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Issue of 7/1/2009


Cover Story:



Creative fellows
by Travis R. Wright
Kresge grants give a boost to artists and the Detroit art community

Features:

3 national awards for MT by Metro Times editorial staff
Our humble rag wins national kudos

Ghost song by Sandra Svoboda
One man's written journey into his family history reveals mental institutions, Holocaust survivors, post-World War II Detroit life and a long-lost aunt

Hello, it's Todd by Bill Holdship
The producer and rock star talks his Wizard, the New York Dolls and evils of Microsoft

Sloppy seconds by Metro Times music staff
This year's Cityfest features a day of "second chances."

Columns:

Backlot by Jeff Meyers (Backlot)
Gangster film now shooting ... set in a Detroit pawn shop

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Weapons of Fate will have you off and killing in no time

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
A bizarrely queer love triangle, and a horror flick so bad it's scary

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Full plates for local foodies

Tasting sustainability by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
It's easy eating green at Rochester's Mind Body & Spirits

Take 2 nurses and ... by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
TV nurses snorting Percocet, shtupping co-workers and railing against lunacy; plus, Fox’s new season

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
More thoughts from our readers ... this time about Mitch Albom

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Dinner with Jimi and a platter with the Nuge

Motor City Rides by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
'Hayley Jane' Nickerson's 1994 Dodge Intrepid, nicknamed 'Tabitha'

Bridge battles by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Span company and state transportation department in legal wrangle

Questionable conviction by News Hits staff (News Hits)
He's spent half his life in jail; now the evidence suggests he was innocent

Tickled by News Hits staff (News Hits)
A fun new way to follow federal law enforcement news? We're so there.

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

Time for real change by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why Detroiters should elect council members by district

Tie me down! by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Should I bring my ex in on a threesome to teach my man how to dom?

The ghost in the mirror by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
Motown in the shadow of Michael Jackson

'Beat It' by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
Robots, beat boxes ... and amazing kilt-wearing tuba players!

Thrilled to death by Blair (Your Space)
Local poet looks hard at the king of pop

Reviews:

Music/Books:

’Cause I Sez So - New York Dolls Reviewed by Brian Smith (Record)

Tyvek - Tyvek Reviewed by Lee DeVito (Record)

Alone Again, Naturally - Esther Phillips Reviewed by Brian Smith (Record)

Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women - Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Movies:

My Sister's Keeper Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Voiceover narration is the surest sign of desperation, so imagine a movie with seven narrators, all struggling to resuscitate author Jodi Picoult’s deathly purple prose and let it breathe onscreen. This adaptation of the weepy bestseller excels at maudlin histrionics, in the tale of a girl (Abigail Breslin) born and bred to be a living donor for her cancer-stricken older sister, who after a decade of being poked and prodded finally sues for her medical emancipation, and for the rights to her own body.

Little Ashes Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Shot like a cologne ad for queens who long for the ruffled shirts and repressed sexual longings of yesteryear, Little Ashes (after one of Dalí’s paintings) is a florid soap opera of unconsummated “bromance,” starring alabaster heartthrob Robert Pattinson (Twilight) as the 18-year-old Salvador Dalí. At the prestigious School for Fine Arts in Madrid, the young surrealist painter is befriended by two of the university’s top students: gay poet Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltran) and gay-bashing filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty). Before you can say “Merchant-Ivory meets Logo TV,” sensitive Lorca makes goo-goo eyes at arrogant Dalí, setting off a painful conflict between forbidden desires and the criminality of being gay in 1920s Spain.

Rudo y Cursi Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal star as squabbling sibs, rivals in life and on the soccer pitch, whose ambitions extend beyond their humble little village. Beto (Luna) is an intense, risk-taking goalkeeper while brother Tato (Bernal) is a sensitive daydreaming striker. Plucked from jerkwater obscurity by a shady scout (is there any other?) they’re forced to face off for a spot in the big leagues. Tato wins, and his fluid “romantic” style of play earns him the nickname “Cursi,” which roughly translates to “showoff,” though he prefers singing to scoring goals. Beto works his way to Mexico City’s bright lights, where his badass ’tude earns him the moniker “Rudo,” though his gambling debts begin to taint his talent. Neither brother can get around personal demons and distractions, until both careers tumble to one inevitable field showdown.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)

Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
This second installment in the Transformers canon is a shapeless, insulting, special effects-driven pile of crap. Michael Bay blows things up real good, has a decent eye for scale, and is shamelessly pornographic in his leering over hot babes and military hardware, but fabulously canted angles do not a good film make. To recant the plot would be an exercise in futility and stupidity. Screenwriters Ehren Kruger (The Ring), Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, MI-III) have all produced far better genre work but here they seem to be spitting in the audience’s face. All this would be forgivable in the holy name of mindless entertainment if not for the film’s shocking moments of racial stereotyping. Boo!

Food, Inc. Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Welcome to America 2.0 — A government by corporations, for corporations. It’s a Matrix-like reality; only instead of machines we’re ruled by Monsanto, Tyson, ConAgra, and Wal-Mart, companies just as determined as the Matrix to keep the truth secret. If you doubted the fix was in, Robert Kenner’s documentary Food, Inc. makes it crystal-clear that our industrial food system is so corrupt, so divorced from the realities of the natural world and so integrated into our political system that it’d be easy to despair over the future health of our country. As one film subject convincingly points out, our government’s more interested in protecting corporations than it is citizens.

Restaurants/Places:

Inyo Restaurant & Lounge Reviewed by Todd Abrams (Restaurant)
With a wide-ranging menu, striking presentations and quality cocktails, Inyo has sparked a buzz in Ferndale's dining scene. The dishes have not just flavor, but pleased texture contrasts within a dish. Take the cold appetizer maguro yookwhe: Strips of raw, lean tuna are deepened by a quail-egg topping and served with crunchy sliced Asian pear and a spicy dipping sauce. The hot side of the appetizer menu has everything from unagi (freshwater eel) and avocado rolled in a French crepe to Hong Kong-style spare ribs. Entrées include Inyo's version of kung pao chicken, or pepper steak that's startling in its simplicity. The sushi menu is the standard makimono (rolls), sashimi and nigiri ranges from ordinary maki to specialties, such as the Inyo roll is a marriage of king crab, strawberry, Japanese cucumber and mango sauce all topped with caviar. As usual, the textures and tastes harmonize beautifully. Space sports oversized, wraparound booths and a granite horseshoe bar, with a soundtrack of easygoing nu-disco and downbeat lounge tunes. Excellent specialty cocktails.

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