What is THAT? – Oddities from the MT mailbox

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Here’s the deal. Every day here at the Metro Times, our mail delivery includes CDs, books and all sorts of other promotional items. A lot of it we can use and review – local-interest music, DVDs, etc. But we also get a lot of weird and whacky items that just kinda build up. So that’s where this idea came from. Each week (or at least most weeks) I’ll gather up some of the more interesting, freaky and brow-furrowing promo pieces and offer them up here for you. I could be about to show you anything.
On that note, feel free to send us anything to Brett Callwood, 733 St Antoine, Detroit MI 48226.

First up is a book called The Very Inappropriate Word (Christy Ottaviano Books) by Jim Tobin and illustrated by Dave Coverly. A children’s book, we are treated to the story of Michael, a young man who collects words (much like we do at the MT). Michael hears a naughty word on the bus, and it dogs him for the rest of the day.
You can see what Tobin and Coverly are deftly attempting. It’s not easy to teach kids not to say something when, in fact, the very reason they want to say it is because they’re not supposed to. Michael ends up in hot water and, hey, maybe this book will stop kids swearing in front of teachers. It certainly won’t stop it on the playground. Still, as a parent, this writer appreciates the effort. The writing is quirky and the illustrations and fonts are wonderful.

Sticking with the book theme, though moving in an entirely different direction, we received this little beauty from Topps, the people behind those trading cards that came with a little pink dried up stick of gum. They have put out a book called Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Abrams ComicArts) by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, and it’s great fun. The jacket is made from that same plastic-y paper that the cards and gum came in, which is weird and impractical (it keeps sliding off the book) but a nice touch. Block worked on Star Trek for Paramount, while Erdmann has written numerous books on the franchise, so we’re in good hands though this is largely a visual journey. The cards are laid out, front and back, and there’s a little paragraph on each one. There’s also a bonus pack of cards. Sweet.

It’s tough to figure out what Vicki Yohe’s people thought we would be able to do with her live album, Free Worshipper: A Praise and Worship Experience. She’s from Baton Rouge, LA, and the album was recorded at the Faithworld Church in Orlando. No local interest, so all we’re left with is a creepy looking lady who sings bad Christian pop. Nothing against religious music, but this is very, very far removed from, say, gorgeous and soulful gospel music. This is a cheesy, synthy, Godawful mess. It’s like Paula Deen on Glee.

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