Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Marc Alderman

Music Robert Downes ‘Still Breathing’ -- Marc Alderman: Musical friends come to the aid of injured percussionist
By Robert Downes
Marc Alderman doesn’t remember what happened after a pickup truck crossed
the center line of an icy highway last Dec. 3, sending him into months of
pain, surgery and hospitalization.
Monday, May 24, 2010

4Play: Turin Brakes, Freelance Whales, Matt Pond Pa, The Bigger Lights

Music Kristi Kates Turin Brakes - Outbursts - Cooking Vinyl
Brit new-acoustic popsters TB wrote, performed, and produced their current offering mostly on their own, to supply their fans with their first studio album since 2007. First single “Sea Change” is also the album’s strongest highlight, with its spacious sound arriving in steps from the beat through the vocals and more symphonic elements. “Paper Heart” features more acoustic-meets-soul sounds, as do “Will Power” and the heavier “Radio Silence” - but “Sea Change” will likely be the track you’ll be putting into your favorite mixes.
Monday, May 17, 2010

Taking flight: A new festival

Music Kristi Kates Taking Flight:A new festival that’s for the birds
By Kristi Kates
“When I was younger, I grew up birding around Northern Michigan and
the Whitefish Point area with my father, Jim Porter,” explains concert
producer Sam Porter. “The love for nature and wildlife that grew out
of that experience is my personal inspiration for this event.”
Monday, May 17, 2010

The Energizert: Laith Al-Sadi

Music Kristi Kates The Energizer:Blues rocker Laith Al-Saadi gets a charge out of connecting
By Kristi Kates
Guitarist/singer/songwriter Laith Al-Saadi hasn’t had a real job since
he was 15.
“Not having a day job is a great motivator to make sure that you keep
working (on your music),” Al-Saadi explains with a chuckle. “My last
and only ‘real job’ was working at a Sbarro in Briarwood Mall in Ann
Arbor,” he continues, “but as soon as I realized that I could make
money doing what I loved, I was out of there. My high school blues
band, Blue Vinyl, built up a solid following, and I put all my
energies into booking us and writing material for the band.”
Monday, May 17, 2010

Big Band Bill plays Charlevoix

Music Kristi Kates Big Band Bill plays Charlevoix:Trumpeter brings memories of playing with the greats
By Kristi Kates
It was Bill Hart’s fourth grade year in Iowa, where his parents owned
a service station. Traveling big bands would stop on their way to and
from gigs to grab some gas and perhaps an ice-cold Coca-Cola; all of
them seemed pretty exotic to the little boy.
Monday, May 17, 2010

4Play: Arctic Monkeys, The National, Jonsi, Band of Horses

Music Kristi Kates Arctic Monkeys - My Propeller - Domino
Of remarkable note for a mere 4-song EP (likely a fan-placating measure until the next AM album is well underway), My Propeller’s title track is the definite standout here, taken directly from the band’s last full-length, Humbug, and showcasing the English band’s new, California-inflected sound, in part courtesy of new producer Josh Homme. Accompanying the single are quirky “The Afternoon’s Hat,” the guitar-heavy “Joining the Dots,” and the danceable, confident “Don’t Forget Whose Legs You’re On.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

4Play: White Stripes, Slash, Jakob Dylan, Peter Wolf

Music Kristi Kates White Stripes - Under Great Northern Lights- Warner Bros.
Recorded while Jack and Meg White undertook an ambitious tour across every province and territory in Canada, this album is the audio accompaniment to the film of the same name, capturing the Stripes’ emotional performances on all levels, from bowling alley sets to legendary theater venues. You’ll get familiar and more obscure tracks, from “Seven Nation Army” through “Icky Thump,” all presented with the powerful dual attack that this duo is capable of, and that’s less frequently captured on more controlled, sterile studio recordings.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Michael Lee Seiler

Music Rick Coates Michael Lee Seiler seeks spirituality through music
By Rick Coates
Boyne City singer/songwriter Michael Lee Seiler sandwiched a career as a manufacturing supervisor between what his heart and soul called him to do.
“Play the guitar,” said Seiler. “I felt the calling as a kid and at first it was about the girls -- the guitarists always got the girls. But then it became more of a spiritual thing.”
Seiler will perform this weekend at the Concord Academy in Mancelona on Friday for the Relay For Life event; Saturday night at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City; and then at the Mother’s Day Gospel Blues Brunch at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon.
Monday, May 3, 2010

4Play: Big Phony, Field Music, FM Belfast, Juliana Hatfield

Music Kristi Kates Big Phony - Kicking Punching Bags - BPM
Big Phony, aka NYC-Los Angeles coast-hopper Bobby Choy, has quietly stayed under the radar, crafting folk-pop tracks overloaded with catchy melody after catchy melody, all equally understated via Choy’s carefully wistful, mellow performance skills. Songs like the concise “Short Intermission,” “Talk of the Town,” and live, self-deprecating favorite “Girls Like You Don’t Go For Guys Like Me” recollect the folk-pop stylings of Elliott Smith, while his voice echoes that of Sean Lennon or Smith himself; he probably won’t remain under the radar for long.
Monday, April 26, 2010

Jazz meets Boogie

Music Kristi Kates Jazz meets Boogie:Matthew Ball wraps up Dennos concert season
By Kristi Kates
Called both “the Gen-X arrival to this uniquely American art form” and
“The Boogie-Woogie Kid,” pianist Matthew Ball specializes in the blues and
- yes, boogie-woogie piano - and will be performing at the Dennos Museum
Center as the wrap-up to the 2009-2010 Dennos concert season.
Monday, April 26, 2010

4Play: Keane, Doves, Ok Go, Gorillaz

Music Kristi Kates Keane - Night Train - Island
Serving as a mini follow-up to Keane’s 2008 set, Perfect Symmetry, this EP shows off both what’s best about the band as well as their ability to infuse new elements into their distinctive sound. Recorded on the fly during the band’s last tour, the new songs echo many of the places they traveled, from the South American horns of “Looking Back” to the appearance of Canadian/Somali rapper K’Naan (“Stop for a Minute.”) Songwriter extraordinaire Tim Rice-Oxley even throws in some solid vocals next to Tom Chaplin’s own impressive ones.

Monday, April 19, 2010

4Play: Various Artists, Songs from the Motion Picture, Various Artists, Harry Gregson-Williams

Music Kristi Kates Various Artists - Repo Men: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Relativity
Futuristic Jude Law/Forest Whitaker vehicle Repo Men’s storyline sends repossessors after those who can’t pay for their equally futuristic mechanical internal organ replacements. The soundtrack music, as might be expected, is appropriately quirky, blending atmospheric classics (Rosemary Clooney’s “Sway,” The Mamas and the Papas’ “Dream a Little Dream”) with more modern, scratchy tunes like Beck’s “Nausea” and UNKLE’s “Burn My Shadow” as perfect accompaniment to this thought-provoking sci-fi yarn.
Monday, April 19, 2010

Ready to rock

Music Robert Downes If you feel the earth shake the weekend of April 30-May 1, relax -- that’s
no earthquake -- it’s the finals weekend for the Rock Your Way to the Top
battle of the bands that has been raging in Northern Michigan every other
weekend since January.
Monday, April 12, 2010

4Play: The Knofe, Local Natives, Miles Kurosky, Citizen Cope

Music Kristi Kates The Knife - Tomorrow, In a Year - Mute
This grainy, chilly offering from mysterious, mask-wearing pair The
Knife finds the Swedish act in paradoxical moods, veering from one
electro-drama to the next. Influenced in part by German
theatrical-rock and also perhaps a little bit of opera, these
synth-based tracks are a dichotomy of themselves, as the album seems
at times like a whole, and at other times like you’ve gone entirely
into another musical plane. Evocative “Colouring of Pigeons,” the
title track, and “Letter to Henslow” are among the standout tracks,
especially instrumentally.
Monday, April 5, 2010

4Play: Natalie Merchant, The Bird & the Bee, She & Him, Goldfrapp

Music Kristi Kates Natalie Merchant - Leave Your Sleep - Nonesuch
Former singer for ’80s/’90s band 10,000 Maniacs, Merchant’s first studio album in over five years finds her adapting a variety of 19th and 20th Century American and British poetry into songs of her own. Ogden Nash, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Edward Lear are among the poets represented here, in such string-bedecked, Merchant-arranged tracks as the foreign-tinged “The King of China’s Daughter,” the folky “Peppery Man,” and the more poppy “It Makes a Change.” Merchant worked with 125 musicians in a wide range of genres for this set, and her enthusiasm for the project - not to mention her distinctive vocal talent - really shows through.