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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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Hot tickets major festivals outside the region

Kristi Kates - July 4th, 2011
Hot Tickets Major festivals outside the region
Coachella and Bonnaroo may have already passed for this year, but never fear, music fans; there are plenty of musical destinations left both nationwide and overseas for the 2011 summer season.
So grab those extra funds that are burning a hole in your pocket, prep for those steamy summer temps with sunscreen and bottled water, and make your destination picks from our yearly preview picks list of this summer’s hottest festival tickets.

TEMPERATE TUNES
Summerfest, June 29-July 10, Milwaukee WI (www.summerfest.com)
If you’re going by the numbers, Wisconsin’s Summerfest is the biggest in the U.S., hosting hundreds of thousands of folks and a dozen stages. This year’s event will play host to live sets from another eclectic mix of performers from old-school (Meatloaf, Hall and Oates) to country-rock fusions (Sugarland, The Black Keys) to hip-hop n’ pop (Kid Cudi, Kanye West.) Bring: miniature American flags, Milwaukee Brewers sweatshirts, Pepto-Bismol tablets to combat the range of carnival foodstuffs.

JULY’S ROCKIN’ HEATWAVE:
Pitchfork Music Festival, July 15-17, Chicago IL (www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com)
The Chicago music fest that poses itself as less splashy and more edgy than the yearly Lollapalooza event (see August), Pitchfork prides itself on presenting acts that are bubbling right under the radar as well as indie faves, and this year is no exception with sets scheduled from TV on the Radio, Neko Case, Fleet Foxes, and James Blake.
Bring: your bike to take advantage of free bike parking; still cameras (no video, please), personal mini-fans to help fight that heavy Chicago heat.

Wanderlust Festival, July 28-31, Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe, CA (www.wanderlustfestival.com)
For those who like to balance their raucous rock n’ roll festival weekends with a little healthy balance, this four-day fest, which already completed its earlier incarnation in Vermont in June, combines music with pretty natural surroundings and… yoga. That’s right - yoga. Warm up for all that noodle-dancing with your yoga stretches, and then catch 2011’s sets by The Wailers, Jai Uttal, and Michael Franti and Spearhead. Bring: your own personal yoga mat, your regimen of vitamins to keep you up all day, and energy drinks to keep you dancing all night.

SWELTERING SONGS OF AUGUST:
Lollapalooza, August 5-7, Chicago IL (www.lollapalooza.com)
Perry Farrell’s gypsy roots have been anchored in Chicago’s Grant Park for the past several years, where the festival guru continues to preside over eight stages for 2011, playing host to heavily-attended headlining sets by Muse, Deadmau5, and Foo Fighters. One of the cool things about Lolla are all the extras, including the environmental Green Street, the upgraded food courts, and the proximity to Chicago’s downtown. Bring: plenty of sunscreen, Lolla maps (downloadable from their website), patience.

Outside Lands, August 12-14, San Francisco CA (www.sfoutsidelands.com)
Set on the beautiful grounds of Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands welcomes over 70,000 people for this three day fest, which blends in art, food, and wine alongside the musical selections. Muse will trek from Lollapalooza to San Fran to make another appearance at this event, with additional sets from the likes of The Shins, MGMT, Erykah Badu, and The Black Keys. Bring: your car-pooling pals, binoculars, layered clothing for those San Fran temperature changes.

EUROPE’S FESTIVAL FEVER:
And if you’re planning any trips overseas this summer, you might want to coordinate your travel plans with one of these terrific 2011 musical festivals, our picks for the best that hail from just a little farther away:
• Sonar, June 16-18, Barcelona Spain (www.sonar.es)
Featuring: Underworld, Tyondai Braxton (Battles), A-Trak, Atmosphere, Magnetic Man
• Roskilde, June 30-July 3, Roskilde Denmark (www.roskilde-festival.dk/)
Featuring: Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Desolate, PJ Harvey, Kings of Leon
• Benicassim, July 14-17, Benicassim Spain (http://fiberfib.com)
Featuring: Mumford and Sons, Brandon Flowers, Portishead, The Streets, Arcade Fire
• Fuji Rock 2011, July 29-31, Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata Japan (www.smash-uk.com/frf11/)
Featuring: Chemical Brothers, Mogwai, Kaiser Chiefs, Wilco, Incubus, Cake
• Pukkelpop Festival, August 13-14, Hasselt Belgium (www.pukkelpop.be)
Featuring: Thirty Seconds to Mars, Crystal Castles, Panic! at the Disco, The Kills, A-Trak
• V Festival, August 20-21, Chelmsford and Staffordshire, UK (www.vfestival.com)
Featuring: Duran Duran, Dizzee Rascal, The Script, Manic Street Preachers, Rihanna
 
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