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Issue of 1/27/2010

Cover Story:

Labor's love lost
by Sandra Svoboda
An unfinished script about the public schools, with apologies to William Shakespeare


Boyz will be boyz by Chris Handyside
Meet the dudes who make up the fine musical bromance of the Lord Scrummage collective

Days of wine and neurosis by Brian Smith
From young idealist to folk-pop singer for the ages, Lloyd Cole sits five hundred floors below Hang Williams


Comics (Comics)

Direct-to-video greats by Paul Knoll (Couch Trip)
A glance back at the last decade's best of the worst

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Winter treats, Fat Tuesday and local vodka

Going down by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Eddie Griffin's broke, Conan isn’t and Sarah Palin's fool status

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 on 30 years of Metro Times

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Anthony "Shake" Shakir and his home studio

'Sand-bagging' revisited by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Reporter Diane Bukowski's search for a new trial is backed with compelling points

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

Cable TV vs. America by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
The problem with paid-for pundits

Three's company by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Sometimes it takes more than two to make a thing go right

Mid-city eats by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
A shortlist of restaurants between New Center and Cass Corridor

International BAIT by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
Think local, think global, go 'glocal'

Blank generation by Walter Wasacz (The Subterraneans)
A fertile little scene celebrates five years of collaborative effort in the Motor City

The can can by Metro Times staff (The Toilet Reader)
A treasure trove of lavatory tomes for tiny attention spans



The Crooks - The Crooks Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Special Reserve - Obie Trice Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)

The Lustfully Yours EP - Gorvette Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)


Tooth Fairy Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Dwayne (don’t call him “Rock”) Johnson stars as faded hockey star Derek Thompson, now reduced to slogging it out thug-like in the minor leagues, where he’s nicknamed “Tooth Fairy” for his frequent knockouts of opposing players. Worse, he has been charged with babysitting a brash Gretzky-like upstart (skateboarder Ryan Sheckler) who’s a snot-nosed punk. Off ice, Johnson’s all anti-chemistry with girlfriend Carly — played by the harbinger of nothing good, Ashley Judd. Derek really wins when he tells Carly’s adorable 6-year-old that there’s no tooth fairy, leading to a summons to fairy land, and a sentence of community service for “disseminating disbelief.” What follows is a blur of sight gags and bad puns covered in a haze of pixie dust and desperate flailing by all involved.

Chops Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Following a high school class of musicians from Jacksonville, Fla., as they practice and eventually compete in Lincoln Center’s 2007 Essentially Ellington Competition, Bruce Broder’s engaging doc skips the typical highly personal underdog profiles and nail-biting twists in the contest to instead examine the collaborative process of building a top-notch ensemble. Former Michiganian Broder lets the teens’ performance at the festival stand as its own triumph, bringing down the house with a truly memorable version of Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy.”

Extraordinary Measures Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Inspired by journalist Geeta Anand’s book, director Tom Vaughan certainly has some meaty material to work with. And like most Hollywood movies, he fudges some of the facts and creates “composite” characters to better tell his story — all forgivable acts. What’s not forgivable is turning a fascinating portrait of a man who risked everything he spent his life building to save his kids into a cliché-riddled, blunt-edged family tearjerker with cardboard characters and hamfisted direction. John Crowley (a surprisingly pudgy Brendan Fraser) climbed up from his working-class roots to get into Harvard then ascended the corporate ladder at Bristol-Myers to become a highly successful executive. But all the drive and talent in the world couldn’t trump genetics. Two of his kids — Megan and Patrick — are stricken with Pompe, a rare neuromuscular disease like muscular dystrophy that takes the life of its victims before they reach their second birthday. None have seen their ninth. Crowley’s adorable kids are six and eight. There is no cure. With the clock ticking, John seeks out Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), a curmudgeonly scientist whose work could lead to a vaccine — if he had the proper funding. So, putting his corporate skills to the test, John partners with Stonehill and struggles to build a life sciences company profitable enough to find a cure for his kids. It’s an unconventional tactic to be sure, and it should’ve made for a uniquely intriguing film. Too bad.


Music Hall Jazz Cafe Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
If “Musick has Charms to soothe a savage Breast” (William Congreve, 1697), food, too, will smooth savage passions or normal grumpiness brought on by hunger pangs. Sandwiches come with big, perfect steak fries. The Cuban is crunchy and filling, with lots of pickle. Appetizers are another way to go, with my favorite being the skewered coconut shrimp: light, crisp, just a tad sweet. Chicken or beef quesadillas are served with a creditable guacamole as well as salsa and sour cream, and Cuban black bean soup, a mix of whole beans and purée, has a vinegar kick. There’s only one dinner-type entrée per se on the menu — those same three lamb chops, but less interestingly presented, with rice and green beans — and a couple of desserts. To buy tickets to a Jazz Café show, call Music Hall or see Ticketmaster. Food is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on weekends.