This is so much more fun than you think it's going to be, seriously. Something Cold was started by longtime Detroiters Justin Carver and Daniel Stolarski in 2009, as "a roving social club and record label celebrating the underground realm of minimal-synth, post-punk, coldwave, industrial, and experimental music within the Midwest." What's more, they bring their own smoke machine to their monthly parties and hosted events.
If you've never seen the video for "H.O.M.E.S." by Kresge-winning slam poet and emcee Mic Write featuring acclaimed rapper Doss the Artist, you owe it to yourself. It's a surprisingly subtle, visually striking work that does get one thinking about what the new Detroit means, and who might being displaced or not getting sufficient help in the new paradigm.
One of the most vital labels in the local scene in years only releases cassette tapes, and they're just fine with that. You can sneer all you like at the idea of a tape revival, but it's not only a real thing, it is both nifty and thrifty. Recent releases include Junk Food Junkies, Rall Tide, Kickstand Band, and Protomartyr.
Brad Hales and his friends drop serious science on their mixes, including the latest iterations of Hales' beloved "In the modern room" series. If you've spent more than five minutes inside his great record shop Peoples, you know his mixes are going to be good. They don't just drop Detroit-centric soul and funk, though — you're just as likely to hear some heady experimental music, as well. Check it regularly to see if new stuff's been posted.
Once upon a time, the Cass Corridor was Detroit's arts hub, with proximity to Wayne State and the Cultural Center Historic District contributing to its bohemian appeal. But let's be honest, with the rise of Midtown — and the price of rent — those days are over. And that's not a bad thing: It just means artists need a new neighborhood. Affordable housing and a walkable community have made Hamtramck a destination for artists, with galleries like Popps Packing, Public Pool, the Atomic Cafe, and the 9338 Campau Gallery hosting top-notch shows. In recent years, the city has hosted both an annual studio crawl with the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival and its own music festival with the Hamtramck Music Festival. Plus, artists should be able to find plenty of inspiration in the city's myriad bars.
OmniCorpDetroit, 1501 Division St., Detroit
In recent years, Eastern Market has become a destination as a place to view quality street art, hosting a variety of murals by local, national, and international artists. While the out-of-town crews have arguably brought a new energy and appreciation for Detroit in the street art world, they've also come under criticism of local graffiti writers who denounce their tendencies for goofy imagery that doesn't necessarily speak to the community. Late last year, OmniCorpDetroit's mural was vandalized with a large gray scribble by the latter camp. Coincidentally, MSK member RIME happened to be in town shortly after it occurred, and simply redrew the original mural's linework over the graffiti — an unlikely collaboration.
Back in 2011, building a Robocop statue was the only thing the media wanted to talk about. Started as an innocent tweet to then-Mayor Dave Bing, the idea to erect a monument to the part-man, part-machine, all-cop pop culture icon gained traction, sparking a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $60,000. Rumors circulated that the statue would finally be unveiled on the video release date for the Robocop remake last summer, but those turned out to be untrue. According to an update posted to the Kickstarter late last year, the 10-foot, 3,000-pound bronze statue is on track to be unveiled this spring — however, as the real Detroit seemingly starts looking more like the film's dystopian, corporate-owned Delta City, it might not be such a cute idea anymore.
Packed with well-kept, awesome standalone video games from the 1980s and beyond, this arcade used to be located in a former schoolhouse in Corktown. They hosted monthly nights with local DJs fueling the fun, but as of the beginning of 2015, Offworld has gone rogue. Last we checked they were setting up shop at the Checker Bar in Detroit the third Saturday of every month, but it's best to check their website to see where they'll be next.
3141 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-336-2038; yellowdoorartmarket.com
Everyone knows the Rust Belt is awesome — and it is. But other places, like Yellow Door Art Market, often get overshadowed because of Rust Belt's awesomeness. Yellow Door is open throughout the week when vendors aren't necessarily there to tend their booths. Collect your favorite items (magic hand salve from Terra[Cotta] Paste, anyone?) and pay for everything at once at the counter. It's a fun place to shop around without feeling the pressure of looking every last vendor in the face when deciding whether to purchase their wares. Consider it a no-pressure environment, just one reason we love this place.
This nonprofit has a novel spin on the idea of the artists' residency: Instead of giving artists a place to live and create for a finite period of time, why not give them a place where they could live forever? The group has been rehabbing houses in a Detroit neighborhood just north of Hamtramck, and offered its first residency to 29-year-old poet and former Brooklynite Casey Rocheteau last year. They are currently seeking applications for a second house.