Letters 10-03-2016

Truths And Minorities While I appreciate Stephen Tuttle’s mention of the Colin Kaepernick situation, I was disappointed he wrote only of his right not to stand for the national anthem but not his reason for doing so. Personally, I commend Mr. Kaepernick for his courageous attempt to bring issues of concern to the forefront. As a white male baby boomer, I sadly realize I am in a minority among my peers...

“Yes” Means Your Rights It has been brought to my attention that some people in Traverse City are being asked to put “no” on Proposal 3 signs in their yards, and are falsely being told this means they do not want tall buildings downtown. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you vote no, you will be giving up your right to vote on future projects involving buildings over 60 feet in height...

Shame On NMC, Nelson The Northwestern Michigan College board and President Tim Nelson should be ashamed of their bad faith negotiations with the faculty. The faculty have received no raise this year, even though all other college staff have received raises. Mr. Nelson is set to receive a $20,000 raise...

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2007 Modern Rock rewind

Kristi Kates - January 14th, 2008
If you’ve been reading Modern Rock all year long, then chances are you’re already among those who are In The Know about the latest happenings in modern rock music. But who can remember every little thing that goes on over the course of twelve long and musically complicated months? Even the hippest among us lose track - so here’s your yearly recap of all that happened on the music scene in 2007.

January begins with rumors flying that The long-defunct Police will reunite for some live shows, the ever-elusive Sting included. Bjork plans a tour - with a rumored appearance at a big summer event - and simultaneously works on her newest album, while Wilco wraps work on their latest, Sky Blue Sky. Switchfoot tours to promote their latest album, and V2 Records closes their doors, leaving the likes of Moby, The Raconteurs, and The White Stripes without a record label.
January CD releases include: Ron Sexsmith’s Time Being, Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate, Bird and the Bee’s Bird and the Bee, and Beirut’s Lon Gisland.
In February, Beck drops a special deluxe edition of his The Information album, while Ticketmaster tries to placate ticked-off ticket buyers by offering free music downloads to fans with the purchase of “select concert tix” to offset Ticketmaster’s escalating (in) “Convenience Fees.” And those rumors on The Police prove true, as the band, complete with all three original members, opens up the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, which also featured performances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dixie Chicks, and Gnarls Barkley. Winners at the Grammys included Madonna, Bela Fleck, OK Go, and Gnarls himself. February CD releases include: Apples in Stereo’s New Magnetic Wonder, Apostle of Hustle’s National Anthem of Nowhere, The Magic Numbers’ Those Are the Brokes, and Bloc Party’s A Weekend in the City.
Iggy Pop is the big news for March, when he kicks off a tour with his old band, The Stooges. LCD Soundsystem kick off their tour, too, while Hot Hot Heat keep busy mixing their upcoming album, and Coldplay release all of their singles as a box set titled Coldplay: The Singles 1999-2006. Justin Timberlake gets his very own branded VCast mobile phone channel; a critically-acclaimed DVD of Icelandic rock music, dubbed Screaming Masterpiece, hits stores; and the SXSW Festival hits Austin, Texas, with appearances from Bloc Party, The Fratellis, and The Stroke-gone-solo, Albert Hammond, Jr. March CD releases include: the aforementioned Albert Hammond Jr.’s Yours to Keep, Modest Mouse’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, Air’s Pocket Symphony, and Jesse Malin’s Glitter in the Gutter.

The Killers kick off their latest tour as April begins, and the Arctic Monkeys screech back onto the charts with their sophomore set, Favourite Worse Nightmare, complete with accompanying European tour dates. The Canadian Juno Awards are held, with nods for the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, and singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. Earth Day is celebrated in both NYC and Chicago with the 2nd Annual Green Apple Fest, which featured sets from The Decemberists, Kaiser Chiefs, The Walkmen, and Particle. Elsewhere, U2’s Bono is officially dubbed a Knight of the British Empire; Apple introduces their “Complete My Tracks” program so users can get credit for songs already purchased when buying an entire album; and Sean Lennon kicks off his spring tour. April CD releases include: Klaxon’s Myths of the Near Future, Kaiser Chiefs’ Yours Truly, Angry Mob, Michael Penn’s Palms and Runes: The Best of Michael Penn, and The Bravery’s The Sun and the Moon.
In May, the Bamboozle Fest hits New Jersey, with sets from Muse, Saves the Day, and headliners My Chemical Romance. Elvis Costello releases not one, but two sets of hits, rarities, and B-sides, while Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan releases her first set in four years – Are You Listening? Smashing Pumpkins kick off a full summer’s slate of live shows with a performance in Paris, France on the 22nd; Blur’s Damon Albarn announces that there will be no more new albums from his side project, Gorillaz; and Jack White has dual news, with an upcoming new Stripes album (dubbed Icky Thump) and busy studio time with his other band, The Raconteurs, who are worked on their second album. May CD releases include: The Sea and Cake’s Everybody, Squeeze’s Essential Squeeze, Bjork’s Volta, and The National’s Boxer.
June sees U2 embark to Morocco with producer Daniel Lanois to begin writing sessions for what is assumed will be U2’s next studio album, while Super Furry Animals finish mixing their latest set, Hey, Venus! and schedule out a full summer tour, as do Muse, who wind up with a schedule of U.S. live dates. The Strokes announce that they’ll be taking the entire next year off; fine news for Albert Hammond Jr. who continues to promote his solo disc, and Jack Johnson starts work on his fifth album at his own (and eco-friendly) Brushfire Studios. June CD releases include: Lifehouse’s Who We Are, The White Stripes’ Icky Thump, The Polyphonic Spree’s The Fragile Army, and Hot Chip’s DJ Kicks.

July brings all kinds of music news, from the cool (The Beastie Boys extending their world tour in promotion of their latest album, The Mix-Up) to the questionable (The Spice Girls reuniting). Squirrel Nut Zippers and The Beta Band decide to reunite, too, whether spurred on by the Spices or not is anybody’s guess. Zune presents a series of free hip-hop BBQ concerts, Matchbox Twenty goes into the studio to work on some new tracks for an upcoming retrospective disc, Aussie band Silverchair embark on a tour, and this year’s Mercury Music Prize announces its 2007 nominees, with Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, and Maps topping the list. But perhaps the biggest news of July was the Live Earth event, which featured shows on all seven continents (yes, including Antarctica) and 15 hours of televised coverage. Performers including Snow Patrol, The Police, Madonna, Crowded House, The Beastie Boys, and RHCP, among tons of others, united for this event under the direction of Al Gore (yes, that Al Gore) to raise awareness of climate change and global warming. July CD releases include: Rooney’s Calling the World, The Chemical Brothers’ We Are the Night, Duran Duran’s Big Thing, and Editors’ An End Has a Start.
The big music news in August, of course, was Chicago’s Lollapalooza fest, which started with hot temperatures and showcased lots of equally hot acts, including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Regina Spektor, Spoon, festival founder Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party, I’m From Barcelona, Daft Punk, Interpol, and Muse. Other than Lollapalooza, musicians kept busy touring and making progress on various albums, including Sweden’s The Hives, who wrapped work on their new set with producer Jacknife Lee. Elvis Costello announced that he’ll be teaming up with Bob Dylan for a fall tour; Madonna sells her record label, Maverick, back to its parent company, Warner Music; and BBC Radio 1 celebrates their 40th anniversary with a cool compilation disc and various other events. August CD releases include: The Starting Line’s Direction, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Berlin, Northern State’s Can I Keep This Pen?, and Talib Kweli’s Ear Drum.
While Lolla was the namesake event of August, the Austin City Limits event is perhaps the place to be for September, with Austin, Texas playing host to Bjork, The White Stripes, Bob Dylan, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, Bela Fleck, Wilco, Queens of the Stone Ages, and tons more bands, all in one weekend. Elsewhere, Seal keeps busy working on his first album in four years with co-producer Stuart Price; Wyclef Jean announces that his next album will finally hit stores in November of this year; and the L.A. Swerve Festival hits L.A. for the first time, with live sets from Illinois, Snowden, and Black Angels. September CD releases included: James Blunt’s All the Lost Souls, Hot Hot Heat’s Happiness, Ltd., Simian Mobile Disco’s Attack Decay Sustain Release, and VHS or Beta’s Bring on the Comets.

In October, Iceland was the place to be, as that was where the Airwaves Music Festival took place, with headliners including Bloc Party, Mugison, Of Montreal, Gus Gus, and more. Another fest of note is the new-ish New Yorker Festival, complete with sets from (coincidentally) Icelandic popsters Sigur Ros, Talking Head David Byrne, and others. And yet another festival - this one wrapping up the month - was the Vegoose Fest, which took place in the desert just outside of Las Vegas, complete with a Halloween theme and rockin’ performances from Iggy Pop, U.N.K.L.E., Muse, and Battles. In other October news, The Ramones release a new double-DVD set titled It’s Alive: 1974-1996; Collective Soul and Live team up for a fall tour; and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its latest set of nominees, which include Madonna, The Beastie Boys, and The Dave Clark Five. October CD releases include: Underworld’s Oblivion with Bells, Dan Wilson’s Free Life, The Fray’s Reason, and The Hives’ The Black and White Album.
November arrived with a DVD set from none other than Paul McCartney, who offered up a career-spanning 3-volume collection titled The McCartney Years that spanned four decades of his videos, performances, singles, and more. But even bigger news were Radiohead, who released their Rainbows CD for free as a digital release. The Rock for Darfur initiative kicked off with worldwide concerts by Hot Hot Heat, Mute Math, and others to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis, while the Warchild charity event in London featured sets from Keane, the Magic Numbers, and The Raconteur’s Brendan Benson. Also in November, Queens of the Stone Age play a special fans-only set in a salt mine underground in Europe; Razorlight arrives on U.S. shores for a tour; and Coldplay wrap work on their latest album. November CD releases include: The Killers’ Sawdus, Seal’s System, LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33, and Daft Punk’s Alive 2007.
And December wrapped up 2007 with plenty of events, even as the year drew to a close. Moby offered up a holiday gift - his own music, gratis, for indie filmmakers to use in their own productions. The Vines start work on their new album in Los Angeles, while, on the opposite coast, Sufjan Stevens performs his first classical-meets-indie-pop symphony. David Bowie releases a box set of his most recent albums, a whopping 60 hours of rare tracks, remixes, bonus materials, and more. In other news, We Are Scientists’ drummer, Michael Tapper, quits the band; Sub Pop Records opens a digital online shop; DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist announce that they’ll be teaming up for a January tour; and Madonna is working away at her latest album, which is due in spring of 2008; and Bjork re-teams with video director Michel Gondry for her video single “Declare Independence”. December CD releases include Keane’s Night Sky, Rivers Cuomo’s Alone: The Home Recordings, Vangelis’ Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary… and Various Artists on Pop Ambient 2008… and that’s the buzz for 2007’s Modern Rock Rewind.
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