A N N   A R B O R   I S   O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)

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2003-02-25 - 5:27 p.m.

The Onion features an uncomfortably-close-to-home look at a man who has a "derogatory nickname for every neighboring town" of Vandalia, IL:

"St. Elmo? More like St. Smellmo," said Sadecki, 25, a printing-press operator and part-time delivery driver. "They've got a Hormel plant over in St. Elmo, and the whole town reeks of processed meat. You could also call it St. Hellmo, since there's pretty much nothing to do there besides hang out at the A&W."

Of course, this weblog is far more sophisticated. Rather than come up with sophomoric puns on "Ann Arbor," we prefer to employ sarcastically the nicknames foisted on our fair city by its more well-meaning inhabitants. Which include not only "A-squared" but a sobriquet so insipid that it's rarely or never been mentioned here before: Tree Town.

You down with Tree Town?

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2003-02-24 - 2:33 p.m.

A2 resident Robert L. Baird has seen a few too many Funktelligence and Full signs plastered around downtown. He writes, "Just look at the new, beautiful street lights that have been installed on Liberty and State Street. Already, they have been disfigured with these signs." He suggests aggressive ticketing as a way to keep Ann Arbor beautiful.

But that's nothing. We hear that some of these signs actually refer to loud "rock music" performances at the city's less reputable establishments. The unsightliness of these "trashy signs," as Baird refers to them, is just the beginning - they are an inducement to noise pollution.

Why can't these "rock bands" get out the word about their "shows" via a tasteful newsletter to their paid members, like the Ark?

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2003-02-20 - 12:25 a.m.

In the spirit of Gawker, Ann Arbor Sucks is introducing a new feature - the To-Do List. Now, Gawker is based in Manhattan, so a typical one of theirs goes like this:

1. Hear Liverpool quartet Ladytron at the Bowery Ballroom.
2. Hear Matthew Pearl read from his novel, The Dante Club, at the Astor Place Barnes & Noble.
3. Try the truffled egg toast at 'ino.

Here goes:

To-Do List

1. See Final Destination 2 at the Showcase.
2. Catch the "Proud Parent Network" hour on local public-access cable.
3. Try the Coney dogs at Leo's Coney Island.

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2003-02-17 - 2:27 p.m.

"Ann Arbor doesn't need cold urban canyons," runs a headline on the letters page of the News. Before reading the letter, Ann Arbor Sucks is already sure that cold urban canyons, whatever they are, are exactly what Ann Arbor needs. They sound like they would involve meticulously choreographed postapocalyptic fight scenes.

The letter writer is, however, referring to the spaces created by buildings recently proposed by some planners. These buildings would reach a whopping 30 stories. She proposes, instead, the open-air mall idea already discredited in this weblog. (By "discredited", we mean "subjected to a half-hearted but meanspirited swipe.")

"If we wanted to live in Chicago or San Antonio or Detroit, we would," the letter concludes.

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2003-02-16 - 2:32 a.m.

All right. I'm going this time.

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2003-02-15 - 8:32 p.m.

The MIT Graduate Student Council isn't happy with the spiraling-out-of-control rents at the Institute's popular, well-maintained graduate dorms. Apparently, it's gotten to the point where a room in a two-bedroom apartment in a downtown Cambridge high-rise overlooking the Charles River and the Boston skyline is almost as expensive as a room in a poorly insulated five-bedroom in Ann Arbor.

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2003-02-12 - 12:51 a.m.

The Broadway Bridge is about to close, most likely precipitating new and exciting traffic patterns all over A2. Let's see, where could a city resident possibly get more information about this? The signs up all over town have a partial answer. "Website: Broadway Bridges," they read, which is of course a partial answer because it contains no top-level domain.

Does Ann Arbor Sucks have to do all the work around here? The top-level domain is .org. Here, here's a link. Can Ann Arbor Sucks have a cookie now?

Sources inform this weblog that the BANG! will now cost $6. Ann Arbor Sucks doesn't know about that. That's a few boxes of mac and cheese.

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2003-02-09 - 9:51 p.m.

Rolling Stone considers Shania Twain and Christina Aguilera the epitome of rock and roll. So it can't come as much of a surprise that Ann Arbor made its list of "Campus Scenes That Rock."

More unexpected is the wary, almost suspicious tone with which normally uncritical city booster Talk About Town takes this news. "We can't help wondering if the placement is truly warranted. A regular complaint on the 'campus scene,' in Rolling Stone's phrase, is a lack of local support for local bands - in terms of audience, appropriate venues and radio backing," they ruminate. "After all, the occasional John Hiatt or Taj Mahal show notwithstanding, including middle-aged acoustic haven The Ark among the reasons we 'rock' seems a bit puzzling." Wow, TAT. That almost sounded like snark (assuming the part about "the occasional John Hiatt show" being "notwithstanding" was sarcastic.) Ann Arbor Sucks didn't know you had it in you.

Perhaps a more appropriate barometer of A2's rock scene coolness would be Luna's show at the Blind Pig last night. After drunkenly heckling all the way through the opening act's uninspiring but workmanlike set, the crowd, young and middle-aged alike, proceeded to make the experience as miserable as possible by waving pitchers of beer in the air and screaming various inappropriate but nonetheless unamusing remarks, starting with the equipment setup.

"What's that guy's name? Dennis? Derek."


A far cry from the detached-cool audience Luna usually attracts. But to Rolling Stone's ex-Maxim editor, this is no doubt just the sort of thing that makes Ann Arbor "rock" so hard.

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2003-02-08 - 8:05 p.m.

Normally, the Every Three Weekly is not merely unrepentant, but downright snotty, about being an Onion ripoff. But here they get it right, in a story about the long abandoned Olga's building on the corner of State and Washington:

"No way, man," councilman Jake Rollins said. "We can't just put something in there. It has to sit empty as a depressing reminder of how goddamn much everything in this city costs, especially rent. What, next you're going to tell us we should find something to fill in the Pinball Pete's on State and Packard that's been sitting empty for five years?"

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