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Wednesday, November 26,2014

New in town

by ALLAN I. ROSS
The shuffle between Kris Elliot’s downtown Lansing Urban Feast restaurants seems to have settled down … for now, at least. The Black Rose, formerly connected to the defunct Edmund’s Pastime, opened last Friday, just in time for Silver Bells in the City traffic. The space, 206 S. Washington Ave., is the former location for Tavern on the Square, which became Tavern and Tap earlier this month when it moved up to the corner, 101 S. Washington Square, former home of Edmund’s. (Before that, the space belonged to the third downtown Urban Feast restaurant, Troppo, which opened there in 2004; in 2010, Elliot built a new building from the ground up for Troppo across the street.)
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Hail Santa! Local metalheads will put their devil horns to good use with a holiday charity show Saturday at the Loft. Taking the stage are St8 of Mine, Five Hundredth Year, My Perfect Nightmare and New Day Revolution. There will be a food/toy drive and raffles for door prizes, with all proceeds going to the Homeless Angels of Lansing. “Like new” or “gently used” toys are acceptable; gifts cards are also welcome. Headliner St8 of Mine, a Laingsburg-based hardcore band inspired by Slipknot, Pantera and Mudvayne, is vocalist Steve Jodway, Mike Martin (drums), Corey Smith (bass) and guitarists Shawn Willett and Matt Martin. The song “False Crown,” a teaser for the band’s upcoming album, is streamed at facebook. com/st8ofmine.
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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 26,2014

Annual gift guide: Bells-eye view

A first-timer reflects on Silver Bells

by KRISTA WILSON
As a newcomer to Silver Bells in the City, I would say Lansing knows how to entertain — even in 20-degree weather. I showed up downtown before 5 to take in as much of the event as I could. The first spectacle I hit was the Lansing City Market to see the reindeer. Rudolph was not in attendance, but those who did show up seemed to lack the holiday spirit. They just moped around, so I didn’t stay there too long.
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Glass slippers and mouse kings

Friday, Nov. 28

by KRISTA WILSON
Between television’s array of hit shows mired in folklore and the growing number of cinematic “re-envisionings” of fairy tales, popular culture seems to have fallen down the rabbit hole of happily ever after. The millions of parents around the world who will drive their minivan off a cliff if their kids subject them to “Frozen”’s hit anthem “Let it Go” one more time can probably testify to that.
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Annual gift guide: The gift that helps you give

New technology enables you to find the perfect present

by Beth Waldon
We’re willing to bet that you’ve got an Uncle Bert or an Aunt Josefina who’s impossible to find the right present for. Train calendar or a bird feeder? Ballroom dancing lessons or season tickets to the Lugnuts? Guess it’s going to be a gift certificate again. If only there was some way to find out what they actually want. Thanks to modern technology, there is. There are free apps and websites available that enable shoppers to buy gifts for their friends and family members that they’ll actually use.
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Annual gift guide: The white elephant in the room

Gift party traditions make sure everyone goes home with a smile

by Beth Waldon
It may seem like the list of people you have to buy for gets longer each year, but it’s possible to get something for everyone without going in the red and still making sure everyone gets included. Gift parties have become a part of the holiday landscape, where people can get together, exchange presents and have fun without the pressure of making sure no one gets left in the cold The best part is, you might even save money, as you only have to buy for one person, and you come out looking like a champ for hosting a party.
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Wednesday, November 26,2014

Annual gift guide: Gifting Taboos

What not to gift this holiday season

by Anne Abendroth
Giving gifts may seem to be something everyone enjoys, but there are some gifting superstitions that may offend certain cultures. Some gifts that may seem innocuous to you might mean something significant to another culture. So as you make your way through your gift list, keep these gifting taboos in mind.
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Wednesday, November 19,2014

Little mermaid, big message

Author packs transgender girl's be-yourself-ness into vibrant children's book

by Lawrence Cosentino
“Pretending I was a boy felt like telling a lie.” “I Am Jazz” touches piano keys no other children’s book touches, but the last chord has a familiar ring: Be yourself. A mermaid-loving Florida girl, 14-yearold Jazz Jennings is swimming into mainstream culture to become the smiling face of transgender youth. In her wake, a brightly hued book about her life is darting upstream into schools, libraries and stores.
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