NOIZE-Noize is music and photography mixed with modern-day enlightenment.
NOIZE-Noize is music and photography mixed with modern-day enlightenment.
NOIZE-Noize is music and photography mixed with modern-day enlightenment.
NOIZE-Noize is music and photography mixed with modern-day enlightenment.
NOIZE-Noize is music and photography mixed with modern-day enlightenment.
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    MEGA FEST w/ Bring me the Horizon, We Came as Romans, of Mice & Men, Attila, Northlane and Wilson @ Compuware Arena (Photos)

    By Jacon Giampa    This year’s Mega Fest was a huge success. The sold out show started off with up and coming Michigan band, Wilson. Wilson started mega fest with a fist full of Fuckery. They always know how to start the party off the right way with hard rock, Super Heroes and cannons! Also […]

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    New Politics @ The Shelter (Photos and Video)

    By Jacob Giampa http://www.newpoliticsrock.com/                                     http://www.newpoliticsrock.com/ https://www.facebook.com/newpolitics    

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    Jay Z @ The Palace of Auburn Hills 1-10-14 (Concert Review, Photos, & Setlist)

    By Alexis Simpson http://www.Jay-Z.com http://www.MySpace.com/Jay-Z http://www.YouTube.com/JayZ http://www.Twitter.com/JayZ http://www.Rocawear.com http://www.Roc4Life.com http://www.RocNation.com Jay Z’s “Magna Carter World Tour” took over The Palace of Auburn Hills last Friday. Jay Z seems to be adamant about pursuing the title of “Best Rapper Ever” as he skillfully displayed his masterful rhymes to an appreciative Michigan audience. Jay Z has been […]

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    Aretha Franklin Performs in Detroit

    Aretha Franklin @ Sound Board Theater in Detroit 12-21-13 (Concert Photos)

    By Alexis Simpson Aretha Franklin looked beautiful and elegant last night in Detroit, and sounded lovely. She radiated happiness to be performing and displayed a gracious attitude towards the crowd. It was a great honor to photograph the ‘Queen of Soul’ who has won 17 Grammies and who Rolling Stone has listed as the Greatest […]

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    drake

    Drake @ The Palace of Auburn Hills (Photos & Review)

    By Alexis Simpson Drake’s concert last Monday generated some of the worst I-75 traffic The Palace of Auburn Hills has seen in awhile. Once inside the Palace, all was well as a fun-loving crowd partied throughout the night to performances by Future, Miguel, and Drake. Detroit’s own local celeb, Chandra Davis, (aka London Charles aka […]

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    The 89X Nutcracker Tour with Panic! at the Disco and Switchfoot @ The Detroit Fillmore 8-12-13 (Photos & Review)

    By Jacob Giampa It’s that time of year again, that’s right it was 89x’s Nutcracker show last week at The Detroit FIllmore. This year the main acts were Switchfoot and Panic at the Disco. Switchfoot used their set to become closer with the crowd. Their frontman spent most of his time off stage, in the […]

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    Featured Stories

    Medical Marijuana Expo at the Roostertail 3-28-13 (Photos)

    Last weekend, The Roostertail in Detroit hosted the 4th annual Medical Marijuana Expo organized by Roseville certification center, American Medical Marijuana Professionals (AMMP.BIZ). The event offered speakers, classes, demonstrations, free food, a magic vapor bus that carted patients to an off-site medication area, multiple vendors, and an After Party with Special guest Afro Man, best known for his catchy song ,“Because I Got High.”

    The expo allowed the general public to stay abreast on the latest offerings available to patients and caregivers/growers. Some of the most memorable vendors included: High intensity LED lights offerer, Lush Lighting (lushledlighting.com),  Cannabinoid innovator, Special FX Labs (www.specialfxlabs.com, Wells Group Garden Consulting and Personalized Grow-Room Designs, Royal Queen Seeds, feminized fancy seeds (www.royalqueenseeds.com), Bhang Chocolate, the original gourmet cannabis chocolate (www.bhangchocolate.com, and CVault, the world’s smartest curing and storage containers (thecvault.com).  AMMP is also offering a similar expo in Denver, Colorado later this summer.

    PHOTOS
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    Misc. Detroit photos

    House Republicans seek to ban national park creation

    By: Dave Palmer

    According to ThinkProgress, House Republicans have scheduled a vote on H.R. 1459, which  would “aims to block presidents from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish new national monuments by putting caps on how many times it can be used, requiring congressional review of proposed monuments, and forcing local communities to engage in an ironic exercise of reviewing the environmental impacts of protecting lands for future generations.” (Not so) coincidentally, the vote is scheduled the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s establishment of monuments honoring Harriet Tubman and Colonel Charles P. Young, according to the article. This action would overturn the 1906 Antiquities Act, passed during Theodore Roosevelt’s administration. (Before you all hop on your commenting machines, I know Roosevelt was a Republican and it’s a darn shame we have to go back more than 100 years to find a good one.)

    The article also states that “the Center for American Progress found that: By a margin of more than three-to-one, voters believe that leaders in Washington should be creating new pars and expanding opportunities for Americans to get outdoors, instead of closing national parks and cutting budgets for public lands.”

    Not that Congressional Republicans really care any more what the American people think. This much they demonstrated in last year’s legislative session when they passed a measly 57 total bills to the president’s desk for a signature. This year is shaping up to be no different as they just recently logged their 50th attempt to modify or repeal the Affordable Care Act, which to date has enrolled more than 5 million people for affordable health insurance and now are pursuing a measure that people oppose by a 3 to 1 margin. In an election year, no less!

    Of course, thanks to the Citizens United decision, Republicans only have to listen to what their major donors have to say. And their donors say it through financial campaign contributions, which is now considered to be protected free speech according to the Citizens United decision. Therefore, they don’t have to pay any sort of attention to people who can’t afford to contribute to their campaign funds, or who can only afford to chip in a few dollars.

    This has all become part and parcel to our broken electoral system. A system of corrupt campaign finance where certain individuals (mostly the top 1% and .01%) want to be able to “express their free speech” through monetary contributions, but don’t want anyone to know which politicians they are donating their cash to out of fear of capitalistic reprisal. A system where the rich get more speech just because they have more money, and the poor gets no speech because they’re broke. A system where the rich believe they are entitled to more than one vote in our democracy because they have more money, which is the way that it works in corporate elections.

    We the people need to cling to our one-person, one-vote democracy with all that we’ve got. We may not have money, we may not have political clout, but we still have 99% of the vote, while the wealthiest members of our society who seek to dismantle it for their own profit have just 1%. It’s quite obvious why they believe they deserve more votes, which makes it even more obvious why we need to resist them at every turn.

    This year we need to show the so-called “monied elite” in this country that they are just flushing all of their ill-gotten gains down the toilet. We need to show them that no matter what disinformation they may spread, no matter how many shell corporations they set up to hide their campaign contributions, no matter how they try to buy our elections, it’s all for naught. We can do that. We have the power. We just need to exercise it.

    This year, make darn sure to go to the polls with your best voting pen and vote every last one of the bums who are causing Congressional gridlock out. Vote all the members of Congress who voted yes on any of the 50 votes taken to repeal or gut the Affordable Care Act. Vote out anyone who advocates cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Vote out anyone who seeks to limit a woman’s reproductive freedom without so much as a mention of how they will help these women have a healthy baby during and after their pregnancy. Most of all, vote out anyone who votes for this egregious bill, or goes on record as stating that we should open up our nation’s most beautiful natural treasures to businessmen who will quickly turn them to a wasteland.

    When Teddy passed the presidential torch to Taft, he fumed for four years over the way Taft ran the country. He hated Taft’s actions so much, he created the Progressive Party (later re-named the Bull Moose Party) to run as an independent against Taft. He and Taft split the vote, leading to a Woodrow Wilson win. If good old Teddy were still alive today, I have no doubt he would be leading the charge against today’s Republicans and denounce them for the charlatans they are. We need to take a page out of Teddy’s book and make sure that no one who goes against what a majority of the people are in favor of retains political power.

    Detroit, The Heidelberg Project, Lincoln Street Park (Photo Essay)

    By Alexis Simpson

    I’ve been recovering from surgery and haven’t been able to shoot shows, so i edited some photos from the past winter instead!

    Cat on the Steps

    Cat in the Sky

    Footprints

    Congo The Art Dog

    The Heidelberg Project

    Blue Shoes

    Painting Behind a House

    The Number House

    Crossing Over

    Bread Not Bombs

    Snow Sculpture

    Cat: War is Not a Family Value

    Christ Church

    Noah God

    Gorilla & Friends

    Orange Dog

    Bench

    Meet Me Half Way

    Soldier Boy

    Santa & Princess Palace

    Car Ride

    Fire Site

    Shoe Tree

    YMCA It Cab

    Happy Holidays

    Purple Car

    Circles

    Detroit Police

    Snowman at the Party Animal House

    Sun Goes Down on the Party Animal House

    Standing in the Corner

    Walking the Cat

    Flag on Fire Site

    Sun Sets at the Heidelberg Project

    Shoes

    Shoe Tree #2

    Circle Tree

    The Number House

    Creature at the Lincoln Street Art Park

    Welp

    Murals

    Bridge

    Painted Creatures

    All I Ever Wanted

    Rabbit

    Under the Bridge

    All I Ever Wanted Before I die…

    Kapow

    Nice Walk

    Girl

    Wake Up, Brother

    Walkway

    Virgin

    The Train Station

    Home Sweet Home Cat

    Rat

    Engineering the failure of public schools, Part 1: The Defunding Movement

    By Dave Palmer

    Part 1 of 4

    Perhaps the most insidious problem with schools is the giant financial shell game in which districts are forced to participate. The game can be traced back to the 1994 enactment of Proposal A when school funding was taken out of the hands of local school districts and put into a line item on the annual Michigan budget. Ever since that time, Michigan legislature has been completely in charge of raising or lowering funding for schools with no input from local school districts. The practical result of this change has been a continuing defunding of education.

    Under Proposal A, earmarked revenues are deposited into the School Aid Fund to finance state education aid to districts. The two percentage point increase in the sales and use tax, the 50 per cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax, the 0.75 percent real estate transfer tax, and 14.4 percent of individual income tax revenues (increased to 23.0 percent in 1997) are all directly deposited to this fund. Also included is a new statewide uniform property tax levy of 6 mills on both homestead and non-homestead property. Districts are required to levy 18 mills on non-homestead property for full participation in the state school finance program,  and  districts are not allowed to levy additional mills to finance general operating expenditures.

    However, sales tax revenue can be affected negatively not only during times of recession, but at any time people are simply choosing to spend less on goods that carry sales tax. Cigarette taxes can be very easily dodged by quitting smoking, and with the latest push in society for Americans to live healthier lifestyles, taxing smokers is sure to bring in less revenue with each passing year.

    It used to be that if a school needed money for a new computer lab, a new swimming pool, or other new equipment, they would put a millage issue on the ballot and let the voters decide if they wanted to pay more in property taxes to fund whatever the school needed. Proposal A not only put a stop to that, but actually capped individual district spending based on 1994 levels. Since that time, overall spending on schools has remained stagnant, and as of 2010 was $73 dollars less than overall spending 20 years ago in constant dollars. Now, if only we could get those darned costs to drop by $73 per student. (They never will, of course.)

    As if stagnant funding and increasing costs weren’t problem enough, Section 25e of the State School Aid Act (MCL 388.1625e, Public Act 60 of 2013) is the latest salt in the still raw wounds of school budget cuts. Referred to as the “money follows the child law,” the basic premise is to allow students more freedom to move from a failing district to one that is performing well. It stipulates that if a student leaves School District A and enrolls in School District B under the Schools of Choice law, then District A loses funding for that student and District B gains that funding. This sounds good on a piece of paper until you realize that many failing districts are failing because they lack money for current educational technology and resources. As the district remains unable to purchase new resources and upgrade technology, more and more students will continue to leave the district, leaving the district floundering in a financial catch-22 with no way to improve its lot.

    Once schools started to go into deficit, it was only a matter of time until the state could tell schools that they needed to reduce costs by privatizing food service, bus service, and eventually custodians. Once schools started doing poorly on the state-mandated testing due to low funding, an eventuality they counted on, lawmakers could tear teachers apart for “failing their students.” Never mind the fact that their job duties increased as resources decreased. Never mind that teacher paperwork in “failing” districts increased as they had to document the steps they were taking to rectify student test scores. (This is what I refer to as “educating the paperwork,” bogging certified teachers down with so much paperwork that they are faced with either not having time during the day to educate students, or doing school paperwork on their own time, thus cutting into their prep time.) This of course leads to less effective education, more failure, and a vicious circle that repeats itself until the district is deemed a failure.

    Once upon a time, this country was much more progressive in administering educational services. Students had access to books that were a few years old at most, access to after school programs at little to no cost to them, and an enriching full curriculum that involved art, music, and a great deal of choices for elective classes. Now, some schools charge participation fees for after-school programs, others have eliminated art and music as well as many of their elective courses, still others have cut teacher pay by 10% or more, and nearly all school districts in Michigan have required teachers to pay more into their health care and pension plans. (Even teachers that have endured a 10% pay cut have to make a larger contribution, effectively reducing their monetary compensation further.)

    We as citizens and political constituents should not stand for this sort of nonsense. Parents concerned for their children’s future should be beating down the doors of their state representatives and senators demanding to know why schools consistently endure cuts while tax breaks are given to wealthy people who don’t need them. They should be clamoring for the repeal of Proposal A, for the repeal of Section 25 of the State School Aid Act, and the reinstatement of the Michigan Business Tax and Michigan Personal Property Tax. Failing in those endeavors, we need to remember at the poll booths which members of our legislature approved cutting taxes for businesses and cutting investment in schools and make sure they don’t see any future terms.

     

     


    Live Performances

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    MEGA FEST w/ Bring me the Horizon, We Came as Romans, of Mice & Men, Attila, Northlane and Wilson @ Compuware Arena (Photos)

    By Jacon Giampa    This year’s Mega Fest was a huge success. The sold out show started o…

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    Articles

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    Medical Marijuana Expo at the Roostertail 3-28-13 (Photos)

    Last weekend, The Roostertail in Detroit hosted the 4th annual Medical Marijuana Expo organized by R…

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    Interviews

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    Q & A with Bassist Jon Gallant of Billy Talent!

    We did a quick Q & A with Billy Talent who just finished playing Warped 2013, but are coming bac…

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    Instagram Randomness: Toilet Bubble Bath 2-17-14

    iPhone Photos by Alexis Simpson Detroit Home For Sale Burnt Home Starting to Crumble Detroit Cable M…

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    Detroit, The Heidelberg Project, Lincoln Street Park (Photo Essay)

    By Alexis Simpson I’ve been recovering from surgery and haven’t been able to shoot shows…

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