City Pulse - Arts and Culture <![CDATA[Annual gift guide: December loving]]> 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! ]]> <![CDATA[Annual gift guide: The gift that helps you give]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Annual gift guide: Bells-eye view]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Annual gift guide: Gifting Taboos]]> <![CDATA[Annual gift guide: The white elephant in the room]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[When parallels meet]]> There are risks to putting jazz and classical musicians together. When Duke Ellington unleashed his first big jazz-symphony hybrid, “A Tone Parallel to Harlem,” in 1951, photographers swarmed the stage. (Ellington made news taking a bath, let alone blending a symphony orchestra with his big band.) A flash bulb exploded and fell on the balding head of a string-bass player, according to a review the next day. ]]> <![CDATA[Be great or disappear]]> 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. ]]> <![CDATA[Glass slippers and mouse kings]]> 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. ]]> <![CDATA[Turn it down]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[New in town]]> 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.) ]]> <![CDATA[Little mermaid, big message]]> “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.]]> <![CDATA[Beyond the lights]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Outside the (invisible) box]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Crowdsourcing: Origin stories]]> Crowdsourcing is a new City Pulse occasional feature that will highlight local crowdsourcing campaigns. To find the events, go to the designated website and search by title. ]]> <![CDATA[Curtain call: Dangerous intentions]]> There can be no play more aptly fitting MSU’s seasonal theme of “Power Plays” than “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” It is a powerful script about powerful people carelessly playing Review with power as they manipulate and destroy those around them.]]> <![CDATA[Tarzan and the Great Lakes State]]> Generations have grown up reading the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, including his enduring “Tarzan” and “John Carter of Mars” fantasy series. They’ve pored over the countless movie, TV show and comic book adaptations, but few know about the love-hate relationship the Chicago native had for Michigan. ]]> <![CDATA[Touch of silver]]> Lansing’s premiere holiday event, Silver Bells in the City, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. And rather than make with the pearls, as is traditional for the 30th, Silver Bells is giving the gift of sea sponge-inspired DIY pop hit makers. Oh Lansing, you’re so thoughtful!]]> <![CDATA[Turn it down]]> ]]> <![CDATA[New in town]]> After 10 years of business, downtown Lansing’s Restaurant Mediteran will close in February. Owner Igor Jurkovic said that his parents, who both operate the restaurant, wanted to retire and it would be impossible to hire replacements for them. ]]> <![CDATA[Mooney/Dick show canceled]]>