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Issue of 7/15/2009


Cover Story:



The Sloshed issue
by Michael Jackman
A spirited appreciation of what's on tap in metro Detroit

Features:

Brew it yourself by Todd Abrams
Home brewing pays off with flavor, savings and bragging rights

Bubbling up by Michael Jackman
A success story, Michigan-made beer pours it on

Diving for pearls by Michael Jackman
Why Tom's Tavern may be Detroit's most historic dive

Etiquette of the dive bar by Michael Jackman
Swill in the blue-collar bar of your dreams — with 50 percent less class tension

How to argue about wine by Michael Jackman
Seriously, though: A guide to some hot-button issues

Less fussy, more fun by Michael Jackman
Despite its roots, wine grows casual

Life on Mars by Bill Holdship
A man called Question Mark

Mixing it up by Michael Jackman
At 28, Eric Welsh is master of the old-line cocktail

Motor City satisfaction by Bill Holdship
What community spirit, Democracy Now and the Grande Ballroom are to superstar producer Don Was

Neville Neville land by Don Waller
The forever young Aaron on Nat, Aretha, Hank and the man with the tear in his voice

Opinions are like ... by Travis R. Wright
If ill-researched opinion is a Web hallmark, how does Yelp do it?

Pour Some Sugar on Me by Michael Jackman
Sweet drinks, loud beats and an insane party at P.Y. Stix

Six signs you're in a serious cocktail bar by Todd Abrams
How to tell the bartender means business

World beaters by W. Kim Heron
20 years of musical invaders

Columns:

Backlot by Jeff Meyers (Backlot)
Rob Reiner directs a coming-of-age story in Ann Arbor

Cheat Code by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Busting ghosts was never so easy

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Mike White (Couch Trip)
Quentin Tarantino gets all fanboy over pubes and boobs. So?

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

Creepy cops by Jim McFarlin (Idiot Boxing)
Shady heroes and villains grace Dark Blue; Detroit native rises on Engvall

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on Michael Jackson, AT&T and 'smooth jazz'

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
Who needs Casey Kasem when you have the captain?

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Michael Zadoorian's basement bar mixes up style

Innocence regained? by News Hits staff (News Hits)
After nine years, new trial ordered in shooting case

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

GM revived by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
It's early days yet but looking better

Get off the cross by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Oh, stop whining. There's no god. Have some fun for a change.

Hot off the press by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Recently reviewed restaurants from our database

Back to black by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
What a CNN special, coverage of MJ's passing and a 401(k) study says about the state of African-Americans

'Dotten' the eyes by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins squabble, name-call and do, um, Wyandotte

Reviews:

Music/Books:

Middle Cyclone - Neko Case Reviewed by Tim Grierson (Record)

The Sugar People - The Sugar People Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Wilco (the album) - Wilco Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Record)

Movies:

I Love You, Beth Cooper Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Charisma-free, thirtyish actor Paul Rust plays nerd Denis Cooverman, a career nebbish whose valedictory address calls out the popular clique and the bullies, and then declares his undying love for the golden-headed cheerleader Beth Cooper, played flatly by chipmunk-cheeked Hayden Panettiere. This of course puts a huge target on his back, but at least he has best-pal Rich (Jack T. Carpenter), a wisecracking flunky from the Jon Cryer school of wacky sidekicks, cursed with the annoying habit of constantly name-checking better movies and directors. Bemused by Cooverman’s affection, Cooper and her slut crew crash his lame party and a wild, wacked night of pranks, nudity, life lessons and property damage ensues. Joy.

Séraphine Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Dramatizing the agonies and ecstasies of artistic invention is never easy. Thankfully, Martin Provost proves far too humble and studious a filmmaker to rely on crass sentimentality or hysterically cinematic moments in Séraphine. Instead, he’s quietly empathetic in his depiction of avant-garde “primitive” painter Séraphine Louis (Yolande Moreau), the religiously devout housekeeper who, discovered by art collector Wilhelm Uhde (Ulrich Tukur), created brilliantly abstracted paintings of flowers, fruit and trees. It is the on-again, off-again relationship — part business, part friendship — of the gay German patron and psychologically fragile prodigy that guides this impressively tasteful and beautifully filmed story. But while Provost’s detached, almost academic, approach to artistic martyrdom may be aesthetically acute, it’s also psychologically and metaphorically inert.

A Hard Day's Night Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Movie)
Andrew Sarris called it “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals” in the Village Voice upon its release back in 1964 — but this original Beatles romp is so much more than that. Besides, such hyperbole makes it sound too serious and solemn for a movie that’s this much fun. The script perfectly captured the charismatic personalities and “characters” of the Fab Four, setting the mold for their individual public personas for the rest of their career.

Bruno Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
The movie is a loose conglomeration of skits, interviews, street theater and stunts held together on the premise that gay fashion reporter and diva Bruno — host of Austrian TV’s “uber influential” Funkyzeit — has come to America seeking fame, fortune and even more fabulousness. Where Borat sometimes took swings at unwitting bystanders, Bruno’s first half is aimed squarely at deserving charlatans including talent agents, psychics, designers and media consultants getting it squarely between the eyes. The parody of Hollywood as a lair of vacuous dolts isn’t fresh, but it’s still rewarding seeing celeb-obsessed twits and sycophants get theirs, even if some of them are in on it. Paula Abdul couldn’t possibly be so rock stupid as to use a Mexican day laborer as a piece of furniture on camera and not know it’s a put-on? Could she?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Of all the Potter films so far, David Yates’ second stab at the series is clearly the most human, focusing on the flirtings and yearnings of Harry’s pals Ron and Hermione, while deepening the bond between Professor Dumbledore (the always terrific Michael Gambon) and the boy wizard (Daniel Radcliffe). The comic interludes are light and engaging, while a slowly unfolding mystery involving Hogwort’s new potions professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is suitably intriguing (if a tad undramatic). The biggest problem with Half-Blood is that Kloves’ script mimics the novel’s highly episodic nature, delivering what feels like a two-and-a-half hour second act. Worse, he inexplicably abandons the book’s pyrotechnical finale, letting the story peter out with promises of more to come in the sequels. With little setup, few instances of real danger and an understated climax, newcomers will be hopelessly lost and even, at times, bored. Despite some incredible individual sequences, Half Blood is a gorgeously shot placeholder film that may satisfy stalwarts but struggles to define its dramatic relevancy in the series.

Restaurants/Places:

Loccino Italian Grill and Bar Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
Loccino, which seats 275, is far more attractive than its pricey but staid predecessor, and it's also far more accessible as most entrées come in at under $20. Despite its relative elegance, the owners call it “family casual.” Chef Jun, who worked at Lelli’s and La Dolce Vita, presides over the kitchen, which covers most of the Italian bases with a slight overemphasis on creamy sauces and breaded dishes. The mains come with a nicely dressed iceberg house salad, which, alas, includes a chunk of not-in-season tomato. Splurge and pay an extra buck for well-crafted Caesar or Greek salads. The chicken and veal preparations appear in comparable guises with veal $3 more than chicken. Loccino’s chicken piccata with capers and mushrooms in a delicate lemon-wine sauce merits the local award it has won. But there is more Italian cuisine under the Pasta Di Casa rubric such as frutti de mare consisting of shrimps, scallops, and mussels, over linguini in a surprising lemon-cream sauce. Loccino’s intelligent wine list covers both the Old and New World with a handful of interesting bottles for under $30. On Mondays, all wine is sold at 50 percent off.

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