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Vol. 36 | Issue 18 | February 10, 2016

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U p Front

feedback

And we thought we were tough on outstate legislators in our piece “Gov. Snyder’s Flint aid bill signing a PR disaster.” Ginger Maynor posted: I grew up in Flint and have family and friends there. Snyder keeps getting it wrong. He’s wasting more taxpayer money on a PR firm and I cannot believe those are the people he has to help him? Really? All I see is out-of-shape, overweight, undisciplined, fashion-challenged, emptyheaded nothings. Zzaproot posted: Look at that shite-eating grin on Sen. Rick Jones’ face. I’ve met him personally many times. It’s easy. All you have to do is wave a camera anywhere in the Lansing area. He’s that big of a self-serving media whore. There is nothing he doesn’t have a stupid opinion about. And Bluebird58 posted: Dick DeVos and Snyder’s PR firm were probably in the wings pulling the strings. In my opinion, Snyder knew what was going on from the beginning, but since he has gotten away with so much against the citizens of Michigan, he figured he could skate on this one too. Our local news could not shove it under the rug once the national news got a hold of it. Thanks to Rachel Maddow. In response to “Gov. Snyder heckled in downtown Ann Arbor,” a user named “Approval Pending” posted: May as well yell and let him know what you think of him whenever you can. Why? Because nothing else is going to happen to this criminal. Oh, sure, maybe he gets recalled, but he’ll get a golden parachute severance and pension package. He’s also already rich. Another case of the little guy getting screwed, the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. The hubris and arrogance of this travesty happening on his watch and he hasn’t done the right thing himself: resign. In response to “New emails reveal the switch to the Flint River was not about saving money” by Allie Gross, Ed posted: I was thinking that this would be a great Bond f lick, another twist on the oligarchs stealing water. But our bad guys are Palin-level “stooped.” So now I’m thinking more along the lines of

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Austin Powers. I really appreciate the continued investigation by individuals and interested (for the people) groups. We have a very low-integrity AG; no one is expecting much from his investigation. The same goes for any congressional inquiry. Also, I hope that it’s not lost on anyone that we have a corporategovernment misdeed that had to be uncovered by private individuals and public interest groups, and is getting seriously pored over by these same for-the-public groups to get to the truth. Tom Stephnes posted: “Austerity” isn’t only about “cost cutting”. It’s about taking from the most poor and vulnerable to benefit wealthy and powerful crony insiders. That’s exactly what the Flint River catastrophe, the Karegnondi Water Authority and Snyder’s “emergency management” policies have always been about. After Flint, those with eyes to see know it. What will we do about it? Kim Murch posted: Not to mention that the desire to break up any bond between Detroit and Flint, has always served those in the Republican Party who have been shaking down these two cities since Engler. Historically, Flint and Detroit have been strongholds in the Michigan labor movement, and that’s really scary to the corporate leadership.

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Industry Wednesdays @ Dooleys (D. Rockymore)

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Tart, Fawn, & Odd Hours @ the Loving Touch (M. Pfeiffer)

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V Nightclub @ MGM Grand Detroit (S. Spellman)


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retaildetail U P FRONT Leather lovin’ in metro Detroit by Luanne Lim Unlike most retail shops covered by MT, this week’s local business sets up shop primarily online. The Detroit Leather Co. is one of the many small companies opened by Rochester Hills resident Morgan Kollin. While the leather company faces other competitors like Shinola and Douglas and Co., it differentiates itself not just with its unique inventory, but also because it doubles as a leather works school. Selling products that appear to be inspired by steampunk and olden time accessories, the Troy-based company also offers to teach people how to work with leather. While leather work students come and go, the company has about three to six people handcrafting their products. Kollin says most products take about three to five days to complete, but the end result is always satisfying. “We try to focus on doing everything almost entirely from scratch,” he says. “We pride ourselves on doing everything by hand.” A former Navy telecommunications specialist, Kollin says he always had a passion for sewing and crafting, a hobby he adopted from his mother and grandmother ever since he was 12. A big fan of the Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation, aka anime, Kollin combined his love of sewing and his enjoyment of anime to create his first business. “While I was still in the Navy, I started my first anime company, which was Anime Tailor, and that was back in 1999, where I started doing costume commissions by anime directors,” he says. “After that, I determined that I

finally wanted to expand my costuming experience over to leather works.” Fast forward to 2007, and the Detroit Leather Co. was born. Different from his other entrepreneurial endeavors, which include three other crafting offshoots and the 10th largest anime convention in the U.S., Youmacon, the shop’s products are strictly made from leather. “You could only go so far with fabric. Leather was just the next step. I wanted to start designing armor and other accessories and things that I just couldn’t do with cloth or foam,” he says. Leather armor and accessories are just a few of the products customers can purchase through the company’s website or at their workshop. Among the best-sellers at conventions and craft shows, where Kollin also offers his products, are leather-bound notebooks. Detroit Leather Co. also accepts

Detroit Leather Co. detroitleather.com

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custom orders, which can range from $60 to thousands of dollars. From working with computers to working with sewing machines and leather, Kollin says his career is a long stretch from what he did while in the Navy. “I’m just glad I had something I was really passionate about, and I was able to build something that I’m able to share the enjoyment and passion with others,” he says. Ultimately, Kollin says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished and is excited to see what the future has in store for the company. “We have so many things in the works right now, and I really can’t wait to see where it all takes us,” he says.

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20411 FARMINGTON RD. @ 8 MILE • LIVONIA, MI (248) 476-1262 • SCOTTCOLBURNWESTERN.COM

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news hits

Let’s not celebrate Darnell Earley’s departure from DPS just yet by Allie Gross Darnell Earley announced last week he will be stepping down from his post as the Detroit Public Schools’ emergency manager by the month’s end. Come March 1, Earley will be out and Gov. Rick Snyder will have appointed a “transitional leader.” The news at first glance appears to be party-hat and piñata worthy. Earley, after all, is not only the district’s emergency manager, but he was running the show in Flint in April 2014 when the beleaguered city decided to draw water from the Flint River. Earley, accountable to no one but the governor, was head honcho when Flint citizens began running corrosive, lead-potent water out of their taps. And since April 2015, Earley has been the guy in charge of DPS — a district that has been thrust into the national spotlight in recent months as frustrated teachers and students take part in “sick-outs” to draw attention to egregious working conditions. In other words, Earley is more or less toxic these days. Even the Detroit News’ Ingrid Jacques, who has been more than critical of the protesting educators — calling, with the rest of the editorial board, for striking teachers to be punished — has been vocal about the need for Earley to be cut loose. “The emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools is now irrevocably tainted by his time in that same role for the city of Flint,” Jacques wrote on Jan. 15, later adding, “The governor has a major perception problem having Earley at the helm of the financially failing DPS. And reports this week of school buildings that are unsafe and unclean for children only make it more obvious that this emergency manager is no longer a good fit.” While we commend Jacques for recognizing the need for Earley’s departure, we believe her thesis (Earley needs to go because the governor has a perception problem) is exactly why this is not the time to be celebrating. Earley is one in a long line of emergency managers, so while he has been detrimental for the district, we cannot view his removal in a vacuum. The unsafe, unclean conditions that Jacques wrote of did not

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happen overnight. They did not arrive with Earley. And getting rid of Earley does not suddenly transform these schools, reduce class sizes or — and most importantly — bring democracy and accountability back to Detroit’s schools. Earley is Detroit’s fourth emergency manager in nearly six years. In January 2009 then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Robert Bobb to run the district. From there we got Roy Roberts, Jack Martin, and now Earley. In that time Detroit’s deficit has ballooned — an irony that has not been lost — and the very conditions teachers working under Earley are speaking out against were calcified. “Darnell Earley is not the problem, the problem is the Emergency Manager Law,” says Thomas Pedroni, an associate professor of curriculum studies at Wayne State University and director of Detroit Data Democracy. Pedroni, who has been studying the effects of state oversight under DPS emergency management and under the state-controlled Education Achievement Authority, believes, as Jacques implied, that Earley’s resignation is more of a gift to Snyder than a signifier of actual change. “Snyder wants a fall guy as much as everyone else. He can now say, ‘Look I am taking this seriously, I am listening,’” says Pedroni. “Hopefully he will find this isn’t enough. People will see through that. As destructive as Darnell’s tenure in both jobs has been to the well-being of children, he was taking commands from Snyder.” When Snyder came into office in January 2011 he expanded the powers of emergency managers. The ‘financial’ was dropped from the title (remember those EFMs) because their duties were no longer singularly zeroed in on money. Snyder’s changes mean emergency managers can now end contracts — collective bargaining, the works — create and scrap provisions, sell public assets, and decide how much autonomy elected officials have over schools. In the case of DPS, the elected school board lost everything. This carte blanche rule over a district or city raises questions — where does the governor’s vision end and the emergency


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N ews manager’s start? As we know from Flint, the relationship between the governor and emergency manager is complicated and often obscured. Public documents and statements over the years, however, have given us some insight into how these machinations work. In September 2014, as the state-run Education Achievement Authority entered into its second year — and continued to flounder — the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents met to discuss the state of a district they were helping to authorize. The meeting, while about the EAA, provided those in attendance with a deeper understanding of how Lansing, and specifically Snyder’s administration, were molding Detroit schools — with and without the help of emergency managers. For those unfamiliar, the EAA is an interlocal agreement between then-DPS emergency manager Roy Roberts and EMU’s Board of Regents. The EAA was supposed to be a district for the state’s lowest performing schools; it ended up, however, just being comprised of Detroit schools, primarily from DPS. Its board is not elected but rather composed of seven members of Snyder’s choosing, two members of Roberts’ choosing, and two members of EMU’s choosing. The idea of the EAA is often attributed to Roberts since he was the emergency manager at the time; however, at a September 2014 meeting a different genesis was detailed. Jim Stapleton, a member of EMU’s Board of Regents, shared information about a dinner he was invited to with Snyder in April 2011, two months before the EAA plan was announced to the public. The gathering, at an Ann Arbor steakhouse, included Stapleton, Snyder, Snyder aide Richard Baird (who was recently deployed to work on Flint water response), then-Snyder chief-of-staff Dennis Muchmore, Snyder’s “volunteer education adviser” Richard McLellan, and someone from the pro-charter, corporate ed reform powerhouse the Eli Broad Foundation. At the dinner — which Snyder left early — Baird detailed plans for the EAA, and asked Stapleton if EMU would be interested in signing on as partner. While these are interesting facts, the real zinger comes after the dinner meeting was over. According to Stapleton’s testimony, two days later he got together with Roberts — the guy running DPS at the time — who had no idea about the EAA or the plan for this state-run district. “Roy did not know a thing about this,” Stapleton says. While Roberts became the public face of the EAA, this behind-the-scenes planning points to the puppetry often associated with emergency managers. Today the EAA is known nationally as a failure. In December Snyder even spoke openly about ending the supposed-reform district. Who

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news hits is to blame for the failure, however, just like the Flint water crisis, is completely and utterly shrouded. There is even more documentation of the odd relationship between Lansing and Detroit. Take for example this paragraph in Michigan’s May 2010 application for a charter school planning grant from when Granholm was at the helm (emphasis made by us). “Additionally, through collaborative efforts and support of Detroit’s emergency financial manager (Robert Bobb) assigned by Michigan’s governor, the state maintains a level of oversight and direct involvement not seen in other municipalities. It should be noted that Mr. Bobb’s title may be a little deceptive since he is not just the financial manger but he has also exercised influence over a wide range of activities within the Detroit Public Schools including the reorganization of the district and the identification of schools to be closed and/or otherwise transformed. As a matter of fact, it is his vision and plan for transforming Detroit Public Schools that is currently being implemented.” While the statement notes that Bobb is running the show it also drives home the close relationship between Lansing and DPS; a relationship that is so close that it is noted as an asset in an application for federal grant money to open more charter schools, one of the biggest competitors for DPS and a major contributor to the district’s dwindling enrollment, and in turn, funding. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Detroit ranks No. 2 nationally for charter enrollment. In 2009, the year Bobb took over, there were an estimated 95,000 students in DPS. Fast forward to the 2014-2015 school year and there were only 48,900 students. Considering that per-pupil funding follows students, the loss of students has been debilitating for the district. Factoids like this raise questions about the overarching goals of Lansing (vis-avis emergency managers and state-run districts like the EAA). More specifically, however, they point to the fact that Earley is not why DPS is what it is today. Earley is a cog in a machine. While his actions and attitude toward frustrated teachers are nothing to commend, we need to keep perspective about the bigger picture. While he may have created problems, he is not the problem. The system is the problem. And Lansing and the Detroit News editorial board should not be confused if and when sick-outs continue — even with Earley gone.

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The real lessons of Flint by Jack Lessenberry

The poisoned water tragedy of Flint is a movie waiting to be made. You have heroes — ­ the noble doctor Mona HannaAttisha, the dedicated researcher Marc Edwards, the brilliant, quirky, and driven investigative reporter Curt Guyette. You’ve got villains: The clueless “relentless positive” accountant governor fixated on the bottom line: the smug emergency managers and the bureaucrats at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, plus the arrogant press spokesman who belittled anyone who asked about lead. And you’ve got victims ­— thousands of victims — children needlessly poisoned by an out-of-touch government. What isn’t clear, however, is how Hollywood would see the moral of the story. What’s more important is how America sees it. The biggest mistake we could make is to pin it all on Rick Snyder and a few of his minions. What we all need to realize is that Flint is a postcard from our future, unless we get serious about fixing this nation. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Too many of us are being left behind, and much of what’s left of the shrinking middle-class economy is really a house of cards. Consider one small example: The looming tower of student loan debt. Eight years ago, before the Great Recession hit, the cumulative total was only about $500 billion. Now, it is $1.3 trillion ­— a figure increasing at the cost of $2,000 every second — the balloon mortgage payment from hell, threatening to swamp our future. This exists in large part because the selfish greedheads who own Congress and our legislatures are no longer willing to pay their fair share in taxes to support higher education. Not only that, as the law is presently written, kids can’t even refinance their debt. Home loans can be refinanced, car loans can be. Even Bubba Gump can refinance his boat loan. But we won’t even help our kids get a more favorable mortgage on their futures. This is, of course, a gigantic house of cards just waiting to collapse. One of my students has completed all her coursework at Wayne State University, but can’t get

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her degree because she owes the school money. Additionally, she has a student loan debt of $80,000. Last I heard, the only job she could find was cleaning motel rooms. She is never going to be able to pay that back. Nor will millions of others. Some will postpone marriage or child-bearing or be unable to buy a house. Others will just get behind and then default. Yet do you see anyone in power doing anything about this? Do you see anyone proposing anything real? Well, no — except for Bernie Sanders, that gravelly voiced old (gasp) socialist. He would allow students to refinance student loans, refuse to allow the government to make a profit on them, and eventually move to a system that would allow deserving students to get through college debt-free. He’d pay for that, by imposing a small tax — way less than 1 percent — on the Wall Street speculators, who, as he put it “nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago.” Naturally, everyone will say that’s impossible. That’s what they always say when anyone proposes making this a better world. Yet once in a while, someone comes along and makes people see that yes, it really might be possible. Nearly half a century ago, Bobby Kennedy did just that. “Some people see things as they are and ask why,” he told enormous and enthusiastic crowds across this nation. “I see things that never were, and say


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N why not,” he told them. He was well on his way to winning the Democratic nomination when he was killed by a crazy person for reasons that had nothing to do with what he stood for. Kennedy might have spared us Richard Nixon and Watergate and four more years of Vietnam. We’ll never know. Hillary Clinton might indeed put some lipstick and rouge on the corpse of American democracy. She might even propose some cosmetic reforms that would slightly slow destruction of the middle class, at least before she got us into some new war. But anyone who thinks she has any desire for any meaningful change hasn’t been watching this campaign. Anyone who thinks this country can go on the way it has and even pretend to have government by and for the people has to be stupid, very old, and very rich. Bernie Sanders ­— crabby, cranky old Bernie Sanders — would probably increase my taxes. That might make it harder for me to take nice vacations. But my biggest wish is that — for the sake of my students and for every child in American today — he gets the chance.

politics&prejudices Will Rick Snyder resign? During the last few weeks, at least six people have urged me to call for the governor to resign, after his administration poisoned Flint. The thought of not hearing him chirp “relentless positive action” ever again is powerfully tempting. But get real. That’s not happening, unless they catch him in a crime. And believe it or not, neither Republicans nor Democrats really want him to go. First, ask yourself this: If Snyder did quit, who would become governor? When I asked that question of those who told me they wanted him to quit, half didn’t know. The answer is Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a boyish-looking 38-year-old who could walk around Somerset Mall unrecognized for hours. Here’s what we know about Calley: He is supposed to be more conservative than Snyder. He has an autistic child, and helped require insurance coverage for autism. Other than that, nothing. Except this: Calley would suddenly be an incumbent, get overnight face and name recognition — and be eligible to run for re-election in 2018.

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That last part would drive Attorney General Bill Schuette mad. Democrats wouldn’t much like it either, especially if the lieutenant governor won over the public. Some of them even remember way back to 1969, when another Republican governor, old George Romney, resigned to join the Nixon administration. He left a Calleylike successor, a man so young-looking he was often mistaken for a student by security guards in the Capitol. Both parties figured he was a placeholder who would be gone the next year. But instead, William Milliken served as governor longer than anyone in Michigan history. Nobody is suggesting Brian Calley is Bill Milliken. But smart politicos know you ought to be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Against the animals: The Michigan Legislature finally did something admirable last month. After years of trying, both houses passed “Logan’s Law,” a two-bill package designed to help prevent animal abuse by creating

a registry of abusers and allowing those who run animal shelters to do background checks to prevent abusers from torturing more animals. This was such a good idea that the bills passed unanimously — except for a single vote. Readers of this column may remember that I long ago identified Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) as the legislature’s worst member, and he once again lived down to expectations. Meekhof, who did manage to make it through high school, normally devotes his energies to fighting to try to make it more difficult for people to vote, and to try and prevent workers on state construction jobs from being paid a decent wage. But he also opposed making animal abuse illegal, because, he said, he feared “we’re getting precariously close to equating animals and humans.” Actually, he may have a point there. There’s no way I would ever equate my wonderful Australian Shepherd, who is decent, sweet, loving, and intelligent, with a creature like Meekhof.

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stiritup

A lifetime commitment by Larry Gabriel Black Lives Matter is a controversial concept in today’s political landscape. But back in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded as an emphatic right on to black life — with their fists raised proudly in the air. The Black Panthers were controversial from the get go. The idea that AfricanAmericans would actually stand up to white power and entitlement, indeed have the right to do so, is always met with opposition — often violent opposition. And that opposition is why there is very little to clearly assess what the Panthers actually did and what the impact of the political party has been. Not a lot gets said about them. People have a general idea of guns and violence and angry black men that was most often portrayed in the media during the decade of the Panthers from 1966 to 1976. However, it’s necessary to get way past that to see and understand the Panthers some 50 years after the party’s founding. That’s what’s going to happen at 3 p.m. Saturday when the Charles Wright Museum’s Liberation Film series features The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution. In addition to screening this special 75-minute cut of the film, Kathleen Cleaver, former communications secretary for the party and ex-wife of Eldridge Cleaver, will be there to discuss her “Report from the Black Liberation Struggle.” Professor Errol Henderson from Pennsylvania State University will moderate a followup question and answer session with Cleaver. There will also be a tribute to recently deceased former Panthers Ahmad Rahman and Ron Scott. This 50-year anniversary look at the Panthers is incredibly relevant now in view of the rise in black activism in the wake of numerous filmed and documented incidents of police killing unarmed black people. It’s also relevant in view of the Flint water crisis in which the predominantly minority community with a 40 percent poverty rate has been delivered lead-poisoned water after a state takeover of the city. “It seems like it’s a new wave,” Cleaver says of the current activist climate in a

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phone interview. “There are activists we haven’t heard much from until they rose up over the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. They need to understand that it doesn’t end. My father was an organizer. People who worked with the NAACP were risking their lives. There are generations of black activists. The generation during the Vietnam War was the most explosive. We were coming of age when civil rights was very dynamic. … It was a very exciting time. There were liberation movements in Africa, here, liberation protests all over the world. It goes in waves. There’s a rise and fall; the point is that it keeps rising.” That rise is among young people who were under 10 when 9/11 changed their worldview are at an age where activism beckons them. In the years since 9/11 the nation has been in two wars and seen its first black president. And we’ve also seen an awful, nakedly racist response against a black president. We know what right-wing presidential candidates mean when they say they want to “take our country back.” Taking what we rightfully deserve was what the Panthers were about. They weren’t waiting for anything to be given to them. The Black Panthers came to light shortly after their founding when they asserted their legal right to carry guns while legally observing police stops. Huey Newton, who cofounded the Panthers with Bobby Seale, was a law student who knew it was legal to openly carry loaded weapons in California where they began operating. The tactic was aggressive and intimidating — just as intimidating as police now find being observed by the cameras on phones that


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The

Perfect Gift

22266 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, Michigan 48124

313.562.8484 www.stevenbernardjewelers.com 28 February 10-16, 2016 | metrotimes.com

N ews seem to be everywhere. Panthers in Oakland, Calif., in 1966 knew what most folks in black communities know today: Police are terrorizing and killing unarmed blacks across the country. They’ve been doing this pretty much since the country was founded. It’s just that today video technology (and the surveillance society) has captured them with undeniable proof of the crime. That seems to be one point helping to heat up activism in 2016. Having the cold proof of police wrongdoing on video has taken many off the sidelines. “We have a time now when older generations and younger generations can see the same thing,” says Cleaver. “They may respond in different ways. But there is a new breath of activism among certain young people. The black community has been horrendously destabilized through prison and control programs from the Nixon era until now. The response to that has not been as successful as the attacks.” The Panther response was multifaceted. Most people only saw the blackmen-with-guns depiction of them. But the Panther also carried law books and tape recorders to these standoffs to assert their rights and record what was happening. It was about community empowerment. The Panthers also ran free breakfast programs for schoolchildren, managed food banks, ran health clinics, and supported education programs. They unsuccessfully ran for elected political office. The wide vision and legal acumen of the party was alarming to government leaders, right up to the federal level. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had launched COINTELPRO (a euphemism for counterintelligence program) with a series of covert, sometimes illegal, actions to undermine organizations considered subversive. In fighting against the Panthers, tactics included infiltrating the organizations and agitating to create confrontations with the police. “Agents flooded into the party, provocateurs,” says Cleaver. “The Panthers were destroyed as an organization, but destroying the organization did not destroy the members. Most people who were committed to the Panthers got into things they were committed to.” That would include someone like Ron Scott, who dedicated much of his last few decades steering the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality. There are several former Panthers around town who, despite becoming gray haired, are working in education and community empowerment programs. “The kind of activists I’m familiar with are people of my generation who’ve

stiritup made a lifetime commitment,” says Cleaver. Cleaver is a senior lecturer at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. She followed her commitment to the party by earning a law degree from Yale Law School and working in the legal world, including clerking at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Not bad for someone who was once targeted for assassination by the FBI. The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution premieres in its longer, complete version on public television starting Feb. 16. “The film is intense, complex, international, and personal,” says Cleaver of filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s documentary. “It’s a gorgeous film, with beautiful photos and a wonderful soundtrack.” And it’s right on time in an era when forces such as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement are taking on the same issues that another generation fought and died over. Marcus matters too The Charles Wright Museum will host another event that ties together generations on March 10. The late jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave was known for mentoring and developing young jazz musicians during his half-century in Detroit. Belgrave taught students who later became international superstars such as pianist Geri Allen and saxophonist James Carter, as well as other stellar figures of the jazz firmament, at his Jazz Development Workshop over the years. Belgrave’s legacy of teaching will be extended with the premiere of the Marcus Belgrave Scholarship Concert, featuring Allen, Carter, drummers Gayelynn McKinney and Karriem Riggins, bassist Marion Hayden, trumpeters Rayse Biggs and Dwight Adams, vocalist Joan Belgrave, and many more. “This is my idea of keeping the legacy going,” says Joan Belgrave. Saxophonist Kasan Belgrave, Marcus’ son, will open the program with his own group. Proceeds from the event will go to scholarships for young musicians who are going on to college to study music. In 2009 Marcus Belgrave was named an Eminent Artist by the Kresge Foundation, which is also a supporter of this concert.

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SHOP WHERE YOUR BUSINESS MATTERS

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| February 10-16, 2016

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what’sgoingon

Art | Dance | Comedy | Eat | Theater

Fri-Sun, 2/12-14 Winter Blast @ Campus Martius

Bundle up and enjoy whatever this Michigan winter has to throw at us. This year’s annual Winter Blast is here all weekend. The event, sponsored by Meridian Health Plan, will feature both indoor and outdoor activities. Detroit favorites, like the Bedrock zip line, and a giant snowslide will be up all weekend, along with music, giveaways, and exhibitions. This year, the Meridian Winter Blast will also host Sing, Skate, and Slide for Flint, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a fundraiser that aims to raise $75,000 for Flint. Check out the website for concert lineups and event schedules.

Opens at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday; 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-8418 winterblast.com; admission is three canned goods, a children’s book, or $3 that will be directly donated to Matrix Human Services.

Wednesday, 2/10

Thursday, 2/11

Friday, 2/12

Fri-Sun, 2/12-14

RoseLee Goldberg

Drinks x Design

VLNTSDYMRKT 4

Dance Theater of Harlem

@ MOCAD

@ 601 West Fort Street

@ Jam Handy

@ Michigan Opera Theatre

In an artsy mood? Learn about curating visual and performing arts by listening to RoseLee Goldberg. The literary event hosted at Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Arts features the author, historian, art critic, and curator as a lecturer this Wednesday. Goldberg wrote Performance Art: From Futurism to Present and founded the nonprofit for the research and organization of visual and performing arts, PERFORMA. She definitely knows her visual art.

Unleash your creativity or admire others’ at the amplified Drinks x Design event. Hosted by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, otherwise known as DC3, the event offers complimentary food, drinks, and entertainment. It also offers opportunities to mingle with fellow Detroit designers and creators. Free up your Thursday night and bring your friends (as long as they’re 21) and let your creative side run free.

No, that’s not just a bunch of random letters. VLNTNSDYMRKT 4 is an annual night market event. The night market is open Friday, Feb. 12, two days before Valentine’s Day. So if you’ve procrastinated on purchasing a V-Day gift for your special someone, the VLTNSDYMRKT has one-of-a-kind goodies from local sellers. This year marks the fourth run for the night market, which features the essentials on a Friday night ­— shopping, food trucks, and music.

If a crowded Campus Martius isn’t your ideal weekend getaway, stay warm and cozy inside another downtown venue ­— the Michigan Opera Theatre. This weekend, the theater will feature performances by the Dance Theater of Harlem Co. Bringing New York to Detroit, the company, which started in order to disprove the belief that ballet was not meant for performers of African descent, is said to “provide a series of performances that promise to dazzle, delight and produce awe.”

Starts at 7 p.m.; 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org; admission is free, $5 suggested donation.

Starts at 5:30 p.m.; 601 W. Fort St., Detroit; detcityofdesign. eventbrite.com; free.

30 February 10-16, 2016 | metrotimes.com

Runs from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; 2900 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit; vlntnsdymrkt.com; admission is free.

Show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday; 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-237-7464; tickets start at $25.


Art | Dance | Comedy | Eat | Theater

UpFront

what’sgoingon

| News | Feature |

Saturday, 2/13 @ The Fillmore

Eat | Drink

Doors open at noon; run starts at 2 p.m.; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; cupidsundierun.com/city/detroit; $55 to register.

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This Saturday it’s OK to leave your house in just your underwear… as long as you’re taking part in the annual 1.5-mile Cupid’s Undie Run. Proceeds benefit a good cause ­— the Children’s Tumor Foundation ­— hoping to stop NF, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The Undie Run provides an opportunity to break in that new Valentine’s Day lingerie and party, drink, and dance in the middle of the street in your best undies. It’s a win-win ­— helping a good cause while having a good time.

What’s Going On

Cupid’s Undie Run

|

@ Embassy Suites

@ Harry’s Detroit

It’s Winter Blast, but for grown-ups! The annual Bar Blast is back, and there’s no better way to drink your winter blues away. While there isn’t a giant snowslide or zip line involved (but how cool would that be?) there is a continuous shuttle that will take you to where the fun begins. For $10, drinkers have a designated driver to take them to and from participating bars throughout the Foxtown, Greektown, and downtown area. Bring your bar-hopping shoes and ID, and get ready for a night of drinking. Warning: Hangovers may occur.

If Valentine’s Day brings about some sad feelings, grab a friend and watch Katt Williams for some guaranteed laughs. The triple-threat star is stopping by Detroit on his Conspiracy Theory tour, bringing light to controversial and perhaps even offensive topics. The actor, rapper, and comedian officially returned to the stand-up stage after pursuing other endeavors in film and music in 2012. The Denver Post described Williams’ stage persona as “between a possessed rival preacher and Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil,” which is sure to make for an interesting comedy show.

Those with a passion for fashion wouldn’t want to miss this year’s Celebration of Love fashion show, hosted by Vizions Inc. The show takes place on the day of love, and strives to create an “intimate and inviting atmosphere of like-minded individuals interested in socializing while creating new personal and business relationships in a safe and upscale environment.” The fashion event will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning rapper and actress Yo Yo Honey Singh. The classy fashion show will have an open bar, strolling hor ‘d’oeuvres, a celebrity relationship panel, and a fashion show featuring Detroit designers.

Still unsure of Valentine’s Day plans? Harry’s Detroit along with Dine Drink Detroit have you and your significant other covered. This year, the four-course meal will be created by chef Marcus Ware. The menu features spicy tomato soup with garlic oil and fried basil, kale salad with strawberries, candied walnuts, and goat cheese tossed in honey balsamic vinaigrette, herb encrusted lamb with sweet potato puree, and crispy onions tossed in a mint chimichurri, and a wafer cheesecake with a berry compote. There is also a vegetarian alternative, which features a mushroom risotto with Parmesan cream. Bottled wine and champagne will be available for purchase. Dinner, booze, and live music is the recipe for a perfect romantic evening.

Starts at 9:30 p.m.; begin at any of the participating venues; neptix.com/events/30311/; wristbands are $10.

Starts at 8 p.m.; 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Detroit; 800-7453000 olympiaentertainment. com; tickets start at $52.

Starts at 5 p.m.; 19525 Victor Parkway, Livonia; detroitfashionweek.pressly.com; tickets are $75.

Starts at 6 p.m.; 2482 Clifford St., Detroit; dinedrinkdetroit.com; tickets are $45 per person.

metrotimes.com

| February 10-16, 2016

Classifieds

Valentine’s Day dinner pop-up

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Celebration of Love fashion show

Culture

@ Joe Louis Arena

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Katt Williams

@ downtown Detroit

Arts

Bar Blast

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Sunday, 2/14

Watch

Sunday, 2/14

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Saturday, 2/13

Music

Saturday, 2/13

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n Porn star Chris Harder will be part of the entertainment at this year’s Dirty Show.

Auto erotica

How the Motor City’s biggest erotic art show keeps its game skin-tight

By Michael Jackman

Jerry Vile is walking around his studio in the Russell Industrial Center pointing out some of the pieces that have been in his popular Dirty Show over the years. Ever the irreverent gadfly, his running commentary is hilarious. “This guy illustrates for McDonald’s,” he says, gesturing toward one. He points out another of a man’s face snugged up to another man’s ass. “Here’s an example of the perfect combination of porn and art because it’s just so fucking disgusting,” he says with cackling laughter. “It makes sex look so unattractive.” He points out one piece by Anton LaVey’s grandson Steven, another from France, one from Israel, even an original print by Clive Barker. He comments on a saucy piece featuring a priest and suggests it may be passé. If anybody would know the trends in the fast-changing world of erotic art, it would be Peterson. When thousands

of people descend on the Russell Industrial Center for two weekends this month to see The Dirty Show, it won’t be Jerry Peterson’s first rodeo. It has been 17 years and 20 erotic art shows since Peterson first helped found the show, perhaps to fill the void left by the end of his magazine, Orbit. Last year, that magazine was given a reprise of sorts with the publication of Robert St. Mary’s Re-Entry, a book exploring the history of that magazine. And The Dirty Show hasn’t just outlived its onetime hecklers and critics, it has become the largest annual art event in the city. By a weird trick of fate, at 59, Peterson is poised for a certain vindication,

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even an odd kind of respectability, if only due to the staying power of the show he helped found.

The art show everybody hated Of course, in the beginning, Detroit’s art scene found the upstart erotic art show too much to take. Even a decade ago, Metro Times was reluctant to write about it. Peterson remembers the frosty reaction it got from Detroit’s art scenesters. “They fucking hated us,” Peterson says. “There’s that whole, academic, elite Detroit art scene, and we’re just not snooty enough for it.” But it wasn’t just the subject matter that invited conflict. Since the beginning, so many different varieties of art have been featured that a randy artistic potluck turned into a kind of circular firing squad. “Whenever you do a group show like that,” Peterson says, “especially one that’s so varied, people are going to say,

‘There’s a ton of shit in that.’ Because conceptual guys are going to criticize pinup artists, and those photorealistic painters will criticize a pile of dirt on a stand, saying, ‘That’s not art, that’s a fucking handful of dirt.’ That’s the diversity we had.’” Peterson looks back on it today as “a communal approach to Detroit art.” “Because of Orbit, I was able to go into every little art clique and have friends there that would bring their friends. So it’s all these divergent artists from all different walks of art doing all different shit. … We didn’t jury for five or six years. It was, ‘Show up with shit and we’ll decide where to put it.’” Peterson says the jurying process didn’t come easily to the show. He says it took a few years to work out the political kinks. He also freely admits that nobody likes to be refused, and that a lot of the stuff he likes doesn’t make it into the show. But it’s still better than looking at some of the art people brought in. “Being face to face with somebody


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F who made bad art, it’s really hard to tell them that,” he says. “It makes jurying feel like a cake walk.” What’s his taste in erotic art? His taste runs a pretty wide gamut, technically. He can appreciate the primitive along with the super-realistic. He dislikes the sort of stuff you’d see in men’s magazines, and complains that fine art nudes are “some of the best fine art technically and some of the worst aesthetically at times.” He’s quick to add, “Sometimes I’d rather see a piece of art that I hate than something nonreactive. And no matter how much you hate something, there’s always an artist who will prove you wrong with their talent.” “We always try to have something to shock somebody,” he says. “We pick stuff because it’s funny, or it’s disturbing. I mean, to me, porn’s kind of disturbing. If you do something right with that, when you can combine really porny stuff and make it really arty at the same time, to me, that’s The Dirty Show home run. And we don’t get a lot

feature of it.” Another thing he tries to do is attract big names to the show. “We almost had Leonard Nimoy,” Peterson says. “He shot a lot of nudes, fine art nudes using body types that are nontraditional. Beyond Rubenesque. Like they ate the Rubenesque people!”

An unlikely art promoter

Peterson grew up in bucolic, smalltown Northville, and insists he didn’t grow up weird. “For a lot of my life I tried to fit in,” he says. That was before he encountered “glitter music, punk rock, National Lampoon, Creem magazine, underground comics, all those influences, back when you had to earn them.” In early adulthood, he got into punk and publishing. He became the lead singer of a punk band called the Boners (“It was the stupidest name we could think of”) and started self-publishing in college (“We tried to do a magazine, and we didn’t have the money nor the talent”).

n Jerry Vile points out the erotic art he has collected in his studio.

34 February 10-16, 2016 | metrotimes.com

Despite his humility about these flawed efforts, he says he’s always appreciated what happens when untrained people try their hands at arts and culture. “That’s how really great shit gets invented,” he says. “People who don’t have the talent that just try to do it anyways, and they end up creating something new.” Well, not always, but as Jerry Vile, Peterson’s knack for theatrics has struck gold on and off. His antics included doing a Boners set as the Flying Nun at Bookies, using aircraft wire run through the asbestos-filled ceiling. He says Jonathan Demme once asked him to reprise the role for a movie, but Peterson told him he “doesn’t do things twice.” These days he wishes he’d done it, that perhaps he could have been famous: “Now I realize what a fucking idiot I was,” he says. “I should still be wearing the flying nun outfit and people could go, ‘That’s the flying nun guy!’” Aside from The Dirty Show, Peterson’s alter-ego Jerry Vile is more active

as an artist than ever. His show last year at the Tangent was unalloyed fun. The cards identifying the art were often funnier than the art. But much of the show was made up of genre-bending pieces: including a seamy diorama of a couple having sex at a motel and a coin-operated carnival machine in which a model of Peterson as a chicken dispensed predictions. “To this day, when I do art, I feel guilty,” Peterson says, “because of how it was drilled into me by my dad and mom, that being an artist is the worst job in the world, and it’s not work, and you’re just going to starve. … It’s like everything I liked was the worst job in the world.”

A really big show

But that crazy yearning in Peterson to create an otherworldly penny arcade finds its greatest expression in The Dirty Show. He still wishes he could dress it up as an even more immersive environment, something like the Streets of Old Detroit at the Detroit


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F Historical Museum, or Gaylord’s Call of the Wild Museum, but set on the poor side of town. Bits of this vision appear from time to time, such as this year’s tattoo shop, or the Sin-Erotic film space, which will be given over to arthouse sleaze, or the live bondage shows in a hallway nook revelers will stroll by and be able to watch. And that’s just the stuff out in the show. Live shows will take the stage almost continuously. Peterson calls it, “Burlesque, drag queens, and weird stuff,” but much of it is way out there. Getting in drag and singing “Sweet Transvestite” isn’t enough for the show anymore. Peterson has seen almost every drag act out there, and complains that the medium has lost its verve. He explains, “Most drag shows, you’re going to hear Celine Dion. Most drag shows are so mainstream.” But at the Dirty Show, attendees can expect performers like DeAngela Show Shannon. “I’ve seen about every drag act,” Peterson says, “and DeAngela does fucking flips and stuff, and she’s taller than me, with tits the size of watermelons, and these outrageous costumes.” Or bizarre inclusions from years past

feature have included what Peterson calls a “midget bar.” It was an area roped off last year that had a 6-foot-high ceiling, small furniture, and a small stage with a diminutive dancer on it. “There were supposed to be two midgets dancing on stage, but one got so drunk she fell off the stage on her first act.” On two different years, the stage has featured action painting of an unusual sort: A performer is given an enema of child-safe paint, and then squirts it out of their ass onto a canvas. If it sounds squicky, well, it is, but it was at least done behind a screen, which Peterson says, “makes it civilized.” The actionpainting routine’s name, Poo-casso, was made up by a heckler the first time it was performed. “It is hilarious,” Peterson says, “and I think it really does say more about art than anything else, because then the paintings are auctioned off.” It’s decisions like these that draw people out on snowy nights in February. Between visual art, performance, film, live entertainment, and a kind of party environment, the show is big. It outgrew spaces at the Hastings Street Ballroom, Bert’s Warehouse, and has

36 February February10-16, 10-16,2016 2016 | | metrotimes.com metrotimes.com 36

n Gregory de la Haba’s “Equus Maximus” will return to the show this year. finally found what appears to be a permanent home at the Russell, which is more than large enough to accommodate the 2,000 people a night who pre-buy their tickets. Last year, part of the draw was special guest John Waters, which gave the show special visibility. Peterson said it was a challenge to keep people from pestering their esteemed guest. “All these outsiders are gonna

identify with John,” Peterson says. “But there’s, like, hundreds of them in every city, so they’re always going to try to give him something or tell him some long story. We tried to put out the word, please don’t bring gifts. Now, with somebody like Brad Pitt, who’s a big successful movie star, you’re not going to go and bother Brad Pitt, but people think, ‘It’s John Waters: He gets me.’ And there’s shitloads of them. He


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n Chris Harder

can’t do anything without anybody telling him a big long story. And yet he’s very polite, probably the most polite person I know.”

Making it bigger

And then there’s the art. It ranges from the cheeky to the dark, and at its best it aims not to merely titillate but to provoke. Over the years the show has featured some mind-boggling pieces. One memorable work superimposed dozens of photos of fellatio to create art that wasn’t even figurative anymore, a psychedelic-looking image that defied description. Or a piece that returns this year, a towering sculpture of three horses engaged in a threesome. “To me, good art is just a surrealistic experience,” Peterson says. “It’s what

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I like: being transported. Something that didn’t exist in your brain.” As much as Peterson sounds like P.T. Barnum sometimes, that carnival barker facade gives way to a discriminating guy who, yes, gets art. He loves art best that makes him see the inconceivable. He praises a work by Cai Guo-Qiang, an artwork that sprawls across a room, with 99 wolves leaping through the air, bashing against an unbroken glass wall, and running back to jump again. “It’s just such a beautiful sweep, but it’s so outside anything that would be in your brain. When I saw that piece, I realized it’s like something I couldn’t even conceive of. I never imagine that big,” he says. “The guy with the horses took me years to track down, but, again, it was a thing I had heard about and was blown


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way by the concept and idea of it.” Of course, in the same half-hour, he’ll praise the art environment at Cromwell’s Turkeyville, a restaurant in Calhoun County filled with miniature attractions like a model railroad. “I love looking at shit behind glass,” he says. “My favorite part of some museums is the miniatures. I like that kind of amusement park funhouse stuff.” He jokes about his fascination with sweep and spectacle, large or small, and says, “Maybe it is all tourist trap dioramas. I have yet to convert The Dirty Show to that spectacle that’s in my

brain, which would be just like going to an amusement park.” That’s the challenge of art for him: “I’m still learning to imagine bigger.” The Dirty Show takes place 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Feb. 12, 13, 19, and 20, and 6 p.m. to midnight Feb. 14, at the Russell Industrial Center, 1600 Clay St., Detroit; Feb. 14 is 18 and older, all other nights 21 and older; advance tickets at dirtydetroit.com.

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mjackman@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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This year’s guest artist:

Colin Christian

There’s a celebrity factor to the guest artist at The Dirty Show this year, sculptor Colin Christian, one of Peterson’s favorite artists. Just after Peterson and Co. cemented his participation, the artist announced that he was doing what Peterson calls “Miley Cyrus’ marshmallow dick suit, the one with a big light-up dildo.” “He’s had stuff with other artists at MOMA and PS1,” Peterson says, “and he will be one of those guys in the future, but he kind of got into the lowbrow thing. He’ll have 20-foot-tall Hello Kittys, and it’s better than [Jeff] Koons’.” Unlike the outfit designed for pop star Cyrus, much of the kinkiness in Christian’s art comes from what you don’t see. “He rarely shows a tit,” Peterson says, “it’s mostly done with eyes and mouth and it’s kinky. You just look at it, and you know it’s sex.” In fact, Peterson owns a piece by the artist and refuses to put up in his home where his daughter can see it, even though it’s just a girl holding a banana and a cherry. Peterson says another piece is “a robot that’s supposed to have been returned to the sex factory for repairs.” If you think it’s all fringe art, at least the markets take it seriously. Pop stars aren’t Christian’s only customers. “The president of Nike owns a Christian,” Peterson says. “He’s on the verge of something, but I think it’s going to be like where artists create their own world. He’s not going to be accepted into the academic world of art until he’s already a star.” Instead, Peterson predicts he will get a tardy embrace much like Banksy. -MJ

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F Educational toys

A local romance specialist tells us how to pick the perfect sex toy by Melissa Hoffman Here we go again. It’s Valentine’s Day. Maybe you’re in a relationship. Maybe you’re single. Either way, you don’t want to spend this holiday doing the same old thing. So, why not spice things up? We recently chatted up romance specialist and Lover’s Lane regional manager Megan Satterfield for the lowdown on not only the best sex toys on the market, but how to know which one’s for you. Whether you’re new to sex toys or have your very own Red Room of Pain, Satterfield knows how to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Metro Times: What are some of the biggest selling toys you have in the store right now? Why are those toys so hot? Megan Satterfield: Wands are very popular right now. The Magic Wand started the trend of plug-in powerful massagers that could be used anywhere on the body. Now with the rechargeable technology that a majority of manufacturers are using, wands can be cordless and waterproof with a variety of different vibrations and modes. Rabbit-style vibrators (dual stimulators) have never gone out of style and now have so many awesome features

that customers have numerous options. They can choose between different types of materials, vibration intensities and patterns, multiple motors, rechargeable capabilities, movement, and rotation between internal and external stimulators, and so on. Couples vibrators are also popular. They are designed so they can be worn during intercourse as well as being versatile in other ways as well. They provide clitoral stimulation, external, at the same time as G-spot stimulation, which is internal. They can be used together or alone and even offer remote controls to take the fun even further! And the rechargeable feature makes it

feature even more popular. Pulsators offer something completely different. There are four styles to choose from which offer different textures and shapes. Instead of vibrating — although one style has a vibrating clitoral stimulator — it pulsates, so it provides a movement that would be compared to thrusting and can also be used hands free. Plus it’s also rechargeable. Bullets and G-spot toys will always be popular. We have them in all materials, all price points, rechargeable or battery operated. The Eroscillator is also very popular. It’s 10 toys in one. It plugs in and oscillates instead of vibrating. It’s extremely powerful and gets wonderful reviews. It can be used alone or with a partner. Depending on the model you get, it comes with five or six attachments for different types of stimulation. Toys made specifically for men are also very popular with lots of different styles depending on their need or want. Basically, we offer toys for all types of stimulation and all areas of the body. MT: What kind of toy would you suggest for someone who hasn’t used one before? Satterfield: There are so many great starter toys for all areas of the body, but I would ask the customer questions to find out what exactly they would need to have a wonderful first experience. Some customers would like

to start with something small and unintimidating that’s mostly just for clitoral stimulation, while other customers would like something realistic that would attempt to mimic real penetration. We also offer many smaller toys that can be used not only on intimate areas but all over the body for massaging and couples play as well, which might make the first-time user more comfortable. MT: What kind would you recommend for someone with a little more experience? Satterfield: Again, we would ask questions to really find out and understand what the customer’s need is. What type of stimulation do you need or enjoy? Do you like continuous vibration, different pulsations, or no vibration at all? Are you using with a partner? What part of the body do you plan on using it? Every customer is different and will enjoy something different. MT: What are some misconceptions about sex toys that you’d like to banish? Satterfield: I would just like everyone to know that sex toys were created to bring pleasure. They can be really fun too! MT: What’s the No. 1 question that gets asked by people shopping for the sex toy, and what’s the answer? Satterfield: One of the questions we get frequently is: “What is the most popular?” And again we would then ask questions to know what products to actually start showing depending on their need. For example, rabbit-style stimulators are very popular so finding the right one by giving them options (movement, vibration, warranty, etc.) would answer their question. MT: If someone’s in the market for a new toy, why should they shop at Lover’s Lane? Satterfield: Our romance specialists give 100 percent customer service. We take pride in our extensive product knowledge and care about the customer’s needs. We ask questions, explain products, and help the customer choose the product that will be right for them. Lover’s Lane is a Michigan-owned company that operates stores in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. For locations and online shopping check loverslane.com.

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E AT

feature Photo by Scott Spellman

A better burger Brome Burgers & Shakes by Serena Maria Daniels

Brome Burgers & Shakes

22062 Michigan Ave., Dearborn 313-996-5050 bromeburger.com 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday Prices: $3.50-$15.50 | Wheelchair accessible We’re often asked what the best burger is in the Detroit area. It’s such a loaded question because it depends on your opinion of what a good burger is. Is it the lean-to-fat ratio of the proprietary blended meat? Is it the wild topping combinations? Is it found in a high-end suburban bistro, prepared by an award-winning chef, or can it just as easily be found at your local sports bar, to be enjoyed by auto plant workers? Because of these impossible-to-answer questions, and because our esteemed colleague Michael Jackman already embarked on a monthslong pursuit for the perfect patty (which, for the sake of heart health, he says he was happy to give up when we came on board), we’re not going to attempt to crown the end-all winning burger. Instead, we’ll introduce Brome Burger in Dearborn as possibly the healthiest, if not most sustainable burger around. That notion may seem blasphemous to some. The very idea of the burger is usually that of unabashed indulgence, or at least a quick, hand-held, tasty meal when you’re out and about. But after a stint on the West Coast, where just about every comfort food can be found in trendy, allnatural, non-GMO form, Brome founder Sam Abbas wanted to bring that concept to his hometown of Dearborn (he is partnered with co-founder Oliver Nasralah). What you find is a place where sustainability is considered in every detail of the restaurant. The interior is spacious and bright, thanks to natural light that floods through huge windows. Ordering is cafeteria style. When you walk in, you’re

immediately instructed via lines painted on the floor where to stand, both to pick up a to-go order or dine in. Give the cheerful cashier your order, grab a number, and find a seat at one of the many long, communal benches that surround tables sourced by Reclaimed Detroit. We usually struggle with the idea of communal seating because the acoustics always seem to force diners to yell over each other. Here, that headache is remedied with two living walls with ivy growing from them that seem to soften the noise. To drink, choose from a beverage case of craft teas, juices, and pops (they’ve got Vernor’s in glass bottles), a fountain drink, or grab a free cup for water. OK, so no Michigan-made beers or cocktails, but that would take away from the healthful nature of the place. Plus, Brome takes great care in delivering an appealing, refreshing presentation. For example, that complimentary filtered water is infused with real fruit like lemon, lime, orange, even pineapple. Our dining guests all agreed it’s little touches like this that make the place special. Now back to those burgers. You can really taste the difference in chef Zane Makky’s menu (which is all halal). Neverfrozen, premium all-natural burgers start at $8.50 and go up in price, depending on whether you want to go organic (for $2 more) and the types of fixings you want. Black Angus beef comes from Iowa, and the organic variety is grass-fed (in fact, the name Brome is derived from the type of grass the cattle munch on). Of course we scarfed down as many burgers as we could manage. Keep it

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simple with an “Original,” made with red onion, tomato, McClure’s pickles, romaine lettuce, and Brome sauce. The “Deluxe” comes with aged white cheddar, Dijonaise, and beef bacon. One dining companion likened the bacon to a very thin, well-done cut of steak. While it didn’t have quite the same smoky essence as pork bacon, he said it was quite delicious. The burger selection (there are about a half-dozen to choose from) has several surprises, including “The Mex,” featuring a Southwest twist, the “OneEyed Brome,” with a soft-yolk fried egg, and a heaping “Wild Mushroom.” We sprang for a “Dante’s Heaven.” Be warned that, with cherry pepper relish, ghost pepper jack cheese, and sweet habanero, this burger (also topped with turkey bacon) will likely make your eyes water, but is particularly pleasing to fans of spice. We also sampled a “Vegumami,” made up of an organic vegan patty, cheddar, field greens, wild mushroom, tomato, braised onion, and chipotle mayo. We’ve been disappointed by countless, bland veggie burgers in the past. This was an exception to that boringness. A slight crisp to the flavorful patty, with the umami of the mushrooms, this certainly qualifies as a legit burger. A completely vegan option is also available. Other sandwich options come in the form of chicken, fried haddock, brisket sliders, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and a breakfast sammy. We dug into a newly added crispy chicken sandwich with the most delectable, crunchy skin and dill pickle slices. A fellow dining guest who hails from Texas (land of the Southern-

style chicken sandwich) couldn’t get enough of it. The brisket sliders were tender and lightly smothered in a tangy barbecue sauce, fried onion, and slaw, and came in a much more fulfilling portion than your typical dinky slider. Non-GMO house-cut fries from Kennebec potatoes had fun sprinklings of kosher salt and cracked pepper, and Cajun spice, or for a little extra, garlic and cilantro, or truffle and Parmesan. Fried in light sunflower oil, they didn’t feel drenched in grease and came in generous servings. A healthful menu wouldn’t be healthy at all without a variety of fresh-made salads. Makky’s five selections do not disappoint. They come in two sizes and can stand alone as meals. We tried the popular Farmers Market chopped salad. It came with an herbaceous vinaigrette, crumbled chèvre, Kalamata olives, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, and red bell peppers — all creating an aromatic and pleasantly complex veggie option. For dessert, get a shake. At about $5 apiece, they may have you thinking of John Travolta, when he looked incredulously at a ’90s Uma Thurman who ordered one in a scene in Pulp Fiction, but, trust us, it’s worth it. The hand-spun shakes are mixed with a house-made vanilla-bean custard and can have a number of candy or cookie bits added to them. And for an even daintier dessert, try the macarons at $1.50 each.

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Bites

Sign of support by Serena Maria Daniels Fans of Chef Jared Bobkin, who vied for a win on the popular Hell’s Kitchen reality show, must feel 10 feet tall after seeing the tribute to him from the restaurant he works for. Drive north up Woodward between Nine Mile and Woodward Heights and you’ll see his likeness — more than 10 feet tall — and name of that Ferndale-based eatery, Local Kitchen and Bar, on a giant billboard Co-owner Brian Siegel tells us he had the ad posted at 23236 Woodward Ave. earlier this month and so far the response on social media has been overwhelming (he’s also kinda hoping the promo will result in renewed interest in Local, founded just over three years ago by him and chef Rick Halberg). Bobkin was one of two Detroitarea chefs to be selected to compete on the current season of the Fox cooking show hosted by Gordon Ramsey. Bobkin and fellow Detroit contestant Hassan Musselmani have been riding high since well before the season premiere, making local appearances, and using the experi-

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ence to create buzz about their work. And now this billboard takes the excitement to new heights. The signage will remain for three months.

Sour faces

A new head brewer has shaken things up at a Cass Corridor institution, by producing the very first sour beer at the Traffic Jam and Snug. The beer is the work of 29-year-old Chelsea Piner, who drew her inspiration from her love of Belgianstyles and her experience working in the booming craft beer scene in San Diego. Before returning to Michigan to apprentice under her predecessor Eli Hyde, Piner had already developed an impressive résumé, working at both Stone Brewing Co. and Brabant Beer Cafe. “Scum Sour” is brewed in the style of an Oud Bruine or the closely related Flemish Red. The Traffic Jam version is by Pine’s estimation “a pretty mellow sour,” but a distinct vinegar-like note may be challenging for some.


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E at This is certainly not a one-note beer. It’s a complex offering that balances tartness and acidity with an interesting malt character and an almost Champagne-like carbonation. At 6.5 percent alcohol by volume, the beer is medium-bodied and feels appropriate for Michigan winters, but not too heavy for spring.

You decide Detroit’s newest bourbon

Ever wanted to have a say in your whiskey-drinking experience? Detroit City Distillery is giving bourbon lovers a chance to weigh in on which new spirit will make the cut as the Eastern Market booze maker’s signature bourbon. DCD is offering a series of tasting events starting Feb. 14. Guests will taste four single-barrel bourbons, each aged in different ways, utilizing local ingredients. They’ll choose the “finest cut.” The winning spirit will ultimately be named Butcher’s Cut Bourbon. Butcher’s Cut will join the distillery’s current roster of spirits that includes Homegrown Rye, Railroad Gin, and Gilded Age Vodka. Each tasting is $40 a person and includes four one-ounce tastings and a tour of the distillery (including samplings straight from the barrel). If you fancy any one variety in particular, a limited number of bottles from each single barrel can be purchased. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information and tickets, go to the distillery’s Facebook page. Here’s the lineup: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.- 9 p.m., and 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, 26, and 27.

BFFs in the kitchen

We thought we would let you in on a little something that three pretty well-known chefs, who happen to be BFFs, are planning for later this month. Chefs James Rigato (Mabel Gray, the Root), Doug Hewitt (Chartreuse), and Andy Hollyday (Selden Standard) will team up Feb. 29 at Mabel Gray to cook, drink beer, and chill (a rarity for the three amigos, given their busy schedules). In keeping with the laid-back vibe they’re trying to capture, there are no advanced tickets available,

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Bites no reservations, and the cost for three dishes prepared by each, plus a pairing with their favorite beers, will go for $33 (a bargain compared to similar dining one-off events). Mabel Gray is at 23825 John R Rd. in Hazel Park.

‘Ebony’ gives props to Detroit food scene

When it comes to national publications writing about Detroit’s restaurant scene, one troubling trend is the fact that all too often these big picture features rely heavily on white restaurateurs as sources, perplexing considering more than 80 percent of our fair city’s population is African American. So we were happy to see  Ebony shine a light on the city’s new restaurants in a Feb. 5 feature written by Kimberly Hayes Taylor, a Detroit-based independent journalist. The story focused on a handful of black-owned eateries as a vital part of the growing industry (named were Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles, the Block, Central Kitchen+Bar, Detroit Vegan Soul, Mo’ Better Blues Detroit, and Detroit Seafood Market). Here’s a tidbit: “Of course, sticky barbecue, big burgers and loaded Coney dogs remain old favorites in this traditionally meat-and-potatoes town. But with the redevelopment of Detroit’s downtown, Midtown, West Village and west side commercial corridors, Black restaurateurs also have reclaimed and converted architecturally awesome spaces to take cuisine to new dimensions.” We enjoyed this short piece for its simplicity and for not dwelling too much on the many factors that led to Detroit’s downfall. Yes, the bankruptcy, high poverty rates, and crumbling infrastructure are all a part of the city’s narrative, but do these things need to be spelled out every single time we write about Detroit’s dining scene, as if to say that the new restaurants are saving the city? Taylor just gets to the point of sharing stories about the folks who are passionate about creating an exciting dining experience. 

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D RINK

drinkup

Dr. McGillicuddy’s Whiskey | 30% ABV Legend has it that a man won a saloon in a bar fight and over the many years that he presided over that old shanty he came to be known as “The Doctor.” He poured stiff shots and mixed bold drinks, all while maintaining his perfectly coiffed moustache. That doctor was Dr. McGillicuddy and the line of flavored whiskeys is named after him. These fine, smooth whiskeys come in four distinct flavors, all of which are a very quaffable 60 proof, making them perfect to mix with other liquors. The apple flavor is crisp with just a hint of tartness, while the blackberry flavor is deeply fruity and

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intense. The honey-flavored whisked is sweet, but not cloyingly so, and full-bodied, and the peach flavor tastes like a warm summer day. Mix two parts apple-flavored whiskey with one part cinnamon-flavored whiskey and you’ve got yourself a deliciously potent scorched apple. Mix peach-flavored whiskey with cream soda for a peaches ’n’ cream shot. Lemon-lime soda mixed with peach-flavored whiskey makes a peach fizz. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. For more recipes, check out drmcgillicuddy.com.


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Upfront | News | Big Story

M USIC The Queen of Soul still commands R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Aretha Franklin on overcoming fears, her latest album, and more

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by Jeff Niesel After a particularly grueling trip to California last year, Aretha Franklin decided she wants to try to overcome her fear of flying. Earlier this year, she announced she plans to start flying again after three decades. “It’s the first time in 33 years,” she says via phone from her Detroit-area home. “This bus is getting a little wearing as much as I love it. After that trip to California, I said, ‘I need to get off the bus and back on the plane.’ You got to be willing to try to do it. I’m willing. I flew for 23 years with no problem, so I should be able to get off the ground with no sweat. Maybe a little something to begin with but after that, that should be it.” The Queen of Soul, 73, sounds determined to remain relevant and stay on the road. Franklin, who punctuates her short answers with a steady “mmmm hmmm,” embraced contemporary music on her most recent album, 2014’s Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. On it, she covers a number of classics, some old and some new. She even takes on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” defiantly calling her rendition “the Aretha version.” Her powerhouse vocals still pack a real punch on the tune — not that she means to disrespect the British singer who’s arguably the reigning world champ when it comes to present-day divas. “I think Adele is a very good artist,” Franklin says. “She’s an excellent writer, and she has a kind of different story, one that you don’t hear every day. I like her writings. She has great hooks, and she’s doing wonderfully well.” Franklin says that her album’s producer, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, gave her “a free reign” in the studio and let her experiment with songs such as “I Will Survive,” which she turns into a mashup with Destiny’s Child “Survivor.” “It’s a very easy song to sing,” she says of the Gloria Gaynor tune. “I just had fun with it. Most of the songs on the album I had bought as a consumer.” ■ Derrick Thompson

With a little help from Andre 3000, she turns Prince’s “Nothing Compares to U” into a jazzy big-band number. “He was really cool,” she says of the rapper from Outkast. “He’s a very quiet producer. He’s very laid-back and professional and listening intently and asking for what he wanted. He did the rearranging on the song. I wanted to do it slow, and he liked the tempo. Once I heard it in tempo, I realized it was a departure from the original, so I figured why not.” Franklin famously got her start singing at the church. But once she embraced secular music, she became a huge R&B and soul star who delivered classic hits such as “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” “Right out of the Baptist Bethel church, I got my early training in the junior choir and I played piano for the choir on occasion,” she says. “Traveling with my dad on the weekends I got my early experience onstage. I had a good childhood. It was lovely. We came here from Buffalo, and we’ve been here since I was 6 years old. My childhood was mostly roller skates, hot dogs, and hamburgers and milkshakes at a place, which was not far from the New Bethel Baptist church on Hastings. I would go there after I would sing and have my regular burger and shake. Other than that, it was the Arcadia Roller Rink, which was the rink at the time. I was there on Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Sundays.” The success of Sam Cooke prompted her decision to sing secular music. “After he left and went to the secular field, I loved those records so much because I love music,” she says. “I wondered if I could do the same thing. My dad said if that was what I wanted to do, it was OK. I think the transition was very easy. I never left the church. The church is a constant with me, and I just broadened my musical horizons.” She says that when she first recorded

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the 1965Otis Redding tune “R-E-S-PE-C-T,” she didn’t have any sense that it would become her signature tune thanks, in part, to the way she sings “sock it to me” on the track. “People in the neighborhood were saying ‘sock it to me’ and ... my sister Caroline and myself thought it would be good to use that line. But we never even got a dime [from the popularization of the phrase]. I certainly did not [foresee the song becoming an anthem for women’s rights and civil rights], but there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone deserves respect. It’s perfectly alright with me,” she says. Franklin said she’s not currently working on a new studio album. But she continues to field offers for a biopic from a few groups, namely, the team behind the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton and a certain Oprah Winfrey. “I am preparing to go to Florida later in the year for a short Florida stint and a tribute to Natalie Cole at the Boca County Club,” she says. “I don’t know why the networks didn’t carry more

news about her death. You didn’t hear anything on the networks. We were not that close but we were friendly and mutually respectful.” And when we ask if she thinks she’ll ever retire from performing, she practically scoffs at the question. “I will be singing all the way,” she says. “Definitely not. It’s not good to go and sit down anywhere, especially after having been very active. That’s just not a good idea.” Aretha Franklin performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Windsor, ON; 377 Riverside Drive East, Tickets: $39.55-$107.35 (CAD) Jef Niesel is the music editor for our sister paper, The Cleveland Scene.

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M usic Towards a better heaviosity

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Those Hounds find inspiration from the “feelings of dread” in the news by Amy Oprean Michigan natives Ivan Fargo, Charles King, and Kevin Beattie began their musical careers by screaming and shredding all over long-defunct eastside haunts back in the high school metal scenes of Chippewa Valley High School, Mount Clemens High School, and the surrounding areas in the mid-2000s. With their new band Those Hounds, they’ve left the mathcore for the kids and opted for gritty rock riffs, power choruses, and adrenaline-fueled live shows, making the rounds around town in support of their self-released late 2014 LP Mother Earth Is Sick. Mother Earth’s eight songs manage to translate all the agitated dynamics of their live performance. You get abrupt starts and stops and a volleying of energy, which makes the music jump off the track. It’s well built too — they understand rhythm and pop as a foundation for the noise. In anticipation of their show this Saturday at the Loving Touch with the Messen-

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Photo by Taylor Wilder


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M usic ger Birds, Yum, and Stikyfut, Metro Times caught up with the band in their practice space, the Sound Shop in Macomb, to talk about their many silent influences.

Metro Times: When did you form Those Hounds? Ivan Fargo: We started jamming in a garage during the summer in 2013. We’d just kind of improvise, forming little bits of songs. Back then it was just me and Kevin; we were a guitar, vocals, and drums duo. Then in May of 2015, we added Charlie on bass. MT: How were you playing those songs without a bass player? Fargo: Live shows we would just play obscenely loud, with a lot of low end in the guitar signal. But, Charlie was going with us to shows. And he was always joking, “When are you gonna let me in your band?” And finally I said, “You know what dude, if you want to grab a bass and play with us I’m not going to stop you.” MT: Have you played together in bands before this? Charles King: Lots. We were all in a band called I Speak in Calculus at different points, but that one was never at the same time. Fargo: And that band sounds nothing like this band. It was technically death metal. King: It was a bunch of pissedoff high school kids, a bunch of metal nerds. Where you sort of have an idea what the guitar player is doing technically, but can’t totally fathom it. MT: What’s the story behind your LP title, Mother Earth Is Sick? Fargo: It’s a lyric from the song “Rats.” I wrote it when there were a lot of bummer things in the news, the feelings of dread that stem from that. The full line is “Mother Earth is sick and so am I” because you see the state of the world around you and it makes you feel the same way. MT: Do you miss your metal days of having mosh pits at your shows? King: I’d prefer they dance. When you’re 16 and you’re in a band and you’re making people fight, you’re like, “Yeah!” But now if people are just listening, it’s great. MT: What are the unique things that each of you brings to the band? King: Ivan’s the primary songwriter of the band, and he has a lot of rock ’n’ roll chops, and he can structure a hell

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feature of a song. Kevin’s listened to a lot of metal and has a lot of talent as a metal drummer and he’s fast. And before this band I was making a lot of noise music — ambient soundscapes. And now we hang out and pepper all of that in. MT: How have your music tastes changed since the metal days? King: They’re not as mad. Fargo: We’ve slowed down. Young Widows, Queens of the Stone Age, Death from Above 1979, Swans. King: Lots of R&B influences too. Aaliyah, SWV. MT: Does that come out in the music? King: I wish. I think as a band there are a lot of people that we admire [for] their the creative drive. When people ask me who my favorite bass player is, I usually say Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth. She didn’t even really play the bass, she would just like walk on it and hit it with a screwdriver. But I like that. Kevin Beattie: I have a lot of influences but they don’t come out in our music so much, as far as drummers go. If I listed them off, people would get the wrong idea of what the band is. But Bill Ward’s the best drummer that ever was. MT: Is Black Sabbath what made you want to play the drums? Beattie: My uncle did, actually. He was in the music scene in the ’70s, and I used to go to his house and think, “Man, I want to play the drums.” He actually gave me the kit I play now. King: I wish you would’ve said your uncle is Bill Ward from Black Sabbath. MT: What’s some of the feedback you’ve gotten from your shows? King: No one knows who we sound like. Fargo: People will say, “There are some parts that remind me of this band, but I wouldn’t say you sound like them entirely.” MT: That’s a good thing, isn’t it? King: Oh, it’s amazing. I love it. Those Hounds’ music can be heard at thosehounds.bandcamp.com. Those Hounds perform on Saturday, Feb. 13 with the Messenger Birds, Yum, and Stikyfut at the Loving Touch; Doors at 8 p.m.; 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; thelovingtouchferndale.com; $5 all ages.

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M usic

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n GRiZ at Red Rocks. Photo courtesy All Good Records.

Santa with a saxophone

GRiZ serves up electro-funk and gives back to Detroit by Jack Roskopp It’s not every day that a DJ/producer who tours the world, (allegedly) smokes mad weed, and is fully immersed in the EDM rave culture scene is given the Spirit of Detroit award from the city council. But the Southfield-born artist Grant Kwie-

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cinski — better known as GRiZ — is exceeding expectations and crushing stereotypes. So how does a DJ who headlines music festivals and has his own strain of weed get recognized with such a prestigious award? It’s everything that GRiZ does off the


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M usic

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When you see GRiZ live, you aren’t thinking about how you need drugs to heighten the experience because he as a performer and producer has already done that. stage that speaks louder volumes than his music does (although his music is really fuckin’ loud). GRiZ was born and raised in metro Detroit and his sound is heavily shaped by the Motown sounds that were created here. During his live show, GRiZ plays an alto saxophone live against his beats and drum machines, creating a sound he likes to describe as “future funk.” After touring with some of the heavy giants in EDM like Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Big Gigantic, GRiZ started to gain recognition and headline his own tours. GRiZ’s fan base has grown so much in the past years that he even has his own street team called the Liberators that promote GRiZ’s shows and events and connecting fans together. His fans even call themselves the “GRiZ Fam.” They can always be seen first in line for all of his shows, especially the hometown ones. Recognizing Detroit is something that has been important in his career. For the past two years, he has played Detroit during the holidays at the Masonic Temple to hundreds of devoted fans and calls it “GRiZMAS.” It’s the one night out of the year that the GRiZ Fam and the rest of his crew can get together to enjoy each other’s company and get down and funky. This most recent (and second) installment of GRiZMAS was a little more special, and it’s something that GRiZ may continue every year. He hosted “The 12 Days of GRiZMAS,” and it was a major success for him and his record label, All Good. In the 12 days leading up to the event, he and the Liberators hosted charity events all throughout Detroit. One event was collecting coats for the homeless; another was collecting dog supplies to bring to dog shelters. He even did free concerts during the week for fans who weren’t able to make it to the actual GRiZMAS show. There was even a benefit concert in a warehouse in the city that was appropriately called

“Night Before GRiZMAS.” It’s refreshing to see an artist like GRiZ not fall into the stereotype that most DJs and EDM fans do. Fans of music outside of the EDM world are critical of the scene that goes on at shows: drunken millennials roaming around trying to find a bro who is selling cheap MDMA (yes, this does happen). Of course, that same shit is going on at a music festival like Bonnaroo or Coachella where all types of music are celebrated (it’s just “classier” MDMA). When you see GRiZ live, you aren’t thinking about how you need drugs to heighten the experience because he as a performer and producer has already done that. GRiZ is in the process of making a new studio album (by the way, all of his albums are free to download on his website at mynameisgriz.com) and will make two stops locally. Raising over $30,000 for a charity is no easy task, but GRiZ has a platform to make a change. Lots of artists unfortunately make music for our enjoyment and that’s as far it goes. GRiZ is doing the opposite. He is shaping the sound of electronic music and giving back so much to the city that helped inspire him: killing two birds with one saxophone. GRiZ performs on Friday, Feb. 12 at Saint Andrew’s Hall and on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Populux, as part of the “My Friends and I Decided to Come to Your City and Play Some Super Rad Small Shows While I Write My Next Album” tour. The Saint Andrew’s show is sold out but there are tickets available on the secondary market. For more information on these shows and to hear his music, check out mynameisgriz.com.

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The

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| February 10-16, 2016

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M Recently added

nowhearthis n Beyoncé

Mark your calendar today for these upcoming shows Tickets are now on sale for these events. Feb, 19, Fetty Wap at the Fillmore; thefillmoredetroit.com; Tickets at $25; $30; $35; $45. March 5, Ty Segall and the Muggers at the Majestic Theatre; majesticdetroit. com; Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 day of show. March 14, Faust at Marble Bar; brownpapertickets.com; $17. March 20, AC/DC at the Palace of Auburn Hills; palacenet.com; Tickets start at $75. March 24, Rihanna at the Palace of Auburn Hills; aeglive.com; Tickets from $30.50 to $151. March 25, Kirk Franklin at the Fox Theatre; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets at $25, $35, $50, and $75. March 26, Eugene Chadbourne at Trinosophes; trinosophes.com; $10 suggested donation.

April 1, Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair at the Fillmore; thefillmoredetroit.com; at the Fillmore; Tickets at $ 45, $60, and $75. April 7, Iggy Pop with Josh Homme at the Fox Theatre; olympiaentertainment. com; Tickets at $39.95, $59.95, $75.95, and $115.95. April 14, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Palace of Auburn Hills; palacenet.com; Tickets at $153, $108, and $58. April 19, the Residents at Crofoot Ballroom; thecrofoot.com; $30 in advance, $35 day of show. May 22, Peter Brötzmann at Trinosophes; trinosophes.com; $12-$20 (reserved). May 23, First Annual Trip Metal Fest with Wolf Eyes, Morton Subotnick, Grux from Caroliner, and more at El

66 February 10-16, 2016 | metrotimes.com

Club; tripmetalfest.com. May 28-30, Movement Detroit 2016 with Kraftwerk and dozens more; movement.us; General admission tickets for the weekend are $135; VIP weekend tickets are $300. May 29 Beyoncé at Ford Field; livenation.com; Tickets on sale Monday, February 15. June 10, Barenaked Ladies with OMD and Howard Jones at DTE Energy Music Theatre; Tickets at $68.50, $48.50, $38.50, $28.50, and $25.00. June 23-26, Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, MI; electricforestfestival.com; Tickets start at $229.75.

June 30, Sting and Peter Gabriel at the Palace of Auburn Hills; aeglive.com; Tickets beginning at $48. July 3, Modest Mouse and Brand New at DTE Energy Music Theatre; fightoffyourdemons.com; Tickets $21$56. Aug. 4, Bryan Ferry at the Fox Theatre; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets at $30, $55, $75, and $125. Sept. 30, Brian Wilson at the Fox Theatre; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets at $29.95, $49.95, $85, and $125.

M

letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

L


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DAVID COOK WITH TONY LUCCA

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TUESDAY, APRIL 5

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Livewire

This week’s suggested musical events

Friday, 2/12

By MT Staff

Benefit to save Music Hall @ Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts

Music Hall has a very looming debt that threatens the life of this historic Detroit theater. In order to help alleviate the debt, the theater is having a benefit show starring the legendary “Queen of Funk,” Chaka Khan. Also on the bill is Jon Barfield and Irresistible, Michael Cooper of Con Funk Shun, Michael Mindigall, Maurissa Rose, and Ashton and Rivonne Moore. This will be a legendary night of funk and soul music, but at the end of the day it’s about helping this historical theater stay open to see the rebirth that Detroit is having right now. Check out the Music Hall’s website for information on donations and giving levels, which include tickets to the show and after-party shows.

Doors at 8 p.m.; 350 Madison St., Detroit; musichall.org; $245.

Thursday, 2/11

Friday, 2/12

Saturday, 2/13

Saturday, 2/13

Reel Big Fish

Marianas Trench, Mainland

Helena Legend

Valentine’s Day Explosion

@ Saint Andrew’s Hall

@ V Nightclub

@ The Fillmore

Ska bros unite! It’s crazy to think that third wave ska legends Reel Big Fish have been around for 25 years and their music is just as great. In celebration of those years, Reel Big Fish is setting out on a huge tour and is luckily hitting up Detroit. The band first came to prominence in the ’90s during the third wave of ska music along with other bands like No Doubt and Sublime. Since then, the ever-changing lineup of musicians have released eight studio albums and played all around the world. The band will have support from Suburban Legends and the Maxies on tour.

Doors at 7 p.m.; 431 E Congress St., Detroit; 313-961-8961; $20. 

Not to be confused with the deepest part of the world’s oceans, this punk/ rock band from Vancouver will be hitting up Detroit on their Hey You Guys tour. The band released their latest album, Astoria, last fall and it was packed full of ’80s beats and synths and heart-wrenching lyrics from frontman Josh Ramsay. The band hasn’t released a record since 2011, so it’s nice to see them back in full force with a new catalog of pop/punk jams. Marianas Trench will be joined by New York City pop/rock band Mainland, who are making a name for themselves as well. 

Doors at 7 p.m.; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $26-$36. 

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@ The Masonic Temple

Electronic dance music (or EDM if you want to sound hip) is on the rise, and so are the DJs and producers who make it who are mostly dudes. If you want to dance and rave the night away, hit up V Nightclub and see up-andcomer Helena Legend, one of the ladies who is making her own beats. Legend hails from Los Angeles, and her music is infectious and catchy as hell. Legend is on the cusp of becoming mainstream, so make sure you see her before you have to pay a boatload more the next time she’s in town.

Doors at 10 p.m.; 1777 Third St., Detroit; 313-465-1650; $10. 

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, the Masonic Temple presents a Valentine’s Day Explosion featuring some of the best R&B music to put you and your sweetheart in the mood for this romantic holiday (dare we say baby-making music?). The event will be headlined by legendary R&B crooner Jeffrey Osborne, who is most famous for his 1982 hit “On the Wings of Love.” Supporting Osborne will be 1980s band Loose Ends, old-school R&B group Atlantic Starr, and Detroitbased band Enchantment, who are keeping the sound of Motown alive and well.

Doors at 7 p.m.; 500 Temple Ave., Detroit; 313-832-7100; $35.50$89.50. 


Friday, 2/12 Saturday, 2/13 St. Lucia @ The Majestic Theatre

Sunday, 2/14 Winter Acoustic Showcase and Blue Valentine Cafe

Sunday, 2/14

“Dillatroit”

Valentine’s Day brunch @ UFO Factory

@ The Rust Belt Market

Brooklyn, New York-based and South African-born singer Jean-Philip Grobler aka St. Lucia recently released his newest album Matter. It’s an accomplished 1980s synth pop dream. Grobler and his band released their first album in 2013 and the new one sounds like an extension of the first, working more toward catchy lyrics and infectious sounds. They have played festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza in the past, so they are primed and ready to tour in 2016 with scheduled appearances at Bonnaroo and Firefly already. They will also be joined by the band Tigertown. 

Doors at 8 p.m.; 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $20 advance, $25 day of show.

If you haven’t made plans for you and your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, heading to the Rust Belt Market may be the perfect afternoon date. From 1 p.m.6 p.m. there will be nine acoustic sets, back to back, from nine local acts. Artists include Michelle Held, the Bruised Reed, and Ryan Dillaha. In addition to the live music, the Blue Luna Cafe & Bakery will be doing their first pop-up with the Blue Valentine Cafe. They will be serving up a gluten-free, dairy-free menu along with some vegan options. If you want your Valentine’s meal to-go, it is recommended to order in advance, but you’re also more than free to stop by and catch a couple sets and enjoy your meal there too. 

Doors at 1 p.m.; 22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; rustbeltmarket.com; admission is free. 

Today’s marathon DJ set by DJ Yeti (our very own music editor Mike McGonigal) marks the end of a five-week residency of Sunday brunch DJing that expands upon the usual gospel brunch event that happens the last Sunday of every month. UFO Factory’s new, expanded weekend brunch is tasty, inexpensive, vegan friendly, and oh man you have to order the fried green tomatoes. On this most special of days, DJ Yeti will lay down a smorgasbord of gentle and lovely songs about love, with an emphasis on cosmic bliss starting at Astral Weeks and ending with Astral Traveling. He will speak the language of love, just for you and yours.

Runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 2110 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; ufofactory.com; no cover.

metrotimes.com

@ Bert’s on Broadway

For those who can’t make it down to celebrate Dilla Day in Miami, no worries. “Dillatroit” features more than enough star power and you don’t even have to book a plane ticket, or luxuriate in the sun: Jay Electronica, Ila J, Motor City Rockers, Amp Fiddler, Phat Kat, Guilty Simpson, 5 Ela, Big Tone, Vstylez, Nolan the Ninja, DJ Dez, DJ Butter, DJ Funky Riddim, DJ Los, DJ TJ, DJ Sicari, and Kid Vishis. This is the 10th anniversary of the death of J Dilla, whose loss continues to resonate throughout popular music in Detroit and beyond.

Doors at 8 p.m.; 1315 Broadway St., Detroit; dillatroit.com; $20 general admission, $50 VIP presale.

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C

savagelove by Dan Savage

Intropervert dumps extropervert Q

Gay male in my late 20s. I recently ended things with a guy. Our relationship started as a strictly sexual one. We’re both involved in the kink scene in our city and have interests that align in a particularly great way. Quickly it became clear there was a real connection. The next two months were great! I had a toothbrush at his place within three weeks. But early on, I noticed that he was a much more extroverted person than I was. He would laugh loudly at movies, work the room at parties, say things about kink in the middle of crowded restaurants. I prefer to blend in. Initially I thought of this as “the price of admission,” one I was willing to pay, but it soon became tiresome. I ended things, telling him that there were conflicts with our personalities that made a relationship difficult, not specifying what. He fell for me — he’s stated it over and over — but I don’t want him to think he has to change who he is to be with me. I’m confused, Dan. I loved being in a relationship again (I’ve been single for a VERY long time), the sex is great, and finding someone who shares your kinks and you’re attracted to emotionally is rare. We have a ton in common when he’s being down-to-earth. He’s asking me to reconsider. Was I right to end this? — Tired Of Being Single

A

He shouldn’t have to change who he is to be with you, TOBS, but what if he wants to? It’s unlikely he’ll morph into an alwaysquietly-tittering, always-discreetly-kinking introvert, just as you’re unlikely to morph into a braying, oversharing extrovert. But if making an effort to dial it back is the price he has to pay to be with you — along with reserving convos about his kinks (and, by inference, your kinks) for fetish clubs and play parties — why not let him decide if he’s willing to pay? Gays represent a tiny percentage of the general population, TOBS, and kinky gays represent a not-so-tiny-but-still-smallish percentage of the gay population. I don’t think you have to marry this man, regardless of his flaws, just because you’re gay and your kinks align. But you should think twice about discarding a guy who’s gay and kinky and whose company you enjoy most of the time just because he gets on your nerves now and then. At the very least, you owe it to yourself, just as you owe it to him, to be specific about the reasons you pulled the plug — because he might want to make an effort to win you back. There’s a lot that’s good here — your kinks align (rare!) and you enjoy spending somebut-not-all of your time together (common!) — and there are always work-arounds for

76 76 February February 10-16, 10-16, 2016 | metrotimes.com

the bad. An example from my own life: My husband is way more extroverted than I am. So sometimes he goes to movies, restaurants, clubs, and concerts without me. I stay home and read or sleep or clean. And then, when he gets home, we have something to talk about — how the movie was, whether the restaurant was any good, who was out at the clubs, and if there were any cute boys in the band. He doesn’t make me go out; I don’t make him stay home. It’s a work-around that works for us. With some effort, TOBS, you could find the work-arounds that work for you two: He makes an effort, when you nudge him, to dial it back; he goes to comedies with his friends, dramas with you; if he’s working a room, he won’t take offense if you slip into another room. Give it — give him — a chance.

Q

I’m a gay male college student in a healthy D/s relationship with a bisexual guy. My boyfriend posts pictures of our kink sessions to his Tumblr. (No faces.) A trans woman active in campus queer politics confronted me today. Ze had seen my boyfriend’s Tumblr (!) and recognized me (!!!). Ze demanded I stop engaging in BDSM because ze has to see me on campus and knowing my boyfriend “controls and abuses” me is triggering for zir. Ze said images of me in medical restraints were particularly traumatizing. Ze was shaking and crying, and I wound up comforting zir. I stupidly let zir think I would stop. Now what? — Scenario Utterly Bananas P.S. Ze also threatened to out my boyfriend if ze saw new pictures go up on his Tumblr. My boyfriend is already out — about being bi and being kinky — so he laughed it off. But how fucked up is that?

A

You tell this woman you take orders from your boyfriend, SUB, not from random campus nutcases. You advise zir to stay away from Tumblr porn ze finds traumatizing. And if ze pushes back, you explain to zir that if anyone’s being controlling and abusive here, it’s zir. And if ze starts shaking and crying, SUB, direct zir to the student health center. And for your own protection, SUB, tell zir all of this with at least one witness present. Document everything, and if ze keeps getting in your face about your consensual, nonabusive D/s relationship, take the ironic step of filing a restraining order against zir.

C mail@savagelove.net L@fakedansavage


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C ulture ARIES (March 21 – April 20):

It’s hard to say how this will turn out. Impatience and frustration have given way to a willingness to take one thing at a time. Depending on your situation the need to focus on the truth instead of denying it, matters more than you know. Others are there for this, but you can’t expect them to want to keep it up if you make it too difficult for them to put up with you. For the first time in your life you’re faced with the need to be receptive, not just to love, but to the fact that you’re human and life is currently proving beyond any doubt that it’s time to make peace with yourself. TAURUS: April 21 – May 20

If everyone saw things your way this would be easier. Too bad you’re in the middle of a situation that involves more conflict than you’ve had to deal with in quite a while. Others are doing their best to change your mind; if they only knew! It looks like you’ll be duking it out until they realize that they can’t win. In the meantime, you will be dealing with a lot of infantile behavior and a burning desire to make them go away. Soon enough, you’ll enter a period of redefinition that will involve branching out and getting a feel for what it means to be free as a bird. GEMINI: May 21 – June 20

Juggling has always been your strong suit. In the last few months, you’ve had to balance more than your share of stuff. The ability to do it all, all the time has its downside. You can’t keep it up without stopping every now and then to look at where things are heading. The feedback you’re getting from others keeps telling you that you’ve gone too far out of bounds to be able to hold this together without losing control. They may be right. Instead of continuing on this path you would do well to take stock of what it gets you to always bite off more than you can chew. CANCER:

June 21 – July 20

There seems to be a lull in the conversation, or with something that until now was rolling along smoothly; you aren’t sure where to put the focus because there isn’t any. Opportunities to do just about anything are simmering underneath all of this. And what you’re wondering is: What makes the most sense for me at this moment in time? This would be easier to figure out if there was something concrete to put your finger on, but things haven’t been stable or predictable and your thoughts have been too up in the air to make it possible to know which way you need to go.

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horoscopes by Cal Garrison LEO: July 21 – August 20

You’re OK with this but it would feel so much better if it didn’t involve so many compromises. You have good reasons to feel like you need to get on board. If they’re working for you now it’s because you think this is how it’s supposed to be — but time is the mother of truth and you haven’t learned enough to see that too many compromises are usually a sign that you’re in the wrong place. Check this out in your own heart before you listen to me, or give it time to play out with the knowledge that experience is the only teacher and time will tell if you need to keep it up. VIRGO:

SAGITTARIUS: November 21 – December 20

You wish you could save people from themselves. It’s hard watching your nearest and dearest stress out over whatever they did to complicate their lives. You see things with such a wide-angle lens it’s easier for you to look at how one thing led to another. For your own sake, let the missionary spirit take a few days off and let your loved ones figure out how to pull themselves out of this hole. It has nothing to do with not caring — it has to do with letting them know that it isn’t your job to save their ass every time they decide to make everything harder than it has to be.

August 21 – September 20

The need to keep it all together is making you feel like it’s time for a transfusion of energy, or something to help you maintain. So many of you are six-waysto-Sunday wondering why it never stops. This will continue just long enough for you to figure out how to make it manageable. Some of your more laid-back friends have been advising you to chill out before you implode. That might not be a bad idea. And for those of you who are having the time of your life and to whom none of this applies, more power to you for knowing enough to take care of yourself. LIBRA: September 21 – October 20

Minor frustrations have managed to warp your perspective. When everything’s going smoothly, you’re totally at peace with yourself. For some reason, little things have been getting under your skin and you’re starting to remind yourself of your parents. Don’t be alarmed. This phase isn’t due to continue. You’re in a place that requires you to draw your focus back into yourself long enough to see that it might be time to change the scenery or at least shift into a gear that doesn’t feel quite so heavy and responsible. Start thinking about what it will take to make this joyful. SCORPIO:

October 21 – November 20

Waiting for everyone else to get it together, you’re starting to wonder if you even want to be part of this deal any longer. You are so close to not caring. It’s interesting to watch yourself go back and forth over what might be the right thing to do. In most situations, it works better when you look at what it’s costing you and weigh that against what you’re getting out of it. I don’t know how it’s working for you at the moment, but I’m pretty sure you don’t need this half as much as they do. Seen in that light, the deeper question is now: What do you really want out of this?

CAPRICORN: December 21 – January 20

Handling your life has gotten to be more like a job than whatever you’re doing for a living. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will be home free before the seasons change. Between now and then you’re going to have to maintain a high level of performance. Whatever this requires, you can do it with your eyes closed. The main thing right now has to do with finding joy in a routine that has gotten stale in the midst of a personal or family crisis that would give anyone cause to flip out. You’re holding your own. It’ll get easier. Find a way to fall in love with this. AQUARIUS:January 21 – February 20

You need to relax and stop letting your worst fears lead you to believe that you are anything but loved. Nothing in this world looks the way we want or expect it to — all of us have problems and issues and memories that come from whatever it is that happens to a soul when it enters the earth plane. The disappointments that have followed you to this moment have reached the point where whatever they were meant to teach you is lost on you. That’s OK. It’s no crime to have a Ph.D. in so many things and be lost when it comes to the stuff that makes you feel like no one ever cared. PISCES: February 21 – March 20

You keep trying to make this look better than it is. You’re whirling around in a circus of superficial energy that keeps you from dealing with the things you don’t want to see. There are secrets, yours or someone else’s that have never gone away. You need an exorcist, or something out of this world to help you find a way to let all of that stuff go. If this applies, you already know what you need to do. If it doesn’t, more than likely you’re one of those intuitive souls who has better things to do and doesn’t need to waste their time reading newspaper horoscopes.


metrotimes.com

| February 10-16, 2016

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