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.

Home · Articles · News · Modern Rock · Live Earth
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Live Earth

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2007
Did you DVR the rilly big Live Earth show this past Saturday? Hope so, because there were a plethora of pretty fantastic performance moments that you shouldn’t have missed - and if you watched the entire 15 televised hours straight, then you deserve a prize, as Live Earth only rivaled ‘80s event Live Aid in its extensiveness. More than 100 of the world’s biggest musical acts performed on all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica!) in an effort to raise awareness of climate change and global warming, complete with an appearance from former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who headed up the project, which qualifies as the largest musical event ever staged.
Australia featured performances by Aboriginal dancers, as well as sets from Jack Johnson, Crowded House, and Toni Collette;  China featured a range of Chinese musical celebs and an appearance by Brit songstress Sarah Brightman;  and Japan showcased Rihanna and Linkin Park.  As the event moved westward, Germany and the UK presented sets by Shakira, The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Foo Fighters, with Madonna closing out the London show. Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg hosted musicians Macy Gray and Lenny Kravitz, and the U.S. played host to two separate concerts in New Jersey and Washington, DC, where the lineups included Fall Out Boy, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, and the reunited headliners The Police.  Bet you a nickel that a special edition DVD is already in the planning stages...
Squirrels unite!  Well, reunite, that is, and by that we mean retro band the Squirrel Nut Zippers, not the kind of squirrels you’ll find in your yard. The pop-slash-hot-jazz musicians, whose top popularity was during the swing-dancing craze of the ‘90s, are back together and are starting off by playing some live shows throughout the remainder of the summer. They’re discussing a new album, although nothing’s confirmed as of yet, but SNZ drummer Chris Phillips, who organized the band’s reunion, noted that the band wouldn’t have gotten back together unless they were still “creatively alive,” so chances are good. While you’re waiting for a new disc, keep an eye on pollstar.com for upcoming Squirrel Nut Zipper live dates...
Speaking of reunions - three ex-members of The Beta Band have regrouped, not as The Beta Band Mach II, but as The Aliens, and they’ve just released their debut disc, Astronomy for Dogs. The new Scottish band is also set for a two-week North American tour to promote the album; the tour will begin on Sept. 17 in Philadelphia, PA, and will wrap up in Los Angeles at the LA Weekly Detour Music Festival on Oct. 6. Other live dates will include stops in Toronto (9/22), Detroit (9/24 at the Magic Stick), Chicago (9/25 at Schubas Tavern), and Minneapolis (9/26)...
 
MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:  Zune - you know, that wacky l’il digital music player released by Microsoft, for those of you who forgot about it in the all-encompassing wake of the iPod - is working to increase its visibility by presenting a series of free summer hip-hop concerts. Titled “Live at the BBQ,” these shows will include a couple events in the Eastern U.S. So if you’re going to be in either of these locales, check out the Zune BBQ events in Chicago on July 22 and NYC on Aug. 4. Performers will include Mos Def and Common, and you can find out more at www.zune.net...

MINI BUZZ:
After a rollicking Live Earth performance, Duran Duran are set to release their first album since 2004’s Astronaut, titled Red Carpet Massacre. The band collaborated with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland on the new set...
Fellow Live Earth performer Billy Corgan is taking himself and the rest of his Smashing Pumpkins on the road for a national tour that will include shows in Toronto (9/9), Normal, IL (10/4), Detroit (10/7), Boston (10/15), Philly (10/21 and 10/22), and Atlanta (10/30) - SP’s new rabidly-anticipated album, Zeitgeist, will hit stores July 17...
Political Punkers Against Me! are releasing their first major label set, New Wave, this week on Reprise Records, and they’ll follow the album’s arrival with a brief nationwide tour starting in Seattle on July 28...
OutKast’s Andre 3000 has an album out this week, too, namely his Class of 3000, which is a collection of tunes from Andre’s animated TV series of the same name...
They Might Be Giants are busily promoting their new Dust Brothers- produced set The Else with a tour that began last week in San Jose, California, and will pass through Cleveland (7/21), Detroit (7/22), NYC (7/25), and NYC again (8/1)...
One thing you’ve gotta say for Michigan’s Madonna - she doesn’t give up. The Material Girl, whose film career has been far less, er, spectacular than her music career, is tackling the movies yet again, this time as director, with a short piece titled Filth and Wisdom - the short is expected to debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival... 
And debuting this week are these new releases... ON CD:  Interpol’s Our Love to Admire... Suzanne Vega’s Beauty and Crime... Rooney’s Calling the World... Emerson Hart’s Cigarettes and Gasoline... The Chemical Brothers’ We Are the Night... and Now Vol. 25 featuring songs from Gwen Stefani, Fall Out Boy, Justin Timberlake, and Avril Lavigne... ON DVD:  Yusef’s (Cat Stevens) Cafe Session... Dresden Dolls’ Live at the Roundhouse London 2006... Garbage: Absolute Garbage... and Les Paul - Chasing Sound... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
 
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your fave musicians?  Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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