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Thursday, January 29,2015

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Mid-Winter's Tales

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, JAN. 29 — So far this winter hasn't been the kind of snow and cold onslaught that had us hunkering down inside to read last year, but those of us looking for any excuse can point to occasional days of flurries and do it anyway . Here's what we're reading:
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Crowned with glory

Photographer Michael Cunningham discusses his book ´Crowns´

by Bill Castanier
If Michael Cunningham has his way, the downtown branch of the Capital Area District Library will be, for one afternoon, transformed into an aviary of fancy church hats. Cunningham visits the library Sunday to discuss his photography book, “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats,” and invites attendees to wear their finest church hats to the presentation. If you plan to attend, however, you need to know a few things first. Peggy Knox, a subject in “Crowns,” lays out the three church hat rules:
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Curtain call: Magic shows and miracles

‘Pippin’ revival wraps a message of simplicity in three-ring spectacle

by Paul Wozniak
Part of “Pippin’s” lasting appeal is its sense of defiance. The story defies convention and expectations, and this latest circus-inspired production frequently defies gravity. The cost for audiences is the almost three-hour run time and surprisingly sluggish first act. But the emotional punch at the end and incredible choreography throughout are worth the wait.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Curtain call: Love, death and puppets

Puppets deliver surprising tenderness in ‘Or You Could Kiss Me’

by Mary C. Cusack
The online description of Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.´s current production, "Or You Could Kiss Me," accurately sums up its storyline about an aging couple who grapple with the impending death of one partner. What it doesn’t tell you is that there are puppets involved.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Not all rock shows are organized solely to benefit musicians’ egos. The annual Greater Lansing Food Bank Benefit, now in its fifth year, has become an institution in the Lansing rock scene. The event features live music by local indie and alt-rock bands while also collecting grub for the food bank. Attendees who donate a non-perishable food item save $2 off admission. One of the performers is Jackpine Snag, a doomy grunge-blues band featuring guitarist/vocalist Joe Hart, bassist Jason Roedel and drummer Todd Karinen. Karinen is also the founder and organizer of the event.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
Downtown Lansing’s new bar is hot. Literally hot — it’s in the low- to mid- 90s inside. “It’s not even as hot as it could be,” said Patty Sutherland. “Hot yoga is normally (done) above 100 (degrees), so I actually call this ‘warming up to hot yoga.’” Sutherland is co-owner of Firefly Hot Yoga Bar. And no, despite the name, this is not that kind of bar — it’s a yoga bar, where you do poses, not shots, to unwind. Sutherland, who also owns the 3-year-old East Lansing Hot Yoga in Trowbridge Plaza, has enjoyed the new location.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Crazy in love

MICA Gallery kicks off a month of events built around the idea of love

by Jonathan Griffith
For the last 14 years, Old Town’s MICA Gallery has celebrated Valentine’s Day with its “Burning Desires” event, a live reading of poetry exploring all the complexities and pleasures surrounding the emotion of love. But this year Katrina Daniels, MICA’s program director, wanted to take it up a notch by enveloping the gallery’s space in an art exhibit inspired by the gallery’s ode to all things that make you feel warm and fuzzy. A call to artists was sent, outlining what Daniels had envisioned for the exhibit, but nothing could have prepared her for the response she got.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

In the flesh

‘Women We Are’ photo exhibit tackles body image and femininity

by Belinda Thurston
Melissa Hill has a handful of her right breast, the flesh taut in a stranglehold of frustration. At the same time she is pulling a fold of skin from her left hip in a wrenching motion resembling kneading bread dough, full of loving determination. The image, frozen in black and white photography, brings home the struggle Hill faces inside her skin. “It was very emotional,” said Hill, 37. “She asked me to really kind of focus on what I saw as my flaws, and I mean after weight gain and weight loss and babies, I don’t look like a 20-something anymore, you know? And so I just went with the frustrating feeling that I get sometimes about my body and tried to express that in a kinesthetic way.”
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Gone country

Former Lansing DJ joins Chicago country station Big 95.5

by Ty Forquer
You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Former Lansing-area DJ Amber “Alabama” Cole is returning to her roots as she joins Chicago country music station WEBG (Big 95.5 FM). A native of Pinson, Ala., Cole was raised on a steady diet of southern food and country music. “I wore a cowboy hat to 10th grade homecoming,” she says with a laugh.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Not that kind of doctor

Get to know Ty Forquer, City Pulse arts and culture editor

by Ty Forquer
This is my second week at City Pulse, so I suppose it’s about time you got to know me a little better. This isn’t the boring biographical stuff. If you want that let me know and I can send you a resume. We’re going to give you a glimpse of the real Ty, ya dig? Here’s a semi-arbitrary list of things you should know about me:
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