Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Music · Tribute Bands
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Tribute Bands

Kristi Kates - August 30th, 2010
All Hail: Tribute Bands take over Little River
By Kristi Kates
Tribute bands have been around for a few decades now, most notably
since Elvis impersonators started paying homage to “the King” back in
the early 1970s. Just what is a tribute band? Unlike a cover band
(which just plays the songs of a particular band), a tribute band
works to take on a larger portion of the band’s entire persona, from
the band members’ looks and personalities to the stage setup,
lighting, and set lists.
The name of a tribute band is often taken from one of the band’s songs
or albums, or is a pun on the original band name. Today, classic rock
bands seem to be the most frequent subject of this phenomenon, as some
of the most popular tributed bands include ABBA, Genesis, The
Ramones, Queen, and Pink Floyd.
But if you’re a musician with enough talent that you can play the
often complex songs of these famous performers, why be in a tribute
band in the first place?  A solid quartet of tribute bands are set to
take over the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, this fall; we
asked a couple of them that very question.

Joe Pascarell, who performs in the Pink Floyd tribute band The
Machine, says that the impetus behind deciding to be in a tribute band
was simple.
“I guess originally, it was that we could immediately play a lot of
gigs, and possibly make some money doing it,” he explains. “Each of us
do play original music as well, in other bands.”
For Vince Lupo, who plays in the Rolling Stones tribute band Rolling
The Stones - the reason was more a “been there, done that” scenario,
in which the bandmates, after years as musicians, chose to spend their
later years performing the music of a band that they personally enjoy.
“As mostly older guys who have gone down that road before, we chose to
just cover a group that we love,” Lupo says, “Rolling Stones music
still rocks - and so do we.”
Neither Pascarell or Lupo point out this next factor - but another
reason might be the simple fact that performing in a tribute band
gives instant, if faux, “fame” to the performers. Kind of a way to get
a little of that “famous rocker” feel without having to go through all
of the trials and tribulations of building a band from scratch. That’s
not to say they don’t work at it, though.

A big part of the effort that has gone into Rolling The Stones is the
attempt to emulate the members of The Rolling Stones as closely as
possible. One glance at the band’s PR photo shows that they’ve already
been quite successful at that component. Lupo, who plays the Charlie
Watts character (re-dubbed Charlie Swatts), is joined by Mick Adams
(who plays Mick Jagger as Mick Jagged), Jackson Martin (who plays
Keith Richards as Keith Riffhard), KK Martin (who plays Ron Wood as
Ron Woody), and Bernie Yantz (who plays Bill Wyman as Bill Why-Man)
along with several backing musicians and singers, all decked out so
that if you squinted, you might indeed think you were looking at the
actual Rolling Stones.
“We wanted to look and sound as closely as possible to the real
Rolling Stones, so each core member was chosen with that in mind,”
Lupo explains. “We do our best to emulate the original recordings,
occasionally opting to do a ‘live’ version instead. In the beginning,
we didn’t exactly know which direction to take, so our approach is to
portray them as they are today, as older men. That’s been to our
benefit, really, as it greatly sets us apart for other Stones
And as far as the setlist goes, Lupo’s sold on the real Rolling
Stones’ gigantic roster of material.
“There’s no better catalog of great, timeless classics with a large
built-in following than the Rolling Stones,” Lupo says.

   For The Machine - Pascarell’s Pink Floyd tribute band - the
approach is a little different.
“There are no actual corresponding band members in The Machine,”
Pascarell explains, “we do not take that approach. We focus on the
music, not the individuals in the band.”
Pascarell, who takes care of lead vocals and also plays guitar, works
in The Machine with Scott Chasolen on keyboards and vocals, Ryan Ball
on bass and vocals, and Tarah Cohen on drums. Their particular tribute
band is well-known for its impressive and eye-searing visuals, which
echo those of Pink Floyd’s own stage extravaganzas.
“We will be bringing our full laser show,” says Pascarell, “which adds
to the whole night, making it a visual, as well as a sonic,
Pascarell, who says that The Machine began as “an effort to play only
music that we liked,” explains that more and more Pink Floyd was
played by the band as time went on, simply because they loved it. An
agent eventually heard of them back in 1989, and suggested that they
could be booked as an actual “Pink Floyd tribute act.”
“We never thought of Pink Floyd as ‘what band would be the best to
cover,’” Pascarell says, “it just developed out of the love and
respect for the music. I think this is one of the most significant
elements of our success. I hope that what the audience gets is an
honest, thoughtful representation of the music of Pink Floyd. We’ve
been performing Pink Floyd’s music virtually non-stop for over 20

Regardless of which band you prefer, the Stones or Floyd, chances are
you’ll at least be entertained by either of these hard-working bands -
and you might even be pretty impressed by their talents, diligence,
and accuracy as far as getting the music to sound (and even look) much
like the originals.
Being in a tribute band is an unusual career, for sure - but these
musicians simply see it as a way to temporarily step inside the world
of their favorite performers, entertain groups of people who
appreciate the same music, and make a living doing so. Why not pay the
bills by doing something you enjoy, and getting to travel as an added
“Personally, I will be looking forward to going to a new place and
performing for a lot of folks who have never seen The Machine before,”
Pascarell says in reference to The Machine’s upcoming show in
Manistee, “that is one of the greatest things about doing what we do.”
Lupo couldn’t agree more - it’s all about the fans.
“Our audience at Little River can expect an exciting replica of the
world’s greatest rock n’ roll band,” Lupo enthuses. “The songs are
exciting and fun to play - and the reaction of our audiences is
priceless. They’ll sing along to every song, cheer loud, and have the
time of their lives.”

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd will take place on Saturday, September
4 and Sunday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m. at Little River Casino Resort;
Rolling the Stones will be taking the stage on Saturday, October 2 at
8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25/$20/$15 for either show. Other upcoming
tribute band shows at Little River include Viva Little River: An Elvis
Tribute on October 15/16, and Zed Leppelin on October 23. Visit the
LRCR website at www.lrcr.com for all details and tickets.

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