Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Overtones: A Musical Time Warp

They bill themselves as “six boys lost in time, as if they never left 8th grade male choir class.” That’s a pretty accurate description of Traverse City’s The Overtones, a men’s a cappella group existing in perfect harmony since 1990.

Music Kristi Kates After graduation, the friends went on to their separate college classes and careers, but, in 2000, they were brought back together by Men of Note’s director Tom Stokes who wanted the members to consider singing as part of a larger group called The Northmen Singers.
 
Friday, October 10, 2014

Brett Mitchell Sews Up Another Album

Music Kristi Kates “I usually tell people my music is folky, indie pop-rock—whatever that even means any more,” Mitchell laughed. “I have an eclectic taste in music, so I think that comes through in my songwriting."
 
Monday, October 6, 2014

Go Go Gopherwood!

Music Kristi Kates Just a couple of years later, when people started buying VCRs, attendance waned. So, the decision was made to change the name and start presenting music instead. The first concert took place at a camp just outside Lake City where the organization presented a show by the Lost World String Band.
 
Monday, September 29, 2014

Loudon Wainwright’s Bluesy Return

Music Kristi Kates Whether you first knew him as Captain Spalding, the “singing surgeon” on the ‘70s TV show M*A*S*H; via his novelty song “Dead Skunk”; or from one of his Grammy nominated albums, you’ll likely recognize the work of Loudon Wainwright III.
 
Monday, September 29, 2014

Flavors of Fall at Harvest Fest

New Additions Keep Autumn Festival Fresh

Music Kristi Kates “More than 10 years, at least,” Jim Baumann mused. Baumann, executive director of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce, may not have a precise timeline, but he has noticed a change in the perception of the fest over the years in conjunction with the locavore movement.
 
Monday, September 22, 2014

River’s End Block Party Gives Back

Music Kristi Kates The music starts at 2 pm and includes the rock-soul band The London Souls from NYC; instrumental surf-rockers Fronkensteen from Ohio; Nashville soulster Bobby Emmett; Michigan Misfits tribute band Devil Lock; and Ann Arbor indie-rockers Spanish Charles.
 
Monday, September 22, 2014

The Modern Vaudeville of SHEL

Over a year ago, Express talked with Colorado indie band SHEL as they prepped for a performance at Blissfest.

Music Kristi Kates The four-girl band—all sisters—were just starting to snag attention for their unique brand of eclectic folk music. They were keeping a focused schedule of performances across the country and enjoying inclusion in ad campaigns like commercials for Splenda and Glade.
 
Monday, September 8, 2014

Twice the Fun at Hops and Props

There’s beer and boats … and then there’s hops and props.

Music Kristi Kates The breweries will be arriving from all over Michigan, and will include brews from Bells, Dark Horse, Shorts, Founders, Mitten, Hideout, North Peak, Rochester Mills, New Holland, and Arcadia Brewing Companies, plus offerings from The Livery, Douglas Valley Winery, Bardic Wells Meadery, Virtue Cider, and many more.
 
Monday, September 1, 2014

Frankie Ballard Headlines Country Jamboree

Music Kristi Kates LIKE NOTHING ELSE Festival organizer Chris Cook has been running the festival grounds in Buckley for the past three years. Over that time, he said, they’ve hosted a lot of country concerts, but this is the first time they’ve focused specifically on a full-speedahead, all-country event.
 
Monday, August 25, 2014

They've Got Moxie

Think you know folk music? Familiar with traditional instruments?

Music Kristi Kates The songs that they play may have a foundation in the traditional, but they run them all through their own unique filter, a process that started almost 10 years ago when Ladio and Lynn met at the Michigan American String Teachers Association camp in Howell, Mich.
 
Monday, August 25, 2014

From Chants to Muzak: Work Music Through the Ages

Music Kristi Kates Work songs have been documented since people started keeping track of history itself. From domestic trades to agricultural work, sea shanties to cowboy songs, chain gang chants to paperboys hawking their wares, tunes have long been utilized for a range of productive reasons.
 
Monday, August 18, 2014

Emmet County Fair Welcomes Joe Nichols and More

Persistence equals success in Nashville … and in Petoskey.

Music Kristi Kates

Country music singer Joe Nichols – whose latest single, “Yeah,” hit number one on the U.S. Country Airplay chart last month and just became his fourth gold single – knows the value of not giving up. At the age of 19, Nichols was signed to Intersound Records, where he released his first album, 1996’s “Joe Nichols.” The album didn’t sell, and Intersound dropped him.

 
Monday, August 18, 2014

The 2014 Men of Rock

Music Kristi Kates

This year’s Men of Rock list runs the gamut: From soulful singles to electronica to straightforward alt-rock, all of these artists share standout vocals, strong personalities, and plenty of talent. What makes them unique is their individual approaches to their tunes. This isn’t a popularity contest, though. Justin Bieber and Jay-Z get enough attention as it is. The following men of rock are causing a stir because of their innovation, music, and accomplishments. Check ‘em out.

 
Monday, August 18, 2014

May Erlewine’s Emotional Journey

Music Kristi Kates

Music runs in May Erlewine’s blood. Her father, Michael Erlewine, was active in the Michigan folk music scene, collaborating with the likes of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop. He also founded the online All Music Guide in the early ‘90s, where it became a pop culture source for music fans worldwide.

 
Monday, August 11, 2014

Now That ‘The Voice’ is Over; What’s Next?

Music Kristi Kates Ryan Whyte Maloney made a strong showing on NBC’s singing competition program “The Voice,” snagging a spot on Blake Shelton’s team and making it to the playoff rounds before he was eliminated.
 
 
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