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Issue of 9/23/2009

Cover Story:

by Hobey Echlin
How the fuck did Drew Cohen go from an Ann Arbor hip-hop DJ to Mayer Hawthorne, soul man to the stars?


Courts and sparks by Curt Guyette
The powerful bridge company is tangled up in litigation

Death becomes them by Bill Holdship
The world's first black punk band killed naysayers with power chords

Mike Birbiglia by Travis R. Wright
Putting punch lines to sleep


Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Blades fly in Muramasa

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Real art damage and good fake scares, plus a few chuckles

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
This week's menu of dining, drinking and cooking

Gracious Paul Grosz by Michael Jackman (Grilled)
He wants to make his guests comfortable, and wants them to keep him on edge

Fall TV, come on by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Leno proves ratings rule and a jaundiced glimpse at television's new season

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
KISS memories from Cobo, anger over health care and Joe Wilson, and one way Detroit beats New Orleans

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Will Sessions' basement studio

Co-ops to the rescue? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
'Getting people to pull together'

Evidence lost and found by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Missing items raise questions about verdicts

Park art by News Hits staff (News Hits)
City doesn't see yard art's appeal — so it's appealing in court

Single-minded about single-payer by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Mad as Hell Doctors make case in Detroit on Thursday

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

The great deceivers by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
The forces of darkness are trying to distract us from real health care reform

You call that sex? by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Or were we just naked and having fun?

Council conspiracy? by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
Why council's rejection of district voting proposal could be self-interested

Beyond the Kid's Zone by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins do it together at DIY



Wait for Me - Moby Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

A Strange Arrangement - Mayer Hawthorne Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


Jennifer's Body Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Diablo Cody’s neo-feminist scream matches a demonic teen hottie with a satanic indie band by casting Megan Fox has a devil of a time in Jennifer’s Body, twirling her raven tresses, arching her back and quivering her pouty lips seductively. Her dead-eyed glare is so perfect for the role of a demonic teen queen it’s downright scary; if only the movie itself could muster more than few cheap chills. Fox gamely plays the title role, a brunette junior varsity seductress stalking the halls of her small-town high school like she owns the joint — alongside her wholesome blond pal “Needy” (Amanda Seyfried), they’re like an unholy Betty and Veronica. Things go very wrong for these BFFs when they run afoul of a crew of thoroughly rotten indie rockers at a local bar gig. Smarmy Adam Brody nails the role of an utterly evil leader of a band so intent on making it big they seek a human sacrifice (for Satan) to boost their careers. Unfortunately, they need a virgin, which disqualifies Jennifer — deflowered in junior high — so the ritual instead turns her into a monster, one who stays pretty by munching on unsuspecting boys.

Love Happens Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
In this dire rom-com, saved by camera-ready Jennifer Anniston and Aaron Eckhart, Eckhart plays a motivational speaker who has lost his motivation, secretly moping over his dead wife, while selling others on a sunny-side-up program of grief recovery. He’s throwing a weeklong seminar in rainy Seattle, urging clients to walk on hot coals, while he can barely drag himself across the bedroom carpet every morning. The predictably quirky gal who’ll make him see the light again is Jennifer Anniston’s nurturing Eloise, a florist who saves her client’s love notes, scribbles challenging words on hotel walls, and tools around town in a vintage ’60s Ford Falcon van.

The Informant! Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Based on Kurt Eichenwald’s nonfiction bestseller, the film follows Mark Whitacre (Damon), a toupeed Ned Flanders-like VP at Archer-Daniels-Midland who, during a minor investigation with the FBI, spills the beans on his company’s participation in a global price-fixing conspiracy. Mark is quickly recruited to wear a wire and turn whistleblower, a role he comes to zealously embrace. Deluding himself that he’s a character in a Michael Crichton novel, his behavior and lies become increasingly bizarre, leading to unexpected revelations about the man who would go on to be the highest-ranking executive in U.S. history to turn state’s evidence on his own company. Damon brilliantly rides the line between supreme confidence, earnest motivation and profound imbecility, delivering a steady stream of internal monologues that are as disconnected from reality as they are hilarious. As the plot thickens, Whitacre’s musings become weirder and weirder, betraying the true state of his psyche.

Big Fan Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
In Big Fan, Paul Aufiero (Oswalt) is the most devoted of secular zealots, a schlubby mid-30s superfan who lives with his nagging mom, and spends his workdays in a cramped Staten Island tollbooth scribbling the intricate rants he phones in nightly to the Sports Dawg radio show. A total zero in the real world, on-air Paul is an anonymous minor star, carrying out the Giants vs. Eagles blood feud with his arch rival, the hateful “Philly Phil” (Rapaport). Too broke to afford season tickets, he hangs in the stadium parking lot watching games on a portable TV with his loser blood-brother Sal (the underrated Kevin Corrigan).

Flame and Citron Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Based on the true stories of Danish resistance heroes Bent Faurschou-Hviid and Jorgen Haagen Schmith, Madsen’s gripping noir is filled with familiar wartime tropes: lonely resistance fighters, clandestine meetings and double-crossing agents. But even more than a satisfying historical thriller, Flame and Citron presents its conflicted idealists as psychologically complex men who feel their humanity slipping away as their paranoia grows.


Mind Body & Spirits Reviewed by Todd Abrams (Restaurant)
Situated at the corner of Main and Third, their newly remodeled building boasts rooftop solar panels, cork flooring, a bar top constructed of reclaimed wood, rain barrels for irrigating their onsite greenhouse and a bio-digester. But all these nifty, earth-friendly measures don’t mean a hill of organic beans without tasty food. No worries there. The menu plainly defines the dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. They also put effort into creating their dishes for simple removal of any items that might be objectionable to the food-conscious or food-sensitive diner. All the food is organic and local if possible. MBS has cultivated relationships with local farmers, such as Maple Creek in Yale, to supply their seasonal produce and even the edibles growing in the luxuriant greenhouse that faces Third Street.