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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Lyle Lovett

Kristi Kates - August 2nd, 2010
Lyle Lovett: Livin‘ Large
By Kristi Kates
Four Grammy Awards, one Large Band, 40 cities on the tour schedule, and one acclaimed all-American performer. The components that make up Texan Lyle Lovett’s success are varied and many, but for the singer-songwriter himself, it all breaks down to the songs.
“My songs can be just a stray thought that’s a reaction to something going on, or a reflection of what’s going on in my own life,” Lovett says. “My songs are about people, about trying to figure out what every day is like, what every day means.”
But writing those songs is most definitely more than just a job, Lovett explains.
“It’s not something that ever seems like work, or that I have to do,” he says.
The “work” part is left up to Lovett’s PR people, who, he points out, sometimes have a difficult time figuring out how to promote the multi-faceted musician, who simply will not be pigeonholed, even within the genre of country music.
“There is not a commercial design to exploring and playing the styles of music that I enjoy listening to,” he says, “In fact, it poses a very difficult marketing situation for the people you’re in business with. But my enjoyment of being able to creatively move wherever I like to outweighs the difficulty.”

NATURAL FORCES
Lovett’s newest album, Natural Forces, brings together the most well-known elements of his songwriting skills, with an even balance between subtle balladry and the Western wit that Lovett has become identified with.
As mentioned above, all of Lovett’s new songs - just as on previous releases - expand broadly on what’s perhaps considered “merely” country music; the arrangements are sprinkled with everything from blues to jazz, gospel to Texas swing.
Standouts on Natural Forces include Lovett’s pretty take on “Whooping Crane,” the interestingly-written “Loretta,” and the quirky original “Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel.” And Lovett’s backing band can handle it all with aplomb - the musical collective that he’s simply dubbed “His Large Band” has easily adapted its numbers and musical approaches over the years to suit whichever songs of Lovett’s they’re performing.

HIS LARGE BAND
“The idea for the band was a result of just trying to do justice to the recordings live,” Lovett explains, “one thing sort of leads to another, and all of a sudden you’re standing in the middle of 18 people on stage.”
Lovett alternates touring with His Large Band with acoustic shows, on which he often appears alongside musical compatriots such as John Hiatt, Joe Ely, and Guy Clark. Although he’s yet to specify exactly which form his upcoming live show at Interlochen will take and how much of His Large Band will be there, the audience can be assured that they’ll be treated to Lovett performing at his best - which for him, is every performance.
“To be so focused for a month or two during a tour, to be that dedicated to one end, to be able to do the best show you can every day - that’s really nice,” Lovett says, “I feel so fortunate that our live audience really has been what’s supported me over these years. That’s really my focus, is to be able to go out and do a good show.”
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band will be performing at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium on Monday, August 9 at 8 p.m.

 
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