show has been filling venues around the world, featuring more than 60 artists as well as live music, DJs, live painting, body painting, and pancakes. That’s right — pancakes. While it may err on the side of gimmick, Pancakes and Booze aims to better support local artists by providing potential buyers and pancake eaters the opportunity to connect with work they might not otherwise have access to. Word to the wise, watch those sticky syrup fingers when you’re near the art.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-9618961; saintandrewshalldetroit. com; Tickets are $10.
FRI., 5/18 & SAT., 5/19 Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo Adoption Event
SUNDAY, 5/20 Flower Day @ Eastern Market
@ Detroit Zoo
MUSIC Rhiannon Giddens has a heavy heart — and we are grateful that she wants to share the entirety of its contents with us. The singer-songwriter and banjo goddess is a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and is also a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. In 2017 the North Carolina native released Freedom Highway, her second solo record, inspired by Civil War-era slave narratives. The record was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2017 Americana Music Honors & Awards. Through the pains of the past, Giddens shines a light on a brighter future with the power of her storytelling.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-6688397; michtheater.org; Tickets are $30.
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ADOPT Since 1993, the Michigan Humane Society has teamed up with the Detroit Zoo to play matchmaker with thousands of adoptable pets and their future besties. This semi-annual event, Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, has been successful in placing more than 25,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits with their humans. This year, more than 40 local animal welfare groups will be set up beneath a tented area in the zoo’s parking lot with a designated “get-acquainted” area to allow folks to bond with their potential new family member.
Event runs from noon-6 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19; 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org; Event is free to attend, adoption fees apply.
SHOP It’s true, this past winter was one of the worst in history, and it took us more than 200 days to feel the joy of a 70-degree day. But fear not, Michiganders, spring has arrived, and here to roll out the old welcome wagon is Flower Day at Eastern Market. Thanks to hundreds of growers throughout the region, thousands gather to snag the highest quality annuals, perennials, trees, flats, and hanging plants to beautify their personal spaces. Don’t have a green thumb? No sweat. This is the perfect event to grow your garden knowledge. And we weren’t joking about the welcome wagon, as the event is B.Y.O.W. Trust us, you’ll need one.
Event runs from 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; 2934 Russell St., Detroit; 313-8339300; easternmarket.org; Event is free and open to the public.
the way down wanderers friday 5/18
dixon’s violin saturday 5/19
jennifer westwood & the handsome devils tuesday 5/22
wsg: kevin thibodeau wednesday 5/23
ferndale pride fundraiser
w/ pontchartrain thursday 5/24
michigan rattlers wsg: oliver hazard friday 5/25
desmond jones thursday 5/31
Flower Day at Eastern Market, Sunday, May 20.
Daryl Hall & John Oates
@ Little Caesars Arena
@ The Pike Room
@ Fox Theatre
MUSIC That “name a more iconic” duo meme can be put to rest because the search was over long before it started. For nearly 50 years, Hall and Oates have been enchanting the masses as quite possibly the most iconic duo ever, and their songwriting sorcery cannot be rivaled by anyone. OK, so that’s a pretty strong opinion, but let’s run it down — “Sara Smiles,” “Maneater,” “Rich Girl,” “She’s Gone”, and “You Make My Dreams Come True” are but a sampling of the duo’s legendary contributions to the tapestry of pop music. If you feel differently, well, you are wildly “Out of Touch.”
MUSIC Harlem-based rapper Smoke DZA is not for sale — or so he professes on his latest record of the same name. Born Sean Pompey, Smoke DZA grew up on the sounds of fellow New Yorkers like Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G., and discovered his own clever aspirational aesthetic. “The director, a fly lecture/ The bullshit side stepper, seen it coming like ‘Nah, heffer’/ My gesture, bougie trifectas in Tribeca, yes sir/ Time to rep a, Iceberg big, you could spot him like leopard,” DZA spouts on “The Hustle,” in one of the album's many examples of his lyrical artillery flexing. Fellow Harlem rapper Bodega Bamz opens.
MUSIC Mending a broken heart? Falling in love? There’s a soundtrack for all of that, thanks to little cutie extraordinaire and crooner from Down Under, Vance Joy, known best for his endearing brand of indie, chart-topping sap. Proficient in foot-stomping, sing-along songs, it was Joy’s breakout hit “Riptide” that topped global charts in 2013 and became the longest-charting song in Australian music sales history with 120 consecutive weeks. His latest output, 2018’s Nation of Two fuses his signature sentimentality with less-than-rose-tinted romanticism — suggesting that joy is fleeting, but Vance Joy is forever.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-4717000; 313presents.com; Tickets start at $49.50.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot.com; Tickets are $15$20.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-4713200; 313presents.com; Tickets start at $25.50.
wsg jesse ray & the carolina catfish saturday 6/2
the war & treaty sunday 6/3
the war & treaty tuesday 6/5
lazer lloyd friday 6/8
misty lyn & the big beautiful + blair crimmins and the hookers
FOR TICKETS & DINNER RESERVATIONS
345 E 9 MILE RD
FERNDALE, MI 48220
| May 16-22, 23-29, 2018
Vance Joy, Tuesday, May 22 at the Fox Theatre.
Thursday, May 17
Wednesday, May 16
Fu Manchu 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $13-$15.
Bhad Babie: Banned in the USA 8 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $25.
Kaj Althaus & Hotel Arch 9 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $5-$8.
Bhad Bhabie 6 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $31+.
Lissie 7:30 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20+.
Face to Face 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $27.50.
Sum 41 6:30 p.m.; The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $27-$169.
Five Pound Snap 9 p.m.; Trixie’s, 2656 Carpenter St., Hamtramck; $5. Freak Heat Waves 8 p.m.; Marble Bar, 1501 Holden St., Detroit; $10. Gilt 9 p.m.; Kelly’s Bar, 2403 Holbrook Ave., Hamtramck; $5. John Rouse 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $20. Tbone Paxton & Trio 8 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; free. Zilch 9 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $5-$8.
32 May 16-22, 23-29, 2018 | metrotimes.com
Todd Rundgren 6 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $32.50+. The Way Down Wanderers 8 p.m.; Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $12-$17. Xavier Bonner & Co 8 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; free.
Friday, May 18 Allee Willis 8 p.m.; City Theatre, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $45.
Charly Bliss 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $14. Dixon’s Violin 8 p.m.; Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10-$15. Domestic Problems 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $12. Elizabeth Cook 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20. Friday Night Live: Corn Potato String Band 7 p.m.; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; free. Gentlemens Club, Skism, and Trolley Snatcha 9:30 p.m.; Elektricity Nightclub, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $14.99. Ghost Light 8 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $12-$15. Jeff Cuny Trio 5:30 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; no cover. Lily Livers 8:30 p.m.; Kelly’s Bar, 2403
Holbrook Ave., Hamtramck; $5. LL7 Latin Jazz 9 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $10. Mustard Plug 7 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $14-$16. The Prince & Michael Experience 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $10-$15. Rhiannon Giddens 8 p.m.; Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; $30-$55. Rise Against 8:30 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $64. Saba 6 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $90. Shallow Side 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $10. The Ten Year Fanfare 5 p.m.; The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $12-$15.
Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $25+. Magic Beans 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $10. Plandet D Nonet presents the music of Buddy & Ella Johnson 2-4 p.m.; Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; $20-$25. Rodney Carrington 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; Speakeasy Sundays with Holly Hock 7:30 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $20-$30. Tesseract 6 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $22.50$27.50. Yowes o’Gowrie 8 p.m.; Outer Limits Lounge, 5507 Caniff St., Hamtramck; $5.
Monday, May 21
Saturday, May 19
Miki Fiki 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $5.
Banned From Hell 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $10.
Shakey Graves 8 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $25-$27.
Chris Richards and the Subtractions 9 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $10.
Shilpa Ray 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $10-$12.
Helmet and Prong 8:30 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $23. Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils 8 p.m.; Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10-$40. Rose Cousins 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20. Scott Morgan 9:30 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $8-$11. Seduce 7 p.m.; Harpos, 14238 Harper Ave., Detroit; $20-$25. The Smiths United with Rapid Eye Movement and Clampdown 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15. Spring Band Blender 8 p.m.; Small’s Bar, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; $5-$10. Steve Moakler 6 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $13. Steve Wood Quartet 9:30 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $10. The Used 6:30 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $29.50+.
Sunday, May 20 Daryl Hall & John Oates and Train 7 p.m.; Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $49.50$129.50. Forever in Your Mind 1 p.m.; The
Smoke DZA 7 p.m.; The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $15+.
Tuesday, May 22 Apocolyptica 7 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $35-$40. Dennis Coffey 8-11 p.m.; Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; no cover. Greta Van Fleet 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $80+. She Wants Revenge 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $25. Vance Joy 7:30 p.m.; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $29.50-$49.50.
THEATER The Summer King Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m.; Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; $35-$160.
COMEDY Adam Carolla Friday 8 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $35-$45; 248-399-2980; www.royaloakmusictheatre.com. All-Star Showdown Fridays, Saturdays, 8 & 10 p.m.; Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $18; 248-327-0575.
OUR PATIO NIGHTLY BONFIRES ON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16TH A GATHERING OF IMAGINARY FRIENDS WEEKLY GARDEN PARTY - 5PM (FREE) WEEKLY CORNHOLE LEAGUE 6:30PM THURSDAY, MAY 17TH SATANHAUS CABARET W/ THE WATCHERS, THRONE, EVYN AYTCH & ANDREW COLTRANE (METAL/CAULDRON) DOORS @8 FRIDAY, MAY 18TH J. WALKER & THE CROSSGUARDS, AUDFEED, BLACKMAIL & PARTY DAYS (ROCK) DOORS @9 SATURDAY, MAY 19TH THORNETTA DAVIS (BLUES/SOUL) DOORS @8 MONDAY, MAY 21ST FREE POOL SATURDAY, MAY 26TH OCCULT BURIAL, BLACKRAT, SHITFUCKER & MORE FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST DEZ & FRIENDS SATURDAY, JUNE 2ND SBU (REUNION SHOW W/ NUROKSOL & FM FRIDAY, JUNE 15TH MR. CLIT & THE PINK CIGARETTES & WEREWOLF JONES OPEN EVERY DAY INCLUDING HOLIDAYS INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK: THEOLDMIAMI CALL US FOR BOOKING! 313-831-3830
The Old Miami
3930 Cass • Cass Corridor • 313-831-3830
metrotimes.com || May May 16-22, 23-29, 2018 2018 metrotimes.com
Smoke DZA, Monday, May 21 at the Pike Room.
Greg Hahn Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 7:15 & 9:45 p.m. and Saturday 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; $20; 248-5429900; www.comedycastle.com. Pandemonia Fridays, 10 p.m.; Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $15; 248-327-0575.
ART Star Wars and the Power of Costume Tuesdays-Sundays.; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $7-$24; 313-833-7900. Carlos Rolón: Buscando America Through June 2; Library Street Collective, 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-600-7443. Cassi Namoda: Bar Texas, 1971 Through June 2; Library Street Collective, 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-6007443.
34 May 23-29, 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
Dope Music Documented Mondays-Sundays, 6-9 p.m.; Norwest Gallery of Art, 19556 Grand River Ave., Detroit; free. Through June 2. Heloisa Pomfret: Threshold Through June 9; N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700; www.nnamdicenter.org. Lounge: Object and Place Mondays-Sundays.; Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250; scarabclub.com. Through May 19. Pancakes & Booze Thursday 7 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $10; 313-961-6358. Play Ball: Baseball at the DIA Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 am; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900. Through Sept. 16. Red Bull House of Art Resident Artist Exhibition The Red Bull House of Art’s first Resident Artist
Through Saturday, May 19. MondaysSundays, 7 p.m.; Red Bull House of Art, 1551 Winder St., Detroit; Free. Tal R: this is not Detroit Mondays-Sundays.; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622. The World of Charles and Ray Eames Mondays-Sundays.; Henry Ford Museum (Anderson Theater), 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn; $17.25+. Tom House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland On view through May 19, 2018. Mondays-Sundays, 6-9 p.m.; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $5 suggested donation; 313-832-6622. email@example.com @metrotimes
Fast Forward Christina Aguilera Fox Theatre, Oct. 13
Kendrick Lamar with SZA DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 13, 7:30 p.m., $104.50+
Janelle Monรกe Fox Theatre, July 9, 7:30 p.m., $39.50+
Shania Twain Little Caesars Arena, June 15, 7:30 p.m., $49.95+
Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 11, 7 p.m., $25.50+
Whoopi Goldberg Sound Board, June 15, 8 p.m., $57+
Pixies & Weezer DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 13, 7:30 p.m., $21+
Jack Johnson DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $31+
Barenaked Ladies DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 14, 7 p.m., $21+
Sam Smith Little Caesars Arena, June 22, 8 p.m., $35+
Panic! at the Disco Little Caesars Arena, July 14, 7 p.m., $50.75+
Three Stacks Music Festival REO Town, Lansing, June 23, 2 p.m., $30-$35
Foreigner DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 15, 7 p.m., $21+
Jill Scott Fox Theatre, June 24, 8 p.m., $49.50+
Kesha & Macklemore DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 18, 7 p.m., $26.50+
Outlaw Music Festival with Willie Nelson DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 24, 6 p.m.; $25.50+
Ms. Lauryn Hill Freedom Hill, July 20, 6 p.m., $25+
Harry Styles Little Caesars Arena, June 26, 8 p.m., $29.50+ Paramore and Foster the People DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 29, 7 p.m., $25.50+ Jethro Tull Freedom Hill, July 1, 7:30 p.m., $26+ STYX, Joan Jett, and Tesla DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 6, 7 p.m., $25.50+
Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and the Cult Freedom Hill, July 24, 6:30 p.m., $21+ Jim Gaffigan DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 28, 8 p.m., $25.50+ Jason Mraz Meadowbrook Music Festival, July 28, 8 p.m., $25+ Mo Pop Festival West Riverfront Park, July 28-29, noon, $75+ Arctic Monkeys Masonic Temple, August 1, 7 p.m.; $39+
Beck Fox Theatre, July 6, 8 p.m., $35+ Melvins El Club, Aug. 3, 8 p.m., $22+ Arcade Fire DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 7, 6:30 p.m., $25.50+ Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 9, 7 p.m., $21+
Lynyrd Skynyrd DTE Energy Music Theatre, Aug. 10, 6 p.m., $25.50+ Smashing Pumpkins Little Caesars Arena, Aug. 5, 7 p.m., $29+
metrotimes.com metrotimes.com | | May May23-29, 16-22,2018 2018
CULTURE The artistic side of the force
Star Wars and the Power of Costume goes behind the scenes of that galaxy far, far away By Lee DeVito
As the massive twin banners
hanging on the front of the Detroit Institute of Arts have been warning for the past few weeks, Star Wars is coming to the art museum, with Star Wars and the Power of Costume set to open this weekend. But what exactly are Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, some droids, and a Wookie doing in an art museum? “One of the DIA’s recent focus points has been to be as inclusive and inviting to the general public as possible,” DIA curator of film Elliot Wilhelm says. “When you take a look at the front of the DIA’s building, it says ‘Arts’ with an ‘s’ on it.” And those “Arts,” Wilhelm says, have long included the museum’s 1200-seat Detroit Film Theatre, which has been showing film since 1927. “It actually predated the Museum of Modern Art in New York showing film as an art form by about three months,” he says. “So focusing on various aspects of film seems natural for the museum.” As Wilhelm explains, the exhibition should have a wide appeal beyond just superfans of George Lucas’ tale of a galaxy far, far away. By focusing on the costumes featured in the series (the exhibition includes characters starting with Lucas’ original 1977 film and running through 2015’s The Force Awakens) the exhibition is not about the film series per se but rather about a specific aspect of filmmaking and storytelling: the art of theatrical costume-making. “What this exhibition is really about is the specific act of creation in terms of making motion pictures,” Wilhelm says. “Costumes are conceived of, fabricated, chosen, and used for a film in order to connote a certain kind of rapport with the audience, to give us a kind shorthand about what a character and who a character is, based on some degree on our knowledge of the history of motion pictures.” Beyond just telling the saga of the Skywalker clan, the Star Wars films function on another level by creating a
pastiche of classic cinematic references and recontextualizing them as a space opera. Across his trilogies, Lucas draws from sword-and-sandal fantasies, Westerns, war films, and more — gleefully tossing all of the ingredients into an intergalactic blender and turning it on. By invoking a smorgasbord of cinematic styles and archetypes, Lucas created an alien world that was also instantly recognizable to audiences — and filled it with a cast of characters who were thus instantly relatable. The exhibition also functions as a show about design and problemsolving, or how an idea goes from pencil sketch to reality. The exhibition features original works on paper from Lucasfilm concept artists shown alongside the final costumes as used in the film, so the viewer can see how the final characters differ from the initial concepts. For example, R2-D2’s early concept art featured the droid’s now-classic cylindrical shape, but instead of legs the character was originally intended to roll around using a giant ball bearing. Lucas and company soon realized they lacked the technology to make such a character come to life onscreen, and the idea of a rolling droid was scrapped in favor of R2’s tripod design. (The concept of a rolling droid would later be revived in the character BB-8 in The Force Awakens.) In all, the exhibition features more than 60 costumes. The DIA’s stop is the last on the traveling show’s North American run, and Wilhelm says the museum has tweaked the presentation of the show to localize it. For example, next to Darth Vader’s imposing armor, the DIA has installed a samurai helmet from its own collection to show the connection. “There’s a great deal from art history and movie history that Lucas drew on and we wanted to show those connections,” Wilhelm says. On that note, during the months of June, July, and August, the DFT will be screening a variety of films that Lucas
36 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
Concept art of Queen Amidala’s Senate Gown in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. 2018 LUCASFILM LTD.
and scholars have cited as influences on Star Wars. Those include Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, and more. At its core, Wilhelm thinks the exhibition makes for a fun summer show. “Yes, there is academic richness, and there is this marvelous revelation of how the creative process in a motion picture works. But it’s also fun,” Wilhelm says. “I think there are antiquated ideas from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that going to a museum is not fun — it’s supposed to be good for
you, like eating vegetables. It’s not true. You can learn things and also have an extraordinary time.” Star Wars and the Power of Costume opens on Sunday, May 20 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org; Tickets start at $22.50 for adults and $7 for youth; Show runs through Sept. 30.
| May 16-22, 2018
Rob Paulsen and some of the characters he has played.
Rob Paulsen is a human cartoon By Corey Hall
You might not recognize his
name or even his face, but odds are if you’re a certain age, Rob Paulsen is the sound of your childhood. As one of the leading voice-over talents of the last four decades, the Detroit-born Paulsen has voiced hundreds of familiar toons, beloved by generations of fans. His IMDb page is as dense and epic as a George R. R. Martin novel: Gummi Bears, The Smurfs, Yakko Warner from Animaniacs, both Raphael and Donatello on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pinky of Pinky and the Brain, Rick and Morty, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc Mcstuffins, and count-
less more. Paulsen grew up in Livonia, Rochester, and Grand Blanc before setting off for Hollywood in the late ’70s, where he earned a reputation as one of the most versatile and in-demand vocal performers in the industry. Now he’s coming back to town to meet and greet with the masses at the Motor City Comic Con.
MT: You are Detroit-born, as are voice over artists like Billy West (Ren and Stimpy, Futurama) and Dave Coullier, and the great Daws Butler (Yogi Bear) was from Toledo. What is it about this area that produces so many funny
38 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
Rob Paulsen: Man, there’s just
something in that water, the Great Lakes. Maybe it was fumes from the Cuyahoga River before it caught fire. I honestly don’t know, but I’m telling you there’s something palpable about people from that part of the world — a resilience, a toughness, and the ability to make fun of anything.
MT: It’s probably something about it
snowing 50 days in a row. So what were you influenced by growing up? Were you a big radio nerd?
Paulsen: I was more of a TV guy. I
wasn’t a big DJ fan, but I listened to Dick Purtan, and WRIF, WKNR Keener 13, CKLW’s Byron McGregor, and all those guys. Those big heavy duty newsmen: “It’s CKLW 20/20 News!” They all were these boss jock guys that just beat you over the head with their voices, you know? But the inspirational folks for my character development, I cut my teeth on Carroll Burnett, Lucy, Jonathon Winters, Monty Python, The Goon Show. Peter Sellers is one of my all-time heroes. All those folks were huge influences on me, like they were for many people my age. So when I came to L.A. I had a lot of chops
down in different dialects and stuff, not because I was planning to use them, but because they made me laugh and made my soul happy.
two characters, Air Raid and, and what was the name of the other guy…
MT: Did you ever intend to get into
Paulsen: Yeah, yeah, I can’t tell them apart. Those were the first gigs I did and through those shows I started working with these incredible guys like Frank Welker (Freddy on Scooby Doo) and Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Mel Blanc, and I thought, “Holy shit! This is the gig man. I’m 28 and nobody cares what I look like. It doesn’t matter that I’m just another average looking kid from the Midwest. I’m getting hired for things that I wouldn’t necessarily be considered for on camera.” Then I started working at Hanna Barbera, and off we go.
Paulsen: At first I was a comic and
actor, and I did a bunch of on-camera stuff, but most of all I was a singer. I started singing in character; I would create characters and sing, then I fronted a bunch of rock ’n’ roll bands, and my hero in that regard was Alice Cooper...
MT: Another Detroiter! Paulsen: Yeah, and I’ve gotten to know Alice recently because we do all these giant conventions together. At these huge shows I get all these people that come out to see me because they’re fans of Pinky and the Brain or Ninja Turtles or whatever, and it’s just lovely. MT: Your first animated series work
was on G.I. Joe as the immortal “Snow Job.”
Paulsen: Yeah man, Snow Job. Hah good for you. He was the arctic expert. Then I did another minor character called Tripwire, and since the same company was doing Transformers I did
MT: They’re all robots.
MT: So you went the standard route, and then pivoted?
Paulsen: When I first got out to
California, I was working quite a bit on camera actually, doing commercials and small parts, episodic television and radio ads, then the opportunity to audition for animation came and I said, “Yeah,” because I just wanted to work. Little did I know that my preparation in being a rock ’n’ roll singer with a classical background who could read music and loved comedy
would pay off. I started getting more and more gigs, and it turned out there were fewer people that could sing in character, so I started replacing celebrity talent that couldn’t sing, so I would do it for them.
MT: Animaniacs is a very musical show.
Paulsen: Yes it is, and now I’m doing these Animaniacs Live shows all around the country with my partner Randy Rogell who was the composer that wrote all those really bitchin’ songs you guys probably remember. I would love to bring it here do it with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, maybe at Meadowbrook. It would be a gas. MT: And the cartoon is coming back, right!
Paulsen: The audience now is exponentially larger than when we launched the show, for obvious reasons. We have the children of people that were in high school and college and loved Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs and now they watch it, so Mr. Spielberg has decided we’re going to do 26 new half-hours of the show for Hulu in 2020.
MT: It must feel cool that you’re still making new fans.
Paulsen: Now I get to travel around
the country doing all these conventions that have become ubiquitous, they’re springing up like zits on a 12-year-old. It’s great everywhere I go, but now I get to come back to Detroit, where Gordie Howe was my hero, and I still eat, sleep, and breathe the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings. I guarantee I will meet probably 500 people whom I will sign autographs for at that event, and I will leave exhausted from saying thank you. And the joy that those characters have brought — I don’t write them and I don’t draw them. I’m just the actor, but I’m the lucky one that gets to be the front man for that love. It’s mind-blowing. You’re talking to a lottery winner, my friend. Motor City Comic Con takes place Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-4268059; motorcitycomiccon.com; Tickets are $25 for a Friday adult day pass, $40 for Saturday, and $30 for Sunday; weekend passes are $75. Tickets for children are $10 for Friday or Saturday, $20 for the weekend. Kids 5 and under get in free. More information about Rob Paulsen is available at robpaulsenlive.com. firstname.lastname@example.org @metrotimes
metrotimes.com || May May23-29, 16-22,2018 2018 metrotimes.com
Party pooper By MaryAnn Johanson
When her husband, Dan
(Matt Walsh), tells Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) that he wants a divorce, she’s blindsided. But she quickly — like, super, super, unrealistically quickly — bounces back and decides that the time is right for her to finally go back to university and finish her archeology degree. She had dropped out when she got pregnant with her daughter, Maddie (Molly Gordon), and hey, why not go right back to the very school where Maddie is now a senior herself? As Deanna might say: Gosh! It all goes great, thanks for asking! Of course she chooses to live on campus at fictional Decatur University, and though her new roommate, Leonor (Heidi Gardner), may be a creepy, asocial goth — the utter opposite of bouncy Deanna and her overly bright and sparkly mom sweatshirts — they’re instantly fast friends. Maddie’s minor, gentle reservations about having her mother around all the time are soon forgotten, and all of Maddie’s adorably quirky, mega-nice
friends simply love Deanna. Deanna even immediately snags a hunky boyfriend in gorgeous, sweet Jack (Luke Benward), the only guy in the frathouse who prefers chardonnay to beer and shots; Jack is completely smitten with Deanna. Deanna! She’s awesome and funny and adventurous and happy and cute and if she’s having any trouble with the coursework after 20 years away you’d never know it and just wow, life is simply grand, ain’t it? So, then... The Life of the Party is not a story. There’s no conflict here. None. Oh, there’s a nasty mean girl, Jennifer (Debby Ryan), who doesn’t like Deanna because she’s “like a thousand years old,” but Jennifer is so quickly and easily dispatched that she barely registers, even during the frathouse ’80s-party dance-off that, I think, is meant to be a high point of the movie. There’s a scene in which Deanna, who hates public speaking, has to give an oral presentation to her archeology class, and she’s so nervous that she sweats profusely...
40 May 16-22, 2018 | metrotimes.com
but that’s not drama. It’s an embarrassingly bad, painfully unfunny, cringeworthy attempt at physical comedy — which is true every time the movie tries to pull off junk like this — but it’s not story. It barely even qualifies as a challenge for Deanna to overcome. This is yet another pairing of director Ben Falcone with McCarthy: Once again, as with their previous outings in The Boss and Tammy, they’ve written the script together. They’re also married to each other. Maybe this all made sense as a sort of private joke between them. But it doesn’t work for us. Sorry, but crotch-injury jokes illuminate nothing about women’s midlife crises... or they wouldn’t, anyway, if Deanna wasn’t absolutely sailing through hers. No, not even when the crotch injuries are happening to ladies. Other attempts at humor are dragged out like roadkill till whatever bit of life they might have had — which is extremely minimal — has long since been extinguished. (The “Google of vaginas” sequence? My mind
Life of the Party Rated PG-13 1 hour 45 minutes has rarely been so boggled.) The “jokes” here are excruciating enough: Having them explained to us is unendurable. Life of the Party is not an ironic title: Deanna literally ends up as the authentically celebrated life of the party at Decatur U. And yes, absolutely, we need movies about women — particular women of a certain age — enjoying life and doing things for themselves and being unabashedly worshipped by much younger men. (Thank goodness the movie doesn’t attempt to render it “funny” that Jack finds Deanna irresistibly sexy.) But those things still have to happen in the context of a well-told tale. Hollywood hadn’t been around long before some wag or other suggested that if you want to send a message, call Western Union. McCarthy is absolutely as endearing as Deanna ultimately is, and she deserves much better than to deliver a bland telegram to us. email@example.com @metrotimes
| May 16-22, 2018
CULTURE Higher Ground
CannaCon and the business of cannabis By Larry Gabriel
There seem to be two major influences on the legal marijuana industry development. One track is the business end, with folks who want to get into the business — or already are — blowing full steam ahead where they can and chomping at the bit where they can’t. The other track is at all levels of government, which is being reluctantly dragged along in accommodating the will of the people and business interests. A prominent example of how things are moving on the business track is the June 1-2 CannaCon scheduled for Cobo Center. CannaCon is the biggest marijuana business-to-business trade show in the nation. It started in Seattle in 2014, added Boston soon after, and has now spread to Detroit. “It’s a business-to-business trade show, like a home and garden show,” says Angela Grelle, CannaCon’s director of marketing. “We cater to businesses in the cannabis space.” That space is getting bigger and bigger all the time. Grelle reports that the response for participants was so strong CannaCon added more exhibit booths. As of this writing there are 205 vendors, with a waiting list of several more. And these aren’t people who want to grow marijuana and sell it in dispensaries. We’re talking about the people who provide services to those people — like insurance companies, legal services, lights, extraction machines, fertilizers, barcode scanners, inventory tracking, and communications, to name several. Scheduled speakers will address things like marketing, retailer loyalty programs, technology, taxes, and accounting — all the things that apply to almost any business. “The industry is really continuing to grow,” says Grelle. “As the industry grows, we have all these new companies. The industry is changing. It’s becoming more professional as a whole. Peace signs and tie-dye are starting to fade away. As a rule, businesses are getting more professional as the industry goes more mainstream. There are businesses outside of the cannabis 42 May May16-22, 23-29,2018 2018 | | metrotimes.com metrotimes.com 42
space who are realizing there is space for them.” Grelle says Sprint is even going to have a large visitors booth at the conference. This is an industry in which talking about your business on the phone was once something you never did. Now the phone company is angling for the business that cannabis companies can bring them. All of this is what some folks who have long been in the cannabis space are uneasy with, but it doesn’t seem like the momentum is going to stop. Which brings us to state and local governments, which have been trying their best to stop the momentum since forever. For example, state Attorney General Bill Schuette — now a GOP candidate for governor — did everything in his power and more to derail the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act while a judge on the state court of appeals. When he became attorney general in 2011 he corralled county prosecutors and law enforcement to train them on how to resist marijuana businesses. The state legislature behaved just as badly, taking until 2016 to pass laws allowing and regulating commercial production and sales of medical cannabis. Now, a decade after the MMMA was passed, the state is still fumbling around as it attempts to process licensing for businesses — with a stateimposed June 15 deadline looming that would force unlicensed businesses to shut down. Only a handful of licenses have been handed out for the entire
| May 16-22, 2018
CULTURE ‘Peace signs and tie-dye are starting to fade away. As a rule, businesses are getting more professional as the industry goes more mainstream.’ state, and none in Detroit. Part of the problem is that the licensing process is so convoluted and onerous it puts an undue burden on those applying and those who have to process the applications. State regulators are combing through applicants’ financial records, possible criminal backgrounds, and social media accounts. The medical marijuana licensing board began taking applications on Jan. 15. In early May, two weeks after the April 15 date to begin handing out licenses, the director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation said officials hope to hand out the first licenses within six weeks. The way it looks right now, most folks already doing business in Michigan will have to shut down unless the licensing board changes its tune. A lot of current businesses will have to shut down anyway because they’re probably not going to get licenses. In Detroit, the city stopped taking applications for “caregiver centers” in early January, effectively capping the number of dispensaries at the reported 62 it has already granted licenses to. That doesn’t mean any of them will get state licenses. In addition, Detroit doesn’t seem inclined to license facilities for growing, processing, testing, or transporting cannabis. When it came to a 2016 initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, the legislature passed a law that disqualified some of the signatures gathered because of a timing issue. This year’s initiative cleared all bars and should be on the fall ballot, although reports out of Lansing indicate legislators may be hatching a plan to pass the law and then change it. If the law were to pass in the November election it would take a three-quarters majority of the legislature to change it. If the legislature passes it, changes could be made with a simple majority. Despite all of the official opposition, Grelle says that CannaCon is coming to Detroit because legalization is looming. Even the obstinate legislature isn’t
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talking about stopping recreational legalization, just “improving” it. Another example of the way things have changed is that in 2008 Schuette led the opposition to the MMMA and rode that horse to the state attorney general office in the 2010 election. Today he says that while he is opposed to the legalization… well, uh, you know, the will of the people and all. Contrast that with Democratic state attorney general candidate, Dana Nessell, who is actually speaking at CannaCon (Gov. Snyder was contacted but didn’t call back) and running a procannabis campaign. Marijuana activists were part of the coalition that garnered the nomination for her. “I think the market is opening up and it’s going to be a good industry in Michigan in general,” says Grelle. “We’re very excited. We’re hopeful that this is going to become an annual event. We’re more excited than we have been with any other show in a while.” That’s probably the case when someone is breaking into a new market. This isn’t the Hash Bash where speakers talk about changing the law and attendees flout it by smoking marijuana. CannaCon is about marijuana, but it’s more about staying inside the legal lines, and there will be no sanctioned smoke wafting through the air at Cobo Center. CannaCon will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, June 1 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-877-8777; cannacon.org; Tickets start at $70 for one-day passes and start at $120 for two-day passes. Connection will host the CannaCon Detroit Networking Mixer from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St, Detroit; 313-961-8961; saintandrewsdetroit.com; Tickets are $55 standard, $100 VIP. firstname.lastname@example.org @gumbogabe
| May 16-22, 2018
By Dan Savage
Savage Love Live at Den-
Speaking with a low-information voter is frustrating because they can’t tell you why they voted for someone; speaking with a low-information fucker — someone who can’t tell you why they’re doing/screwing what they’re doing/screwing — is just as frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when the lowinformation/low-self-awareness fucker happens to be the person you’re fucking. It’s fine to want what you want — because of course it is — but unless you’re interested only in solo sex, you need to be able to share your reasons.
ver’s Oriental Theater last week was epic. I fielded sex questions in front of a sold-out crowd, singer-songwriter Rachel Lark performed amazing new songs, comedian Elise Kerns absolutely killed it, and Tye — a token straight guy plucked at random from the audience — joined us onstage and gave some pretty great sex advice! We couldn’t get to all the audience questions during the show, so I’m going to race through as many unanswered questions as I can in this week’s column…
You’ve famously said, “Oral comes standard.” How long before anal comes standard?
How does a week from next Tuesday grab you?
Q: I enjoyed a great sex life
with many kinky adventures until my husband died suddenly two years ago. I have insurance $$$ and a house to sell and a dream of using the proceeds to become a sex-positive therapist. Crazy idea? Or something the world needs more of?
Judging by how many people tell me they’re having a hard time finding sexpositive, kink-positive, open-positive, and poly-positive therapists, I would definitely file “sex-positive therapist” under “world needs more of.” Chase that dream!
Q: How do you introduce your
inexperienced-but-willing-to-try partner to BDSM?
By starting a two-person book club. Order Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring, and Navigating the Kink, Leather, and BDSM Communities by Lee Harington and Mollena Williams, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, and the Erotic Edge edited by Tristan Taormino, and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman. Read and discuss, and discuss some more — and when you’re ready to start playing, take it slow!
What resources are available — which do you recommend — to share with my male partner so he can improve (learn) oral sex? (Girl oral sex!)
A: Two more book recommenda-
tions: The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilin-
gus: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure by Violet Blue and She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner.
Q: My boyfriend told me that wom-
en orgasm only 60 percent of the time compared to men. I said I want orgasm equity. How do I navigate his pansy-assed male ego to find a solution?
The orgasm gap — 91 percent of men reported climaxing in their last opposite-sex sexual encounter compared to 64 percent of women (National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior) — doesn’t exist for lesbians and bi women in same-sex relationships. So the problem isn’t women and their elusive orgasms, it’s men and their lazy-ass bullshit. A contributing factor is that women often have a hard time advocating for their own pleasure because they’ve been socialized to defer to men. There’s evidence of that in your question: You want to navigate this problem — the problem being a selfish boyfriend who doesn’t care enough about you to prioritize your pleasure and has taken cover behind the orgasm gap — but you want to spare his ego in the process. Fuck his precious ego. Tell him what you want and show him what it takes to get you off. If he refuses to do his part to close the orgasm gap in your apartment, show him the door.
How do you prioritize sex with your partner when life gets so busy and masturbation is so much easier? My fiancé is down for quickies sometimes but not always.
A: Forgive my tautology, but you
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prioritize sex by prioritizing sex. Scheduled sex can be awesome sex — and when you’re truly pressed for time, you can always masturbate together.
How do I come out to my family as a stripper? I’ve been dancing for more than two years and don’t plan to stop. Some of my family members are biased against sex workers, but I’m tired of keeping up the facade (I told them I’m a bartender).
It’s a catch-22: People are afraid to come out to their closed-minded families as queer or poly or sex workers or atheists, but closed-minded families typically don’t open their minds until after their queer or poly or sex-working or nonbelieving kids come out to them. To open their minds, you’ll have to risk blowing them first. Tell them your truth and stand your ground.
I keep having sex dreams about Kanye West. What does that mean?
A: You’re Mike Pence. Q: Am I doing society a disservice
by dating an international drug dealer?
A sexually frustrated international drug dealer is arguably more dangerous than a sexually satisfied international drug dealer — so you may be doing society a service.
Q: Can I want to be monogamous
without any reasoning? My boyfriend would probs be in an open relationship, but I’m not interested for no reason in particular.
I dated a guy who said he was in an open relationship. We started working together on a podcast. I got irritated because after two months he never did any preliminary research. When I pointed that out, he deleted all our work and blocked me on FB. Now he’s asking for some stuff he left at my place. Do I give it back?
Yep. As tempting as it might be to hold on to his stuff or trash it, that just keeps this drama alive. If you keep his stuff, he’ll keep after you for it. If you trash his stuff, you’ll have to worry about the situation escalating. If you want him out of your life and out of your head, put his crap in a bag, set it on your porch or leave it with a neutral third party, and tell him when he can swing by and get it.
How clean should a bottom be? A little bit of shit is kinda expected, isn’t it? I mean, you are fucking an ass, right?
My expectations for sterling silver, crystal stemware, and fuckable ass are the same: I want it sparkling. Zooming out: One doesn’t have anal sex with an ass full of shit for the same reason one doesn’t have oral sex with a mouth full of food — it’s going to make a mess. Making sure your mouth is empty is easy, of course, but it’s not that difficult to empty or clean out an ass. Also, a good, fiber-rich diet empties and cleans out the ass naturally. Yes, you are fucking an ass, that’s true, and shit sometimes happens. The top shouldn’t poop-shame the bottom when it does happen, and the bottom doesn’t need to have a meltdown. It just means you need to pivot to some other sexual activity — after a quick cleanup restores the sparkle. On the Lovecast: A study of lethal asphyxiation. Spoiler: Don’t do it. Listen at savagelovecast.com. email@example.com @fakedansavage
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CULTURE ARIES: March 21 – April 20
You need to look at what’s going on from the standpoint of what “real” change is all about. There’s a big difference between transforming things from within, and just “moving the furniture around.” Some of you are 100 percent there with the process of waking up, and others have tricked yourselves into thinking that it’s OK to put makeup on the old baggage and pass yourself off as reborn. In the former case I am sure you are feeling humbled by what it has taken to get over yourself. In the latter case? You will keep coming up against the same old thing until you face the music. TAURUS: April 21 – May 20
Don’t assume that because everything is up in the air that things are out of control. Intensity is no sign that “life is hard.” If you’ve been programmed to think that everything is a sunny day, you have yet to wake up to the fact that the dark and the light are waltzing together, on opposite sides of the same pole. Whether you know it or not, your heart and soul are in the midst of a huge overhaul. With so much on the line, it would help you to be willing to go beyond the regular approach and find the solutions that you seek in people and things that are new and different.
By Cal Garrison
LEO: July 21 – Aug. 20
This feels a whole lot better than what was going on a few months ago. Something about getting off your butt and moving on has opened the floodgates and you are alive again. With all this radiance pouring out of your heart you are bound to attract people and things that reinvigorate your desire to make a difference. Who and what shows up to save the day will be different for each of you. As much as you’re excited about all of this, if you’ve learned anything from this last round of blues, knowing enough to wait before you give yourself up to anything would be a wise idea. VIRGO: Aug. 21 – Sept. 20
Things are hitting you from all directions. If it isn’t one thing it’s another. Every time you turn around something needs to be decided upon, to the point where you and your life are playing Quantum Aikido. All of these issues demand the kind of faith that doesn’t grow on trees. Those closest to you will test it to the max. The strength to believe in yourself under undue pressure to follow the party line can sometimes be hard to come by. The deeper part of you is ringing clear as a bell. Stay tuned to that chord as you continue to prove that there is another way to do things.
GEMINI: May 21 – June 20
LIBRA: Sept. 21 – Oct. 20
It’s not your imagination. Things are as intense as they can get. At this point it is a blessing that you have an easier time than the rest of us when it comes to not letting things get to you. With a whole raft of new options arrayed in front of you, for the next few weeks everything will be about making choices that don’t interfere with your personal growth. If that concept seems like a no-brainer, the impact of other people’s needs, along with your own illusions about yourself and who you think you are, need to be weighed next to what’s true in every decision that you make.
On the surface you keep pretending to be totally clueless about things that you have already made a clear decision about. Deep down inside you know exactly how you want this to go. Your higher self is right there with you, 100 percent behind whatever it will take to get the next phase of your life off the ground. With everything on the line, it will be at least six months before you see your way clear to finalize things and make a stand. You will be blown away by what’s next. Between now and then get your ducks in a row and remain steadfast enough to keep the faith.
CANCER: June 21 – July 20
Other people and their stuff can get to be too much. Sometimes you make too much room for things that give new meaning to the idea that “love means putting up with anything.” There’s a fine line between that and being a little too flexible. Yes, it’s good to maintain a spiritual stance when you’re trying to maintain a relationship, but consider the fact that everything goes two ways. This situation is still manageable, but be mindful of what happens when all of the adapting is coming from you, and ask yourself why it’s so OK with you to be on the short end of that stick.
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SCORPIO: Oct. 21 – Nov. 20
Well, maybe it’s time to get rolling. Who knows? Some of you are OK with the way things are but there are others who could really use a change of scenery or a full-on shift that changes things for good. Whatever the story is, the energy that’s around you right now would best be used to spread your wings on some level. If there are others who are keeping you down, or obligations that keep you believing that the treadmill is your only option, keep in mind that time is of the essence, and that the brass ring is right here, right now, just waiting for you to grab it.
SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 21 – Dec. 20
Sitting here in limbo, you are strung out between the past and things that have yet to come into play. Unfinished business is always an issue when the ego thinks it’s ready for whatever’s next. This waiting game may be frustrating, but it has a place in the scheme of things. Within six months or so you could be totally off the hook. Between now and then, calm down and stop thinking you can push the river, or accelerate your development with an affirmation or two. This dimension is subject to the law of time. Part of getting things to happen requires us to move with the tide. CAPRICORN: Dec. 21 - Jan. 20
You know it all. Whatever the story is, you have it all figured out. The problem is, this isn’t always the case. And what happens when you bump up against any form of contradiction forces you to back up and reconsider everything about yourself. At the moment there is more going on than meets the eye. Between your blind spots and your sureness about everything you could be missing the boat. The last thing you want is to be on the wrong page. It might be good to ease off and lighten up just enough to include the idea that something else needs to happen. AQUARIUS: Jan. 21 – Feb. 20
Pumped up from recent excursions out of the box, you are ready for pretty much anything. This is a good thing because the next few weeks will be moving at the speed of light, and it’s no time to be feeling weak, and/or uninspired. How the next few months unfold depends on how much time you want to spend with your nose to the grindstone. I suspect that some of you see the virtue in continuing to pursue your ambitions. If that is the case, go for it, but keep in mind that life is a yin or yang thing, and sometimes the wheels of progress are best greased with total relaxation. PISCES: Feb. 21 – March 20
Things appear to have settled down somewhat. You can take comfort in the fact that the other shoe isn’t about to drop. Those closest to your heart have been on the rails with themselves, with their health, or with issues that wound up complicating everything that your connection is made of. If things have smoothed out, it could be because they pulled themselves out of their rut and are fine for now. With this peace and calm, at last you have the freedom to get back to yourself and take refuge in a place of strength, where the essence of who you are replenishes itself.
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