Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Courtney Argue 4/11/11

Music Rick Coates Courtney Argue: A Hopeful Star is Born…
By Rick Coates 
While American Idol and the soon-to-debut American version of The X Factor
look for the next big pop stars, Traverse City’s Courtney Argue has her
own plans. The 2008 TC West High School graduate has a big-time producer,
a major music deal in the works, and a reality television show in
pre-production.
 
Monday, April 11, 2011

Island 4/11/11

Music Kristi Kates Benefit for an Environmental ISLAND
By Kristi Kates
 Founded by Brad Kik and his wife Amanda six years ago, Bellaire non-profit
organization ISLAND - aka the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and
Natural Design - began, essentially, on a date… or several, according to
Brad Kik himself.
 
Monday, April 11, 2011

4Plat: Moondoggies, Middle Brother, Tino Ghost, Twilight Singers 4/11/11

Music Kristi Kates Moondoggies - Tidelands - Hardly Art
Seattle harmony-fans Moondoggies (think Crosby Stills and Nash, not Gidget) teamed up with Erik Blood, Kurt Bloch, and Phil Ek for this set, which finds the band in a more determined mood production-wise, and a more shoegazey mood musically (firmly within their Americana vibe, of course.) They’re strong on the melodies, too, with plenty of songs that offer hooks without pandering to radio - retrofied organ sounds coupled with simply mic’d pianos and guitars set the groundwork for songs like the languid, drawling “It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity,” the violin-seasoned “Lead Me On,” and the chugging, organ-tuneful “Down the Well.”


 
Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesse Winchester 4/4/11

Music Kristi Kates Jesse Winchester: 40 Years of Songs
By Kristi Kates
 When asked what the audience can look forward to at his upcoming City
Opera House show in Traverse City, singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester is
either the humblest of performers, or merely the soul of brevity.
“(It’ll be) me, playing my guitar and singing. Doesn’t sound like much,
does it?” he says.
 
Monday, April 4, 2011

Steel Wheels 4/4/11

Music Kristi Kates Steel Wheels’ Rolling Medicine Show
By Kristi Kates
 Blissfest’s concise description of the four-piece band known as The Steel
Wheels is simply this: “an old time medicine show with modern energy and
an Americana heart.”
 
Monday, April 4, 2011

4Play:Badly Drawn Boy, The Apples in Stereo, Eels, Autumn Defense 4/4/11

Music Kristi Kates Badly Drawn Boy - It’s What I’m Thinking: Part One - The End Records
Chock-full of emotional filling and dusted with instrumental sugar, Badly Drawn Boy’s latest - like so many of his best albums - is another musical treat that’s light enough to not be overwhelming, but still a rewarding and smart listen. His personal lyrics tell the stories, while the melodies remain as catchy as always, right from the temperate opener (“In Safe Hands”) to the reflective “What Tomorrow Brings,” the simple but effortlessly pretty balladry of “Saw You Walk Away” and “The Electric,” and onward to the slightly more musically-adventurous “A Pure Accident” and “This Beautiful Idea.” It’s fairly apparent that most of the album is inspired by relationships - but hopefully something else he’s thinking about is how to make more great music like this.


 
Monday, March 28, 2011

Disco Inferno 3/28/11

Music Rick Coates Disco Inferno: ‘Best Band’ winners change name to Ella R!ot
By Rick Coates
For the past couple of years Ann Arbor based My Dear Disco has been making regular stops in Northern Michigan. The band recently headlined the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival and just last week they performed to a packed house at the Loading Dock in Traverse City.
Voted “Best Band” in Northern Michigan, the players are getting ready to embark on a national tour. Guitarist and band co-leader Robert Lester sat down to give an update:
 
Monday, March 28, 2011

Miriam Pico 3/28/11

Music Rick Coates Miriam Pico : Best Solo Performer
By Rick Coates
Singer/songwriter Miriam Pico has been on the Northern Express radar for the past six years; in our recent survey, readers of the paper selected her as Best Solo Performer in Northern Michigan.
Releasing three CDs since she launched her professional singing career at the age of 21, Pico is now 27 and performs at several venues in the region, most notably Phil’s on Front. Her 2009 release “S’bout Time” with pianist David Chown has sold well and when the duo gets together to perform it is a big draw for area venues.
 
Monday, March 28, 2011

In the name of Black Sabbath 3/28/11

Music Tom Carr In the Name Of… Black Sabbath
By Tom Carr
Eddie Janes bears a striking resemblance to Ozzie Osbourne, which instantly puts In The Name Of above other Black Sabbath tribute bands.
Janes has been stopped on the street by people telling him he looks like the legendary heavy metal frontman. When he drops his Midwest accent and goes into a British semi-mumble, the transformation is nearly complete.
Put him with a tight band that covers Sabbath to a tee on a stage amid skulls with lighted red eyes and Janes singing in a high-pitched, metal wail, and you’re getting eerily close to the real thing.
Janes sings for In The Name Of, which will play a show at Ground Zero at Streeters Center on Saturday, April 2.
 
Monday, March 28, 2011

4Play:R.E.M., Beady Eye, The Strokes, Elbow 3/28/11

Music Kristi Kates R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now - Warner Bros.
The Little Athens Band That Could harken back to their good old days with their newest set, as produced by legend-in-the-making Jacknife Lee. Tracked in New Orleans and at Berlin’s famed Hansa Studios, the album includes special appearances by Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, and Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb - but the real elements to note are the songs themselves. “Discoverer” is classic R.E.M. (their more optimistic side, as well), with big Peter Buck guitars and an undeniable hook; “Uberlin” and “Oh My Heart” showcase R.E.M.’s ability to craft evocative indie ballads; and album closer “Blue” lets Stipe’s speaking voice take center stage.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Bill Staines 3/21/11

Music Rick Coates The Long Road of Bill Staines: Folkie cult favorite logs 65,000 miles each year 3/21/11
By Rick Coates
Sleder’s Family Tavern has been offering their On The Porch Concert for
several years and one of the favorites has been singer/songwriter folkie
Bill Staines. He will return this Sunday, March 27 after just making a
swing through Michigan 10 days ago.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Chris Smither 3/21/11

Music Rick Coates Time Stands Still for Chris Smither
By Rick Coates
At 67, singer/songwriter Chris Smither has not lost his passion for
performing. He plans to cut his tour schedule from 120 shows to 80 shows a
year, but it has nothing to do with his age.
“I have a six-year-old daughter and I don’t want to miss out on her
growing up,” said Smither. “I love performing, I just don’t like getting
there.”
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Solas 3/21/11

Music Kristi Kates Solas: Lighting a Path to Irish Music
By Kristi Kates
It was May of 1996 when Irish-American folk group Solas first snagged
national attention on A Prairie Home Companion, and also the same year
that the band recorded their first album; quite a landmark year for them.
Currently a five-piece outfit, Solas’ music is pure Irish and full of
emotion, from the classic instrumentation right down to the often
haunting, lilting vocals. This year, they’ll be showcasing their talents
in Harbor Springs for a Performing Arts Center performance this Saturday,
March 26.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Tango‘d Web/ Oblivion Project 3/21/11

Music Kristi Kates Tango’d Web: The Oblivion Project plays Piazzolla
By Kristi Kates
Gabe Bolkosky, Derek Snyder, John Holkeboer, Alex Trajano, Tad Weed,
Julien Labro, and sometimes Peter Soave make up the unique jazz/classical
group known as The Oblivion Project, whose music may be somewhat oblivious
to those not familiar with the singular artist Astor Piazzolla.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Rochelle Clark 3/21/11

Music Kristi Kates Rochelle Clark steps out solo
By Kristi Kates
Under-the-radar duo The Potter’s Field may be a little tricky to find on the Internet, but you can find its members all ‘round Northern Michigan, performing at local venues as well as clubs in the Ann Arbor region. Rochelle Clark is one of those two members, and she’ll be performing her own solo show as part of the Charlevoix Library’s Winterfolk Concert Series this month.
Clark, who says she’s been interested in playing music since she was a little girl, was inspired in part by family, and in part by an inherent need to craft music.
“Both my dad and my grandpa were musicians, so music has always been a big part of my life,” she explains.
 
 
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