Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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The Gypsy Grooves of Caravan of Thieves

Kristi Kates - February 7th, 2011
By Kristi Kates
The husband and wife team simply known as “Carrie and Fuzz” are at the wheel of the indie pop/gypsy/jazz band known as Caravan of Thieves. The partnership flourishes in both directions, musically and personally, and the result is an unusual musical configuration that started acoustically and has expanded its dynamics to include a whole lot more.
The Caravan will pull into Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery for a concert on Friday, Feb. 11.

GUITARS AND HUBCAPS
“Carrie and I started out as an acoustic duo, singing together, harmonizing and writing pop and folk songs,” explains Fuzz. “In the effort to remain acoustic while expanding the sound both dynamically and creatively, we turned to older styles - particularly gypsy jazz due to its acoustic instrumentation and lively feel.”
Their lineup soon expanded to better accommodate their complex arrangements, and today includes Ben Dean on violin and “frying pan,” and Brian Anderson on upright bass and “heavy foot.” Fuzz still sings, in addition to playing guitar, “tin can, and bucket,” and Carrie (Sangiovanni) sings and plays guitar and “hubcap.” The instrument jokes seem spawned directly from a combo of street music and gypsy culture, and inspired in part by a different era.
Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club recordings were always a favorite, Fuzz says, “but one day listening, we realized how compatible yet juxtaposed that sound was with what we’re doing, and the wild gypsy music and swing rhythms inspired a whole lyrical mood of fantastic--and at times--dark, yet cartoon-like story telling.”

FOLLOWING THE CARAVAN
A Caravan of Thieves show is certainly all of the things that Fuzz outlined, and more.
Quirky yet sharp, full of antics both instrumental and theatrical, they’re interesting to both watch and listen to -- a rarity in today’s market of pre-packaged pop. The few current bands that Caravan of Thieves does listen to lean toward the modern indie-folk genre, where more experimentation and less sheen showcase songcraft and less mainstream points of lyrical view.
“We mostly look back to the jazz, folk, pop, theater and classical legends,” Carrie says, “however, we do like certain modern popular bands that write interesting songs and have something to say, like Decemberists, Mumford and Sons, the Shins, and certain groups doing something similar to what we do, like Man Man, Devotchka and Gogol Bordello.”
Suffice it to say that if you like any of the above bands, there’s a good chance you’ll be drawn into following along behind Caravan of Thieves, as well.

TOURING MISCHIEF
A good place to start is the band’s latest recording, Mischief Night, which was recorded last spring.
“We recorded it in May, 2010 at FTC Stage One in Fairfield, Connecticut,” Fuzz explains, “and we released it a few months later. The idea behind it was to document our live show highlights from the past year or two of touring. Since we started, the live experience had grown into a much more interactive and dramatic thing than we had originally planned. So we put an array of microphones around the room capturing all the antics from the stage to the last row of seats.”
The band is also currently working on a new full length album, Carrie confirms.
“It’s due out later this year - spring, hopefully,” she says, adding they plan a full schedule of touring to go with it.
“Lots of touring,” Carrie emphasizes, “summer festivals, and reaching new territories - we have our sights set on the West Coast and Europe.”
First in line, though, is their upcoming show at Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery, which Fuzz explains will be a cacophony of music, sound - and trendy toppers.
“We’ll bring lots of cool hats, some new songs, and some more of our finest appliances from around the kitchen and garage which we plan to beat into rhythmic submission,” he says with a grin.

Caravan of Thieves will be performing at Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery on Friday, February 11, at 8:00 p.m. The gallery is located in the Warehouse District on 211 Garland Street. Telephone 231-929-3254 for tickets and more info.


 
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