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Issue of 4/15/2009


Cover Story:



Hard times
by Curt Guyette
Introducing our New Depression Survival Guide

Features:

30 artists, 3 hours, 1 winner by Travis R. Wright
The Art Battle hits the Russell Industrial Center

Collective efforts by Curt Guyette
Fighting the slump with communal living and urban farming

Extreme survival by Nathan Michael Stemen & Kelly Trevino
Which TV host is best equipped to help us through hard times?

Framing the issues by Metro Times staff
Peering back at the Depression through film

Going green, saving cash by Curt Guyette
Ghost loads and other tips on cutting your power bill

Hard lines by Curt Guyette
Tough times captured in print

Jail Guitar Doors by Michael Jackman
Local punk all-stars gather to celebrate (and hopefully release) Graystone Hall's Cary Safarian

Key insights by Metro Times staff
Music inspired by an era

Music you can kiss! by Brian Smith
Showing support on National Record Store Day

Prole pulp by Michael Jackman
Literary lessons from Detroit in the Dirty '30s

Rock 'n' roll jobs lost vs. jobs created in the 'New Depression' by Serene Dominic
Who's made lemonade out of lemons and who's just an out-of-work lemonhead

Safety nets by Sandra Svoboda
A quick primer on using social programs

Terrible Ted dukes it out by Bill Holdship
The Nuge reunites the original Amboy Dukes for this year's Detroit Music Awards

Under the hammer by Wendy Case
Anvil's 'Lips' talks the Coop, bras and panties

Columns:

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Parker and Stone 'sharkwatch' and a repo musical

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)

Jeffrey Morgan's Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
The fastest music critic with dial-up

In tent city by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Local activists to make Grand Circus Park their home

Municipal bankruptcies? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
It could happen here

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

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
Play to pay?

Used pol for sale by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
One politician, slightly tarnished, will take best offer

Private eyes by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Is it really wrong to video my hot roommate having sex?

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Big World - Mary Miller Reviewed by Norene Smith (Book)

Goodnight Oslo - Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Movies:

Observe and Report Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen) heads security at a suburban mall, where a flasher has started terrorizing shoppers in the parking lot. The delusional and likeably creepy mama’s boy sees it as an opportunity to show his law-enforcement skills and land the job of his dreams as a police officer. Even better, Brandi, a vapid makeup counter girl (Anna Farris) is accosted, giving him access to the object of his desire. Unfortunately, the arrival of an arrogant investigating detective (Ray Liotta) spins Ronnie between psychotic competitiveness and sycophantic posturing.

12 Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Much like writer Reginald Rose’s 1955 liberal, kitchen-sink drama, 12 uses a seemingly open-and-shut case — a Chechnyan teen accused of murdering his adoptive Russian father — as a window into the cultural mind-sets and mores of the 12 men who must decide his guilt or innocence. But, unlike the original, the accused’s life is no longer on the line. While life imprisonment’s no vacation (especially, one imagines, in a Russian prison), without the specter of death hanging over the boy’s head, the stakes aren’t as high or urgent.

Hannah Montana: The Movie Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Miley Cyrus stars as Miley Stewart, a gawky teen girl who dons a blond wig and becomes singing sensation Hannah Montana, a superstar character Cyrus also performs in real life, and whose image is plastered on all manner of posters, toys, pencil boxes and Trapper Keepers as far as the eye can see. This despite that she looks like a Muppet with its face squished against a windshield. Miley’s dad Robby Ray is conveniently played by Miley’s real dad, Billy Ray. The flimsy plot finds Miley getting way too cozy in the Hollywood lifestyle, her alter ego; therefore Pop imposes a two-week timeout back on the farm. So it’s off to pastoral Crowley Corners, Tenn., an idyllic country dreamland of lush, rolling hills, tall grass and big dollops of folksy homespun wisdom doled out by Grandma (Margo Martindale). There’s also a hunky cowboy with whom Miley can flirt, and a comely farmhand (Melora Hardin) for Dad to mack on, in between impromptu front-porch sing-alongs.

Mysteries of Pittsburgh Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Seemingly assembled from the remnants of better movies, but with its own weirdo energy, Mysteries is undermined by the chalkboard blankness of its hero, played listlessly by handsome cipher Jon Foster (The Informers). The son of a tasteful, upscale crime boss (Nick Nolte), Art Bechstein is a college grad headed for a prepackaged stockbroker career who decides to spend his last free summer idling at home. He takes a mindless clerk job at the discount Book Barn, where he bangs Mena Suvari all day in the stockroom. But he’s the type of drip who’d rather chase after the blandly gorgeous Jane, (Sienna Miller) — the sort of aloof blond Shiksa goddess who’s been haunting the wet dreams of mushy literary protagonists forever. Jane is only one corner of a romantic triangle, which is completed by her boyfriend Cleveland (Peter Sarsgaard), a charming, omnisexual thug who has a bizarre psychological and erotic hold on Art.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil Reviewed by Wendy Case (Movie)
For Steve “Lips” Ludlow and Robb Reiner of Toronto metal monsters Anvil, no amount of dashed career promises, failed record sales or hand-to-hand combat (these two like to manifest their “creative differences” physically) were going to keep them from the teenage dream. In 1974, the two made a pact to rock their way to the top — even if took the rest of their natural lives. Amazingly, it has. And the new documentary by band friend and fan Sacha Gervasi, follows the group from its basement beginnings through its crusade to release the 2007 album, This Is Thirteen.

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