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Issue of 9/2/2009


Cover Story:



Family affair
by W. Kim Heron
Tracing generations of jazz at this year's fest

Features:

Bars and strips by Travis R. Wright
Villain turned hero paints blue collars as capes

Going down by Curt Guyette
Detroit isn't the only city on the fiscal skids

Home free by Detroitblogger John
How an abandoned, inner-city apartment building became a home for one Detroit family

Jazz fest highlights by W. Kim Heron
Some high notes among fest offerings

Life lesson by W. Kim Heron
A tribute to Eric Dolphy — years in the making

The last king of swing by W. Kim Heron
Gerald Wilson paints his hometown in sound

Time's still on her side by Bill Holdship
Irma Thomas brings the soul to this year's Jazz Festival

Tragic beauty by Doug Coombe
Canadian emosters Moneen hijack Detroit's fallen grace to backdrop its latest video

Where jazz meets hip hop by W. Kim Heron
Detroit-born Karriem Riggins grooves at the corner

Columns:

Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
A narcoleptic challenger, a BBC best gets pulled, and Jeff Goldblum is Willem Dafoe's death-camp dog

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Special dinners, books and beverages, and Faygo wins an honor

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
More on Bing's bus plan, and posts galore on art-school romp

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Tad Weed's Ypsilanti garage studio

Still burning by News Hits staff (News Hits)
You mean the incinerator's still going?

The art of victory by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Grosse Pointe art dust-up gets a First Amendment win

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

Defend real Americans by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Anyone who seeks safety and freedom in America is one of us

Ups, downs, changes by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Breakups, sexchanges and ear kinks

Slices of heaven by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Our short list of notable pizza parlors

Reviews:

Music/Books:

A Cultural Dictionary of Punk: 1974-1982 - Nicholas Rombes Reviewed by Bill Holdship (Book)

From the Future - Lord Scrummage Reviewed by Chris Handyside (Record)

Movies:

Unmistaken Child Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
Since the age of seven, Tibetan monk Tenzin Zopa has been the companion, servant and student of Geshe Lama Konchong. When his master dies, Tenzin must embark on the most important journey of his life, to seek out Konchong’s reincarnated form. First time documentary-maker Nati Baratz takes a no-frills, fly-on-the-wall approach to Tenzin’s quest, capturing the intriguing rituals and practices of Buddhist culture, while examining faith in a way that is as respectful as it is skeptical. The opening title cards, which inform us of Tenzin’s two decades of service and the death of his master, are followed by the statement: “Tenzin feels terribly alone.” It’s here that Baratz reveals his underlying thesis: Is Tenzin simply following the demands of his religion or, having devoted the majority of his life to one man, desperately seeking to get him back? Where Baratz’s doc missteps, however, is in its all-too-brief focus on the boy’s parents once he’s picked by the monks as the “unmistaken child.” It's a bit much to witness a crying little boy as he’s left with strangers, and to leave the impact of that decision unexamined.

Taking Woodstock Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Taking Woodstock is another tiny tugboat flying the freak flag of baby boomer mythology, but it’s got an unusual captain in Ang Lee, who can’t quite keep it from capsizing into swirls of colorful mandalas, nostalgia, groovy tunes and, of course, naked hippie chicks! At least the movie finds a fresh protagonist in geeky, inhibited art lover Elliot Teichberg (Demitri Martin). He’s so devoted to his downtrodden parents and their dilapidated Catskills “resort” motel that he moves from Manhattan back to sleepy Bethel, N.Y., and even heads the chamber of commerce just to help. Elliot isn’t a hippie, but he lets an avant-garde theater troupe live in the barn, and when a nearby town rejects plans for a big outdoor rock festival, he’s quick to welcome hordes of long-hairs with open arms. This influx of peace, love and music collides head-on with the previous generation’s bitterness, personified by Ellie’s mother (Imelda Staunton), a miserable, persecuted Depression survivor who squeezes pennies till they bleed. She’s major buzzkill, as is her sad-sack husband, who shambles around like a broken mule. Some of the adults are hipper, like dairy farmer Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy), who lets the festival use his grazing land for cheap, but plays hardball when it’s clear that hundreds of thousands of kids are en route. Far out, man.

Restaurants/Places:

Antonio's in the Park Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Antonio’s is surprisingly down-market for Grosse Pointe (even the G.P. next door to Detroit). The Parmesan comes in powdered form. Meatballs are available with your spaghetti (“add $1.95”). Salt and pepper shakers are diner style, despite the white linens. Desserts are delivered by Sysco. Although the dishes are authentic Italian ones, mostly, they bow to American preferences. The space is nice enough: two long rooms with upholstered armchairs, a skylight in the tin ceiling and dark wood paneling, alongside a long bar. The best dish we tried was a soup called vedova, a rather thick minestrone, strongly tomato-based, with a dollop of ricotta, some good basil pesto and a poached egg. The menu is long; my advice is to pick the simplest choices. If the dish is only supposed to have one or two notes, you won’t be disappointed. Veal piccata, with just lemon, butter and garlic, may be a better choice than veal Sorrento, with five more ingredients.

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