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Issue of 8/19/2009

Cover Story:

The corporate co-opt of 'local'
by Stacy Mitchell
What’s in a word? Plenty.


Bass line by Charles L. Latimer
From the great Ray Brown to the Grammy-winner John Clayton and beyond

Hush V.2 by Hobey Echlin
After much TV exposure and a lauded major label debut, Detroit's other 'white meat' rapper hits rock bottom and rises again

Local or not? by Curt Guyette
A brief guide to whether 'Detroit' brands are really from here

Worlds apart by Detroitblogger John
A flea market and resale shop share a Detroit street corner ... but little else


Blow, Joe! by Metro Times staff (Cheat Code)
Turn-based strategy reigns on the iPhone; GI Joe sucks ass

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by John Thomason (Couch Trip)
Catherine Deneuve ... a boy stalker!

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

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on what we've published

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Johnny Headband's Ferndale bungalow

Bing's wrong bus stop by Curt Guyette (News Hits)
Why we must put the brakes on the mayor's proposed service cuts

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

Michigan on the rocks by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
How the tax-haters have taken us to the brink

Matrimony for three by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
On opening up the connubial bed to guests

More than falafel by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A selection of restaurants that serve Middle Eastern fare

Glitter doesn't lie! by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins do Fucking Awesome



Electric Dirt - Levon Helm Reviewed by Eddie Baranek (Record)

Mother Nature Sings Her Lullaby Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Reckoning: Deluxe Edition Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Jeremy Piven is Don Ready, a sleazeball used-car liquidator, whose team is hired by a failing dealership in Temecula, Calif., to turn their Fourth of July sale into a business-saving success. And, well, that’s pretty much it. The rest is wacky Will Ferrell-style jokes (see his amusing cameo) — that hit and miss in equal measure. Piven is producer Adam McKay’s (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) brother-in-law and, frankly, isn’t quite right for the lead. He’s great when he’s in Ari Gold-asshole mode but he doesn’t have the heart for sillier jokes. His cohorts (Kathryn Hahn, David Koechner and Ving Rhames), on the other hand, all have good moments, with James Brolin landing some hearty chuckles as a homosexually inclined father figure.

The Time Traveler's Wife Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Eric Bana is Henry, born with truly bizarre genetic disorder dubbed “chrono impairment” which sometimes sees him fade out of time, popping into some other moment in his life, naked and confused, like Bana’s character in The Hulk. The lovely Claire (Rachel McAdams) is the one constant in this fractured existence, and she becomes his lifeline and her unattainable dream (and you thought your boyfriend was unreliable).

Paper Heart Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Cutesy and ironically smug, a postcard from the land of twee, this mock mockumentary follows impossibly impish hipster comedian Charlyne Yi, as she crosses the country asking real folk about true love, an emotion she claims to be incapable of. Her more famous pals, including funnymen Demetri Martin and Seth Rogen, call bullshit on the notion she’s a frosty, suggesting Yi hasn’t met the right guy yet. Well, that dude — the twiggy Michael Cera — saunters right through the door of a party (filled with, apparently, the young Hollywood comedy underground). It’s awkward puppy love at first blush.

American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Movie)
This documentary on the history of rock posters focuses on the renegade artists, many of whom have succeeded without the financial help of big corporations. Detroit looms large in this picture, thanks especially to the presence of Mark Arminski, Detroit’s most recent poster art king, and the great Grande Ballroom rock-art pioneer, Gary Grimshaw, both of whom are interviewed extensively. The latter even offers a mantra that should resonate loudly during this city’s time of economic crisis: “What people don’t understand is that the automobile industry didn’t make Detroit. Detroit made the automobile industry,” he says, discussing the city’s art history and aesthetic. “Most importantly, it was the skilled labor and the long history of craftsmanship that was in Detroit.” Arminski, for his part, says that although he has since discovered that he and revered ’80s icon Frank Kozik began around the same time, Arminski “knew nothing but what was going on in Detroit.” A major revelation, though, is to discover that rock poster grandfather Stanley Mouse was born and raised in Detroit, where his early art was inspired by “car culture” before heading to psychedelic San Francisco and Haight-Ashbury hippiedom. If the film has a slight flaw, though, it’s that Becker’s sense of rock history may occasionally strike more astute scholars as a bit skewed. But these are minor quibbles about a film that mostly informs and entertains.

District 9 Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
This stunning mindbender of a movie attempts to prove that science fiction can handle the heftiest allegorical payloads, even the appalling shame of apartheid. For 28 years, a massive, derelict mothership has hovered over the city, abandoned by its operators but swarming with disorganized and unmotivated drones, now herded into District 9, a sprawling ghetto that’s heavily monitored by government agents and the mercenary army of a shady corporation called Multi National United (MNU). This semi-outlaw zone sports a booming black market, weapons trading, tech, prostitution and the dodgy cat food that the prawns are hooked on like crack, greedily sucking it down, cans and all. Jovial, dorky middle manger Wikus Van Der Mere (Copley) must forcibly evict the grouchy visitors to a settlement many miles out of town, far from the angry mobs of humans who’ve run out of hospitality. Wikus is a gung-ho company man, eager to please his father-in-law and other MNU top brass, cheerfully oblivious to their true motives. The real agenda involves the powerful alien weaponry, which is somehow linked to their genes and seems to only work for them. However, the plan is seriously fouled when Wikus gets exposed to a strange fluid and morphs into a human-alien hybrid, making him a fugitive and forcing him to team up with a clever prawn scientist — with the immigrant name of Christopher Johnson — as they battle for survival against heavily armed goons.

Ponyo Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Five-year-old Sosuke (voiced by Frankie Jonas), who lives by the sea with his mom (Tina Fey) and much-absent dad (Matt Damon). One day, he meets an overeager goldfish named Ponyo (Noah Cyrus), who longs so deeply to be with her newfound friend that she transforms into a human. Unfortunately, not only does her magician father (Liam Neeson) pale at the thought of her joining the pollution-spewing human race, her defection from the undersea world upsets the cosmic order, disrupting the moon’s orbit, triggering a tsunami that submerges Sosuke’s town.


It's a Matter of Taste Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
It’s a Matter of Taste has not just a terrace but a terrace on a lake. The food is good, but the view of Union Lake, which laps right up against the terrace, can transport you to heaven. As the evening light changes from gold to purple, the swans lift up their ruffled butts to feed, and a lone water-skier curves around the inlet where the restaurant sits, you can nurse a cold drink and revel in our long Michigan evenings at the western end of the time zone. It’s easy to see why the place is booked up, inside and out, by well-heeled exurbanites; reservations are recommended.