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Issue of 6/2/2010


Cover Story:



Pedaling influence
by Sandra Svoboda
Planning, advocacy and fewer cars could make city a cycling mecca

Features:

'Definitely the devil!' by Brett Callwood
Frank Woodman looked no further than the fruit of his loins to form a band

Bike seat conversations by Sandra Svoboda
Talking two-wheelers with cyclists and policy folks

Greek out by Jeff Niesel
Director Nicholas Stoller talks up one wild rock 'n' roll road trip

Reading in gear by Sandra Svoboda
A sampling of books on how cycling can transform urban communities

Columns:

Swoons over my Hammy by Jason Carr ( Freaks and Geeks )
A self-described music nerd (and local celeb) loves — loves! — Marvin Hamlisch’s score for The Informant!

Backwash by Don Waller (Backwash)
Digging Detroit's Royaltones

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Samurai game ain't as sharp as it could have been

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Odds and ends for finer diners and smarter shoppers

Network goobs by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Another TV rapper sell-out, but L&O's gone and Hawaii Five-O is back

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Readers sound off on what's in MT

Lit up by Metro Times book reviewers (Lit Up)
Alice Walker in conversation and Herbert Muschamp in architecture

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back on three decades and seeing what was in MT this week

Digital divide by News Hits staff (News Hits)
This week: Digital Justice and the Allied Media Conference

Pot smoke and fears by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Raid on smokers' club highlights legal gray areas

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

Michigan or Moroun? by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why Matty Moroun is one of the worst corporate citizens ever

Prudes and squirters by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Abstinence follies and how to enjoy female ejaculation without the mess

Salad tossers by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A shortlist of great salads in metro Detroit

Reviews:

Music/Books:

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) - Erykah Badu Reviewed by Thomas Matich (Record)

Volume II - She & Him Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Movies:

Prince of Persia Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
By the incredibly low standards of video game adaptations (Max Payne, Mortal Kombat), Prince of Persia is something of a triumph, but by the high-stakes standards of summer blockbusters, it’s a relative snooze. Way back in 1989, the original PC game — with a rotoscoped, turbaned hero vaulting over spiked pits and ducking swinging scimitars a la Pitfall — was a storytelling breakthrough in those more technically primitive days. The threadbare plot involves standard palace intrigue, a mistaken murder, and the hunt for a video-game-like magic dagger that can briefly rewind time, leading one to wonder why they didn’t go back and edit the lame dialogue. There are bursts of adrenaline as the hero flips and rolls his way through the old city, performing a risky round of Parkour on shaky thatched roofs. As the titular prince Dastan, Jake Gyllenhaal looks buff, but sounds silly, spouting stiff dialogue in a weird, pseudo cockney. As she did in the recent Clash of the Titans, the blandly gorgeous and very pale Gemma Arterton plays the love interest, whose biggest danger seems to be balancing her ample curves while bounding about and throwing daggers.

Please Give Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Inevitably, there will be some people who view Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give as yet more neurotic upper-middle-class navel-gazing. Like Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson and Woody Allen. But Holofcener’s films are gentler and, ultimately, more relatable, encouraging audiences to identify with rather than wince at her characters’ decisions. She trades misanthropy for humanism and snark for barbed observational humor. Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt play successful New York antique brokers who purchase contemporary classics from the ignorant children of the newly dead while waiting for their sour 91-year-old neighbor (Ann Gilbert, who played Millie on the Dick Van Dyke show) to die so that they can expand into her apartment. But as flawed and high-strung as they are, Holofcener’s characters have an inherent decenct, and her films provide something that has been in short supply at the multiplex lately — a philosophical point of view.

Sex and the City 2 Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The movie’s first section is devoted to an absurdly lavish wedding to show two gay supporting characters, and these merry nuptials fill the group’s ringleader Carrie (Parker) with dread about her own home life with dashing Wall Street ace “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth), who often prefers old movies and Nobu takeout on the couch over angling up to the trendiest bar. Fortunately, unmarried instigator Samantha (Cattrall) has an antidote to the blahs, when a mega-wealthy sheik offers to whisk them all away on an all-expenses-paid business trip to exotic Abu Dhabi. Not surprisingly, the Middle East here is rendered with all the insight and sensitivity of a Hope and Crosby road picture, with tons of sun and sand, extravagant luxury and really bad camel-toe jokes. When the girls depart for a desert picnic, Miranda quips, “It’s like Bedouin Bath and Beyond.” Gag me with a silver spoon.

Restaurants/Places:

Zyggyz Grill & Chill Indo-American Fast Food Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Zyggyz is a sit-down place, quite informal, where you order from a menu and a server brings your food. The best deal is the $5.95 combo plate: two items from a list of four vegetarian and three meat dishes, plus rice; add naan or paratha for $1.25. Most delicious, though, is samosa chaat: cut-up samosas covered in chana masala (chickpeas cooked with tomatoes, red onion and cilantro, in this case), onions and yogurt sauce. It sounds like a muddle, but it’s very fresh, so each flavor stands out to great effect. Zyggyz is attracting a mix of Indian and non-Indian customers. Spice levels are pretty low, but requests for adjustments will be honored.

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