Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Afro-Punk Fest Arriving in August

Kristi Kates - June 27th, 2011
Afro-Punk Fest Arriving in August
The seventh annual Afro-Punk fest will take place this year on August 28 and 29 in Brooklyn, and they’re bringing back the Battle for the Streets Skate and BMX Competition for the second time this year; making its debut at the event will be the Afro-Punk Bites and Beats, which will include food vendor trucks from around the world. But let’s get to the music - the lineup’s been announced, too, and will include sets from Ninjasonik, Jay Electronica, Rocky Business, Reggie Watts, and Toro Y Moi, among others, all rocking out in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park…
The 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards - Canada’s answer to America’s MTV Video Music Awards - just took place, with the ubiquitious Lady Gaga snagging two International Video nods. The also ubiquitous Justin Bieber (hmm, do we see a dual tour possibility there?) snagged two awards for himself, for International Video of the Year by a Canadian (for “Somebody to Love”) and the UR Fave New Artist, a fan-choice award. L.A. group Far East Movement snagged the other International Video Award (for group), and also performed at the event, as did The Cataracs, Dev, Snoop Dogg, and Canadian rockers Simple Plan…
A number of modern indie-rockers have teamed up with The Mental Health Foundation and the Mental Health Arts and Film Festival to craft a special album of songs with the purpose of raising awareness about mental health. Two songs are currently available for download at www.fruittreefoundation.com, with a full album on the way shortly; the collaborative group, who are calling themselves Fruit Tree Foundation, include James Yorkston, Jenny Reeve, Idlewild’s Rod Jones, and Twilight Sad’s James Graham, among others…
Bummer for soulful modern-pop singer Adele - she’s had to cancel her entire North American run of live show dates due to illness. Adele, who snagged a case of laryngitis somewhere along the road, has been told she needs to rest her voice for the next several weeks; she recently apologized to her fans online that she’s really frustrated about the stalled schedule, but that there’s nothing she can safely do except take the doctor’s advice…
 
MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
The Roots bandleader/drummer Questlove (aka ?uestlove) just celebrated hitting over a million and a half followers on his Twitter account by teaming up with crazily-famed accordian player (and comedy-rocker) Weird Al Yankovic to record a cover of the classic Madvillain tune “Accordian” - take a listen to the campy chaos at http://swift.fm/questlove/swift/122617/...
 
MINI MODERN BUZZ:
The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson has announced via London’s Evening Standard newspaper that after he plays a set of Royal Festival Hall concerts in London this year, he may completely retire from touring…
Jimmy Gnecco and his band, Ours, have returned - following Gnecco’s forays into solo albums - and are touring this summer with stops in Nashville (7/7), Vienna VA (7/11), Denver (7/28), and Dallas (8/5)…
Bob Dylan’s added another round of tour dates this summer in the U.S.; the new shows will kick off in Santa Barbara, CA on July 14, and will end up in Bangor, Maine in August…
The Smoking Gun just posted the Foo Fighters’ tour rider, which was penned by the band’s tour manager, Gus Brandt, with a humorous approach; the document includes the band’s “demands” alongside coloring book pages, drawings of the Foos, a maze to direct guitarist Chris Shiflett to the catering area, and a word-search puzzle for “Catering Don’ts”…
This week’s wacky music news part one: former White Stripe Jack White and wife Karen Elson are divorcing (that’s the sad part, not the wacky part) - and will be “celebrating” their divorce with a big party in Nashville - er, okay… 
And, in wacky music news part two, actor James Franco (Spiderman, 127 Hours) is now set to release an album of (huh?) experimental dance music…
 A little less “huh?” and a little more “cool!” are this week’s new releases… Thievery Corporation’s Culture of Fear… Woods’ Sun and Shade… Marianne Faithfull’s Horses and High Heels… Atari Teenage Riot’s Is This Hyperreal?… Liam Finn’s latest… and Owl City’s deluxe, much-anticipated All Things Bright and Beautiful… and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
 
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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