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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Electric Forest Fest Replaces Rothbury

Kristi Kates - May 9th, 2011
Electric Forest Fest Replaces Rothbury
A fest of special local interest for several years was the Rothbury Festival, several hours downstate right here in Michigan. Well, Rothbury itself is no longer, but another fest has sprung up in its place - the Electric Forest Festival, which will run June 30 through July 3 in… the town of Rothbury. With a focus on what appears to be a trifecta of sounds - bluegrass, electronica, and local-ish bands - the lineup so far includes The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Stephen Marley, Galactic, The Ragbirds, The MacPodz, and Railroad Earth, among others… get more info at www.electricforestfestival.com…
Perhaps the two most groundbreaking boy bands of their time (laugh if you must, but the genre opened doors for many of today’s male popsters, including musician/dancer/actor/comedian Justin Timberlake), New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys, are being honored by their fans in a new pop “collaborative album” called NKOTBSB. The tracklisting for the set was in part determined by a 10-day online voting campaign called “Help Make the Album,” in which fans voted for their favorite tunes from both bands; a few new recordings are reportedly also in the works for the set...
Bruce Springsteen is perhaps a surprising guest on the newest album by the Dropkick Murphys; the band’s seventh album, Going Out in Style, hit stores a couple of months ago, and listeners are just now starting to realize that it’s Bruce’s voice on the other half of a duet with Murphys frontman Ken Casey, on which the two share the tune “Peg O’ My Heart.” The Murphys’ new album also features a less-distinctive vocal appearance from NOFX’s frontman Fat Mike…

The fourth annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Fest in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is now set for August 12 through 14, with headliners Arcade Fire, Muse, and Phish the top trio of the weekend. Phish - as might be expected - will play not one, but two jam-band sets at the event. Other performers on the bill include Old ‘97s, OK Go, The Black Keys, The Roots, Erykah Badu, John Fogerty, MGMT, and The Decemberists, who, incidentally, will also be performing at Interlochen this summer...

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
Canadian post-punkers The Stills have decided to end their ten-year run as a band, stating via press release that their breakup is an “amicable” one, and that they’ve mostly been keeping the band going the past year only out of respect for each other as friends. Look back on The Stills’ career (and check out their farewell letter) at http://www.arts-crafts.ca/thestills/index.php…
 
MINI MODERN BUZZ:
Not much in the mood for muddy boots, cold campsites, and tie-dye shirt hawkers? Then visit Bonnaroo this year in June online instead of in-person via Vevo, who will be streaming live and on-demand performances from the Tennessee festival on the internet…
Paul Weller will serve as opening act for Kings of Leon during the latter’s June shows in London’s Hyde Park this summer…
Suede will be releasing remastered versions of their five studio albums this June, from their eponymous 1993 debut to 1994’s Dog Man Star, 1996’s Coming Up, 1999’s Head Music, and 2002’s A New Morning…
Bright Eyes have added three new UK shows to their July schedule, including stops in Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham…
‘80s popster Gloria Estefan is working on her first English-language album since 2003 with none other than Pharrell Williams by her side in the studio…
Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor contributed original music to director Guy Bolongaro’s film The Last Emperor, which recently premiered at the London Independent Film Festival…
 And contributing their albums to your music collection this week (or so they hope) are these new releases… Okkervil River’s I Am Very Far... Sleepy Rebels’ Yellow Tree... Raphael Saadiq’s Stone Rollin’... Man Man’s *Life Fantastic*… and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
 
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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