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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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Music!

Kristi Kates - April 28th, 2014  

From the synth-grunge of Reacta to the electrified translations of Yibel Jme’tik Banamil, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect occasion to check out what Mexico’s offering up in the indie-rock department, and we’ve picked five great bands for you to start with.

REACTA

Hailing from Aguascalientes, Mexico, this band is currently as sizzling as the hot springs that radiate through the region they live in. Their new album, “Refraction,” just out this past February, was specifically written for their hometown fans. However, it’s so accessible and catchy they’re snagging new fans from all over the world.

Their sound recalls a mix of The Bravery, Gavin Rossdale, and vintage Incubus, although the grungy energy is all their own. Suggested Single: “Complication” Web: reacta.bandcamp.com

THE PLASTICS REVOLUTION

After seeing the Flaming Lips perform live in Mexico City, this six-piece outfit was formed, inspired by the FL’s cartoony persona and danceable tunes.

Blending electronica and pop with a cheerful and lively stage presence, they’re touring with tunes from their newest album, “King Bono vs Los Flight Simulators,” and bringing plenty of showmanship and props with them, from costumes and confetti to a disco-worthy light show. Suggested Single: “Light of Day” Web: facebook.com/theplasticsrevolutionmx

VICENTE GAYO

Also from Mexico City, the complex rhythms and patterns of math rock are mashed up with a little pop to form Vicente Gayo’s edgy, scratchy sound. It’s chock-full of dynamics and with just enough hook to keep you around until the next track.

Singer Alan Ortiz and his bandmates Joshua, Armando, and Javier don’t shy away from musical experimentation, and it’s paying off big for them, with airplay already happening on MTV Latino. Suggested Single: “Circuitos Doblados” Web: vicentegayo.com

ZOÉ

Cuernavaca, Mexico’s Zoé is an altpsychedelic band that has already snagged a couple of Latin Grammy Awards for their well-honed mix of ‘70s heft and ‘80s synths.

It’s all set solidly behind singer Larregui Leon’s boyish vocals; their cover of “Besame Mucho” flipped the Mexican bolero track into a whole new sound. Zoé’s latest (and fifth) studio album, “Programatron,” is said to be both their best and most experimental set to date.

Suggested Single: “Nada” Web: zoetheband.com

YIBEL JME’TIK BANAMIL

Their name translates to “Root of Earth,” and they’re led by frontman Valeriano Gomez. But they’re not a folk outfit.

These distinctive Mexican musicians sing their indie-rock-inflected songs in Tzotil, a language spoken by the indigenous Maya in Mexico’s Chiapas state. It’s their bid to help preserve the language via their music, and they do it with style, from their sharp electric guitar riffs to the matching ponchos they often wear on stage. Suggested Single: “Son Jlumaltik” Web: myspace.com/yibeljmetikbanamil


 
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