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...

Home · Articles · News · Music · MacPodz
. . . .

MacPodz

Kristi Kates - June 6th, 2011
MacPodz
By Kristi Kates
The five members of the band that would become the MacPodz - Brennan
Andes, Nick Ayers, Jesse Clayton, Ross Huff, and Griffin Bastian - spent
much of the latter half of 2005 backing up various singer-songwriters and
other performers around Ann Arbor, including poet/social activist John
Sinclair.
“We all really enjoyed each other’s musical stylings and late-night
antics,” explains percussionist Ayers, “and we just started palling around
more often.”
Andes was equipped with a basement studio at the time, and, as Ayers puts
it, “we’d stay up all night writing instrumental dance tracks.”
After a couple of house party gigs in 2006 (“just for fun,” Ayers points
out), the band became a fast hit, encouraging them to stick with it and
expand the group’s repertoire into more. Fast-forward to 2011, and the
MacPodz are still going strong.
“The response we got at those parties made us say, ‘whoa, we gotta roll
with this,’” Ayers says.

ROCKING AND ROLLING
And that they did, putting together setlists, continuing to rehearse, and
snagging their name from a combination of bandmate moniker and, er, marine
biology (kinda.)
“Well, Brennan toured with the band Smokestack in the early ’00s,” Ayers
explains, “and his nickname was B-Mac. ‘Podz’ [sic] is a group of Orca
whales that once they band together, never part.” And there you have it -
MacPodz.
Never parting is presumably what the plan is for the band, too, if Ayers’
enthusiasm is any indication. Their diverse and slightly wacky blend of
sounds brings together classical, metal, pop, Latin, electronic, and
rhythm and blues music, as Ayers lists; but above all else, it’s about
getting the feet moving, keeping the bandmates challenged and amused, and
keeping the dance floor full.
“We all have an affinity for the freedom of self-expression in jazz music
that keeps the brain occupied,” Ayers says, “but we also love the
mindless, effortless pulse that keeps hips moving ‘till the wee hours. The
style of music is really just a dialect or accent on how the story can be
told.”

FESTIVAL FUN
The MacPodz’ story includes a couple of albums on the way, one this month
and one set for release after the busy summer months conclude.
The Truth E.P. will be available beginning June 21, with the
as-yet-untitled full-length album additionally on the way in the fall.
“You can currently download our new single, ‘The Truth,’ for free online,”
Ayers says.
And the band will be keeping their respective dance cards full with a full
slate of shows and festival appearances until their album is ready for the
masses, including live (and dance-floor friendly) sets at the likes of
Blissfest, Hoxeyville, Dunegrass, and the Electric Forest festival, the
latter of which will serve as the replacement for the defunct Rothbury
Festival. In Ayers’ opinion, the ‘local’ shows end up being some of the
band’s favorites.
“I think Michigan stands out in the Midwest, and therefore in the country,
as being a deep well of talented musicians,” he says, “the economic woes
create great stories from real people, and the people are so proud of
their beautiful homeland.”
Ayers himself is proud of his band and his bandmates, too. When asked what
fans can expect at their upcoming Traverse City show, he says with a wink:
“You’ll see five talented, energetic, and handsome young men whose sole
purpose is to create an environment of joy with their passion for music.”

The MacPodz will be performing at Union Street Station in Traverse City on
Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11; shows at 9 p.m. both nights. For
more info on the band and to download their current single for free, visit
them online at www.themacpodz.com.  
 
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