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.

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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