Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Music · The 2010 top men of rock
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The 2010 top men of rock

Kristi Kates - August 23rd, 2010
The 2010 Top 10 Men of Rock
By Kristi Kates
Some of the men making the biggest steps in the rock world this year were U.S. radio favorites, while others were conquering the market overseas. Some were making giant steps well under the radar (but just you wait...), while others were maintaining their already-established status among the world’s biggest bands. Still others were striking out into unknown territory in order to achieve new accomplishments - while the rest were keeping it simple and maximizing what they already do best.
And it’s the perfect balance of all of the above that helps us select who will be this year’s Top Ten Men of Rock.

After a 12-year break, Chris Cornell has reconvened with his Soundgarden bandmates to bring the band back into action, an event that many fans thought would never happen. While Soundgarden were on hiatus, Cornell, ever the dedicated performer, songwriter, and multi-tasker, achieved plenty of accomplishments of his own; not only did he complete two of his own solo albums (Euphoria Morning and Scream) as well as extensive work with his Audioslave side band project, but he also revamped an old ‘70s bar in Paris, and is now the proud (and rockin’) owner of Black Calavados, his black-velvet/stainless-steel themed restaurant. And Soundgarden’s return performance at Chicago’s Lollapalooza fest this year was just like old times, with Cornell’s voice as powerful as ever.

The serious-faced lead singer of Spoon is a man of many bands and projects, including solo work (as “Drake Tungsten”) - but it’s for Spoon that he writes most of his best songs. Yet another standout performer at this year’s Lollapalooza, Daniel’s band put forth a solid, compelling set, with the singer himself decked out in a white T-shirt and white pants against the summer Lolla heat. As a record producer, Daniel is becoming more and more in demand; he’s produced and/or mixed albums and/or songs for the likes of Bright Eyes, Interpol, and most recently the White Rabbits’ album It’s Frightening. He’s dabbling in computer games, too, and has done work for the computer game company Origin Systems. The diversity of his career, though, remains firmly focused on musical pursuits; and that’s just how he likes it.

8. JAY-Z
Shawn Corey Carter - aka rapper Jay-Z - is one heck of an overachiever, albeit a quiet one. While his stage presence is commanding, the rest of his life is kept quietly busy, between his relationship with Beyonce to his various entrepreneurships, which include clothing lines and an NBA team (we kid you not.) Musically, of course, his accomplishments are also many - he was ranked the 10th best overall artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard, and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and racked up 10 Grammy Awards. Most recently, Jay-Z released the track “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” with U2’s Bono and The Edge plus Rihanna, which was performed at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, and he’ll publish a book of his memoirs, titled Decoded, this November.

Flowers makes a repeat appearance on our list this year, having amped up his musical persona even more in 2010. In addition to, of course, being the first necessary component of his band The Killers’ hit album, Day & Age (and being repeatedly named “Most Stylish” and “Best-Dressed” man in rock), Flowers also stepped out as a solo artist for the first time this year. His debut solo set, Flamingo, was released on Flowers’ birthday, June 21, accompanied by the single “Crossfire,” which showcases his distinctive vocals. The songs, very Killers-like for the most part, also showcase Flowers’ strong songwriting skills, and bestows a different kind of attention (other than gambling) on Flowers’ hometown of Las Vegas, for which the album is named (specifically after Flamingo Road), and from which he has achieved perhaps the only exportation of a successful indie-rock band.

Singer-songwriter Leming appeared on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008, playing piano as part of his audition and performing his own surprisingly good songs in addition to hip, left-field covers. But he’s not your typical Idol-er, so don’t stop reading just yet. Idol ended up being the wrong venue for Leming - he was booted just before the semifinals - but all for the good, actually, as the show’s cheese factor was far too high for the sincere, sensitive musician. Idol did, however, get him noticed, which was exactly what he needed; now signed to Warner Bros. Records, Leming’s full-length album, Come On, Kid, features his smart, well-written Brit-rock influenced songs and is set to drop this September - while many of his Idol co-auditioners are probably still languishing as waiters in corny L.A. theme restaurants. You go, kid.

Not much has to be said about Wilson’s legendary status as one of the most influential songwriters and musicians of our time. But something that does have to be pointed out about Wilson is that he somehow manages to keep his musical projects fresh, current, and innovative, even though he’s been crafting music since somewhere around 1958. Wilson’s latest endeavor, the ambitious “re-imagining” of an album’s worth of covers of classic Gershwin songs (plus two piano pieces left unfinished when Gershwin passed away), is a lush, respectful, creative take on Gershwin’s masterful works, and lines up right alongside Wilson’s other albums as groundbreakers. Let’s hope he keeps making music until 2058.

The Strokes frontman turned solo artist is returning to the band, which is now in the studio working on a brand new Strokes album that’s slated for release in 2011. Casablanca’s achievements this year have primarily been of the stealthy sort - in June, The Strokes played a secret show in London, and much speculation has surrounded that aforementioned album. But Casablancas remains the band’s principal songwriter, and in fact also released his own solo album while The Strokes were on hiatus (which they’ve been on since 2006). More publicly, he and his bandmates bombarded the crowd with an impressively deft and catchy set at their Lollapalooza headlining spot this year, easily rivaling flashy cross-field Friday night co-headliner Lady Gaga to impress even the most jaded indie-rock fan on the Lollapalooza grounds.

Recently voted the 4th Greatest Frontman of All Time in a national Q Magazine poll, Albarn, frontman of Blur and defacto leader of animated popsters Gorillaz, has a way of not only showcasing his substantial songwriter and singing skills, but also enlisting the help of a remarkably varied lineup of fellow musicians to help bring Gorillaz to life. The latest Blur single, “Fool’s Day,” sold out its UK pressing, and Albarn’s latest Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, includes appearances by Gruff Rhys, Mos Def, Lou Reed, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon (The Clash), among others, and fields the topics of both consumerism and ecology in its tracklisting of uber-catchy songs.

English guitarist Johnny Marr, best known for his long-time work as guitarist for The Smiths, where he wrote dozens of songs with Morrissey in the ‘80s, just won’t quit. And that’s a good thing. Marr’s floated from The Smiths to co-writing and session work with everyone from The Pretenders to Talking Heads, Beck, and Oasis, worked at length with The The and Modest Mouse, and a couple of years ago actually joined The Cribs after briefly touring with them; The Cribs should be so lucky (and they are) as evidenced by their live dates with Marr in tow this summer. Most recently, Marr utilized a 12-string guitar to craft the character theme for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the hit film Inception - so you can thank him both for all that rawk onstage with The Cribs, and for all that suspense whenever DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, hits the screen.

Frontman for the band that Rolling Stone named one of eight “Artists of the Decade” in 2009, Bono Vox - aka Paul Hewson - is literally the Energizer Rocker. He just keeps going and going, in spite of whatever gets thrown his band’s way - and he helps keep that very band on the top of the alterna-arena-rock heap. Currently promoting U2’s latest album, No Line on the Horizon, Bono got temporarily thrown off course by a back injury that caused the band to cancel several of their big-time summer concert dates - but he’s healed now and is back in force, rescheduling those U2 concert dates and spending his spare time (the man has spare time?) co-writing music for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark with bandmate, The Edge. The Nobel Peace Prize nominee and honorary knight also continues his expansive roster of charity efforts, from the socially-conscious fashion line (EDUN) he runs with his wife, to his humanitarian work for Product Red and various African charities. Now this is a man who’s using his rockstar status for the greater good.

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