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Issue of 6/3/2009


Cover Story:



Faces of the recession
by Andy Cook
A photographer documents the downturn from Florida to Detroit

Features:

After the foreclosure by Sandra Svoboda
Local communities use dollars for demolition, rehab and ownership

Double Reissue: The Rockets, No Ballads by Brian Smith
Reissues have the roar of a band on the rise — before the tragedy

Garage rocks by Travis R. Wright
The monster TV show rolls into town and calls out ex-Big Three workers, among other gear jacks

It's the new us! by W. Kim Heron
Our redesign packs in more content than ever

Verse chorus verse by Scott Bragg
Blasé Splee's pop perfection was a debut away

Columns:

Backlot by Jeff Meyers (Backlot)
Michigan — that's Hollywood Central to you, punk!

Punch drunk love by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Why Punch Out!! hits you right where you breathe

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Cronenberg and Jeremy Irons, together. Plus, an anti-sunlight shiverfest and fundamentalist nutballs!

Critic vs. Critic by Jeff Meyers & Corey Hall (Critic vs. Critic)
MT film reviewers Jeff Meyers and Corey Hall battle Hell

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
It’s a Loire, Loire, Loire, Loire world

Crime show rumblings by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Ruminations of a professional vidiot …

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)

Book slam by Metro Times arts staff (Lit Up)
Area authors gracefully (and clumsily) bang on

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Gary Lewis!

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
How Stoopz and Breeze time-traveled their way to the top — of the Pontch

Bukowski found guilty, plans appeal by News Hits staff (News Hits)
In closely watched case, observers argue that verdict could have a chilling effect

In tent city by News Hits staff (News Hits)
This week, the rich and poor will rub elbows downtown

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

Smoked out by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Huffing and puffing, and the new justice

Wedding balls by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
A good case of coming to one's senses

Low and slow by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Places for barbecue, from our website listings

City song by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
Why efforts to promote Detroit through music strike a sour note

Pap attack by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins get all improvisational and stuff

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Do Your Duty - Bettye LaVette Reviewed by Brian Smith (Record)

Sewn Together - Meat Puppets Reviewed by Serene Dominic (Record)

Movies:

Every Little Step Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Every Little Step documents the auditions for recent New York revival of "A Chorus Line." We’re introduced to the its original creative team and meet a legion of bright-eyed hoofers and dancers, all ready to kill each other for a job. As self-absorbed as actors can be, the film is engrossing, and creates genuine suspense through little more than the tension of a spot light on a blank stage, and a performer bleeding for a role.

The Brothers Bloom Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
It’s a lively and lovely cross between David Mamet and Wes Anderson. Writer-director Rhian Johnson has set his bar high, tackling that trickiest of genre flicks: the breezy con-man thriller. It's a decent ride. Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody play sibling hucksters who construct elaborate cons, complete with dramatic arcs and literary allusions. But Brody wants out. So with “one last con” they focus on daffy millionaire heiress and shut-in Rachel Weisz. Romance rears its head, the twists mount and it mostly goes where you’d expect. What Johnson does best is romance; hence the bubbly Rachel Weisz, who gives her every scene the snap and pop of inventiveness. Unfortunately, Johnson isn’t skilled enough to make this ambitious setup really work (or to make you care).

Up Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
The gold standard in computer animation, Pixar has always had a thing for the bittersweet and melancholy, but this film moves into deeper, richer terrain, confronting the redemptive and corrupting influences of wish-fulfillment and devotion, all while maintaining the studio’s incredibly high standards. Crotchety old Carl Fredrickson (Ed Asner) decides to live out his deceased wife’s dream of discovering Paradise Falls, a lost world somewhere deep in South America. Outfitting his home with thousands upon thousands of balloons, he takes the sky in his two-story Victorian. Unfortunately, Carl has an unwitting stowaway — Russell (Jordan Nagai), a motor-mouthed Wilderness Explorer determined to earn his “senior assistance” merit badge. Soon, the two reach their destination, where talking dogs, a disturbed adventurer (Christopher Plummer) in a dirigible and Kevin, the multicolored “snipe,” become part of their unabashedly madcap, incredibly entertaining journey.

Drag Me to Hell Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Alison Lohman is Christine Brown, a chipper, ambitious Los Angeles loan officer who makes one very bad call, and watches her near-perfect life descend into damnation. Angling for a promotion, Christine bucks her nature and declines a loan extension for an aged and pathetic Eastern European widow (Lorna Raver) who’s on the verge of eviction. Apparently, Christine’s no fan of horror flicks, or she’d know better than to mess with the creepy old gypsy, who bursts into a crazed, hair-pulling fury and spits out a fateful curse. Soon the shutters rattle, the pans clank and a goat-like fiend begins tormenting Christine, jumping from dark corners and scaring the living crap out of her — and the audience.

Restaurants/Places:

Taste Pizza Bar Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Located on the second floor of an old brick building on Times Square, Taste may not be the easiest place to find, but once you arrive there'll be no doubt you're in the right place. Seating as many as 175, Taste sprawls through two rooms, with the dining area separated from the even larger lounge. An added bonus for night owls is its 2 a.m. closing time. Although first-rate 10-inch pies are Taste’s raison d’etre, chef-owner Dale Daniel offers diners a wide variety of starters, soups, salads and grilled sandwiches. The admirable toppings on the 20-odd pies present combinations that should please picky pizza mavens. Most of the pies cost $13 or less — the upscale outlier is the “Ocean 21” ($21), with lobster, scallops, and shrimp. As in most pizza parlors, you can also build your own pie with toppings that range from artichokes to Gorgonzola to zucchini. And kudos to the sommelier for selecting bottles from solid but relatively obscure small vineyards and for establishing a no-nonsense pricing system. Beer is reasonably priced as well at$3-$5 and several of the cocktails come in small ($6-$7) as well as large sizes.

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