Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Music

 
Monday, February 7, 2011

4Play: Nic Dawson Kelly, Chet Baker, Various Artists, Tom Waits

Music Kristi Kates Nic Dawson Kelly - Old Valentine - 101
This debut set from the newbie Brit singer-songwriter finds him inviting over a few pals to help fill in his genre-crossing songs, including Portis head’s Jim Barr and Primal Scream’s Marco Nelson. Set on a foundation of folky guitars and rattling harmonicas, the set focuses on old Valentine’s Day love letters to sketch portraits of what seem to be a couple of Kelly’s
old loves. “Thursday 3-23” secures its harmonica right next to uplifting banjo riffs, while “The Musician” leans more on ‘50s/’60s era rock-folk, and “Delicate” showcases Kelly’s pensive, lovelorn vocals.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

Tracking the Bliss Train to Petoskey

Music Kristi Kates Songs by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, The Eagles... country, folk, blues... guitars, banjos, harmonicas, and mandolins. All of the above have made “appearances” at the Bliss Train Coffee House, the quietly-progressive open mic that takes over Petoskey’s Grain Train cafe every Sunday afternoon - and that’s been around a lot longer than you might expect.
“The idea for the Bliss Train Coffee House was developed at the program committee of the Blissfest Music Organization,” Bob Fawcett explains, “Jim Gillespie (executive director of Blissfest) came up with the name. At that time, around 2003, I was treasurer of BMO, a board member, and part of the program committee, as were Jim, Kirby, and Mitch Weber.”
Initially, Fawcett says, the group’s newbie jam sessions were held at the old Blissfest office on Lake Street in Petoskey. But it wasn’t long before more space was needed.
“As it grew, the venue was moved to a coffee house on Howard Street in Petoskey,” Fawcett recollects, “When that coffee house closed, we moved to the Grain Train four or five years ago.”
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

The Gypsy Grooves of Caravan of Thieves

Music Kristi Kates The husband and wife team simply known as “Carrie and Fuzz” are at the wheel of the indie pop/gypsy/jazz band known as Caravan of Thieves. The partnership flourishes in both directions, musically and personally, and the result is an unusual musical configuration that started acoustically and has expanded its dynamics to include a whole lot more.
The Caravan will pull into Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery for a concert on Friday, Feb. 11.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Indoor Folk Festival

Music Robert Downes Great Indoor Folk Festival
A new day is dawning for the Great Indoor Folk Festival this year, as
the family-friendly event moves to the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.
That’s Sunday, Feb. 13, to be exact, with more than 50 musicians set
to perform in the sprawling Mercado  shopping area of Building 50 at
the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City.  If attendance matches
that of years past, the third annual event is expected to draw as many
as 1,000 people throughout the day.
 
Monday, January 31, 2011

Dick Siegel

Music Kristi Kates Petoskey Welcomes Dick Siegel
1/31/11
By Kristi Kates

Michigan transplant Dick Siegel, born in New Jersey but now firmly a
part of the Detroit music scene, has become well-known over the years
for his quirky lyrics, singer-songwriter styling, and his unique
fusion of roots, folk, and jazz.
 
Monday, January 31, 2011

4Play: Klaxons, Gasoline Silveer, Manic Street Ptreachers, Vincent Minor

Music Kristi Kates Klaxons - Surfing the Void - Polydor 1/31/11
Electro-rock band Klaxons stepped out of Europe and into Los Angeles to record their sophomore set with producer Ross Robinson, and have added even more of an alternative feel to their music via several experimental elements and plenty of dark harmonies. First single “Echoes” presents a zippy beat and chiming guitars, while the title track ventures into unusual vocal territory with high falsettos and electronica fx; “Future Memories” sets the tune to a military beat, and “Flashover” echoes Interpol with its near-disco beat and heavy instrumentals.


 
Monday, January 24, 2011

4Play: Elvis Costello, The Acorn, Nellie McKay, High Dials

Music Kristi Kates Elvis Costello - National Ransom - Hear Music 1/24/11
Recorded in a mere 11 days, Costello teams up with uber-producer T-Bone Burnett for his latest, which consists of a new tracks and plenty of guest appearances, including Vince Gill, Leon Russell, and Marc Ribot. It’s standard Costello as far as the compositions themselves, but there are hints of interesting new inflections here and there, like the Naw’lins-influenced “Jimmie Standing in the Rain,” the countryfied “I Lost You,” and the folky, backcountry-meets-jazz sound of “A Slow Drag with Josephine,” as enhanced by mandolins and Costello’s distinctive voice.

 
Monday, January 24, 2011

Bibb plus Booker equals new music

Music Kristi Kates Bibb plus Booker equals new blues 1/24/11
By Kristi Kates
American-born and European-based, blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar at the age of seven, encouraged in part by a remarkable lineup of supporters and family friends that included Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, singer/activist Paul Robeson (Bibb’s godfather), and the legendary Bob Dylan.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

Chris Van Dahl Brings Aeromyth Alive

Music Rick Coates Chris Van Dahl Brings Aeromyth Alive
1/17/11
By Rick Coates
Aerosmith is on a touring hiatus as frontman Steven Tyler has taken on
a judgeship with American Idol. There’s no word on the rock legend’s
camp if they will tour this year, but no worries; there is always
Aeromyth. One must look and listen closely when at an Aeromyth concert
as this tribute band has the sights and sounds down.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

Butch Thompson

Music Kristi Kates Butch Thompson, Jazz Original 1/17/11
By Kristi Kates
Accomplished pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson - also a Grammy Award winner and one of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion sidekicks - is on his way to the City Opera House in TC this Saturday, complete with his all-star New Orleans Jazz Originals lineup.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

Ruthie Foster

Music Kristi Kates Ruthie Foster’s Truthful Music 1/17/11
By Kristi Kates
T he Truth According to Ruthie Foster is the title of
singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster’s new album, songs of which Foster
herself will be bringing to TC’s InsideOut Gallery on Sunday, January
23.
 
Monday, January 17, 2011

4Play: Polar Bear; Sufjan Stevens; Secret Sisters; Black Dub

Music Jack Pine Polar Bear - Peepers (Leaf Label) 1/17/11
Here’s a concept: Jazz that is fun, musical, adventurous and not at all boring. Polar Bear is a small combo from England that features two saxophone players. Polar Bear plays jazz that is more about the compositions than any lengthy jazz trance solos. There are touches of Sun Ra, Morphine and Tom Waits (sans vocals). Some songs groove and some float, but it is all fresh and inviting music. It all seems so natural; it is a wonder a band with Polar Bear’s sound hasn’t happened sooner.


 
Monday, January 10, 2011

4Play: Sahara Smith, Steve Tibbetts, Soft Machine Legacy, Lunatic Soul

Music Ross Boissoneau Sahara Smith – Myth of the Heart (Playing In Traffic Records)
It’s too simplistic to say that if you like Norah Jones you’ll like Sahara Smith, though that may well be true. Smith’s gentle music hews closer to country and folk than to Jones’s jazz/pop hybrid. Her singing is lovely and lilting, not as breathy as that of Jones. You might throw in a Tracy Chapman comparison, or even early Joni Mitchell or Judy Collins. But while Smith has clearly absorbed a number of influences, she’s just as clearly her own self. The tunes, all of which she wrote, combine pithy observations with countrified soundtracks for her characters. Not as epic as Springsteen or Tom Waits, more like epigrammatic, small chapters of interesting people. And all delivered with a sweet and innocent, yet knowing, voice.

 
Monday, January 3, 2011

4Play: Various Artists, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriquez, Lang Lang, Gary Husband

Music Ross Boissoneau Various Artists – Soul Revival (Shout/NPR)
This compilation, put together by National Public Radio, starts off with a bang. “Do the 45” by Ryan Shaw harkens back to the heyday of soul shouters like Sam Cooke and Al Green. Eli “Paperboy” Reed keeps up the momentum with “Am I Wasting My Time?” complete with spine-tingling yelps. Both feature instrumental backing reminiscent of the best soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with chittering rhythm guitars, organ, handclaps and horns. Raphael Saadiq’s “100 Yard Dash” is more sedate than the title might suggest, and Chaka Khan’s “Disrepectful” with Mary J. Blige is an unqualified treat. Imagine a whole CD like that. Now stop imagining and listen.
 
Monday, December 27, 2010

Emma Cook

Music Jack Pine “Days of Wonder”: Leelanau singer/songwriter Emma Cook
releases debut CD
By Jack Pine
Emma Cook is an example of how a young artist can be successfully nurtured, mentored, and inspired to be creative. As it turns out, folk singers do not have to hit the road and stumble around several years to make good music. Cook, a Leelanau County singer/songwriter, will host a CD release party for her debut recording “Days of Wonder” on Sunday, January 2 at 5 p.m. at the Loading Dock in TC.
Both of Cook’s parents are musicians. Her dad plays mandolin and her mother is a piano teacher. Cook grew up a child of Blissfest and has attended the folk festival almost every year since she was a baby.
“It is always fun” Cook says. “There is this moment when you crest a hill and see all the tents. It is a sigh of relief, almost. I feel so comfortable there.”
Instead of rebelling against her parent’s music, Cook has connected with it and is inspired by the performers at the festival.
 
 
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