Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Stripped-down Cracker brings...
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Stripped-down Cracker brings acoustic rock to Legs Inn

Rick Coates - June 20th, 2011
In the early ‘80s when major record companies were trying to get every band to sound the same, the indie-rock scene emerged to counter the money-oriented music industry. As commercial radio embraced the homogenized rock sounds, college radio and MTV were busy ushering in the independent labels, with such bands as R.E.M. and U2, among others, leading the way. 
Another band that was part of the second generation of the indie-rock scene was Cracker founded by vocalist and songwriter David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman. Formed in 1991, Cracker signed with Virgin Records and released their self-titled debut CD in 1992 with alternative rock hits “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Teen Angst.”  Cracker would become best known for their platinum-selling album, “Kerosene Hat”  in 1993, which featured the hit songs “Low”, “Euro-Trash Girl”, and “Get Off This.”
Lowery and Hickman will head to Northern Michigan on Friday June 24 at Legs Inn (Cross Village, north of Harbor Springs) with a special version of Cracker.
“Johnny and I do a stripped down version of Cracker. I can’t afford to bring the full band to a small venue in Northern Michigan so this works. we call it Cracker Duo,” said David Lowery. “It gives us a chance to play out of the way places and we still rock out, we are not sitting on stools we are standing up and jamming. Our fans love this, they view the Cracker Duo as a separate entity from Cracker. This format gives us an opportunity to play a different set of songs, of course we still play our hits.”

NORTHERN EXPLORATION
Lowery was quick to point out he and Hickman are excited about the Leg’s Inn show.
“I know the musical audience that exists in Northern Michigan; in my travels I have heard a lot about Bliss Fest and that whole musical community up there,” said Lowery. “We are looking forward to making our way there. Mark Smolak (co-owner with his brother Christopher) of Legs Inn has been trying to get me there for years and it finally worked out. We have a show in upper Wisconsin so we are looking forward to that drive through the Upper Peninsula. I have been told it is quite scenic.” 
Prior to Cracker, Lowery was the founder and frontman for Camper Van Beethoven, the alternative rockers from California were best known their song “Take the Skinheads Bowling” that Michael Moore used in his documentary “Bowling For Columbine.”  The song remains a staple today on college radio. Camper Van Beethoven disbanded in 1990 but reunited in 1999 and Lowery now does triple musical duty.
“After 28 years in this business I have finally started a solo career,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to have musical diversity in that I am in two bands and now am performing solo. I feel that I am in the most rewarding stage in my career at this moment.”
Lowery released his first solo album “The Palace Gaurds,” this past February. So after nearly 30 years in the business why release a solo album now?
“Really there are several reasons, first I have been fortunate to be part of two versatile ensembles with Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Along the way I have written some songs that really didn’t fit either outfit,” he said. “Couple that with the fact I live in Virginia and everyone else in the two bands lives elsewhere so I wanted to make a record where I didn’t have to have everyone travel so I decided to do this solo record with guys who work at my studio, they are the behind the scenes guys who have been with me for the past 15 or so years.”

BLOGGING TOO
Another project Lowery has under taken is the “300 Song Blog,” that he started last summer.
“My goal is to tell the history of the bands (Camper and Cracker) through writing the backstory about each of the songs that I have written. But equally important to me is telling the story of the indie rock movement that I came out of as I don’t think there is an accurate history of the indie rock movement. Writing about each song individually and my observations I think you get a better story about the indie-rock scene,” said Lowery. “I would like  to work it into a book but the book publishing industry is as f----d up as the recording industry just with less money.”
Part of Lowery’s motivation in writing the blog stems from his frustration with some music journalists.
“I have issues with some music journalists or critics, primarily is that typically they have never been performing musicians themselves but somehow they think they are qualified to assess my work,” he said. “It is no secret that most musicians hate music journalists. It is so easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize.”
While Lowery might be critical of music critics one profession he has all new respect for are the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. A couple of years ago Cracker was asked to perform for the soldiers in Iraq.
“It was a great and rewarding experience. We got to do a lot of fun stuff including flying around in Blackhawk helicopters and armored personnel carriers. We spent a lot of time with the troops learning about their jobs and playing a few shows for them,” said Lowery. “One of the most hilarious moments was when we got to spend time with the men and women who have the working dogs. These are the dogs they use for bomb sniffing or to chase down people they are after. They invited us over to their camp. What we learned is these dogs get tired of training on the same people so they saw us as fresh meat so they put us in the special suits and had the dogs bring us down, it was real wild.”

Cracker duo David Lowery and Johnny Hickman will perform Friday June 24 at the Legs Inn in Cross Village. Seating is limited and the show is expected to sell out. Advance tickets and additional information at legsinn.com or calling 231.526.2281.
 
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