Letters

Letters 04-13-2015

Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Women of rock

Music Kristi Kates 2010 - Women of Rock
By Kristi Kates
Although one name may predominate this year’s music scene when you
consider women in rock, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that one
songstress was the best the year had to offer - nor the only artist
around.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

John Jorgenson

Music Kristi Kates John Jorgenson Serves Up Gypsy Jazz
By Kristi Kates
Where most kids today probably don’t feel rewarded unless they’re bought candy, movie passes, or the latest videogame, musician John Jorgenson’s childhood was a lot less commerce-driven - and far more rewarding in the long run.
“I got interested in music really early on, because both of my parents are musicians,” Jorgenson explains. “My father is a conductor; my mother, a piano teacher. So we heard music all ‘round the house, all the time, when we were kids. It was like a treat - if we were good, we’d get to listen to ‘Peter and the Wolf’ or ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ Music was always something special and cool.”
Now, fortunate kids whose parents have a little more insight beyond BioShock 2 or Snickers bars might be passing along Jorgenson’s own music to their potentially musically-gifted offspring.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Salaam

Music Kristi Kates Salaam Bringing Peace Through Music
By Kristi Kates
Singer and musician Dena El Saffar grew up in Chicago in an Iraqi-American household, learning classical violin at the age of six. But it was the Arabic music listened to by her family - and initially not given too much thought by her - that would draw her into forming the band that is now called Salaam, a musical expression of El Saffar, her culture, and her bandmates’ wishes for peace - and simply good music.
“Salaam is actually the Arabic word for ‘peace,’” El Saffar says. The band - El Saffar (on vocals, violin, viola, djoze, and ‘oud) along with percussionist/husband Tim Moore; Kevin MacDowell on accordian, guitar, and bass; and Sam Finley on guitar and bass - was formed in 1993, after El Saffar’s life-changing trip to her family’s homeland.
She traveled to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad with her father at the age of 17, and had taken her viola along to practice. Soon, she found herself playing along to cassettes of Iraqi pop music on her viola with her newfound friends, where she says it became like a ‘huge party’ as everyone started clapping and dancing along.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

4Play: Mes Aieux. The Devil Wears Prada, Karen Elson, Black Lotus

Music Kristi Kates Mes Aieux - La Ligne Orange - LLO
French popsters Mes Aieux’s latest (translated as “The Orange Line,” aka the Montreal Metro system) put forth an interesting blend of Canadian folk songs blended with their own modern lyrics; this mix allows them to stand out even more than their considerable musical talents already do. On this set, their fifth, they tap into classic pub songs and French chansons to translate over their topical wordplay, which includes subjects as diverse as the Olympics and local street musicians. Fifteen songs in all make this a worthy, unique, and interesting listen.



 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Young Dubs

Music Rick Coates The Young Dubs: On The Rocky Road From Dublin
By Rick Coates
Celtic rockers, The Young Dubliners, (Young Dubs) love Traverse City.
While most touring acts hardly know what day it is, let alone what
town they are in, The Young Dubs have their favorites and Traverse
City ranks right up at the top.
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Trapt

Music Kristi Kates Trapt Without Apology: Live in TC
By Kristi Kates
“The name ‘Trapt’ came from feeling like you’re trapped by authority
figures,” Trapt bassist Peter Charell explains, “and kind of morphed
into being trapped by personal issues as well.”
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Sevendust

Music Kristi Kates Sevendust Searches for its Soul
By Kristi Kates
Beautiful fall colors, a short drive - and some impressively aggressive rock music - are all great reasons to head up to Sault Ste. Marie for the evening on October 19. Especially if you’re a fan of Georgia-based band Sevendust.
Just don’t try to pigeonhole them - the band themselves aren’t even sure where to place their sound within the alt-rock genre, according to Sevendust guitarist John Connolly.
“I don’t know - I’ve been trying to figure that out,” he said in a recent interview, “people, for five minutes, called us progressive, and then it was nu-metal. Then, all of a sudden, we were playing alternative metal. We are some kind of heavy, and some kind of rock, and some kind of metal.”
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Robbie Wyckoff

Music Rick Coates Robbie Wyckoff’s piece of ‘The Wall’
TC singer hits the road with Roger Waters
By Rick Coates
No one can accuse singer Robbie Wyckoff of being just another “brick in the wall.”
A Traverse City native, Wyckoff grew up wanting to be a singer. The 1983 TC High School grad was in the school choir and a lead vocalist in several area rock bands before making his way to Los Angeles shortly after graduation. While Wyckoff has had some pretty impressive gigs over the past 25 years, he returns to Michigan this weekend on the biggest tour of his life.
Wyckoff has been touring with Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters as the co-lead vocalist in the Roger Waters The Wall Live Tour. The tour makes a stop this Sunday, October 24 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Prior to this tour Wyckoff has recorded and performed with Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Clint Black, Sheena Easton, Rick Springfield, Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne and Greg Rolie (Journey, Santana). In addition, he has been in several film and television projects with vocal work in the movie “Shrek,” the animated Disney TV series “Phineas & Ferb,” “The Emperor’s New Skool,” “The Replacements,” and appearances on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Yes Dear” and “7th Heaven.”
The Roger Waters Tour started in September in Toronto and Wyckoff has been performing in every major North American city and venue. The tour will wrap up a few days before Christmas, the European leg kicks off in March, continuing through June.
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

4Play: Incognito, Kero One, Slum Village, Paul Wall

Music Kristi Kates Incognito - Transatlantic RPM - Shanachie
Best described as a modern day Earth, Wind and Fire with a dab of Stevie Wonder thrown in, Incognito’s acid funk/jazz sound has set the groundwork for plenty of imitators. But the legends know who to collaborate with, hence the appearances of Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, and Al McKay (of the aforementioned Earth, Wind and Fire) on this set. These tunes tool along with plenty of momentum, propelled by horns and strings while the drums keep the groovin’ beats on track; “Lowdown” throws Mario Biondi into the mix with Chaka Khan, “Put a Little Lovin’ in Your Heart” is five minutes of moving-your-feet music, and closer “Tell Me What to Do” wraps these jams up with soul.
 
Monday, October 11, 2010

Chris Dorman's Vermont-Michigan-Internet connection

Music Kristi Kates Singer-songwriter Chris Dorman may live in Vermont, but he has roots in Northern Michigan’s musical community.
Dorman is releasing his latest album, Sita, this month on Earthwork Music. While Dorman now resides in Vermont - he and his small family, including his wife, Corie, and “inspirational” new son, Henry, purchased a 143-acre farm there last year - his Michigan roots are still in evidence via the many guest musicians on the album, which include the ubiquitous Seth Bernard and May Erlewine, Steve Leaf, and Michael Shimmin, among others. And Dorman is returning to Michigan with a brief tour this month to promote the new set.
 
Monday, October 11, 2010

4Play: Crowded House, Sky Sailing, Fran Healy, Josiah Leming

Music Kristi Kates Crowded House - Intriguer - Mercury
Crowded House singer/songwriter Neil Finn - a master craftsman of
songs if there ever was one - calls Intriguer what may be the best
thing the band has ever done. That’s saying a lot, from him. Produced
by Jim Scott, this set of new Crowded House songs - their first studio
effort in over a dozen years - blends Finn’s instantly identifiable
songwriting and trademark harmonies into ten near-perfect smart indie-
pop songs, executed by the rest of his skillful band. Opener “Saturday
Sun” accompanies “Either Side of the World, “Twice If You’re Lucky”
and “Even If.”
 
Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue October

Music Rick Coates Blue October takes aim at suicidal behavior
By Rick Coates
Matt Noveskey grew up in Traverse City as part of a musical family.
The 1994 graduate of St. Francis High School credits his family’s
diverse interests in music in shaping his path in the rock band, Blue
October.
 
Monday, October 4, 2010

Alan Gerber

Music Kristi Kates Alan Gerber Brings on the Boogie
By Kristi Kates
He’s been called eccentric and professional; boogie-woogie and groovy;
and has played at jazz, rock, and blues venues across the continent.
Alan Gerber - who you might recognize from his work with the late ’60s
band Rhinoceros (Gerber wrote songs, sang, and played keyboards for
the group) - is difficult to define, but also difficult to forget,
especially once you’ve seen one of his energetic and distinctive live
performances; and Northern Michigan audiences will get a chance to see
this transformative performer at concerts in Petoskey and Traverse
City this weekend.
 
Monday, October 4, 2010

4Play: John Digweed, Morcheeba, Wavves, BT

Music Kristi Kates John Digweed - Structures - Essential Music
Digweed mixes himself into his latest three-disc collection edition,
right alongside plenty of equally accomplished dancefloor and
electronica talents like King Unique, Nick Muir, Dimitri Nakov, Luis
Junior, and Christian Smith, among others. Digweed’s skills at flow
and beat can’t be - well, beat - and the spins that he crafts linking
up these artists are both a great showcase for their music, and a
platform for Digweed’s own abilities. It’s difficult to pick a
highlight here as far as singles, but overall, this particular set is
marking standards for the DJ patterns of the future.

 
Monday, September 27, 2010

Mark Farner

Music Rick Coates Petoskey’s Rocker: Mark Farner
By Rick Coates
Grand Funk (Railroad) founding member and frontman Mark Farner has
made Petoskey his home for the past 25 years. Tack on another 10 years
he lived in Onaway before that and Farner is a “Northern Michigan” guy
through and through and “darn glad of it,” especially right now.
Farner, who left Grand Funk after the band’s 1999 tour, will perform
in Petoskey, this Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Odawa Casino’s Ovation
Hall.
 
 
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