Letters

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, August 15, 2011

Mickey Hart

Music Rick Coates There is no “mailing it in” with Mickey Hart, the percussion guru of the
Grateful Dead, who could easily cash in year after year touring and
playing the hits of his former band.
“What’s the point of always doing the same thing? I don’t eat my favorite
meal everyday; I explore different foods in search of my new favorite
meal, and that is my approach to music,” said Hart. “My whole life I have
constantly been exploring different types of music, even during my
Grateful Dead days.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Brent James

Music Rick Coates It was just two years ago this weekend that musicians from all over Northern Michigan were gathering at Union Street Station to jam. The reason was a benefit for fellow musician Jason Kott.
In late July of 2009, Kott, who was 34 at the time and a popular bass player and musician on the Northern Michigan scene, was headed home to Traverse City from Petoskey the day after a gig when another car turned head on into him. The accident was serious, breaking his ankle, eight ribs and two vertebrae.
Lucky just to survive, Kott, a full time professional musician, was forced to cancel a full slate of paying gigs for the rest of the year. In addition to his solo work Kott was a member of Brent James and The Contraband and they were scheduled to go into the studio.
“We had been working so hard to get our big break and then I break myself up and there was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass by,” said Kott. “I toughed it out and was far from being healed and went to Nashville to record the record.”’

DEBUT ALBUM
The fruits of that labor have paid off as their debut album “Moments of Silence” was released to stores and itunes two weeks ago and their first single, the title track of the CD, hit radio stations this week.
Now Kott will retrace his travels from two years ago as Brent James and The Contraband will perform Thursday and Friday night at Union Street Station in Traverse City. On Saturday they will headline the Festival by the Bay in Petoskey.
“I am not sure they will let me drive the van,” said Kott. “We are excited about coming home as we have been out touring with Alice Cooper and we did all the west coast dates with Ted Nugent earlier this summer.”
Kott grew up in Traverse City where he was active in music at TC Senior High School. After graduating in 1993 he headed off to Albion where he majored in classical voice. He returned to Traverse City where he has spent the past 14 years performing solo and as part of several bands from Dawn Campbell to Ron Getz and even a stint with The Bihlman Bros., among others.
“I am still doing the occasional solo gig around here but I have now put all my eggs in this basket,” said Kott. “And for good reason, Brent is an exceptional singer and guitar player plus we have Mike P on guitars and Matt Hayes who is also from Traverse City on drums and both of those guys are awesome.”
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

4Play: Gorillaz, Monolake, We The Kings, The Head & The Heart

Music Kristi Kates Gorillaz - The Fall - V Records
Recorded during Gorillaz’ last autumn tour, this album is a sonic “diary” of sorts, and features an eclectic range of Gorillaz tracks, some only at demo level, some solo Damon Albarn, and some more fully developed into actual Gorillaz songs. The songs are short and to the point, unlike some of the other Gorillaz albums, but that’s not a bad thing; and because the album was recorded mostly on the fly, it’s far more electronic in its base sounds, with plenty of synth and what seems like more loops than their last set. Highlights include the incongrously bright “Detroit,” the horns-graced “The Snake in Dallas,” and the trip-hop “Hillbilly Man.”

 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Poor standards

Music Stephen Tuttle So, now we’ve been “downgraded” by the estimable Standard and Poor’s
(S&P). We’ve fallen from a top-of-the-line AAA rating to AA+. No one is
certain exactly how far the ripples from this will extend. The giant
mortgage houses known as Freddie Mac (Federal Home Mortgage Association)
and Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) have already been
similarly downgraded.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Micky Free

Music Rick Coates Micki Free might be the best guitarist no one has ever heard of -- well
the general public that is. Mention his name to people in the business,
such as Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Bill Wyman of
The Rolling Stones fame and they will all sing his praises. In fact, all
three legends are currently working on projects with Micki Free.
Ask KISS frontman Gene Simmons his thoughts on Micki Free and a smile will
come over him.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Rufus Wainwright

Music Kristi Kates House of Rufus is a new box set collection of a half-dozen studio albums, two live albums, six DVDs, and four extra albums of previously unreleased material that hit stores earlier this year.
“Rufus,” of course, is singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, he of the elegant, operatic-pop songs, rich tenor vocals, and stylish piano skills.
A few weeks ago, Wainwright took what’s best referred to as a “House of Rufus experience” to the Royal Opera House in London, a five-night series of live performances that made him the first solo artist to take up a musical residency there. Special guest appearances by Wainwright’s father, the famed Loudon Wainwright III; his sister, Martha Wainwright; and his half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche added to the glitz and glamour of the shows, while the Britten Sinfonia chamber orchestra provided the musical backdrop.
Wainwright, as colorful an interviewee as he is a performer, considered the shows a huge success - and he’s not shy about saying so.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Interlochen looks ahead to fall

Music Interlochen looks ahead to Fall
With summer halfway over, Interlochen Center for the Arts has announced
its fall/winter schedule, a blend of music, dance and theater.
Here’s what to expect between September and May:

Guster • September 2 • Kresge Auditorium
Offering indie pop; now in its 15th year, the band is a perennial favorite
with the 20-something set.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Colt Ford

Music Rick Coates Real country musicians have an edge and attitude. Just ask Colt Ford, the
Georgia-based former professional golfer turned country singer. Of course,
Ford has to have an attitude since his way doesn’t fit the corporate
profile Nashville looks for in today’s country superstars.
“Yeah you could say I am on the outside looking,” said Ford. “Country
music today is still using that big corporate model that was developed in
the ’80s where they tell you how to look, sound and what to do. There are
very few independent country artists that have much success. It is a very
corporate world with a few people making all the decisions.”
Ford is frustrated trying to find his place.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

4Play: Duran Duran, A-ha, Brian Eno, OMD

Music Kristi Kates Duran Duran - All You Need is Now - S-Curve Records
The original ‘80s Brit-synth-popsters, Duran Duran haven’t slowed down much since their Aqua Net days. Catch is, they’ve spent a lot of that time trying to reinvent themselves when they really didn’t need to. Now that ‘80s music is making a genuine comeback, perhaps their trademark sound will catch fire once again, if this album’s any indication of their continuing skills. Produced by Kaiser Chiefs/Adele cohort Mark Ronson, these new D2 songs catch the ear immediately, from the title track to “The Man Who Stole a Leopard,” the synth-y ballad “Before the Rain,” and the pretty “Mediterranea.” It’s a successful return to their Duranie roots.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Dunegrass

Music Rick Coates Since its formation 18 years ago the Dunegrass Music Festival has changed
its name (formally the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival) twice; is
now on its third promoter (a former promoter is spending seven years in
federal prison); has moved to its fourth location; and is now in a totally
different county. 
For current organizer Ryan Lake he chuckles and says the roots of the past
have made Dunegrass stronger and wiser.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Dunegrass

Music Rick Coates Since its formation 18 years ago the Dunegrass Music Festival has changed
its name (formally the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival) twice; is
now on its third promoter (a former promoter is spending seven years in
federal prison); has moved to its fourth location; and is now in a totally
different county. 
For current organizer Ryan Lake he chuckles and says the roots of the past
have made Dunegrass stronger and wiser.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cherry Poppin‘ Daddies

Music Rick Coates Paella in the Park sold out last year in its debut with John Popper and
Blues Traveler headlining an evening that featured local wines, paellas
and West Bay as a strong supporting cast. The event this year returns
Friday, August 5 at the former Clinch Park Zoo site in TC, and with
vocalist Steve Perry taking the stage, it is certain to be a sell-out
again. 
Now this particular Steve Perry is with the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the
best-selling swing band, whose smash hit album “Zoot Suit Riot” sold over
two million copies in the U.S. and spent 53 weeks on the Billboard charts,
helping to usher in the swing dance craze to a new generation.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

RFD Boys

Music Rick Coates With another successful Traverse City Film Festival now in the rearview
mirror, movie enthusiasts will look to the Frankfort Film Festival at the
end of October to get their film fix. The Third Annual Frankfort Film
Festival will take place at the recently renovated Garden Theater which
has been offering first-run films in Frankfort for the first time in
years.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

George Cole

Music Kristi Kates He’s toured with Joe Walsh of The Eagles, was guitar instructor/mentor to Green Day, performed with Buster Poindexter, and recorded with Chris Isaak. But guitarist/vocalist/composer/producer George Cole is poised to perhaps become best known for his own work with his George Cole Quintet, a group he’s put together to interpret the sounds of great American classic songs through a musical filter that’s all his own.
Comprised of Jimmy Grant (“he brings the power,” Cole says), Chris Bastian (“connectivity”), Stephan Dudash (“virtuosity”), Mary Jenson (“melody”) and Cole (“I bring the flash,” he laughs), the five musicians focus on a sound that Cole has developed - one that he’s dubbed ‘Eurocana.’
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates Big, big numbers are being projected for this year’s 20th Anniversary Lollapalooza Festival (August 5-7) in Chicago, which serves as pretty much the Midwest’s only truly gigantic claim to summer music festival fame, with Rothbury’s Electric Forest Fest aiming at second place. Lolla keeps aiming at bigger and bigger goals, and this year’s no exception.
If 90,000 tickets sold per each day of Lolla’s three-day run sounds like a lot to you, you’re right - last year’s record was 240,000 people over the weekend; a sold-out show this year would result in a three-day attendance of 270,000. So patience will definitely be a virtue - but it’ll be worth it to see Lolla’s once again standout lineup.
 
 
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