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Issue of 9/16/2009

Cover Story:

Secrets of the city
by Travis R. Wright
Detroit's hidden art spots down where the odds are stacked


'Cuts right into your chest' by Lee Gardner
Director Davis Guggenheim on the power of rock guitar

2739 Edwin by Travis R. Wright
Steve Panton’s Detroit by an 'outsider'

Abreact Performance Space by Travis R. Wright
'There once was a little theater ...'

By the time he got to Woodstock by Muruga Booker
One Detroit musician’s odyssey from Six Mile to Yasgur’s farm

Detroit Fly House by Travis R. Wright
What's that in the air?

Dome sweet dome by Sandra Svoboda
Silverdome is on the block with no minimum bid; maybe someone will want to blow it up

News of the weird by Jeff Milo
Johnny Headband knows weirdness and how it’s all in the eye (and ear?) of the beholder

Read It Out Loud! by Serene Dominic
It's Kiss Alive! (again) for anyone who's avoided KISS for 35 years because they were too busy reading!

Sister city calls by Amanda Le Claire
Cross-border communication using a monster-sized slogan, an enormous projector, and an office building

The Burton Theatre by Travis R. Wright
Projecting Corridor's future

The Cave by Travis R. Wright
A third floor cavern exhibits concepts and confidence

The love shack by Laurie Smolenski
A dude named Beer nabs an old carriage house and the Woodbridge neighborhood might never be the same

The writing on the wall by Detroitblogger John
Stylized ad painters keep a vanishing tradition alive … but don't call 'em 'wall dogs'


Comics (Comics)

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Re-evaluating Merlot, a stolen smoker and more

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

David and Goliath on Bishop Street by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Foreclosure fight takes it to the banks and servicers ... and wins

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

They lie, all the time by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why we should feel sorry for Joe Wilson

Porno problem by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
I don't want him looking at porn, but the idea turns me on

Celebrating tofu by Henry Hong (The Mixing Bowl)
It's more than a meat swap, it's a delicacy in its own right



74-76 - Destroy All Monsters Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Slaughterhouse Reviewed by William E. Ketchum III (Record)


Whiteout Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Based on Greg Rucka’s comic-book series, Whiteout wants to be an exciting snowbound whodunit with Beckinsale’s Carrie Stetko, the marshal of a South Pole science base, tracking down an icepick-wielding murderer. Despite a raging winter storm, plenty of claustrophobic locations and a hearty handful of suspects (though it’s not hard to guess who’s pulling the strings), the mystery and characters are surprisingly conventional, barely rising to the level of a good CSI episode. Credited to four different screenwriters, the script smacks of written-by-committee dialogue and plot developments.

9 Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Set in a spooky post-apocalyptic cityscape, an alternate-reality where distinctly Euro architecture mingles with menacing high-tech robotic horrors, the film's conceit is that the humans are dead, and the last resistance left against mechanical killers are nine tiny, conscious rag dolls, imbued by their scientist creator with clashing personalities and a vague sense of carrying on humanity’s unfinished mission. They look a bit like moving hacky sacks, but with large round eyes that helpfully light up in the dark ruins. Their leader is One (Christopher Plummer), a nihilistic, doubting old coot, but the real visionary is Nine (Elijah Wood), a resourceful and gutsy little guy who finds a way to stop the spider-like villains, but only with great risk to himself and his friends.

Beeswax Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Set in the funky back alleys of hipster Austin, Texas, the movie lazily follows a set of twins, Jeannie and Lauren (real-life sisters Tilly and Maggie Hatcher), who have the same face but couldn’t be more different. Maggie Hatcher Lauren is an athletic and freewheeling social butterfly, while Jeannie is wheelchair-bound and a studious vintage clothing store owner. When faced with a legal threat from her business partner, Jeannie retreats to the relative safety of her law school student ex-lover Merrill (Alex Karpovsky), while Lauren simply retreats from anything that seems like a hassle, scary stuff like a steady boyfriend or career prospects. The plot’s so slight it doesn’t cast a shadow, but the obliqueness of these mundane struggles leaves plenty of room for the viewer to fill in with imagined details from their own lives.

Der Baader Meinhof Complex Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
For the first half-hour, Baader sets you up to believe that you’ll be following the moral and ethical erosion of middle-class Ulrike Meinhof, as her depression gives way to existential anarchy. But as her sullenness deepens, her already internal character becomes less interesting, so we’re left with the amoral but charismatic Baader and Ensslin, whose Teutonic Manson family of misguided, anti-establishment youth becomes obsessed with revolution, death and destruction. It's sprawling but shallow, intellectually satisfying but emotionally barren.

Lorna's Silence Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)

Amreeka Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Palestinian single mom Muna (the engaging Nisreen Faour) moves to suburban Illinois with her teenage son Fadi (Melka Muallem) to be with her embittered sister Raghda’s (Hiam Abbass) successful family. Set at the beginning of the Iraq War, it isn’t long before the families are dealing with the anti-Muslim discrimination, even though they aren’t Muslim. Dabis’ film engages with its warm heart, likable leads, and sly humor. In particular, there’s a clever allusion to Israeli-Palestinian partition as Muna’s young nieces divide their bedroom with tape. Never giving in to victimization or self-righteousness, Muna endures her marginalization and misfortunes with a fiercely open heart and mind. She may not always make the smartest decisions but her intentions are generous and true. Both Faour and Abbass bring a rich sense of identity and affection to their sister characters, making clear their strengths and flaws. Furthermore, Dabis roots her story firmly in the Arab immigrant experience, keeping a steady hand on their perspectives and attitudes.

It Might Get Loud Reviewed by Lee Gardner (Movie)
Davis Guggenheim won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, and has turned his talents toward another big, potentially unwieldy subject: the lives and work of the three musicians. He takes the Edge back to Mount Temple, the Dublin secondary school where U2 formed, and films Jimmy Page wandering the halls of Headley Grange, the estate where Zeppelin created iconic albums such as Led Zeppelin IV and Physical Graffiti. Jack White’s 19th-century-undertaker affect and laborious atavism are cut by a ferocious work ethic and undeniable passion: at one point he talks about his teenage bedroom, which was so crammed with musical instruments and equipment that he moved his bed out and slept on the floor.


Hygrade Delicatessen Restaurant Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
You can’t walk in without thinking “time warp,” what with the diner chairs with their sparkly blue, red and gold seats, the counter with its low stools and the motherly and well-informed waitresses who really do seem to care. Fifteen-year veteran waitress Linda Holmes presides over an eclectic crowd that might include an elderly blond gentleman in a suit, a couple of African-American dads with their small sons, lady office workers — no hipsters yet. The Hygrade Deli started 55 years ago in the old Western Market that sprawled across the 18th and Michigan area. In the 1960s, original owner Nate Stutz moved the deli west to the present location at Michigan Avenue and West Grand Boulevard. Thirty-seven years ago, the Hygrade got traffic from downtown as well as the neighborhood. Today Litt says his store is a “best-kept secret.” Not everything on the Hygrade menu is of equal quality. But if you order corned beef with sauerkraut, or house-made soups, or a traditional breakfast, you won’t go wrong. Hygrade has quality corned beef, 400 pounds of it served each week. It’s by far the deli’s biggest seller.