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JULY 2011

The Washtenaw County Events and Entertainment Monthly

matt and kim tally hall frita batidos shadow art fair

ann arbor ART FAIR


4907 CLOVERLANE DR. • YPSILANTI. MI 48197 • 888-785-6459

To scan code search "bar code scanner" in the app store of your smartphone

4685 HUNT CLUB DR. • YPSILANTI. MI 48197 • 888-239-3791

two 24 hour fitness centers indoor sport courts year-round heated indoor pool w/d in your home

walk out patios high tech laundry lounge open 24 hours private garages & storage two wifi internet cafes *Student and Preferred Employee discounts available



[the buzz] 06 08

Eddie Vedder, Death Cab for Cutie & more Shadow Art Fair, Local Fireworks

[scene] 10 11

Matt Altruda Tally Hall


12 Matt and Kim 20 Ann Arbor Art Fair Map 21 Ann Arbor Art Fair 22 Ann Arbor Art Fair: Xavier Nuez 26 Ann Arbor Art Fair Artist Profiles 27 IAMDYNAMITE

[foodie] 15 16

A2 Art Fair + pg 20

Xavier Nuez + pg 22

Adventures in Local Food The Dish: Frita Batidos & Gratzi

[around you] 18

Event Calendar

[review] 29 33

Rate it!

Kick Some App

[depot town rag] 37

Elvis Lives in Ypsi

Matt and Kim + pg 12

Gratzi + pg 16

+ Cover photo by Xavier Nuez PUBLISHER + tim adkins


[editor in chief] amanda slater [writers] amanda slater, tim adkins, stefanie stauffer, paul kitti, joseph stromski, tom dodd, marissa mcnees, aimee mandle, joshua trent, mary simkins, david nassar [intern] chris mcneill


[art director] joey brandt [photographers] bruno postigo, kristin slater


[business development] bilal saeed/ [account executive] rob smothers // spencer symington //

iSPY + The Washtenaw County Events and Entertainment Guide Pakmode Media + Marketing 124 Pearl st. Suite 307, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Office: 734.484.0349 Fax: 734.484.0349 Sales: 734.276.0876 @mispymag

Š 2011, iSPY. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of Pakmode Media + Marketing in accordance with our legal statement. iSPY is free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. For additional copies you must be granted written permission, with a possible associated cost.

An elegant Italian restaurant with distinct style Featuring regional Italian cuisine and wine. Luxuriate in the visual appeal of the beautifully painted Renaissance style mural, indulge in the purely pleasurable atmosphere and savor the aromatic flavors of Italian cuisine.

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Named one of the most romantic restaurants in Ann Arbor

t Live music played by strolling minstrels t Beautiful outdoor patio in downtown Ann Arbor t New specialty drink menu t Complimentary roasted olives 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI



eddie vedder// fox theatre/ june 26

dale earnhardt jr. jr.// st. andrews/ june 25


<<<<<<<<< BY MARY SIMKINS Detroit’s Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, also known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., will be at St. Andrews on June 25. With their latest album, “It’s a Corporate World” (released in June 2011), already receiving praise, their live show is even more intriguing. Despite their tonguein-cheek name, the music of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is sincere and serious, and the duo works

hard to provide a unique live experience for their audience. Known to take the stage in fireproof racing suits, the band enjoys juxtaposing a silly personality with complex and engaging beats, loops and lyrics. And, in case you were wondering, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has given his blessing to the band and expressed his enjoyment of their music.

mayer hawthorne// motor city casino/ june 24 BY AIMEE MANDLE >>>>>>

While Andrew Mayer Cohen may not sound familiar, you might better know this singer/songwriter as Mayer Hawthorne—Motown doo-wop extraordinaire. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a hip-hop career, under the alias Haircut, but ended up as a full-time singer. So how did he get his stage name? He took his middle name and the street he grew up on, linking them together to create his soul persona. His first singles, “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” and “When I Said Goodbye” were released at the end of 2008. He then put out his debut album, “A Strange Arrangement,” in September 2009 and has been touring ever since. Hawthorne will be making his way back to the Detroit area and performing at 6 p.m. on June 24 at the Sound Board at MotorCity Casino

As one of the most prolific touring bands over the last twenty years, Pearl Jam has recorded nine studio albums, played to sold out arenas around the world, and has been perhaps the most outspoken, sociallyconscious band of their generation. In 2007, frontman Eddie Vedder showed his solo-prowess, penning the critically-acclaimed soundtrack to Sean Penn’s film, “Into the Wild.” This June, Vedder will embark on a seventeen-date solo tour in support of his second solo album, the appropriately titled “Ukulele Songs,” featuring original tracks and covers performed on the uke. While the album features a variety of relatively low-key love songs, there’s no doubt that Vedder’s powerful voice and enigmatic stagepresence will translate into a show that is not to be missed by any diehard PJ fan. According to reviews from the first couple of tour dates, in addition to tracks off of both solo albums, Vedder will also be playing stripped down versions of Pearl Jam classics and may even include some of his favorite Dylan and Beatles covers. Vedder’s solo tour wraps up July 15 in his adopted hometown of Seattle, but you can catch him June 26 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. The show starts at 7:30, and a handful of tickets are still available, starting at $72.

chris bathgate// the ark/ july 15 BY MARY SIMKINS >>>>>> Believe it or not, local folk sensation Chris Bathgate got his start in a heavy metal band. His evolution into a Michigan folk staple began with his solo career in 2001. Bathgate solidified his reputation as a local music icon with his widely praised album, “A Cork Tale Wake.” His latest album, “Salt Year” was released in April 2011, and according to Bathgate’s website, the album “promises to be Chris Bathgate’s most mature and fully-rounded statement to date” and is an album he describes as being “about ‘Love vs. Time.’” Bathgate will be at the Ark on July 15 with Abigail Stauffer. Tickets are $15 if purchased online at


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frontier ruckus// blind pig/ july 16 <<<<<<< BY MARY SIMKINS Michigan folk darlings Frontier Ruckus returned from their European tour in June to a busy tour schedule in the United States. With all of its members hailing from small towns throughout Michigan, Frontier Ruckus encapsulates the Midwest spirit with a distinctive lyrical passion, and their Michigan shows are always made extra special with an air of homecoming. The band will be at the Blind Pig on Saturday, July 16, along with Appleseed Collective and Robert Ellis. Tickets are priced between $10 and $12 and can be purchased at


LAWN 4-PACK ONLY $54 Tickets at, The Palace and DTE Energy Music Theatre Box Offices and . Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.



death cab for cutie// fox theatre/ july 28


With the release of their latest album, “Codes and Keys,” critics agree that indie rock favorite, Death Cab for Cutie, only gets better with age. Named after a song about teenage tragedy that was performed by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in the late sixties, over the last 14 years, Death Cab has made a habit of reveling in obscure references and profound, multi-layered lyrical prose that is laced with hip beats, haunting hooks and melancholy vocals. Any doubting voices tempted to assert that the band’s coolness might have dwindled over time

were silenced following the recent release of their “Home is a Fire” music video, featuring street artist Shepard Fairey plastering song lyrics throughout Los Angeles. Not only does Death Cab still have “it,” but they are still continuing to innovate and, rather than just keeping up, continue to set the pace in the indie and alternative rock scene. Death Cab for Cutie will be performing at 7:30 p.m. on July 28 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at www.




Tickets at, The Palace and DTE Energy Music Theatre Box Offices and . Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

JULY 2011





shadow art fair




Everyone loves a good fireworks show on a warm summer night. Celebrate the Fourth of July by checking out a few of these local fireworks displays:


The time is upon us for another Shadow Art Fair. Created and organized by the Michigan Design Militia, the event will be held from noon to midnight on Saturday, July 16 at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. With around 40 local vendors, the mission of the fair is to promote and support local artists and designers and foster a sense of community among all who attend. The Michigan Design Militia (MIDMI) is comprised of Mark Maynard, Jennifer Albaum, Molly Mast, Timothy Furstnau, Chris Sandon and Melissa Dettloff. According to the Shadow Art Fair website, when the consignment shop where they worked closed, they “decided to get together to see if [they] could help each other and the local community of independent artists by sharing [their] resources and experiences.” What they ended up creating was the Shadow Art Fair— an unconventional “art fair” that has been a favorite local event since its inception. Do not come expecting a typical arts and crafts show – as Mark Maynard asserts in his blog (, “We do go out of our way to involve people who will be fucking with the normal craft fair buyer/seller dynamic.” In the past, artists have “fucked with” the craft show dynamic by writing live haikus, painting hideous live portraits and serving gumbo with hugs. This year’s fair will feature glass artists, jewelry designers, The Lakeshore Family Festival Fireworks When: July 1, 2, 3, 10:15 p.m. Where: 2500 Lakeshore Drive (Over Ford Lake) Price: $5 per car, $2 walk-ins Manchester Fireworks Display When: July 3, 10 p.m. Where: Carr Park (600 W. Main Street) Price: Free Hudson Mills Metropark Fireworks When: July 3, 10 p.m. Where: Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 N. Territorial Road) Price: Vehicle Entry Permit ($25 for annual permit, $5 for day pass)

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Plymouth Township Fireworks When: July 3, 10:30 p.m. Where: Township Park (46640 Ann Arbor Trail) Price: Free Gibraltar July 4th Festival When: July 4, dusk Where: Parsons Elementary School (14473 Middle Gibraltar Road) Price: Free Westland Summer Festival When: July 4, dusk Where: Westland City Hall grounds Price: Free (other festival activities may have a fee)

photographers and a furniture designer (just to name a few). Vendors must submit an application and be approved by the judging committee to secure a booth at the fair. In keeping with the unconventional spirit of the Shadow Art Fair, there will be several out-of-the-box vendors present as well. One such organization is called Cuba Skate, founded by recent University of Michigan grads Miles Jackson and Lauren Bradley. As Jackson and Bradley state on their website ( “We want to bring with us skateboards, clothes, shoes, DVDs, CDs, magazines, iPods, headphones, really anything that Cubans don’t have access to. We are so lucky to have these resources at our fingertips here in the U.S. and we only hope that by making trips down to Cuba, we can make a difference in their lives.” The CubaSkate booth will not be selling art, but raising awareness and funds for their endeavor. So why have it at a brewery? This question is best answered by the simple equation on the event’s website, “Beer + Art = Fun.” The Michigan Design Militia also explains that a laid back location is key in promoting a relaxed and informal atmosphere where guests can spend a leisurely time hanging out and talking to artists …while, of course, drinking delicious beer. Admission is not free – the cost, as always, is two pennies. This fee, combined with the selling of special Shadow Brews is the only profit made by the event’s organizers. Most of the money raised at the Shadow Art Fair goes toward the production of the next Shadow event, and whatever is leftover goes into a fund to support local art initiatives. If you are under 21 and wish to attend the event, a parent must accompany you for the duration of your attendance. For more information, visit Willow Metropark Fireworks When: July 4, 10 p.m. Where: Willow Metropark (17845 Savage Road) Price: Vehicle Permit ($25 for an annual permit, $5 for day pass) Woodhaven Uncle Sam Jam When: July 8, dusk Where: Civic Center Park (21869 West Road) Price: Free (other event activities may have fee) Roar On The River When: July 23, dusk Where: Elizabeth Park (4461 Elizabeth Drive) Price: Free (other event activities may have a fee)




From the brick walkway of Nickels Arcade to the 107.1 broadcast tower, rising local bands and aspiring street musicians are hard at work making sure that Ann Arbor’s soundtrack is never silent. As a result, one can hardly pass through Ann Arbor without getting an earful of some of the best music the area has to offer. It’s a reality that all who call this city their home have either grown to love or at least embrace. Music is largely what defines this city, and passionate people like Matt Altruda are making sure the definition sticks. As a dedicated band manager, promoter, booking agent and radio host, you could say Altruda is one of the engineers behind the city’s soundtrack. But it wasn’t until he found himself laid off from his job at Borders that he made the choice to act on his passion for music. “I just decided that I wanted to follow my dreams more and work in the music industry,” Altruda recalls. “I started managing the Macpodz by luck—almost just by stumbling upon them, and I kept on growing, following my love for music and trying to make a career out of it.” Since then, Altruda has booked stages for the Sonic Lunch music series as well


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as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park, raised awareness within the community about local bands and events and has begun hosting Tree Town Sound, a radio program on 107.1 that showcases music from Washtenaw County artists. “I really want Tree Town Sound to be a destination. I want people to be sitting on their porch drinking Oberon and listening to Tree Town Sound. I want people making dinner with their family listening to Tree Town Sound,” says Altruda. “Music brings the community together like nothing I’ve ever seen because it makes the people feel like they’re a part of something. The goal of Tree Town Sound is to showcase amazing Michigan music, have people listen to it and say, ‘This is really good. I want to go out and support this. I want to become a part of this.’” Airing every Sunday at 6 p.m., Tree Town Sound features a dose of the best new local music, in-studio conversations with rising artists and a few words from one of the most knowledgeable sources in the local music scene: Altruda himself. The show is broadcasted live and has featured artists such as Chris Bathgate, Nervous But Excited and Gun Lake. “I’m hoping that the people coming on my show are seeing a good return by people listening and coming out and supporting them,” says Altruda. “In this town, people are making music that they

want to make. They’re not just making music that people want to hear. It’s their art, and they’re doing it the way they want to do it.” It’s good to know that people like Altruda, who have such a strong influence on what we hear, have a heart for music and an ear for what best reflects the spirit of this community. “I love all music,” Altruda explains. “Tree Town Sound is the sound of the community and the music that it makes. I feel some responsibility to play it all, and 107.1 is incredible with giving me complete freedom to put out whatever I want.” Altruda’s passion for music is matched only by his desire to positively influence the younger generation. He spends time at The Neutral Zone, a teen center in downtown Ann Arbor that holds a recording studio where kids can make their own music. Young musicians with talent and ambition have even been heard on Tree Town Sound. “It’s a way for me to reward the kids that are working hard and trying to make music, by bringing them on my show,” Altruda says. “I think getting kids in front of live music is important because it plants the seed. A lot of the responsibility for parents is to get their kids out to see live art, to see music and culture them so when they’re older they can appreciate it.” Whether you’re tuning in to his broadcast or conversing with him on the

streets of Ann Arbor about his favorite bands, Altruda’s love for the city and enthusiasm about its music comes across in a lively and sincere way. He sees Ann Arbor as a music town and is excited when he sees that music spreading to other places. “The list goes on and on of bands that are from Ann Arbor playing all over the country and all over the world,” says Altruda. “Ann Arbor is the new Seattle. There are so many Michigan bands on each national festival bill, and it’s not luck, it’s all talent. There’s so much talent here, it’s almost overwhelming.” Since it’s summer in Ann Arbor, there is even more great music around every corner, and all that talent is already busy composing the city’s summer soundtrack. The Roots Jamboree in Ypsilanti, performances from Chris Bathgate and Abigail Stauffer at The Ark and the Sonic Lunch lineup are just a few events that Altruda is looking forward to. “If you love music, then you need to support it because times are tough right now for artists, and the only way live music is going to work is if people embrace it and support it and become a part of it. That’s my mission: to deliver it and make it more accessible.” Tree Town Sound runs Sundays from 6 – 7 p.m. on Ann Arbor’s 107.1 FM. More information can be found at www.


tally hall brings good & evil to the blind pig

the Ghost and Skybox. The band ended up bringing in Casey Shea to finish out the tour as Tally Hall’s lead singer. When asked to comment on the circumstances of his leaving, Hawley said, “I moved out to New York for a couple of reasons, and one of them was not the band. It was kind of a personal issue that blew out of proportion and it ended up conflicting with the tour.” But Hawley was quick to add, “It wasn’t limited to that—there were some management disputes, and everything just kind of got crazy at the time. It’s been kind of painful and it’s difficult to even compute at this point what exactly happened.” The “Good & Evil” tour starts off with shows in Grand Rapids on July 21 and in Ann Arbor on July 22 at The Blind Pig. “It’s kind of a home base as a band. That’s where we got started,” Hawley said about playBY DAVID NASSAR >>>>>>>> ing at the Blind Pig. “Every time we return, it feels like With the long-awaited new album, “Good & Evil,” home. I can’t imagine a time in life when that would be set to be released on June 21 and a national tour an inappropriate venue for our band.” kicking off in Grand Rapids on July 21, the Ann When asked about what he looks forward to most Arbor-based band Tally Hall is poised to make this about returning to Ann Arbor, Hawley was quick to a summer to remember. While they’ve experienced point to the local food scene. “Some of the restautheir fair share of adversity since the original release rants in Ann Arbor are just unparalleled and imposof their previous album, “Marvin’s Marvelous Mesible to find elsewhere. Really, that extends to the chanical Museum” (2005), including changing labels, was recorded in a short amount of time and produced by other components of Ann Arbor culture …much as management and, for a brief time, lead singers, Tally someone outside the band.” The Blind Pig. It’s always a pleasure to experience those For their latest release, the band worked with producer Hall is excited to finally be putting out some new distinct aromas.” music. As guitarist / vocalist Joe Hawley expressed, Tony Hoffer, who has worked with the likes of Beck and DeWith much of the past six years spent on the road for “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a struggle to get to this peche Mode, which Hawley said was “absolutely glorious.” the band, Hawley admits that the members of Tally Hall “He was very confident about his musical opinions, and point …but it’s ultimately a great feeling.” have been forced to adopt sort of vagabond lifestyles. he worked with us very efficiently to produce an album While it’s been almost six years since their “I don’t know if any of us have addresses we would that made sense to everybody at the time,” said Hawley. last album, the band has not been on holiday. consider permanent right now. As we speak, I think two While “Good & Evil” was originally recorded when the Between high-profile gigs at festivals like Lollaof us are in New York and three of us are in Michigan.” band was signed to Atlantic Records, its June 21 release palooza and SXSW, writing and producing a ten When asked about the effect that these years of touring will be through the part comedy series on their website and multiple have had on the band, Hawley Ann Arbor-based appearances on the Late Late Show with Craig admitted, “Well, there’s been a “Some of the restaurants in Ann label Quack!Media. Ferguson, Tally Hall has not let up one bit. But, lot of bars. Everyone is tired at Arbor are just unparalleled and “Some complex in a time when the music industry has changed this point, but we still enjoy it. personal issues arose drastically and it’s getting harder and harder for impossible to find elsewhere. The last tour, with all the origithat kind of called bands to get signed—much less break into the Really, that extends to the other nal members, was extremely into question the mainstream, nothing is for certain. fun for everybody, and there’s components of Ann Arbor culture.” no reason not to be optimistic priorities associated Considering Tally Hall’s light-hearted songwritwith what we were ing and Monkees-esque penchant for comedy and about the results of this tour.” doing,” explained theatrics, “Good & Evil” might seem an unusually When asked if the band would Hawley, when asked about the band’s split from Atlantic. serious title for the new album. don their trademark colored ties this time around, Haw“I don’t even think I fully understand the mechanics of “There actually has never been a rock album ley said, “Yes. That will most likely be the case pending what happened yet. But everybody is still on fine terms. entitled ‘Good & Evil,’ as obvious as it may seem,” some miracle obstacle.” From what we understand, they enjoy the album.” explained Hawley. “At some point in college, when As for what’s next for the band, Hawley says that Although the new album may have been recorded in we were putting together ‘Marvin’s,’ we started they don’t know yet. “Zubin (Sedghi) and Ross (Federabout a month, “Good & Evil” is the band’s first release thinking about whether the influence our band was man) have enrolled in classes and we’re all considerhaving was a positive or an evil force. It’s supposed in nearly six years. While you might expect the release of ing other possibilities for the fall,” he said. But after to be fun …but is fun necessarily even a good thing an album six-years-in-the-making to be an utterly joyous a little much deserved rest and distraction this fall, event, Hawley, with tongue-in-cheek cautiously said, “Well, for people?” you can bet that Tally Hall will be back on the road it feels good… and evil. It’s kind of a complex series of Despite the philosophical title, fans shouldn’t excontinuing to put on one of the most infectiously fun pect the sound of the band to be drastically different emotions.” While it may have been a long road to this point, live-shows around. he added, “It’s a relief and it feels like a release of energy.” from “Marvin’s.” Tally Hall’s new album, “Good & Evil,” will be released The complex series of emotions may be especially prev- on June 21. Catch the band at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 22 “It’s difficult to judge, as a member of the band, but some people have said the sound has matured, alent for Hawley, who had to make an abrupt departure at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. Tickets start at $15. from Tally Hall’s March 2010 tour with bands Jukebox and and there might be a more consistent flavor since it

JULY 2011




lessons learned with matt from matt and kim BY AMANDA SLATER >>>>

“somehow we spend every waking second together, and we still get along and we haven’t killed each other yet. I can’t figure it out.”


ver since Matt and Kim took all of their clothes off in Times Square for their “Lessons Learned” music video, indie music fans everywhere knew that it was love—not only between everyone’s favorite offbeat couple, but between them and fans. iSPY was able to interview Matt of Matt and Kim to discuss their infamous music videos, their upcoming show in Detroit and what it’s like dating a bandmate. •Rolling Stone says that you and Kim are married. Are you married? No, we’re not married, but we have been together for a number of years. There’s been a lot of different information. We never lie about our relationship or anything like that. We never say it’s anything that it’s not, but I think people do assume things. We’ve just been dating for a lot of years. •How many years? Eight, I believe. •Is there a reason you haven’t gotten married? I don’t know. I just couldn’t imagine—especially in the last few years or whatever—fitting anything else into my schedule, period. I guess weddings are really hard to put together. I’ve never even been to a wedding in my adult life.


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I don’t know if my friends aren’t getting married or just no one is inviting me or what. •What is it like being in a relationship with someone that you’re working with and creating music with? Well, I think, in most cases in my history and in a lot of other people’s cases, it would be a total disaster. But, for Kim and I, somehow we spend every waking second together and we still get along and we haven’t killed each other yet. I can’t figure it out. The thing is, Kim and I, before we played any music together, worked on a lot of different things together. We worked on art stuff and did installations in a couple of galleries and did other bands’ album covers and things like that. We met at art school, and we just knew we worked really well together. We’re on the same page about a lot of things, and that’s how we ended up playing music together. It was not because Kim had ever played drums, because she hadn’t, or that I was a keyboard player, because I wasn’t. It was just that we worked on things well together. •Despite the fact that you hadn’t played keyboard and Kim hadn’t played drums before, what made you decide to make a band? Did you have other musical experience? I had played in a number of bands throughout high school and when I went to college. I always played guitar and bass, and Kim had wanted to learn how to play drums for a long time. She was just learning how to play drums-not to start a band or anything. She had just wanted to learn how to play drums. I learned how to play keyboard basically because I had this keyboard that I had borrowed from my neighbor years ago because it looked cool, but I had never figured out how to play it. All of it kind of turned out by accident. Matt and Kim weren’t necessarily going to be a drums and keyboard band. It was going to be whatever the hell Matt and Kim happened to play. In some of our early stuff there is guitar and baritone ukulele and stuff like that.

•I’ve heard that you’re the mastermind behind the music videos. Is that correct? Yes. •You said that you and Kim do very well working together, but what about that music video for “Cameras?” The inspiration for it was trying to do a music video that had the energy of a live show --like a performance video. That was where the concept for that came from, but I do feel like Kim has been bitter about a number of things. While she had fun in the end and the video came out good, it took a lot of convincing to get her to do the video taking her clothes off in Times Square. There were a lot of things she didn’t want to do going into them and I had to convince her, but she really did want to do that “Cameras” video. We went through fight choreography and how you’re supposed to fight for a camera—like punching a foot away from someone’s face and whatnot. But when we got on camera, Kim just punched me square in the nose as hard as she could—bloody nose, black eye and everything. I felt like she was getting something out. •But why did you choose to make a fight video? It was a sensitive topic because my mom works with domestic violence cases at the district attorney’s office in Vermont, so we were sensitive to that. We just wanted a big, over the top, Hollywood-feeling fight scene. It’s just this classic part of cinema that’s in so many movies but is not seen that often in music videos. It was just about the fun and energy and excitement of all of that. Doing it was really fun. •Is that kind of similar to how you came up with the idea for your “Lessons Learned” music video—just because it was a crazy, fun experience? The simplest, most effective idea is a lot of times the best. I really wanted to do a one-shot video where there were no cuts or anything, so I thought of this idea. While most of our songs are quite upbeat, some of our lyrics are quite a bit darker. The lyrics [in “Lessons Learned”] are sort of about the freedom you get from hitting rock bottom. I thought, “Freedom--well that’s like taking off all of your clothes.” We talked about trying to do this in backstreets in Brooklyn and industrial areas, but I thought, “If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this in Times Square or somewhere that’s really public, and that will show this freedom.” One thing just led to the next. •You’re getting a lot of success right now. How does that feel? We appreciate it dearly. We never have any expectations for anything. We do what we love because that’s what we love to do. When we started this band, we didn’t want it to be about money and notoriety or anything like that. We just love playing shows and we love writing music, and


[people happen to] like what we make. It’s always great to feel like things are moving forward. It keeps things fresh and new—especially on this tour. We’re doing bigger shows and all these venues that we’ve never done, and it just has this feeling of growth. It feels new, and it feels exciting. •What should Detroit expect from your live show on June 24? Detroit should expect what we’ve had in the past. Detroit has been great, and we’ve definitely had our share of dance parties together and whatnot. That’s always our bottom line—a sweaty, dance party, good time vibe. Along with that, we do have some extra stuff and tricks and production that we bring with us. We have this great whole light setup, but all that’s for is adding to the vibe of this dance party that we want to create. The Thermals will be with us—they’re an incredible band that we’re big fans of. They’re totally a party, so bring your dancing shoes. Matt and Kim will be performing at 8 p.m. on June 24 at the Majestic in Detroit. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at For more information, visit

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56 E. CROSS ST. YPSILANTI, MI 734.483.1035 (SIDETRACK) 734.483.5230 (FRENCHIE’S)



adventures in local food #7

If you’re not glad you live in Southeast Michigan yet, you’re not paying attention. In a state that has the second highest number of independently-owned farms in the nation and crop diversity that rivals California, we have some of the best locally grown food around! And it doesn’t GET LOCAL stop in the fields. We also have many amazing cafés, restaurants, BY STEFANIE T. STAUFFER >>>>>> food carts and microbreweries serving this delicious Michigan-grown food to us (including Zingerman’s Roadhouse, whose Chef/Farmer Alex Young recently won a 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region). In addition to these great places to eat, many of which have been reviewed in past issues of iSPY, we are also fortunate to have multiple farmer’s markets and local grocery stores like the Ypsilanti Food Co-Op where you can purchase this food for yourself. But I figure that since most of you know about these great establishments and have read past iSPY reviews (like this one http://mispymag. com/2011/06/check-out-the-ypsi-food-co-op), I’d put the spotlight on the fabulous farmer’s markets of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. Do you like fresh strawberries? Do you like running into people you know on the street? Do you feel the need to actually have a conversation with the person who grows your food? Well, then chances are we have probably seen each other or interacted in some way at the Downtown Ypsilanti and Depot Town Ypsilanti Farmer’s Markets. But for the rest of you out there who may have not been to a farmer’s market or who only go occasionally, this summer I invite you to give it a try more regularly. With a farmer’s market happening every day except Sunday and Monday in the Ypsi/Ann Arbor area, it couldn’t be a more perfect time to get local. So, go on and try it out. Who knows? You might actually become a crazed urban farmer like me after the experience (that or get to taste some incredibly high quality produce, meat, eggs, bread and perhaps even some Ypsi-grown, Ypsi-made hot sauce!). I promise that the only thing you will miss about your old chain grocery store is the air-conditioning... If you are still hesitant, though, perhaps this study conducted last summer will persuade you: It found that organically-grown items will always be cheaper at a farmer’s market than at the grocery store, whereas many conventionally-grown items are cheaper at farmer’s markets as well. With that said, I’ll see you at these fantastic markets!


Downtown Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market Ferris Street at Hamilton (behind Key Bank Lot)


Ann Arbor Kerrytown Market 315 Detroit Street Pages/FarmersMarket.aspx





The Farm at St. Joe’s Farmer’s Market St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Lobby Ann Arbor Kerrytown Evening Market 315 Detroit Street Westside Farmer’s Market Corner of Maple and Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor


Ypsilanti Senior Center Farmer’s Market 1015 N. Congress St.


Depot Town Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market Freighthouse Plaza ypsidepottownfarmersmarket


Ann Arbor Kerrytown Market 315 Detroit Street

JULY 2011




// The dish]

frita batidos



Located on West Washington Street across from Grizzly Peak Brewery, Frita Batidos is a relatively new restaurant that came from the vision of renowned chef Eve Aronoff (you may have seen her in a 2009 episode of Bravo’s Top Chef). Though not a Cuban restaurant, part of Aronoff’s vision was to incorporate some of her favorite elements of Cuban style cooking into menu items that would appeal to both those who want to try something new as well as those with more American tastes. The Frita is a mildly spicy Cuban burger, layered beneath shoestring fries and served on a soft egg bun. Patrons can choose between several additional toppings (I recommend a fried egg), and a side order of incredible fries is a must. Batidos are tropical fruit milkshakes made with crushed ice and sweetened milk that can be ordered with or without rum. So, essentially, the restaurant is known for an exotic burger, fries and

shake combo that is prepared with tremendous quality and some added culture. The building itself is very inviting, with a sleek, modern exterior and a simultaneously elegant and casual interior with white walls and high ceilings. The space is very open and relaxed, and guests can either sit at one of the white picnic tables indoors or at a table outside. There is also a neat little snack bar outside with a separate menu of drinks and snack items hanging on the wall beside the counter. The casual, inviting atmosphere, high-quality menu and late hours make this restaurant a great choice for all residents and visitors of Ann Arbor. After my experience at Frita Batidos, I have a new standard for burgers and fries—and a new restaurant to add to my list of favorites.


BY TIM ADKINS >>>>>>>>>

It’s no secret that, for the finest Italian cuisine, Gratzi ranks among the top spots in all of Southeast Michigan. Maybe that’s because dining at Gratzi is more than just going to dinner—it’s an experience. The restaurant’s giant Renaissancestyled mural sets the tone for a fine dining outing that is made complete by a courteous, high-quality waitstaff and the freshest ingredients available, making Gratzi the premiere location for Italian food in Ann Arbor. For starters, I enjoyed some bread with a unique olive and oil mixture. It was the perfect combination and got my taste buds ready for what was next. The Insalata Mista was served with a balsamic vinaigrette and fresh mozzarella cheese, which was delicious and portioned at the prefect amount—


i SPY JULY 2011

light and just enough. For my entree, I chose Fettuccine Con Pomodoro Basilico. It was a simple, vegetarian dish with a tomato basil sauce and a nice pairing of garlic and wild mushrooms. The fresh basil was a nice surprise when mixed with the mushrooms and tomatoes. It was simple and delicious—nothing over the top or heavy and was just right for pasta. In true Italian form, I had to get the Canoli for dessert. It was a perfect ending to an almost perfect meal, with fresh, mixed fruit as a welcome addition. Between the outstanding service and exquisite food, I had a fantastic experience and am already looking forward to my next visit to Gratzi.

EVERY 4TH SATURDAY IN THE RED ROOM AT NECTO NIGHTCLUB June 25th iSPY 1 Year Anniversary Party and July 23rd for the Best in Global House!

Enter at Necto main entrance; Separate Line, Separate Entrance Strictly 21 + up. Cover: $10 Dress to Impress Patrons of SLS will have access to Necto

+18 up



june/july 2011 BY AMANDA SLATER>>>



n Mayer Hawthorne, 6 p.m., Sound Board at Motor City Casino Hotel, Detroit n Tim McGraw with Luke Bryan, 7 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang, 7:30 p.m., Meadow Brook n Music Festival, Rochester Hills Livingston Taylor, 8 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor n Matt & Kim, 8 p.m., Majestic Theatre, Detroit n Bedouin Soundclash with Bear Lake, 9 p.m., Shelter, Detroit n Harm’s Way, 9:30 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor n Timothy Monger Stage Park, 9 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti


6/25: n Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., 8 p.m., Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit Junior Boys, 8 p.m., Pike Room at the Crofoot, Pontiac n LL Cool J, 8 p.m., Chene Park, Detroit n Tara Tinsley and Buttonsphere, 7 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor


n Steven Curtis Chapman, 7 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n U2, 7 p.m., Spartan Stadium, East Lansing n Eddie Vedder, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, Detroit n The Waymores, 7:30 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor

+6/28 n Katy Perry, 7:30 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills n 2194, 9:30 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor


i SPY JULY 2011

n Dave Boutette Acoustic Open Mic, 6 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

+6/29 6/29:

n Owl City, 6 p.m., The Fillmore, Detroit n Gerald Albright, 7:30 p.m., Chene Park, Detroit n Motley Crue and Poison, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n Kaki King, 8 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor n Theodore, 8 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

+6/30 n The Boys Themselves, 7 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor n The Finer Things, 6 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

+7/02 n He is We, 6 p.m., Eagle Theater, Pontiac n Err…, 9 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

+7/03 n Rick Springfield, 4 p.m., Stars and Stripes Festival, Mt. Clemens

+7/04 n Lynyrd Skynyrd, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston


n 100 Monkeys, Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit n Future Genies, 9 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

+7/07 n The Temptations, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston

+7/14 n

n The Boys Themselves, 7 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti


n Celsius Electronics, 9:30 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor

+7/08 n Vans Warped Tour, 11 a.m., Comerica Park Parking Lot, Detroit n Peter Frampton, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n A Perfect Circle, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Detroit n Chris Webby, 8 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor

+7/09 n Freshman 15 and City Lights, 5 p.m., Pike Room, Pontiac n Sugarland, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n R. Kelly, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Detroit n Shawn Phillips, 8 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor n Cut Copy, 8 p.m., Royal Oak Music Theatre

+7/10 n Matisyahu with Tea Leaf Green, 6:30 p.m., Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit n Kid Cudi, 7:30 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n R. Kelly, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, Detroit n Tom Rush, 7:30 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor n Rusted Root, 8 p.m., Magic Stick, Detroit


+7/15 n Cheap Trick, 8 p.m., Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit n Chris Bathgate, 8 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor n Cold Cave, 8 p.m., Magic Stick, Detroit n Frontier Ruckus, 9:30 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor

+7/16 n Demetri Martin, 8 p.m., Meadow Brook Music Festival, Rochester Hills n Josh Groban, 8 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills n Steely Dan, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Detroit n Steve Forbert, 8 p.m., The Ark, Ann Arbor n The Dirtbombs, 8 p.m., Magic Stick, Detroit n The O’Jays, 8 p.m., Chene Park, Detroit n Skrillex, 8 p.m., Royal Oak Music Theatre

+7/17 n The Goo Goo Dolls, 7:30 p.m., Meadow Brook Music Festival, Rochester Hills

+7/20 n RX Bandits, 6:30 p.m., Magic Stick, Detroit n Yes and Styx, 7 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n Lalah Hathaway, 7:30 p.m., Chene Park, Detroit n The Tsars, 8 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti


n Reel Big Fish, 6:30 p.m., n Steddy P & DJ Mahf, 9:30 p.m., Clutch Cargo’s, Pontiac Blind Pig, Ann Arbor n Underoath, 6:30 p.m., Headliners, Toledo, Ohio +7/14 n Jimmy Buffett, 8 p.m., DTE n The Tartan Terrors, 8 p.m., Energy Music Theatre, The Ark, Ann Arbor


n Koji, 7 p.m., The Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac n Slayer and Rob Zombie, 7 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston n Tally Hall, 8 p.m., Blind Pig, Ann Arbor n Lawless Carver, 9 p.m., Woodruff’s, Ypsilanti

COMMUNITY// +6/20-6/27 n “33 1/3:” Ann Arbor Summer Festival, 7 – 9 p.m., Arbor Brewing Co.

+6/26 n Relay for Life, 10 a.m., Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor

+7/04 7/4:

n Fourth of July Parade, 10 a.m., Starts at William & State St., Ann Arbor


7/8: n Rolling Sculpture Car Show, 2 – 10 p.m., downtown Ann Arbor

+7/08-7/09 7/8 – 7/9:

n Michigan Elvis Festival, Depot Town, Ypsilanti

+7/09 7/9:

n One Helluva Ride: Bicycle through Hell, Chelsea

+7/21 7/21:

n Manchester Chicken Broil, 4 p.m., Alumni Memorial Field, Manchester

+7/22-7/23 7/22 – 7/23:

n Michigan Brewer’s Guild 11th Annual Summer Beer Festival, Depot Town, Ypsilanti

ARTS// Arts +6/29-7/03 “Pantomime” at Riverside Arts Gallery, Ypsilanti

+6/30-7/30 6/30 – 7/30:

n Ann Arbor Women Artists Summer Juried Exhibit, Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti

+7/16 7/16:

n Shadow Art Fair, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Corner Brewery, Ypsilanti

+7/20-7/23 7/20 – 7/23:

n Ann Arbor Art Fairs, downtown Ann Arbor

FILM// +6/20

n Ann Arbor Documentary Festival: “Food, Inc.,” 7 p.m., Café Ambrosia

+6/21 6/21:

n Double Feature at the Michigan Theater: “The Godfather,” 3:30 p.m., Ann Arbor

+6/24 6/24:

n “Louder Than a Bomb,” 7:30 p.m., UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium, Ann Arbor

+6/26 6/26:

n “The Grapes of Wrath,” 1:30 p.m. , Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+6/27 6/27:

n “Grey Gardens,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor n Ann Arbor Documentary Festival: “GasHole,” 7 p.m., at Café Ambrosia

+6/28 6/28:

n “The Grapes of Wrath,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+7/04 7/4:

n “Marwencol,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+7/05 7/5:

n “Goldfinger,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor




n “West Side Story,” 1:30 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+7/11 7/11:

n “Nénette,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor n Ann Arbor Documentary Festival: “Fabled Enemies,” 7 p.m., at Café Ambrosia

+7/12 7/12:

n “West Side Story,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+7/17 7/17:

Naturopathic School of the Healing Arts ann arbor Offering Two Diploma Programs for Professional Development: Naturopathy (ND)/Natural Physician Diploma Integrated Massage Therapy/Energy Medicine Diploma

n NT Live: “The Cherry Orchard,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor n “La Dolce Vita,” 1:30 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

+7/18 7/18:

For more information:


n “Waste Land,” 7 p.m., the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor n Ann Arbor Documentary Festival: “The Yes Men,” 7 p.m., Café Ambrosia

+7/19 7/19:

"Like" us on Facebook or visit

n “La Dolce Vita,” 7 p.m., Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Comedy COMEDY// 6/23: +6/23

n Doug Benson, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

+7/01-7/02 7/1 & 7/2:

n Kevin McPeek, 10:30 p.m., Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

+7/15-7/16 7/15 & 7/16:

n Kevin Downey Jr., 10:30 p.m., Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

+7/16 7/16:

n Demetri Martin, 8 p.m., Meadow Brook Music Festival, Rochester Hills




JULY 2011


art fair map

art fair deals BY MARISSA MCNEES >>>>>>>> One of the highlights of spending summer in the Ann Arbor area is the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair. But even if art isn’t your thing, it’s still worth braving the art fair crowds to check out local merchants’ incredible sidewalk sale deals. Every year, as thousands of people come to view work created by talented artists from across the country, shops and boutiques in downtown Ann Arbor offer great deals on everything from clothes and shoes to books and camping gear—and this year will be no exception. Some of this year’s sidewalk sales include discount books from Borders (with discounts ranging from dollar buys to 75 percent price reductions), certificates for free haircuts from the Douglas J. Aveda Institute and sales on the latest fashions from Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Poshh and Ragstock. However, budget conscious fairgoers can also bring home a piece of the art fair’s renowned art, as many of the fair’s vendors offer deals on a variety of pieces. Don’t forget to check out the art fair’s official website where you can purchase a gift certificate for the art lover in your life—prices range from $25 – $500. For more information on artists, locations and other fair activities, visit www.



the return of the ann arbor art fair A2 ART FAIR POISED FOR ANOTHER EXCITING SUMMER BY DAVID NASSAR >>>>>>>>

Since it’s inception in 1960, the Ann Arbor Art Fair has drawn hundreds of thousands of people from across the nation for a weekend of food, fun and, of course, art. Originally composed of several individual art fairs, as of this year, the Ann Arbor Art Fair is now one (very large) art fair with the mission of increasing public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and crafts and to connect artists, the Ann Arbor community and the general public. This year’s event will be held July 20 – 23 in the streets of downtown Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair started in 1960 as a way to draw exposure and people to local merchants, and it has grown steadily over the years. It is generally regarded as one of the best art fairs in the country, earning national recognition and numerous awards. In 1967, The State Street Area Fair jumped into the mix, and three years later the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, sponsored by The Guild, joined them to help expose the talent of local artists. When “The Original” relocated to the streets surrounding Burton Carillon Tower in 2003, The South University Art Fair came along to fill the vacated area. Today, the entire fair draws several hundred local and national artists and more than 500,000 visitors over the course of four days. The Ann Arbor Art Fair offers the general public an opportunity to interact with artists, view and purchase arts and crafts and participate in a wide range of activities, street performances and artist demonstrations—as well as take advantage of the distinctive shops and restaurants in Ann Arbor. For artists, the fair presents an opportunity to participate in one of the foremost art fairs in the nation and expose their work to a national audience. As Allen Levy, a Virginia-based acrylic paint and mixed-media artist says, “I’ve only been doing art events for about two years, and this will be my first time in Ann Arbor. I decided to apply to this show because of the reputation it has.”

The fantastic reputation of the event has grown over the years, not only due to the artists and visitors it draws, but also because of what it has meant to the local community. “I love it. I’ve been going since I was seven years old,” says Ann Arbor native Marlena Goodsitt. “It’s just cool seeing all the different mediums that artists work in, and it’s a great place to peoplewatch because everybody goes.” Visitors will be able to see a wide variety of fine arts and crafts throughout the fair, including painting, photography, mixed media, clay, glass, jewelry and much more. Visitors can also experience street performances, artist demonstrations, create their own works of art at the Art Activity Zone, visit the Beer and Wine Garden, as well as browse the numerous merchant sidewalk-sales and local restaurants. And, if you’re like the rest of us and your wallet is a little light these days, there’s nothing to fear. Although nationally recognized as a fine arts and crafts fair, the Ann Arbor Art Fair offers original art for every pocketbook.

FEATURED EVENTS Street performances by George Tait: The Living Statue, Mr. B and Bob Culbertson Artist demonstrations Live entertainment every day Beer and wine garden Two children’s tents

DATES, TIMES, + DETAILS Dates: July 20 – 23 2011 Times : Wed. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Details: Parking is available at various locations throughout downtown Ann Arbor. For more information regarding activities, locations and parking, visit

JULY 2011






“My art is very much about dignifying what’s been rejected.”

around Brooklyn while I shot at night and wrote a lengthy exposé, calling the Alleys & Ruins series a masterpiece. Just as thrilling, at age 18, The Montreal Gazette wrote one positive sentence about my work within a larger piece about the group show I was in. (Not only do artists crave recognition, but they need it to move up.) I’ve exhibited in many museum group shows, but another milestone is coming up: my first solo museum show at the Bolinas URBAN LANDSCAPES AND Museum, which is 30 miles north of San Francisco. How did your career as an artist/photographer start? GLAM BUGS WITH ANN I used to paint and draw a lot as a child and through my ARBOR ART FAIR ARTIST teens. When I was 18, I took my one and only photography class in college. It literally transformed me, and, for once XAVIER NUEZ I knew what I wanted to do with my life. After graduation, BY AMANDA SLATER>>>> panic set in as I was forced to face the reality that no one Each year, the Ann Arbor Art Fair welcomes hands you a career in photography. I pursued my art, while trying to make ends meet with small commercial jobs and hundreds of exceptional artists—ranging from with jobs assisting other photographers. After five years, painters to sculptors and everything in between. Many of these artists have become fair-goer favorites I had gotten into debt and decided to take a regular job who return year after year. Xavier Nuez is one of these working as a file clerk for the government at correctional services. It was a million miles from where I wanted to be, artists, and his Alleys & Ruins series has captivated so, after a year of this, I renewed my commitment to my art many with Nuez’s unique style of photography that and quit my job. It was a defining moment. Within a year, I makes his photos of urban landscapes seem almost had developed the Alleys & Ruins series and the Glam Bugs other-worldly. iSPY had the opportunity to discuss series, and I made a serious effort to get good commercial the Alleys & Ruins series and more with Nuez, who jobs—which eventually did start coming my way. discussed the time he spent living in Ann Arbor, How did you get the idea to start photographing your how he got started taking photos and some of the Alleys & Ruins series? dangerous encounters he’s had on the job. Many roads in my life merged in the same place to create the How many years have you been part of the Ann series. As a child, I loved playing in alleys and exploring abanArbor Art Fair? doned or “haunted” houses. As a teen, I often dragged friends It is the show I’ve done the most times (this will be into these places to show them what I thought was an alternate my eighth or ninth year). It’s the show where I first type of beauty. My dad’s tales of being homeless as a child also made enough money to think, “Hey, maybe I’m onto had a big impact. Then, growing up in a French separatist part something here!” I used to live in Ann Arbor, so coming of Quebec and being cast as an outsider for having immigrant to the show is a great time to connect with old friends. parents and for being in English school had another profound When did you live in Ann Arbor and what brought effect. Virtually every day of my life, I was reminded I didn’t you here? belong. I started to struggle with depression and social anxiety. I lived in Ann Arbor from 2003—2006. Before that, I remember a key turning point in my life was when I became I was in Toronto and had divorced the year before, transfixed by the space under a stairwell and finally decided so I was looking for a fresh start. I was earning a that, if I ended up homeless and living in an alley, I could live lot of my revenue from commercial work, but I felt with that. It was an epiphany. The alley series began soon after. I was ready to go full-time as an artist, and I had a I would photograph these grim, bleak and dangerous places, rep living in Ann Arbor. Plus, I loved the city and had but I would add an idealized, fairytale version on top of them. friends there. It was a no-brainer. I loved the friendly This duality became important to me and permeates most of people and that you could be in the city one minute my work, this idea of something being [all] of these extremes and driving along a country road soon after. As a at the same time—both ugly and beautiful, depressing and Canadian, I also liked how the city shared many of inspiring, downtrodden and powerful, bright and dark, repulsive my moral and ethical views. I used to play pool a and inviting, tense yet peaceful. I started developing a kind of lot in Monkey Bar, which I think now is called Full Moon. And I was a regular at TC’s Speakeasy in Ypsi. And, of course, it was so close to Detroit—a city I loved to explore and photograph. I think I walked through every downtown Detroit alley in my three years living in Ann Arbor. What have been some of the biggest “milestones” in your career as an artist? By far the most prestigious recognition came from The New York Times. A reporter followed me

“I would photograph these grim, bleak and dangerous places, but I would add an idealized, fairytale version on top of them.”


i SPY JULY 2011


logical side has to move in and try to re-create what I’m feeling. I bring lights and colored gels to these places at night. The technical process can vary greatly from one image to another, but what is usual is that I will shoot a very long exposure (20 minutes is average, but some are as long as 90 minutes). I shoot with a 50-year old Hasselblad film camera, and I use film that gives me vivid colors. The variety of city lights creates different colors on film, and that is the base of my lighting. affection for the underdog. My art is very much about During the long exposure, I’ll walk around dignifying what’s been rejected. When I started the with my lights and colored gels, adding layseries 20 years ago, I wanted to shoot these places ers of illumination and color to the existing exactly as I found them in a true documentary spirit, light or to areas that are completely dark. Half while seeking out the conditions that would create of the time, I’ll walk into the frame in front of dreamy versions of a grim and stark reality. the camera so I can light stuff more precisely, Some of your photos look almost unreal. What but I wear dark colors and I move quickly so can you tell me about your artistic process and how I won’t appear in the photo. The Glam Bugs you achieve that look? and Crystals are shot in a studio, where I use In my three main bodies of work, I think I’m trying large studio lights. The bugs are difficult to to build another world. A large part of that process is light, but the process is much more traditional how I’m imagining that other world and that thought than the night shots for Alleys and Ruins. tangent is difficult to explain. I rely mostly on my still Tell me a little about your Glam Bugs and faintly beating child’s heart. When a scene takes me Crystals series. What made you start taking back to a certain vision from my youth (to a time I’ve these photographs? tried but failed to pinpoint), I know I’m onto someThe Glam Bugs are closely tied to the Althing. I’ll be staring at a scene in a dark alley, and I’ll ley series conceptually. In both bodies of suddenly get a flush of feelings that we live in a world work, I’m dignifying what’s been rejected. full of mystery and magic and that an enchanted land With the night shots, I’m glorifying rejected might be waiting behind a crumbling door. These are space, while, in the bug series, I’m glorifying warm feelings in a cold environment. That’s when my rejected creatures. In both series, the images


are all about people, even though there are none in the shots. The Glam Bugs actually has little to do with bugs. The bugs I use and the little sets I build are a way of propping up the rejected and dejected of our society. I take these bugs, which get little to no respect and which are considered ugly—even horrifying close up—and I make them powerful figures in the alternate world I create. There are war heroes, pop divas, evil villains and so on. And, as in the alleys, I ultimately make these dead (and often decomposing) bugs look beautiful. The Crystals are close up photos of dinner plates that I re-glaze and re-paint. It’s a very odd process I discovered by accident over 20 years ago. They connect to the other two bodies in that I’m taking rejected plates, found in yard sales or Salvation Army stores, and creating a chic, dignified style of beauty with them. What is one of your craziest Alleys & Ruins stories? The craziest story has to be when I went to Compton, California in south central Los Angeles in 2008. I was in an alley with two friends, lighting an old water tower with a bright spotlight (Alley 116). In retrospect, I was just asking for trouble. The gang ruling this turf saw the lights and found us. They chased us back to our van, where we had time to throw the gear in and lock the doors. They were yelling at us to get out of the van, and I suspected, if I tried to drive away, there would soon be bullet holes in the doors. It’s a long story and available on my web site, but it involves us amazingly becoming friends with the gang and being given permission to continue with my photos, later being followed by two cops storming us later with laser-guided weapons, who were then scared off by the fact that this gang was paying off their boss! In the end, I produced two of my best images—Alley 116 and 103. We ended the night by going for dinner and beers and with my new friend, Jorge (the gang leader), telling me I was welcome back in his territory any time. I sent him prints of the finished photos. For you, is the thrill of these encounters or the possible danger that accompanies these photo shoots part of the appeal of these particular subjects? The danger has never been part of the appeal—it’s just something I’ve had to put up with. But I have to admit, after a bad incident occurs, there is a part of me that thinks that was cool. What do you think is the purpose of art? Why do you enjoy creating art? Imagine a world without visual art in your home or in public spaces, or on the big and little screen or coming out of speakers or performing on stage and you’ll understand the purpose of art. But, to take it a step further, art has a different purpose for the creator and the consumer, and every consumer has different triggers making them connect or disconnect in their own way. I don’t know why a happy song and a sad song can both be just as beautiful and transcendent. I create art because I don’t know what else to do. What is your advice to aspiring artists? Every path is different, but I know I wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for a thick-headed perseverance, combined with planning and a nonstop re-assessing of what I was doing. I love making art, but being an artist is also a business. The sooner you can be comfortable with that, the better off you will be. I also wouldn’t have succeeded if I had lost my zeal to make art. It took many, many years to find my vision and then to let it grow and mature. It is still growing today. And, because of my love for the process of creating, the way to let my vision grow was just to step out of the way and allow it to find itself. Xavier Nuez lives in Chicago. His family lives in Montreal, where he grew up. He does gallery and museum shows across the country. To see more of Nuez’s work, to read Alleys & Ruins stories and for more information about upcoming shows, visit

JUNE 2011






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ann arbor art fair artist profiles

allen levy

richard currier




“I had no idea I could paint early on. I took one elective art class during my last semester in college where the professor told me to always remember I have talent. The desire was never ignited until about five years ago.”

ome people know early in their lives that they are destined for an art career. For Virginia painter, Allen Levy, this realization did not come until he first spent years in the corporate world. But, since he traded his suit and ties for paint and canvass a few years ago, Allen has not looked back. Working mainly in acrylic and mixed media, Levy describes his paintings as “[resembling] dreamscapes of the landscape,” and he achieves this distinctive style through layering, mixing, pouring and a healthy dose of chance. His experimentation with color, light and luminosity combine to form truly moving, and sometimes very abstract, compositions. Growing up in Fort Wayne, IN and attending Purdue University, Allen started his career in marketing. It wasn’t until his senior year of college that Allen took his first art class. “I had no idea I could paint early on. I took one elective art class during my last semester in college where the professor told me to always remember I have talent. The desire was never ignited until about five years ago,” he says. Although he was a late-comer, Allen has no regrets about his choice to pursue an art career. “I almost think it’s my destiny, how everything just came together, so I took the gigantic leap and said goodbye to the corporate world,” he says. Allen has developed a unique style that combines elements of traditional landscape portraits with more abstract layering techniques. When asked if his Midwest roots had anything to do with his style, Allen replied, “Yes, without a doubt. The Midwest is very flat, which reflects my horizontal elements. Also, I live in the DC area, so painting was my way to relax and my style reflects this.” Allen cites Rothko and Turner as major influences, but admits that “as I am not formally trained, this truly is my own unique style.” When asked about his process, Allen says, “I know what colors I want and a general idea of the composition, but I just let things happen to a degree. I think it’s better that way. My process is all about layering. Each layer is a different musical instrument that, combined, creates something beautiful.” With such a loose, improvisational style, it would be hard for many artists to determine when a piece is truly finished. Allen says that the composition must have balance, harmony and be “pleasing to look at.” He adds, “It’s done […] when it feels right.” Allen Levy’s work can be seen at the Ann Arbor Street Art Festival on July 20 – 23. To view more of Levy’s work and learn more about him, visit Later this summer, Allen will be nearby at the Chicago Tribune Magnificent Mile in early July and at the Port Clinton in Highland Park, Illinois in August.


i SPY JULY 2011

“Art is how I respond to life in general.”



orking out of his native-Florida, oil painter Richard Currier has earned numerous awards for his stunning figurative, still-life and landscape portraits. But, awards and accolades are not everything to him. “Honor awards are very subjective and depend highly on who is giving it and who you’re competing with. The biggest award for me is when someone appreciates your work enough to purchase it for themselves,” he says. A professional artist since the late 1980’s, Currier’s work has been displayed at a variety of galleries and exhibitions across the U.S. After studying at Ringling College of Art & Design, he toured Paris and Amsterdam before returning to Micco on Florida’s east coast. In reflecting on his time abroad, Currier said, “I stood in front of paintings for hours in museums awestruck by the impact of the work. I can’t say my work was influenced as much as the European attitude toward art in general [influenced me]. Art and artists are regarded with such respect and acceptance (at times to a fault) that we have yet to embrace fully.” Art, Currier says, “is how I respond to life in general. I’ve always drawn and painted as far back as I can remember. I would have continued to make art whether or not it produced my income. I’m just fortunate that it has.” But Currier has not always been certain about where his art career would take him. “I began as many do—just out of university or art school and say[ing], ‘now what?’ They don’t teach this part. It took many years to discover my own voice and figure things out.” With dozens of awards over the years and gallery representations at Angela King Gallery in New Orleans and at Lombard Contemporary Art in Orlando, it might be tempting for Currier to say he’s made it, but he says, “If you need stability and consistency in your life, don’t quit your day job. This can be a roller coaster with no guarantees.” However, he adds that, despite the challenges of trying to make a living through painting, “I could not think of a more meaningful and rewarding life as this.” Currier will be displaying his work at this year’s Ann Arbor Art Fair. To view work by and information about Richard Currier, visit www.RichardCurrierArt. com. In addition to the Ann Arbor Art Fair, you can also find Currier at the upcoming Boardwalk Art Festival in Virginia Beach and the Cain Park Art Festival in Cleveland later this year.




Highly praised for their energetic live shows, IAMDYNAMITE (formerly Mahoney) proves that less is more. Hailing from a small town just outside of Ann Arbor, the two man band consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Martin and drummer Chris Phillips. Despite the limited instruments played, the band aims to make music that is simplistic, yet infectiously upbeat. With a new album on the horizon, IAMDYNAMITE has taken to their tour bus (technically a Scion) to travel all over the U.S. and cultivate fans from the ground up. While wrapping up the tail end of their tour, Chris Martin was able to fill us in on upcoming shows and where the last few months have taken them. You just did an album preview in Ann Arbor at the beginning of June. Can you tell me about it? We were gone for a whole month playing on tour, and that was our last show of the tour. It was nice to finish at home and see everybody. The sense of being done and doing it in your hometown was cool. Speaking of which, you guys just did SXSW. What was that like? It was really great, and it was the first time we ever done it. SXSW is a little hard to get into, so it’s an honor. There are some

Photo by Brad Bond

fantastic bands that you stumble on to, so it’s really cool. Every band we saw play (on purpose or by accident) was really phenomenal. What is the name of the new album? We actually don’t have a title for it yet. We have a few in mind, but, as of right now, we don’t have one in particular. When does the album come out? In the beginning of September. For the fans that were not able to attend the album preview, how would you describe the sound and style of the upcoming album? We recorded it the old school way with reel to reel tape, and we had never done that before. We try to keep the songs without a lot of fat on them--no tuba solos or anything like that. Our goal for making the album was to concentrate on melodies and drums. Nothing unnecessary. I heard that one of you lives in the area and the other lives in North Carolina. Do you think that affects collaboration? It hasn’t been a big obstacle to be in different towns. If we want to write or jam out some new stuff, either one of us could come to where the other person is. We’re just a two man band, so it is pretty straight forward. So far it works great. You guys are about to gear up and go on tour again soon. How do you get ready for it? Any rituals or superstitious stuff? I’m not superstitious, but I always spend a lot of time


learning other people’s songs. I feel like it keeps our chops up. It’s a way to challenge yourself so you don’t get bored doing the same songs every night. We don’t wear the same socks the whole time or never wash our pants. When you’re not on tour, what are you usually doing? We spend a lot of time writing and hanging out with our friends and family. When you’re touring, you’re always in motion, so it’s nice to be in one spot. It’s tougher when you’re in a car driving somewhere. I imagine it’s tough. You’ve got to entertain yourself a lot on the road. Yeah, we try. You start doing things that maybe you didn’t do before, like going into gas stations and being weird to everybody just because it entertains you. You can’t help but start to make faces at people when they drive past you on the road. You’ve been in the car for eight hours and you’re losing your mind, so you have to do something. It sounds fun. Well, we’ve tried every car game you can think of. We did find some really odd ones from when they first invented cars. You count how many cars are on the side of the road and, if you see a white horse, it’s a bonus point. We’re always on the lookout for suggestions. We could put it in our album artwork. Maybe that’s too random. I also heard that you are playing on iSPY’s stage this year at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to about that? Growing up near Ann Arbor and playing in a band, you always want to play the Art Fair because there are so many people. Just to get a chance to do that will be pretty cool. We’re looking forward to it. For the people who have never seen you play live, what can they expect to see? We’re a two-man rock band, so we try to focus on catchy, good melodies and high energy. A lot of times when you play, no one has ever heard you before, so you try to take that into account when you’re writing and performing. You want everyone to instantly have a great time. It’s not always possible, but that is what you aspire to. You guys used to be called Mahoney but are now IAMDYNAMITE. Is there a reason for the change? When we signed with a new management company, they suggested changing our band name. We said we would give it a try, thought of IAMDYNAMITE and loved it. We were about to make an album, but it hadn’t happened yet, so it was good time to change the name before we released something. How did you come up with the name? I was reading a book on existentialism, and there was a quote from a philosopher saying, ‘I am not a man. I am dynamite.’ It was about giving your own meaning to life. I thought that ‘I am dynamite’ was such an empowering phrase. We thought it was cool because it has a real meaning, but it is also kind of funny to say, and that appealed to us. IAMDYNAMITE will be playing at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 on iSPY’s stage at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. For more information, visit

JULY 2011







Aimee Mandle: “Spank” – The Naked and Famous “Roll Up” – Wiz Khalifa “Cardiac Arrest” – Teddybears “Slow Motion” – The Shitsez “Dreams Money Can Buy” – Drake Mary Simkins: “Train Song” – Todd Snider “Love That I Found” – Led Zeppelin “Better People” – Xavier Rudd “Henrietta” – The Fratellis “(Song for my) Sugar Spun Sister” – The Stone Roses David Nassar “10 A.M. Automatic” – The Black Keys “Web” – The Roots “Black Math” – The White Stripes “MFC” – Pearl Jam “L.A. Woman” – The Doors Paul Kitti “Officer” – Slightly Stoopid “Laredo” – Band of Horses “Girlfriend in a Coma” – The Smiths “Mardy Bum” – Arctic Monkeys “Lola Stars and Stripes” – The Stills Joshua Trent: “California On My Mind” – Wild Light “Sweet Disposition” – The Temper Trap “Orange Sky” – Alexi Murdoch “Marquee” – Greg Laswell “MoneyGrabber” – Fitz & The Tantrums Chris Adams “You Wanna Freak Me Out” – My Morning Jacket “Baby Missiles” – The War on Drugs “Sacred Heart” – Cass McCombs “Gypsy” – Fleetwood Mac “One More” – Cymande Kristin Slater: “Sleepy Head” – Passion Pit “Hospital Beds” – Cold War Kids “Sleep through the Static” – Jack Johnson “Under the Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers “Rill Rill” – Sleigh Bells

Bruno Postigo: “CMKY” – James Blake “Civilization” – Justice “Afterburner” – Panda Bear “Go Outside” – Cults “Miercoles” – Omar Rodriguez Lopez “My Step” – Little Dragon Joey Brandt “Rain is a Good Thing” – Luke Brian “Spirit in the Sky” – Norman Greenbaum “Long Summer” – Keith Urban “Life’s Been Good to Me” – Joe Walsh “Junkyard” – Page France Amanda Slater: “Helena Beat” – Foster the People “The Internet Killed the Video Star” – The Limousines “Lisztomania” – Phoenix “Kids” – Sleigh Bells “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs Bilal Saeed: “I Do It” – Big Sean “I’m On One” – DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne “Fire in Your New Shoes” – Kaskade “Satellite” – Mansions on the Moon “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Afrojack Tim Adkins: “The Count” – Todd Osborn “Levee” – Chris Bathgate “Morning Thought” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. “Orion Town 2” – Frontier Ruckus “Monkeys Upstairs” – Iron and Wine


music guide


STAFF PICKS Summer Playlist

If the days of grunge scrubbed away the care-free fun of rock n’ roll, the Arctic Monkeys have been trying to revive it ever since their 2006 debut, “Whatever people say I am, That’s what I’m ARTIST: Arctic Monkeys not.” While the playful English ALBUM: Suck it and See lads may have taken us on a 4/5 TOWERS BY DAVID NASSAR darker, slightly more abstract journey with 2009’s “Humbug,” their newest album, the suggestively titled “Suck it and See” summer (that might be a subtle sugmusic gestion to critics who panned guide “Humbug” for being too inaccessible) represents a return to the unabashed whimsy of their earlier work. The new album is decidedly more upbeat and poppy than its predecessor, and it may very well be a breath of fresh air for hardcore Monkeys fans pining for a return to the days of “Dancing Shoes” and “A Certain Romance.” Even with that said, for all of its sardonic wit and popappeal, “Suck it and See” may be the Monkeys’ most “adult” album to date. The album opens with “She’s Thunderstorms,” an upbeat, Strokesesque indie-pop ballad, and “Black Treacle,” one of the catchiest tracks on the album, and one that might make Rivers Cuomo and the boys a bit jealous. Darker cuts like “Don’t Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair” and “All My Own Stunts” are somewhat reminiscent of “Humbug,” but are nicely balanced by tracks like “Library Pictures” and “That’s Where You’re Wrong,” which could have easily come off of “Whatever People Say I am…” or “Favourite Worst Nightmare.” Some songs, like “Reckless Serenade” and the title track “Suck it and See” mark a return to the sarcastic, relationship-based narratives that have made Alex Turner one of the most respected rock lyricists across the pond. And, with the throwback feel of these songs, I can’t help but picture a crooning Vegas lounge-singer rather than four skinny boys from Sheffield. The first single off the album is the oddly simplistic “Brick by Brick,” a straight-forward, old-school rock song ala AC/DC. (This might be the only track that seems out of place on the album, and is definitely a red-hearing first-single, but was probably released as another sarcastic dig at the critics who loved to hate “Humbug,” as in: “You wanted a mindless pop/rock song… well, here you go.”) In the end, “Suck it and See” may not please every Arctic Monkeys fan completely. It truly seems to be just the next progression from a band whose lives have changed drastically over the past six years. But this album may also be their most comprehensive, not one of the 12 tracks seem rushed or incomplete. And, while it may not contain the same level of snide rudeness that seemed to define the early Monkeys, there’s no doubt that this band is still in it to have fun and maybe, just maybe piss a few people off in the process.

JULY 2011




ARTIST: My Morning Jacket ALBUM: Circuital 4/5 TOWERS BY AIMEE MANDLE


music guide

With five albums behind them, My Morning Jacket has explored numerous stylistic avenues. They have dabbled in reggae, folk, rock, and their specialty â&#x20AC;&#x201C; head boppinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, jam-out tunes. With no one genre to call their own, they are an interesting anomaly in the current musical line-up. And, after a three year gap from their last album, the band has reinvented their original style by infusing elements from different decades and bands in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Circuital.â&#x20AC;? Throughout the album are themes of where the


band is going and where they have beenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or, at the very least, the journey that got them between the two. Opening up the ride is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Victory Dance,â&#x20AC;? a track that slowly builds up from its Western-themed intro into a heavy, guitar laden acid trip. The title song is over seven minutes long, swinging between twangy guitar-plucking and poppy beats. Other highlights include â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wonderful (The Way I Feel),â&#x20AC;? with its acoustic guitar strumming and smooth vocal lull, the Beach Boys-esque â&#x20AC;&#x153;Outta My Systemâ&#x20AC;? that ruminates on bad choices throughout youth and female harmonies and a funky melody in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holding on to Black Metal.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Circuitalâ&#x20AC;? tends to shift between paying homage to past artists and going back to the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roots. Each song sounds like it is channeling music that came out on vinyl or an eight-track, but with a twist. While it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ground-breaking, it does retain an edge that sets the band apart from similar artists, such as Band of Horses or Fleet Foxes. Despite the genrehopping that occurs throughout the album, there is a common thread that pulls it all together. Whether it is Jim Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; adaptable vocal approach or the albumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back-to-basics attitude, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Circuitalâ&#x20AC;? maintains its folky roots while managing to explore new territory. Kind of like a quirky cousin, My Morning Jacketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest release keeps things fresh and unique.

In association with





ARTIST: Sondre Lerche ALBUM: Sondre Lerche 4/5 TOWERS BY MARY SIMKINS

music guide

When I spoke to Sondre Lerche in May, he told me that his new release would be â&#x20AC;&#x153;stripped of frills and back to basics.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an approach that seems to have given him room to experiment with vocal range and rhythm. Alternately melancholy, upbeat, bitter, and optimistic, the songs of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sondre Lercheâ&#x20AC;? are all, in their own way, somewhat unpredictable. The first track, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ricochetâ&#x20AC;? begins only with Lerche singing and occasionally strumming his guitar, singing a few forlorn lines about love lost. However, he lightens the mood with an upswing of catchy lyrics and bouncy rhythms in the next track, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Private Caller.â&#x20AC;? The emotional rollercoaster continues from there with the slowed-down, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Red Flag,â&#x20AC;? in which a lovely melody pairs with romantic, but vaguely pessimistic, lyrics. As a first-time listener, I liked each track better than the one that preceded it and found myself eager to hear what would come next. Whether singing along to rhythmically upbeat and lyrically catchy tracks such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go Right Ahead,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never Mind the Typosâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the River,â&#x20AC;? or feeling pensive along with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coliseum Town,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Domino,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Dangerouslyâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tied Up with the Tide,â&#x20AC;? Lercheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s songs have a tangible effect on oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mood. But just when you think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brought you down, the very next song is likely to get you tapping your foot. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ARTIST: Foster the People ALBUM: Torches 5/5 TOWERS BY AMANDA SLATER While Foster the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first infectious single, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pumped Up Kicks,â&#x20AC;? has been circulating for the better part of a year now, the group belabored the release of their first full-length album until fans had almost forgotten about them. But when the Los Angeles-based indie-pop band finally released â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torches,â&#x20AC;? indie fans welcomed the album with open ears. From the very beginning, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torchesâ&#x20AC;? sucks listeners in with the irresistibly catchy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Helena Beatâ&#x20AC;? and doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let up until the very endâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;without any â&#x20AC;&#x153;fillerâ&#x20AC;? songs. From â&#x20AC;&#x153;Call It What You Wantâ&#x20AC;? to tracks like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houdini,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Torchesâ&#x20AC;? is upbeat, with sincere and meaningful lyricsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;making it the perfect summer soundtrack for those who are looking for an alternative to mainstream summer â&#x20AC;&#x153;clubâ&#x20AC;? hits. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an album that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss a beat and will be hard to top when the group begins to work on their sophomore release, but, with a start like this, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than likely that Foster the People will continue to impress. summer

music guide

Tickets available at, The Palace Box Office and . Charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.


It seems that movie trailers these days go one of two ways: either you see all the good scenes from the movie and are left with no reason to go, or they show you just enough to pique your interest, but you walk away not having the slightest clue what the film is about. After months of trailers and viral advertising, J.J. Abram’s highly anticipated follow-up to “Star Trek,” the mysterious summer blockbuster “Super 8,” was finally revealed to audiences. Let me first say that I thought “Super 8” was really good. That being said, I can understand the mixed reviews it has gotten from critics. I think it all has to do with expectations. Personally, I didn’t have any, and I think that’s why I liked it so much. For movie-goers who are expecting a monster-movie thriller, they will be disappointed. This is not a monster-centric story, but rather one focused on the residents of Lillian, Ohio, when they unexpectedly find themselves in the middle of a mysterious U.S. military cover-up.


The going-comparison at this point seems to be that the film is a cross between “The Goonies,” “E.T.” and “Cloverfield”—and I would say that’s a pretty accurate description. When Joe (Joel Courtney) and his friends sneak out one night to shoot a scene for their zombie movie, they find themselves in the middle of a violent train-wreck. However, after miraculously surviving the accident and inadvertently filming the escape of some mysterious cargo, strange occurrences begin happening across town. As the outof-touch adults in town revert to panic-driven hysteria, Joe and his friends take it upon themselves to save the day. Is “Super 8” somewhat predictable? Yes. Does it get somewhat hokey towards the end? Yes. Is the ending original and emotionally moving? Not really. But this is not meant to be a film that breaks the mold, but rather one the works effectively within the mold that great storytellers like “Super 8” producer Steven Spielberg developed years ago with “E.T.” and “Close Encounters.”




age container, or computer screen is telling you to buy something. Personally, I’m sick of it. And, thankfully, so is Morgan Spurlock. You may remember Spurlock from his 2003 documentary “Super Size Me,” where he ate nothing but McDonald’s for thirty straight days, demonstrating the ugly toll that fast food has on our bodies. His unique ability to identify a societal problem and bring it to light in a humorous way is what made “Super Size Me,” and now, his latest documentary, so engaging. While “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” might not be the most thrilling choice of entertainment for your next Friday night, it offers insights that may change the way you look at other films. Essentially, this is an experiment/ documentary about product placement, funded entirely by product placement. The cameras follow Spurlock as he visits dozens of companies and pitches his film idea, and how the company can benefit from writing him a check. The film’s greatest quality is that it completely exposes the relationship between filmmakers and advertisers, allowing viewers a behind-theFILM: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold scenes look at why and how two seemingly DIRECTED BY: MORGAN SPURLOCK unrelated things—such as Iron Man and 3.5/5 TOWERS BY PAUL KITTI Burger King—can be paired together in commercials and posters and billboards. The film poster for “The Greatest Things get more interesting as Spurlock Movie Ever Sold,” hanging in the lobby comes close to securing enough sponsors of The State Theater, depicts a smilto fully fund his project and has to accoming Morgan Spurlock clothed entirely modate for all the contractual stipulations in advertisements. Hotels, beverage that himself and the sponsors had agreed companies, automobile manufacturers, upon. In the movie, the only car he can clothing lines and airline companies drive is a Mini Cooper, the only beverage he have their logos branded across his can consume is POM Wonderful, and the body, connecting their product to the only gas station he can frequent is Sheetz. movie and, correspondingly, the eyes “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” creativeof every person who strolls through the ly meet the demands of its corporate spontheater lobby. It’s the kind of gimmicky, sors while retaining the humor and relevanshameless and unavoidable product cy Spurlock is known for. Clever corporate placement that would normally evoke jokes, ridiculously obvious advertisements feelings of aggravation and disdain—if and animated on-screen illustrations are it weren’t so comically intentional. scattered throughout the film, separating it It’s sad that they had to go so overfrom most other documentaries by balancboard to get the point across – othering its informative qualities with Spurlock’s wise people probably wouldn’t get the special breed of humor. This should be joke. We are so conditioned to seeing mandatory viewing for those who work in products displayed everywhere they marketing and entertainment, but I think don’t belong, it’s like we’re almost able that any individual who has ever felt overto ignore them entirely. But this ability whelmed or annoyed by undesired adverto ignore has only pushed advertisers tisements will gain a new perspective and to be more aggressive and creative a few laughs from this unique film. with their product placement, to the point where almost any movie, bever-

JULY 2011



[REVIEW] FILM: The Hangover Part II DIRECTED BY: Todd Phillips 3/5 TOWERS BY DAVID NASSAR While good comedy sequels might be rare, few have garnered the kind of anticipation that has been brewing since the 2009 breakout comedy hit, “The Hangover.” With fans poised to see Zach Galifianakis and the boys put one more bender under their bachelor-party belt, “The Hangover Part II” broke records on its way to earning more than $139 million in its first week. While The Hangover Part II provides its fair share of shockingly funny moments,


the recycled jokes and been-there-donethat storyline make you wonder if they even tried to come up with something original. Two years removed from their raunchy Vegas escapades, we find Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) making plans for friend Stu’s (Ed Helms) Thailand wedding. No, he’s not re-marrying his showgirl ex-wife played by Heather Graham in the original, but rather Lauren (Jamie Chung), whose traditional Thai father is anything but impressed with Stu. Just as in the original, a seemingly innocent first toast of the night leads directly


to a morning of questions and regrets. The remainder of the movie finds the wolf pack trying to piece back together the events of the previous night and get Stu back in time for his wedding, with the same screw-ups and shocking revelations as in the original movie. With only Zach Galifianakis’ character left to get hitched and huge box office numbers over Memorial Day weekend, I wouldn’t doubt that we’re going to see “The Hangover Part III.” Let’s just hope there’s something new besides a different exotic backdrop and a couple forgettable, minor characters.



Taking a break from his outlandish, but lovable comedy roles, Will Ferrell exercises his serious acting chops in “Everything Must Go”—although this isn’t Ferrell’s first foray into drama. He’s already shown his ability to break away from his go-to characters in films like “Winter Passing” and “Stranger than Fiction.” Adapted from Raymond Carver’s short story, “Why Don’t You Dance?,” the film opens with alcoholic Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell) being fired from his job due to a business trip bender. After that, everything else spirals out of control. Nick’s wife leaves him, changes the locks to the house and dumps all of his possessions on the front lawn. His company car gets repossessed, and his credit cards and


phone get shut off. With nothing left to lose, Nick camps out on his front lawn with a mini fridge full of PBR. When threatened with being removed from his property, Nick is given an out by his AA sponsor, a detective (Michael Peña). He must sell everything within five days, but once that time is up, he will be forced to leave. In the process of selling his belongings, he builds and breaks connections with neighbors and former acquaintances. Overall, “Everything Must Go” felt restrained and lacking a depth of raw emotion that Ferrell is capable of delivering, making this a bittersweet viewing. On one hand, the film delivers a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Viewers want Nick to get out of his funk and start to piece his life together. On the other hand, there is a lot of space throughout the film with very little to fill it. It becomes primarily character-driven, and we are left following Ferrell’s sad, but quiet cathartic journey. There are no melodramatic meltdowns or obvious solutions to what seems like a solvable problem— which might be, in some ways, more like real life.

i SPY JULY 2011


kick some vs. app!



>>>>Why this kicks app:

Gone are the days when you have to wonder what the name of that song is that you hear while you’re at the coffee shop. Nowadays, we just pull out our phone and find out. The only problem we have now is figuring out which app we should use to find out what it is we’re listening to. Shazam and SoundHound are the two most popular apps for this, but which is better? Both apps do just about the exact same thing—when you hear music, load the app, “tag,” let the app listen to the song for a few seconds, and it will tell you what song/artist it is. At that point, there’s links to purchase the song on iTunes, see tour information for the artist, read the lyrics for the song you’re listening to, share the song via social networks, etc. Both apps have a paid version and a free version (both paid versions are $4.99). But while the free Shazam app only allows users to tag five songs per month, the free SoundHound app allows users to tag an unlimited amount of songs. The only reason to get the paid version of SoundHound is to eliminate advertisements, which aren’t that cumbersome to begin with. SoundHound Infinity (as the paid version is called) also comes with a home screen widget, which allows users to identify songs quicker—although, for the casual user, $4.99 is a bit steep for this added feature.

So which should you use? I would recommend using SoundHound over Shazam. Shazam is more popular and better advertised on TV and magazines than SoundHound, but, in my experience, it’s not as good as SoundHound. I’ve found that SoundHound tends to work better when there is more background noise. Often times, when you’re in a crowded bar or coffee shop and try to tag a song with Shazam, it comes up empty. With SoundHound, I’ve almost never had this happen. SoundHound is normally the faster of the two apps as well. SoundHound is a great app to have, and it’s one that you’ll use all of the time. It does cause you to spend more money on iTunes than you would otherwise, but discovering new music you love makes it worth it.

Ypsilanti July Events

July 1-3

20th Annual Michigan Camaro Superfest

July 8-9

12th Annual Michigan ElvisFest

July 16

Shadow Art Fair

July 22-23

Michigan Brewers Association Summer Beer Festival

July 23-24

Thunder Over Michigan Air Show

For information on these and other events check out our redesigned web site at


kick some app!

APP: Ghostly Discovery 4/5 TOWERS BY TIM ADKINS

When you’re constantly on the move and changing from one atmosphere, mood and situation to another, it’s hard for your music collection to keep up—and it’s next to impossible to have a playlist for each of these moods and situations. I take that back, it was next to impossible. Say hello to Ghostly Discovery. Here’s how it works. Start by selecting your mood. Your mood changes throughout the day and they’ve basically got them all covered. From sad to laid back onto energetic and aggressive, there’s a color and mood for you. Then you can pick the style of music you’d like to listen to—whether it be digital or organic or music that’s faster or slower. Click “Discover” and the app will generate a playlist to

fit your mood. Within that new page, you can now learn more about that artist, purchase that song or star favorite tracks to share with friends. Not feeling it? Hit the next button and move onto a new track by a new artist and let the discovering begin.

>>>>Why this kicks app:

I’ve used this app in so many different scenarios. It’s been the background music for iSPY staff meetings and I’ve used it while on the treadmill at the gym, cleaning my apartment, getting ready to go out to ‘da club and even for random dance parties at the office. Just think of it as that goofy mood ring you used to wear—only this one pumps out jams. It’s kind of that.

og! l b r u o it is V ? x fi r u yo n e still haven’t gott

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i SPY JULY 2011


Depot Town Rag



read more from Depot Town Rag at

By Tom Dodd

Tribute Artists return E l v i s l i v e s i n Yp s i for Ypsi’s ElvisFest “More legendary than ever” –Harrah’s Las Vegas elevator poster “One of the best music festivals in the Mid-west,” Chicago Tribune “One of the ten festivals in Michigan you’d hate to miss,” MiLife MiTimes

Dwight icenhower, of Pomeroy, Ohio, has shared the stage with Dj Fontana, The Jordanaires, The Sweet Inspirations, Cynthia Pepper, Julie Parrish, Charlie Hodge And Joe Esposito

Canton, Michigan’s Chris Ayotte also does impressions Of U.S. Presidents, famous politicians, sportscasters, and a variety of other celebrities.

Thirty-three years after his death, reports of Elvis-sightings continue across the country, but it still seems the best place to spot The King is on the streets of Ypsi’s Depot Town on July 8 and 9. In 2000, Depot Towners asked permission from Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. in Memphis, TN, to bring what may be the world’s greatest entertainer back to life on a big stage down by the Huron River in Ypsilanti. Over time, locals saw the enormous crowd of fans as a huge draw toward the renovation of their historic neighborhood. Nearly 10,000 attended the 2010 ElvisFest. When the Depot Town Association and its Community Development Corporation abandoned their sponsorship last winter, Festival Director Mary Decker picked up the enthusiasm of her loyal volunteers and determined to keep the Michigan ElvisFest alive. Decker and her followers have regrouped into a nonprofit entity and will mark the 33rd anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley this month as they continue the ElvisFest here. Not a contest, but a true concert with spectacular performances from the opening act to the hyperbolic finale, by the best professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America.

The main attractions at Ypsi’s ElvisFest are the Elvis Tribute Artists, but other performers are also featured, including acts in the style of artists such as Tom Jones and Roy Orbison. Musical attractions of the weekend program include a salute to the military, a children’s area, and a candlelight vigil in memory of the life of Elvis Presley. The Michigan ElvisFest works closely with Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, an international organization dedicated to providing food for housebound, often elderly, people. Funds raised by colorful event help people in the Ypsilanti area receive food on a daily basis just as Meals on Wheels has been doing since its inception in London, England during World War II. The Ypsilanti event brings an ethic of the American South to Riverside Park: talented and dedicated performers, respectful and adoring fans, southern favorites at the food concessions, a laid-back beer tent, activities for the tots, and an attitude of dignity and civility long observed in Ypsilanti’s grasp of history and heritage. Elvis would be 76 years old today and his fans span four generations as they gather on the grass in Riverside Park for the 12th annual Michigan ElvisFest.

JULY 2011





Elvis exits as Jacob, Isabella top baby-name list By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, AP WASHINGTON — Elvis has left the list. Ending a run that started in 1955, Elvis did not make the list of 1,000 most popular baby names compiled by the Social Security Administration. The name never topped the charts, peaking at No. 312 in 1957 and making a slight comeback after Elvis Presley died in 1977. But The King’s first name was in the

top 1,000 for 55 straight years, something that cannot be said for, say, Barack, which has never cracked the list. “I was all shook up,” Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said. “It’s been a tradition tracking his ups and downs, and to see him drop off the top 1,000, I have to be honest, we took that very hard at Social Security.”

We l o v e a p a r a d e

Garrison Keillor tells of the big parade in Lake Wobegon where so many of the town’s folks marched in the event that there was no one left to watch from the sidewalk as they passed by. That’s never been a problem in Ypsilanti. Ypsi enjoys thousands of performers with even more folks in the street-side audience. Still, if you want to, you can march in the first part of the parade and then walk In Downtown Ypsilanti N. Washington between Michigan and Pearl back to watch the rest of it pass by. We love parades here. John Devine, Annie and August 12, 7-10 p.m. Sponsored by DAY: Many of this year’s parades will folDowntown Association Rod Capps ANN ARBOR – YPSILANTI low routes not seen before as street LEGENDS of Ypsilanti work and sidewalk repair stretches July 22, 7-10 p.m. George Bedard, Steve With support from through the season, but our traditional COUNTRY NIGHT Nardella Ypsilanti Convention and parades continue nonetheless. We are Julianne & the Rogues, Visitor’s Bureau a bit like New Orleans in that way. August 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. GW Staton & the Black • Ypsi’s 2011 parade season began Crystal Revue US-12 GARAGE SALE July 8, 6-10 p.m. with the March of the Mutts on St. www.us12heritagetrail. HOMETOWN PARTY Paddy’s Day and continues throughorg/garagesale.asp Martindales, Shelter Dogs, July 29, 7-10 p.m. out the year. R&B, SOUL, GOSPEL As the Crow Flies. Kinks • The Memorial Day event was not August 19, 7-10 p.m. and the Krew NoteWorthy, Eddie actually a parade, but a procession Hughes JAZZ/WORLD to honor our veterans, stopping by John E. Lawrence, Washt- the World War I memorial plaques at July 16, 6-10 p.m. enaw Community College the Huron River to play taps and toss August 5, 7-10 p.m. FOLKS, ROOTS, BLUES, INTERNATIONAL Youth Choir Ensemble, AMERICAN wreaths of flowers into the water, then Harper, Shari Kane & Dave Muraga, Dave Sharp Billy Brandt & Sarana moving on to more solemn ceremoVerlin, Potter’s Field, Frank Steele, John Latini nies at Highland Cemetery. Allision, Jo Serrapere & • Some like to think July’s steady


stream of Elvis Tribute Artists up and down our streets is a parade, but it’s not. That preening procession is just a lot of creative dressers and performers showing their respect for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but it’s still a great show. • On July fourth, we celebrate Independence Day with one of the oldest parades in Michigan. It’s highly patriotic and features flags, bunting, and anything red, white, and blue on this happy day. • August’s annual Heritage Parade celebrates our town’s venerated old stuff: music, cars, trucks, bicycles, historical organizations, and even old people. This year’s theme will focus on the Yankee Air Museum’s collection of World War II memorabilia. • And then there’s the informal every-Thursday-night parade of vintage vehicles as they glide in for Cruise Nights all summer long. When they angle park, it seems to qualify as a “stationary parade” in which it’s the audience that moves along the street. Ypsilanti puts on a season-long show in its streets.

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i SPY JULY 2011


Come out this summer for Halcyon Sundaze 5th year in the beer garden! We’ll be enjoying another season of lazy summer Sundays full of warm weather, cold beer, and chill grooves. Returning and rotating DJs spin lazy summer sounds, deep cuts, and classics, ranging from down tempo beats and breaks to funk, soul and rock & roll, reggae, blues, electronica, you name it. There is always a special beer brewed just for the day. Rain or shine from 2-9. No cover. As always, Cousins Vinyl will be selling $1 records. LLIC magazine will be showcasing the area’s best upcoming artists while getting everyone hip to their all killer, no filler publication. We had a great turn out for both May & June, here are the remaining summer dates:

Jul. Aug.

Saturday July 23rd, Join us under the big tent for our MBG Summer Beer Fest unofficial after party featuring LIVE music & Halcyon dj’s from 5-11pm Sunday July 24th, we’ll be barking up the dog days of Halcyon and in the beer garden, music goes from 2-9pm Sunday August 28th, Halcyon coincides with our annual Summer BBQ. Join us for games, food, music and beer 2-9pm

September 11, We bid a fond farewell Sep. Sunday to Indian Summer, music goes from 2-9pm

4 2 2 2 y l u J

MBG Summer Beer Fest weekend ‘11 Jul 22, 2011 to Jul 24, 2011

Come enjoy the ONLY Microbrewery in Ypsilanti after MBG Summer Beer Fest! Corner Brewery is only 1/4 mile down the road.

Friday: Come meet our friendly staff and stay for a beer or two. Saturday: We’ll be partying in the beer garden spilling into the parking lot under the

beer tent for the un-official MBG after party. Come out for brews, food, dj’s and LIVE entertainment featuring Rootstand from 5pm-11pm.

Sunday: Come hang out in the beer garden and listen to the chill sounds of Dannboy

for Halcyon Sundaze.

Rat Pad Release July 20, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

The third Wednesday of every month we release a special small-batch beer call the Rat Pad. The Rat Pad is a 10 gallon brew system at Corner Brewery used by local amateur and professional brewers to create interesting fermented concoctions for your drinking pleasure. Rat Pads are released at 6pm and are available while supplies last. If there is any left at 9pm, you can take the Rat home with you in a growler.

Hop Town Brown Re l e a s e Pa r t y

July 20, 2011 @ 6:00 PM Every month the brewers at ABC and Corner Brewery party with mug clubbers and guests in celebration of a new beer release. Release parties run from 6-8 and include samples of the featured beer, light appetizers, and 30% off carry-out during the event. Release parties are FREE for mug club members and $10 for non-members.

Summer Shadow Art Fair

July 16, 2011 12PM-12AM Join us for the Summer Shadow Art Fair! The Shadow Art Fair is a juried event that allows local artists to exhibit and sell their works within a comfortable, friendly, and supportive setting. This one-day, 12–hour event is held each year at The Corner Brewery. Local music, featured brews, and other special activities add a distinct flavor and sense of community to this creative showcase. Please visit for more information.

For more information visit 720 Norris St (Just one block N of depot town) Ypsilanti MI 48198 (734)-480-2739

JULY 22 a 23 2011

Beer Festival FRI SAT 5-9 a 1-6

iSPY July 2011  
iSPY July 2011  

July features include the Ann Arbor Art Fair, Matt and Kim, Xavier Nuez, iamdynamite, and Tally Hall!