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 · Best of NM 2012 · Best Band
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Best Band

Medicinal Groove

- March 26th, 2012  

Just What The Music Doctor Ordered


If music is the cure for what is ailing you then wants to fill that prescription.

The Traverse City based jam band took home “Best All Around Band” honors in this years Best Of balloting. The group will bring their progressive funk stylings to Poppycock’s in Traverse City on Saturday March 24.

“That Progressive Funk/ Dance/Jam on our Facebook page is really just the start of how to describe this band,” said vocalist and guitarist Matt McCalpin. “We try not to be tied down to any specific sound. Everything starts with funk and groove base and build from the ground up. Our sound morphs out each one of our musical interests and those interests are pretty diverse.”


“Our sound is all across the spectrum because each guy has his own influences and style. As of late I have been into a lot of jazz,” said McCalpin. “But you can also toss in just about everything else as some of the guys are into blues, hip-hop, world music, classical, swing, reggae and classic rock and roll.”

McCalpin is joined by Chris Burgess on drums along with bass guitarist Jordan Moeggenberg and Jimmy Olson on keyboards and percussionists Spencer Engler.

Medicinal Groove formed last June when the band started jamming together with out McCalpin at first.

“They asked me to join them one night in a pole barn out in Acme,” said McCalpin. “We just started jamming and we never wanted to stop.”

All five members grew up in Traverse City and started playing in bands going back to middle school. Despite knowing each other they never played together in the past.

“But once we started jamming it only took a couple of weeks for us to start writing our own material,” said McCalpin. “We also immediately started booking shows.”

The immediate musical connection the members of Medicinal Groove felt led to an ease when it came down to writing songs as a group. “Our songwriting process is a lot of building and rebuilding. Adding new ideas to an old idea,” said McCalpin. “A lot of times we try to piece together two different ideas that might be months a part but we seem to be able to piece them together quickly.

McCalpin attributes much of their collective song writing ability to “listening to a lot of music” and just jamming.

“I think a lot of times it is a spur of the moment thing when we will be jamming and all of a sudden another section to the song comes into play,” said McCalpin. “It is like we have the start and the end and we just start messing around and then the middle comes and we make it all fit together. That “jamming” technique spills over into their live shows as well.

“Our live shows incorporate a lot of improvisational in it. We know that certain sections of certain songs lend themselves to this, we don’t rehearse it we just let it happen on stage,” said McCalpin.

“When we rehearse we just fly by those sections but on stage when the crowd is right the energy is right and those sections of those songs come up we can go into a 10 minute or longer jam.”

Just a few weeks after forming, Medicinal Groove released a foursong EP and in recent weeks they have been in the studio recording a full length album. The CD will be released on April 14 at the Loading Dock.

“Everything is recorded and the album is ready. We just have two things to figure out,” said McCalpin. “We are tossing some names around for the CD now and we still have not decided on the cover art. So we have less than a month to decide on the title and the artwork.”

Medicinal Groove has been building a grassroots following and it seems to be working. They have been getting bookings all over Michigan.

“We have a do-it-yourself attitude. We have done the whole album on our own,” said McCalpin. “We also have taken charge of booking our shows and we are booked well into the summer. Our focus is on Michigan right now because we know there is a lot to be had here in this state.”

Once the new album is released they plan to launch their website and are looking to take their show on the road and tour the country.


“We messed around with a few names and wanted to be Thelonious Funk but that name was already taken so then we just wanted to come up with something that described our sound,” said McCalpin. “We knew the ‘Groove’ thing fit and we felt that our music was medicinal for us to be able to play, let loose and express ourselves. The more and more we played for other people we felt is was doing the same for them.”


“We really hope that if you are having a bad day when you come out to the show we can get you dancing and put a smile on your face,” said McCalpin. “That is what music is, a huge release and it is kind of like medication.”

Medicinal Groove will jam this Saturday night at Poppycock’s in Traverse City. For more information check out their Facebook page.

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