Letters

Letters 08-01-2016

Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...

Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...

Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

DJ Man-O-Wax and The Reminders

Music Kristi Kates early February, the first performance of the “Caravanserai: American Voices” touring series took place in Traverse City, featuring Palestinian-American multi-instrumentalist Ronnie Malley and Indian- American virtuoso vocalist Zeshan Bagewadi.
 
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Local Music: Stovepipe Stover

Music Kristi Kates A drumset strapped to his back, a guitar in his hands, the occasional harmonica and a voice somewhere between Bob Dylan and Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Justin Stover, aka Stovepipe Stover, performs as a one-man band, dividing his time between Traverse City and Grand Rapids.
 
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Modern Rock: Then and Now

Music Kristi Kates What was going on in music back when Northern Express first got its start compared to where the scene is now? In some cases, a lot has changed. In others, we’re nearly back where we started. Let’s wind up the Modern Rock time machine and take a look back at music news happenings from 1991.
 
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Local Music Spotlight On: Turbo Pup

Music Kristi Kates MEET THE BAND They started gigging as Turbo Pup in late August 2015, after singer/guitarist Aaron Dye and violinist Brett McDowell had done a few rounds of performance as a guitar/fiddle duo. The two friends found common ground after learning they had both spent time out west (Dye in Bozeman, Mont.
 
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Patty Larkin’s Natural Evolution

Music Kristi Kates Patty Larkin’s soulful, contemporary brand of music is easily woven into things like latenight public radio shows, compilation albums and supper parties. It’s there she makes her strongest mark, with tunes that catch the ear so well, you’ll find yourself Googling or Shazaming to learn just who is making this music.
 
Saturday, March 19, 2016

And Don’t Miss Chris Smither

Music Kristi Kates When singer-songwriter Chris Smither hit 50 years of singing and songwriting in 2014, he marked the occasion with Still on the Levee, a two-disc career retrospective recorded in New Orleans and featuring fresh versions of two dozen songs from the entire stretch of his career, including “Devil Got Your Man,” the first song he ever wrote.
 
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Matuto Brings Bluegrass and Brazil to the Dennos

Music Kristi Kates He was particularly inspired by the music he was hearing coming out of Brazil and he traveled to that country to study it further; coupled with his jazz roots, bluegrass flatpicking abilities and wry lyrics that recall the Talking Heads, he conjured up quite a mix for his individual sound.
 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Welcoming Spring at The Ramsdell

Music Kristi Kates Soul in the stairwells, melodies in the mezzanine, honky-tonk in the hallways — there will be live music in every corner of the historic Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee this upcoming weekend.
 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Celtic Sounds from The Outside Track

Music Kristi Kates The Outside Track, a five-member group named one of the top Celtic acts in the world by both the TIR (Traditional Music) Awards and the Livies (liveIreland Awards), blends instrumental music, traditional songs and step dancing to craft a skillful and energetic show.
 
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Jumpin’ and Jivin’

Music Kristi Kates Twenty years’ worth of a twenty-piece musical outfit is a lot of history to keep straight. There are so many past members of The Up North Big Band (The UNBB) that current band leader Joshua Raber, for all his diligence, can’t even name them all.
 
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celtic Nights brings “Spirit of Freedom” to the City Opera House

Music Kristi Kates Revamping the theme of their show to honor the 100-year anniversary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, when Irish nationalists proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic (said to be similar to the United States’ Independence Day), Celtic...
 
Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Great Indoor Folk Festival Returns

Music Kristi Kates Adair Correll is the head of Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round, an organization that began in June of 1997 with five musicians seeking a more “listening audience.” That group has expanded to more than 60 songwriters from northern Michigan who perform on the third Friday of every month at Horizon Books in Traverse City.
 
Saturday, February 13, 2016

Rolling Out the Red Carpet For The Hollywood Concert Orchestra

Music Kristi Kates If you’re looking forward to the upcoming 88th “Academy Awards” on Feb. 28 (especially to see who will end up with the “Best Song” award), then the City Opera House has a performance you shouldn’t miss.
 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Defrost and Dance!

Music Kristi Kates “I believe in doing a full production, even though this is a winter fest,” he said, “with full lighting, full sound, heated tents, lots of great bands. Many people don’t have the budget to create that kind of experience this time of year, but we really want to keep highlighting this region in all seasons.
 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Brother Dan’s Got A Big Heart

Music Kristi Kates What better day than Valentine’s Day to host an event that’s all about showing a little love to the community? The Have a Heart Brother Dan’s Valentine’s Benefit gives even more purpose to the holiday with their charity concert, now in its seventh year.
 
 
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