Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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
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.
Monday, March 21, 2011

4Play: Foo Fighters, The Dears, Noah & the Whale, old War Kids 3/21/11

Music Kristi Kates Foo Fighters - Wasting Light - RCA
Recorded on defiant analog tape in Dave Grohl’s garage (albeit with the
assistance of superproducer Butch Vig and top-notch mixer Alan Moulder),
the songs on the Foo’s latest are an equally yin-yang mix of the high
sheen and the grungy. First official single “Rope” has pushy drums that
solidify the raw pop/rock beat and charging punk-popster “Bridge Burning”
plays out that garage-band feel, while more restraint and smoother
arrangements are shown on tracks like “These Days,” “I Should Have Known,”
and the Bob Mould-guesting “Dear Rosemary.” The new songs are definitely
fodder for the Foo’s potential headlining spot at Lollapalooza this year.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Serious Moonlight

Music Kristi Kates Serious Moonlight... Moonlight Red brings a mix of instruments & influences
By Kristi Kates
Talking to Laren Corie and Donna Klein of Moonlight Red, one gets the
impression that they’ve been performing together for a very long time; but
in reality, they’ve only been working together for about a year, and had
to follow quite the twisting road to find each other’s work.
Monday, March 14, 2011

Orpheum Bell

Music Kristi Kates Orpheum Bell rings anew in Northern Michigan
By Kristi Kates
Since 2009, when Express last checked in with Ann Arbor band Orpheum Bell, they were putting on a big CD release show at Freshwater Studios in Boyne City - and watching their music slowly but surely acquire more and more critical and fan acclaim.
Well, the gypsy-esque lineup of musicians has changed a bit, now reading Aaron Klein, Michael Billmire, the inimitable Serge van der Voo, and newest bandmates Henrik Karapetyan and Katie Lee (“With every member change, our music goes through a growing transformation process; Katie and Henrik have added tremendous intensity and inspiration to our group’s sound,” van der Voo says) but Orpheum Bell the band haven’t slowed down at all.
Monday, March 14, 2011

4Play: James Blake, The Script, Edwyn Collins, The Dodos

Music Kristi Kates James Blake - James Blake - Universal
Blake’s unique, downtrodden take on dubstep may not be for everyone - or
at least, not for those who don’t appreciate a certain level of
pensiveness - but his skills at melding quietude with beats can’t be
denied. The studied awkwardness of the piano on “Give Me My Month,” the
street corner loneliness and abandoned penny organ sounds of
“Measurements,” the ’80s detachment of “Lindisfarne II,” and the clicky
apathy of “The Wilhelm Scream” never pick up the pace to take the listener
anywhere at all, but that unmoving sadness is part of what makes this
album succeed - as long as the listener is in a very s
Monday, March 7, 2011

Sean Ryan

Music Kristi Kates Petoskey’s Own Irish Troubadour Sean Ryan
By Kristi Kates
Anyone who has spent any time at all vacationing Up North has likely at least heard of local performer Sean Ryan.
Ryan, who has spent the better part of the last two decades as a regular at Petoskey’s Noggin Room in the Perry Hotel, is a big part of many folks’ summer memories - carefully walking down the stone steps to the subterranean Noggin Room; settling in at dark wood tables set with icy drinks and baskets of popcorn; laughter and singalongs floating through the air to compliment Ryan’s own Irish-inflected folk singing; good-natured banter and deft guitar work.
It’s a story that started in Ireland, and ends - happily, thank you - in Petoskey.
Monday, March 7, 2011

St. Patrick‘s Day celebrations

Music Rick Coates St. Patrick’s Celebrations Sweep the North
By Rick Coates
You don’t have to go far to ‘get your Irish on’ this coming week: St.
Patrick’s themed events will take place across the region. Here are some
of the highlights:

31st Annual Traverse City Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Parade
Saturday, March 12

The festivities kick off with pre-parade activities at North Peak Brewery
starting at noon with the announcement of the Irish Queen, Grand Marshall,
Irish Prince and Princesses and the Irish Lord Mayor.
The parade will commence at 1:30 p.m. with pre-staging starting at 1 p.m.
on North Hall Street. The parade route goes down Front Street to Pine to
State, Park  and Front streets and ending on North Hall.
Post parade activities will include dancing and Irish music by the Wild
Sullys at North Peak Brewery starting at 2:30 p.m. All activities are open
to the public. Anyone interested in participating in the parade should
contact Hibernian president Todd McCall at 231-715-6265.
Monday, March 7, 2011

O‘Rourke & Zeitler‘s Irish afternoon

Music Kristi Kates ’Rourke and Zeitler’s Irish Afternoon
By Kristi Kates
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, purveyor of roots Americana and folk music.
These are all worthy subtitles given to not one, but two performers, namely Siusan O’Rourke and Zig Zeitler, the talented folk music couple who will be performing “An Afternoon of Irish Music” at Boyne City’s BAC (Boyne Arts Collective) as part of local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Six Irish modern rockers

Music Kristi Kates Six Irish Modern Rockers
By Kristi Kates
Most modern rock fans are pretty familiar with great Irish bands like U2,
Snow Patrol, The Pogues, The Frames, and The Cranberries.