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Wednesday, December 17,2014

Book drop

Arts Council pays forward donation of mini-library from former MSU prof

by Allan I. Ross
Festivus isn’t the only December holiday “Seinfeld” gave us. In the 1995 episode “The Label Maker,” the all-too-common practice of giving someone a present that some one else had recently given you got a name: Regifting. The term caught on, and 13 years later, Dec. 18 was declared National Regifting Day by the State of Colorado.
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Wednesday, December 10,2014

Last minute gift guide: The vinyl frontier

local entrepreneurs make art out of old record albums

by Allan I. Ross
Who knows why interest in vinyl records is waxing these days. Perhaps it’s the soothing crackles and pops of a needle sneaking through the grooves, or maybe it’s just nostalgia for dust jackets and liner notes. But for Records Redone, albums are both the message and the medium.
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Wednesday, December 10,2014

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
While yoga, spinning and boot camp classes will soon be filled to capacity by New Year’s resolution makers, local women have a new option that is bound to be a conversation starter: Pole dancing. Welcome to Stilettos & Steel Fitness on Lansing’s west side. “This isn’t training for the strip club,” said owner/ instructor Candice Tess. “Pole builds confidence and strength. A lot of women come thinking this would be fun, but say they’re really impressed how hard of a workout it is.”
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

Lansing’s glitterati

Arts Council honors four leaders of local culture at annual awards presentation

by Allan I. Ross
The Arts Council of Greater Lansing honored four key contributors to the mid- Michigan arts and culture scene at the 35th Annual Holiday Glitter gala Tuesday night. The Applause Awards were given in three categories: the Individual Leadership Award, which was presented this year to Nancy and Gary McRay; the Business Leadership Award, presented to Lansing Community College and its president, Brent Knight; and the inaugural Civic Leadership Award, which was given to East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

On ego’s wings

Michael Keaton soars in the gravity-, genre-defying ‘Birdman’

by Allan I. Ross
The sooner you see “Birdman” the better. Like the latest episode of “South Park” or “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” it is utterly of the moment and its urgency, its insistent need to be consumed, is evident in every frame. Who knows how long it will be before this revolutionary style — an entire movie constructed as a single take! Meta commentaries of today’s marquees! — feels passé.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

New in town

by Allan I. Ross
On Oct. 20, Uli´s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on Lansing’s south side, announced on its Facebook page that it would be temporarily closed as the venue´s management dealt with “some legal issues.”
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Annual gift guide: December loving

A guide to the season’s best apps, gift parties

by Allan I. Ross
Well this is interesting. For the first time in over 30 years, the 2014 gift-giving season will consist of a single stretch of holiday revelry, from the lighting of the shamush on Dec. 16, the first night of Chanukah, to the lighting of the black candle on Jan. 1, the last day of Kwanzaa. That’s the longest the holiday season can be — lucky us!
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Be great or disappear

Indie sensation ‘Whiplash’ pounds out a provocative rhythm

by Allan I. Ross
It’s one thing to want to be something — a novelist, a cartoonist, a theoretical physicist — but it’s another to want to be Something — a Vonnegut, a Watterson, a Stephen Hawking. In the Sundance hit “Whiplash,” we see the brutal side of the pursuit of excellence, particularly in those who are self-imposed with nurturing it.
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Beyond the lights

State Christmas tree’s LED lighting design revamped for 2014

by Allan I. Ross
In 2012, City Pulse wrote that the Michigan State Christmas tree looked like it had been “stuffed in an ugly Christmas sweater … (and resembles) the tip of a nuclear missile.” Last year, we compared it to “a lunch lady’s hairnet.” Harsh words, but take ...
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Outside the (invisible) box

Local mime competes on national TV, launches entertainment company

by Allan I. Ross
Mimes are up there with lawyers and female Republicans as socially acceptable targets of public ridicule. There’s no good reason — what’s so deplorable about invisible walls and stiff winds? — but it’s possible that their white faces and gleeful silences put ...
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