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Issue of 4/7/2010


Cover Story:



The first pitch
by Harry Atkins
The power and the glory of an Opening Day in Detroit

Features:

'let's call this' by John Sinclair
Baseball beautitude from days gone by

Double feature by Paul Knoll
The Burton Theatre does a cinematic pairing

Fly ball by Brian Smith
One writer learns the power of the baseball diamond

Neon angels by Don Waller
A first-person remembrance of the Runways and those Dee-troit connections

Play ball! — and an outpouring of memories by Metro Times readers
We put out the word we were looking for Tiger memories — and you had a lot of them

Reinventing the wheel, part one by William E. Ketchum III
Michigan's FrontStreet Records mixes old and new school to nab the hip-hop consumer

Strong-armed by Travis R. Wright
Ace pitcher Rick Porcello throws the Tigers into the future

Super fan by Curt Guyette
Here's a guy who stuck with the Tigers through famine and feast, and his blog and podcast prove it

Columns:

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Batter upgrade: MLB 2K10 hits a homer

Baseball jones by Paul Knoll (Couch Trip)
Two Detroit Tiger films that dovetail nicely together

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Canning courses, a restaurant supply open house and more ...

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on what's in our pages

Metro Retro by Michael Jackman (Metro Retro)
Looking back on 30 years of MT

Studies in cool by W. Kim Heron (Motor City Five)
Salim Washington on Miles, Trane, South Africa and coming home to Detroit

Mixed blessings by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Who's giving pols a sweet stay in Washington, D.C.?

Splitting greens by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Setting up a permitting process for wind turbines is no small task

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

Getting off base by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
On linking the national pastime with the broader culture

'Curing' a kink? by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
If your lover is GGG, she won't 'pathologize' your consensual turn-ons

Dagwoods galore by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
From wraps to rolls to panini and beyond, here’s a shortlist of sandwich greats

Greening our minds by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
How nature nurtures the brain

Reviews:

Music/Books:

As If We Were Prey - Michael Delp Reviewed by Travis R. Wright (Book)

Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) - The Imperial Dogs Reviewed by Brian Smith (Record)

Album - Girls Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

Stop Don't / Yes - Spitting Nickels Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Raw Power: Legacy Edition - Iggy & the Stooges Reviewed by Don Waller (Record)

Movies:

Clash of the Titans Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Up in Olympus, feuding bros Hades and Zeus are once again caught up in a cosmic dick-waving contest over how best to quiet earth’s rabble. Seems its citizens have stopped praying to the gods and are edging toward a full-scale revolt. If Liam Neeson’s gleaming armor doesn’t distract, you’ll learn that Hades plans to scare the mortals to death with his dreaded sea serpent and other nasties, whereas Zeus seeks to inspire faith with the aid of a hero, who just happens to be his half-human son Perseus (Sam Worthington), who was raised by a humble fisherman, unaware of his real parentage. And so begins the adventure, based on the cheesy original from 1981. Of course, any nerd worth his salt keeps a soft spot for that original Greek god showdown because the film was swan song for stop-motion legend Ray Harryhausen, a genius who made jittery little puppets into memorably epic beasts. As clumsy as such handmade effects may look today, they had a soul and wit that’s lacking in the new spiffed-up 3-D trickery you’ll see here. More's the pity.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Daniel Ellsberg was indeed once the most dangerous man in America — at least he was to those in the political power structure who had supported the Vietnam War and continued to push it at an unspeakable price. As a high-ranking Pentagon analyst, Ellsberg was one of the conflict’s architects, working alongside Defense Secretary Robert McNamara on an escalation strategy more concerned with mathematical efficiency than messy realities. For a long time he was a gung-ho jingoist, a former marine officer, he went so far as to personally lead combat missions as a civilian advisor, charging into the jungle, rifle in hand. Eventually, like most of the rest of the country, he had an epiphany that the war had been a terrible mistake, but he was actually in a position to do something about it. While soaking up the sun at the Rand Corporation, a think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., Ellsberg was still in the loop, but far out of sight of military brass, and began Xeroxing the thousands of pages of top secret documents he had access to, and began leaking them to the press in 1971. Those mountainous documents, dubbed “The Pentagon Papers” implicated several former presidents who all steered the nation headlong into the Vietnam disaster, through a long streak of mismanagement, lies, blunders and tragic hubris.

The Runaways Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Movie)
The movie even opens with singer Cheri Currie getting her first period, the menstrual blood running down her leg (lots of bodily fluids in this movie, by the way, which may or may not be “symbolic” and a “metaphor” for something). For many tastes, Fanning’s been too precocious as a child star. But while she’s somewhat softer and perhaps cuter than the real Currie was, Fanning is also real good here, making an audience actually care about parts of a story that originated in Neon Angel, Currie’s 1989 autobiography. The Runaways were also the first to come on as tough, oversexed vixens — albeit oversexed vixens who could actually play — much of that image the brainchild of concept Svengali Kim Fowley (portrayed by the scenery-chewing Michael Shannon). But from the Go-Go’s, the Bangles, the Pandoras and the Teenage Love Dolls straight through the whole riot grrl thing and right up to the Donnas and beyond, the Runaways will always be right near the top of the list of influences for all those bands, even if the group wasn’t really all that fantastic from a purely musical standpoint. Still, even as a pure teen flick in pop cultural terms, this certainly works better than something like the dreadful film version of Grease did. And as rock history, there’s actually a lot Sigismondi gets right (or at least better than many such films do), which we appreciate — even if it’s something as simple as getting the RCA logo correct on the David Bowie album when Currie lip-synchs to her favorite rock star’s “Lady Grinning Soul” at a school talent show. The scenes at Rodney’s English Disco are pretty spot-on as well (even if things have been condensed for convenience), right down to the two perfect portrayals of Rodney Bingenheimer by Keir O’Donnell, first as the decadent teen club’s proprietor and then later as an older DJ interviewing the now world-famous Jett on his KROQ radio show. The movie begins to lose steam after the girls hit Japan — where they’re treated like the Beatles — and things start to fall apart. It’s ironic that when Sigismondi’s screenplay finally has a chance to really explore the inner lives and personal turmoil of her two main characters, the film becomes somewhat tedious, although it picks up at the end once Jett has become a rock superstar, ultimately fulfilling the band’s promise and proving they were more than just sex tarts. It could’ve been worse, especially with Carrot Top in the role! Make no mistake about it, though — Stewart and Fanning are the runaway stars here.

Restaurants/Places:

Joe Bologna Trattoria Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Joe Bologna and his wife Adele opened their place in 1985, and ever since have served cuisine scores well on the cost-benefit scale, with none of their substantial main courses costing more than $16, while the appetizers average around $8. Pizza is available in a variety of formats, including often-inventive thin-crusted individual pies, such as Red’s with red clam sauce, red pepper and red onion. Even better, the reasonably priced wine list is buttressed by periodic specials that feature a handful of intriguing varietals from boutique vineyards at $20.

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