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Issue of 8/18/2010

Cover Story:

What's the frequency?
by Travis R. Wright
Twenty years of on-air action with Jon Moshier


Creative commodity by Simone Landon
Jaclyn Schanes goes X for art, or art for X

Suit up by Eric Gallippo
Fred Thomas returns home with a new label, myriad projects, and a new, mostly girl band

The family guy by Corey Hall
How Ice Cube stayed relevant beyond gangsta, from AK raps to chasing a raccoon


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

Laying a foundation by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Dr. Chad Audi talks about taking people off the streets and training them in Detroit Rescue Mission’s new Highland Park restaurant

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on Helen Thomas, Lessenberry, the Ruiners and more

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

Joint venture by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Dispensary-like enterprises are players in medical marijuana's legal gray areas

Over the line by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Students charge that border guards harrassed them for their political views

Who's the dope? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Detroit Election Commission spikes vote on recreational pot referendum

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

One cheer for Obama by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
When GM and Chrysler were on the ropes, he helped ensure their survival

Pokin' the pooper by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
The rules of hitting bottom during sex

DPD soap opera by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
The latest on Detroit's newest text-message scandal

Krishna rocks by D’Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The twins eat, pray and love at India Day — and learn how a Morrissey belt buckle can help make new friends



5 Track EP - Die Antwoord Reviewed by Michael Gallucci (Record)

God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise - Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs Reviewed by Matthew Wilkening (Record)

Catching a Tiger - Lissie Reviewed by Chris Drabick (Record)

Libraries - The Love Language Reviewed by Chris Drabick (Record)

King of the Beach - Wavves Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Desktop 2 - Desktop Reviewed by Chris Handyside (Record)


Eat, Pray, Love Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Eat, Pray, Love is fairly enjoyable due to actors and settings, but it’s a dummy’s guide to enlightenment, and as cinema it’s How Stella Got Her Groove back sponsored by Expedia. Spiritualism and commercialism rub each other raw as uptight New Yorker Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) ditches both her husband (Billy Crudup) and new boyfriend (James Franco) for a year-long spiritual quest through Italy, India and Bali, and to write a book. Of course, the movie barely mentions that this costly trip was funded by a huge publisher’s advance, one that no average girl would have access to. Details.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Michael Cera might be an unlikely action hero, but he has become the millennial everyman, and here he plays a sweetly goofy Toronto rocker whose already complicated love life becomes chaotic when his new dream girl (Elizabeth Winstead) decrees that he must fight her seven evil exes, and her dating résumé’s filled with unbalanced, ninja-powered lunatics ready to crush Scott into a fine paste.

Life During Wartime Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
"Life During Wartime," Solondz’s latest, is a sequel to and self-reflection of his 1998 ode to toxic family dysfunction, Happiness. While the cast has been shuffled (different actors have stepped into every major part) and the landscape has shifted, the misery is the same. Solondz’s message: People may think they’ve changed, but they really haven’t. Rooting around in the dark corners of suburbia, the morally dyspeptic auteur returns to his look/don’t look aesthetics of drama. Social rot, the erosion of values, hypocrisy in relationships — all his pet themes are on display, with only awkward instances of humor to lighten the mood. Once again we are immersed in the lives of Joy (Shirley Henderson), Trish (Allison Janney) and Helen (Ally Sheedy), three Jewish sisters who have fled the gloomy anonymous despair of the New Jersey suburbs for the sunny anonymous despair of the Florida suburbs. They try to heal the emotional wreckage of their lives while ignoring the impact of their decisions on the people around them. Joy flees her recovering sex- and drug-addicted fiance (Michael Kenneth Williams), Trish seeks to replace her convicted child molester husband (Ciarán Hinds) and Helen has become a shallow, unfulfilled Hollywood screenwriter. In the end, "Life During Wartime" never achieves the raw impact of "Happiness." Still, it’s good to see Solondz tempering his worst instincts to find a path toward redemption, no matter how overgrown with desperation it is.

Get Low Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Robert Duvall plays Felix Bush, a shotgun-wielding recluse in Depression-era Tennessee. With 40 years of rumors and stories about his past, Felix decides to invite everyone in the surrounding counties to his funeral. With the aide of a droll mortician (Murray) and a woman from his youth (Sissy Spacek), he organizes a one-of-kind event, drawing locals in with a raffle for his timber-rich land. The reason? Felix wants to set the record straight about his life while unburdening himself of a powerful shame. Bill Murray turns deadpan comedy into an effortlessly sublime art. Watching his mustachioed funeral director try to wrestle away a ball of hermit money from Robert Duvall’s grizzled backwoods loner is an exercise in pure acting delight. On the one hand, you’ve got Duvall severely huffing and grumbling his way through a part he’s been perfecting since To Kill a Mockingbird’s plain-spoken Boo Radley. On the other hand, you have the bottomless irony of Murray, whose glib-tongued pragmatism and perfectly timed improvisations redefine the meaning of wry. Their too-few exchanges snap with cagey intelligence, reminding you how much a pair of great actors can bring to even the most modest of movies. Oddly the film is much better film if you leave before the shocking mystery is revealed (it’s not all that shocking or mysterious) in its final 15 minutes.

The Expendables Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
This third installment in his trilogy of Sylvester Stallone's self-congratulations (Rambo and Rocky Balboa were the first two) pays homage to Stallone’s stupider efforts. Does anyone really care what the plot (as delivered by Bruce Willis in a profanity-laden cameo) entails? Suffice to say that Stallone’s gang of rogues — Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture and Terry Crews (Idiocracy’s President Camacho!) — are sent south to take out Hugo Chavez … er, General Garza … who’s been doing the bidding of ex-CIA baddie Eric Roberts and his bodyguard Stone Cold Steve Austin. Arnold sneaks in for a winky walk-on while Mickey Rourke’s appears to deliver a lip-quivering monologue about his lost humanity. For the action die-hards, there’s plenty of throat-slashing, knife-throwing, gun-dueling and neck-breaking. Unfortunately, there’s no chemistry; lines are spoken but the high-priced he-men might as well be performing in their own movies. Rourke’s the only real actor in the bunch, and he almost makes his boneheaded dialogue bearable.

Agora Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Set around the time of the destruction of Egypt’s great Library of Alexandria in 391, there is no arguing the film’s political take: Here, the Christians are the savages and the pagans are the enlightened ones. The most enlightened of them all is the brilliant mathematician Hypatia (Rachel Weisz), head mistress of the Alexandria Academy, a lonely outpost of science and Hellenistic intellectual ideals in a Roman Empire swiftly falling under Christian ideology. Despite the noblest of intentions, it’s nearly impossible to keep this stuff from seeming like a drippy toga party. While meant to be epic and inspiring, Agora ends with a huge, blood-soaked bummer.


Pizzeria Biga Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Biga is a pizzeria plus — pizza is the only main course, but Del Signore’s menu includes home-fashioned charcuterie and cheeses from Bacco, six attractive salads and a handful of small-plates palate-teasers. Among the salads ($5.50 to $9.50), navel orange is a keeper, with orange sections floating in oil accompanied by olives, onion, and parsley. The more familiar chop salad with tidbits of hearts of palm, artichokes, egg, tomato, cucumber, onion, gorgonzola and ceci beans bursts with freshness. The crusty house-made Italian bread that comes with is exemplary. All of this is the prelude to the pizza and its fermented starter dough (biga) composed of a carefully calibrated blend (“an ancient method”) of flour, purified water and sea salt, all kept at 68 degrees. The resulting dough serves as the foundation for 12-inch ($9-$14) and 18-inch ($14.50-$22) round, thin pizzas that can be selected from a dozen house creations, as well as a nearly infinite number of self-designed pies, with toppings as exotic as duck prosciutto, lardo (pig fat), rapini and vinegar peppers. Those who are red-sauce-averse will be happy with the white-pie options. The desserts, highlighted by house-made gelati (try the cappuccino) and the more-than-perfunctory cannoli, are another of Biga’s strengths.