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Issue of 7/28/2010


Cover Story:



Midnight to midnight
by Kent Alexander
A star sideman guitarist who influenced Hendrix and inspired Sam Cooke finally finds his voice

Features:

Block out by Curt Guyette
Dealing with a deepening foreclosure crisis

Forced exposure by Serene Dominic
How Ivan Kral's Super 8 home movies at CBGB and Max's Kansas City caught punk rock in its infancy

Raze one, raise one by Travis R. Wright
Talkin’ reclamation at Corktown’s Imagination Station

Soldiering on by Detroitblogger John
A real horseman keeps history alive and brings some country to the city

Teenage wasteland by Michael Jackman
Detroit's first-wave hardcore finally gets its due

Tailing Matty by News Hits staff
When the bridge baron and his ilk tell fibs, these guys tell on him

Columns:

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Toy Story 3 is a hoot for kids with some adult-sized challenges

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
From happy hour perch to new modern Italian and beyond

Without reservations by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
TV hottie Erin Cummings embraces Detroit ... and it's mutual

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

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back over 30 years on what was in MT this week

Motor City Five by Travis R. Wright (Motor City Five)
Dave 1 talks party dip, Robert Palmer and Klymaxx serving strawberries and cream

Suing the 'railroad' by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Suit claims public defenders don't adequately represent defendants

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

Who for governor? by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Our candidates, from the worst to the not-so-worst

Porn for all! by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
If men get to watch porn, women needn't settle for cupcakes

Slices of heaven by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Our shortlist of notable pizza parlors

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Sea of Cowards - The Dead Weather Reviewed by Travis R. Wright (Record)

Night Work - Scissor Sisters Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Spread Like Water/Block the Sun - I, Crime Reviewed by Jonathan Cunningham (Record)

Movies:

The City of Your Final Destination Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
James Ivory proves he’s lost without his partner Ismail Merchant (who died in 2005) with this tasteful adaptation of a well-heeled novel. Sure, there's sultry cinematography, a wealthy family struggling with quiet dysfunction, even Anthony Hopkins, but this directionless, uninvolving affair suffers from too much taste and too little drama. Omar Metwally is Omar, a Ph.D. candidate in literature determined to write a biography of Jules Gund, a mysterious author who wrote a single celebrated book about his German parent’s move to Uruguay. Rumor has it that Gund was working on a second novel when he committed suicide, leaving behind his family to tend to his vast South American estate. Denied permission to write the biography by Gund’s trio of heirs, Omar is browbeaten by his overbearing girlfriend (Alexandra Maria Lara) to go to Uruguay and convince them to change their minds. Once there, the family allows Omar to stay at their remote home out of courtesy, and the grad student tries to win them over with his puppy-eyed charm. The main obstacle is Gund’s icy and seemingly immovable widow Laura Linney. But, wait, her sway over Gund’s gay brother (Anthony Hopkins) and young mistress (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is slipping. Omar seizes — well, not exactly seizes — gently prods the others into helping him secure permission … until a bee sting puts him into a coma and most of his problems are inexplicably resolved. Seriously.

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This film attempts to understand the Coco Chanel’s artistry through the gauzy lens of fleeting romantic dalliance, in this case with fellow future-thinking provocateur Igor Stravinsky. The unlikely lovers meet at the disastrous 1913 premiere of Stravinsky’s radical avant-garde ballet The Rite of Spring, where enraged French patrons just about ripped out the seats out of the Théâtre Des Champs Élysées. Where others heard only atonal dissonance, the ever-progressive Chanel heard the exciting sounds of a kindred modern artist. While there is scant historical evidence of a fling, Chanel did eventually become a patron for the brooding Russian composer, and invited his entire family to come stay at her villa outside Paris in the spring of 1920. From here, the film, based on a 2002 novel, speculates that the dour musician and the predatory stylist had a torrid affair, right under the pale nose of his loyal, tubercular wife, effectively played by Yelena Morozova. But who cares?

The Misfortunates Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The film casts a knowing squint on a particular breed of Belgian rowdies, a grungy European equivalent of rednecks; loutish, hard-drinking party animals, convinced that the finer things in life come in a pint glass, or at least as the result of draining a few dozen of them. The protagonist is young Gunther Strobbe (Kenneth Vanbaeden), a bright kid unlucky enough to be raised in a family full of drunken degenerate gamblers, thieves, layabouts and hoodlums, with funny nicknames like “Beefcake.” Gunther’s dad and raucous brothers are generally a clan of mullet-headed cads on a perpetual rampage. Occasionally the clowning starts to spill over into violence and real peril, revealing buried emotional geysers. Just as the chaos begins to tire, the film flash-forwards to the present and sees Gunther as an adult struggling to break through as a novelist, which lends The Misfortunates a warm richness and bittersweet finish.

Salt Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Salt is proof positive that Angelina Jolie is as much a movie star as she is an actress. Her bee-stung lips and comic-book bad-girl sultriness aside, Jolie has a ferocious charisma that consumes everything in its path. So all-encompassing is her persona that even Leiv Streiber, who stands twice her size, fights to be noticed on the screen beside her. While Salt implausibly suggests that a 110-pound beauty can kick the shit out of a room full of secret service muscleheads, Jolie convinces you that she can. And that’s the least implausible scenario this Reagan-era-style action flick puts forth. It’s the 1980s all over again, as Soviet stalwarts activate long-dormant sleeper agents in an elaborate plot to assassinate the Russian and American Presidents and nuke Mecca in order to incite a Muslim holy war against the United States. Jolie is a super CIA operative who is revealed to be one of the double agents. Or is she? The script is less successful at hiding its intentions than Jolie, who goes on the run to either enact her nefarious plot or thwart the architects behind it. At stake? Her gentle spider-loving husband, who appears on screen almost as long as one of her wigs.

Restaurants/Places:

Sidetrack Bar and Grill Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Sidetrack's specialty is interesting beers: 16 drafts, including nine Michigan craft brews on tap, the highlight being Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. Others are Bell’s Oberon, the biggest seller, Hacker Pschorr’s Weisse, Great Lakes’ Edmunds Fitzgerald (“best porter in the Midwest”), Huma-Lupa-Licious from Short’s up in Antrim County, Woodchuck Amber hard cider from Vermont, and the only “lite” microbrew around, also from Short’s. Beer in bottles includes raspberry and cherry beers from Belgium, and 24 vodkas, mostly flavored, are also big. The Sidetrack is beloved by Ypsilanti-ans for its history and ambiance. The building, a pebble’s throw from the Amtrak tracks, has been a bar since 1850, according to French, a former antiques dealer, and it still uses the original, elaborately carved, dark wood bar. There’s a tin ceiling and lots of taxidermy, including a snarling bear cub; fresh flowers are quite welcome if a bit incongruous in the bar-rish setting. It’s a minor thrill to feel the trains rumble by (the earth moves) and hear the whistle blow, and some patrons request the patio; these are closely watched trains. The undisputed star of Sidetrack’s extensive menu is the burger. Five years ago, GQ magazine called it one of “the 20 hamburgers you must eat before you die,” nationally. Linda says her exact blend of fat and flesh, supplied by Hiller’s and delivered twice a day, is ground to her proprietary specs.

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