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Letters 04-21-2014

An Exercise of Power

Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Brett Michaels wild year

Music Rick Coates Bret Michaels’ Wild Year: Poison frontman helms Kewadin’s 25th anniversary bash
By Rick Coates
If a cat has nine lives then how many lives does Bret Michaels have? This past year has proven he has at least three, and if you toss in the car accident back in the mid-’90s that nearly claimed his life, then Michaels is on life number four. But Michaels’ health issues are not over yet; after a year that has included an emergency appendectomy and a brain hemorrhage, he will have surgery next January as a result of a hole in his heart.
Michaels, the front man for the glam-rockers Poison from the hair band generation, is currently out touring in support of his new solo work Custom Built, released last week. He will make his way to Northern Michigan Thursday, performing at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie as part of the resort’s 25th Anniversary Summer Celebration. Motley Crue front man Vince Neil will open the show.
 
Monday, July 19, 2010

4Play: Punch Brothers, Works Progress Administration, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak

Music Kristi Kates Punch Brothers - Antifogmatic - Nonesuc
Recorded and mixed in Hollywood with legendary producer Jon Brion
(Fiona Apple, Kanye West), Chris Thile and crew’s latest manages to
converge the generally-divergent genres of pop and bluegrass with both
emotion and sheer get-up-and-go. Opener “You Are” blends staccato
guitar with strings, while “Don’t Need No” rallies up the beats and
“Next to the Trash” is the closest thing to “real” bluegrass you’ll
find on this outing. It’s quite an accomplishment for a string band to
actually make tracks that are this crossover-friendly and catchy, too.

 
Monday, July 12, 2010

4Play: Various Artists, Suzanne Vega, Sarah McLachlin, Cowboy Junkies

Music Kristi Kates Various Artists - Lilith 2010 - Arista
Lilith Fair, the female-centric concert tour that hasn’t been active
in a decade, is now back and running this year, with over three dozen
U.S. dates. Much like the Lilith of yore, Canadian musician Sarah
McLachlan serves as headliner; the other acts rotate depending on the
city. Among them, the musicians included in this compilation album;
Dixie Chicks side project Court Yard Hounds (“The Coast”), jazz
standout Norah Jones, and singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile and
Corinne Bailey Rae (“Dreams” and “The Blackest Lily,” respectively.)

 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Hometown Heros

Music Hometown heroes return with Brent James
Three of Traverse City’s top players make a swing through town next
week, backing vocalist/guitarist Brent James as members of the
ContraBand.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Bob Seger in Gaylord?

Music Rick Coates Bob Seger at Gaylord’s Alpenfest?: No, but his tribute band will be turning the page
By Rick Coates
The 46th Alpenfest in Gaylord kicks off on Tuesday. The five day festival is loaded with family friendly activities that are at no cost or are free of charge after purchasing an Alpenfest pin for $3, making it one of the best entertainment values in the Northern Michigan.
“The Alpenfest pin is a great value because it allows you to attend the many food events we have for no additional charge,” said Gayla Lamberies, festival special events coordinator. “Otherwise to participate in these events they are $5 each.”
Food is one of the focal points of the Alpenfest with Wurst Wagon on Tuesday being the first as troopers from the Michigan State Police post in Gaylord don aprons and serve guests at the opening night ceremonies. On Wednesday is the Die Groeste Kaffee Pause (The world’s largest coffee break) at 9:30 am under the pavilion with coffee, donuts and milk. For dinner, enjoy a chicken BBQ hosted by Dowker’s Meat Market, also under the pavilion. Other food events through the weekend include a sausage and sauerkraut dinner, pancakes and sausage breakfast along with the Pontresina Suppen Mahlzeit featuring the Festival’s secret Pontresina soup recipe.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Find your inner drummer at Boyne

Music Kristi Kates Find Your Inner Drummer at Boyne
By Kristi Kates
“Our workshop is designed to give people the chance to engage totally in the drum process,” artist and Ayurvedic practitioner Rolinda LeMay explains.
The workshop LeMay is speaking of, the Drum Your Art Out event, will be taking place at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls this month, offering ample opportunity for those interested - musician or non alike - to learn about, craft, and how to play hand drums. And according to independent artist LeMay and co-presenter David Gierke of the Toledo School of the Arts, drumming is about far more than simply crafting rhythms.
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

4Play: Booka Shade, Kaskade, LCD Soundsystem, Minus the Bear

Music Kristi Kates Booka Shade - More! - GP Music
Booka Shade revamps their percussionist stance again on their newest set, which puts 90% of the emphasis on the beats and hands over vocal duties (for the most part) over to the likes of C. Jones and Yello. Although a couple of the tracks are just too plain weird to call up a proper description, the majority are strong, moody techno-electro numbers like the darkened “Regenerate,” the new-wave inflected “Bad Love,” and the synthy background that helps define the disgruntled vocal mumbles of Yello’s Dieter Meier on “Divine.”
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

Blissfest celebrates 50 years

Music Rick Coates Blissfest Celebrates 30 Years: Roots music festival examines its own roots...
By Rick Coates
When Blissfest kicks off this Friday, the festival outside Cross Village will celebrate 30 years of promoting the diversity and heritage of traditional styles of music.
This year’s version features headliners Richie Havens and John Hiatt, plus bluegrass-rappers The Deadly Gentlemen, Detroit blues diva Thornetta Davis, Australian transplant Harper, Ann Arbor’s My Dear Disco, world music from Funkadesi, and local favorite Claudia Schmidt (who was there to open the first Blissfest in 1980).
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

Blissful John Hiatt

Music Rick Coates Blissful John Hiatt: Songwriting powerhouse headlines 30th BlissFest
By Rick Coates
John Hiatt’s musical career has woven its way through several musical genres over the past 36 years including rock and roll, blues, new wave, country and folk. As a songwriter his tunes have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Paula Abdul, Iggy Pop, Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson and Keith Urban, to name a few.
Despite being a hit-maker for others, Hiatt has never achieved the mainstream status of the many who have recorded his songs. He has been labeled “The American Elvis Costello,” and often draws comparison to Bruce Springsteen by musical critics. The unassuming singer/songwriter has found his own way to hang on to a musical career that includes 19 albums and legions of dedicated fans.
Hiatt will headline the 30th Annual Blissfest this weekend, performing on the main stage Saturday night. It will be his first visit to Bliss and he is looking forward to it.
“We have played Northern Michigan before but never Bliss; (I’ve) heard a lot of good things about this festival and we are honored that they have asked us to be a part of the 30th festival,” said Hiatt. “We can be pretty blissful so I am sure we will fit in.”
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

Common Cent$

Music Robert Downes Masters of the Game: Common Cent$ rules the cover band universe
By Robert Downes
Young musicians interested in a masters’ class in how to succeed would
do well to study Common Cent$, a band of rock veterans who have local
audiences eating out of the palms of their hands.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Oye Como Va! Gregg Rolie?s musical journey

Music Rick Coates Oye Como Va! Gregg Rolie’s musical journey
By Rick Coates

Keyboardist and vocalist Gregg Rolie has accomplished something few in the music business have been able to do. It is tough to create one great rock and roll band, yet Rolie cofounded two legendary rock groups, Santana and Journey. He now fronts the Gregg Rolie Band that performs all of the hits from the early Santana days along with originals Rolie has written over the years. They will take the Bayside Entertainment Stage at the National Cherry Festival on July 4.
Carlos Santana and Gregg Rolie co-founded Santana in 1966 during a chance meeting in Palo Alto.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boyskicks off National Cherry Festival

Music Robert Downes Tex-Mex spirit of Los Lonely Boyskicks off National Cherry Festival
The three-man power-pop of Los Lonely Boys will light up the crowd this Saturday, July 3 as the opening act on the Bayfront Stage at the National Cherry Festival.
Los Lonely Boys is the vanguard of a week of music that includes the return of several old favorites as well as some new faces. That lineup includes:
• Sunday, July 4: Gregg Rolie’s tribute to Santana (see related article).
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Mike Moran

Music Kristi Kates Ramblin‘ man Mike Moran
By Kristi Kates
Bouncing between two coasts these days is Mike Moran, the popular singer-songwriter whose alternating career ranges from Northern Michigan to San Diego.
Moran is scheduled to open the Microbrew & Music Festival in Traverse City this August, but for the time being, you can catch him at his new gigs in southern California.
Spending every summer in Northern Michigan was a rite of passage for Moran, who was born in Pontiac and attended high school in Clarkston. His parents fixed up a house in Bellaire - which turned into the family home while Moran was finishing high school - and it was shortly after graduation that Moran got into music while, as he puts it, “bouncing from college to college,” playing acoustic guitar and singing. Eight years ago, he decided to settle in Traverse City.
“I just felt at home there,” he says simply.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

4Play: MercyMe, Tonic, Jack Johnson, Tenth Avenue North

Music Kristi Kates MercyMe - The Generous Mr. Lovewell - Columbia
Putting forth the philosophy that we should all “love well” and as unconditionally as possible, this new album from MercyMe features powerful topics and spiritual lyrics, to carry the band’s philosophy that everyone should try to change the world a little bit each day. “This Life” kicks off the set’s theme with its ELO-style synths/drums, and the title track carries on the theme while taking it to the dance floor; “Crazy Strength” is more traditional in its pop-rock arrangement, and “This So Called Love” wraps things up on a positive note.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Good Vibes

Music Erin Cowell It’s the Fourth of July holiday weekend – a time to feel good; and nothing epitomizes that more than the good vibes from a live band.
Enter The Outer Vibe: The electro alt/rock/pop sensation from Grand Rapids that has created a fan base throughout the Midwest, including here, in Northern Michigan. The group returns for a three-day concert at Turtle Creek Casino, in Williamsburg, July 2-4.
 
 
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