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Issue of 4/28/2010

Cover Story:

Oh, carp!
by Sandra Svoboda
Where'd they come from? Can they be stopped? And if we can't beat 'em, can we eat 'em?


Audio junkies unite by Brian Smith
The AkFest is the Midwest's largest audio show. You've never seen (heard) anything like it

Chip off the block by Kahn Santori Davison
Rising R&B star Vina Mills still looks to her late 'rock star' father for inspiration

Drive-in theater by Paul Knoll
More drive-in odds and grotesquery

FSI: Fish Scene Investigator by Kari Lydersen
Using DNA evidence to track species instead of perps

Scale the night(mare) by Travis R. Wright
A Holocaust retelling unlike any other

Southland by Detroitblogger John
Aged country bar up the 'hillbilly highway' is home away from home


Art Bar by Metro Times arts staff (Art Bar)
Introducing ... the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography!

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
God of War returns and a peek at a portable

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
What's up in food this week, from indies to chains

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Hats off for Boots, more and a correction

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on 30 years of MT

Contemplating contempt by News Hits staff (News Hits)
In untangling legal wrangle over bridge, judge gets it right

Night and Day by Megan O'Neil (Night and Day)

Knowing Jack by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
New Kevorkian film calls the past to mind

Snappy answers by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Ask a simple question ...

Out and about by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A brief guide to dining outdoors

Stronger than tea by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
What it means to host the U.S. Social Forum

Going crazy on you! by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins do some classic rockin’ at the Public Pool



Masque of Anarchy - The Romeo Flynns Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Smooth Soul Café - Darnell Kendricks Reviewed by Kahn Davison (Record)

The Juliets - The Juliets Reviewed by Scott Bragg (Record)


The Back-Up Plan Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The Back-Up Plan is so lived-in and familiar that the animated title sequence feels borrowed from a Doris Day movie. Of course Doris Day never began a film with her legs in the air, while being inseminated with designer sperm, but that’s the scenario for J-Lo’s Zoe, a baby-crazy modern business gal with no time to find the right guy. That right guy (Alex O’Loughlin) tries to steal her cab and, of course, they bicker for a while before falling for each other. He’s Stan, an artisan cheese maker, which she first scoffs at, but then declares, “I’m your cheese muse!” before they bone like wild animals on a on a haystack in his upstate barn. Then there’s a series of breakups and make-ups, punctuated with gags about stretch marks, overeating and dog vomit. Ick.

The Secret of Kells Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Young Brenda (voiced by Evan McGuire) is a carrot-topped orphan living in the abbey of Kells under the care of his stern uncle, the abbot (Brendan Gleeson). Obsessed with protecting his community from brutal Vikings, the abbot has made his mission to enclose the village behind a great wall, and Brendan is forbidden to leave the monastery, as the nearby forests hold hidden dangers. When a visiting monk (Michael Lally) recruits the boy to help him finish an illustrated religious manuscript, Brendan ventures into the woods to retrieve berries needed for a special green ink. There he meets a forest sprite named Aisling (Christen Mooney), who helps him. Unfortunately, evil also lurks outside the village walls, as the savage Northmen plot their attack, dark gods conspire and an evil serpent waits in a pitch-black cave. The best moments take place in the mysterious and shadowed forest, where the artists channel the work of Hayao Miyazaki, and when the Vikings show up, they are violently surreal. Their later attack on the village is a stylized achievement of crimson reds and seeping blacks. It’s rare to see the horrors of wars so beautifully and subtly rendered.

The Losers Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The "Losers" are an elite black-ops unit who get stranded in Bolivia after refusing an order to waste a cartel hideout staffed with child labor. Left for dead, this smug crew of epic hardasses declares war on the whole C.I.A, and especially their corrupt handler Max (Jason Patric), who himself has gone rogue, trying to procure a new untraceable “enviro-friendly” nuke. The good guys get help and needed sex appeal from a wildcard played by Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar), who’s the fanboy’s drool object of choice of late.

Mid-August Lunch Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
It’s as if Richard Linklater directed an episode of The Golden Girls in Italian. Simple, plotless and sweet, Mid-August Lunch is really more of a movie morsel than a cinematic meal, too light and insubstantial to offer much nourishment but spiced with just enough taste to be worth a try. It’s the heat of the summer and Gianni (writer-director Gianni Di Gregorio), who lives alone with his 93-year-old mama, is coerced into looking after his building manager’s elderly mother in exchange for back fees owed to the condo association. The next day, however, Gianni finds himself saddled with twice the responsibility as the manager also leaves behind his elderly aunt. Soon after the family doctor convinces Gianna to add his elderly Grazia to the geriatric mix — along with her numerous dietary restrictions and must-take medications. Low heat complications simmer but never boil over and eventually the four of them learn to enjoy each other’s company. The end. Seriously.

Bluebeard Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
French provocateur Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl) lends dashes of psychosexual anxiety, classism and feminist uplift to this airy remake of the musty old bedtime thriller, though a good dose of surprise and adrenaline might’ve helped. Quietly rebellious budding beauties Anne (Daphne Baiwir) and Marie-Catherine (Lola Creton) are recalled from their stern Catholic boarding school when their father is accidentally killed — and the tuition bill comes due. Without an estate or a dowry, the girl’s prospects are bleak, till word ripples through their 16th century village that a nearby nobleman is searching for a bride. He is Bluebeard (Dominique Thomas), an inscrutable, bulky old devil who sulks about his grand old haunted castle, subject to nagging rumors that ladies who enter his domain have a habit of never returning.


Tallulah Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
This wine bar in Birmingham may be the best in our area. From its cool cream walls and ceilings, whose main decoration is a large mature grape vine from her vineyard, to the first-rate open kitchen to the knowledgeable and efficient servers, to the exciting collection of 150 varietals, this is all one could ask for in the increasingly competitive genre. Aside from a seasonal vegetarian main and one or two specials, the rest of the entrée roster is brief. The most expensive dish on the menu is $24. While oenophiles most likely will opt for the traditional cheese platter to end their gastronomic adventure at Tallulah, the cheesecake and key lime pie, made in house, are sublime.